Author Archive | Susan Kornegay

Packaging Your Expertise

What is your area of focus? Many advisors know that in order to differentiate themselves, they need to be able to define and then market an area of specialization. That specialization could relate to a target market based on occupation, such as doctors or small business owners, or a life event, such as retirement or widowhood. Some decide to become an expert in a specific planning area such as retirement income; Social Security; or estate, divorce or special needs planning. Whatever it is, there are three key steps to packaging […]

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How to Create a Simple Marketing Presentation

We’ve had several requests recently from advisors to help them put together a presentation that tells their story effectively and at a much lower cost than a fancy brochure. PowerPoint works well for this purpose for several reasons. Once you’ve created it, you can add, subtract or rearrange slides for specific audiences or situations. You can display it on a screen, email it as a PDF or provide a nicely bound hard copy that prospective clients can take with them to read in more detail. Individual slides can be replaced […]

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7 Steps to Scheduling Client Meetings – Efficiently!

Do you ever wish you could come in each week with a list of client meetings and calls already lined up? Or are you constantly juggling between meeting with clients this week and trying to arrange meetings for next week? Many advisors tell us they’d like to have their offices run like what they experience at the dentist’s office, but either they don’t think clients would buy into scheduling meetings so far in advance, or they don’t know how to get started. Here are some suggestions to help you schedule […]

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How to Say No to a Prospective New Client

You’ve been there, haven’t you? A new prospective client calls your office. Maybe he attended a workshop, or perhaps an existing client referred her. You schedule an introductory discussion as you always do and ask, “Tell me about yourself, your background and what you are looking for in a financial advisor?” You always begin with an open-ended question like that to get the prospective client to tell you his or her story. You learn what caused them to look for a new advisor. Perhaps they received a sum of money […]

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7 Questions to Help Your Clients Begin with the End in Mind

Have you ever hung up a picture of something special you wanted to buy? Or posted a brochure of a vacation spot you wanted to visit? If you have, you were heeding the advice of Stephen Covey who told us to “begin with the end in mind.” We do that today with the financial advisors we work with, to help them visualize their ideal business. You can do the same thing with your clients as you help them think about what their future could be.  Whether your clients are planning […]

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10 + 1 Tips for Writing a Great Biography

When you think about the many ways you can communicate your story to prospective clients, writing your biography should be the easiest because you know your own life better than just about anything else, right? But it can also be the hardest…for the same reason. Have you ever noticed how many times financial advisors begin their bios with some reference to how long they have been in the business? Is there anything less interesting than that? Here are 10 + 1 tips for writing your biography in a way that […]

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Setting Up an Incentive-Based Bonus Plan for Support Staff

We have received questions from several advisors recently about how to go about setting up a bonus plan for their support staff. They want something tied to growth in revenue as well as provide an incentive for specific performance expectations. Here is a plan that can provide that kind of flexibility. Begin with an initial Target Bonus figure. It could be calculated as a percentage of base salary or a simple dollar amount. Next, determine your criteria for the performance bonus. This is best accomplished in a collaborative discussion with […]

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How Do Clients Measure Value? One Advisor’s Story

I received a great email from an advisor-client over the holidays. He wrote, “Just spoke to a client.  Her comment: ‘Wow! I was expecting candy but this is so much better! What wonderful Christmas gift!” This advisor has embarked on a project of creating and then delivering what he calls Financial Operating Manuals to his clients. Not only do the operating manuals include the items you might expect, such as financial plans and account documentation, but he’s made them much more comprehensive. Here are some of the things he includes: A net worth […]

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Five Steps to Turn Your Business Plan into Your Action Plan

Happy New Year! If you have finished your Business Plan for 2014 (you have, haven’t you?), no doubt you have a list of quantitative goals (new clients, new assets, new revenue) and perhaps you also have a list of what you want to do to get there. We call that second list your strategic initiatives or activity goals because they describe what you need to do to reach your desired results (i.e., your quantitative goals). You may have included some things you want to do to improve your client experience, […]

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5 Keys to Connecting with Prospective Clients on Your Website

Advisors often ask our advice on how to improve their websites. They know they need a web presence, but they don’t know how to tell their story in a way that connects with that prospective client out there who might be checking them out. Here are 5 key elements to more effective messaging on the web. 1.  Start with the client. Rather than make your site all about you, begin by reaching out to prospective clients and pull them toward you. Create a well-defined description of your ideal clients—the ones […]

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