The Right Partners
The single most important determinant of your success with the alliance-building process is your choice of partner. Choose the right ones, and you are more than halfway there. Choose the wrong ones and you will never get there.
There are just three steps to ensure that you have the optimal professionals as your guests at Accelerating Your Alliance:
Know the traits of a great partner.
Have conversations to determine the suitability of particular professionals.
Frame the invitation effectively.
1. Know The Traits of A Great Partner
These are the traits your strategic partners absolutely must have:
They work with clients you want to work with. Your potential partners should have wealthy clients and be adept at serving the affluent.
They want to grow their business. They must be highly motivated to generate more revenue and increase their net incomes. Bear in mind that the age of the professional is often irrelevant to their desire to grow their businesses.
They have time to commit to building their business. The Accelerating Your Alliance strategies take time to implement. If a professional is unwilling to commit time, they are not the right partner.
They have referred business to financial advisors in the past. Ideally this will have been you, but if not, it should have been to at least one other financial advisor. You want partners for whom collaborating with financial advisors is not new.
They understand the value of becoming a thought leader. The more a professional recognizes the business development potential of thought leadership, the better.
They must like presenting to groups. Group presentations are one of the key strategies of Accelerating Your Alliance. It will work only when your part likes and is comfortable speaking in front of groups, whether virtually or in person.
Do not consider working with any professional who does not have these traits.
2. Have Conversations to Determine Suitability
Do not try to guess whether a particular professional has these traits. Have a clear conversation with specific questions that will enable you to determine whether they are right for the alliance.
Ideally, you will already have conducted a discovery conversation with this professional and are already engaged in joint business development. In that case, you should have very good baseline knowledge of his or her business. If you know this professional very well and are certain that he or she possesses these traits, you can skip this step.
However, if you do not know, or are unsure, begin with questions like these:
Why don’t you tell me about your practice?
How many clients do you currently work with?
Please describe the different types of clients you work with.
What percentage of your clients are business owners?
How do you usually get these clients?
These probes will give you context and help you begin to decide whether the professional is a good possibility for the event. If he or she does seem like a good candidate, dig a little deeper with these questions:
How comfortable are you making presentations to groups, either virtually or in person?
Do you enjoy making presentations?
What do you think about the value of becoming a thought leader in growing your business?
If the attorney or accountant passes this screening, you can ask:
How much do you want to grow your business in 2021?
If the response is 20 percent or even anything less than 20 percent, you can ask:
If I can help you grow your business by 20 percent or more in 2021, would you have any problem referring the appropriate clients to me for my expertise?
Assuming you get the correct answer on the last question, you can invite the professional to the event.
3. Frame the invitation effectively
Your invitation must convey these key points:
The event will equip the professional to grow his or her revenue by 20 percent in 2021.
The event is being conducted by two of the foremost experts in business development and the high-net-worth market in the financial services industry today.
You are able to take part in this event because you are a member of an exclusive, global mastermind group of top wealth managers.
This is a two-meeting process. The first is the Accelerating the Alliance event. The second is a follow-up meeting between you and the professional(s) where you will begin to implement.
The invitation is exclusive; you can invite only one accountant and one attorney.
The following is only an example of what you might say. Use your own words and your own voice to convey the key points.
I know how important growing your business is to you. I have something to share with you that I think you’ll find very useful as you go about ramping up your growth over the coming year.
Because I’m a member of an exclusive, global mastermind group for top wealth managers, I have the opportunity to take part in a business development event taking place on January 14. It’s called Accelerating Your Alliance and it’s being conducted by two of the foremost experts in business development and the high-net-worth market in the financial services industry today.
The reason I think you would be interested is because I get to invite just one attorney and one accountant to attend the event with me. I think that by working together in a systematic way, you and I could substantially grow our businesses in the next 12 months. In fact, I think we could both grow our revenue by 20 percent in 2021. That’s why I’d like to invite you.
During the event, these experts are going to share with us the most effective strategies working now to drive new business and revenue. And they’ll show us how to implement them jointly so that we can be even more successful than we would be working alone. They also will give us tools that we can implement right away, like presentations and high-quality thought leadership content.
