Create Your One-Word Client Experience Model

Quick! What’s the first thing you want clients to say about working with you? If you don’t immediately know the answer, chances are your clients don’t either.

Take some time as you wrap up 2018 to think about your one-word client experience model: taking the instant gut reaction of working with your practice and weaving it into all your client and prospect interactions. Refreshing your client service model and having a clear direction can help reinforce your value, deepen connections, and boost referability.

Getting Started

First, look at your value proposition, or the pitch of why an investor would choose to work with you over any other independent financial practice. What is the key point or message? For example, if your value proposition discusses how you “deliver comprehensive wealth management services to help investors build a more confident future,” you could have several different answers:

  • Comprehensive: You take the time to look at all aspects of a client’s life to help them design the right plan for them.
  • Confident: You demonstrate a high level of care, detail, and preparation so clients know they’re ready for what comes next.
  • Future or long-term: Clients know their relationship with you is built to last and that today’s decisions will help them for years to come.

Find the explanation that resonates most with you. For a second opinion, talk to your team members or a group of trusted clients. What’s their instant impression?

Putting Words into Action

If your outside sources said the same word or explanation you were thinking, your client experience model is moving in the right direction. If not, it’s time to align. Working on your client service model can be a great addition to your 2019 business plan.

Using the previous example, say you selected “confident” as your answer. Compare “confident” to your existing service model: How does it hold up? What are you doing to inspire confidence?

  • Do you greet clients with their name and ask about personal details from the last time you met?
  • Can your clients expect to hear from you within 24 hours when they reach out to you and when there are news and market moves that may impact them?
  • Do you proactively keep in touch and share news and articles related to their goals?
  • What support are you offering for unexpected events?

Do this exercise for all your client touchpoints, including your website, social media channels, brochures and collateral, and email. A unified experience means you’re staying consistent and helping your overall brand.

Sometimes it may be an easy fix, like incorporating language that reinforces your ideal (even using the one word itself) in your marketing channels. Others—like client review meetings, calls, and unexpected market events—rely more on feeling and intuition, and they make take a little more time to get exactly right. Collaborate with your team members to make these updates and look to your group of trusted clients to help test them out. These individuals already deeply believe in your value and would likely be glad to assist in finding the right way to share it. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that this trial period can make them feel exclusive!

By creating your one-word experience model, you’re ensuring clients know exactly why they choose to work with you—and exactly how to share your value when their friends look for an advisor recommendation.

What’s your one-word client experience?

To stay up to date about the latest trends in independent financial advice or the independent broker-dealer space, visit If you’d like to experience the difference of working with the #1 boutique broker-dealer in the country, call us today at (800) 354-5528.

About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.

About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group (Cetera®) is a leading network of independent firms empowering the delivery of professional financial advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading service provider to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit

“Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of independent firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services. All firms are members FINRA/SIPC.

All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.

Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

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