Using “Wedge Topics” to Pick up New Clients
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I was a speaker at a seminar last week and the speaker before me did a half-day seminar on using “wedge topics” to pick up new clients. By the title of his presentation I pretty much knew what he was going to talk about and I thought I’d be bored. However, to my surprise, he did a very good job of explaining the Wedge to attendees and I actually learned something myself.
As a side note, the speaker had the strangest presentation style I’d seen in 20+ years. He was a seasoned speaker but he seemed bored and he appeared to entertain himself by either picking fights with attendees or making condescending statements to them. Even though a good portion of the audience was put off by his style, the substance was still good and I thought it would make for a good newsletter.
What is a Wedge Topic?-a Wedge topic is one an advisor would use to drive a wedge between a potential client (prospect) and their current advisor. I 100% agreed with the speaker that in order for advisors to pick up a new client, that client most of the time will need to fire or get rid of their current advisor.
What did the seminar try to teach advisors?-the seminar mainly focused on trying to get advisors to understand what their own wedge topics are and how to use them when communicating with potential clients.
The speaker asked over and over this very simple question to attendees….what do you do that is unique and is something that the prospect’s current advisor is not providing (or not providing well).
For a few hours the advisors in attendance were slow to have the light bulb go on. They kept putting forth answers like:
-I offer personal investment risk assessments
-I providing income for life planning
-I help clients avoid losing money in the stock market
-I have a five step process to help clients with their financial plans
While the above responses do tell a client what an advisor can do, they are not unique. They are not specific. There are many advisors in local areas who do the same general things.
Be “specific” and be able to help clients “visualize” the service-the Wedge is all about finding something “specific” an advisor does that can be quickly communicated to the prospect in a way that will be easy to understand and realize that the service is needed and is one their current advisor is NOT providing.
It sounds easy, but the audience (who was made up of successful advisors) struggled to find their specific Wedge topic. Try it yourself. Write down five things you do that you think could be Wedge topics. After you do, re-read them and see if several other advisors in town would say the same thing. If that’s the case, they are not Wedge topics. Most advisors who do this exercise will use broad services which is not what the speaker was asking for. The need is for niche/specific services (so take your broad service and break it down into pieces and one of those pieces is probably a Wedge topic).
The #1 best Wedge topic for ALL advisors
After listening to the speaker for several hours, I came to the conclusion that while his stuff was right on the mark and advisors could learn a lot from what he’s saying, he’s missing the most important piece. What’s that? He didn’t give attendees the Wedge topic. I assume that’s because he doesn’t have “the” Wedge topic and instead he spends his time trying to help advisors find their own unique Wedge topic. That’s fine and would certainly help advisors, but very early into his presentation, I knew the #1 Wedge topic.
Asset Protection (AP)
AP is hands down the best Wedge topic and it’s not even close.
1) 99% of clients do NOT have an asset protection plan
2) 99% of advisors have NOT and CANNOT help clients with AP
3) Advisors who know can quickly and easily show why every client with money needs AP
4) Advisors who know can quickly and easily explain how they can help clients protect their assets
5) You are NOT talking about life insurance, annuities, or AUM.
It’s difficult to communicate to clients why an advisor can give better advice on life, annuities, and AUM. The client doesn’t know that much about them and it takes time and effort to get them to understand why their current advisor is no good on these items.
With AP there is NO competition and it’s an immediate need that the client should deal with ASAP.
With AP you will instantly gain trust of your new clients and it will help start the relationship so you can build the more traditional Wedges on life, annuities, and AUM so you can complete the process of having the prospects get rid of their current advisors to work with you.
Roccy DeFrancesco, J.D.
Strategic Marketing Partners, LLC