Would you like to attend?
Assuming the response is positive, follow up:
Great. I’ll sign you up. You’ll get a confirmation email as soon as I do. I’ll also send you a link to a page that has more details on the event.
To make sure that this works and make sure that you get the full benefit, let’s set a follow up meeting right now so we can start to implement the strategies we’ll get.
Some professionals may ask you for more detail as you are explaining. When this happens, you may find it easier to send them this link to the event landing page and walk through it together. Either way, be sure to make the key points and, as soon as the professional accepts, to schedule the follow-up meeting for after the event.
Remember: You can invite only one attorney and one accountant to attend Accelerating Your Alliance. In addition, the two professionals should already know one another and have experience working together. Be thoughtful and methodical to ensure that you invite the right ones and that you frame the invitation to set up the event to be as successful as possible.
Your Optimal Financial World
This presentation has a single goal: to help you attract new business from successful entrepreneurs and affluent families. To that end, we have created a range of resources that will ensure a high-quality presentation and follow up that brings qualified prospective clients into your consultative process.
To maximize your success with this presentation, we recommend that you closely follow the steps below.
Step 1: Get familiar with the topic.
First, read the book, Your Optimal Financial World. You received a copy in your March 2020 package of CEG Advantage materials. You may also read the book online here.
Second, watch these videos from John Bowen. These videos set out the key concepts in Your Optimal Financial World and demonstrate how you can convey them effectively to your audiences.
Next, watch this video demonstration of the presentation. We recommend a specific format for your presentation that has been tested and proven out. This video from John Bowen walks you through each step of the presentation. You may also download a script of the video demo.
Become familiar with the nine essential client questions for the virtual family office model.
Finally, ensure that you are prepared to provide stress tests to the prospective clients who request them. Visit The Irresistible Offer to review each element of stress testing.
Step 2: Prepare your presentation materials.
This PowerPoint will be the framework for your presentation. We provide two versions:
PowerPoint with CEG Worldwide branding that shows you what a fully branded presentation looks like. Download here.
A generic (non-branded) PowerPoint to which you may apply your firm’s branding and colors. You will also want to insert one or more slides that support your telling of your personal story. Download here.
This handout contains key concepts of the presentation along with two exercises participants will complete during the presentation. As a member of the Elite Wealth Council, you can choose one of two options for this handout:
Handout with VFO Inner Circle branding. This version is ready for printing as-is, without any modification needed by you. Download the PDF here.
Customizable handout. You may modify this version to apply your own branding and to adjust the content. You must work with your own graphic designer to modify your handout, but we supply our graphic design files as a starting point, as well as a Word version of the handout. Download the graphic design and Word files here.
If you choose to customize the handout, you must follow specific guidelines. Download the content guidelines here (coming soon).
This form enables participants to request a stress test from you as well as a copy of Your Optimal Financial World. We provide a Word version of this form which you may customize. You may also work with your graphic designer to create your own form. Download the Word file here.
Sample Landing Page
We recommend that your response form contain a link to a page on your web site that reiterates your follow-up offer of a stress test and a copy of Your Optimal Financial World. We have created a sample page here and you may download a Word file of the copy here.
Envelope and Stickers
The 12-page handout and response form will be enclosed in a 9” x 12” envelope that is sealed shut with a sticker that reads “PLEASE DON’T OPEN UNTIL [YOUR NAME HERE] GIVES THE SIGNAL. THANK YOU.” You will customize this sticker with your name. The front side of the envelope will also have a sticker with your firm name or logo. In addition, the envelope will contain a set of green, yellow and red stickers that will be used during one of the participant exercises. Order your envelopes and customized stickers here.
Speaker Introduction Template
We worked with professional speaking expert Joel Weldon to create a template of a highly effective introduction. Modify the template to highlight your own qualifications and be sure to send it in advance of your presentation to the person who will introduce you. Download the speaker introduction template here.
Your Optimal Financial World – Online Flip Book
We recommend that part of your follow-up offer be a complimentary copy of Your Optimal Financial World. You may make this available by providing this link to the online flip book. Alternately, you may wish to send hard cover copies of the book. Order the book, including a customized version with your name, contact information and photo on the back cover, here.
