Today’s financial advisors face a challenging landscape, as rapid innovation, changing regulations, and heightened competition transform the industry. To thrive in today’s environment, it’s not enough to simply deliver exceptional service—advisors need to communicate a unique profile that sets them apart in the minds of their clients and prospects.
But while advisors may deliver on their service commitment, industry studies have found gaps in how their clients actually perceive this value. According to a survey by the Financial Planning Association (FPA), while 73% of financial advisors felt it was important to communicate value to prospects, only about half felt they were doing so effectively. Even when clients report high levels of satisfaction and loyalty, they may be unable to say why or what their advisor has to offer.
Investors also may have a difficult time distinguishing one advisor from another, especially as more firms move to the holistic wealth management/financial planning model. When asked what sets them apart, 70% of advisors in the FPA study picked two key attributes— understanding client needs and objectives and client service4 (see chart at right). When seven out of 10 advisors rely on the same selling points, it’s no wonder investors are having a difficult time telling advisors apart.
Clearly advisors need to think more about not only delivering value, but also communicating how they are different and why that matters to the clients they seek. Read more.