5 Strategies for Defining Your Value Proposition

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A powerful and meaningful value proposition is the cornerstone of a financial planner’s marketing efforts. Without a thoughtful and robust value proposition, it’s impossible to communicate what you and your firm brings to client relationships and how your firm is different from the competition. In the absence of a value proposition, you allow the marketplace to frame you.

That being said, there’s a lot of confusion in the advisory community about just what a value proposition is. A value proposition is not:

  • an elevator speech
  • the 15-second answer to “What do you do?”
  • a mission statement, a statement of organizational or corporate purpose
  • a vision statement, that corporate picture of the future or framework for strategic planning

Instead, the value proposition is the core of what your practice is and involves the promises you make to clients to deliver something of value in return for payment.

Creating a value proposition that is fully reflective of what you do requires hard work and insight.

It requires first identifying and defining your ideal client type—those clients that represent the individuals with whom your business is built to serve and with whom you will be working most. These individuals also see value in paying for your services and value your reputation as an expert in a chosen area. This ideal client type is a circle within a circle. For example, the largest circle may be women of wealth who can afford your services. Then, the circle narrows in to women who have become suddenly single due to death or divorce. At its most narrow, that circle includes suddenly single women who have lost their spouses to cancer. That’s a narrowly defined ideal client type.

As you go about this important work, keep these five strategies in mind:

1. Whom Do You Wish To Serve?
This is your ideal client type.

2. Why Should a Prospective Client Want to Work With You and Your Firm?
Specifically identify the characteristics your firm posses that would move those clients to work with you versus other financial advisory firms.

3. What Unique Attributes Distinguish Your Firm From Others?
Consider your methods for delivering services and how you collaborate with other trusted advisers including attorneys, CPAs, bankers, insurance agents and others to deliver on the wealth management promise.

4. What Services Do You Need to Outsource to Focus on Your Core Competencies?
Outsourcing can help you refine your offerings and focus on what your firm does best in partnership with other trusted advisers.

5. How Can You Transition Trust From You to Your Team?
In other words, how can you ensure that your clients not only trust you but also trust your team, so that you are building a sustainable business model?

To learn more about client acquisition techniques such as defining your unique value proposition, download the ClientWise white paper, 99 Ideas for Acquiring New Clients.

Ray Sclafani
Founder and CEO
ClientWise LLC
Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Twitter, LinkedIn, blog

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