Knowledge is Power: The 19 Questions Your Financial Advisory Team Must Be Able to Easily Answer About Your Firm
What’s easier to sell: a service you know very little about and have zero regard for, or a service you are excited to share with others because you really think it offers value? The first option describes the used car salesman persona and all the ugly stereotypes that come with it. The latter option is probably how you feel about the financial services you offer (and if it isn’t, it may be time to reconsider how you’re running or not running your business).
That said, you’re sure to agree that an informed and passionate team is your best sales force. How big is your sales force? You can count yourself and associates. Did you forget anyone? Your office manager, virtual assistant, paraplanner, bookkeeper, and other team members are all a vital part of your sales team. Knowing your answers to the 20 questions below will help those on your immediate team better understand your firm, its goals, and its values. But it will also help your janitor, web designer, IT firm, other consultants and your strategic partners understand your firm, too.
Everyone in your sphere should have answers for clients they may interact with and their own personal network of family, friends, and acquaintances (potential prospects). Have these questions ready for new hires and take the time to appropriately equip your “extended” sales team, too. The care you take to educate others and communicate your message, in your words, will inspire the much-coveted-but-never-for-sale holy grail of marketing: Word of Mouth Advertising.
1. What is the legal structure of your financial services business (an entity such as LLC, S or C Corp)?
2. What the strengths of your firm?
3. What credentials do you have?
4. What are the core values of your firm?
5. *What is your vision for the firm 12 months and 5 years from now? (VISION)
6. What services and/or products do you offer?
7. What problem(s) does your firm solve for your clients?
8. How is your firm’s solution to this problem different than what existing or competing businesses offer?
9. Who is your local competition?
10. What made you decide to be a financial advisor?
11. Who is struggling with the problem you solve?
12. *How will your service help your prospects have better lives/businesses? (MISSION)
13. Who are your ideal clients and what is your experience with this market?
14. What are 3 things your ideal clients says, so that others would immediately know to refer you?
15. Based on their preferences and lifestyle, what is the best way for your ideal clients to learn about the services your firm offers?
16. How do you make money?
17. *What ways do you market your firm? (STRATEGIES)
18. *How will you monitor the results of your marketing efforts? (OBJECTIVES)
19. What’s the best way for prospects to contact you?
* Asterisks denote core questions that are answered in depth during our Business Planning on Steroids Program. The parentheses after the core question indicates which section of the One Page Business Plan® that specific question addresses. To get a free overview of this process, view our webinar here.
What Do You Think?
Tell us below what you think of this article. What questions would you add to our list?
©2013 Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.
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