In the continual search for differentiation strategies and creating a strong sense of “value received” by clients one of the ways to think about how to stand out is to consider where you choose to try and add value in the prospects buying path.
There are a number of fairly predictable steps that a prospect will tend to go through on their way to finally deciding to engage the services of a professional adviser, and in simple terms with todays buyer it tends to look like this:
- Awareness of issues or potential needs
- Research and learning of issues
- Consideration of possible solutions/providers
- Networking with peers to review possibilities
- Initial contact with probable professional
- Engagement meeting
- Scoping & research process
- Recommendation & specific advice consideration
- Implementation phase
- Ongoing review & service process
Each of these steps is an opportunity area. It is an opportunity for a professional who understands the buying process to deliver exceptional value. Within each of these opportunity areas there are multiple ways that one can add value to the prospect or client and make it easier for them to proceed to the next step on their buying path. Each point where you add value for the prospect is a further differentiator for you or your firm…each reinforces the previous impression of the prospect…the effect is cumulative if you choose to create definite value for the prospect in each step.
It is not necessary to attempt to deliver value at every point in this process. If for instance you were building a robo-advice offering you may decide quite deliberately that there is no point even considering attempting to provide a service, let alone one with additional value, beyond the point of engagement. That is; once the client has transacted with your platform there may be no need of further engagement. Perhaps.
Depending on your business model and how you wish to be positioned in prospects and clients minds there are opportunities in the prospects buying process for you to stand out and deliver value over and above that which your competitors offer at the same point in the process. Careful consideration of where you wish to try and add value to prospects, and how you will do so, is another way of standing out in the market, and having more prospects choose you.