Financial advisers need to decide what separates them from their colleagues if they want to standout in the market, says motivational speaker and business coach Keith Abraham.
Speaking from Australia during a webinar hosted by Financial Advice NZ on Friday 1 May, Abraham asked attendees to decide what they are famous for.
“Because unless you’re famous for something in your clients’ eyes, then you are a commodity,” he said. “Is there a product that you need to either learn or offer? Do you need to specialize in something?”
Abraham told his Zoom audience they should not see themselves as ‘just’ advisers.
“If you do not know what you are famous for then you have to pick something,” he said. “The market is not going to do it for you – you have to pick something.
“In a sea of sameness, how do you stand out? If you’re not different then why don’t your clients just go to the bank for their insurance?”
He suggested advisers consider being known for their knowledge, expertise, and for demystifying the complex and the chaotic.
“You could be famous for service,” he said. “If you provide an unmatched service then people are happy to pay for it because you look after and nurture them. And if you are charging for your services then your fee is in direct comparison to your level of self-confidence and self-esteem.”
Being a trusted provider of information to clients is also a way to build a profile, says Abraham.
“It really is essential that you provide information to your clients,” he said. “Ask your clients what they want to know more of and how they’d like to receive it.
If you don’t get out of your comfort zone it contracts around you…
“If the content is fantastic, why wouldn’t your clients want to hear more from you? Be the curator, be the observer, be the sense-maker.
“If people are being bombarded with information then you can provide the three-line summary to clients. But give credit to the person you got it from. Then think what you can do to add value.”
He also suggested advisers start a podcast or look for ones they can feature in.
“I’ve never created a podcast,” said Abraham. “But I’ve been on lots of podcasts. What does that cost? It costs you having to find out what types of podcasts are out there and offering to be interviewed.
“You have got to get out of your comfort zone. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone it contracts around you – and it will choke you.”
As for drumming up new business, Abraham asked each member of the audience to cold call a minimum number of people every day.
“When I’m growing my business, I contact seven people every day,” he said. “You cannot contact 35 people a week without someone saying ‘yes’.
“So you pick the number of people that you need to contact every day. Don’t make it zero, and don’t make it five today and none tomorrow. Make the calls consistently, make it part of the process.”
In a sea of sameness, how do you stand out?
He said clients may know their adviser for what they have done for them in the past, but may not realise the adviser’s full range of capabilities, experience, services, and products.
“Your clients may have put you in a box,” said Abraham. “Not understanding everything you could do for them.”
He suggested other avenues of new business include past prospects who didn’t sign business last time you met.
“There were people that you almost got across the line,” he said. “And then something fell off. They got other priorities, you got busy, and you sort of parted ways – it just wasn’t the right time. Some people are ready now.”