I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Financial Advisors are commodities. We offer the same things at the same price with the same claims to great service. You need to tattoo this fact on your brain to constantly remind yourself that you should take every opportunity to make yourself look different.
Now the answer to making yourself look different is not all that complicated or difficult. I’ll give you an example of a company that does it very well…Campmor. They are one of gazillion retailers that sell outdoor and camping equipment.
They make themselves look different by sending out an inexpensive looking, black and white catalog, printed on newsprint paper. It is chuck full of gear and gadgets. The whole feel is that it is a no-frills, bottom-line type of retailer. You feel like you can get the best deal from them because of this feel.
I fell for it hook, line and sinker. After purchasing some gear from them I happened to be in a local outdoor store and saw the same gear…priced cheaper! I did some investigation and found that some of Campmor’s gear was cheaper and some was more expensive. Really just the same as any other retailer. They weren’t the big discounter their packaging led me to believe.
You see, how you package yourself can make or break your business when you are in a commodity business. So how can you package yourself differently from all the other advisors out there? Before we talk about that, let’s talk about what you CAN’T do to package yourself differently:
- Claim the best service (everyone claims that)
- Claim that you can help people make better retirement decisions (everyone says that)
- Claim that you can give them great returns but protect them from losses (a good way to have regulators paying you a visit)
- Any claims whatsoever!!!
You need to DO…not claim.
Campmor did this with their “industrial” looking catalog. They demonstrated their thriftiness.
So you need to demonstrate to your target market that you are their guy or gal. If it is business owners, demonstrate that you understand them. Use their language. Talk ONLY about issues that affect them. If your target market is widows, use stories and issues in your marketing that only affects them.
You need to demonstrate to people that you are different and that you are talking to them and only them. You don’t want to be perceived as talking to the masses. If you commoditize your customers….they will commoditize you and your business.
And in my opinion, the best way to personalize your marketing is through handwritten notes directed to your target market about issues that affect them everyday. By using the handwritten note you demonstrate that you care about them as an individual and by targeting your message to issues that affect them directly, you’ve gone from a run of the mill financial advisor to a specialist that works with people exactly like them.
You’ve gone from a commodity to a must-have product.