Sara Grillo: On the Two Sentence Rule and Elevator Pitches

Join me on a new episode of 16 Ways from Sunday where I interview Sara Grillo, financial author, podcast host, marketing consultant, and keynote speaker.  We’ll dive into conversation on elevator speeches, the two sentence rule, and the effectiveness of social media as it relates to financial advisor marketing.

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Ep. 19 Sara Grillo: On the Two Sentence Rule and Elevator Pitches

 

Sad news for the USA Financial advisor family and financial planning industry

While the news cycles of the week have been focused on the shocking and tragic death of legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant, the family at USA Financial mourns the recent loss of two individuals who made a profound impact on us directly.

Over the past month, the USA Financial family lost two long-time friends and advisors. For those of you that have been connected to USA Financial for some time, it’s likely you may have had interaction at some point with Ray Lussier and James Twigg. I’m saddened to share that both have passed away within the past month or so.

These two men had such uniquely different personalities, but they both had their own special way of impacting the lives they touched. I’m no exception. Ray and James were fiercely loyal individuals and passionate about making the lives of others better, especially their clients.

USA Financial was privileged to have been referred to Ray in 2009. From the moment we met Ray, we knew we wanted to have him as a part of our advisor family. A former green beret, Ray was a no-nonsense straight shooter. His word was his bond and you never needed to question whether he would follow-through on what he said he was planning to do. If we ever hit bumps in the road throughout our professional relationship, Ray handled himself professionally and always trusted that we would navigate the challenges together. He was a mentor to other advisors, frequently setting them straight about what in life was truly worth stressing about. Ray wasn’t one to talk much about his time in Vietnam, but anybody who knew him well could recognize that his time in the military taught him a lot.  As many of our service men and women did, he saw things during that period of his life that would shape him into the level-headed man he was. In fact, he was quick to share that his pursuit of an education in psychology after his time in the service was largely driven by the desire to fix himself.

Ray was somebody you just loved talking with, and not just because of his wonderful Boston accent. You always felt you were going to learn something when you chatted with Ray. I always gained a better perspective on my own life after a conversation with Ray. It wasn’t long ago that Ray was fortunate enough to retire from the financial planning business. Sadly, shortly after selling his practice, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Ray passed away on December 19, 2019. He was 72 years old.

It was less than a month later, on January 18, 2020, that James Twigg passed away unexpectedly as the result of a motor vehicle accident near Phoenix, AZ. James joined USA Financial near the end of 2003. He was one of the very first advisors I recall having a conversation with as a new employee of USA Financial. I remember thinking to myself “if every advisor is as kind and appreciative as this guy, this is going to be the best place in the world to work.” There are so many kind words I could say about James, but the one thing that comes to mind immediately is how thankful and appreciative he was. James made it a point to let you know that he was thankful for anything you did to help him. You couldn’t have a conversation with James without hearing the words “thank you” come out of his mouth.

James had an amazing laugh. Even during times of frustration, he would find ways to laugh and smile. I’ll never forget the day he shared the story of him making squirrel gravy. While I found the idea of squirrel gravy so bizarre, James somehow made me come to the conclusion that it would be worth trying some time. I still owe this to him.

The financial planning world and the USA Financial family lost two good men recently. I’ll always remember how James lit up when I shared the news of my first daughter being born, stressing that there is nothing quite like the father-daughter relationship. I saw the same thing with Ray, as I was fortunate enough to witness his love for his daughter Emily, who worked alongside him in their financial practice.  There is nothing quite like that relationship, and the loss of these two men has reminded me to squeeze each of my three daughters a little tighter…

To James and Ray… THANK YOU for sharing all that you did with me. You left a legacy here at USA Financial and a permanent imprint on my heart.

 

Fondly,

Mark

 

 

This picture of Ray captures his classic smirk.

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I think these two photos of James illustrate two things – his wonderful skill and compassion as a listener, and of course his unforgettable laugh.

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Episode 18 – Dennis Moseley-Williams: On the Experience Economy and Serious Shift

In this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, Dennis Moseley-Williams is interviewed. He is the founder of DMW Strategic Consulting, a practice management company that helps organizations secure and build sustainable relationships by creating experience-driven solutions that deliver results, increase revenues, and build enthusiastic referral-generating communities.

This episode is all about building the experience within your practice. Are you ready to shift from service to experience? If so, this is the episode for you.

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Ep. 18 – Dennis Moseley-Williams: On the Experience Economy and Serious Shift

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William Chettle: On Brand, Experience, Persuasion, and the Little Things

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big impact. In this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, I interview William Chettle, the Director of Experience and Engagement for Symmetry Partners.  William is responsible for helping Symmetry and its affiliated companies build greater brand awareness, foster deeper engagement with clients and enhance their overall experience. He oversees the firm’s marketing and communications as well as practice management and events.

This episode is all about branding, development, persuasion, and the little things. Want to make big strides by doing some little things inside your practice? If so, this is the episode for you.

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Seizing Opportunity – The SECURE Act

The SECURE Act could present significant opportunities for financial professionals and their clients. This episode of 16 Ways from Sunday is all about how to seize the opportunity and leverage the pending legislation.

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Business Refinement, Why the Words Matter, and Defining Your Brand

On this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, I’m joined by Steve Phillips, founder of the Advisor Protocol.  Steve is also a Certified Practice Management Consultant at Pareto Systems and has spent over 25 years in the financial services industry as a speaker, trainer and educator working with advisors, product development firms and carriers.

Steve has trained and led successful wholesale consultant teams whose role it was to support and assist individual advisors, broker dealers and RIAs. As a speaker, team leader and passionate educator, Steve’s passion is to help successful advisors become efficient adapters of improved processes around practice management, business refinement and client acquisition.

This episode is all about business refinement. Steve and I discuss how to get out of the rat race of the ever-increasing budget to generate new relationships and convince new people and focus on how to teach the already convinced to convince others on your behalf.

We discuss the difference between referrals and introductions, as well as how to think about defining your brand.

  • As a special bonus, Steve has made available a one-page download titled “The Words Matter.” This is a foundational piece he uses during the coaching and branding process with advisors. It will help you begin to wrap your arms around how to think differently about your practice. It’s free-of-charge for 16 Ways from Sunday listeners.

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Funnel Flipping, Account Based Marketing, and The Secret Formula for Category Leadership

In this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, Mark Mersman interviews Sangram Vajre, co-founder and Chief Evangelist of Terminus. As you’ll quickly uncover, Sangram is a marketing thought leader. He is the author of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies and is the mastermind behind the #FlipMyFunnel community.

In this episode, Sangram shares a very basic, yet profound formula for what it takes to become a category leader.

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The Integration of a Tax Practice and Insurance Agency with Wealth Management

In this episode, Jeff Leppert and Kevin Holt discuss the evolution of their practice and how they executed on a vision to have multiple services under one roof. They detail their strategy behind building a wealth management firm that also marries together a full service insurance agency (property/casualty, health, medicare), tax practice, along with a strategic legal partnership all under one roof. They discuss acquisition, transition, and their commitment to the ultimate client experience.

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The Financial Wellness Gap – What it Means to be UnNiched

In this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, Mark Mersman is on the receiving end of an interview with Andrea McGrew, CCO, and CLO of USA Financial. Their discussion centers around the Financial Wellness Gap facing women. Andrea is the host of UnNiched, a podcast and initiative focused on dismantling the notion that women are a small, specialized segment of the population. She is building a community that raises awareness and fosters dialogue about some of the biggest challenges facing women, both in the financial industry and within the investor community. Mersman_Ad-Podcast-Cover_Ep012 If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, you can do so here: itunes-280Google Spotify      
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Personal Introductions, Fit Process, and Systemization

In this episode of 16 Ways from Sunday, Mark Mersman interviews Duncan MacPherson, Founder and CEO of Pareto Systems, an industry leading business development firm dedicated to the elite professionals and companies with the knowledge-for-profit sector. He has written two best selling books: Breakthrough Business Development and The Advisor Playbook. This episode reveals Duncan’s approach to a fit process, gaining client advocacy, and systemization.

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