The ClientWise Blog

Financial Advisors: What the Rich Say They Want and How to Help Them

Posted by Chris Holman on Feb 28, 2013, 12:19:00 PM

For successful financial advisors, the importance of a good value proposition cannot be overstated. We have discussed this at length…here and here. I recently bumped into a value proposition that was devastatingly simple and effective. (And the financial advisor has granted permission to share it)


Here it is…



“I help organize and simplify the complicated and busy financial lives of people like you.”



What this financial advisor was seeing in his clients was a gap between their Aspirations…and their Actions. On the one hand, they desired simplicity, or said so anyway. On the other hand, their actions were completely the opposite.

[Recent research corroborates the on-the-ground findings of this financial advisor. In a recent survey of affluent investors, 55 percent responded affirmatively to this statement, “I am trying very hard to simplify my life”, up from 48 percent in the prior year.]

What this advisor was seeing was his clients DESIRE for simplification that was not supported by their actions and behaviors. Perhaps, his affluent clients didn’t know how to simplify. Or they might be unwilling to make the associated trade-offs that might seem mandatory in today’s “always on” lifestyles. For example, this advisor has also observed that every one of his priority clients uses an iPad or tablet and were active users of social media…despite their stated aspiration to ‘opt out’ and simplify their lives. 

As part of his value proposition, this advisor has become relentless in helping his clients simplify their financial lives, including eliminating clutter, organizing accounts, and streamlining how they manage money.

Some of these services include:

  • As part of the new client onboarding process, the advisor delegates all of the simplification procedures to his sales assistant, who schedules an initial one to two hour session with the new client to review and implement.
  • The team gently persuades (insists?) that all clients be as efficient as possible with their day-to-day money management. This includes the use of direct deposit, automated recurring bills, online banking, automatic savings, going paperless, etc.
  • Requiring ( Yes…requiring) that all clients consolidate accounts with his team. Multiple accounts with various financial institutions are the bane of existence for clients who desire greater simplicity. Consolidating all accounts in one place reduces mail and paperwork, avoids certain fees, ensures that assets are properly diversified, reduces portfolio risk, and makes it easier to monitor the entire portfolio.
  • Helping clients get their papers under control. This includes providing his clients with a central filing system that they can use at home for all of the brokerage, bank, insurance, and other important financial records. In one case, the advisor and the sales assistant spent an entire day at the home office of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company…helping him organize his entire financial filing system.


One Final Point

Interestingly, very little of this advisor’s value proposition involves ‘sophisticated’ financial strategies. Indeed, his investment approach is quite straightforward and simple. They have found that there is a real opportunity to help very affluent clients manage the trade-offs of their complicated financial lives, and achieve the simplification that they aspire to, and desire. 


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Topics: Marketing Approach