To niche or not to niche? This has been a key sales question for financial advisors for years.
It used to be that you were on your game if you targeted the Holy Grail of specific markets: the ultra-affluent and baby boomers (these were hot for awhile). Then everyone targeted these markets, and suddenly they weren’t special anymore. The niche got too crowded, but where to go?
We don’t really want to get out of our familiar customer pool. After all, we love the comfort, depth, and familiarity. But each time we dive in, we need to dive deeper. We know these markets, we love these markets — they spend money, are loyal, and ask good questions. But here’s the problem: everyone else is in (and loves) the same pool.
I’m not suggesting that we leave our current clients. We must give them attention, stay in touch, send useful information, and — of course — ask them for referrals to prospective clients who are just like them. But for now (simultaneously), we need to move on and expand into new areas.
The game has changed, have you?
Want to sell more? Change your game. Ditch the niche. It’s no longer about what you target, but how you target.
Ask yourself: What’s missing? What are customers asking for? What are your fellow salespeople saying? How can you differentiate yourself?
Most financial planners, investment advisors and life insurance salespeople sound alike. They focus on the affluent, baby boomers, professional services providers or small-business owners. They say they help their clients plan for retirement so that they can “really retire.” They say, “Your kids can attend college, and you can buy a vacation home and travel.” Heard that before?
Stand up, stand out
Among all of these “sameness” statements, I heard one that stood out: a financial planner helps young people save beyond their 401k plans. This grabbed my attention. What a great area of focus! Help young people now, and you become their trusted advisor for a lifetime.
Some of these advisor’s colleagues told her she wouldn’t make money with this approach, and she should continue to focus on the affluent, because that’s where the money is. There are always naysayers. Trust your instinct; trust your expertise and experience.