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What I’m Speaking About in 2019

Sara Grillo's 2019 keynote speaking agenda

Here’s a list of the keynote talks I’m planning on giving this year. Let me know if you think any of these would be something your team would enjoy listening to!

Websites That Slay

Let’s face it. There’s nothing worse than financial advisor websites. In this highly interactive joint presentation, Sara Grillo teams up with industry thought leader Dan Solin to present advisors with the formula for a total overhaul of their websites so they can become a website that slays the competition.

This presentation will include:

  • An interactive website contest, “Rank My Website” in which advisor’s websites are evaluated and ranked by the audience with prizes give out to the top entries
  • A game of “How Do You See This Without Jargon Or Cliché?” in which advisors will learn what the correct message should be for their websites, and how to express it
  • The opportunity for advisors to pre-influence the subject matter discussed by providing their feedback via survey prior to the show

This talk is not for those who prefer to sit back and snooze! Only companies that truly wish to gain the edge versus the competition should select this talk.

The Cool Way to Talk About Insurance

There’s nothing that makes people want to run the other way faster than a financial advisor trying to push insurance. In this joint presentation, Sara Grillo, CFA, and Barry Flagg, CFP® will break the pattern by teaching advisors how to communicate with higher integrity, transparency, and clarity when they speak about insurance to clients and COIs within their practice.

Advisors will learn:

  • The questions you should ask clients and COIs within your practice to bring to light the truth about the last, largest, most-neglected, and worst-performing asset on their balance sheets
  • Integrating talks into your practice about the numbers that matter – how including certain metrics can lead to higher insights about the true costs and performance of people’s life insurance policies.
  • How to use Prudent Investor principles to eliminate the competition still using misleading, inappropriate, and unreliable policy reviews
  • How to align your practice with the “clients’ best interests” movement

This talk will include:

  • Live role play and participation from the audience in a game format
  • Periodic 35 second dance breaks to avoid monotony
  • Special effects such as Barry Flagg lighting a life insurance illustration on fire because that’s certainly a higher and better use of them than for product selection (Optional)

Getting That First Meeting with a Female Prospect

The fact that women are the gender of the future for advisors to focus on is well documented. There’s been a great deal of commentary from industry thought leaders about what women want and don’t want in an advisor.

What remains unaddressed, however, is the roadmap to the sale: the practical steps advisors can take and what they need to do in order to get in front of more qualified female clients. This talk will propose 5 specific marketing strategies for advisors to follow to get the first meeting with female clients.

Intended audience: female and male advisors of all types, broker/dealer, hybrid, RIA firm, independent, wirehouse, etc.

Pick from a choice of these special effects (optional):

  • Chocolate fountain with choice of fruit, Biscotti, or Amaretto biscuits
  • Shower of $100 dollar confetti
  • Fireworks display

Jumping Onboard with New Ways to Get Paid in 2019

Financial advisor compensation is changing and there are now more ways to get paid as an advisor than ever before. Learn how to manage your practice to open up a world of possibility for creating multiple stream of recurring revenue. Advisors will see the impact that this can have on their practices in ways that the industry has not yet adopted, and gain knowledge of how to best utilize the technologies that are powering them.

This talk may include features such as:

  • Lighting a brochure on fire to signal the end of old advisor practice techniques
  • Strobe light display
  • Karaoke performance

The COI Code: How to Talk to Attorneys and Accountants Without Sounding Tacky

Attorneys and accountants are some of the best possible referral sources for financial advisors, but very few are able to crack the code. This talk will cover how to crack in and get past the boundaries these COIs are putting up, why they are disconnecting from you, and how to communicate in a way that connects, empathizes, and allows them to see you as a valuable resources that can improve their business profitability rather than another advisor looking for a handout.

