In the movie Bull Durham, the angry baseball coach tells his hapless team: “This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball.”
If you’ve ever played baseball, or any other sport, you’ll probably see the truth in this quote. To some degree, everyone who plays the game has to be able to throw, hit, catch and run.
But the devil is in the details. While all players have to be able to do those tasks, not every player does them with the same ability.
Tech Home Run
Likewise, all advisors have some commonalities. Most provide investment advice, for example. But how do they differentiate themselves from the hundreds of thousands of other advisors?
Technology can help set your firm apart. First, though, you must define your services to understand what technology can help you the most.
Advisors can differentiate themselves in two ways: Through a documented service model, or through client segmentation.
A documented service model allows a firm to deliver a consistent experience. Of course, that model can be different for everyone; service can mean client access to an advisor, special reporting or something more experiential.
What’s true overall is that service models benefit from narrow niches — such as client groups like doctors or teachers — as this segmentation allows you to specialize in how you provide clients with advice.
Many advisors segment their clients based on asset size or revenue, but the services provided also can be segmented by group.
How do you know if you’re using client segmentation properly? If all your clients are receiving the same level of access and reporting capabilities, and have the same expectations for what they receive, then you aren’t using client segmentation. You are using client experience. And likely, your growth is more difficult and harder to manage than it needs to be.
Before you choose new tech, it’s important to first step back and examine client segmentation and your service model. Tech choices should reflect how you offer services to your clients. In other words, they are about having new tech fit your business model and not vice-versa.