Financial Services Online, Inc.
            Knowledge Base Financial Services Online, Inc. General

            Guided Tour

            his Guided Tour of the Virtual Sales Assistant (VSA) is designed to:

            1. dramatically cut your "learning curve" in making effective use of the Virtual Sales Assistant; 

            2. introduce you to The National Underwriter's Tools and Techniques Online Library and e-Learning courses; and 

            3. provide some tips for making the most effective use of the VSA.

            Tour Requirements:

            1. You must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer before taking this tour. If you need to install this free software on your computer, click here and follow the download and installation instructions. 

            2. If you do not have the PowerPoint software installed on your computer, you must have the PowerPoint Viewer utility installed on your computer before taking this tour. If you need to install this free utility on your computer, click here to download and install it. 

            3. Allow approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete the tour. 

            Let's Begin Our Guided Tour of the Virtual Sales Assistant...

            (Did you print a copy of this Guided Tour? If not, please do so now.)

            We're going to begin our tour with a brief description of the five types of VSA content:

            1. HTML Content - HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the programming language of the Web. This Guided Tour is an example of HTML content. Since different Web browsers display and print HTML content somewhat differently, we use HTML in the VSA when appearance is not that critical. 

            2. Fixed PDF Content - PDF stands for Portable Document Format. When appearance is important, the Virtual Sales Assistant delivers PDF content to your computer...content that retains the document's original "look and feel" and which prints perfectly in color or black and white, depending on your printer. Your computer must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in order to be able to view and print PDF content. "Fixed" PDF content is simply PDF content requiring no information from you. Tables Online is an example of fixed PDF content. 

            3. Dynamic PDF Content - Dynamic PDF content is automatically personalized with information about you, such as your name, and with information that you input about a prospect or client. The VSA client presentations, concept pages and needs analysis reports are all examples of the VSA's dynamic PDF content.

            4. PowerPoint Presentations - Many of the FINRA-reviewed VSA client presentations are also available as PowerPoint slide presentations for use at point-of-sale with individuals or in a seminar environment.

            If you're not online, please access the Internet now and log into the VSA.

            If you're already in the VSA, click the 'Main Menu' button.


            Destination 1: The Main Menu

            Type of Content: HTML and Images

            Action Required: Log into the VSA or click the 'Main Menu' button.

            Description: The Main Menu is your starting point. From the Main Menu, you can navigate to the VSA content you want to view and/or print.

            When you log into the VSA, the first thing that appears (after any announcements) is the Main Menu, which is organized to make your use of the VSA as efficient as possible. 

            The Main Menu is divided into three major areas:  Tools and Needs.

            • Use the Tools menu to select a variety of tools designed to suppport every aspect of finding and working with prospects and clients.  The Tools menu is broken into two primary groups of Tools: Selling Tools and Resource & Reference Tools.
            • Use the Needs menu to quickly access the appropriate sales and reference tools based on the needs of prospects and clients.  The Needs menu is broken into two primary groups of Needs: Personal Planning Needs (e.g., Retirement) and Business Planning Needs (e.g., Business Continuation). 
            In order to access different content areas, simply click on a Tools selection (e.g., Client Presentations) or a Needs selection (e.g., Retirement) and the choice of content within that area will appear.  Depending on the content area, a menu for that content may appear (e.g., when you click Client Presentations, a menu of all available Client Presentations appears), or a sub-menu may appear (e.g., when you click on Concept Pages, a sub-menu of the categories of Concept Pages appears; click on the category of interest to you and a menu of those Concept Pages appears).
            • There are a series of categories down the left side of your screen. These remain in place as you access different areas within the VSA. Clicking on 'Main Menu' returns you to the Main Menu, the "road map" of the VSA, where each content area in the VSA can be accessed.
            • You can select a specific Tools or Needs menu in the left frame.
            • Selecting The National Underwriter's CE Online courses will first open an interim page giving you additional information about these resources.  When you make your selection on this interim page, a new Web browser window will open, where you'll have access to the National Underwriter CE course you selected.  To return to the VSA, either close the new browser window or click on the VSA browser button at the bottom of your screen.
            Our tour will first review the Tools menu.
            Destination 2: Referred Lead Generator

            Type of Content: HTML

            Action Required: In the Selling Tools area of the Main Menu, click Referred Lead Generator.

            Description: The Referred Lead Generator is designed to provide you with the names of neighbors your prospect or client is likely to know in order to "prime" the referred lead process.  A page appears giving you information on how to use this tool.  After reviewing this information:

            Action Required: Click the Click here to begin hyperlink.  When the Search screen appears, following the instructions, enter your street name, city and state, and click Submit.

