Why should I choose you?

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If a prospect asked you, “Why should I choose you?,” could you persuasively answer it in seven words or less? In this competitive world, you better be able to.

The rap on financial advisors is they all look and sound the same. In the past, you could get away with that because there was so much business to go around and consumers were less discerning. Today, it’s a much more competitive world and this means you must find a way to become “uniquely remarkable” or else resign yourself to commodity level income.

Ian Chamandy is the co-author of the incredible book, Why Should I Choose You? He joins the podcast today for a fascinating look at how to answer the “why should I choose you” question in, get this, seven words or less.

In fact, Ian says this is the most important question in business because answering it will shape every area of your business, not just sales and marketing.

Listen to the Podcast

Financial Advisors Sound the Same

I randomly looked up five financial advisor websites to see the words they used to describe what they do. Here’s what I found.

  1. “At ________, we are committed to building strong client relationships.”
  2. “One of our primary goals is to develop a long-term, trusting relationship with you.”
  3. “We help people make financial decisions, grow their wealth, protect their assets, and create legacy through the advice we give.”
  4. “We can provide you with the guidance that can help you understand and better define your financial objectives.”
  5. “_________’s mission is to help clients make and implement decisions on investments, retirement planning and taxes to protect and grow their wealth and reach financial independence.”

To make matters worse, when I googled one of the phrases above, I found it on multiple sites—the exact same language! Not surprisingly, those sites were developed and hosted by the same website outsourcing company—they didn’t even bother to customize the language! I can go on but I think you get the idea. There’s very little differentiation among most advisors.

And while this is a bit off topic, none of the websites above clearly listed their fee schedule. Today’s consumers want openness and that means you should post your fee schedule plainly and clearly on your website.

Here’s another reason why this lack of distinction is such a big problem for advisors–Research shows that up to 60% of the decision to hire you has already been made BEFORE the prospect contacts you.

Prospects are gathering their decision-making info by checking out your website, your thought leadership, your social channels, reviewing any other info they can get their hands on, and asking people who may know you.

Now, if I was a prospect and reviewed the websites of the five firms mentioned above, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with one that stands out and makes me want to contact that one over the other four.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Ian and his colleague Ken Aber developed a framework they call “Blueprint.” Blueprint consists of three elements.

  1. Core Proposition: This is your seven words or less that articulates your corporate DNA. It answers the questions, “Who are you?” and “Why should I choose you?” Ian said, “The purpose of the core proposition is to give your organization a total focus on the one thing that makes it uniquely remarkable.”
  2. Business Architecture: This describes everything you do and how you do it. You use your Core Proposition to guide everything you do within your Business Architecture.
  3. Core Story: Your Core Story contains all the high-level information on your organization that guides everything it says both externally and internally. As with your Business Architecture, the development of your Core Story is guided by your Core Proposition.

Chamandy and Aber’s process is solid and deep. Almost all of their clients describe it as “psychotherapy for the company.” And frankly, you’ll need to go that deep and use a process like Blueprint to really get at the innermost core of what makes your firm unique. It’s not easy but it can be done.

Ian Chamandy on Why Should I Choose You?

So how do you get to your Core Proposition?

Ian said when working with a company, there are two key questions they explore in great depth to uncover the Core Proposition.

  1. What does the company really do as opposed to what it thinks it does? This gets to the Core Logic of your business. It’s about what do you do, how do all the pieces of your business fit together, and what tangible problem does your business solve for your clients.
  2. How does the Core Logic satisfy a deep emotional need? This question is important because what you do has to solve a deep emotional need or else you won’t get true buy-in from clients and your team. This part should be no problem for financial advisors because what you do definitely solves a deep emotional need for clients—but you have to articulate it.

You have to spend a substantial amount of time uncovering your Core Proposition because, unlike a tagline or positioning statement, “it has to endure for the next 15 to 20 years.”

I run into financial advisors all the time who struggle with trying to articulate what makes them different and how to answer the why should I choose you question. Fortunately, Chamandy and Aber have created a roadmap to help you figure it out.

I strongly encourage you to order the book and learn more about Chamandy and Aber’s process by visiting their website.

And click here to learn more about how financial advisor coaching through Belay Advisor can help you become “uniquely remarkable” and attract ideal clients.

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Steve Sanduski, CFP® is the CEO and co-founder of ROL Advisor, founder of Belay Advisor, host of the Between Now and Success Podcast, a New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker.

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