Slideshow 10 Ways Advisors Can Stand Out in the Crowd

  • April 23 2012, 10:53am EDT

10 Ways Advisors Can Stand Out in the Crowd

Investors have no shortage of people to go to for advice. In addition to hundreds of thousands of financial advisors, they can turn to financial websites, blogs and financial shows on television. With such fierce competition, how can advisors stand out from the crowd? Consultant Paul Werlin, president of Human Capital Resources, has a few ideas. In a story in our upcoming May issue, Werlin identifies 10 ways advisors can set themselves apart in a crowded market. Here’s a preview.

Focus on professional groups.

Focus your business on specific professions, such as teachers/professors, architects, accountants, attorneys or healthcare professionals. You’ll build your business by constantly networking, joining the appropriate associations and going to their events.

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Become a product expert.

Whether it’s a focus on bonds, variable annuities, exchange-traded funds or even mutual funds, having an area of expertise beyond the basics is a great way to differentiate yourself as an advisor.

Specialize in a niche area.

Specialize in an investment niche, such as retirement planning, tax-reduction strategies or working with small business. To specialize in a niche area, you need to build a high level of knowledge to be valuable to clients.

Target your market.

Target a specific group of people, such as women, an ethnic group, recently or about-to-be divorced people, and high-net-worth individuals. If you target an ethnic group, you need to speak the appropriate language.

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Get a professional designation.

Having a professional designation, such as a CFP, CLU or CMFC, can help separate you from the pack and give you a marketing advantage. But exercise caution, as there are dozens of designations out there but only a few are meaningful.

Use the media.

Use both old and new media, such as blogs and social networks. If you use social media, however, be sure to get proper approvals from your compliance department. Whatever you do, don’t overlook old technologies like investment shows on local radio stations or cable TV.

Become a “fix-it” specialist.

Many investors have lost faith in their investments and their advisors since the financial crisis. Now’s a great time to position yourself as “the” person to help get their investment plans back on track. Do comprehensive portfolio reviews and personal surveys on investor’s risk profiles, needs and goals to build and distinguish your business.

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Become an “asset gatherer.”

Don’t sell investments. Sell your ability to find, evaluate and monitor the performance of professional money managers. Most broker-dealers have asset management/allocation programs where FAs can choose asset classes and managers that meet their clients’ goals and needs. By focusing on asset gathering rather than asset investment, you put yourself on the same side as your client.

Teach a course on investing and investments.

Just about every town in America has a college, university or adult educational program where you could teach a course on the markets, investing and investments. If not, try the local library or even civic groups.

Get involved in your community.

Schools, charitable organizations and religious institutions need volunteers. Donating your time with no business expectations is not only rewarding but often leads to more business.

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Look for more detail in our print issue.

For more detail on all these points, read the upcoming May issue of Bank Investment Consultant. You’ll find Werlin’s article on page 37. In the meantime, you can contact him at