5 Sure-Shot Ways To Grow Your Financial Advisory Business
According to the 2016 Global Survey of Financial Advisors, conducted by the US based — Natixis Global Asset Management, financial advisors globally are anticipating 9.4% business growth in the next 12 months. Only 47% believe growth will be the result of market action. Three-quarters say their growth will come from winning new clients or earning a greater share of business from current clients.
But how would you be able to differentiate yourself when there is so much competition around, especially when there countless “me too” businesses. “Me too” business take shape when a new company starts a product which is similar to its competitor.
With little or no differentiating factors, a “me too” business is competition to the frontrunner. The best example of “me too” business can be found in the satellite television space in India. Tata Sky took satellite television to new heights and became a household name. And, within a short while, competitors took the plunge. You had Airtel, Reliance, Videocon nose-diving into the industry, offering similar products with added features, and at a competitive price.
The point that we are trying to make here is: no business would be devoid of competitors. Even in the financial advisory space, there is no dearth of financial advisors claiming the best of advice and comprehensive service.
So how do you, as an independent financial advisor, build a brand and distinguish yourself from the crowd?
Here are 5 sure-shot ways to grow your business and build a brand…
- Polish your credentials — Credentials provide customers with an independent assurance that you possess the knowledge, skill or ability to practice competently. There is no doubt that it along with experience matters a lot. Credentials enhance public perception of the quality of advice and your reputation. So, all in all it helps to build trust.
- LinkedIn is a good platform to highlight your credentials, experience, awards, and client testimonials. If you haven’t polished your credentials in a while, make sure to upgrade the same. Check out the Certified Financial Guardian program — an online programme that hones your advisory skills and gives you the freedom to complete the programme at your own pace.
- Be active in your local community — Communities provide you and your family a sense of belonging. It offers you an opportunity to make friends, build relations, and cement bonds. Being involved can feel good. The satisfaction and pride that comes from helping others, is an encouraging reason to be involved.
- Your expertise as a financial advisor can help you handhold people towards their financial wellbeing. Your involvement would aid you be popular in the crowd, which in turn fosters brand building. Note that a retail customer prefers doing business with individuals staying in his/her vicinity.
- Embrace technology — Technology can be an enabler if embraced appropriately. It can help you reach out to prospects and clients, and help them serve better. You see, clients expect functional ease today — thanks to mobile and information, technology — that has made it almost an indispensible part of our life. So, when investing too, it holds true. Millennials are extremely tech savvy. They earn handsomely and your potential clients. For them, service unified with technology can bring customer delight!
- Mail Chimp, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Zoho, etc. can help you reach out to prospects / clients. Platforms like BSE StarMF, NMF-II, and Mutual Fund Utility (MFU) are a few platforms to transaction in mutual funds, whereby the time to service clients can be reduced considerably.
- Besides, setting the right processes and systems, hiring smart people, delegating the operational work; can help you focus more on the qualitative aspects such as rendering need-based advice, risk profiling, and even public relations (which can help you earn more client references).
- Organise Investor Awareness Programs (IAPs) — Companies across industries arrange for welfare programmes for their employees on variety topics viz. stress management, time management, parenting, skill development, amongst a host of others. Reach out to the HR departments of organisation and explain the importance of conducting Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs). This is a promising way to get access to thousands of employees (who could be your potential clients), while you conduct a 60 to 90 minute presentation ideally in batches of 50–100 (or even more) highlighting the importance of “financial planning for long-term financial wellbeing” — explaining them need for saving and investing wisely to meet various aspirations of life.
- Form a customer advisory group — the objective here is, to collect direct feedback from the clients on how to improve service. Remember, the financial advisory practice is established on set of clients. Ignoring their valuable feedback can be risky. Therefore, sensibly incorporate their suggestions; it can help you earn references to grow the financial practice a BIG way!
Once you start implementing these 5 strategies, you’ll never fall short of quality leads to serve better and the best! Serving clients putting their interest at the fore, and handling their money with as much care as you would while managing your own finances, will earn you Respect, win their Trust and help you build Brand Equity in such a way that competition will never be a worry.