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What Makes Your Firm Stand Out?

By Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management

Photo credit: Getty Images

What makes your firm stand out? If you can answer this question— or better yet, if your clients can answer it for you—it gives you a vital edge over the competition. But it isn’t an easy question to answer, especially when more than 300,000 other personal financial advisors in the U.S. are asking the same one.

Define Your Competition Clearly

Thinking about those other 300,000 advisors, however, just makes the question more difficult than it needs to be. In reality, geographic location narrows down your competition considerably.

You can narrow it further by developing a niche market. See if your existing book offers suggestions for a focus area—members of a specific generation, industry, social group, etc. Or, do your own interests lead you to focus on a certain market segment?

Targeting a specific market is effective because a large slice of a small pie is just as good as a small slice of a large pie. And, having a niche makes the answer to the question of why you are the best easier: because you have more targeted experience.

Don’t Rely on Adjectives

The most serious problem in finding the answer to what makes your firm stand out is looking for it in words...a series of just the right sincere and convincing words.

You may have tried describing your firm through the perfectly reasonable adjectives of “trustworthy, competent, dedicated, hard-working.” But, so have the other advisors...because those are the basic qualities investment advisors are expected to have. They don’t make you unique—they just make you qualified.

Focus On What’s Important

An effective way to help make your firm stand out is to worry less about who and what you are and really focus on your clients. Look through their eyes and think with their brains:

  • What resources don’t they have now that could help them gain the kind of lives they want?
  • How can you make it easier for them to meet their goals, given that they are unique human beings with individual strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do they even want in the first place?

Care deeply about that and your answer will write itself. After all, what’s the more effective recommendation? “Try my advisors, they are trustworthy and competent.” Or, “Try my advisors, they’ve helped me live the life I always wanted!” Passionate advisors create passionate client-advocates.

Most financial advisors do the same basic types of services, and that’s alright. You don’t need to reinvent the financial industry to shine. If you can offer your clients service that’s more responsive to what’s important to them, that can make your firm stand out.

Leverage Resources

It’s time to Be Invincible. At Goldman PFM, we are committed to forging bonds with service-driven advisors to give them more power to help their clients live their best lives. We apply every resource of imagination, methodology, and technology that we can find to this goal.

Because not all firms and client bases are alike, we offer multiple ways for your firm to work with us.

For Financial Professional Use only. This document and any attached materials are the sole property of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (United Capital) and are not to be used by you other than to evaluate United Capital’s service and/or products. United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), is an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiaries of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization. This document and any attached materials are not to be disseminated, distributed, or otherwise conveyed throughout your organization to employees without a need for this information or to any third parties without the express written permission of United Capital.

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Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management

United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), is an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiaries of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization. Investing involves risk and clients should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions.

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