The opacity or lack-of-clarity that is inherently developed by the average financial services professional has been developed over decades by an industry counting on that lack-of-clarity to increase demand for services… that model is done… it is no more… If you don’t leverage transparency to your advantage in the form of Tangible Alpha, you will become extinct… your services will become commoditized and your clients will become enemies. Price only become an issue in the absence of value… you must make your authentic relevant value Tangible…
Trying to Break Down the Fundamentals of Value Design Can Be an Overly Complicated Endeavor…
In this three part blog post I am attempting to simplify what I have known to be fundamentally true about advisor value design for the past three decades… It can be tricky sometimes to simplify the complex.
This is part two of three. We pick up where we left off in part one…
After you are able to define your client-centered purpose and publish your values and principles, as well as document your beliefs and opinions about your unique value… (seems complicated but we make it easy). You are ready to share your experiences your expertise and promise your behavior.
These are the activities required to connect the dots between the collaborative behavior required by your trusted clients and the behavior you can promise as a trusted advisor. Remember, this is about three main things.. Earning trust, controlling the perception of your value, and setting collaborative rules to remain relevant.
The progression of your value development must be acknowledged as part and parcel with your value design… in other words, how you design your value becomes a part of your value design.
The simplification of the Infinite Alpha Progression allows you to make incremental additions to your overall success by continuing your exponential engagement with clients and prospects.
Each one of the elements shown on the slides included is a fundamental discipline that requires your attention daily to meet the demands of exuding your value exponentially every day. When combined in a variety of ways, the disciplines of your value are the building blocks of your relevance. They work together in conjunction to empower you. The progression gives you the luxury of saved time while you attend to the daily actions required by you to survive, while giving you the opportunity 24/7 to build your business on purpose.
They know they can’t be everything for everyone.
They use the word “no” as a strategy.
They are known for the quality of their questions.
They are never complacent.
Their reputation precedes them… digitally.
They have a defined process for their businesses.
They have work / life balance.
They are active philanthropists.
They work only with ideal clients.
They control exactly how their value is perceived.
They realize… their unique value is precisely what makes them relevant.
What is your unique, authentic, relevant value?
3 reasons to nail down your topics for meaningful engagement.
1 Content leads to your unique value.
2 Questions lead to your value to filter.
3 Conversations are competent and add to your confidence.
Your virtual value must be aligned with the human experience.
Topics are derived from your purpose, principles, values, beliefs, opinions, experiences, expertise, promised behavior, behavior you expect from clients, your philosophy, and your processes…
Those disciplines of your alpha must be defined (by you) before you can create categories for content topics for engagement and questions that lead to your value.
Topics Tie It Together
The medium is the message. Your digital experience must flow seamlessly with your daily behavior if you want to survive in a robo world.
If you are thinking about outsourcing your content to a third party, think differently.
You don’t need leads for a sales funnel.
You need to filter in prospects and keep clients with personalized topics.
Cookie cutter content will get you washed away.
No more silos.
Your value must become tangible for clients and prospects to see and hear.
Nobody wants to be placed in your sales funnel. Transparency lets prospective clients know exactly what you are up to.
Own the words. Design your topics. Get and keep ideal clients. In perpetuity.
Conversations that matter don’t happen “off-the-cuff.”
Most advisors have never been afforded the opportunity to discover and define their authentic relevant value… they were hired to sell products. To remain relevant and become irreplaceable advisors are going to have to think differently about their job description. You are going to have to think differently about sales… you are going to have to think differently about service… you are going to have to think differently about your unique value.
You can’t have a conversation about the solutions you provide without the courage of your conviction.
The courage of your conviction comes from well defined value…
The conversations of most advisors, up until recently, have been centered around either products or the trustworthiness of their firm. But now, the greatest opportunity in the history of financial services awaits you…
Owning The Words That Define Your Value
By owning your value you are creating opportunities to have conversations that matter 24/7
In order to engage in conversations that matter you must have a formalized process in place in which the client experience is never left to question. Your business must become designed to exude your value and leverage all of your resources to consistently improve your client experience while simultaneously engaging in (and improving) the conversations that matter. Essentially, the client experience and the conversations that matter dovetail to enhance the overall development of your business. Owning your Advisor Alpha creates this opportunity.
Once you define your value… you own your Advisor Alpha
Owning your Advisor Alpha and making it tangible nullifies the element of desperation inherent in a business where you can’t exude your value.
Lacking the courage of your conviction to have conversations of your value is the number one killer of all advisor client relationships… If you can’t put into words why your clients should be paying you, you will neglect them… and neglecting your clients is still the reigning champ of client defection.
They need to feel it… and you need to know how it makes them feel… Tangible Alpha.
If you don’t own the words that define your value you will be destined to attempt to become a version of “all things to all people.” This version of you fails eventually… and this version of you fails more rapidly in a robo-world.
Not owning your value will be the number one reason behind your failure… hourly, daily, monthly failures will ensue… and eventually, not owning your value will be the end of your advisory business.
You must first own your value before you can engage in conversations that matter.
Owning the words that define your value enable you to create a business in which your conversations fuel the client experience and the client experience fuels the conversations that matter. Owning your Advisor Alpha and making it tangible will drive the success of your business in the future… by design.
How can you escape the trap of client defection due to advisor neglect? How can you empower all trusted partners to have conversations with the courage of their conviction? How will you remain relevant and become irreplaceable?
Advisor autonomy will empower advisors to create stakeholder value that leads to enterprise value and shareholder value.
Recruiters of advisors must come to the realization that in the digital age of transparency, it is autonomy that will set advisors free and not independence. Advisor autonomy can be offered to any advisor regardless of his or her firm’s affiliation. The battle for recruiting top advisors will start with a different tone in the not too distant future because the era of collaborative services has arrived and transparency will dictate that investors will not trust advisors (or their firms) who are not offering stakeholder value ahead of shareholder value.
Transparency will empower the investor to see exactly how his or her best interest is being discounted for the good of the c-suites and shareholder value and they will not become a party to being the means to that end. Those days are over.
Just as the investor is becoming empowered by technology and transparency, so too will the advisor. Autonomy will afford the advisor in the future to sit on the same side of the table as his or her clients by owning the perception of his or her authentic value which is wrought from a client-centered purpose. Shared purpose is the only way investors will trust advisors or their firms in this modern era of financial service. This is a great thing. It’s the best time in the history of financial services to become a trusted steward of wealth and every financial advisor has an opportunity to thrive in the digital age.
To create a sustainable culture of integrity that ensures growth from this point forward, recruiters are going to have to offer autonomy to advisors to empower them by allowing the to own the perception of their value. Otherwise the pending crunch that is spearheading commoditization of services and reducing margins (including NIM) will destroy the firm and the industry.
The industry will not be able to serve investors through robos and opaque sales tactics… ever.
I’m not going to let that happen and neither will you. And… neither will the firms… once they realize that autonomy is the key to the culture creation that spurs inorganic growth while harmoniously stimulating and ensuring organic growth for advisors. Own the words… own your alpha… create your own autonomy to remain relevant and become irreplaceable.