The Big Mistake Every Wealth Firm is Making


I’ll throw you a challenge.

I’ll make it super easy for you too.

I’ll give you blurbs from the websites of a few really top-notch wealth management firms.

You don’t need to tell me which blurb references which firm.

You’ll just have to tell me where one firm ends and the next one begins – or how many different firms are represented, if you like.

It’s a bit like going shopping and figuring out all the storefronts you see so you can decide which ones might carry the kind of stuff you like.

It’s only reasonable that you should be able to tell where one ends and the next one begins.

So you don’t skip 5 doors because you think they all have the same kind of (uninteresting) stuff only to realize you missed 4 completely interesting ones that carried the exact wares you were looking for.


Here we go…

  • We truly put clients first.
  • We provide deep, comprehensive financial planning.
  • Our employees act like owners because they are owners
  • We provide objective advice and comprehensive guidance across all aspects of our clients’ financial lives. Our goal is to simplify the complexities of wealth so that you can pursue and enjoy the opportunities it enables.
  • We place client interests first through the complete independence of our expertise
  • Our careful research is known for its practical engagement of the most important issues investors face — presented in clear, concise publications.
  • We build and manage custom-tailored portfolios based on the unique goals and needs of each of our clients.
  • Personal attention and service are the hallmarks of our firm.
  • We strive to protect the integrity of our clients’ portfolios, growing wealth over the long term rather than aiming for short-term performance targets.
  • Our highly personal approach to investment management blends disciplined strategy, insightful research, and active oversight—and has yielded decades of success.
  • As independent advisors, we put you first, always.
  • We provide personalized, objective advice to build and maintain a secure foundation of wealth for your family.


The big mistake wealth firms make


How did you do?

Could you tell where one firm ends and the next one starts?

Could you pick one of these firms blind-folded if you knew nothing else about the firm?

Guess what?

Your prospects won’t be able to either.

Although I picked the verbage from five randomly selected firms all having well over $1 billion in assets under management, there was no way I could tell which firm was suited to what kind of client.

Why Your Website Matters

Even if all your prospects come from personal contacts, referrals and warm connections, your website is the first port of call for any prospect who’s serious about doing business with you.

And what they see at first glance will instantly tell them whether they want to do business with you, whether they consciously recognize that fact or not.

Of course, they’ll find out who your individual team players are, what they bring to the table, and their many enviable accomplishments and credentials.

But the biggest unspoken question in every prospect’s mind is this:

“What can you do for my particular problem to go away?”

How can I know you’ll actually deliver?”

The sooner you answer those two questions, simply, clearly, and unambiguously, the less work you will have to do spending precious time convincing them, or even unearthing exactly what their burning problem is.

But you don’t have to follow the herd and get lost in this mass of undifferentiated claims.

To Stand Out, Just Flip a Switch

To stand out instantly in this blinding landscape of sameness you just need to flip a switch – from “We” to “You”:

  • Focus on what they are trying to fix, not on why you are the best thing since sliced bread
  • Show them you understand viscerally the disturbance they’re experiencing in terms they understand
  • Give them a calm and tangible rationale as to why they can trust you to help them

Doing this effectively requires you to turn your orientation to outside-in, and speak entirely in the language of the client’s reality.

What Doctors Can Teach the Wealth Industry

How can you do this easily and effectively?

Think like a doctor.

Big mistake wealth firms make

Photo by Online Marketing 

What does a doctor do?

  1. They ask you where it hurts
  2. They confirm your symptoms and your subjective experience of them.
  3. They objectively tell you how they’re going to proceed to fix it.

Notice they don’t make any claims whatsoever of fixing your issue .

You can do the same with your approach.

Start with the problem:

You keep the entire conversation on what brought someone to you in the first place, i.e., on their problem.

Of course, there are as many reasons as you have prospects coming to you for help in the first place.

But I’m willing to bet they’re all experiencing them in only a few ways:

  • A need for validation or reassurance
  • A search for objective facts that will give them direction
  • Help with taking constructive action

Instead of leading with a solution, lead with the problem they’re struggling with.

By doing so, you’ll instantly establish solid common ground that gets their undivided attention.

(If you want an example, go to our homepage)

Show them you understand

Just like a physical illness, financial disturbances also generate multiple consequences. Someone going through a divorce, for example, may be experiencing fear, anxiety, a sudden insecurity about their lack of financial knowledge, or all of the above. 

You likely have a wealth of experience dealing with these effects from your prior experience.

Talk about what they’re likely to be experiencing, and importantly, why that’s normal and expected.

You can focus on financial or non-financial, near-term or long-term effects – it doesn’t really matter.

The key is to keep the light firmly focused on their experience.

Show them exactly what you’re going to do to help

You don’t need to offer testimonials or portfolio performance numbers.

You can talk extensively about the actual tactical things your firm has put in place to deliver superior value to your clients. (You have those, right?)

But here’s the key – tack every one of these “features” to a benefit that clients care about.

For example:

  • We check every client’s portfolio automatically every two weeks and compare it with your upcoming cash needs – so you’re never caught unprepared when the big bill comes due”
  • We recommend investment themes – so you can not only focus on growing your money, but of investing in areas you care about as well”
  • We know investment communications can be boring – so we not only send you the details, but call you every single month to personally explain what’s going on with your portfolio. So you’ll always have the opportunity to bring up whatever’s on your mind easily and without effort”

To do this well, ask an intern or pretend you’re training brand new employee.

Systematically go through all the processes, checks and components of your service delivery package.

Then think through why you instituted these, and how the client is better off as a result.

This simple exercise can yield a treasure trove of client-centric material that will make it incredibly easy to explain exactly what you do, how you can help, and why they should pick you.

Even your compliance officer will smile.


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