Differentiate Your Practice with Your Signature Solution


In this week’s episode of the Truest Fan Podcast, our Chief Growth Architects, Rob Brown and Phil Calandra, dive into the importance of creating a signature solution. Think of it as a highly tailored roadmap that takes your clients from where they are today to where they want to be in the future. A signature solution is not a product or a service or the technology you use, it’s the way you help your client overcome their challenges and achieve their most cherished goals.

We’ll share how a signature solution can help you differentiate yourself from the competition and overcome one of the biggest problems financial advisors face today. We’ll also dive into why look-alike messaging can be a problem and how to build trust through consistency.

Whether you’re a seasoned financial advisor or just starting out, this episode offers valuable insights and actionable advice on how to strengthen your value proposition and stand out from the crowd. You’ll be fully prepared to create your own signature solution and take your business to the next level of success.


To listen, click the play button above. Or click the “Subscribe” button to go to your favorite podcast player.

Show Highlights


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Podcast Transcript

Rob Brown  00:00

With consistency and trust, you need the consistency that can come from creating a signature solution that can help you build trust. And they consistently deliver their value. Maybe they find ways to improve it. But they deliver that same thing consistently over time. That’s how they build trust.

Phil Calandra 00:24

It’s trust. That’s the number one thing. And if you are consistently telling the same story or the same message, what inevitably happens is the client relationship gets built with a firmer and firmer foundation. That to me made such a big difference.

Rob Brown  00:46

You’re listening to the truest fan podcast. And now here’s your host, Rob Brown.

Phil Calandra 00:55

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to another edition of the truest fan podcast. So glad that you’re with us today. I am Phil Calandra. And I am with the truest fan, Rob Brown. So glad to be with you, Rob.

Rob Brown  01:09

Yeah, it’s great to be with you to Phil, I can’t wait to jump in.

Phil Calandra 01:13

Yeah, so let’s dig right in. And today we want to talk about kind of circling the wagon a little bit, we talked a few episodes ago, about a topic that really is about beaten down more than any other topic in our industry. And in most industries for that matter. It’s called the value proposition. So that’s the last time Rob, I’m going to use those two words consecutively. We want to basically frame what a financial adviser, a successful financial advisor does, to separate themselves in a unique way in the marketplace. And I will tell you, when we began working together, this radically changed my business. So I’m excited about this topic. And you know, tell everybody to tee it up, if you would, what’s the big problem in our industry with this uniqueness in the marketplace? Yeah, well, the

Rob Brown  02:05

big problem about this uniqueness in the industry is that too many advisors are not representing themselves uniquely, they run what I consider to be me two businesses, they just use the tools weather that all that everybody else usually uses a language that everybody else uses. When I look at advisors, websites or other collateral material, it looks like they cut and paste, you know, the five points of a financial plan from the CFP website, or they borrowed it, you know, from a wholesaler. And you know, you know what, you know what it sounds like, it’s, you know, well, we meet with our clients, we gather information, we go back to our offices, we put a plan together, and then we share the plan with a client, and then we serve them for the long term. And that may be at the heart of what you do. But if everybody says that and doesn’t show your process in a way that represents the true essence of the way that a relationship is with you, I’m trying not to use the word value here, Phil. So it’s hard, right? Using those words, yeah. But if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you look like everybody else. And that’s a problem, whether it’s the advisors who are going after your clients, or the clients that you want to pursue, or the prospects that you want to pursue. You look the same as everybody.

