Practice Management TrendsettersMay 22, 2016

3 keys to articulating your value  


Top advisors have one thing above all other advisors, clarity.

With major regulatory changes and the emergence of robo-advisors in the fintech world, now more than ever in history has it been more important for financial advisors to be able to clearly articulate what clients pay and what clients get for what they pay. In other words, “how do you explain to a client, what I pay in dollar terms and what I get in value terms? The three keys in articulating your value are processes. As the saying goes, the three keys to success in real estate is location, location, location. In practice management for financial advisors the three keys to success is process, process, process. The advisors who have proven processes to articulate their value, do significantly better than advisors who lack critical processes.

Getting clarity, the first key

Getting clarity around what you do and your process to deliver value, you must have a documented process. To answer the question what do I get for $5000, $10,000 or more per year? In workshops, when I ask advisors the question, what do I get for $10,000 per year, most are answering the question off the top of their mind. The next question in the workshop helps them get more clarity. The next question is” what do I get for $20,000 per year?” Usually it is the same answer as the last one, and comes off the top of their mind. This is where clarity comes in. It is not the amount that I pay, it is the value I receive for what I pay. Do you have it in writing and can you clearly articulate what value I receive? Building a value promise document is the first process to help advisors clearly articulate the value clients receive and your process to deliver it. This is an ongoing process, so you can constantly improve the value you deliver and deliver more and more value. Start by putting it in writing.

The written process, the second key

After the process is documented, you must have it scripted for clarity .Once you have the value that you deliver to clients in writing, have it scripted or written out so you can hear how it sounds as if you were a client. Does it make an impact on you, or does it sound like something every other advisor would say? What questions do you ask to help people get clarity around their finances and goals? What type of outcomes am I looking for and willing to pay for as a result of your work? For the most part, we think it is our job to ask questions and for clients to supply the answers. But what happens when the tables are turned? Would we make any sense? Or would our answers tumble out incomplete and unclear?

Your value promise document takes on the seldom considered idea that your clients ask an awful lot of questions. Simply put, the questions of your clients reveal what is important to them, what they want, what they want to know of us and from us, and what they wanted to happen, the outcomes they are searching for. Their questions reveal their greatest intents. Ultimately, though, the questions of our clients reveal what we ourselves should be asking. That is, if we are brave enough. Are we?

Clarity through conversations, the third key

In my workshops, I ask advisors to write down three to five things of value, your best clients are willing to pay for. Rarely if ever, advisors write down what I consider three critical words to explain their value. The words are conversations, exercises or discussions. No matter what you call it, having key conversations with clients about important areas in their life so they can gain clarity is valuable. The value is in the conversations ( or call them exercises or discussions) you have. Think about this. One of your values is to help people gain clarity around their financial goals for their future, through your conversation. Can people do it on their own? Yes . Do their get a deeper understanding of their financial goals and put it down on paper. Sometimes. Do they sit down with their spouse and get clarity around where they are going together? They gain a deeper, more objective insight into where they have been and the new direction that will bring clarity to their lives.  Again, the value is in the conversation. I would encourage you to ask this question. Would it be valuable to get clarity around your goals for the future and put it on paper ?

With the rise of #fintech and robo advisors, how many of them would be able to have a valuable conversation or discussion to help people gain financial clarity? Start by getting clarity around the value you deliver for clients and put it on paper. Then clearly articulate it and describe your value. Part of your value is in your conversations. Now you have the three keys to articulating your value, which will give your clients and prospects more clarity, and more importantly, you. If you would like more information about financial advisor workshops or coaching to build your value promise process, email us at 


 Advisor Practice Management’s goal is 

“ Helping Financial Advisors take action, to create 100 quality financial plans for their clients”. My mission if you choose to accept it is “ To help advisors to create 1 million quality financial plans for people”.  Ask your clients and prospects this question " What does a quality financial plan mean to you ? Let me know if I can help you grow your practice. 

Let’s work on your business. Start by emailing us. Why not? 

Enthusiastically yours,

Grant Hicks, CIM, National Director Practice Management
Advisor Practice Management

909-17th Ave SW, 4th Floor
Calgary, Alberta  T2T 0A4
Tel  587 390 3148
Cell 403 970 8895

PS Where do you want to be in 3 years?

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