Are you worth what you charge?

The key to winning with clients is understanding that what they appreciate and are willing to pay for, is not you talking about the value you can deliver but showing it.

In a hugely competitive industry there are many out there jockeying to get in front of potential clients, or even your clients, with their “unique” value proposition.

But if you do it right – this climate is your opportunity to distinguish yourself. First you have to forget what everyone has told you about “talking your value proposition”. That only works if clients see value in the services you’re talking about and, more important, are willing to pay for them.

So what can you actually do better to show value for the price? Let’s start with what isn’t valuable to clients.

What isn’t valuable to clients

While clients are offered all kinds of non-product related services, they may or may not value those services. And, even if they value the service, would they pay for it? If they wouldn’t, talking about those services serves no purpose.

No doubt some clients find creating a financial plan valuable but every advisor worth his salt should offer a plan so that is hardly going to differentiate you. And talking about your state of the art, latest, fail proof, almost guaranteed investment process will not impress anyone especially women. The fact that you have a “system” is a given and not something investors think they should be paying for.

What is valuable to clients and worth paying for?

Let’s consider some research out of Australia. They pegged “the achievement of their lifestyle goals and objectives,” as a measure of success by most investors. In fact according to Effortless Engagement, the company that conducted the research, “clients who feel they are on track are more than 2X as likely to feel as though they are receiving value for money, 6X less likely to consider alternative advice within the next three years and almost 3X more likely to refer you within the next 12 months.”

So, it’s the experience and peace of mind that comes with knowing “how you’re doing” that is of the greatest value to clients. And that is not simply cobbling together a templated “fill-in-the-blanks,” financial plan for them. It’s not a document. It’s a relationship, a partnership, with great communication and mutual accountability. It’s comfort about a process that gets them to the outcome they seek.

How to show value

First, value isn’t about lowering your fees. Value isn’t about listing off a laundry list of “services” you provide and it isn’t about you talking.

  • Value is listening. People love to be heard and notice when they are.
  • Value is hearing and acing on what you heard. Listening is not about waiting for the other person to stop talking just so you can jump in with you own agenda – be it making a sale or looking smart.
  • Value is showing respect for and interest in the person you are with – their whole life, not just their finances.

Demonstrating to prospective clients that you deliver value is tricky. To learn more about how to brand yourself as an advisor who delivers real value (especially to HNW female clients) why not take one of our courses ?


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