Phil Calandra 03:30

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. And I think that, you know, a good analogy is if we were all trying to bake a dessert, and we all threw in the same ingredients, stirred it up, put it in the pan and baked it, we’d all end up with brownies. Well, what if you weren’t trying to end up with brownies? You were trying to end up with a cheesecake? All the ingredients? If everybody did it the same way? We’d only have brownies for dessert? How boring would that be? But you know, when I said in the opening, what changed my business in a in a material way in working with you number of years ago was our ability as a firm and me in particular, as an advisor to begin to articulate our message in a way that made the prospect and the client, the end result that I was the message. The messenger is the message that makes the difference. It’s not what you say, because Wall Street is going to find a way to try and pontificate on how the economy can be forecasted. The market can be timed that the advisor somehow some magical way to select better stocks or better funds or better bonds. And we know that’s just not true, right? There’s no shame in admitting that I don’t have anything more to offer the client in the way of timing and selection or forecasting than anybody else. But that’s what advisors do. So what ends up happening is your message just blends and becomes comes out of the oven as a brownie And the prospect or the client wanted cheesecake?

Rob Brown  05:03

Yeah, no, I think that’s that’s a great way to put it. And I don’t know, if they’re pushing lots of brownies or lots of cheesecakes, but they’re pushing seems like lots of the same things. And that repetitive message is a problem. It really is a problem that a lot of advisors don’t understand. So I think we’ve done a good job of identifying the problem, Phil, but what’s the promise what happens when you do have that consistent message like the one that I helped you create, now other clients create when we build a signature solution, because that’s the key tool that we’re really talking about each advisor creating for the way to really make their business shine in a way that you really want it to?

Phil Calandra 05:47

Yeah, I think that the what we call the signature solution, and it could be a flowchart, you could call it a process map, you could call it a chalk track, right? We just happen to call it signature solution. I think what it does, and what it did for me is it gave me a very precise and consistent message to tell. And when you do that, what you end up inevitably doing is build more trust. And when we’re talking with clients, or when we’re talking in any kind of form of relationship, what is the basis for an amazing relationship with your spouse, with your kids with a business partner with a client, it’s trust, that’s the number one thing and if you are consistently telling the same story or the same message, what inevitably happens is the client relationship gets built with a firmer and firmer foundation, that to me made such a big difference.

Phil Calandra 06:55

Are you ready to discover your true purpose, live with impact and build an ever greater legacy than you need to make time for what truly matters most go to truest fan.com/challenge To begin the free, truest fan seven day Quickstart.

Rob Brown  07:19

And those are two huge words consistency and trust. And it’s maybe it’s a little bit like chicken and egg which one comes first, but you need them both, right? You need the consistency that can come from creating a signature solution that can help you build trust, or maybe you have massive trust already in your marketplace. But your marketplace doesn’t recognize as well as it could because you aren’t consistently delivering that message. And the biggest and best companies in most industries don’t change what they do every month or every year or every 10 years. They consistently deliver their value. Maybe they find ways to improve it. But they deliver that same thing consistently over time. That’s how they build trust.

Phil Calandra 08:07

That’s right. I mean, think of all the great American companies in the United States that have built phenomenal brands, McDonald’s, you buy a cheeseburger in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s the same cheeseburger in Richmond, Virginia, Coca Cola, they lock up the secret formula recipe at downtown Atlanta, you buy a Coca Cola in Atlanta, it’s the same as it is in Sacramento, all great businesses have a consistency of their brand of their product. And for a financial advisor, what is your product, you’re delivering priceless advice, you’re delivering somebody that’s trusting you, maybe their life savings isn’t being entrusted to you and for you to help them achieve and over achieve their family’s most cherished financial goals. So that’s what we deliver. But I get frustrated. And I was frustrated as a practitioner for years until we develop this together is what was I going to say? And was it going to be consistent? And what is it going to be powerful? Now some people are saying, Well, why would we need to do that? Why would we need to build trust? Why would we need to build our relationships this way? It may not be readily apparent, but it should be right Rob?

