3 Motivations to Become a Better Value-Added Advisor

Posted October 18, 2019 by Bobby Martin

A value-added advisor is someone whose ideas and advice you respect enough to invest time and money into having them around. The business relationship is about more than just the product purchase itself. 

Here’s a real-world example of what a value-added advisor looks like. At Vertical IQ, we brought in a consultant to help us create a positioning statement. Yes, the end product was a great positioning statement for our company, but Will did more than that … and more than I expected. He made the extra effort to learn about our unique business, he listened carefully, and he took time to think about our conversations and come back with a good idea. 

Here’s another real-world example of what a value-added advisor looks like. Our customer success manager at HubSpot was much more than a typical customer success manager. He has been a value-added advisor to me and to Vertical IQ because he taught me about marketing, not just about HubSpot. Additionally, he has always been very efficient with my time, with all of our meetings conducted virtually. 

These are quick, shortened examples of who a valued-added advisor is. 

Up your SMB game

There are three key reasons why any professional services provider who is calling on small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) should strive to attain value-added advisor status with their clients:

  1. A more fulfilling work-life 
  2. Premium fees
  3. Referrals

A more fulfilling work-life

Sitting down with an SMB client and problem-solving is interesting work! It also pays better because you can offer an SMB owner additional value beyond whatever your widget’s obvious value proposition is. (More on this shortly.) This type of work is more meaningful and fun because you can surprise people with good ideas versus just meeting their expectations. You get energy from it, and that is fulfilling. 

Premium fees

People like me are willing to pay extra for HubSpot or our consulting marketing work. The fees are worth it because of the extra value I get from the person, not just the end-product. If you add value over and over to your SMB client relationships, you’re going to have a higher margin business and thus earn more money.


Want free advertising? When someone exceeds expectations, it’s common for people to talk about them to others and make referrals. Essentially, your own personal brand carries a high “net promoter score,” which represents the likelihood of someone recommending you to others. When your advice exceeds the expectations of your customer, you’re likely to be talked about and will succeed in the long run. 

A win-win situation

When you provide valuable advice to your SMB client, you both benefit from that advice. You get the satisfaction of knowing you have helped your client, you can charge higher fees, and you’ll get more referrals. Your SMB client gets an advisor who understands the nuances of their business and can provide useful insights.

Vertical IQ offers you the ability to gain vital intelligence on your SMB client’s industry, which you can then incorporate into your communications and conversations with them. On each of our 450+ Industry Profiles, you’ll find trends, risks, opportunities, financial information, and more that any business owner would be thrilled to get their hands on. By taking just 5 minutes to read up on your client’s industry, you show them that you bring more to the table than your competition. And that very well may be priceless to an SMB owner!

Tags: banker, small business owner, small business, adivsor, small to medium sized business, industry information

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