Five Strategies To Guarantee Investment And Insurance Success
Here are five strategies that enable advisors to capitalize on our changing business environment and fully leverage the valuable help now available from institutions.
These strategies will help you find niches where you can succeed, help you respond with flexibility to new developments and help you fend off competition.
Most important of all, they will help you offer your clients the world-class service they deserve, while increasing the profitability of your practice.
Strategy 1: Focus on Affluent Private Clients.
A large majority of advisors are interested in attracting wealthy clients. With this huge interest in working with the affluent from so many advisors, how do you successfully compete? The answer is to develop–systematically and purposefully–a steady stream of new pre-qualified, pre-endorsed prospects that seek you out and want to work with you. In effect, youll build a marketing machine for attracting the affluent. A five-step strategy has been proven time and again to accomplish exactly this.
1. Create a compelling vision of success. Take the time to paint a detailed mental picture of what youd like your business and life to look like in five years.
This vision must be something that youre excited about because your emotional commitment to it will be the force that turns your dream into reality. It should be the motivating force behind your overall business plan, the inspiration for members of your team and the crux of the financial model of your business.
2. Develop a target market. Narrow your focus and specialize in one or more target markets. Learn your groups unique needs and how to meet those needs effectively, positioning yourself as an expert in your clients minds in the process.
Elite financial advisors target markets that have plenty of money in transition, such as from IRA rollovers, divorces, inheritances, settlements or saleable assets such as businesses. Pooling capital from small, targeted groups of clients enables you to leverage your time effectively, focusing only on those activities that have the highest payout. It also makes it much easier to get referrals because you understand the deep and narrow issues that affect your target group. You will become known inside this community as the expert that really understands their issues–because you will.
3. Discover niche opportunities. A niche opportunity is simply a market thats particularly suited to your unique talents, skills, interests and disposition. By matching your own skills and interests with those of your niche group, youll have the high quality of life you can get only from working with a group of people with whom you have a great deal of affinity.
Niche opportunities are everywhere, but youll need to do some research to find the ones that are right for you. It is extremely effective to interview key clients, centers of influence, local experts and industry leaders to identify new niches.
4. Position yourself as an expert. Create an image that says youre the best financial advisor for your niche group in your area. But, image isnt everything–you must be a technical expert on financial services for this group in order to gain the credibility you need. And then you must let your expertise be known. One way to communicate your expertise is to write articles for appropriate trade publications. You can exhibit at their trade shows and get deeply involved in their community. People will always do business with a person they know and like, as opposed to somebody they meet through a cold call.
5. Communicate your benefits cost-effectively. Once youve identified your target and niche markets and begun positioning yourself as the expert to meet the needs of this group, youll be ready to communicate the benefits you offer to your prospects. Your goal is to communicate that you have solutions to the particular problems of your target market.
The best way to communicate with the affluent is through one-on-one interactions that you generate through referrals or strategic alliances. You have to develop a systematic process of building relationships with your future clients.
Strategy 2: Use the Investment Consulting Process.
Most financial advisors are trained to sell financial products rather than a consultative service. To deliver services successfully in a consultative manner to an affluent clientele, however, you first must have a clear idea of the types of services these wealthy clients actually want. Studies have shown that the most desired service by the affluent is assistance with asset allocation. This is followed by financial and estate planning, with tax planning a distant third.
Fortunately, there is a process that will place all the work you do with your clients within a consultative framework and that highly lends itself to delivering very effective asset allocation services. It will also support financial and estate planning and tax planning to the extent that you can offer these services (see sidebar on page 17).
The investment consulting process enables you to deliver consistently a high-quality client experience that will clearly differentiate your practice from your competition. It is based on a series of scheduled meetings designed to foster trust and delight your clients from the very first meeting.
Strategy 3: Manage Your Practice as a Business.
Set aside time to develop a focused, strategic plan for your business that clearly defines long- and short-term goals and spells out exactly the actions that must be taken and the processes that must be implemented in order to achieve these goals. This plan will focus your activities and greatly enhance your chances for substantial success.