Step 3: Get Compliance Review.
As with any marketing effort, you want to involve your compliance professionals in review of your presentation materials.
Your Optimal Financial World (the book) and the 12-page handout were reviewed by FINRA and both received clean review letters.
Step 4: Practice and Polish Your Presentation.
Of course, you want your presentation to be as polished as possible. To help perfect it, watch this demo from John Bowen. You may also download a script of the demo. We recommend that you practice until you feel very comfortable with your delivery, and that you ask for feedback from partners or team members.
To help you keep your presentation moving along on time, download the runsheet and refer to it during your presentation.
Step 5: Drive Attendance.
Your best audiences for this presentation will be members of mastermind and CEO groups, so we recommend that you contact leaders of these groups in your area to discuss presenting to their groups. These leaders are typically hungry for new content that will benefit their members and so will be open to these discussions.
Once you have secured an agreement to present, provide the group leader with two items that will make it easier for him or her to promote your presentation:
Copy for an email the leader can send to group members. Download a template of that email here.
Copy for a calendar announcement for the group. Download a template of that announcement here.
Step 6: Make sure you have everything you need for the presentation.
Step 7: Follow up Effectively.
Your follow-up to your presentation will determine whether you attract prospective clients into your wealth management process. Do not put great effort into conducting a great event, only to thwart your results by not following up effectively.
On the next business day following your presentation, follow up with attendees according to what they indicated on their response forms:
Attendees who requested a stress test. Have one of your team members contact these individuals by phone to schedule a Discovery Meeting with you. Follow this immediately with an email confirming the date, time and location of the meeting. Two days before the meeting is scheduled, have your team member place a reminder call.
Attendees who requested a copy of Your Optimal Financial World. Have a team member send an email containing a link to your landing page, which will provide both the book download link and another opportunity for the attendee to schedule a stress test. Download a sample of that email here.
Attendees who requested both the stress test and the book. Have a team member phone to schedule a Discovery Meeting, as described above. In the confirmation email, include the link to the online flipbook. Copy that link here.
Reminder: Your use of CEG Worldwide’s client- and prospect-facing materials is governed by the Terms and Conditions. Click here to read the Terms and Conditions.
Thriving in Challenging Times:
A Virtual Workshop
This virtual workshop is specifically designed for you to assist people in navigating this challenging environment. It is appropriate for anyone with a complex financial situation, including clients, centers of influence and the clients of centers of influence. It is also useful for any group of businesspeople or professional advisors.
We have created the following framework for a high-quality workshop and follow-up actions that will enable you to expand your network while creating substantial good will. Done well, it is highly likely that you will be able to have follow-up conversations from these workshops that will result in new business.
Bear in mind that this is not a presentation, but a facilitation where you help others to systematically think through what is happening in their worlds. Its purpose is for you to ask thought-provoking questions, not to provide answers. In this sense, it is a discovery process.
To maximize your success with this workshop, we recommend that you follow the steps below.
Step 1: Get familiar with the workshop.
First, watch this video conference where John Bowen and Russ Alan Prince walk you through each step of the workshop. The discussion on conducting the workshop begins at approximately 1h 09m into the video.
Second, download these details on facilitating the workshop. As you will see, there are just three straightforward steps. Your job as facilitator is to lead participants through each step, encouraging reflection and discussion at each step.
Third, familiarize yourself with the Everyone Wins Process, which forms the basis for this workshop. You can order Everyone Wins! from Amazon here. Everyone Wins! was reviewed by FINRA. Download the compliance documentation with the FINRA letter here.
Step 2: Prepare your workshop materials
Tablet and digital whiteboard app
As you will also see in the video conference demonstration, you will convey several points of the workshop using a whiteboard app on your tablet. These are typically low cost and simple to use, and are available for both Android and iOS operating systems. Our favorite is Notablity for the iPad, available here.
Step 3: Offer the workshop to the right individuals and groups.
You can use this workshop both one-on-one with clients or COIs, or with small groups. It is appropriate for anyone who has a complex financial situation, whether business-related or not, who could use some help in thinking through what is happening and how to respond.
