The Baby Boomer generation was one of the biggest consumer generations ever. Raised by the G.I. Generation, who lived through the Great Depression, Baby Boomers were marked by ownership; owning things was a sign of success from the era their parents had overcome. With the depression behind us, goods and services are easy to come by and have lost their luxury - we are now a society hungry for experiences.
On a recent grocery-shopping trip, I passed by a display of fresh oysters. All marked by their different regions, the oysters averaged about a dollar a piece- unshucked. A sign above the display stated “In-store shucking, $1.99 each.” A shucked oyster from my grocery counter was going for three bucks a pop, slightly less than an oyster at my favorite raw bar, except there, I could visit with my friends, be waited on by friendly staff, and soak up the ambiance. Having the grocery store shuck my oysters didn’t really offer me anything extra, so instead, I purchased some oysters and an oyster knife, and watched a three-minute YouTube video on shucking.
From a commodity to a good to a service, the oyster is a part of the agrarian, industrial, and service economy, respectively. It enters into the experience economy when I choose to pay a premium for the experience of eating that same oyster at an upscale restaurant. From “Lux” movie theaters and airline VIP member lounges to passes to beat the lines at amusement parks, chances are you’ve ponied up a little more cash at one point or another to treat yourself to a better experience.
In mutual fund wholesaling, the experience you create for your clients and prospects plays an equal role in your distribution efforts to the services you provide. Above the basic service offering of the performance of your fund, what type of experience are you providing? With our undiscovered mutual fund manager clients, we work to provide prospects with more than a fact sheet and an IMP in hopes that they will invest. Building on your existing services to provide a stage for your firm, you increase your value by creating an engaging experience.
Leveraging your services to create an experience is not something that happens over night, but we have five tried and true tips that can help you get started:
1. Stop leaving bad voicemails. RIAs get enough of them, don’t add to the mix. Make the voicemail about the advisor and let them know how you can help them, not the other way around.
2. Follow-up with your prospects. Return their emails in a timely manner, get their thoughts on materials you’ve sent, and reach out to them during times of market unpredictability when their loss aversion may be triggered.
3. Create a marketing plan with your prospect in mind. Focus on the value proposition of your fund: How does it work for the end investor? Particularly when working with a new fund, qualitative elements go further with early adopter prospects. Formulate a marketing strategy that is personalized for your target investor.
4. Plan killer meetings. When a prospect has given you time out of their day, rearranged their schedule and agreed to meet with you, make it worthwhile. Plan ahead and know your stuff. Learn about the person you’re about to meet with, find some common ground. Prepare for questions they might have and write down any homework items necessary post meeting.
5. Be a person. We mention this more than most other things at Havener, and with good reason. Part of providing a good experience is making sure people feel comfortable working with you. 49% of people have switched to a different business due to bad service. Not odds you want to play with.