All advisors sell the same thing – an outcome. Whether that’s confidence, clarity, comfort or another buzzword, at some level they all align life with wealth for their clients. In order to distinguish yourself from competitors, the story you tell must be two things: compelling and authentic. Advisors can usually check off the “compelling” component right away. Offering confidence, clarity, comfort, etc. is attractive to clients and prospects. The nature of an advisory business – helping clients – is compelling in and of itself. The challenge advisors face in telling their story is to do it authentically – it’s what really differentiates one compelling story from another. It’s what gets a client or prospect to nod their head as they listen to an advisor’s spiel.

Find Your Voice

The trick is in the voice an advisor uses. It has to be their own. Their own language, their own style. Anything other than their voice will not sound right to their clients. Advisors struggle with authenticity because they’re deep in the weeds of their practice. They’ve discovered what’s successful, but they’ve never sat down to uncover why what they do works. These successful yet unaware advisors are who I call unconscious competents. They don’t know how close they are to crossing off that authentic piece. In fact, most advisors are already using their own voice – they just don’t realize they are, and therefore can’t amplify it or reinforce it in their messaging. Advisors often need a third party to capture their messages and thoughts on paper and organize them. As an Executive Business Coach at Carson, I serve in this capacity for many of my clients, walking them through a process to help them uncover their voice and identify their differentiators. Learn how another Carson Coach helped a firm out of a rut and into a near three-year period of consistent growth. If you don’t have a business coach, involve other people close to you – your team, advisory council or even a spouse or significant other – and imitate the process detailed below.

Listen

First I ask advisors to pretend that I’m a prospect and to try to sell to me. They should be able to:

  • Tell me why they come to work every morning
  • Explain their planning process
  • Share their mission statement

During this exercise, advisors end up repeating a word or phrase – this is their differentiator. One coaching client I worked with used the word “confident” a few times as he relayed a story about a prospect who walked into his office and almost immediately signed more than $1 million with him. When he asked her why she signed so quickly with an advisor she had just met, she said her friend had told her how comfortable and confident she felt every time she left his office. The new client said she wanted to feel the same way. The advisor realized he consistently used the same phraseology when talking to clients and prospects. The original friend heard the advisor use those words so often she associated those keywords with him. That’s the exact scenario you want for your firm. Your brand is nothing more than what clients and prospects think and say about you. And you want them to remember only three to four things about you. You don’t want clients to consume a lot of calories. Do you know who you’re talking to? Target the right audience with our guide to the most common investor personas.

Implement

Once you land on a couple key phrases or words, it’s time to amplify them. Build a tagline around it, brand your online platform with it. Everything you say and do – in brochures, on your website and in client meetings – should use the same language. You want to constantly reinforce your messaging to your clientele and prospects.

Verify

How do you know when you’ve struck gold, per se? Go back to your team, advisory council or significant other. Share your messaging with the people who know you. If they’re nodding their head in agreement, saying “that’s you, that’s authentic,” you’ve got it right. If they’re looking at you like you’re crazy, you’ve missed the mark. Don’t overthink it, but don’t take the easy way out and use phrases that already exist. Even though it might be a compelling tagline, if it’s not authentic your clients and prospects will see right through it. This process isn’t about creating a story and running with it. Your story and your voice already exist. Most advisors don’t realize how close they are to taking their firm to the next level. It’s like if advisors are building a bridge across a river that’s one mile wide. They’ve put in the hard work and completed 5,000 feet of the bridge. All they have left to finish is 280 feet. The last percentage of work requires getting in touch with their story and solidifying processes. It’s a small chunk comparatively to everything else an advisors does, but to them it’s the hardest. With the right coach and team behind you, it can become much easier.

Interested in gaining that third party perspective? Coaching could be the best option for you. Schedule a consultation with our team to discover how a Carson Coach can improve your business. 

AUTHOR

Greg Opitz

Executive Business Coach
facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Share Post: facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Recent Posts
jamiehopkins

Listening Effectively and Breathing New Life into the Industry with Suzanne Siracuse

By: Jamie Hopkins
In today’s episode of Framework, Jamie talks with Suzanne Siracuse, former Publisher and CEO at InvestmentNews. Suzanne has a long history in the financial planning profession and oversaw the growth…
jamiehopkins

Retirement Income Planning and Playchecks with Tom Hegna

By: Jamie Hopkins
On today's episode of Framework, Jamie talks with Tom Hegna, a thought-leader in the income planning for retirement space. Tom spent time in the military prior to entering the insurance…
jamiehopkins

Leading with Integrity and Building a Culture of Success with Bob McKillop

By: Jamie Hopkins
In today's episode of Framework, Jamie talks with Bob McKillop, head men’s basketball coach at Davidson. Bob started off as a collegiate player (via a failed run at baseball) but…
Blog

How to Safely Return to the Office as COVID-19 Restrictions Lift: A Guide for Business Leaders

By: Jessica Harrington
We have spent a large portion of 2020 in a state of limbo. Now that many regional lockdowns have lifted, business owners are faced with a number of questions about…
1 2 3 61