RIAs face disruptive trends in finding new clients

RIAs Face Disruptive Trends in Finding New Clients

FANG, RMDs and other Game Changers

There’s a change afoot in the way successful RIAs are finding new clients (see Bob Veres’ Your Next Wave of Clients).

There are 2 schools of thought on new sources: one group says more DIYers will begin to choose to use an advisor and the second group says clients will switch from other advisors (see Michael Kitces’ Death of Referrals). Your approach to each of these segments will be different.

Articulating and delivering on what makes you different and valuable to those prospective clients is a key first step. When over 80% of independent RIAs recently self-described themselves as holistic fiduciary planners, you know something has to change in the sea of sameness.

When you look at the money-in-motion from wire houses to independent RIAs over the next 5 years as independent RIAs increase their market share from 41% to 50% by 2020; selling your competitive value prop will become job #1.

You need to get on the new train along with the other successful advisors. Learn more about how to execute these changes on our next webinar with Stephanie Bogan. More on that later.

Seth Godin offers some key insights about how to accomplish these objectives.


“Getting someone to switch to you is totally different from getting someone who’s new to the market to start using the solution you offer.

Switching means:

Admitting I was wrong, and, in many cases, leaving behind some of my identity, because my tribe (as I see them) is using what I used to use.

So, if you want to get a BMW motorcycle owner to buy a Harley as his next bike, you have your work cut out for you.

He’s not eager to say, “well, I got emotionally involved with something, but I realized that there’s a better choice so I switched, I was wrong and now I’m right.”

And he’s certainly not looking forward to walking away from his own self-defined circle and enduring the loneliness as he finds a new circle.

Which leads to three things to think about:

  1. If you seek to grow quickly, realize that your best shot is to get in early, before people have made a commitment, built allegiances and started to engage in cognitive dissonance (since I picked this one, it must be good).
  2. If you are marketing to people who will have to switch to engage with you, do it with intention. Your pitch of, “this is very very good” is insufficient. Your pitch of, “you need something in this category” makes no sense, because I’m already buying in that category. Instead, you must spend the time, the effort and the money to teach me new information that allows me to make a new decision. Not that I was wrong before, but that I was under-informed.
  3. Ignore the tribal links at your peril. Without a doubt, “people like us do things like this,” is the most powerful marketing mantra available. Make it true, then share the news.

We invent a status quo every time we settle on something, because we’d rather tell ourselves that we made a good decision than live with the feeling that we didn’t.”1

The marketing strategies for finding new clients have changed.

Your marketing plans should reflect the goal of attracting potential clients who are not using an advisor as well as attracting clients who are currently working with an advisor.

Are you learning from FANG?

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google have changed the way your next wave of clients find their advisors, seek advice and interact with their advisors. This has profound consequences for your future marketing efforts.

So what is your strategy and what are those messages?

You need to be thinking that you’re a little like an ER. Clients come to you when they have a need.

What are major pain points of your ideal clients? If the target is the segment with the most money-in-motion, then boomers are still highly desireable. Here’s one really clear example of a pain point: This year the first baby boomers began Required Minimum Distributions.

New realities for them include starting RMDs, figuring out healthcare options, navigating Social Security choices and, most importantly, managing longevity risks. The most successful firms today have already started to create thought leadership within their niche. (This is an area where our team at Modernist Advisor is helping top advisors)

Stephanie Bogan, performance coach extraordinaire, offers an interactive session for a select group of top advisors. Those advisors will come away with the tools to transform these sales and marketing opportunities into tangible growth. Click here to view replay.


1. Unselling, Seth Godin, March 27, 2017

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