A Blog for Today’s Top Financial Advisors

Articulate Your Value Promise—A KEY SUCCESS STRATEGY


  • Most clients and prospective clients don’t understand how various financial advisors differ from each other.
  • Provide a precise, succinct, and compelling description of the clients you serve, how you serve them and how they benefit from working with you.
  • Share your personal story to show why you care so much about helping your clients.

With approximately 400,000 financial advisors practicing today, your major challenge is to stand out in a very crowded marketplace.

The fact is, most clients can’t tell financial advisors apart anymore. The terms advisors call themselves have become largely meaningless, and most advisors’ “sales pitches” sound remarkably similar—and, frankly, pretty dull.

The good news: There are two steps you can take that will clearly and definitively tell prospective clients and referral sources such as centers of influence how you are different from the pack and why they should work with you.

These two steps will empower you to stand out in a crowded field and convey your passion for helping your clients. According to most of the financial advisors we work with in our mastermind groups, these steps are game-changers that are key parts of being able to build a simple, elegant and indispensable financial advisory business.

In fact, we have discovered that the elite financial advisors who consistently earn $1 million or more each year take these steps more often than do their peers—and they do a better job at implementing them.


When you’re in front of prospective clients—and potential referral sources such as centers of influence—you need to be able to provide a precise, succinct and compelling description of the clients you serve. You can’t simply say you serve everyone—that’s not credible, and the affluent generally aren’t attracted to professionals who advertise that they’ll work with anybody who crosses their path.

Just as important: You must be able to provide a precise, succinct and compelling description of how you serve those clients and—this is key—how those clients benefit and become more successful as a result of working with you!

When you do all those things, you clearly express your value promise. This leads to two big benefits:

  • It makes it easy for new prospective clients to start exploring working with you.
  • It positions you as a go-to advisor in the eyes of the community of people (or “niche”) you most want to serve. When your niche thinks of great financial advice, they think of you.

Example: I was an advisor for most of my career, and my two partners and I built a business that become the largest practice affiliated with Schwab at the time. One thing we always did was clearly express our value promise.

I would always start with a benefit statement that was compelling: “I help high-tech executives make work optional.” That statement made it very clear whom I was helping. But it also spoke to them in terms of what they really valued and wanted from both their wealth and their lives—in this case, freedom and independence.

I would stand up at, say, a Rotary Club meeting and made that statement. Afterward, high-tech execs in the audience would line up to talk to me and learn more.

That’s when you need to have the second part of your value promise ready. When approached for more information, I would say that I “have the privilege of working with high-tech executives as their personal chief financial officer, to help them address their five major financial concerns. I do this with a professional network team, and together we maximize the probability of our clients achieving all that is important to them.”

Notice a theme? The value promise always focuses on the results you can and do deliver! People don’t care about your title or your process—they care about what you can do for them and “what’s in it for them” should they choose to work with you instead of someone else.

By this point in the conversation—after I’d made statements showing ideal prospective clients that I had a clear and compelling focus on them and that I delivered outcomes they really wanted—they generally took the next step to with me to discover more.


In addition to a promise of how you’ll deliver value to a specific group, you also want to share a personal story about yourself—your experiences and your values—that tells ideal prospective clients why you care so much about serving them extremely well.

Most advisors in our mastermind group say their personal story is their secret weapon that makes the difference.

Your personal story is the only thing of yours that is totally unique. It’s your specific and heartfelt narrative of your reasons for working with your clients.

Why does it matter? When you craft a personal story well and tell it in a compelling way, you set the stage for a personal bond between you and clients that other advisors can’t match.

In my experience, people want to work with professionals who they feel care about them deeply. They pick people to work with largely based on emotion (and then later use reason and facts to justify that decision). A personal story creates an emotional connection and an emotional response in clients and prospective clients that makes them want to explore working with you.

The most impactful personal stories draw a connection between your past experiences (as well as the values imparted on you) and what drives you today to help your clients make smart decisions about their wealth.


With the simple yet elegant power of your words and your story, you will stand well apart from your competitors—and send the powerful messages that you have the passion and can deliver the value that affluent clients want from their advisors.



To download a transcript of this episode, click here.

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