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Creating Professional Contrast: The Words Matter

Creating Professional Contrast: The Words Matter
Jan 19

As we progress with advisors that are engaged with USA Financial in coaching and consulting, it eventually gets down to this: With all due respect to the skilled and successful advisors we work with, we really couldn't care less whether your clients can talk about you. I think all of us would agree that our clients can talk about us. What we care about is whether or not they feel compelled to do so.

There is a significant difference on the front end (what, in fact, compels them), and a bigger difference on the back end (the outcome of a conversation when a client in fact feels compelled to act proactively and talk about their advisor). It is so much more than “give me your card so I can tell my friend about you”.

Years of experience has proven to us that best clients will, in fact, become advocates and duplicate themselves, often. A very big part of our approach is to help our advisors create professional contrast in their communities, and the foundational baseline is understanding that The Words Matter!

There was no real lightning strike here, just a deep understanding of the basics of human communication. We had a hunch about this, and in the early days of Advisor Protocol that hunch was confirmed through client interactions and conversations. Over and over, we heard things like:

  • Why does every advisor look the same?
  • Why does every advisor sound the same?”
  • Every financial website looks exactly the same and says the same things.

Even first appointments, which certainly represent an opportunity to create immense professional contrast, fell into the client’s “it feels and sounds the same” grab bag. Interestingly, if there was a lightning strike it was this – when an advisor sounded different in conversation or when a website looked and felt different than every other website in town, clients instantly recognized it and were drawn to it.

A huge part of our consulting at USA Financial was then a focus on the idea that the words really do matter! If we took the approach that value is truly defined through your clients’ eyes and not yours (and we do), then we would have to take the approach of making sure that you articulate your value in a simple yet meaningful and compelling way.

As it turns out, that “value” has much less to do with products, pricing, and performance and much more to do with an overarching, all-encompassing philosophy, a planning strategy and approach that remains fluid and dynamic for the entirety of a client’s journey with you, and finally a proprietary process - literally a branded and named process - where all the pieces, platforms, products, and services live. In turn, this simple approach addresses how clients perceive what it is you do, as well as not just their ability to turn around and describe it to other people, but their willingness and feeling compelled to do so.

An early mentor of mine used to talk about and teach the significance of understanding the “signal-to-noise ratio”. Ours is a noisy and crowded industry where the consistent “sameness” of background noise, data, and jargon can bury the best of advisors and steal the desire a client might feel to attempt to talk about their advisor.

 >> See “Introductions Are Not About You to get a deeper look into the human nature component of why and then how clients feel compelled to share you with others.

When your clients talk about you, do they share details of your wealth management strategy and approach, the life insurance and annuity products that you provide, your risk management solutions, the tax efficient strategies that you communicate once a year… or do they speak to a personal, compelling, and easy to share Process where all of those facets live? Do they speak to your brilliance as a planner and manager, knowing full well that friends and family also describe their advisor that way, or do they speak to a mindfulness you convey around the things that matter most to them (family, occupational, and recreational pursuits) and the things that they can control, knowing full well now that the experience they have with you is truly different and worth sharing?

There’s certainly no lightning strike here nor is there any great mystery. This, like everything we do at USA Financial, is simply a matter of process.

If you want to learn more about how we help advisors create professional contrast through process, let’s talk.

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