Veteran speaker, motivator and mentor to financial advisers, Don Connelly, has found that advisers who do extraordinarily well are not better, smarter or work harder than others but make themselves stand out from the rest.
Connelly delivered a key note presentation on branding and being distinctly different at the recent Financial Advice New Zealand National Advisers Conference.
He began by telling the room that all advisers are essentially selling the same products to the same people as the same price, highlighting the importance of why all elite advisers are those that stand apart from their competition.
For advisers, being successful is about added value, he explained and making yourself priceless.
“It’s the added value that captures peoples’ attention not basic value, he said. “Focus on your added value.”
He said an adviser’s value proposition should give consumers a reason to stop looking once they have discovered their business.
“Give me one hardcore reason why I should choose you over anybody in this room,” he asked the audience and went on to use Starbucks as an example of how the company changed the experience of buying a cup of coffee all around the world rather than changing the product.
“Starbucks is the biggest coffee company in the world. Is it the best coffee? Not by a long shot,” he said. “What did [Starbucks founder] Howard Schultz do? He changed the experience of buying a cup of coffee,” where people were willing to pay $5 for a coffee because of the experience that came with the purchase.
He related the example to financial advice, telling advisers, “You redefine what it means to be a financial adviser. You give the people the greatest journey they’ve ever had. You are that most fun, most confident, most awesome financial adviser in New Zealand.”
“You redefine what it means to be a financial adviser. You give the people the greatest journey they’ve ever had.”
He said becoming that adviser is about having the courage to charge the amount you believe your services are worth and being as good as you say you are.
“If you went out of business tomorrow, would anybody care?” he asked the audience, explaining that advisers can fight price by being priceless, irreplaceable and making themselves essential to a family’s welfare.
He also stressed the importance of gaining your client’s trust and caring more than your client expects you to care.
“People looking for an adviser are not looking for information, they are looking for someone they can trust. That’s all they are looking for,” he said, adding one of the things that clients tell him are most important when looking for a financial adviser is that the adviser really shows they care.
We’re not in the investment business, we’re in a peace of mind business
“We’re not in the investment business, we’re in a peace of mind business,” he said.
Connelly, who founded DonConelly24/7, has spent over 45 years on Wall Street and mentored and spoken to many financial services professionals in the US and internationally for the past 25 years.