At a recent coaching event an advisor from a Western state looked me in the eye and smiled as he introduced himself. “I want to thank you,” he said, “because I’m having the time of my life. The niche works.”
I immediately knew what he meant. Among the most valuable pieces of practical advice that CEG Worldwide offers advisors is to specialize in serving a wealthy market niche. Unfortunately, many advisors fail to establish such a niche for a variety of reasons, including the following:
o Not really understanding the nature and true value of a niche practice
o Not knowing how to effectively identify, evaluate and settle on a niche
o An inability — or unwillingness — to make the necessary leap of faith
o Not knowing how to say “no” and let go of inappropriate (i.e., non-niche) clients
Other than the last bullet point (which I’ll cover in my next column), this article will review all of the information you need to break through these barriers.
As for this particular advisor? Our advice enabled him to rapidly redefine his entire firm around serving wealthy outdoorsmen who are passionate about fishing and hunting. Through his personal participation in and enthusiasm for these sports, he readily identified high-net-worth prospects and turned them into clients. Both professionally and personally, his life is flourishing like never before.
The True Value of a Niche Practice
Most advisors do not serve a specific niche market. Instead, over time they tend to collect a variety of clients with little in common. Yes, advisors might have two or three corporate executives, doctors, or widows, but overall there is no specific need or challenge facing these clients, and therefore there is no unique value proposition for the advisor. What about advisors with declared minimums, who claim they are serving the niche of those wealthy enough to meet their requirements? Well, having enough wealth to meet a minimum doesn’t say anything about who the clients are, their needs or how to best serve them.
You really can’t be an expert in the needs of the wealthy generally. It’s just too big, broad and diverse a segment of high-net-worth humanity to capably handle. Instead, by focusing on the unique needs of those in a specific niche, you can build extraordinary expertise and add tremendous value through your focused services.
The driving force behind establishing a niche practice, then, is that it enables you to become well known and positioned as an expert who offers world-class service and solutions for those in the niche. Having established yourself as expertly serving those in your niche, “pull marketing” becomes easy. Clients reach their own conclusions as to the profound value you add to their lives, and therefore bring you more of their business and make referrals to new clients similar to themselves.
Finding Your Niche: The Abundant, Enjoyable, Value-Add
How, then, do you find a niche — the right niche for you — to serve? Where is your value-add so precisely on-point that you can relatively easily build (and enjoy!) the wealth management business of your dreams? Where and with whom do you best fit in and naturally shine most brightly? Use this four-step method to find your natural niche:
1. Identify several concentrations of wealth in your geographic area.
2. Identify a few potential niche markets where you can add value and are likely to enjoy working with clients.