How the Top Independent Financial Advisors Compete and Differentiate Themselves

Top Independent Financial AdvisorsFind out how top independent financial advisors set themselves apart from the rest.

With hundreds of thousands of personal financial advisors all competing for business in the United States, independent financial advisors are wondering how to stand out from the crowd. Differentiating your services and skills from others isn’t easy and takes dedication and planning in multiple areas. Consistency is also key; for example, attracting clients by using specific strategies means you need to continue with these strategies longterm in order to not lose clientele. For instance, if advertising lower fees are bringing clients in the door, raising prices too soon can be costly and decrease your client roster quickly. Promoting your abilities of superior performance to clients will lead to expectations that you will continuously perform above and beyond after they become your client.

In addition to consistency and planning your brand’s strategy, here are additional ways top independent financial advisors can differentiate themselves from other advisors:

1. Focus On Your True Talent

Did you know that approximately 66 percent of financial advisors identify themselves as wealth managers or financial planners when in fact a recent SEI white paper analysis revealed only 26 percent of them meet the definitions of those titles? When positioning yourself as a leader and expert, there is no room for stretching the truth. Positioning yourself as a legitimate specialist in the finance industry (under the right designation) and using your credentials accurately is one way to differentiate yourself.

2. Adopt Goal-based Planning Initiatives

Financial planning shouldn’t just involve conversations that revolve around monetary achievements. Invest in creating relationships with clients and fully understand their personal goals, both longterm and short term. Understanding more about the lives of your clients and what they hope to achieve in all areas can help you build a more comprehensive financial plan that coincides with their hopes and dreams.

3. Show Quantifiable Results

In order to set yourself apart from other independent financial advisors, are you able to demonstrate and quantify your value during your initial client meeting? Can you share client success stories in a way that doesn’t come off as arrogant or over-confident? Data that shows your ability is a great way to highlight your financial acumen and can help clients see your value.

4. Consider a Niche or Particular Demographic

One of the greatest differentiators between financial advisors is concentrating on a specific niche. Examples include working with female investors, family generational planning, medical personnel, socially responsible investors, small business owners, or executives. Focusing in on a specific area and continually educating yourself in that space can set you apart when clients are interviewing potential advisors.

5. Position Yourself As a Leader

Another way to add credibility to your practice and skills is through building your platform and positioning yourself or your firm as a leader in the industry. This can be accomplished through public speaking events, book writing, article writing, awards, volunteering your services when applicable. Create and execute a plan that would help position you and/or your team as leaders in the industry.

Possessing differentiating factors and adding more as times goes on can fuel growth for independent financial advisors. Want to learn more ways to build your clientele and effectively communicate with others? Visit Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit or call us at (800) 354-5528.


About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.


All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.


Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

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