Defining your client value proposition

By Kerry Ong, Head of Advice Academy

As advisers we are in the business of solving our clients' problems, helping them secure their financial future and meeting their life goals. Understanding and being able to articulate what problems you are trying to solve for your clients can help you demonstrate the value of your advice.


If you think about shopping for a mattress, what problems does a mattress solve? The problem they are solving is a good night’s sleep. There are a whole range of features, such as independent coils, comfort layers, temperature regulation, memory foam and brand – all of these features are important in helping you get a good night’s sleep.

Understanding what is most important to your clients, what their problems are and telling them how your advice will enable them to solve these problems is the core of a great value proposition. Creating this link between your approach to financial planning and the value your client will extract from your services is the reason they will initially engage and then re-engage with you.

How to build your Client Value Proposition

Your Client Value Proposition (CVP) should explain the relevance and benefit of your services to your client, the

1. What advice do you provide?

  • For example, comprehensive financial advice, goal progression, risk insurance, wealth accumulation, superannuation specialisation.

2. What services help you deliver that advice?

  • For example, regular reviews, financial modelling, client benchmarking, research, technical assistance, client updates.

3. What image and relationship do you have with your clients?

  • For example, respectful, empathetic, diligent, two-way, skilled, professional, understanding, knowledgeable.

4. What value are you delivering or what problems are you solving for your clients?

  • For example, peace of mind, provide direction, wealth accumulation, legacy creation etc.

Most importantly, the link of the first three items to the fourth item is going to allow you to explain the value your clients will derive, or the problems your clients will resolve, from forming a relationship with you as their financial adviser.

One of the most important benefits of the IOOF Advice Academy is that it provides a collaborative environment which helps advisers work out the answers to these four questions through coaching and consulting. By linking the answers to these four questions you will develop a clear explanation of what you do, how you do it and the value you offer to your clients.

Building your CVP map

Use the answers to the previous four questions to complete the CVP map. This will help you brainstorm and articulate your CVP.

The value you provide is delivered by your advice and services combined with your image and your relationship with clients. This can easily be remembered as:

Value      =       Advice  +  Service  +  Image  +  Relationships

Price versus value

Clients will always undertake an internal dialogue on price versus value. A client who believes the price of your financial advice is too expensive may not truly understand the value of your advice. If a client is unclear about the value to them of the services you offer, this can lead them to focus on the price as a way of trying to quantify the value. Price stands out in the absence of value; which can lead to clients making decisions without them knowing how your advice is going to help them achieve what’s most important to them and solve their problems.

How clients judge value is subjective, so it differs between clients. It is vital to understand what’s important to your clients so that you can ensure your advice meets this need. For some clients this may be peace of mind, for others it could be growing their wealth for financial freedom, while some may want the reassurance of knowing they are protecting their family or leaving them a legacy.

Next steps

Your value proposition should be simple, clear, relevant and easily understood by your clients and consistently applied through all your interactions, including in your marketing, websites, client engagement process and client conversations.

Lastly, when you interact with your clients, speak with passion, conviction and authenticity. Most importantly, ensure you are clear in explaining what problems you are helping your clients solve.

More information

For more information in relation to the IOOF Advice Academy and how it can help enhance your advice business, please contact your Client Solutions Manager or your IOOF representative.