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When Are You The One To Call?

FedEx used to be “The one to call when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” That was their brand.

For a while, when you did a Google search for “gecko”, GEICO would appear first—even before the definition of the word or description of the animal.

The gecko has become a major part of the company’s branding.

In any financial or insurance practice, branding is a primary way to attract your ideal client. It is an expression of your unique identity to arouse interest in the kind of people you most want to work with.

But branding isn’t just about having a catchy tag line or slogan about how you’re different from your competitors. It’s about getting your ideal clients or prospects to see that what you offer is exactly the solution they’ve been searching for.

If you meet someone and tell him during your conversation that you’re a financial advisor who works with medical professionals to help them avoid taxes in retirement, you’re engaging in direct marketing. You’re talking about your brand to someone who doesn’t know it.

If a stranger comes across the room and says, “I hear that you are the advisor to see if I’m a medical professional and I want to avoid taxes in retirement,” you’ve successfully branded your business.

But to brand yourself and your work seamlessly, you need to take three preliminary steps:

1. Identify an ideal client, target market, or niche. Who do you most want to work with? You will have more success if you become an expert in the needs of one particular narrow target market: federal workers, “Boomers”, young families, entrepreneurs, landscaping contractors, teachers, retirees, etc. Aim at one target with a high-powered rifle, rather than shooting up hundreds of pounds of buckshot in the hope of hitting something.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll only work with people who fit the target. Work with anyone you can help. It means don’t spend time, energy, and money on activities that aren’t aimed at your target.

2. Identify one “core need” that your ideal clients often have that you can help them with. What are their biggest problems or dreams? They may have many, but lead with one. Sometimes, the core need creates the target. If you’re selling final expense, employee benefits, or college planning, your market is defined for you.

3. Design your unique solutions. Why will these people with that need choose you to work with? Why not your competitors? What’s unique about you? Having a specialty and being an expert in it will make you more appealing than being another white crayon in a box of white crayons. You’ll be the only red crayon in the box.

Knowing WHY you work with this ideal client on this desire or need can be compelling.

And how you package your services can also make you unique.

In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote: “If you can, be first. If you can’t be first [in an existing category for a particular client], create a new category in which you can be first.”

So, decide who you are, who you serve, and how…and then, keep REACHING… 

P.S. I’ll leave you with this question:

When are you the one advisor to call for a particular kind of client?

If you have an answer, send it to me.

16 Disciplines

I suppose it would have been more fun if I called them 16 “hot tubs” for advisors, or less intimidating if I called them “practices,” but after 17 years of working with and observing how the most successful advisors, it's clear that there are branches of knowledge involved. 


Practice these simple 16 disciplines daily and watch how quickly and easily your practice grows.

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