Advisors will learn:

  • How gaining more influence over the COI requires a deeper understanding of their business and the challenges they face.
  • Why COIs disconnect when you try to help them
  • Methods for financially empowering your COI partners by skillfully managing your practice
  • Best tips for understanding and defining the roles the COI and the advisor play in the financial planning process including consultative questioning methods that reinforce practice discipline
  • Questions not to ask a COI
  • How to maximize financial planning for the COI impact through wise practice management
  • Advice for positioning your practice as an advocate for the CPA
  • How to position yourself as a financial planning resource to them, one with answers that are available on an ongoing basis and through various methods.
  • How to do all of this in a way that makes you not sound tacky

Building Trust Through (Non Boring) Sales Follow Up

The follow up after an initial meeting is one of the best opportunities an advisor has to build trust and show the differentiation in your brand. However most advisor follow up is boring and non-customized. Integrated technology platforms are now changing the game, bringing advisors more opportunity to set themselves apart and build trust in this crucial stage of the relationship building process.

In this 60 minute talk, advisors will learn:

  • How to use automated tools to increase frequency and differentiation of follow up through queries that expose valuable data patterns
  • How to vary follow up using creative methods that go beyond the traditional email and phone call combination
  • How to apply accents of personal attention to each follow up without costing you a ton of time
  • Old versus new methods of reaching clients
  • How the competitive landscape has changed and what your prospects are experiencing from the rest of the world in the method and type of message delivery

A Guide to Talking to the Next Generation Children of Your Clients So They (Actually) Listen

The fact that Generations X and Y are the next generation of wealth is well-documented. What remains to be explored, however, is how advisors can best design their practices to communicate and build relationships with the next generations of their clients’ families. If not, fee compression and roboadvisors pose a very large competitive threat. Using the right words (as opposed to the dry cliché and jargon), using digital communication methods, and rethinking branding elements such as your attire and office design play an important part in reaching this population and ensuring continuity in your practice.

This presentation is highly interactive and includes quiz questions involving volunteers from the audience where chocolate and prizes are awarded for correct answers and calisthenics are required for incorrect answers.

Workshop: The Toolkit for Building a Brand that is not a #FinancialCliche

The ability to differentiate yourself as a financial advisor matters now more than ever. Yet most advisor branding is a constant stream of jargon, cliché, and sameness.

In this three hour workshop, advisors will learn:

  • What qualifies as a valid brand vs. an invalid brand
  • How to design a LinkedIn page that expresses your brand and attracts attention
  • How to explain what you do without sounding like a cliché
  • 6 phrases not to use when you talk about what you do
  • Email and out of office messaging with style and personality
  • How style of dress, personal grooming, office design, and pets can be used to reflect your brand
  • Blogging, podcasting, and other content strategies that should be done in a cliché-free fashion, and how to achieve this

This presentation is highly interactive and includes quiz sessions involving volunteers from the audience. Chocolate and prizes are awarded for correct answers and calisthenics are required for incorrect answers. Humor is also highly utilized in delivery of this workshop.

Re-envisioning the Modern CPA Practice

Being a CPA isn’t as easy as it used to be. Infiltration from competitive pressures such as the gig economy, the do-it-yourself movement, and artificial intelligence have forced the traditional servicing model into a state of commoditization. This workshop will inform CPAs what they need to know in order to elevate their practices so that they can reap the demand for the advanced strategic and consultative advising that the market highly values.

Becoming a Technology Evangelist in the Age of Star Trek

Financial advising is entering the final frontier and the dawn of technology advancement has touched every facet of the industry, from the operations to service delivery, client communications, trading, prospecting, and beyond. How can operational professionals best equip the teams they support to maximize technological success in the age of Star Trek?

In this 45 minute talk designed specifically for home office operational professionals, we will cover:

  • The role of the operations professional as adopters of technology solutions
  • What it takes to be a technology evangelist within your firm
  • The “internal clients” of the operations professional are the advisors. How do you win their trust, help them overcome resistance to change, and by doing so best support their ease of adoption?
  • Embracing innovation as a friend as opposed to an enemy. How to help your team recognize the speed of rapid adoption of robadvisor and TAMP technologies in the industry and the fee compression that invariably will result unless it is matched by an equal embrace of technology by the advisor.
  • A four step process for becoming an evangelist

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