Corporate trainer, author and businesswoman Nikki Heald of Corptraining unveils how every financial adviser can build their brand and boost their firm’s success.
Business is not business – business is personal and people do business with people they like, trust and perceive as being credible. The financial advice profession is based on relationships so we need to consider how we can maintain this in today’s digital market. Each day we are confronted with a mass of technology, and there are certainly many benefits to working in a digital world – streamlined processes, ability to work remotely, increased speed and a multitude of choices.
However, in a digital environment the greatest competitor to financial advisers is the direct market. Unfortunately, there seems to be the perception of ease and accessibility around online purchasing. Additionally, people think that it’s not only quicker to jump online, but more cost effective.
So, how does this impact on financial advisers when selling their services? Well, it now provides an opportunity for planners to promote their value and the benefits of dealing with one individual. Something the direct market cannot offer, nor compete with.
Value of the planner
The value of retaining a planner ensures personalised attention and this enables clients to build a genuine relationship with one point of contact at the practice. Take insurance, for example. There is the advantage that advisers are experts in insurance and can carry out policy comparisons, saving time for their client. Additionally, advisers have knowledge of a client’s history and experience, so are in a prime position to ensure correct covers are placed. Of course, the value certainly comes into play at the time of a loss, when clients have direct access to their adviser who can provide support and guidance.
Another way of promoting your value is to increase your professional visibility and you can do this through personal branding.
Personal branding relates to the way that you market yourself to the outside world and what message you project. It relates to how others see you and thankfully, you do have some influence over it. As we know, perception can be a powerful persuader and your personal packaging speaks volumes.
Personal branding incorporates:
What you are: values, morals, ethics.
Who you are: history, skills, qualifications.
How others see you: reputation, credibility, trustworthiness.
Authenticity: promoting a genuine and honest brand.
Perhaps you have not thought about your personal brand, however, research has demonstrated the way in which you are perceived can influence a client’s purchasing decision. Getting your personal branding right may be the difference between making or breaking a potential business opportunity.