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Practice Makeover: Season 5
Episode 3: How can I know my clients better?
August 26, 2016 @ 11:25 am
Find out why having a great CRM has allowed advisers at Kingsview Asset Management to differentiate their marketing.
The Renovation Room
Industry experts and executives offer strategies, tips and ideas on how practices can improve their business.
Executive Vice President, Platinum Strategies
I thought the representatives of Kingsview provided a lot of solid information in this episode. The emphasis that is placed on helping their advisors differentiate themselves within their chosen niches, while also providing their advisors with support as they market to prospective clients is superb. I enjoyed hearing Richard describe how the firm helped him with the unique idea of marketing to recent dental graduates, as well as the idea of hosting events with other local professionals.
After watching the episode, I reviewed Kingsview’s website and Richard’s advisor page. In reviewing Kingsview’s website, I cannot see any mention of their “three pronged” approach, and the firm may benefit from having a solid call to action or lead capture for interested prospects and potential advisors. During the episode, Kingsview mentioned their focus on providing a succession planning mechanism for advisors, as this is a scenario many advisors need to plan for, Kingsview would benefit from dedicating some space on their website to this as well.
On Richard’s profile I think he should mention his focus with Dentists and the local events he is conducting. Prospects today want the ability to respond to some call to action, or a way to RSVP to an upcoming event right on the advisor’s online storefront. The easier it is, the better the chance of a prospect contacting you! Having the ability for prospects to do this would enable Kingsview to integrate this information directly into their CRM system. This could also be an opportunity create an automated follow-up strategy that can be deployed to prospects and clients on their topics of interest. Integrating this into one, easy to use system would be benefit both Kingsview and their advisors as they continue to do the great work they are doing with their advisors.
Joseph V. Maugeri
Managing Director, Corporate Relations, CFP Board
One of the themes I heard repeated in this episode was “process.” Process is critical for a financial advisor and impacts three key areas of a practice. First, when working with a CRM system, there needs to be built-in processes that all members of the firm use to continually update all relevant information about clients. This allows advisors to capture not only things such as birthdates and life events, but also upcoming reviews and reminders to update their client’s financial plan and keep on top of compliance deadlines. CRM processes need to be institutionalized within the firm, through ongoing training on how and what needs to be captured during client interactions.
Secondly, the firm needs to be clear on the process they follow with clients and build consistency into their planning program. A key part of advisors’ success is being able to articulate the value they provide in planning, organizing and monitoring clients’ financial lives. Having a process in place to discuss this value with clients helps streamline their understanding and knowledge of their own financial plan. Every client – with few exceptions – should be on-boarded with that same process.
Lastly, this process is a great differentiator and one that more advisors need to communicate to not only their clients but also to centers of influence. Professionals only respect other professionals that follow a process. By spending time discussing your on-boarding process and how much attention is paid to all the parts of the financial planning process, you will stand out with lawyers and CPAs by showing your professionalism, expertise and, most importantly, your qualifications for working with their clients.
Partner, Investment Advisor, Archer Investment Management
During this episode, two things really jumped out at me – the importance of differentiating yourself and niche marketing. Years ago my partner, Matt Archer, and I sat down and really discussed the types of people with which we truly enjoyed working. Our most enjoyable relationships had some things in common with us, were genuinely thankful for the advice, and had financial needs that required comprehensive solutions. From there we dug through Redtail reports of our current client base to find out that many of those people fit three or four main themes. As we worked with our marketing firm and business coach, we began to focus our communication to send a consistent message from social media, weekly emails, our website, and all print materials. We can use Redtail to tag these different niches and then target market to them as needed. Our business thrived as we continued with this strategy and the best part? We continue to serve awesome folks as well as many of their friends and colleagues!
Managing Partner of FiComm Partners, LLC
In this industry, differentiation is far from simple. Visit as many advisor websites as you like, and you’ll see the same words used over and over. Comprehensive. Objective. Transparent. Holistic. All these attributes are critical, of course, but they’re only table stakes—qualities clients expect to find in every advisor. They don’t make you sound any different from your competitor next door.
My advice: target your marketing as narrowly as possible. Identify your ideal client persona with the highest degree of specificity you can manage. Then, develop a marketing plan to communicate to that persona in its own terms. In the video, Rich Little offered a perfect example. His ideal client persona is a dentist. By thinking about the unique needs of dentists, he came up with a powerful hook: talking to young dental school grads about their educational loan burdens. His message is highly specific to his ideal persona—and it works.
The trouble is, every advisor targets a different persona. That makes advisor marketing programs hard to scale. For example, Rich Little targets dentists. His colleague might market to retired teachers. How can a firm add value to both of their practices? Toward the end of the video, we hear about Kingsview’s three-pronged marketing approach—recruiting, COI turnkey marketing and inorganic growth. All of these are terrific initiatives. However, they honestly don’t have much to do with advisor differentiation. Recruiting and inorganic growth are corporate initiatives. The COI marketing kit is a great idea, but doesn’t address prospecting and retention. Advisors need customization.
What can a firm do? One suggestion: Create a library of content, and then train advisors to tailor the assets to their ideal clients. For example, most firms offer quarterly market commentary. It’s valuable information, but a bit generic; it doesn’t speak to any client segment in particular. Advisors can’t change the commentary, but they can customize the mode of delivery—social media post, email, landing page, etc.—depending on how their ideal clients like to receive information.
If you want to stand out, specialize. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Pick one ideal client persona, and build your whole business around it. That’s how you successfully differentiate a practice.
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