Last month we introduced research conducted by JPMorgan regarding clients’ passion points, and talked about how you can tap into them to grow your business. This month we discuss applying the knowledge of these passion points–from concepts of language and touch points to service level–so you can further your efforts with clients and prospects.
To recap, relationships are built on understanding your clients’ needs and wants. While you may categorize clients by age bracket, source of wealth or family status, our research shows that clients are more than their demographic and should also be grouped by emotions or passions.
As with any successful business, advisors need to reach out and make clients comfortable so they want to do business with you. Like so many other industries, financial services must show differentiation to ensure clients do not look elsewhere.
Making a Difference
Think about the marketing model that Starbucks or Home Depot has successfully employed. What was once just a commodity (e.g., coffee or hardware) has now become a consumer “experience.” The customer doesn’t just go for the coffee or hardware, but wants to visit because she relates to the surroundings, feels comfortable there and may thus purchase more.
This is known as the “experience economy,” which was first identified by James Gilmore in a 1998 article for the Harvard Business Review, “The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage.” He theorizes that we are in the middle of an economic shift–from a service to an experience economy. Companies that want to stand out from the competition need to offer more than goods or services–they need to provide experiences.
No longer suppliers, companies are stagers of events designed to be experienced. This experience economy does not necessarily mean luring customers with low prices or even hard-to-find items; rather customers are intrigued by being a part of something. For financial services, it can be taking very complex information and translating it into a more “engaging” outcome. Instead of statistics and actuarial charts, clients are more responsive to or intrigued by experiences in which they can interact and where they feel comfortable.
What are clients interested in and what clicks with them? Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach, you need to individually consider your clients and targets. Look at the archetypes we discussed last month–Goodlife, Artisan, Unplugged, Wellville and Legacy–and think about your top clients. (See “Client Archetypes”.)
Once you have identified which archetype each of your clients fits into, you will be able to further your discussions and customize your services appropriately, thereby transforming a commodity service into a “client experience.” And that can mean improved client acquisition, client retention and client referrals for you.
Review your list of “top 20 clients.” Do you see similarities in terms of archetypes? If you do, it may say which segments with which you naturally have an affinity.
This process can help you determine your niche market. Who is your ideal client? Who do you work best with? Once you have established this, you can create a targeted marketing plan for this segment. Take your interests and those of your key clients and apply that knowledge so you can network with your target market.
How can you get in front of the target audience for your business? Your everyday life can be your best prospecting tool. Think about what organizations or clubs you already participate in or have a desire to join. These not only offer you knowledge, enjoyment or relaxation, they can offer new business prospects.