Why Some Financial Planners Almost Always Have Engaged Clients

What is your value proposition that sets you apart from other financial planners? Do you use terms like: ‘independent’, ‘wealth management’, ‘the best advisor’, ‘actual knowledge’, ‘CFP’, ‘trustworthy’ or other features? The problem with this kind of terms is that it’s used by everyone. And it’s also not really compelling. It’s just a feature, while your client is really interested in benefits. So how does your (potential) client know why he has to do (or has to stay in) business with you? He doesn’t, unless you have the right value proposition. That’s why it’s essential to write it in the exact words that relate most to your target audience.

The easiest way – and for most financial planners a really scary way – to discover what these words are, is to do this:



Why? Your clients know why they choose you over other financial planners and why they stay with you. They know the most valuable things you bring to the relationship. And they know what you do that has meaning for them. But why don’t you ask them? I know, it’s hard to admit, but aren’t you a bit afraid of the answer? I most certainly was when I asked my client for the first time how I could improve my service. To avoid this confrontation with clients, some planners say: “I don’t want to bother my clients with questions. They don’t have time for that.”

But try to think from your clients perspective. How would you feel when you’ve purchased a pair of shoes from Zappos and a friendly lady calles you after a week and asks: “Are you happy with your shoes? Can we improve our service? Please tell me.” Wow, this is service!  It’s not only very surprising to you, but you also feel acknowledged. You now know that this company has genuine interest in what you experience. And that they really care of what you think about them.

Now think of how your client feels when you give a call and ask if your financial planning services makes him or her happy. And if your client has any tips on how to improve your service. Do you think that your client appreciates your message? I believe the answer is obvious.

Not only you know that you’re client feels acknowledged, you’re probably one of the few advisors who asks this question. This means that he will remember you. Which makes you more referable. There is another huge advantage. You must know that all people have a very idiosyncratic set of beliefs, principles or values that they try to follow when making important decisions. It’s in your advantage to discover what those principles and values are before you begin promoting your value proposition. That’s why you have to listen carefully to what your client has to say. Because you want to use the exact words your client uses to rewrite your value proposition. No more ‘wealth management’, ‘fee-only’, ‘professional’ or other features. Use your clients words in your value proposition. It will differentiate your business and your brand. Those words are also the words that your potential clients want to hear when he is looking for a financial planner to solve his or her problem.

If you can discover and connect with your clients’ values, you will have forged an almost philosophical connection that will not be easily broken. You will have engaged clients.

Here are some questions you could use:

  • How do you feel about our service?
  • Imagine that you would be my client for six months, what would be the most important aspect of our service to you?
  • What can we do that would be of the most value to you?
  • What would have to happen in our working together that would cause you to believe it was a huge success?

It would be strange to end this blogpost without a question. I hope that you are kind enough to help me with an answer. The question is:


Please, leave your answer below in the comment field. Thank you very much.

To your success,

Ronald Sier

If you don’t read the next tip, you might miss the chance to advance your client relationships. All you have to do is fill in the boxes below.


Leave a Reply 2 comments

Mike Reply

I work hard to have interesting things to say in our meetings. If I am engaged, I think it promotes their engagement. It could be a new tool or a new, insightful way of explaining a concept.

Marty Morua Reply

Love the Zappos shoe purchase analogy you used Ronald.

Spot on!

Not being shy or intimidated about asking if your financial planning services makes your clients happy. Clients will remember you……..Which makes you more referable. Listening to your clients words to help create your value proposition. Being different!

Deep down I think many financial planners (RIA\’s) know this is the right thing to do, but many simply DON\’T do it.

Great work Ronald!

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