That said, there are three major groups you should consider first when offering the workshop:
This workshop is particularly effective for reconnecting with clients you have not seen in some time. Simply contact them and say something like this:
“I have a simple process that is working very well to help clients think through what is happening right now and to identify any gaps in how they are responding. It’s been very useful in helping them pinpoint specific issues they need to address and how they will address them. I’d be happy to take you through this process. Would you like to set up a meeting to do this?”
Centers of Influence and Their Clients
This workshop is useful for helping your centers of influence themselves. Describe it to them like this:
“I’ve been using a process that is working very well with some clients. It helps people think through what’s going on in the current environment and identify any gaps in how they are responding. This has very often resulted in people making some decisions about moving forward, so this could be very helpful both for you and your clients. Would you like me to walk through the process with you?”
Assuming the COI is amenable, quickly run through the three-step process with him or her. This will serve to get buy-in from the COI while simultaneously allowing you to conduct further discovery with him or her.
Once you have demonstrated the process with the COI, ask whether he or she would like you to conduct the workshop for his or her clients:
“Why don’t we bring together a handful of your clients—no more than 10—who are successful but concerned about how they are going to move forward? We can do this through a video conference. Some people will want to take action, so you’ll want to follow up afterward.
“We have found that this is something people are very interested in, so it’s easy to get them to attend. You would simply call or email them—however you typically get in touch—and say that you’re going to bring in a specialist to help them think through what can be done and what the opportunities are.”
We have found than when 10 people are invited, five or six typically show up for the workshop. This is an ideal number.
Any group that brings together successful individuals—or the professionals who serve them—is appropriate for this workshop. These are just a few examples:
Chambers of commerce
Professional advisor organizations, such as local estate planning councils and CPA groups
Bear in mind that in this environment, you need not already have a relationship with a group leader in order to offer your workshop. Cold calling is perfectly acceptable and, for this offer, tends to be quite effective. Make the offer the same way you would with a COI: first describe the process, offer to walk them through it and then describe how to invite participants.
Step 4: Set up the virtual workshop space.
If the COI or group leader already uses a video conferencing platform to meet with clients or group members, he or she can set up the meeting room and share the link with you and workshop participants.
If the COI or group leader does not regularly use a video conferencing platform, you can provide access to one. We recommend that you use Zoom, the premier video conferencing platform. We have prepared a Zoom resource center with the tools and information you will need to conduct highly effective virtual presentations. Access your Zoom resources here.
When you schedule your meeting with Zoom, you will be given a link to the meeting, which you will then provide to the COI or group leader. He or she should email the link to the individuals invited to the workshop.
Step 5: Facilitate the workshop.
Follow the process as described in Step 1. We strongly recommend that you practice facilitating the workshop in a one-on-one setting with a client or COI to ensure that you are comfortable with it before facilitating it for a group.
Step 6: Follow up effectively.
When participants raise specific issues or opportunities where you may be of assistance, you should follow up with them by phone following the workshop. Say that you want to be sure that you fully understood the issue and to nail down follow-up actions. Offer to assist when appropriate. If the participant does not want to act right away, follow up again later.
You can also follow up with noncompeting professionals who were in attendance, such as lawyers and accountants. Ask what they thought of the workshop and any conclusions they came to. We have found that these professionals are typically willing to share their thoughts. These conversations will expand your network and may lead to new business.
Event Preparation & Workbook
Event Preparation and Workbook
Two opportunities for serving clients better while growing revenue that will be discussed during Accelerating Your Alliance are sophisticated defined-benefit plans and captive insurance companies. We recommend that you review several resources from the VFO Inner Circle to familiarize yourself with these opportunities. You may also share these with your strategic partners who will be attending Accelerating the Alliance.
Defined benefit plans:
A Benefit Plan That Can Really Benefit Business Owners (March 2018 Special Report). Access here.
Captive insurance companies:
Harness the Power of a Captive Insurance Company (June 2017 Special Report). Access here.
Cell Captives: A Savvy Insurance Option for Some Small Businesses (September 2018 Special Report). Access here.
In addition, we suggest that you review the event workbook, which you may access here. Again, feel free to share this with your strategic partners.