Weekend Digest for Financial Planners/Advisers & Paraplanners (9th & 10th March)


Welcome to the latest edition of Weekend Digest. This week, we look at articles on  sales…. (yes, that dirty word) and marketing, which includes the use of social media. We end with an article on a common conundrum for many advisers; should we hire someone less experienced and train them up or should we hire a competent hand who can hit the ground running? 

Click on the title to read the full article (opens new window.) Enjoy…


6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century

In his latest book, To Sell Is Human, American author Dan Pink makes it abundantly clear that sales is NOT a dirty word and in fact, that we are all salespeople. He dedicated an entire chapter of the book to the ‘Elevator Pitch‘. This video is a quick summary of what he calls the 6 Elevator Pitches for the  21st century. Enjoy

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Advisers Are Wasting Their Time on Social Media

This article by Todd Greider points out that while many advisers use social medial successfully, others are just simply wasting their time! Ouch!

On key reason for this is lack of engagement – where an adviser does not interact adequately with their followers. It’s probably best not to be on social media at all.  Engagement is the name of the game for social media.

Another problem is lack of a strategy. It’s important to decide what exactly you are trying to achieve with social media. I have to say, the word ‘strategy’ strikes me as a ‘consultancy’ word and many people I know who have had meaningful success on social media didn’t exactly draw up a 10-point plan. That said, it doesn’t hurt to be  a bit more deliberate with your  use of social media.

Other useful tips include creating a content calendar, which helps you in delivering a consistent flow of useful and relevant content to share with your followers. And finally, if you are going to sell anything, sell your personality, your experiences and  knowledge.


The Client Newsletter: DIY or White-labelled?

This article in AdvisorOne examines three approaches to client Newsletter as part of your client communication; using a white-labelled newsletter service (such as ClientFirst), writing it yourself or hiring a ghost-writer.

Evidently, there’s no right or wrong approach but remember that this is a valuable part of your interaction with clients and there are costs associated, both in terms of time and money. Not doing it at all may mean going several months without having any dialogue with client and is probably not an option!

If you choose the DIY approach, costs are likely to be lower and it carries your unique personality and voice. However, it is very time-consuming and will undoubtedly be less professional in its look and feel. However, if you have something different to tell your clients than what they are hearing from their normal sources of information, you probably what this option.

On the other, while-labeling is more generic with the service providers offering off-the-shelf contents and this will come with higher costs. This has to balanced with the professional look and feel of a newsletter designed by an agency.

However, there is a half way house — hire a writer to customize an offering for you, giving you the opportunity to develop a consistent voice.  Some advisers  we work with have asked us to write for them and help with their newsletters. They give us a simple outline with bullets points and we develop that into an article for them. Works well if you want something a bit more personalised  but don’t have the time or inclination to write.

The key objective of advisers, however, should be making a memorable impression on clients.


The Case for Hiring ‘Under Qualified’ Employees

Hire for aptitude, not skills or so goes the saying. A big challenge advisers are often faced with is this, should we hire someone less experienced and train them up or should we hire a competent hand who can hit the ground running? This article in Forbes lists five  advantages employers gain by hiring for aptitude and passion rather than direct prior experience and skills.  These include…

  1. Less-experienced employees have room for growth. They are fresh and eager, not fatigued or scarred.
  2. They have no bad habits to break; only good habits to learn. You don’t have to un-train them on the paradigms they’ve put in place somewhere else. They can blossom into anything.
  3. They have the right attitude. With attitude, as they say, the aptitude will come.
  4. New blood, whether young or old, can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to old problems. Their naiveté is some of the gold that they bring. They’re not afraid to ask, “ Why do you do it this way?” The newest employee may be the one who prompts a positive change.
  5. You can build lifelong relationships. Some of our employees are young; some are older. But when your company is the place an employee has been permitted to blossom and shine, they will love working with you, most likely forever.  Thus, turnover is low.

But is it a case of skill vs. aptitude or a fine balance between the two. Off course, given the right aptitude, an employee can learn and grow on the job, but hiring someone without skill also means the job they were  hired to do will have to be done by  someone else until they are acquire the skill.


I hope you have enjoyed this and hopefully it’ll make you job a little easier! As paraplanners, that’s what we do! As usual, thoughts and comments are welcome. Enjoy your weekend!







Abraham Okusanya
Abraham is the founder of FinalytiQ, a research consultancy for platforms, asset managers, and advisory firms. Recognised as one of the country’s leading experts in retirement income, platforms and investment propositions, Abraham has authored several papers on these subjects and delivered talks to the Personal Finance Society, The FCA and several conferences across the country.

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  1. sfitton@mansecapital.com'

    Thx Abraham
    Good to find you.
    All topics v relevant to me and most helpful, especially the SM article as just started engaging but it describes me. Will heed the lessons.
    Firm has new website (ClientsFirst), and back on with our newsletters and client engagement.
    We’ve just employed an under-qualified bright young fella, as we have tried the competent old hand. She was from an old transactional model outfit and just didn’t get that we weren’t racing around flogging product; we’re sure that aptitude will enable better growth for us all.

    • abrahamokus@yahoo.co.uk'

      Hi Simon, thanks for your comments. I’m glad you found the articles useful. The thing with social media is engagement – just being oneself and talk to others. Your website looks impressive and ‘different!’ So good job there. The issue of skill vs aptitude is also a very interesting one – good to know you have tried both and I hope the new hire works out well for you.

  2. Hi Abraham,

    Great content. Really like what you’re producing.

    Thanks for the mention of ClientsFirst in the newsletter piece. Just for clarity we have a broad proposition that is from bespoke to off-the-shelf. Including bespoke copywriting in-house. All newsletters are individually designed by our creative as we believe design plays such an important role in presenting the business.

    We cater for a broad range of firms, those with limited resources and those who want something more individual.

    Look forward to reading more. Keep up the great content.



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