Do you and your team know all the value you can bring to your clients’ lives?

Do your clients know all the value you do bring or can bring to their lives?

Consider these two thoughts:

  1. It is engaged clients who provide the most referrals/introductions. And 50% of the client engagement equation is the value connection you make with your clients.
  2. When formulating how you message your value to prospects, clients and centers of influence, it’s a great idea to take inventory of all the ways you bring value to your clients. Your value positioning statement (or elevator pitch) should pull from this complete way at looking at your value proposition.

Here’s how you can formulate your complete value proposition:

Working with your team (if you have one), make a list of all the big and little ways you create a value connection with your prospects and clients. Consider what you might add to your current value offering. Unless you’ve made the decision to be a highly focused specialist, you don’t want to be seen as a one-trick pony. You don’t want to be your client’s “Insurance Guy” or “Investments Gal.” You want to be seen as their trusted advisor.

Following is an incomplete list of areas of value to get you started with YOUR list.

Some of these items belong in the “Duh! I better be doing this” category.

Which one of these can you add to your value prop and what items might you add to this list?

1. Assessment of current financial status

You review a client’s current financial situation, including assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

2. Understanding clients’ financial goals

You conduct initial interviews to understand your clients’ short-term and long-term financial objectives.

3. Risk tolerance analysis

You evaluate the client’s risk tolerance to develop an investment strategy that aligns with their comfort level and financial goals.

4. Retirement planning

You help clients plan for retirement by assessing their retirement goals and suggesting investment strategies.

5. Tax planning

You assist in minimizing the tax burden by recommending tax-efficient investment strategies and financial decisions. (I see more and more advisors taking on this role in their clients’ lives with someone on staff or a strategic partnership.)

6. Budgeting (Everyone hates budgeting!)

You provide assistance in creating and maintaining a budget, helping clients manage their income and expenses effectively.

7. Debt management or elimination

You offer guidance on managing and reducing debt, including strategies for loan repayment and consolidation. Per Albert Einstein: “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”

In my humble opinion, helping clients save and grow assets is incomplete work if you don’t also examine their debt.

8. Investment planning

You develop an investment portfolio that fits the client’s risk tolerance and financial goals.

9. Estate planning

You help clients plan for estate taxes and inheritance details, often working with legal professionals.

10. Insurance planning

You analyze existing insurance coverage and suggest any necessary additions or changes. When my friends and colleagues ask me to recommend an advisor, one thing I always say is, “Find someone who is educated and experienced in both investments and insurance. One without the other will be incomplete advice.”

11. Education planning

You aid in developing saving strategies for future education costs, such as for a child’s college education.

12. Cash flow analysis

You monitor and analyze cash flow, ensuring income exceeds expenses and identifying areas for improvement.

13. Creating a financial plan

You compile all the gathered information into a comprehensive financial plan that outlines strategy and steps to reach the client’s goals.

14. Implementing the financial plan

You assist clients in executing the recommended strategies within the financial plan.

15. Continuous monitoring of the financial plan

You regularly review and adjust the financial plan based on changes in the client’s life, economic trends, or financial laws and regulations. A financial plan is a “living plan” that that should be referred to and adjusted regularly (not just put on a shelf).

16. Saving and investment monitoring

You track the performance of the investments in the client’s portfolio and suggest changes when necessary.

17. Providing market and economic updates

You keep clients informed about market conditions and how these conditions might affect their investments.

18. Regular client meetings

You conduct regular meetings to review progress, make adjustments, and address any new goals or changes in circumstances. TIP: For most clients, once per year is inadequate to do holistic work and build a loyal relationship.

19. Philanthropic planning

You help clients who wish to donate to charities by recommending tax-efficient giving strategies.

20. Liaising with other professionals

You coordinate with other professionals like tax consultants, attorneys and estate planners for a holistic approach to a client’s financial health.

21. Emergency planning

You guide clients in preparing for financial emergencies, advising on the establishment of emergency funds and other safeguards.

22. Behavioral coaching

You counsel clients on maintaining discipline in their financial habits, especially when it comes to investing, to avoid making decisions based on emotions or short-term market fluctuations.

23. Keeping up with financial laws and regulations

You continuously educate yourself on changes in laws and regulations that could affect your clients’ financial situations.

24. Succession planning

For business owners, you help in planning the transition of the business to the next generation or preparing for its sale.

25. Social Security optimization

You help clients determine the best time to start taking Social Security benefits in order to maximize the total amount they receive over their lifetime.

26. Health care planning

You assist in planning for health care costs, including potential long-term care expenses in retirement.

27. Divorce financial planning

In cases of marital separation, you guide clients through the financial implications and decisions involved in a divorce.

28. Life transition planning

You guide clients through major life transitions like career changes, relocation or the loss of a spouse, providing financial stability.

29. Charitable trust management

You can help establish and manage charitable trusts for those clients who are interested in significant philanthropic giving.

30. Family financial education

You can provide financial education for clients’ children or other family members to ensure financial literacy is passed on to the next generation.

31. Financial gerontology

Some advisors specialize in financial planning with a focus on the unique needs and considerations of older adults, such as issues related to retirement, health care, estate planning and survivorship.

32. Sustainable and ethical investing

You can help clients align their investments with their personal values, focusing on companies that prioritize environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

33. Business sale planning

You help business owners who are looking to sell their business, providing guidance on valuation, finding buyers and tax-efficient sale strategies.

34. Expat financial planning

Some advisors help clients living abroad navigate the financial complexities associated with having assets, income and/or expenses in multiple countries, including understanding and planning for the tax implications.

What did I leave out? What would you add to this list? What might you add to our value offering to set yourself apart from other advisors and/or just serve your clients even better?

Two suggested action steps

  1. Make your own comprehensive list. Leave no “value stone” unturned. Involve your entire team and maybe your client advisory board, if you have one.
  2. Share your list with prospects, clients and centers of influence. Make sure you and everyone in your world grasp your full value.

Jan 9, 2024 / By Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE