Financial advisor highlighting his value proposition

Explaining Your Value

September 11, 2017

LPL Financial

With the transition from transaction to fee-based services, advisors must justify service value and differentiate themselves from others. This is why a clear value proposition is so important. It should highlight your uniqueness, the clients you service, and the tangible benefits provided in purposeful language that elicits a feeling.

Take your value proposition from idea to action by following these steps.

Proactive Planning for Future Success

Having a detailed, easy-to-understand value proposition that sets you and your practice apart is more important than ever. Because of a renewed focus on the need for objective, independent financial advice, you need a clear, concise explanation of the value you provide to investors. Many advisors will be examining and refining their existing value propositions or developing and implementing one for their practice. How will you stand out from the crowd, now that the entire crowd is looking to do the same?

What to Include

A strong value proposition showcases who you are, outlines your services and values, and helps you justify your fees. There are four components to incorporate within yours that can make it resonate more with clients:

  • Unique characteristics of you and your business
  • The type of clients you work with
  • A rational explanation of how the firm’s attributes produce benefits for clients
  • Language that evokes a feeling

To make the most of your value proposition, be sure to include all of these elements to fully explain what you do and how you do it. However, including these elements should be purposeful, not just a means of checking the box.

Let’s take this sample value proposition:

Founded in 1995, Strategic Financial Services is a boutique financial planning firm that specializes in helping clients develop the financial strategies they need to achieve their life’s aspirations.

While it includes all positive information that discusses what the sample firm does for clients, there are several areas where this statement could be enhanced to better connect with investors.

  • “Boutique financial planning firm”: While “boutique” signifies the firm works with a specific group of people, the statement does not explain who that group is.
  • “Financial strategies”: This is vague. If the firm has any particular specializations, such as wealth preservation or intergenerational planning, an investor wouldn’t know from this statement alone.
  • “Achieve their life’s aspirations”: We understand this is the overall goal, but what methods does the firm use to reach it? Again, additional clarity is needed.

By adding specifics, we can build on the existing value proposition to create one that provides a deeper level of understanding and inspires more confidence in the firm:

Founded in 1995, Strategic Financial Services is a boutique financial planning firm focused on the needs of high-net-worth clients and their families. With a combined 80 years of experience in wealth preservation strategies, the team develops customized, comprehensive financial plans with the goal of helping our clients achieve their financial goals, and ensure their financial security today and for generations to come. We hold ourselves to high standards of transparency and accountability to protect the wealth our clients have worked hard to earn and to demonstrate our commitment to acting in their best interests each and every day.

Putting It Together

Take your value proposition from idea to action by following these steps.

Discuss and develop your value proposition: Spend time with your team brainstorming about what differentiates your practice. This exercise will help you take a deep dive into how you operate, who your ideal clients are, and what benefits you can provide them. For inspiration, talk to some of your top clients about your value and gain a deeper understanding of the qualities that keep them working with you.

Practice it: Once everything is finalized, get comfortable articulating your value proposition so you’re able to confidently explain your services and benefits without it feeling robotic or rehearsed. You may also want to set some general guidelines around how this language fits into specific parts of your practice. This can include your phone greetings, client review invitations and follow ups, or event planning. Everyone in your office will need to have a level of comfort and sense of ownership with the value proposition you collectively created, so allow enough time for everyone to internalize it and make it their own.

Incorporate it: Start weaving your value proposition language into all of your client and prospect interaction points.