Some advisors say they want to stand out from the crowd—but they’re fibbing. They really want to look and sound like everybody else. We can help them define their target market, identify clear points of differentiation, and craft a targeted message. They don’t want any of it. They just want a list of generic feel-good words to put on the website. Fiduciary. Objective. Holistic. Whatever. Basic, table-stakes qualities that every advisor talks about.

The real reason they chose you
But clearly, there’s some reason why your clients picked you over the advisor next door. It wasn’t performance. It was because somehow, you convinced them that you understand them. “This advisor gets me,” they said. “Here’s someone who knows exactly what I’m dealing with, so they’ll always be a step ahead in taking care of me.”
Some advisors spend so much time on touchy-feely things. Others talk about beating benchmarks, or providing comprehensive planning. The question is, do your clients actually want any of that? You need to get to the core of what defines them, and prove that you really understand it.

How some advisors are nailing it
I’ve seen advisors achieve tremendous success by becoming deeply embedded in their clients’ worlds. There’s a Silicon Valley advisor who completely understands the issues facing tech and VC executives, like managing concentrated wealth, achieving wealth for the first time, and deploying wealth in new ways. He speaks the lingo perfectly, and he’s well earned his clients’ trust.

An advisor in the Midwest works with executives of large manufacturing firms. His firm goes through a LEAN initiative every year. Why? Because, like all American manufacturers, his clients have undergone tremendous change. Reinventing his business establishes a point of connection with their experience.

Finally, I know an advisor who works exclusively with airline pilots. He’s immersed in the details of their benefits packages, professional development requirements, and union rules. He could probably walk into any pilots club in the country and be instantly accepted.

With so many opportunities to become entrenched as a go-to specialist for their clients’ unique needs, why do so many advisors want to remain generic? Maybe they are reluctant to admit that technical investment expertise isn’t always enough to win a client. But the reality is, you need to get to the root of what makes you successful—because then, you can replicate it. And repeatable success is what every advisor really wants.

Enter into your clients’ world, and they’ll be more comfortable in yours.