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The experiences, insights and returns of the growing Certainty Advice community.
Monday 5th June - Leveraging 1st and 2nd Chairs for Maximum Value with Martin MulcareAdvice is teamwork. For too long, advice has been personal and value is placed upon an individual relationship and thus dependent, rather than value being built upon an experience consistently, specifically and methodically delivered by well-aligned advisory team members.
Monday 22nd May - The Three Jewels of Discovery Conversations - Signatures, Complexities & SignificancesThe heart of Discovery Meetings is the value each client seeks. Certainty Advice frameworks are built upon the value in each client's detailed aspirations, or in each client's complexities, or in identification and prioritising of what is most significant.
Monday 15th May - Navigating Fundamentals & Pressing IssuesMastering the start of Discovery & Re-Discovery Client Meetings requires a strong control of initial conversations, particularly the initial positioning and management of Pressing and Fundamental Issues.
Monday 8th May - Delivering Valuable Terms of EngagementCertainty Advice's Terms of Engagement are different. They are 'project plans' not detailed strategy recommendations. Positioning and presenting them requires specific Certainty Advice skills to maximise effectiveness.
Monday 1st May - More Valuable Engagement Meetings using Advice PathsAdvice Paths are not sales documents, but an illustrative and simple Path showing the most significant navigation waypoints, issues, hurdles and approaches. This session with facilitate how best to leverage them in Engagement Meetings.
Monday 17th April - Valuable Engagement Meetings using Advice MapsCentral to these skilling sessions is providing support for the growth of unique skills and competencies to help accelerate your success and skills when engaging comprehensive advice clients.
Monday 3rd April - De-Briefing Part 6: Value Price VariationsEvery time anyone on the advisory team prices, they apply a variability factor to the precedent price. This session will discuss a key element of VALUE pricing - the variability of precedents for each client.
Monday 27th March - Getting Started with Certainty AdviceThese sessions are designed to support Advisory team members seeking the 'big picture' of Certainty Advice to help forge their own implementation paths.
Monday 20th March - Building Valuable Advice PathsAdvisory teams need a consistent, specific and methodical ability to build valuable advice paths for their Certainty Clients - this session shares the secrets.
Monday 13th March - Engaging Wealth Accumulators Master ClassHow to maintain a 50%/50% conversation flow with Wealth Accumulators - probing to confirm understood complexities that they rank higher in importance than longer term goals.
Monday 6th March - 1st/2nd Chair Master ClassHow to engage clients collaboratively and significantly reduce key person dependencies generated by reliance on solo meetings.
1st/2nd Chair Mastery using Certainty Advice
This is a recording of the live discussions between Jim Stackpool and the Certainty Community regarding how best to implement 1st/2nd Chairs
Monday 20th February - Uplifting Loyal Client FeesHow to prepare and conduct the often difficult conversations with loyal clients when fees need to be increased.
The Skills & Approach to Uplift Loyal Clients
Uplifting loyal and long-serving clients is difficult, but vital. For fast-growing and busy advisory teams, uplifting by small inflationary amounts does not address the growing imbalance of workloads, expectations, old fee arrangements and available working hours. This session highlights the Principles, Process and frameworks to help position the necessary uplift for loyal clients by focusing on the most element of every advice relationship - the value THEY seek.
Monday 13th February - Probing SkillsStarting Discovery Meetings with new or existing clients needs the skills of positioning, controlling, listening and then probing - this session workshops the approach
Probing with Certainty
Quality advice relationships are built upon quality questions. Quality questions are deep questions that explore deep and broad aspects of what clients value. Certainty Advice questions are designed to be efficient, focused and lead to valuable relationships in the shortest period of time. Knowing what to probe, what not to, what to probe when, and what questions not to ask are all covered in this session on Valuable Probing
Probing Skills - Case Study One
Probing Skills Case Study One
(Optional) Post-Probing Skills Session Assignment
Monday 6th February - Starting Discovery MeetingsStarting Discovery Meetings with new or existing clients needs the skills of positioning, controlling, listening and then probing - this session workshops the approach
Getting Started - Case Study One
Getting Started Case Study One
Getting Started - Case Study Two
Getting Started Case Study Two
(Optional) Post-Positioning Session Assignment
Monday 16th January - Positioning SkillsPositioning Skills for Discovery Meetings to keep conversations focused on what your client and you really want
Positioning Case Study One
Positioning Case Study One
Positioning Case Study Two
Positioning Case Study Two
(Optional) Post-Positioning Session Assignment
16/01/2023 Session Recording
A shortened 13min version of the live Positioning Skills Webinar
Probing SkillsProbing is one of the four core skills when using Certainty Maps. This skilling session dives into the theory behind good probing, the types of probes and you'll hear common probes, when not to probe as well as pace yourself through the session's case studies and assignments at your own learning pace.
