Founded by Allen Harris in 2001, Berkshire Money Management (BMM) is a full-service money management firm based out of western Massachusetts. Currently serving as CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Harris’ decorated resume includes large firms like Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley), CIO of a boutique investment firm and founder of Navigator Newsletter. Proudly, Harris has been able to guide clients through turbulent times, including bear markets and the Great Recession, but has always ensured that businesses stay on course through it all. Currently, Harris’ main focus is working with business owners planning retirement and looking to exit their business.
With a growing market of wealth management firms, Harris and his team at BMM were finding it increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition. In order to remain competitive, the firm needed to find ways to constantly improve their services and stay up to date with the latest technology. To differentiate themselves from other similar businesses, Harris said, “Let’s do something different, let’s do something unique”. This led BMM to look for a technological tool that could help improve various aspects of the business and also set them apart from other firms.
In addition, BMM was also looking to improve their marketing strategy. Their yearly marketing spend was roughly 8-13% of their revenue. When compared to their competitors and the industry standard, their overall spend was on the high end. Harris knew that continuing to spend thousands of dollars on traditional advertising – billboards and full-page newspaper ads – was not an effective use of their budget. BMM needed a platform that helped them capture leads organically and increase word-of-mouth referrals.
With these challenges in mind, BMM went on a search for a multi-faceted platform that addressed all of their issues. Firstly, they needed to establish a competitive advantage by providing a unique service to clients. Secondly, BMM needed a tool that had marketing capabilities and allowed them to reduce their reliance on costly advertising. With the goal of modernizing their business processes and abandoning antiquated practices, BMM honed in on The Value Builder System™ to tackle these concerns head-on.
Why The Value Builder System™
Upon selecting The Value Builder System™, the results were immediate. BMM first leveraged The Value Builder Questionnaire, a 13-minute online assessment that provides owners a report on the strengths and weaknesses of their business. They also receive a score based on each of the 8 Drivers of Company Value. BMM strategically placed this assessment on their website and sent out a press release announcing this new feature. Within a month, they received 35 responses from The Value Builder Questionnaire. Of the 35 leads, 10 business owners continued the conversation and 4 turned into BMM clients. With an astounding 40% conversion rate, BMM found a worthy alternative to their previous reliance on costly print advertisements. When discussing how quickly The Value Builder Questionnaire picked up steam, Harris said, “We weren’t ready as far as infrastructure goes, so we actually had to hide the tool [on our website] until we could handle that flow of leads.” Not anticipating how effective The Value Builder System ™ would be right away, Harris notes, “it was so impactful so quickly.”
By leveraging The Value Builder Questionnaire on their website, BMM now also has a highly effective prospecting tool at their disposal. With a detailed report on how businesses are performing, Harris and the BMM team can better assess whether prospects will be a good fit for their service, helping to accelerate the qualification process and save time.
With The Value Builder System™ now integrated into their practice, BMM is reaping the benefits of a highly effective coaching tool as well. When describing what he likes about the platform, Harris said it provides “a process that is easy to articulate and easy to follow .” Through a simple, repeatable methodology, owners are able to address certain areas within their business and work towards building value within the organization. After a thorough search for a platform, Harris is confident that The Value Builder System™ provides the much-needed advantage BMM was looking for and said, “We are now doing things with The Value Builder System ™ that nobody else is doing”.
BMM’s success with The Value Builder System™ also helped Harris generate new referral leads. When discussing this, Harris said, “By providing value to business owners who have never seen this before, they are now telling business owners in other industries to check out this service.” By guiding clients through the value building process and ensuring a successful and exit, business owners are seeing the true value of BMM’s service. Harris now has many happy clients advocating on their behalf, resulting in a healthy pipeline of prospects.
By successfully incorporating The Value Builder System™ into their business, BMM has been able to accomplish their goals. With The Value Builder Questionnaire, BMM now has a highly effective lead generating and prospecting tool. This has allowed them to reduce their budget on traditional marketing and reinvest those savings into other parts of the business.
Secondly, The Value Builder System™ provides BMM the leg up on their competition that they were looking for. With this robust online platform, they are able to remain an innovator in wealth management and give their clients a value add that their competitors cannot deliver.
The Value Builder System™ has also helped reinvigorate the culture at BMM for the better. When discussing its impact, Harris said, “The number of leads we received in the last 18 months is tremendous. The culture has changed and made us question, why we were spending so much on traditional marketing.” For Harris and his team at BMM, The Value Builder System™ has enabled them to work smarter, not harder, reassess how their business operates and shift focus to more effective strategies.