What do you do for me? – Those First Crucial Five Minutes…partIV

What’s your role?

What do you do?

How do you best describe your role when positioning what you do with clients,  potential new prospects, or alliance partners?

I’m especially interested to understand what you say in those first vital minutes of a meeting when you are still ‘setting the scene’ for discussions.

Hang on, am I making an assumption here?

Do you state (or re-state) your role in your meetings?

No you don’t? Why not?  

Maybe you don’t need to explain your role, because it’s obvious. For new clients, they understand what an accountant (or planner, or adviser, or banker – you fill in your own role) does, and for existing clients there isn’t a need for re-explanation because they already know what we do for them?

Is that attitude good enough in the new advice profession? Is simply assuming that your prospects and clients know what you do, good enough to position yourself above all the noise in today’s marketplace (seen this yet? that’s for another blog!)

To leverage an alleged quote from  car maker Henry Ford (he was reportedly quoted as saying “…if I had asked my customers they would have said they wanted a faster horse”), if your mindset is that you’re just selling them another horse, well, just get on with it.

Lots of great advice firms we work with – don’t believe it is good enough to explain their role using ‘standard’ terms like financial  planner or accountant as those terms don’t properly relate their role.

Knowing that the majority of new contacts come in expecting to ‘buy the proverbial horse’ they are familiar with, our Certainty Adviser start trying to create a different perception from the very get go and work hard to position and perform their role differently.

Confident that their role will consistently add considerable more value than a ‘replacement horse’ purchase, they aim to change the old-world perceptions about value of advice, about the role they can perform and what can actually be achieved in the financial lives of their clients.

How do our Certainty Advisers do this in those first five minutes (and continually thereafter) of their meetings?

Our Certainty Advisers talk about how their role is an organiser of complex and volatile financial lives.

Some mention that their role is a leader through the inevitable financial highs and low’s inherent in everyone’s hectic financial lives.

Some describe their role as an objective un-conflicted partner which aims to provide the accountability to required financial habits to achieve much desired and still unmet financial aspirations.

Some certainty advisers say their role is to navigate the complexities created by years of being too busy to control financial lives stifled by information overload, rampant product-based advertising, and distrustful incentives.

Others mention in those first five minutes (and thereafter) that their role is maintaining the financial direction unique to each client which ensures they stay in ultimate control of their own financial destiny.

Some mention they are specialist educators supporting their client’s crucial decision making when encountering the expected or unexpected ambiguous financial cross-roads in life.

Others say they have purposely focussed their expertise to continually solve and guide their clients through the common and complex financial challenges encountered by specific niches.

Some just say that they aim to maximise the probability of helping their client achieve the meaningful outcomes in their lives.

And some say all of these things depending upon the circumstances, the client and the advice required.

I’m finding fewer of them are telling their role message based upon the technical qualification they received years prior. Whilst their technical skills are pre-requisites for their expertise and daily work, interestingly they don’t aren’t primarily positioning themselves as a role that provides investments, implements self-managed super, establishes trusts, arranges insurances or secures loans, blah, blah, blah.

What do you say your role is in those first five minutes (and continually thereafter).

Or are you still relating your role by the technical qualification you’ve been awarded sometime in your past? Is that getting you above the noise in today’s marketplace?

What do you reckon?


Photo credit: istock.com/mizar_21984


About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin