When You Describe Your Differences, Say What Others Say About You


Your clients’ words are more credible than yours.

To attract new clients, you have to establish why you are different. Beyond why you provide a solution the prospect needs, establish why it would be in their best interest to choose you over all the other advisors they could choose from.

And when you talk about your differences, using the words your clients use will do a better job of communicating than your words. One of the biggest mistakes in advisor marketing is developing your messages yourself and not involving your clients. That’s one of the main reasons a client advisory board such a good idea. Gathering clients together for a facilitated group conversation is a more effective way of understanding your value and your difference. When advisors describe their value and their difference without the clients input, they very often miss the mark.

Beyond knowing what to communicate is choosing which words to use. Advisor marketing tends to be chock full of words advisors like to use, but the words I hear from clients are often different. You say “peace of mind” but they probably say “feeling organized” or “comfortable” or “feeling like we understand that.” You might say “our disciplined investment strategy” but they might say “watching out for the risks.”

Maybe even more important than the words themselves, people evaluate the source of the information when they get told something. Your prospects expect you to promote yourself and so they consider comments from existing clients to be more credible than what you might say about yourself. Now, this can be tricky territory because of the prohibition on testimonials. If you avoid attributing comments to any individual and avoid making them overtly promotional, I believe you can utilize this approach. So, for example, rather than saying “We are excellent at retirement planning” you might say “Our clients tell us that our process made them feel much better prepared for retirement.”

Your brand is not what you say it is – your brand is what people say about you. To effectively communicate your value and your difference, let your brand do the speaking.

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