Six tips on how to differentiate yourself from the rest
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
It's not enough just to meet client expectations anymore. You have to do more than that. Here are six tips that will help you exceed your client's expectations and differentiate yourself from the rest.
1. Build trust. Every other financial professional is trying to build rapport by using common ground techniques and we all know what those are. People know when someone is trying to make small talk to find out what their interests are in order to develop some kind of rapport before they try and sell them something. Bill Bachrach, author of Values-Based Financial Planning, has a great quote, "People do things for people they trust they won't do for anyone else." You want to build trust, which is the foundation for long-term loyal relationships. People can like you and not want to do business with you. People do business with people they trust.
2. Be enthusiastic. Are you happy to be alive today? If not, what has to happen for you to be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do every day? When you love what you do, people notice. Your enthusiasm and excitement rubs off on clients, and that creates referral business for you. Be the person your clients look forward to hearing from. Put a smile on your face and get excited.
3. Observe the Golden Rule/Platinum Rule. The Golden Rule basically says, treat your clients the way you would expect to be treated. The Platinum rule says to treat your clients the way they expect and want to be treated, not how you expect to be treated (because it might be different). Help your clients get what they want and need based on what is really important to them.
4. Be a team player. Be a team player in as many groups as you can. I'm not talking about every group on the planet; I'm talking about getting involved in the groups that makes the most sense and provide a return on your investment and time. You have an interest in what they do or stand for, and your target clients also have the same interest/involvement.
5. Ask good questions and listen. Knowledge is the key to personal and professional growth, and both are vital to sales success. You won't learn anything by talking, but you can find out a lot by listening. Ask clients what is important to them, and gain insight into their values. Help them to achieve what is important and you will be successful.
6. Show your gratitude. Remember to say "please" and "thank you." It sometimes seems like a small gesture, but it is very important in our fast-paced world. Thank them for their business, both personally and with hand written notes. Even if they did not buy from you right now, thank them for their interest and for spending time with you.