Minimum Pricing is a tough issue to manage because he forces advisory teams to re-position their value and pricing with existing clients. Advice firms are generally strong with implementation of their minimum annual pricing, but not as strong with the managing the expectations and value conversations with longer term clients whose prices are approaching or falling below minimums. There are a number of factors and tools to address this which is covered in this Certainty Roundtable.
Conversation Zero roundtable
Because Certainty Advice is different, screening of enquiries is also different for firms implementing Certainty Advice. This session provides the 'frameworks' but also the key 'mindsets' vital to hold effective screening conversations prior making the time to meet with new prospects. The words used and the way they are delivered set the context for effective Discovery Meetings. This session provides the proven guidelines.
Huddles - How to Work Your Plan
Daily, Weekly, Monthly Huddles are crucial for advisory firms. Without some form of regular team huddle, a team's priorities will tend to become less urgent and important than the priorities of clients and the demands created by clients. The core objective of good Huddles is support for each other as teams inevitably hurdle endless the endless blockages constructed via natural healthy progress. This session discusses how Huddles are prioritising team's priorities for busy advisory teams.
The Ambleside Journey
Nicole O'Sullivan and Caitlin Walker from Ambleside Wealth Advisers on Victoria's South Coast town of Warrnambool share the mindsets that have shaped a great Certainty Journey over nearly 12 months. Dropping long-held assumptions, lifting accountability, defining who to serve as just some of the great examples how Ambleside has implemented significant change in a regional community. As a new era of advisers enter the advice marketplace, the stories of Caitlin and Nicole will provide confidence that the future of advice will be built by some great teams.
Building Alliances with Certainty
Building effective third-party alliances requires smart work. This session covers the third technique to build alliances with a strong preference for alliances built via existing client relationships. The session discusses the need for a plan, and the need for Alliance IP, but most importantly, this session highlights the due diligence needed to create, sustain and manage an effective third-party alliance partnership with like-minded third-party professionals.
Greater Client Awareness using the Goal-Driver Tool
Understanding what drives clients is essential to every Certainty Advice Proposition. While the annual Discovery conversation identifies, prioritises and confirms the overall approach, tools like Keith Abraham's Goal Driver helps with the micro-steps on every client's journey. Also team members aware of each others micro-drivers helps bring crucial awareness that we are not the same in what matters in the progress with seek. How to use this tool, who to use it with and why it was developed are all covered in this important session.
Advising Partners who keep their finances separate
For good reasons, some clients seek advice which respects that some matters of their financial affairs will be kept confidential even from each other. How does Certainty Advice cater for these client scenarios? This session highlights four areas to focus upon when dealing with these client situations.
Progressing with Certainty Benchmarks
Progress means different things to different firms at different times. Once firms are through their initial survival mode when all benchmarks point towards cashflow and survival, a myraid of options appears as to how best guide growth. This session provides an overview of key performance benchmarks for advisory firms in areas of growth, profitability, productivity and fees. Sample benchmarks for 'standard' and 'best practice' performance are also provided.
Referrals with Certainty
Referrals are the core of advisory firm growth. Without management, they can become an obstacle to productive growth. This session identifies the key elements required to make client referrals productive for all client-facing team members. It outlines the twelve steps in the Certainty Advice process to generate ideal opportunities for growth.
Kylie Stirling - My Journey with Certainty
From never wanting to join a Discovery Meeting to never wanting to miss them, Kylie Stirling shares her journey and the discoveries she has made as Stirling Financial Consulting, the firm started by her partner Jarad, has successfully grown. Especially important to understand about Kylie's journey is her lack of technical financial services qualifications. Her background is events and client management. Ideally suited to growing and prosperous advisory firms.
Managing Your 'Quiet' Clients with Certainty
As firms grow, they tend to outgrow their clients. This creates productivity challenges for firms managing growth while still respecting promises and expectations of loyal clients. Advisory teams need a collaborative structure to support their on-going management of all clients who all deserve respect, but not equal service. This session provides some insights how good advisory teams are managing their quiet clients.
