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8 Ways to Better Frame Your Firm

By Ray Sclafani | March 18, 2022

Odds are you’ve created hundreds of pitch books over the course of your advisory career—PowerPoint presentations with your company brand, bulleted facts and figures, colorful graphs and charts, a vision statement, service offering descriptions, and perhaps even a few attention-grabbing quotes.

It’s a rudimentary sales tool. And its day has come and gone.

Instead, you should be focused on developing a ‘capability deck’ that is client-centric rather than firm-centric. Something useful that’s much more about prospect needs and concerns than it is about your history and bona fides. Think of it as a new way to frame your enterprise and communicate meaningful information about:

8 ways to better frame your firm

  1. Why you do what you do (your noble purpose)

  2. Who your business is built to serve (could be a particular profession, shared values like ESG, or common client characteristics like owners selling a business)

  3. Known needs of clients

  4. Unknown needs of clients

  5. Solutions you provide

  6. Your unique, client-oriented and outcome-focused wealth management process

  7. Your team of trusted professionals (internal and external)

  8. What the prospect can expect as a client (onboarding and ongoing service)

Think about who your ‘ideal client’ is. Who your firm is best built to serve. If you have more than one type of ideal client, you’ll want to build customized versions of your capability deck specific to the particular needs and pertinent solutions related to each group. Think about the unique challenges, concerns or obstacles those individuals face about the wide array of financial needs common to many of those ideal clients and the types of alliances that would best help you to deliver a more comprehensive service offering.

For help in defining your firm’s ideal client along with their associated needs and solutions (both known and unknown), as well as related centers of influence, download ClientWise’s Discovering Your Target Markets and Centers of Influence™ workbook.

Your capability deck is a client-centric marketing tool that clearly conveys not only what you can do for the client, but why you do what you do, who you do it for, and how what you do is unlike what anyone else does.

In addition to prospect meetings, your capability deck can be a valuable resource to use during annual client reviews and when grooming loyal client advocates, as well as when discussing your capabilities with professional advocates or onboarding new team members. 

But before you can effectively undertake this work, it’s helpful to gain a clear understanding of how your existing clients (as well as the professional advocates you work with) are currently framing both you and your business. How do they perceive you personally? How would they describe the firm’s capabilities and service model? What’s their overall impression and assessment of your team and your value add?

Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. Think about your ‘ideal client.’ What services and capabilities would constitute a comprehensive end-to-end wealth management solution for this individual’s typical needs?
  2. Which of those services does your firm currently deliver, which are capabilities you’re planning to add, and how will you go about identifying other professionals to fill any remaining gaps?
  3. Think about communicating this broader, more holistic offering to your clients. How do you want to frame yourself and your business?

Do you want to know how we can help you build an enduring firm and maximize your enterprise value?


Topics: Business Development Marketing & Communication

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