We spend an inordinate amount of time in this industry training advisors how to craft statements: elevator pitches, unique value proposition (UVP) statements, mission statements, vision statements, etc.
But we spend virtually no time teaching advisors how to use those statements to help shape and lead their practices.
Effective UVP, mission and vision statements should be used as guideposts for language, messaging, actions and activities within the practice. They should be clear and succinct and should appear uniformly across all marketing assets, including print material, social profiles and your website.
Here are several ways in which you can ensure that you are using what you have written to shape and guide your practice and team.
How to Know if You Are Delivering on Your UVP
Let's say your UVP statement reads something like this: "We truly get to know our clients. We tailor our service specifically to their needs. Our clients always feel cared for and understood every time they engage with us."
In order for your practice to be aligned with your value statement, you'd need to be doing things like:
- Providing clients with a personalized welcome gift and handwritten note immediately after onboarding them.
- Surveying clients to ensure you are capturing their unique preferences on things like content, events and communication.
- Recognizing important moments in clients' lives, including their birthdays and anniversaries, and critical milestones, like the day they hit their savings goals or retire.
- Providing clients with a DISC communication assessment to ensure you are presenting to them in a way that Is aligned with their style.
- Allowing clients to co-create the meeting agenda before their review and add topics that are relevant to them.
As you reflect on your own value proposition language, consider how you actually deliver that value. Ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- In what ways does our value proposition manifest in the practice?
- How do we ensure clients are feeing cared for at each stage of the client service process?
The answers you come up with may surprise you. If you are struggling to answer the questions, use this as an opportunity to refine your processes.
How to Ensure You are Fulfilling Your Mission and Vision
Your mission statement answers the question, "Why do you do what you do each day?" It might read something like, "Our mission is to ensure that clients have the tools and support they need to feel financial security for multiple generations."
Your vision statement, on the other hand, underscores what you are trying to achieve on a much larger scale. It may sound something like: "We believe every person should have access to objective, quality advice."
A firm in true alignment with the above statements would:
- Have flexibility in terms of what they do and what they charge. (After all, different generations have different needs.)
- Be objective in how they deliver advice. In other words, there would be no internal incentives to do one thing over another.
- Be highly tech enabled and maintain a strong social and digital presence.
- Use tools that encourage cross-collaboration across different stakeholders.
Now, consider your own mission and vision statements.
And then consider the decisions you've made over the past several years around your practice: how you've invested back in the business, what tools you use, how you charge.
Is there complete alignment with your mission and vision?
In order to find out, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- Is our service model and fee structure conducive to serving the people we want to serve?
- Is our language and messaging aligned with the communication styles of the people we serve?
- Are we on the right social platforms?
- Are we using the best possible technology and tools, at our disposal, to serve clients?
- Are we at the right firm, considering what we want to build?
You may find the answers come easily and with lots of conviction. You may also find that you need to reevaluate the way you're building …
These exercises can be incredibly helpful in many ways. They can help you clarify and strengthen your commitment to clients, create greater synergy among your team and provide something tangible to show/tell prospects when they ask how you serve clients.
Make it a habit of doing these "check-ins" continuously. Semi-annual sessions to review UVP, mission and vision statements can only serve to strengthen your team, firm and relationships with clients.
Penny Phillips is the co-founder and president of Journey Strategic Wealth.