12 most common Wealth Management
Go-to-Market Model Issues

In financial services, a firm’s business model is the way the company goes to market. Business model and strategy are not synonymous. The business model is how strategy is operationalized to serve clients.

Some firms operate intentionally designed, consistently executed go-to-market models. Others evolve models in a less structured manner. Regardless of genesis, in the wealth management segment of financial services, there are twelve common go-to-market model issues.

Addressing the Challenges

12 Wealth Management Go-to-Market Model Issues

Fragmentation

There are times the wealth management business appears to think “it’s all about us”. It is common for a firm to have financial advisors, trust and fiduciary professionals, portfolio managers, wealth planners and private bankers in an office. It is also common that people in each of these roles have different objectives, goals, incentives, and client experience definitions.

Ineffective client discovery

Most wealth management service providers have some sort of process for learning about prospects and clients. Commonly referred to as discovery, client listening, or a financial wellbeing evaluation, the purpose of this process is to understand where a client is in their financial life, what success looks like, and what matters most today and in the future.

Selling price vs. value

Wealth management is a competitive business. Client expectations are rising, and the competitive landscape is evolving. Advisors often feel pressure to discount their fees to differentiate themselves and win more business. As appealing an idea as it is, research shows that advisors who lower their fees don’t often attract more business.

Inconsistent client experience

“If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there”. Those words from Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat work in a children’s storybook. Lacking a clear destination in the wealth management client journey doesn’t work so well.

Subpar client engagement

Clients use products and services from their wealth management firm, but value advice and engagement. Investment performance, fees, technology, and tools all matter. But it is the engagement that defines the relationship.

Solo performers vs. team players

Wealth management relationships are complex human ecosystems. Whether a single individual or a multigenerational family, the interplay between wealth, emotion, and financial intricacy makes for a multidimensional relationship.

Failure to articulate "why me”, “why us"

One of the most common questions on the minds of wealth management prospects is “why should I do business with you and your firm?”. Failure to articulate “why me, why our firm” leaves it up to the prospect or client to define your value proposition.

Unclear or undeveloped playbook

Imagine attending a Broadway musical where there was no script, no choreography, no blocking. The actors are left to their own creativity to tell the story, develop and deliver their lines, sing their songs, and interact with the other performers on stage.

Lack of role clarity

It’s common for a firm to provide multiple professionals serving wealth management clients. For instance, a bank may have wealth advisors, trust advisors, portfolio managers, specialty asset managers, wealth planners, private bankers and insurance specialists on staff to serve clients.

Ineffective COI engagement

Centers of influence – attorneys, accountants, financial planners, brokers, and other trusted professionals – can be valuable sources of introductions to potential wealth management clients.

Change resistance

Mark Twain said, “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper”. Change resistance in wealth management refers to the reluctance or opposition of individuals or teams within a firm to embrace and adapt to changes in processes, technologies, strategies, or organizational structure.

No Clear Go To Market model

A business model is the way a company goes to market. Business model and strategy are not synonymous. The go to market model is how strategy is operationalized to deliver wealth management services to a client.

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