Identifying Your Unique Offering

What makes you unique?

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shadow-113391_640Many would say that financial services is, and is becoming more so, a commodity business. I disagree. For every investment situation that presents itself, for every market fluctuation, there are varied opinions and prognostications expressed with absolute authority. And, as often as not, many are off the mark.

The ultimate factor forming and deciding your uniqueness is you! You have unique knowledge, education, experiences, behavior, personality, skills, attitudes, habits and much more. And you bring those resources to bear on every situation you encounter. This would explain the differing points of view expressed by different people. In the same way you like some people and others not so much, surprise, surprise, other people feel the same way about you. The objective is to get absolutely clear on who you are and the kinds of people you enjoy, and only do business with them. People who understand and appreciate your value and who you are as a person. People who mesh well with you, and enjoy you.

For every given set of financial circumstances, different financial advisors will approach those circumstances differently and propose differing investment approaches. You have to decide which circumstances match your investment style. Some clients may want an action oriented investment strategy, while others prefer a calmer, stay the course, long term approach.

When you match up who you are and how you mesh with different people, with your investment beliefs and style, you get a clear picture of your package, and from that who you should have as clients given their beliefs, style and who they are. When there is a calm, smooth communication exchange and positive outcomes, you’ve got a terrific client relationship. When it’s edgy and there are disappointments and unsettling feelings, it’s not a good fit. This client would be better served working with someone else, rather than you changing who you are to make the fit better.

If you were to review your relationship with a specific list of people, with some being clients, some business contacts and a few friends, you would be able to outline for each person what the similarities are and where you have differences and how well the two of you mesh together, or perhaps complement one another. Then take this information and distill it down into matches and mismatches. Clearly, you should be looking for matches when evaluating a potential client, business or friendship relationship.

From this ‘match’ information you should have a comprehensive outline of who you are and how to describe yourself to potential clients. In addition, from this information you can develop some things to look for and questions to ask when evaluating a potential relationship.

The bottom line is to be able to uniquely articulate who you are, your beliefs and approach and the profile of the kinds of people you best work with.

Consider using the: who, what, where, when and how criteria to articulate your uniqueness. Who you are, what you do and for whom, when do you do it and where, and how do you deliver your expertise. Play with some language to crisply and cleanly describe your uniqueness and send it to me. I’ll give you specific feedback.

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