Start with Your Clients’ Goals and Tailor Plans to Reach Them

Knowing your customer is also how you can really help them with a tailored approach to their goals. An advisor needs to truly take the time to understand the needs of their clients and then present data that is relevant to their specific life journey – that’s how you win clients!

Know Your Customer, or KYC, guidelines in financial services requires that professionals make an effort to verify the identity, suitability, and risks involved with maintaining a business relationship. Knowing your customer is also how you can really help them with a tailored approach to their goals. An advisor needs to truly take the time to understand the needs of their clients and then present data that is relevant to their specific life journey – that’s how you win clients!

Challenger Selling Behaviors Diagram - Gartner

The challenge of working with an individual or couple and convincing them that a comprehensive plan is in their best interest, is no simple sale. Add to that the fact you want them to potentially pay for the plan makes it that much more difficult to establish the value of what you are trying to provide. So, why the Challenger Sales method?

How Tailoring Helps You Know Your Customer

Tailoring is the second step in The Challenger Sales methodology. The original concept of tailoring your message had to do with getting consensus of all the stakeholders involved in the buying decision–that makes good sense. However, that consensus was focused on tailoring your message to each individual–this is where The Challenger Sale got it wrong.

In their follow up book, The Challenger Customer, authors Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon discover in their follow up research that tailoring to specific individuals could in fact disrupt your sales process.  Why? A married couple will debate a specific plan or proposal based on their internal desires and not the key objectives they mutually agreed upon as a couple. This presents a challenge and more work for you when you try to sell one way to the husband and another way to the wife.

Tailoring is focusing on the key objectives or mission of your clients as a couple or business. Don’t sell to individuals in this case. Keep in mind to stay focused on the mission of a business when working with the business owner. Present how your plan will help the business achieve its mission.

3 Steps to Tailoring Your Plan

How do you know if you are tailoring correctly with your clients? To do it correctly, follow these 3 steps.

  1. Focus on mutually agreed upon client objectives.
  2. Consistently deliver relevant insights and education that are specific to these objectives.
  3. Keep the message simple yet thought provoking enough to reframe how your client sees the value in what you are sharing with them.

As an example, you probably have gotten to know the client’s interests, hobbies, family, and important pieces of their story so your messaging should tie back to the value of financial planning as it relates to this information.  Keep in mind each of your clients have different interests at retirement. Get laser focused on what those interests are. Some clients want to retire to own a business. Others want to be near the grand kids. Others want to travel the world. Whatever their goals, focus on them and show them how your tailored plan will get them there.

A disciplined focus on developing your own unique insights, understanding how your clients buy, and working with them moves your relationship forward and leads to more success for them and for you.

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