You Have A Choice: Package Or Perish

I’ve written extensively about the issue of packaging up the services you offer your various client segments, but there are still some common issues that seem to be holding firms back from getting this absolutely nailed.

Below are some of the issues and challenges most firms face when trying to get their packaging just right:

1. The firm doesn’t see or understand their true value

The starting point is actually understanding what you do for your clients. Over and above the obvious services you provide, there are a whole bunch of things that most advisers do, but never tell their clients about.

For example, “Access to our professional network”. This could include referrals to obvious resources like good quality local accountants and solicitors, estate agents, and mortgage brokers. However, you may also have some special connections that few others have and it’s time you told your clients about them.

One adviser I spoke with recently referred a client to an architect, and a builder, from within his client base who then both worked on the first client’s new development. Another adviser once told me that he referred a business owner client who was thinking of selling his business to a professional negotiator. The guy sold his business for £1m more than he was expecting. That’s value added (not to mention the extra £1m of investable assets he picked up as well).

2. They don’t go deep enough (into the subtext) of what clients are actually looking for

It’s a major mistake to take at face value what it is clients tell you they want. Now I know this is going to sound like the height of arrogance and the opposite of being totally customer focused, but it’s not. Let me explain:

Clients do know what they want, but they can’t always express it. Furthermore, they don’t have a clue what you are capable of delivering for them. Clients will never walk in asking for things like Holistic Financial Planning, Life Planning, The Truth About Money, or Outcomes Focused Advice. They don’t know that these things exist or what they entail. So, coming up with a new name for Financial Advice won’t fix the problem.

As a good adviser, you have to use your skills to help the client to see that whatever they think their issue is there is more behind it.

When a client comes in and says, “I want some help with my pension” a good adviser will ask questions that allow the client to recognise the deeper issue. Questions such as “How much is enough?” or “What other assets might form part of your planning for financial independence or retirement?”

I know that might sound terribly esoteric but advisers need to recognise the answer behind the ‘answer’ for clients on a daily basis – it’s just what you do.

3. Finally, they don’t capture either 1 or 2 in a tangible way so the client can ‘see’ and ‘touch’ the quality

To make your packaging really work you have to capture the first two issues (what you do for people and what they’re really looking for) in a way that reflects the quality of your offer. That means employing someone with design flair who can turn your intangible words and services into something that looks and feels fabulous.

The final output (your brochureware, website or app) “represents” the quality of your product or service, making it tangible for clients.

What happens when you get this right?

By putting together a client proposition, packaged in a way that addresses client needs more completely, you actually pick up clients. This happens for two reasons:

  1. Clients look at your service and think, “Lead me to the promised land, finally a financial adviser that deals with the things that have been on my mind” (rather than appearing to flog financial products).
  2. You really believe you have something fantastic to offer people and it comes through in every conversation you have.

So make sure you’ve nailed your packaging. If you haven’t got it right, then give me a call.

Comment

What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you some packaging challenges or success stories to share? Leave a comment below or drop an email to [email protected].

Take Action

If you want more direct assistance with this or any other aspect of your business drop me a line at [email protected] or give me a call on 0207 431 3663.

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4 thoughts on “You Have A Choice: Package Or Perish

  • Brett, a great contribution as always – and one that I want to add to.

    In part 1 about understanding value, the important twist (like the Lime in a G&T) is to understand your value through the eyes of your clients. What is it they value, and why (it could be things other than the value we think we provide)? If you’re going to talk about value add services, describe them through the client’s perspective, and not as another list of “things we’ve got, things we do”.

    You already allude to this in part 2, and I think you hit the nail on the head about the way we describe the things we do and the services we offer. It’s not about the service we offer, or the catchy name we have for it, it’s about the things the client wants to get done.

    And in part 3 – stand out in a crowded market place by having great material, using simple language and concepts, dealing with issues that are important to clients.

    You’ve packed a lot of gem-tastic information into this article, thanks.

    Reply
  • Thanks Dennis.

    Reply
  • Brett, a great contribution as always – and one that I want to add to.

    In part 1 about understanding value, the important twist (like the Lime in a G&T) is to understand your value through the eyes of your clients. What is it they value, and why (it could be things other than the value we think we provide)? If you’re going to talk about value add services, describe them through the client’s perspective, and not as another list of “things we’ve got, things we do”.

    You already allude to this in part 2, and I think you hit the nail on the head about the way we describe the things we do and the services we offer. It’s not about the service we offer, or the catchy name we have for it, it’s about the things the client wants to get done.

    And in part 3 – stand out in a crowded market place by having great material, using simple language and concepts, dealing with issues that are important to clients.

    You’ve packed a lot of gem-tastic information into this article, thanks.

    Reply

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