Tips for Independent Financial Advisors: Creating Your Firm’s Introductory Packet
In the hyper-competitive, often supersaturated world of financial advisors, complacency is unacceptable. If your goal as an independent financial advisor affiliated with an independent broker dealer firm is to establish and grow your financial advisory business, you must be committed to both maintaining your current client base as well as always trying to recruit new clients. To grow your client base, you should always be networking (there’s even an acronym for the concept—“ABN”). And when it comes to networking and meeting with potential clients and centers of influence (COIs), first impressions are everything. What do you think will make you stand out from other financial advisors and appear more professional in the minds of a potential new client or COI: a basic business card or your firm’s introductory packet for prospective clients?
An effective, well-prepared introductory packet for prospective clients can set you apart from other financial advisors and set an initial tone of thoroughness, professionalism, and organization.
Objectives of your introductory packet may include but are not limited to:
- Differentiate yourself and your firm from other financial advisors
- Begin to lay the foundation for a solid advisor-client relationship
- Share your financial advisory firm’s philosophy, mission, value proposition, and your personal approach to financial planning
- Provide a general outline of your firm’s services
- Provide contact information and directions to your office
The following is a non-inclusive list of items you may want to include in your introductory packet:
- At least three of your business cards. Also, including your professional photo may also be beneficial so prospective clients can put a name to a face.
- Your compelling personal biography. The information you include in your personal biography should not only inform prospective clients of your experience and qualifications but also include information that connects you to your prospective clients on a more personal level. Include where you went to college; degrees, designations, professional certifications, or industry honors or awards earned; and past relevant careers and work history. On a more personal level, if you practice in the same area where you grew up, you may want to include the name of the local high school you attended. You may also include whether you are married or have kids, what activities you like to do outside of the office, and your community and philanthropic involvement.
- Menu of services you personally provide your clients.
- What a client can expect from an initial meeting and what they should do to prepare for this meeting.
- A general client information sheet which asks for basic information from the client such as: name, contact information, birth date, occupation, birth dates and names of spouse, children, and parents, and preferred method of communication.
- You may also want to include a basic financial statement worksheet for prospective clients to fill out. This simple form should be short and not intimidating. It should ask for basic data such as estimated net worth, scope of the financial planning engagement, and the client’s main financial planning issues, concerns, and goals. This worksheet should help you determine whether the client may be a good fit for your practice and vice versa.
- If you are associated with a specific firm and your firm has a company specific brochure, you may want to include this in the packet. This should be distinct from the menu of services your personally provide your clients.
- If you are a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), consider including the brochure developed by the CFP Board to educate current and prospective clients about the importance of certification and working with a CFP®
For more information on Summit Brokerage Services and our independent financial advisors, visit www.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528. Let us show you why we were voted as the number one boutique independent broker dealer firm in the country!
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 A strong organizational framework is essential for building a successful financial advisory practice. To learn more about other ways to improve organization at your practice, check out Summit’s previously published blog entitled “Organization Tips for the Independent Financial Advisor”.