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Get a Lit Profit Margin

WOW that’s painful to talk about. Could your financial advisor practice be more profitable? Have you studied and measured its profitability? While helping the world with their retirement you just in fact may be neglecting your own.

In this episode with Jim Palumbo of DYNAMIC Advisor Solutions, advisors will learn:

  • Why the profitability of your practice is matters to your clients
  • The value of seeing yourself as a business rather than just a professional practitioner – both for yourselves and for your business owner clients
  • How far you can cut costs and which costs you should and should not cut
  • Two ways to grow your business and how to go about them
  • Profit margin guidelines for advisors who are acquiring other practices
  • How Jim got his business to 80% gross profit margin when he was an advisor
  • The likelihood of local talent meeting the needs of your practice

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

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New York Financial Services Keynote Speaker

Sara Grillo Keynote Speaking Topic List

Hi there and thanks for visiting my page. My name is Sara Grillo and I am a financial services keynote speaker based in New York. I specialize in discussing financial communications.

Companies hire me to speak because I answer the following questions:

  • How can the client-facing people at my company get more attention from clients by using creativity instead of the same old cliche and jargon?
  • What does it take to communicate effectively in the modern age? How is this going to change over the next 5-20 years?
  • What are some mistakes that people at my company may be making as they communicate with clients, vendors, strategic partners, and each other?
  • As demographic groups within the financial industry change, how does my company need to change to be able to accommodate the up and coming people who will be playing a bigger role in the future?

Below you will find a list of my best talks. Contact me if you think your team would benefit from hearing about these. Each talk is 45 minutes long and the cost ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 depending upon location and other factors.


Each talk has to option to include stunt such as burning an insurance policy up on stage, chocolate fountain, karoake skit, etc. These are available upon request.

How to Throw Down on LinkedIn

Financial and insurance advisors report limited success reaching new clients or recruits through online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. In this seminar, you will learn techniques that have been proven to create new opportunities for advisors such as:

  • Messaging strategies that allow you to communicate with your online network and avoid coming across as 99% of advisors do, making them become part of the noise and causes people to want to ignore them
  • Follow up strategies to stay in touch with your online network spanning multiple methods (newsletter, phone, etc.) that integrate with your online brand, reinforce your value and key messaging points, and move you one step closer to your target
  • Branding strategies that will convey a powerful message with words that go beyond the typical industry jargon and set you apart from the rest of advisors

The internet is very powerful for advisors of all types who are trying to reach people of all types, but succeeding online takes skill and advanced knowledge that few advisors have. This seminar will fill in the gaps suffered widely across the industry and provide a remarkable advantage to those who are willing to integrate this knowledge into their practices.

How to Throw Down on YouTube

YouTube is one of the fastest growing search engines on the internet and an opportunity that very few financial advisors have not yet tapped.

In this seminar specifically designed for financial advisors, Sara will demonstrate techniques for getting your brand out on YouTube and finding new clients. You’ll learn:

  • Why YouTube is the #1 opportunity for financial advisor marketing in 2019
  • What the very few financial advisors who have been gigantically successful on YouTube have done
  • Why the rest of the competition won’t do this – and why you should!
  •  How to create a YouTube platform that will serve your target niche
  • Techniques for going about the more advanced strategies such as YouTube advertising
  • What not to do on YouTube

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 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.

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

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 (optional).

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.

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Less is More (For Sure!)

How many people look forward to that website upgrade? Nobody. People would rather use someone else’s toothbrush.

You are making it harder than it needs to be by including way too much content. This is a date not a marriage, party people.

I’m joined by Jared Gold, a website expert who helps build professional websites – quickly & cost-effectively – that are super easy for clients to maintain. He runs Brevity for more established firms and WebsiteByTonight for simpler sites (e.g. new firms and solo practitioners).

Enjoy! Please subscribe and rate and review this podcast!


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Getting More Women into Financial Advising [Brutal Honesty]

As you know, we tell the real story on the Sara Grillo podcast.

Women are about half the population and they are increasingly seeking financial advice on their own, and seeking it from other women. So why in heavens are women still underrepresented and underpaid relative to men in the profession?

And I’m happy that I had two very insightful people on this episode of my show to help me answer it.  We feature Marina Shtyrkov, Research Analyst at Cerulli Associates, and Katie Keary, Wealth Advisor at Buckingham Strategic Wealth.

You will learn:

  • Why the choice of firm matters – good and bad examples
  • How changing compensation structure and using a teaming approach can help
  • The power of sharing stories and having successful women as influencers
  • What men can do to support women in the industry

Thanks for listening and please subscribe!


Resources mentioned in this show

Data USA. (n.d.) Data USA: Personal financial advisors. Retrieved from

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5 Questions You Should Include On Your RTQ (But Aren’t)

Here are five questions to add to your financial advisor risk tolerance questoinnaire.

Let’s be real…the risk tolerance questionnaire as we know it doesn’t get the job done. That’s why I’ve got John Morgan of Connected Consultants on the show this episode to discuss the five questions you should (but probably aren’t) asking on your RTQ.



About John Morgan

John Morgan is the Founder & Managing Member of Connected Consultants, LLC in Boca Raton, FL. His company helps solve many of the “Pain Points” felt by both Advisors and Firms. In this capacity, he assists Advisors with affiliation questions and choices, getting in front of more qualified prospects, engaging prospects & clients on their terms using validated behavioral insights, protecting your practice and firm from unnecessary litigation and the reputation loss which comes along with each infraction and more. In a nutshell, Connecting great people with incredible firms and Fintech innovations around the world!