What Is Your Simple, Repeatable Statement of Value?
Oct 7, 2015 / By Maribeth Kuzmeski
The majority of advisors report that people want to talk with them less after they say what they do! Clearly, most could benefit from working on their answer to this most common of questions. This method makes it easy.
The biggest mistake made in marketing—and a reason that success can be so elusive—is to not clearly explain who you are and what you offer.
At a business function, when someone asks what you do, how do you answer? Many advisors simply say, “I’m a financial advisor.” Oftentimes, however, when that question is asked, because of misperceptions about the industry, your black and white answer actually causes people to want to talk with you less!
And we know this! For over 12 months, I have been asking groups of financial advisors how they answer this question and if their answer would have people wanting to talk with them more or less. Ninety-five % of the advisors answer with a response of “Less!”
The perplexing question I then have to ask: If you know what you say will get a negative response, why don’t you say something different?
Every firm needs to have a refined firm story to assist in marketing and client acquisition. But, there is a serious need to have a compelling opening line for your firm story. Without this, you may never get the chance to share your story. Even the classic elevator pitch, typically one to two minutes in length, is too long-winded for an informal initial introduction. In a world of ever-shorter attention spans, less is definitely more.
Solution: create an SRSV
A solution for compelling others to want to listen to you is to develop a 15-20-second Simple, Repeatable Statement of Value (SRSV). An SRSV is a statement that is easy to remember and shares some value directly for the person you are speaking with. Below is the four-step formula for building your own SRSV. Your SRSV may not include the answer to every question, and it doesn’t have to be compiled in this order.
SRSV builder questions
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Who do you work with (your niche)?
- What is unique/memorable about what you do or have done?
Example 1: “I work with family-owned businesses, helping them pay less in taxes and protect their assets. I specifically work with those with serious profit problems…big profits.”
Example 2: “I am a financial advisor and our firm works with wealthy families to help them mitigate risk and protect their legacy. We work with some of the wealthiest families in Chicago. Our business is built solely on introductions from our current clients and their advisors.
Example 3: “I am a financial advisor with XYZ firm. We specialize in working with corporate executives getting ready to retire from Abbott Labs.
All three of these are actual SRSVs that give a quick and reasonably clear initial description of what a person does. Each advisor shares with the listener who they specialize in working with—a powerful tool in framing your unique position. And all end with something unique.
In an SRSV, each word is chosen specifically. For instance, in Example 1, the advisor uses “family-owned businesses” as opposed to “small businesses” because the first is more specific. It seems many people have on-the-side “small businesses” today and that is not his target market. Also, people won’t expect the “big profits” statement, but instead assume immediately that profit problems are bad. Within a second they realize in a memorable way that “profit problems” mean something else. The statement is a targeted description of the clients they work with and would like to work with, and has been remarkable in producing qualified referrals.
By focusing on a short, memorable, and clear description of your company and your compelling benefits, you will find that it is easier to open the door to a stream of referrals and new clients. Taking the time to focus on your firm story and your SRSV messaging will bring a dramatic return on investment far superior to that of many other activities you do in your business.
Maribeth Kuzmeski, MBA, is the author of 7 books including And The Clients Went Wild! and The Connectors (John Wiley & Sons), is a collector of the strategies that are really working in financial services marketing and shares them in her online portal, Marketing Playbook for Financial Advisors. She is a frequent national media contributor and international speaker. Maribeth and her firm Red Zone Marketing, Inc., consult with some of the nations top advisors and agents as well as broker-dealers and insurance companies on strategic marketing planning, recruiting, and business growth.