Mind Maps: Reinventing the Client Value Proposition

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

We live in puzzling times. The speed of the microchip and the expansion of the Internet have opened many doors for the delivery of financial services. So much so that many advisors are confused as to which door to open, or what service to provide, or how to be paid for these new services.

For advisors who are prepared, the opportunities are there for the taking.

The recent financial crisis has made taking action even more important. Advisors who depend entirely on providing Assets-Under-Management (AUM) services for a fee are being questioned about the relevance of their services. Are advisors presenting a clear client value proposition? Are AUM fees being commoditized? Now that the veil has been lifted on Wall Street, don't all investment advisors look the same?

Challenging Times

For advisors striving to succeed, "differentiation" is paramount. "Change" is operative word. This often requires 180-degree shift. Today, to help financial advisors deliver deep support to clients, they need to tap the power of new and dramatically different goal-setting tools to change the client-advisor conversation.

Through innovative "mind mapping" exercises, advisors can "reinvent" the client value proposition by:

  • Illustrating value to clients

  • Transitioning operationally into a new client management model

  • Getting paid for "behind-the-scenes" (shadow) work.

What Are Mind Maps?

Mind Maps are visual representations of clients' financial and family planning status quo. They visually organize clients' information, with hyperlinks for more detailed data. They help clients clearly see their "stuff" and clearly see advisors' work. Through mapping, clients understand their world. They see where they are within it. They grasp their connectedness to other worlds. By mapping, clients discover new and better ways to move forward.

When clients understand their stuff -- and begin to value all that advisors do for them -- their relationship changes.

"How-To" Example

A good Mind Map work-flow system seeks smart client solutions through carefully mapped, detailed support. It helps advisors deliver greater value to clients through clearer communication and enhanced capabilities. Its first phase requires a practical exercise conducted at advisor workshops where a top client's actions are visually organized. In phase two, an advisor's CRM and filing system are linked with the client's master Mind Map. Then, periodic reviews are conducted with clients, thereby enhancing an advisor's relationship.

Without intelligent mind mapping, it's very difficult for clients to comprehend today's complex world. Financial and family planning advisors MUST adopt new perceptive approaches to remain competitive and relevant.

Just think what Columbus was without a good mariner's map at first. And the New World of opportunities he identified by eventually drawing one.

Imagine Tom Edison trying to work by dim candlelight or whale oil lamp. Then, using his new incandescent light, inventing so very much more.

Mind Maps help advisors chart a murky world to reveal new insights to clients.

Change -- The New Norm

For today's advisors, change is unavoidable. Fee revenue is down, expenses have increased, and the economic outlook is not rosy. Either one embraces change early on or ends up slowly losing clients, staff and one's business.

Imagine elevating the advisor's role with new mapping tools that enable clients to simplify their lives, avoid life's pitfalls, and calmly reach attractive life solutions.


Gary Klaben, President, Protinus is a 25-year financial services veteran and author of the 2010 book "Changing the Conversation". Gary takes a hands-on training role in helping advisors help their clients succeed. Want to discuss more about how advisors can help reinvent the client value proposition? Visit www.protinuspro.com or contact Gary Klaben at gklaben@protinuspro.com or at (847) 441-5644.

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