It’s harder than ever to fuel a pipeline of prospective clients by claiming that you’re better than your competitors – even if you are.
Being good isn’t good enough. Beating your competition takes more than excelling at your core business, because many of your competitors are excelling at it too.
Years ago, an interaction with one of my wealth management clients revealed how I could stand out from the competition and multiply my prospects.
Let’s call him David. David was asked to meet with another financial advisor as a favor to one of his clients. He was happy with our relationship, but felt obligated to take the meeting.
My competitor outlined how David could have earned 3% more in his portfolio over the previous two years, had he invested with him instead of me. So I lost a client, right? Not even close.
David came back with this: “Derek has referred two clients to me that have generated over $2 million in revenue for my business in the past two years. In theory, he could have lost half the money in my portfolio, and from a net worth perspective, I would still have been better off working with him.”
Driving the point home, he said, “Hypothetically, even if you would have been better than him at managing my investments, why would I leave a relationship with someone who is doing a great job and sending me business?”
The financial advisor thought he had laid out a good argument for why he could do what I did, only better. But he failed to lure David in, because my value to him went beyond my core service.
The Ultimate Tiebreaker
When David told me about this, I had a moment of clarity: If I was already adding value to my clients’ portfolios and to their businesses, how much more could I add if I made referring clients a priority and wove it into my services? The answer is a lot.
Proactively helping my clients grow their bottom lines generated a steady stream of referrals. My clients were happier and making more money because of me, and they were grateful.
Many of these referrals were fine with their current relationships – until they found they could have a great financial advisor who could also bring in clients. I call this the “Ultimate Tiebreaker,” and it has eliminated my competition in many instances.
It proved so successful, I focused my prospecting efforts on businesses that I believed I could be an advocate for. This led to numerous conversations with people who might not have engaged with me otherwise.
Many people have embraced the idea of becoming a media company as an extension of your primary business. In my experience becoming a business development company for your clients and prospects can be an even more powerful differentiator.
To get the ball rolling, start asking your clients how you can recognize an ideal client or opportunity for them. Tell them you are going to start contributing as an extra member of their business development team (assuming you think you can). Just going through this exercise with your clients will make you look like a hero because you are taking an even greater interest in their success.
Do you have clients or prospects you could refer business to? Could this break the tie with your competition and increase the number of people interested in your core services?