Lists aren’t just for chores, they can also help you explain your services and articulate your value to clients, according to Larry Distillio, director, financial advisor business management, Mackenzie Investments.

“Do your clients understand everything you do and can do for them?,” asked Distillio when speaking at the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs) annual conference in Halifax on Wednesday. “The last thing you want to hear from a client is, “I did not know you did that.”

When your clients completely understand your services your perceived value to them increases, said Distillio, which is important in light of current regulatory changes, such as the client relationship model. As well, you will receive more business from clients because they won’t feel they have to seek out those services from competitors. Finally, explaining your services clearly to clients makes it easier for them to talk about and refer your business to their networks.

Here are three steps to take using lists to help you better explain to clients what exactly it is you do and how you can help them:

> Write out the scenarios
First, write down all the different situations you help clients get through.

“Start creating a number of lists for the different markets that you service,” said Distillio. “What are the life changing events, challenges, [clients] may experience over the course of their lifetime?”

> Explain the solutions
Next to your first list, create a second of how you would help to solve those life challenges.

Make sure this list describes exactly what you will do to help the client through the specific challenge or life event, said Distillio. It should not be a list of products.

> Share the list with your clients
Go through your two lists and test your clients’ knowledge.

Once your lists are assembled show them to clients, said Distillio, and ask them which services they were aware of before and which ones they were not.