Rob Brown  09:20

It absolutely is because it is the glue that keeps clients coming back to you over and over again. And you know, Phil, you shared a story a couple of podcasts ago how sometimes your clients tell you Phil, you haven’t taught me anything new and they liked that because they know that each time they meet with you, you are going to consistently reaffirm your signature solution, which is helping build that trust. So it’s really important. It’s important when it comes to prospective clients. One of my favorite stories and all the years that I’ve helped advisors build signature solutions wasn’t advisor that I worked with only worked with him for about two months. And he wanted to work specifically on his marketing message and really liked the idea of having a signature solution. This was a very successful advisor with a couple 100 million dollars in assets. And we built a signature solution that mapped out His process for helping a prospective client who would come into him sort of disorganized wondering which way to turn to get to a point that that client felt confident in the direction that they were going. So we built this signature solution. And he said, Well, what should I do with it? First, I said, Well, what’s on your agenda tomorrow? And he said, Well, I’m having lunch with one of my longtime centers of influence, who gives me regular referrals, I said, Great, perfect opportunity, pull it out, show your center of influence your signature solution to explain to them that although the process that you’re going to show in the example, isn’t markedly different than what you have done in the past, it just outlines in a more efficient way. Long story short, that’s right. 48 hours later, 24 hours after the lunch, this advisor ended up with two referrals that were over $5 million each bigger referrals ever received from the center of influence before and when he asked the referral, or I’m sorry, the center of influence why he got these two big referrals. He said, I didn’t know you worked with high net worth clients, I thought you only worked with smaller clients. But when he showed him the signature solution, it demonstrated what kind of clients, this advisor actually enjoyed serving and serving the best. And it was just it was buried because the advisor hadn’t taken the time to consistently explain why this center of influence trusted him and who the center of influence could trust him with in terms of making referrals.

Phil Calandra 11:57

Yeah, and I think between you and I rob, we could layer on story after story about how this type of work can improve and advisory practice. But we don’t want to ramble on today. But the last thing I would add is that when you focus on your message, when you’re communicating very succinctly, and you’re building more and more trust, you know, the example I gave is, I say the same thing over and over. And that’s so reaffirming and comforting the clients. That’s what starts the referral machine. It’s a total myth that clients refer introduce you to others happy clients, refer you and introduce you to others. And the way you gain that is ever increasing trust, comfort and peace of mind knowing that you’re not chasing crypto, and then the crypto crashes, and then you’re chasing Tesla. And then you have some other magical task tactical asset allocation model. It’s a very succinct message. So you know, the other thing I’ll add, and then we’ll wrap it up is, the bigger your firm gets. So you might be a solo practitioner. And it would be very easy for you to craft a signature solution. But what happens as your firm grows, and we’ve talked about staffing in the past before, but you start to layer on and as a junior advisor, the junior advisor becomes associated advisor, you turn around with 300 400 500 million in assets, and you have five advisors, what do you do when you’re all telling a different story at a different message? I’m telling you, that’s disaster. I’ve seen it in larger firms with multiple practitioners. So if you’d like more detail, if you want an example, go to the truest fan podcast, show notes, we’ll put in there the blueprint for the truest fan. If you’d like my personal signature solution, I call it the retire Road, give us a call contact me, I’ll be happy to share that with you. I would just encourage you to frame your message in a unique way that separates you from the crowd and maybe the rest of the messaging that you’re you’re seeing out there. Rob, anything you want to add?

Rob Brown  13:58

Yeah, I guess the thing that I would add to is that it doesn’t take a long time to do this. If you’ve been at this a while. It’s just a matter of stopping listening to yourself talk or if I’m working with somebody, I’m listening to them talk about their process. And from the words that you’re already using that you may you may keep, you probably have your central signature solution is just trapped in between your ears, and you want to get it out of your brain and onto into a form that people can see it and use it and that’s what we do. Yeah, it’s part of our process.

Phil Calandra 14:31

Absolutely. Well, let’s wrap it up for today. Once again, Rob Brown, Phil Calandra. Thank you so much for tuning in to the truest fan podcast. And remember, we are your truest fans, and we’re rooting for your success. See you next time. Take care

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