Does your value proposition attract clients?

Maybe your biggest marketing challenge is that you’re promoting something your clients don’t actually want.

Paul (not his real name) was working on updating the headline for his website and brochure. Here is where he had gotten: we help families build financial stability and security among the generations.

Is that the statement that will get people wanting to have more of a conversation about what he does?

After some discussion, we determined that stability and security were not the top concerns of two thirds of his existing clients. Further, clients did not use the words stability and security when they verbalized their concerns that related to those concepts. In short, using that value proposition would never have gotten a prospective client’s attention.

When someone in your target market encounters the first message they see from you, whether that be the headline on your homepage, in a brochure, or in an advertisement, what we hope is that their response is “I want that.” One nice, direct way of getting there is to start with the oversimplified statement, “I help __________ get ____________.” The first blank is your target client and the second should be a clear outcome the client already believes they need. If there is some interpretation necessary to translate the outcome into something they feel, you are one more step removed from being compelling.

What are some benefits clients are looking for? Make college more affordable. Be confident your retirement income will last a lifetime. Get control over your finances. Save money on taxes. Each of these benefits applies to a different target market and there are plenty others for different kinds of clients. The point is the benefit is phrased the way the client thinks about it.

Being less direct is one reason a lot of popular slogans are not as effective. We abstract the benefits at least one level and so when clients hear them they may not connect. Peace of mind, a comprehensive plan, guidance with your interest in mind are examples of this mistake.

Some advisors take the approach of promoting that they do lots of things that clients didn’t even realize they needed. That’s admirable but not particularly effective as a first impression. I’m not actively looking for needs I don’t know I have. Now, if you can alert me to a need and then provide a solution that’s a different story. Good examples include 90% of women will, at some point in their lives, be solely responsible for their finances or 50% of today’s seniors will have to pay for a nursing home. Presenting the problem and then offering a solution is a powerful start to a conversation.

Whatever you say about what you do, just make sure it connects with a need your target market already has in their minds.

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