The Value Proposition That Negates The Robo Threat

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What is it worth to have a financial services coordinator who understands your clients’ needs and the language spoken by the specialized service providers they use? Today’s robo-advisors cannot provide the depth or breadth of coordination clients need. But you can, at least for your best clients. This should be a core of your value proposition.

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If you are in your 50s or older, you’ve already encountered some combination of gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, dermatologists, podiatrists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, proctologists, urologists, nephrologists, internists, among other medical specialists. What would it be worth to have someone who understands each of these specialties and who could coordinate the delivery to you? Concierge doctors may do that, but your primary care physician primarily refers and helps without providing the breadth and depth of coordination that is often needed.

You can be that concierge provider for financial services by being a single source for financial planning, investment and financial advice, insurance, mortgage, banking, debt planning, estate planning, financial education for the family, education planning, accounting and taxes and even health care planning among other services as needed. You can provide tremendous value and differentiation as that provider. It can be called “comprehensive wealth management,” but I see it rather as being your client’s “personal CFO.” You may not actually execute all these services but you can coordinate them, understand them, explain them and integrate them as your client’s CFO.

While you deliver trustworthiness, integrity, technical competence, dedication, education and comprehensive services, these are not differentiators. These are all important qualities but financial advisors must be all these things and will claim them. If all advisors claim these qualities, clients cannot differentiate among advisors. These are barely the entry price for a good advisor and should be basic expectations for every prospect and client. Whether or not every financial advisor meets the same standards for each of these qualities is moot until one’s actions disprove the claim.

When working with prospects and clients you must demonstrate these qualities by your actions, not only your words. But that is not enough. The “mere-exposure effect” or “familiarity principle” is a psychological phenomenon by which people develop preferences for things merely because they are familiar with them. One way to get a point across is constant repetition of the words and actions that best represent your most important personal values and beliefs. This is more meaningful than simply stating what your value proposition is. A value proposition is more about your deliverables. The qualities above are extremely important but they are about who you are, not what you do. Who you are is essential to attracting clients who value what you value and believe in what you believe in, e.g., trustworthiness, integrity, financial planning, competence, dedication and comprehensive solutions.

Given their importance, start your “story” talking about who you are and your personal beliefs. For example:

Personal beliefs

  • Trustworthy and responsible: I act as a fiduciary always acting in your best interests.
  • Integrity: My team and I will always do what we say we are going to do.
  • Care: I care about you and your money and how it affects your life and your family as much as you do.
  • Comprehensive financial planning: I believe in acting as our clients’ chief financial officer. All my advice is provided based on a formal and focused financial life plan, one that is on-going to adapt to your changing life situations.
  • Technical competence: As a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional I have completed extensive training and experience requirements and always uphold the rigorous ethical standards of the profession.
  • Education: I believe in sharing our knowledge about money, the economy, the markets and investing concepts with our clients and their families.

By David Leo, read the full article here.

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