View more on these topics

Brett Davidson: Don’t be the ‘Jack of all trades’ adviser

If you are not the go-to person or firm, you are no one in marketing terms.

Don’t believe me? Think of your own buying approach last time you had to find a tradesperson or professional in an area where you have little or no expertise. How did you start the search? Who did you go with?

I was looking on a local search site for someone to trim a hedge recently. I found a range of people in my search who said they could do hedge trimming, gardening, carpentry, building repairs, handyman services, painting, flooring, paving, landscaping, the list could go on…

Did the fact my potential hedge trimmers claimed they could do a seemingly endless series of other jobs fill me with confidence? Absolutely not. In the end, I went for a firm that seemed to at least specialise in gardening-related services.

The same issues apply to any search. If you found out you had a serious illness, would you let yourself be treated by a GP? No way. Generalists are scary; specialists feel safer.

The marketing conundrum

Advisers want to reach as many people as possible in their marketing. But the way to do that is not to cast a wide net. It is to go narrower.

A recent blog by author Seth Godin said it brilliantly:

“Of course, everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact. And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone. You can see the problem.

Roderic Rennison: Enabling your advisers to buy your business

“When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.”

His advice? Find the minimum viable audience: the smallest possible market that can sustain you. Become great at serving those clients you really love.

“When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better. And then, ironically enough, the word will spread.”

The problem with averages

Of course, it makes sense to listen to your clients, doesn’t it? Well, sometimes.

As Steve Jobs said: “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

In other words, be very careful about the types of client research you do. Yes, we should always be listening to our clients and identifying problems or challenges that cause them some degree of pain. Removing these pain points can lead to service innovation, be it small or large.

However, asking clients what they want often leads to poor quality responses because clients have no idea what you might be capable of building or developing.

Even worse, if you try to create services that appeal to a broader audience in a misguided attempt to attract more clients, you can find yourself with something no one seems to respond to.

Brett Davidson: Winning the war for talent

Go and look at almost any adviser’s website and you will see similar claims to my hedge trimmers; advisers who claim to do:

  • Investments
  • Pensions
  • Insurance
  • Mortgages

I know it might be true, but these sort of bland claims just make you look like everyone else.

Refocusing

If you have been in business for quite a while, then sitting down and refocusing on what you are as a business can be hugely beneficial.

Try this exercise:

Imagine you have just purchased your current business from another retiring adviser. Ask yourself:

  1. What assets does the business have?
  2. What are the business’ strengths?
  3. How could you double down on those strengths?
  4. What is not so good about the business?
  5. What could you let go of, sell or jettison from the current business, so you can focus on the strengths?
  6. How would you tweak or reposition this business to speak to your true target audience?
  7. What pain points can you identify in your target audience?
  8. How could those pain points be reduced or removed?
  9. Are there new services you could provide?
  10. Are there partners you could align with who could provide complementary or adjacent services to your clients?

The formula for great

If you can run the 100-metre sprint in 9.9 seconds you are very quick. However, you will have to live on a Government grant and probably earn about £80,000 a year.

If you can run the 100 metres in 9.58 seconds, you will be world famous and earn £30m a year.

Both athletes train just as hard. But a small difference in performance creates a massive difference in financial outcomes and enjoyment.

Jason Butler: Do you always serve the client’s best interests?

Generating your small difference in performance is all about where you spend your limited time, money and energy. How narrow can you go, focusing on the people you love to serve?

This is where the game-changing market insights and innovations occur.

Remember – if you are not the go-to firm or person, you are no one in marketing terms. Going narrow is how you become the go-to in your market. It is time to revisit who you work with and take your business to a whole new level of performance.

Brett Davidson is founder of FP Advance

Recommended

7

FCA takes on introducers behind £86m in pension transfers

The FCA has revealed it is pursuing two unregulated introducers involved in the transfer of at least £86m in pension assets from over 2,000 customers. In the watchdog’s monthly round-up, FCA executive director for enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward discusses how the FCA is approaching fraudsters as a new advertising campaign launched earlier in […]

Delivering advice and guidance in the workplace

Three advisers share their ideas and experiences of helping employees with their financial decisions The workplace is instrumental in engaging people to save for retirement. How are advisers helping employers provide advice or guidance to their employees? Telephone guidance Financial education provider and advice firm Wealth at Work recently launched a telephone guidance service to […]

Danger-Stop-Warning-Sign-700x450.jpg
6

Paul Armson: How standard financial planning can fail clients

I am often asked what the difference is between financial planning and lifestyle financial planning. It is a question I love to answer by relating a true story. Imagine the scene: two advisers, both seeing the same married couple as potential clients. Adviser A is a highly qualified (chartered and certified) financial planner. Adviser B […]

4

Which financial services names have made the Rich List?

Peter Hargreaves has jumped to 42nd position on the Sunday Times Rich List, a climb of nine places from last year, after seeing his wealth grow £849m to £3.2bn. Hargreaves is no longer on the Hargreaves Lansdown board but has kept a 32.2 per cent stake in the company – the value of which has […]

Help, I’ve been appointed as a trustee. What are my responsibilities?

Graeme Robb, Technical Manager at Prudential looks at the key duties and responsibilities of a trustee.  This article will consider the following: Duties to be performed on appointment Investment duties Protecting the interests of beneficiaries Keeping accounts and records Distributing property to beneficiaries Duties to be performed on appointment Obtain a copy of the trust […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com