I’ve interviewed advisors and conducted research across the United States and have determined the most common theme for business success going into 2019, is to “specialize in a niche market”. It is important to understand Millennials have different needs than Baby Boomers or Generation X and determining where you add the most value & working only with clients where you can make a difference, will be a key factor in your success as an advisor in 2019.
SEIA Advisor, Michael McCauley’s 2019 focus is to “stay in your lane” and stick with clients that you know you can add value and understand that you cannot help everyone. The market will always fluctuate in any given year, largely out of our control. How we react, how we respond to our clients and how we face these challenges is more easily addressed with a narrow market focus. Millennials may not be affected by one swing in the market but have different concerns, while Baby Boomers may need more attention in a downward swing market. You can more easily prepare for these needs and help focus clients in a strategic way if you work within their niche.
Another common strategy for 2019 is to rebrand yourself within your current client base as a money coach or consultant, offering teaching & training and discussions about money, investments, security and planning. This will set you apart from the competition. Chantel Bonneau, CFP with Northwestern Mutual, sees more opportunities than challenges in this strategy, as advisors are more regularly being called upon to step up and coach their clients. Be there to teach and help clients understand their money and their choices through good times and bad. Market fluctuations will make you more valuable to your clients when you offer these services.
The Question most advisors are asking going into 2019 is, how do you differentiate yourself as an advisor in a crowded and competitive marketplace? Our Advice, beyond finding your niche and expanding into coaching, you need to be able to quantify your value. How many clients do you serve? What is your retention rate? What is your referral rate from existing clients? Being able to quantify and express this to prospective clients is extremely powerful. Arielle Jacobs CFA, an advisor with Capstone Partners, is always asked by prospective clients how their firm differentiates themselves from others. This is an important question and advisors need to ask themselves, what makes us special beyond what clients already expect us to be good at? Is it our Advisors, our systems, our services or all of the above? Find something quantifiable, easily measurable, and presentable to clients as your unique selling point.
2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year, full of countless opportunities for advisors to step up and add value for their clients, don’t be left behind!
About the Author
Wendy Barlin is a Certified Public Accountant with 20 years experience spanning diverse industries such as entertainment, professional services, hospitality, real estate and medical groups. Wendy is originally from South Africa and after a year traveling abroad, fell in love with the sparkle of the City of Angels and decided to make Los Angeles her home. Wendy is a member of the AICPA and CAlCPA societies.
Barlin Business Solutions is so much more than an accounting and income tax firm. They specialize in taking all the tedious financial chores off the shoulders of busy professionals so that they can focus on areas where they excel.