Steve Jobs to Those in the Financial Advice Business

Remember the Apple advertising campaign which encouraged us to “Think Different?”

So, how can you “Think Different” in the advisory field to stand out from the pack and attract more clients and assets?

Conventional product development in recent decades has focused on incremental progress.

Product managers are taught to survey customers and find out what additional features they would like from the products they currently own. They focus on incremental improvements or expanding their sales by taking existing products and moving into the “next logical” territory or market.

Steve Jobs Generally Focused on Re-Invention by Asking:

  • “What should this product really be?”
  • “What would people really want. if it were available, that would re-define this product category?”

He was relentless in his pursuit of perfection and not afraid to borrow ideas from other industries or introduce new paradigms.

And the results were stunning, especially in the last 10 years of his active business career with Apple.

So we ask the question, “What advice might Steve Jobs give to those in the Financial Advice business?” Especially to those who want to take their practices to the next level and re-invent their businesses over the next decade.

He would probably start by encouraging advisors to “Think Different.” Reinvention requires new ideas rather than seeking incremental improvement. We need to look outside what is common in the industry to make meaningful change.

For example, many advisors are encouraged to start their growth path by asking:

  • “What does my current client base look like?”
  • “How are others in the industry improving their practices?”
  • “What are the most popular marketing strategies in the industry today?”

Jobs, instead, would likely ask a different set of questions. He might encourage advisors to ask:

  • “What do you want your practice and client base to look like over the long-term?”
  • “How are other industries, practices, or businesses growing and re-inventing their practices?”
  • “What marketing strategies are likely to work best for my target market and practice?”

Independent advisors and RIAs have a tremendous opportunity to be innovators and design their practices and communications around a specific set of clients and experiences.

If you want to set your practice apart in what marketer and author Joe Calloway calls a “Category of One,” start by “Thinking Different.”

Or to use Jobs’ words from the PBS “One Last Thing” documentary in speaking about the world in which you live, “You can embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark on it.”

And to paraphrase this advice for advisors, You can build your practice to give others a “Category of One” experience.

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About Bob Hanson

Principal, Client Attraction System for Financial Advisors
Bob Hanson has worked with hundreds of financial advisors, professionals, and companies to drive documented results of 300% in new prospect flow within a week, a 70% increase in annual income within 12 months, and a boost in sales of 5 times for a firm in a little over 36 months. In addition, Bob is a Webinar specialist, a White Paper expert, and an experienced Centers of Influence strategist who helps marketers tap the full potential of these powerful marketing tools.

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