At a recent advisor meeting, I talked about how to position yourself as a Retirement Advisor. One advisor commented that most of the work that he does is in the retirement area, and he assumed everyone knows that a professional financial advisor would be able to help people with retirement…
Although you know how important it is for an advisor to provide information and advice to retirement clients, positioning is founded on the assertion that it is equally important for an advisor to be seen to be providing retirement advice.
The Retirement Advisor brand refers to who you are — not what you do. It is your purpose, the reason you are in business and your “why.” In fact, your brand refers to how your positioning manifests itself in your website, collateral material, your discovery process and how you describe your value proposition.
On the surface, most advisors advertise the same thing about retirement — usually income or cash-flow planning, estate planning and asset allocation strategies.
But your brand should set you apart as an advisor who takes a different approach to retirement, one who seeks to provide advice, coaching and services that most advisors do not provide on the key areas that are impacted as we age like lifestyle, work, health, family and legacy.
The 6 Tools of your Brand
Your brand must be evident in everything that you do, from the setup of your office and the people who work there to the experience you create and your collateral. Here are the ways that you can reinforce it with your clients, prospects and Centers of Influence (COIs):
- Your value proposition
Address how you help people in retirement rather than how you help manage financial issues. Your brand needs to express that people are the focus of your practice and that money is not what you do but how you do it.
- Your website
When people go online to check you out, they are experiencing your brand. Your website should reflect who you are, your story and how you help to meet the emotional needs of people in retirement. Use pictures and effective use of color to tell a story, and use words sparingly. Think of your website as an infomercial on the different approach you take as a Retirement Advisor.
Your website can also be a “go-to” resource for your clients, with links to community resources and other sites on aging. In short, your website can be the embodiment of your distinct approach to retirement planning.
- Your discovery process
I view your discovery process as one of the most important vehicles to share your brand. This is your opportunity to display your focus on people. Use the discovery process to help your clients understand and articulate the life issues, concerns and opportunities that they see now and in the future. Loring Ward’s 360 Discovery process was designed with that goal in mind and will help you reinforce your brand in a client meeting.
You can also use a client rediscovery approach to have conversations with current clients. Help them continue to redefine what retirement means to them, and how to plan for the changes that inevitably take place.
- Collateral material
Your retirement clients should be able to access written information on the major aspects of retirement that they want to understand, for example:
- Medicare and Social Security — pick up pamphlets from a local center
- Caregiving — check out sites like AARP and Caregiving.com for materials
- Advanced or long-term care — contact care facilities in your area
- Health and family issues — look for articles that address senior aging, generational planning or information on health from AARP and other retirement sites
- Conduct a COI campaign
Let everyone in your community who serves retirement clients know that you have chosen to take a different approach to later-life advice. In fact, define what later-life advice is and how you can help them. Find ways to work with the COI to help maturing clients through joint seminars, contributing to each other’s newsletters, education days, etc.
- Create an education strategy to take your brand to your marketplace
If you want to be seen focusing on people rather than money, your education strategy is a great way to “walk the talk.” Retirement clients are looking for information on this next phase of life and many may think you can help them financially but perhaps not with life issues. Your education program could bridge that gap by helping clients see the life context of the financial decisions they need to make.
Make your brand as a Retirement Advisor and Coach clear and evident, and tap into Loring Ward’s resources to help you get you there!