Despite, and partly because of, the disruption in 2020-21, as we move forward some advisors are going to substantially grow their practice. Those that do will be the ones who understand the human nature component to every interaction with clients. Whether in a reframing meeting or meeting with a new prospect, the minor adjustments you can make to the conversation have incredible lasting impact.
The commonalities of elite teams, and who have just added fuel to their growth, is their ability to achieve professional contrast, stand out, and amplify their branding strategy by addressing the human nature component.
What’s often misinterpreted is what branding does, rather than what it is. Ultimately what it can do is activate the human dynamic. It can activate advocacy. Clients are open to the idea of waving someone’s flag, but they need to feel compelled to do so. Advocacy does not happen because someone is asked to do it - they do it because they feel they need to.
During the disruption there were advisors who were losing relationships because they didn’t know how to communicate their value, or even the services they provided. And even when they were trying to communicate, it was lost on their best clients, who were left asking "What are you asking me to do?"
There are clients that want a way to talk about their advisor and the experience in a compelling manner despite the chaos of the world at any given moment. If you reverse engineer from advocacy and what this does, there’s a multitude of benefits.
First of all, look at disruption as an opportunity. Take the opportunity with existing clients by discussing and defining the current challenges which can help in countering loyalty fatigue. These conversations will help you to accentuate your fee-worthiness and will allow you to be more forward-facing with your clients so they know where they’re headed.
This is about being proactive, not reactive and remembering that you are more than your fundamental, professional skills. Your skills are great, but they can also be bought instantly in online form if all you do is “asset management.”
You don’t just manage money, you manage expectations, you manage emotions, and you manage their concentration - their ability to tune out the noise and distraction.
A related question is this: Do you have clients who may think you don’t know what’s going on in their life? Everything we do has a “human nature component” and it’s important to bring that into conversations with your clients. There are relationships being left on the table by not making that simple shift to what connects on a real level – and the cornerstone of connection is trust.
We constantly ask fee-for-service professionals “What, specifically, do your clients trust?” While there was a time your credentials and technical ability and integrity as a person were enough. Today, the key is to make sure that they identify with the practice, the client experience it creates, and your process. Further, how that process puts all the pieces of the puzzle together for your clients lives no wand into the future. If you can internalize all three of these sub-brands - practice, process and client experience -there’s an outcome where one plus one plus one equals such incredible outcomes, especially in periods of stress or resistance.
Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson