Demystifying Your Process

Your methodology should add value for your clients at every step of your process.


  • Describe how you help your clients achieve their unique objectives.
  • Define how you work with your clients to identify their needs.
  • Identify how to lead with process, instead of product.


Explain how you incorporate a “professional” model of leading with process, rather than a “sales” model of leading with product, to help your clients achieve their unique and personal financial objectives.


Practice this script to clearly and concisely explain your philosophy and methodology to clients and prospects.


“As I said on the phone, Mrs. Jones, I’d like to explain briefly how I work with my clients, my philosophy and methodology … and if that makes sense I’d like to find out a little bit about you and what you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t mind I’ll start. Our industry has evolved in a very strange way. If you have ever received a call from someone in our industry it’s usually about some hot product or idea, isn’t it, Mrs. Jones? I don’t know any other profession that leads with product. I have never received a call from my doctor because she was running a special on appendectomies this week. I’ve never received a call from my attorney because he was running a special on divorces this week! Think about a call like that, ‘Paul, this is John, I’m running a special, 50% off divorce proceedings this week, how are you and Susan doing?’ ‘Well, John, I appreciate you thinking of me, but Susan and I are doing fine.’ ‘Oh … well … that’s great, Paul, could I talk to Susan for a second?’

“All professionals start with process. They want to find out what you’re trying to accomplish and apply their services to effectively get you there. I incorporate the same three-step process used by the medical profession. When you go to see a doctor for the first time you go through a three-step process:

STEP 1: The Diagnostic Phase: where the doctor reviews your past medical history, your current symptoms (and if they’re really good), your future objectives for your overall health.

STEP 2: The Prognosis Phase: where the doctor takes all of that information, analyzes and/or researches your case and comes back with …

STEP 3: The Treatment Phase: a specific and appropriate form of treatment to address your unique medical needs and objectives. So does this overall structural approach make sense?"

Use this three-step process at your practice:

1. Look at a client’s past financial history, current financial structure and future financial objectives.

2. Do a thorough and in-depth analysis and return with a written prognosis and comprehensive plan of attack.

3. Offer specific treatment, i.e., written recommendations, necessary to help achieve the client’s desired outcome.

Effectively communicating to clients that they are at the center of your process should help drive actionable conversations.

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Why This Matters

Any financial advisor who has survived more than a couple of years in this industry has an ability to engender trust. However, when a client or prospect isn’t really clear about what you are proposing, why you are proposing it and how you plan to execute it, they stay with what they know and take no action.

As our industry becomes increasingly competitive and commoditized, professional designations, along with a holistic and comprehensive approach, are your best defense.

For examples of what successful scripts look like, or to learn more about CEO Advisor Institute, contact your OppenheimerFunds Consulting Team at 1.800.255.2750.

See the CEO Advisor Institute Compelling Conversations Guidebook here.