How can financial planners reinvent themselves after the fall out?

Strangely enough, finance businesses are not really about money, as you may realise if you’ve read any of the news reports on the recent Royal Commission into the misconduct in banking. Superannuation and financial services deal in money, but the reason someone deals with one financial planner over another is not about how much money they can get their hands on, but who they trust. Based on our workshops with Financial Planners, we have discovered the following:

Trust is built in different ways

Think about how these elements can be used to build trust with your clients:

  • Depth of knowledge
  • What is abundant in your background that resonates with your ideal customer?
  • Your ethics and values
  • Your cultural background and how that aligns with your ideal customer
  • Your reputation and relationship with clients
  • Transparent and upfront disclosure of fees, processes and procedures

I have found that the best way to analyse and industry is to use the old faithful SWOT analysis (ie. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), followed by more personal brand positioning.

When looking at the SWOT analysis for financial planners leaving one of the big banks, the story looks much different than it would have a couple of years ago, where the association with the banks stood for security, reliability and honesty, but today many are being tarred with the same black brush as the advisors and banks under investigation, and as such this association needs to be addressed when crafting the brand.

Here are some areas to think about:

  • Your unique point of difference — what sets your brand apart from the competition?
  • Your values and ethics that align with your clients
  • Your vision and mission statements, which reveal the business’s focus
  • Your authentic story and purpose, or how your brand connects with clients and the community
  • Your ability to take customer concerns and turn them into a positive

Consider the client’s concerns about the business launching alone…

 

More practically — and possibly one that most business owners take for granted — here are a few things to consider to help you to build trust in your business.

The finance industry is going through change, but so are the customers using these services. To keep customers on your books, those concerns need addressing from the start.

Change in business ownership and organisational structure is always a time for customers to be wary and for business owners to be extra vigilant in ensuring a smooth and confident transition for the client.

The purchase of these businesses from the banks comes at a hefty cost, therefore taking precautions to ensure a smooth transition for the client is a wise investment.

Some of the questions and concerns your clients might need to be answered include:

  • Confidence that the business can provide the best services from day one (otherwise they will jump ship)
  • Confidence that the client’s money is in safe hands without the backing of one of the big banks. (Clients will have mixed feelings about this, but this needs to be addressed and responded to from the start)
  • Uncertainty as to whether or not the changes will impact the costs of current arrangements and what this will mean for future arrangements
  • Are their investments safe?
  • If you’re a one-man show, what would happen if something happens to you?
  • Who regulates your professional services?

What are the implications for business owners who are now running their own ships?

Crafting your unique brand in a professional way from day one requires skills you might be unaware of. Here are a few ideas to think about:

  • Attracting new clients is now your responsibility
  • Marketing is now a skill you need to have or a service you need to find
  • Have you thought of a business name?
  • Have you thought about registering your business name or trade mark?
  • Have you thought about creating the brand assets that tell your story?
  • Do you know what you need to build a robust authentic brand personality, with a DNA that connects with clients?
  • Do you know your point of difference, or why your clients pick you over the competition – this is vital and something you might want to speak to your ideal customers about
  • Now that you need to invest money in marketing, ensuring you identify and understand your target market will keep costs down and deliver greater success
  • Consistency at every customer touch-point, builds trust, so have you thought about the tools and stationery you require to run your business like a pro, from day one?

Where to from here?

Understanding the benefits of creating a professionally set up business and how to craft a strong brand message that builds confidence from day one, is critical.

To help, I’ll be running Brand DNA and Strategy Workshops specifically for financial planners to ensure that their unique and authentic brands are set up ready for a smooth launch.

 With our extensive experience and capabilities, we’re able to take care of all things brand, design, digital, print and installation… Meanwhile, the business owners’ can focus on taking care of their customers and building on that all too critical trust I mentioned earlier in this article.

We work with some of the banks and teams of financial planners and would be happy to include others who are travelling on this financial rollercoaster. We’re here to make the ride easier…

To find out more about the issues around building a financial business suffering under a cloud of banking misconduct, read the article below.

LINK TO ARTICLE

For examples of our happy clients and design work, take a look at some of the case studies from our financial customers: https://www.livinglines.com.au/finance/

Need some help with this?

If you’re at a crossroads in your business and you’d like to have a chat about the potential opportunities within your business — or you’re ready to stand out as the expert in your field,— please  contact us – we’d love to hear from you…

INTRODUCING OUR TWO-DAY ‘BRAND STRATEGY AND DNA’ WORKSHOP

Designed specifically for the finance industry, our ‘Brand Strategy and DNA’ Workshop is capped at 15 business people per group and dates are available on expression of interest.

In this workshop you will:

  • Understand what your brand really means
  • Understand the characteristics of brands of the future
  • Run a SWOT analysis — the 5 phases to brand positioning (market segment)
  • Profile your target market
  • Discover your point of difference
  • Learn about brand perceptions – including colour, imagery, voice, and how to distinguish the attributes that align with your brand and archetype
  • How to look impressive and stand out
  • Create a list of core values for your business, including a vision statement and Mission Statement (or brand promise)
  • Learn how to provide proof of how good you are to your audience and industry – discuss avenues
  • Step into the customer’s decision-making process — track the customer’s journey and how to enhance their experience
  • Assess the effectiveness of your marketing activity and suggest strategies and avenues (facilitated by a business strategy expert)
  • Find out how to plan your business to launch on your own (business strategy expert)

WORKSHOP: Maximum of 15 people for each two-day workshop = $997.00 (inc. GST) per person attending.

If you’d like to inquire about Sydney or interstate workshops, please send through an email or a message on LinkedIn and I’ll get back to you with the earliest dates and spaces available.

Please contact info@livinglines.com.au (Title – Finance Brand Strategy & DNA workshop) for more information.

Would you like to ask any questions?

Please  contact us – we’d love to hear from you…

 

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