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Capabilities Decks: A Financial Advisor Marketing Necessity

By Ray Sclafani | December 14, 2016

financial advisor marketing Understandably, very few advisors are natural marketing or branding experts. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, with client and operational demands typically keeping your plate more than full. However, effective marketing materials are essential to acquiring new clients, keeping existing clients engaged and satisfied, and providing your loyal client advocates and professional advocate network with the essential tools to make introductions. 

We strongly advise our clients to view their marketing materials as assets that need to be invested in with time, brainpower and money – investments that when well-executed will deliver superior returns. Rather than approaching marketing as an expense, focus on the economic value it can deliver to your firm in the form of revenues from both new and existing clients.

Crafting an impactful capabilities deck

You’re all familiar with the traditional financial services pitchbook – stuffed with facts, figures, principal bios, process diagrams, service offering descriptions and no shortage of clip art. Rather than telling a cohesive and compelling story, pitchbooks merely throw as much information as possible against the wall in hopes that something will resonate and stick with a prospect.

Your capabilities deck should be a client-oriented marketing tool that conveys not only what you can do for the client, but also why you do what you do, who you do it for, and how what you do is unique from what other advisors do. The deck should cover each of the following topics:

  • Why you do what you do

  • Who your firm is built to service

  • Demonstrated knowledge of common client needs

  • Identifying other needs that clients may not be aware of

  • Solutions (not products and services) you provide

  • Your unique client-outcome-oriented wealth management process

  • Your team of trusted professionals (internal and external)

  • The process of becoming a client and what to expect when they work with you

If you have more than one ideal client type, don’t make the common mistake of trying to create a one-size-fits-all presentation. Instead, develop customized capabilities decks for each key client type that reflects their unique needs and solutions. The challenges and concerns of a professional athlete’s exceedingly high income but short career will be very different from a corporate executive with concentrated stock issues. Make sure your capabilities deck is tightly focused on relevant solutions. The key messages and positioning established in these presentations should then serve as the basis for the development of other future marketing materials including your website and print collateral.


Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. Devote an upcoming team meeting to objectively review your existing capabilities deck. Does it accurately differentiate your practice from others? Does it focus too much on talking about you rather than demonstrating a clear understanding of the needs and challenges of your prospective clients?

  2. Consider the individual strengths of your team members. Are there any natural marketers who can serve to spearhead a revitalization of your marketing materials?

  3. Take time to review your team’s current marketing strategy. What actions can you take to promote a more coordinated team effort rather than individual ones?

Topics: Marketing Approach financial advisor marketing

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