CASE STUDIES

OUR BLOG

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?
Most Leads Are Not Ready To Engage – But They Will Be

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Can Service Pros Over 40 Succeed In Digital?
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
A New Website Won’t Bring You New Clients
Do You “Get” Digital Marketing? – Part 2
Do You Get Digital Marketing?
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Lead Nurturing Versus Content Marketing
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Make Your Website A New Client Driver
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?

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CASE STUDIES

THE IMPACT WE’VE HAD ON OUR CLIENTS

RIA FIRM ALIGNS LEADERS, POSITIONS BRAND, TELLS A STRONGER STORY & GETS ACQUIRED TWICE

CONSISTENT CONTENT FROM FIRM LEADERS MAKES THEIR POSITION CLEAR AND ATTRACTIVE TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS AND POTENTIAL ACQUIRERS

The Client Situation

A successful RIA firm in the US Midwest faced a challenge. Their clients were recommending them to other people who were simply not impressed and didn’t pick them. The firm’s digital presence was behind the times. But more importantly, it did not really tell an effective story about what made them unique and why clients loved them, even though their clients actually did love them.

The firm’s leadership had tried several times to address this situation, even developing a marketing committee and hiring an agency. But these efforts did not produce the results the leaders wanted to see. One of the biggest challenges was that the leaders simply couldn’t agree about what the story should be or how to tell it. The firm’s CEO reached out to a former colleague who suggested they should have a conversation with us.

The Shattuck Group’s Recommendations

We began speaking with the leaders of the firm to understand their goals and what they had tried already. What became immediately clear is that this firm was filled with very talented and very spirited people who were often in violent agreement. There was not a lilting daisy amongst them. The marketing agency they had retained not only had little expertise in the financial services industry, they also really didn’t know how to handle this group of strong personalities.

After interviewing everyone on the leadership team and several influential employees, we recommended the following services:

Leadership Alignment—to address trust fissures that blocked forward progress.

Positioning—to define their ideal client and how to speak their language.

Messaging—to describe their services and brand in language that appealed to ideal clients.

Content Marketing—to make their people and brand distinct through consistent storytelling.

The Service Package

We began our engagement by getting the leaders together to discuss the type of clients they serve and how they serve them. We immediately discovered a common approach to wealth management amongst them. But more importantly, they discovered how much they had in common. The firm’s leaders had come from different organizations and different backgrounds. Although they had known each other for a few years, they really didn’t know how other people at the firm served their clients and the values that guided them.

Our Leadership Alignment initiative not only revealed a common approach to client service, it also unveiled a set of values that many of these leaders held in common. This was true despite differences in age, gender and even educational backgrounds. As the leaders began to talk about why they made certain decisions for clients, they started to tell stories about their lives. This experience created even stronger emotional bonds between them, reducing their desire to emphasize their differences.

We also led this client through the process of developing an ideal client profile for Positioning their brand. We leveraged our definition of the 7 characteristics of ideal clients and the 7 outcomes of serving primarily ideal clients. We then asked each leader to identify a handful of clients who met those criteria. With those people in mind, we asked the leaders to identify their top five goals, opportunities and challenges to put real definition into the ideal client profile. We then interviewed several of these clients and asked them the same questions.

With this information in hand, we were in a much more fruitful position to begin to draft Messaging for the firm. We recommend that clients develop a messaging repository, one master document that has been blessed by all leaders that includes:

  • Their people—biographies of each of the principals.
  • Their origin story—how their firm came into existence.
  • Who they are—their values, credentials, capabilities and reason to exist as a business.
  • What they do—the services they offer and why those services are valuable.
  • Who they serve—the goals, opportunities and challenges of ideal clients.
  • How they impact clients—why they buy services and how this helps them.

With the basic messaging framework in place, we then focused on consistent monthly storytelling. This organization decided to have each leader contribute a monthly article to their newsletter. But the leader actually had a very light load associated with the production of each article. Their role was to participate in a brainstorming session and then to approve the final article. We did everything else for them. Most importantly, we guided each monthly article to focus on the goals, opportunities and challenges of ideal clients—not the latest of what was happening in the markets.

This approach gave their content a high degree of polish and consistency of voice. It also allowed busy professionals whose primary focus needed to be on serving clients to look and sound great without having to do a lot of writing—which most professionals will agree is challenging. Most importantly, the monthly articles focused on topics that mattered to the very people they were trying to attract.

This is an incredibly important distinction. When we initially asked these leaders why their clients picked them, most of them touted their expertise, years of experience and the financial returns they had been able to generate for clients. But when we asked clients that same question, we heard something very different. While they respected the expertise and expected strong financial performance, they actually considered these table stakes. What clients really loved was how well their financial advisor seemed to know them and to act in their best interests. While the staff talked about expertise and performance, the clients talked about comfort and the intimate connection they felt to their advisor.

The Client Results

We served this client for many years. Over the course of time, their advisors would tell us how our Positioning and storytelling strategies impacted them. Several of their advisors were able to move up-market and take on higher-end clientele who needed more complex services. This allowed them to transition smaller clients with less complexity to other people in the organization. This approach served as a great training ground for on-the-rise financial advisors to gain hands-on experience.

Because their positioning was so clear and the voice of their leadership was so distinct, this RIA firm became a candidate for acquisition. Larger organizations who were looking for a wealth management firm to fill a niche in their business portfolio began to call on this business. This RIA firm was acquired twice over the course of about three years, each time with greater financial gains for firm leaders. What was a bit surprising to all of us is that the same strategies that work to differentiate advisors also differentiated their firm, making them uniquely attractive to potential suitors.

CASE STUDIES

OUR BLOG

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?
Most Leads Are Not Ready To Engage – But They Will Be

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Can Service Pros Over 40 Succeed In Digital?
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
A New Website Won’t Bring You New Clients
Do You “Get” Digital Marketing? – Part 2
Do You Get Digital Marketing?
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Lead Nurturing Versus Content Marketing
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Make Your Website A New Client Driver
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?