Most firms struggle with packaging up what they do, but it’s absolutely critical to get this right. Without it you are constantly trying to figure out and explain what it is you do. It’s tiring.
So where do people struggle?
1. They don’t see or understand their true value
The starting point is actually understanding what you do for your clients. Many people will have seen the generic list of services we’ve used in our training workshops in the past, which lists the range of things (or services) that advisers provide. (Click here if you haven’t got a copy)
But this is only a very basic starting point. While it captures a whole bunch of things that most advisers do but never tell their clients about (which is mistake number 1), you need to go even further.
2. They don’t go deep enough (into the subtext) of what clients are actually looking for
It’s a major mistake to just take at face value what clients tell you they want. Now I know that could sound like the height of arrogance and the opposite of being totally customer focused but it’s not; let me explain.
Clients do know what they want, but they can’t always express it. Furthermore, they don’t have a clue what you are capable of delivering for them. Let’s be honest most advisers can’t explain exactly what they do for clients, so the clients themselves have no chance. This isn’t a criticism, on the contrary, it’s a compliment about the broad nature of great financial advice, but it does mean that clients will never walk in asking for things like: Holistic Financial Planning, Life Planning, The Truth About Money, or Outcomes Focused Advice. They don’t know that these things exist or what they entail. So coming up with a new name for Financial Advice won’t fix the problem.
Good advisers know and accept this and then use their skills to help the client see that whatever they think their issue is, there is usually more behind that. If a client comes in and says, “I want some help with my Pension” great advisers ignore that completely (metaphorically speaking) and ask questions that allow the client to recognise the deeper issue; like “How much is enough?” and “What other assets might form part of your planning for financial independence or retirement?”
Imagine you go to your doctor and say, “I’m not feeling well. Can you prescribe me some medicine please. That’s what I’m after, something to make me feel better.” A bad GP might do that, but a good one will ask more questions finding out about your lifestyle, eating and drinking habits, how hard you work, what stresses you might be under etc. as well as the symptoms that are presenting BEFORE they get into prescribing any course of treatment.
The same applies to good financial advisers and understanding this truth let’s you go beneath the answers that clients give you so you can delve into the subtext of what they are really telling you.
To get your packaging right you need to be looking at those deeper issues for clients and capturing it in your packaging work. So rather than saying “We do pensions, Investments and Insurance” you might say:
“We help you work out how much is enough and then look at all your assets to see if you are on track and if you are not on track, we can help you fix it.”
3. They don’t capture either of these things in some tangible way so the client can ‘see’ and ‘touch’ the quality
To really make your packaging work you have to capture the first two issues (what you do for people and what they’re really looking for) in a way that reflects the quality of your offer to make it tangible. This is a design issue, so get some professional help.
What happens when you do this right?
By putting together a client proposition and some packaging that addresses client needs more completely you actually pick up clients. This happens for two reasons:
a) Clients look at your service and think, “Lead me to the promised land, finally a financial adviser that deals with the things that have been on my mind” (rather than appearing to flog financial products)
b) You really believe you have something fantastic to offer people and it comes through in every conversation you have.
So get some help from your marketing team and put something together that really gets this packaging thing nailed once and for all.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What are your challenges in this area? How have you resolved some of these issues? Leave a comment in the comments section below or drop me an email to [email protected].
If you want more direct assistance with this or any other aspect of your business drop me a line at [email protected] or give me a call on 0333 939 0027.
You can catch my most recent webinar “Creating Service Packages That Work” on Bright Talk. It was recorded on Monday 13th May but you can still access the recorded version by clicking here.
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