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Asteron Life not affected by Australian changes

Standards versus the need for differentiation

Achieving a common, compliant, standard is a necessary pre-requisite to differentiation. Achieving standard and failing to move on could be a recipe for disaster - as merely doing what everyone else does is likely to likely to lead to diminishing returns.

If you are some way off implementing the six-step advice process in your business, and you want to get licenced in the new regime, then you probably need to focus on that. It is a standard, and achieving it is a baseline for entry into the new regime. JP Hale has an article highlighting it at this link. It is necessary and good.

But when do standards fail us?

When we assume that the standard is all we need.

Differentiation is needed to stand out from the crowd. In a whirlpool of websites, listings, and minor brands the consumer has so many choices of provider. For insurance, consumers have many options: go direct with one of many providers, seek advice from one of many advisers, they can even just sit at home and ignore the problem for another year - and many choose just that. Speaking to different markets in a way which is unique and compelling should be the advisers' marketing goal.

A good practice is underpinned by effective standards, but it can be trapped by them if it fails to break out from that small beachhead. Tony Vidler develops this theme in his recent post. I like Tony's belief that many advisers have an advice philosophy, it is just that they may fail to articulate it.

I encourage advisers to explore their advice philosophy, identify it, and turn it into a vision for their business. Starting with a review of recent cases, and then a workshop with your people, you can quickly draw out the invisible rules that define 'how we do things here' and turn them into a charter for your customers. If documenting process sounds like so much busywork, when there are real clients to be seen, then the call to use your philosophy as a basis for marketing your difference is the antidote.

Being clear about what makes your business good makes finding new clients easier.





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