May 29 2022
How to effectively position yourself to clients in the financial service profession
By Audrey Heng
The financial services landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. Professionals working in the industry are constantly upgrading skillsets and pivoting their offerings to better meet the changing needs of their prospects. As a result, prospects today have far more options to choose from in terms of addressing their financial needs and goals. Now is the time to differentiate your practice and clearly communicate the value you can bring to both your prospects and existing clients. Gregory Fok, a 16-year MDRT member with four Court of the Table qualifications from Singapore, shares his insight on how financial advisors can successfully position themselves to stand out and attract clients in the financial services space.
Create a unique value proposition
The deluge of information and options that prospects have today can leave clients feeling confused about what the information actually entails. Therefore, the role of a financial advisor is no longer just about sharing information but making sense of it and taking action to help achieve the clients’ goals.
For Fok, he focuses on transforming perspectives toward wealth and living for doctors, senior professionals, businessman by managing large assets of wealth so that they can retire with peace of mind. He notes that many of these individuals tend to get too caught up with the goal of getting more money and often forget that there is a cost to it, both financially and emotionally. Therefore, Fok positions himself as someone who helps his clients be able to sleep well at night, expecting and knowing that they will be able to achieve all their goals in life.
He shared, “For example, one of my prospects had investments together with the private bank. She had a huge position of almost S$3 million debt at the age of 64 as she was borrowing money to invest in something that potentially paid her a payout of up to about 6-7% per annum. However, the capital had been dwindling over the years as well and the loan interest rates had also been rising. What I shared with her was that we are here not to get the highest returns but to get her safely to be able to achieve all her personal goals in her life. With the trust built, she is slowly shifting parts of the strategies to lower risks and reducing her loans.”
To further differentiate himself as a financial advisor and establish credibility and consistency, Fok conducts regular webinars to instill a sense of assurance and confidence in his clients. He also regularly updates his personal blog and keeps in touch with clients through email and phone calls to stay connected with them; asking them how they are and if they have any life updates or questions close to their heart.
Emphasize your value
“Create a different experience for clients so that clients get attracted to [you],” Fok emphasizes. That’s the most fundamental way to stand out from other professionals in the field. “Instead of focusing on the products to sell, focus the conversation on the client's values, dreams, vision, fears and concerns,” he adds. Remember that every client is different, with unique needs and goals in life. The life plan of your clients is the one that drives the decisions of the financial plan and not the other way round.
One way Fok adds value to his role as a financial advisor is by asking his clients deep and powerful questions that help them reflect for themselves. He shares that many times, clients are living on a treadmill, like a rat race, “If you can stop them for a while and bring them to a realization of what is the purpose of the life, their resources and the kind of impact they want to make to their family, friends and the world, you can make that small difference to them. But do also note that these are also questions that some people choose to avoid because they have no answer for it now, but that is alright, because a question will keep them thinking and reflecting and one day, they will appreciate you because you did that for them.”
Fok also advises, “Provide them nuggets of insights and wisdom for life gained from other clients, not just the financial part of it. When clients come to us to ask for a higher return, what they are really asking is how can designing of strategies make their lives more fulfilled. Our goal is to bring clarity to try to understand what that is and what is it that makes their lives more fulfilled.”
Fok concludes by noting that the biggest differentiator one can make as a financial advisor is to communicate the benefits that you can offer as a financial advisor and position yourself through values not products. With that, you’ll be well-positioned to stand out from other financial service professionals and successfully attract new clients.