Top professionals understand that they are in the marketing and selling business, and the primary reason for their existence as financial services professionals is to market and sell products to existing clients, and acquire new ones. Failure, or the inability, to do this effectively is the number one reason many professionals and firms do not reach their full potential.
To produce superior results every year you need to have a system in place–to attract a steady stream of prospective clients, and expand your relationships with existing clients.
It all starts with packaging and positioning your value and expertise. Positioning your knowledge and expertise is essential for gaining attention, and helps you find the entry point in the minds of existing and prospective clients.
If you don’t have your positioning nailed down, a lot of time and effort can be wasted, and your overall marketing will be far less effective.
When your expertise is packaged into a recognizable format it is easier for you to develop new business. You can educate prospective and existing clients with regard to your value and capabilities, and answer the most important question on their minds: “How can this person help me?”
Did you know that when you meet prospective clients, or anyone else who does not already know you, your firm, or your business, there are four questions that are will usually be foremost in their minds:
This question applies equally to existing clients, prospective clients, and referral sources. Clients often forget, or might not have been made aware of, the full range of services you offer. This is a primary reason why cross-selling often fails. Describe who you are by completing the following exercise:
Who are you?
We are a firm / Insurance Brokerage / Financial Planning / Risk Management / Mortgage Banking / Financial Advisory, or Other
You don’t just offer a single product; instead, you provide customized solutions that address a specific need, or help your clients achieve a specific goal or outcome. To answer the question “What do you do?” you need to have a complete understanding of your products and services from your clients’ perspective, and know exactly how your product or service helps your clients improve their situation.
Ask your top clients why they choose to do business with your firm instead of with a competitor. If you ask enough clients this question, you’ll start to see some similarities and common responses. When you understand what you’re offering, from your clients’ prospective, complete the following exercise:
What do you do?
Your value is the outcome or results that clients receive from using your products and services. Are you able to express your value in a measurable and tangible way that will mean something for a prospective client?
Describe the key attributes of your best clients, or your desired clients; for example, job, location, gender, interests, financial status, occupation, type of work or niche, and level of sophistication. Now complete the following action steps:
Yours is a sales and marketing business. To stand out in a crowded field of competitors, you must be able to position yourself to gain the attention of prospective clients, and to continue to educate existing clients. When you do both of these things well, you will be positioned as someone special in your chosen markets; this will provide the fuel for superior growth performance.