Proven Practices Resource Centre

Welcome to the Proven Practices Resource Centre – your one-stop-shop for accessing proven practices tools and resources to better your business.

Leading advisors across Canada implement proven practices to help them operate as a business owner. You too can learn more about the proven practices and incorporate them into your own business. Through research, we’ve identified three main principles that will help guide you to successfully manage and grow your business: Business Management, Client Experience, and Marketing. 

By accessing this Resource Centre, you’re already well on your way to become a leading advisor. Use these resources to continually implement proven practices. 

Business Management

Business management encompasses all of the processes you use to run the operations of your business and your team. The following actions have been identified as leading best practices:

  • Leading advisors know that building professional trust starts with maintaining the right designations. It’s one of the fastest ways to communicate credibility. Letters beside your name are only the beginning – investing in ongoing education also builds your competitive edge.
  • Check out the Advisor Learning Navigator to access continuing education (CE) credits.

  • There’s a difference between a team that can keep an office running and one that actively facilitates the growth of your business. By developing top talent, you’ll build a team that can manage key sales and administrative functions and lay the foundation for a solid succession plan.
  • Read sample role descriptions for a marketing or social media assistant to manage key marketing functions.

  • There’s an abundance of tools designed to streamline an advisor’s business. Adopting productivity-enhancing software can cut down on paperwork and enhance your performance. 
  • Consider using a CRM system to manage client relationships.

  • Your vision is the foundation of your business and a tool to guide your team. Top advisors can describe their business in five years. They know their revenue targets, the size of their team and their ideal clients. They’ve considered the balance of work and home life and where they’ll excel as a dominant player. Put your vision in writing and display it prominently for your team. A strong sense of direction will make it easier to identify activities that lead your business forward, and those that don’t.
  • Create a mission and vision statement to help identify the direction you want to take your business.

  • If you have a specific goal in mind, you may question the point of putting it down on paper. After all, strategies can change. But even if you need to modify your approach, the process of putting your ideas in writing is invaluable. A documented business plan provides clarity and focus for future initiatives and can help you navigate potential roadblocks.
  • Use the Business Plan Template to create your goals.

  • It’s tempting to prioritize sales activities over longer-term planning. While you can achieve some success executing and refining strategic sales techniques, continuing that process isn’t sustainable or realistic. Overtime, you’ll run out of hours in the day to grow your business.
  • Schedule time to work on your business, ideally two hours a week.

  • Annual reviews provide a consistent opportunity to articulate your value proposition to clients. They also help deepen your relationships by providing a systematic way for clients to update you on the changes in their lives. Clients will come to expect, and even plan for, these regular sessions.
  • Use the client service model to identify when to perform reviews and have touchpoints.

  • Engaging with other specialists and professionals can lead to a mutually beneficial partnership. Your existing network is a great starting point, and can lead to quality referrals coming to your door.
  • Initiate referrals with your centres of influence to build your network.

  • Leading advisors partner with professional coaches to break through performance plateaus and accelerate success. A business coach works with you to elevate your business by helping you analyze challenges, build strengths and identify which best practices to focus on.
  • Talk to your Sun Life relationship manager for coaching recommendations.

  • Clients’ needs don’t go away just because you retire. They trust you’ll leave them in the hands of someone you’ve chosen to care for them. Despite this, many advisors postpone planning their transition because they feel they’re too young, too busy or too important to their business. The emotional challenge of leaving your practice can also cause inaction. The reality is you need to plan ahead to control the outcome of your business after you retire.
  • Read the Advisor Succession Planning Exercise Booklet to help guide your succession planning.

Client Experience

Engaging clients regularly will help build long-lasting, beneficial relationships. The following actions have been identified as leading best practices:

  • Defining your target market is critically important to growing a sustainable business. Determining which clients substantially contribute to your success allows you to focus business activities on the people you’re best positioned to serve. Prioritizing the quality of your client relationships rather than strictly focusing on the quantity is the key.
  • Use the Ideal Client Analysis to define your target market.

  • As a leading advisor, planning how you’ll spend your time makes sense both for you and for clients. An agenda sets clear expectations for what needs to occur before and during a client meeting. It demonstrates the effort you’ve made to prepare for and understand a client’s needs.
  • Conduct a productive meeting using the Meeting Agenda Template.

  • Client segmentation enables you to better match the level of your support with the needs of clients. As your business grows, effective client segmentation will help you design a sustainable service model and meet clients’ expectations.
  • Learn how to segment clients by watching the client segmentation video and segment them using the Client Segmentation Tool.

  • Taking the time to define and write out your client engagement process will enable you and your team to delight clients and deliver a consistent service. This will set realistic expectations, and build trust as you work together.
  • Use the Client Engagement Process to deliver a consistent service.

  • Client recognition and appreciation events build engagement and create loyalty, which means long-term stability and growth for your business. By engaging with clients outside of the office — and making gestures of appreciation — you can show that you’re invested in their well-being. Client recognition and appreciation events don’t have to be and shouldn’t be extravagant, but they do have to be consistent with your personal brand.
  • Plan opportunities to connect using the Client Service Model.

  • Regularly asking clients for referrals and feedback is one of the most important business-building practices of leading advisors. Your reputation for outstanding service will grow your business naturally over time — but you can accelerate the process. A referral and feedback program that aligns with your existing client relationship model can help you craft your approach.
  • Learn how to generate quality referrals with top clients.


Build trust and recognition by amplifying your brand. The following actions have been identified as leading best practices:

  • Having a rehearsed client attraction conversation will help you build deep connections. Achieve magnetic conversations that generate emotional connections and lifelong relationships with clients.
  • Build a successful attraction conversation using the Brand Story Worksheet.

  • It’s essential that clients and prospects can find you online through a quick Google search and understand who you are, and how you can help. It’s a crucial part of maximizing your business potential.
  • Use the LinkedIn Profile Checklist and Facebook for Business Checklist to create a strong social media presence.

  • With a relatively small investment in time, you can use the power of your profile to stand out. Increase your exposure by participating in the site’s interactive features. Share ideas and resources, see what other people are writing about and connect with clients and prospects in group discussions. Regardless of your approach, you need a strategy to ensure your personal brand is front and centre.
  • Create an exceptional profile by watching these videos and get started on key strategies with the LinkedIn Guide for Top Advisors.

  • Positioning yourself as a source of meaningful information increases your credibility as a trusted advisor. When you stay informed of market and consumer behaviours, you can better anticipate clients’ needs and deliver useful information to help them achieve their goals.
  • Read the Email Marketing Guide and plan your own campaign using the Email Marketing Plan.

  • Your visual brand is one of the most powerful tools you have to connect with your target audience. Promoting your brand consistently across all platforms, both print and digital, is imperative to achieving brand recognition. When you align your visual design (logo, marketing materials, website and social media) with your messaging, you’ll create an identifiable visual brand that can help make a distinct and recognizable impression on prospects and clients.
  • Connect with a marketing agency or graphic designer to create your unique logo and visual identity.
  • Use the Brand one-pager to create a client-friendly marketing sheet, and create your own video to engage with your audience digitally.

  • While it may be a challenge to devote time to promote your business, you also need a plan to stay on prospects’ radar and maintain strong relationships with existing clients.
  • Create a SMART marketing plan to engage ideal clients throughout the year.

Move the Needle

Eager to incorporate the proven practices into your business? Use the Move the Needle checklist to check back in on what practices you’ve utilized, and how you can keep improving your business and become a leading advisor.

Reach out to your Sun Life relationship manager to follow up on your Joint Action Plan throughout the year.