Five ways to stand out from competition

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No matter what industry you’re in, standing out from your competition is the best way to bring in new business and prevent any client churn.

Financial planners work in a field that very few of their customers understand well, and setting themselves apart in that context can be tricky. The following are ways that you can offer your clients a tangible benefit to choosing you over your competition.

  • Emphasise Protection

After the economic downturn that occurred toward the end of 2008, many investors lost faith not only in the market but in the advisors they had employed. Rebuilding that trust will take time, but placing an emphasis on protecting your clients’ assets may go a long way to reassuring them that you have their best interests at heart.

Discussing life, health, and income protection insurance first and foremost will demonstrate your devotion to their long term interests. Income protection is one often overlooked safety net, and by recommending a specialist income protection provider in Australia you can further assure your clients that your goal is to preserve and grow their wealth, not just to skim as much as you can off of bad bets before they go broke.

  • Communicate better

Feeling like they are well-informed, and like they have influence over the financial decisions that will affect their lives is going to be very important to your clients. Keep them up to date with frequent briefings and ensure that they feel comfortable working with and asking questions of the team member assigned to them.

Demonstrating that they will have responsive, well-matched representatives of your company to work with will often make potential clients lean your way.

  • Become a specialist

Not every financial adviser will find this to be the best option for them, but specialisation can really set you apart. If you live in an area with a lot of young families, focusing on investments that are geared toward education savings and trust funds will bring you a larger portion of the local business. If your area is populated by a large number of retirees, estate planning may be more in demand.

While any financial adviser should be able to guide their customers to these particular goals, specialising can help you to really stand out and to provide the best possible advice to your clients. Just choose carefully. Specialising in a type of investment that is not highly in demand in your area can give potential clients the impression that you won’t be able to meet their needs.

  • Customise for your Customers

Customisation is something that customers and clients are looking for in all industries these days. The days of paying for 300 channels in order to get the 4 that you actually watch are numbered, and that sort of demand for unbundling is spreading throughout all aspects of business. If you want to stand out among your competitors, offering your clients the opportunity to pay only for the services they want or need will put you ahead by leaps and bounds.

Many financial advisers aren’t interested in taking on clients who can’t afford the Platinum Deluxe version of their service, clients for whom price most certainly is an issue. This barrier to entry as a client is only costing them in the long run. If you’re willing to accept a client who simply wants to start a specific retirement or trust account, and who doesn’t want your full suite of service, you can build a sturdy client base that can offer you security for a long time to come.

  • Play a role in your community

Modern consumers are more and more concerned with giving their money to ethical businesses, and nothing sets you above the rest like the moral high ground. Conscientious stewardship of your clients’ resources is the most important way to demonstrate this, but there are others. Many companies fail to recognise the innate ROI of generosity, but potential customers never do.

Accepting those clients who might otherwise struggle to find the advice that they need and donating your time or money to a good cause are excellent ways to win over the hearts of your potential clients. Sponsor events, volunteer with beloved community organizations, and generously support respected local causes to get your name associated with good deeds and good works in the minds of your clientele.

Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who focuses on issues related to work and income. She currently writes for Suncorp, which provides life and income protection insurance in Australia.

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