The Kitces Report has made available for download its article entitled, “Networking Tactics To Develop Relationships With Local Small Business Owners.” A portion of the Executive Summary is as follows:
For years, independent financial advisors (particularly those who offered holistic and comprehensive financial planning services) had a relatively easy time differentiating themselves from the vast majority of others in the industry by emphasizing the breadth and depth of their financial planning services (as contrasted with competitors that were still primarily in the investment or insurance product distribution business). However, in recent years, the asset management and product placement facets of the business have become increasingly commoditized, and an increasing number of advisors have also come to understand that the real value that they provide for their clients isn’t in the products themselves, but in the comprehensive advice that needed to implement those products (or not). Which, ironically, means more clients than ever actually get qualified financial planning advice… and it’s harder than ever for those who give quality advice to differentiate themselves from other advisors offering essentially identical services.
Which means that, moving forward, identifying and nurturing a clear and distinct niche will only become even more of an indispensable differentiator for advisors (and eventually, might become the only real differentiator!?). Yet, for many, the real challenge isn’t in choosing a niche, but in actually reaching potential clients in a particular target market… or at least enough of them to start building a practice around. And while few advisors are naturals when it comes to networking, the good news is that it is a skill that can be learned, and that there are several proactive steps that any advisor can take in order to connect with members of their niche, which are based on the same principles of any good networking strategy.