Quoting with Certainty
Poor quoting leads to wasted time, under-pricing, over-delivering and poor growth. Quoting is often driven off the wrong premise to 'win' new clients, rather than 'grow' the number of valuable clients. This session outlines some of the frameworks required for advisers to consistently, effectively and methodically quote their advice for both existing and new clients.
Selling Client Bases
As firms grow quicker than the needs of their clients, how do they maintain productivity? In the past the first solution was hire more people, which increases short-term activity and not always eventuates in longer term productivity. What are the considerations for firms seeking to protect the best interests of all clients, while ensuring they remain focused on their active clients?
Accelerating from associate to senior adviser with Certainty
Dan Creagan, senior adviser with William Buck Sydney shares his own and his team's doubling in growth using Certainty Advice. Are pods better than pools for advisory teams? Dan shares the four key elements be believes important to growing skilled and collaborative team members.
Two Chairs Meetings
For advisers building great advisory firms, having two team members in annual client meetings is essential. It reduces dependencies, raises team productivity, accelerates learning and careers objectives for up-and-coming team members and increases client satisfaction with more contact points. It's much more than note-taking, it's a vital part of the firm's proposition. This session explains how it works for Certainty Advice teams.
Screening Prospects with Certainty
Screening enquiries from prospects is important. It is in the best interests of each prospect and firm to ensure the 'match' between firm and client represents a good 'fit' for both. This session provides great discussions and four proven steps to assist making these conversations consistent, specific, respectful and productive for firms implementing comprehensive advice models like Certainty Advice.
Positioning with Keith Abraham
Advisory teams are constantly positioning themselves. It is proactive or reactive? When approaching new clients, new alliances, new team members or when explaining changes in approach to existing clients, team members or alliances, what thought is given to how to position your message, your strategy, your fee? Having worked with many teams over many years, Keith provides a set of six key framework questions to help make the positioning approach more deliberate and less by chance.
Working with Third-Party Specialists - Property
Certainty Advisers expertise can never cover all technical aspects in the lives of Certainty Clients. Therefore working with Third-Party Specialists in a consistent, specific and methodical manner is important. This Roundtable Joel Seach from Harpel Financial Group in Melbourne shares how he performs the project manager role enlisting the services of unaligned third-party property experts.
Mastering both the approach to valuable conversations and the 'conditions' in which valuable conversations will be held is crucial for advisory teams aiming to help clients lead their best possible lives. This Roundtable/Podcast shares how Certainty Advice teams are handling those more sensitive Discovery (and re-Discovery) Conversations when additional skills, focus and vigilance is required.
Building Teams with Certainty
Being in the business of making our clients more confidence, advisory teamwork is crucial. This Roundtable discusses the best practices being used by Certainty Teams to consistently, specifically and methodically deliver the confidence, the direction, the expertise clients are paying for.
Certainty Breakthrough: Pitching to My First Certainty Client
This is our first Certainty Breakthrough session. Featuring Mandy Newman from Sunshine Coast, she shared her steps, her preparation, her Discovery Meeting and how she built her engagement documentation and presented her first Certainty Advice fee.
Discovery Scorecards - Your Path to Mastering Valuable Relationships
This session shares our very latest guidelines on what we believe are the skills and competencies for effective, valuable client Discovery Meetings. This is the heart of Certainty Advice - the consistent, methodical understanding among the whole advisory team of why Certainty Clients will pay for, follow and come back for your firm's advice.
New Engagement Frameworks
This session covers our new Engagement Meeting Frameworks. We have re-worked the Nine Fundamental Elements of an Engagement Meeting, and we have improved the design of future Advice Maps and Advice Paths. This is all about making a stronger focus on the value clients seek while prompting for clients to ask questions because the Certainty Engagement Approach is so different to most client's experiences.
Advising SMEs with Certainty
SMEs represent a significant opportunity for Certainty Advice firms. There are often a number of SMEs in a client base already which provide ideal opportunities to test and develop valuable advice solutions for existing clients and referral points for future expansion. There are two significant pitfalls and differences when working with SMEs compared to personal clients as well.
