The Benefits of Specialization

There’s an old phrase that dates back to Elizabethan times, “Jack of all trades,” which refers to a person who dabbles in a number of skills, but has no particular expertise. In those days, just like today, there was a value in having several skills, as it contributed to your versatility and usefulness to others.

Years later, the compliment went backhanded, when the phrase was adapted into the insult “Jack of all trades, master of none.” This was meant to signify that someone who dabbled so widely isn’t truly a specialist in any field.

While it’s valuable to provide a number of services to your clients, specializing in one field has the potential to increase your business by making you the go-to person in your region for the product or service that you’ve mastered. It also allows you to focus – both your learning and your marketing efforts.

Imagine you and several other Financial Professionals are let into a room with 100 prospects. Now imagine you’re each given one sentence to promote yourself before the prospects select who they’d like to work with. It’s anyone’s guess how many of those prospects will choose to work with you. But if you happen to explain that you specialize in working with educators, it’s likely any educator in the room will become your client.

Now imagine a billboard – passed by roughly 10,000 cars per day. Let’s say 5,000 of those glance at the sign – which bears a photo of a Financial Advisor, her name, and her phone number. And of those 5,000, let’s say 500 are currently considering hiring a Financial Advisor. What does that sign mean to them? Probably not much. But if only 10% of those same 500 people are in a medical field, and if the billboard says “Specializing in the unique needs of the Healthcare Industry” – might that same Advisor receive as many as 50 phone calls?

Specialization doesn’t mean ignoring the wider spectrum of products and services. In fact, specializing in one field may make your clients and customers more eager to get your opinion on a wide range of topics. If nothing else, referring these customers to your colleagues who specialize in different areas will reap a dividend when they return the favor.

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