In our previous blog, we met “Hank,” a long-time and satisfied client of financial advisor, Anita Patel. He had just let Anita know that he was retaining another advisor to help him plan for the transfer of his business to his children.
Hank had not been looking for a new financial advisor when Thomas Verstappen (also a financial advisor) offered to help Hank plan his business exit. When Hank hired Thomas to plan and implement his gradual exit from his business, he transferred his investment portfolio to Thomas. Hank wasn’t dissatisfied with Anita, he just felt it made sense to put all of his planning under one roof.
Hank’s actions are not at all unusual. I’d venture to guess that you too have built your practice by providing some benefit to prospective clients that their current advisors did not. We don’t have to make a guess about how this dynamic works for Exit Planners. We find that advisors with expertise in Exit Planning end up as the go-to advisor for planning for an owner's inevitable exit as well as for the advisor’s core practice.
Bottom line: Promoting your Exit Planning expertise is an effective marketing tool our Members use to acquire otherwise satisfied clients away from your competition.
Clients of another advisor are unlikely to leave that advisor and retain you unless you offer something they need and can’t otherwise get.
As Anita decided whether to acquire expertise in Exit Planning, she also wondered how Thomas had persuaded Hank to hire him. Like many advisors, Hank relied on scarcity and authority, two of the six principles of persuasion described by Robert Cialdini in his best-selling book Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion.
Thomas pointed out that his skills, knowledge, and experience in working with owners set his practice apart. He described his priorities: to ensure that owners leave their businesses when they want, for the money they need, and in the hands of the person they choose. Then Thomas presented the steps they would work on together to make sure those priorities would remain front and center of their planning work. Not incidentally, Thomas also described what Hank stood to lose if he did not plan. Thomas shared a story of an owner whose exit failed due to lack of planning and how that outcome could have been avoided had they followed the process. In other words, Thomas described his unique value proposition and how Hank would benefit from working with him.
Thomas began to establish himself as a credible, knowledgeable authority before his first meeting with Hank. He placed three glowing testimonials from satisfied Exit Planning clients on his website’s landing page, and he sent Hank a branded white paper describing the Exit Planning Process. How could Hank not hire Thomas? Your potential clients want to know that you’ve helped business owners just like them reach their goals, overcome challenges, and implement successful Exit Plans. That authority needs to come from past client testimonials, statistics, and data from the work you’ve done in your practice. Clients need peace of mind that you’ve successfully done this work before from a source other than you.
- Expertise in Exit Planning inevitably draws successful business owner clients to your core practice.
- Highlighting Exit Planning as an area of expertise demonstrates scarcity.
- Providing information about Exit Planning to prospective clients establishes authority.