Releasing clients is tough. The reasons most advisers become advisers is to help people so the concept that clients need to be released seems contrary to original objectives. It's about managing capacity. Old thinking was 'just hire more people' but that ignores how fast the marketplace is adapting. This webinar shares the options, the models and some frameworks to assist in the tough but necessary approach to release clients when it is in the client's best interests to do so.
Re-Engaging Certainty Clients with Certainty
Re-Engaging Certainty Clients is different to common review meetings. Why clients re-engage, continue to take advice and pay for advice is less about 'what' advisers do during the year and more about 'why' it matters to clients year on year. This session shares six different elements of the re-engagement framework where mastery of your own unique re-engagement 'artwork' is crucial.
Managing Minimum Fees for work built upon value needs different thinking and approach when compared to managing minimums for work based upon hourly rates or products provided. As clients set the value and fees when pricing on value, advisory firms need to manage their minimums directly with clients. But how? This session outlines and briefly demonstrates the models and principles that are required to better master the use of minimums for firms delivering value.
Price Modelling is integral to building productive, profitable and efficient price precedents. Beware the devil in the details as you and your team use the Price Modelling spreadsheets to collaboratively determine, assess and ensure the firm's pricing will ensure growth, profits without dependency while delivering the value each client seeks.
Introducing Discovery Flows - The flowcharts for better Discovery Meetings
Introducing our new Discovery Flows - Each client is different, each member of a client couple is different, our team members are different, so how best to make your Discovery Meetings as consistent and methodical as possible considering all the differences? That's why we have created Discovery Flows. Building upon the Discovery Frameworks, these Discovery Flows now provide the pathways.
Building Term of Engagement Documents in 30 Minutes
Building Terms of Engagement Documents in 30 minutes is all about making your quality engagement document in a commercial, methodical, specific and consistent approach. It's not about cutting corners, it's about building systems, people and an approach with the right preparation, right balance of precedents and skilled advisory skills to engage the majority of new and existing clients in a timely manner.
The four common mistakes made in Certainty Engagement Meetings
Like Discovery Meetings, the Certainty Engagement Meeting approach is different. When discussions are focussed the client's value, rather than the advisers expertise, the skills required, the frameworks required are also a little different - this session highlights how we recommend these meetings are conducted.
Two Chairs in Discovery Meetings
Building a firm that delivers advice is different to delivering advice. The use of two chairs in the crucial engagement and re-engagement meetings is vital to reduce dependency on key individuals while building strength in the firms engagement approach that clients fully trust.
Tools for the tough Discovery
The toughest client meetings teach us the most. This session shares the key tools to identify what clients value, to maintain meeting momentum, to position the meeting context and understand the importance of silence. With proper focus and mindset, the toughest meetings will always produce great outcomes.
How to price value
Pricing on value is a significant paradigm shift for every advisory firm. This session presents three core pricing models for advisory teams to initially experiment and subsequently master their own approach to unconflicted pricing based purely upon the value each client perceives they are receiving.
The Most Important Advisory Meeting - The Debrief
The Certainty De-Brief Meeting, the most important meeting firms can conduct. This internal twenty minute meeting immediately after each clients significant annual meeting provides the structure to consistently, specifically and methodically gage price and manage every Certainty client.
Go To Whoa Webinar - From Discovery to (Re) Engagement
This webinar explains everything we know about engaging (remotely) and valuably for firms delivering comprehensive advice. The webinar has 3 segments - Discovering the Value - Constructing the Engagement - Engaging on Value
How to keep Certainty Clients on Track – Using Certainty Advice Paths
Advice Path represents what the best possible path forward for a client looks like in terms of time, processes and outcomes in graphical form. This session covers how to build, present and keep client's financial lives on track using their own unique Certainty Advice Path.
How to Build, Present and Manage Your Clients Financial Lives on a Single Page - Advice Mapping
A picture paints a thousand words. An Advice Map provides an instantaneous picture of the significant elements of a clients financial life. It has become the 'go-to' document for many Certainty Clients. This session covers how to build, present and manage client's lives using their own unique Certainty Advice Map.
How to Handle Questions & Objections to your fees
There is only one way to handle fee objections - with a focus on the client value. This session shares the common fee objections experienced by Certainty Advisers. It also provides valuable insights on what not to do when explaining your fee.
Curating Long Term Client Value - Managing their Complexities
Clients seek advice when they face complexities they cannot solve. Understanding how to identify each complexity and address them is core to providing valuable Certainty Advice.