            Result: A list of your neighbors, including name, address and phone number, appears. You can print a copy of this list and use it in sales interviews to "feed" the names to your prospects and clients and receive qualified referrals in return. 

            Action Required: Click Main Menu in the left frame. 


            Destination 3: Target Market Generator

            Type of Content: HTML

            Action Required: In the Selling Tools area of the Main Menu, click Target Market Generator.

            Description: Many sales experts recommend that you target your marketing effort towards individuals and businesses with similar backgrounds. This feature allows you to quickly gather names of professionals and businesses...doctors, vets, dentists, attorneys, florists, restaurants, etc...in your marketing territory.  Referred Lead Generator is designed to provide you with the names of neighbors your prospect or client is likely to know in order to "prime" the referred lead process.  A page appears giving you information on how to use this tool.  After reviewing this information (you may want to print a copy of this page):

            Action Required: Complete the form with a market category (e.g., dentist) and then your city plus state and/or zip code.  Click the Submit button. 

            Result: A list of the professionals/businesses in the requested target market appears, together with contact information. Following the instructions on the Target Market Generator page, review the results.  You can print a copy of this list and use it to evaluate and develop target markets in your marketing territory. 

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Prospect/Client Approaches.


            Destination 4: Prospect/Client Approaches

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A menu for the Priority Planning Concept appears. On this menu, you can complete the prospect's name, enter the date on which you will be using the Priority Planning Concept with this prospect and select which version of the Priority Planning Review you want (P&C, non-P&C or Business).

            Action Required: Complete the Prospect's Name field, click the Priority Planning Review (without P&C version) button and then click Submit.

            Result: A screen will appear asking if you want to view the Priority Planning Review on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the View link...the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer will automatically launch and the Priority Planning Review will download and appear on your computer screen. You can use Acrobat's 'File/Print' command to print a copy for use with your prospect.

            Tip:  Make sure to use Acrobat's Print command, and not your Web browser's Print command, to print any PDF content.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame frame, click Concept Book/Client CD.


            Destination 5: Concept Book/Client CD

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A technique book is an organized three-ring binder or a CD containing "concept pages" that allow you to quickly and efficiently show your client a given concept.

            Action Required: Check the box for one of the Personal/Financial Planning sections.

            Result: The VSA needs a few moments to prepare the customized Concept Book section for your use. When the section is ready, a screen will appear asking if you want to view it on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the View link and you'll see that the section is customized with information about you. At this point, you can scroll through the section to review it and, if desired, print one or more copies. Do your printing now or use your Web browser's Back button and click the Save link, because once you exit the Acrobat Reader, the Concept Book section disappears.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Newsletters and Wave Marketing.


            Destination 6: Newsletters and Wave Marketing

            Type of Content: HTML and PDF

            Description: A menu of the different newsletters available for e-mailing (HTML) or mailing (PDF) to prospects and clients appears.

            Action Required: Click Business Briefs.

            Result: A menu of the available Business Briefs newsletters appears.  Select the month/year you're going to send the newsletter (pdf only), select the format of the newsletter (HTML or PDF) and click on the box in front of any of the newsletters and you'll see a copy of the newsletter.  For HTML Newsletters, you can then follow the instructions on the Business Briefs menu in order to e-mail the selected newsletter to prospects and clients.  The PDF Newsletters are designed to be mailed to a list of prospects and clients on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly.

            Action Required: Return to the Main Menu and click Life Guides.


            Destination 7: Life Guides for Clients

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: The Life Guides are a form of checklist or questionnaire, designed to provide clients and prospective clients with information and guidance on a variety of life events, all with financial implications.

            Action Required: Check the box for one of the Life Guides.

            Result: The VSA needs a few moments to prepare the customized Life Guide for your use. When the section is ready, a screen will appear asking if you want to view it on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the View link and you'll see that the Life Guide is customized with information about you. At this point, you can scroll through the Life Guide to review it and, if desired, print one or more copies. Do your printing now or use your Web browser's Back button and click the Save link, because once you exit the Acrobat Reader, the Life Guide disappears.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Client Presentations.


            Destination 8: Client Presentations

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A Client Presentations menu appears. From this menu, you can select the personal, business or estate planning presentation you want to prepare.

            Action Required: Click on the Traditional IRA/Roth IRA Presentation hyperlink.

            Result: A Traditional IRA/Roth IRA Presentation input screen appears, which begins with a description of the presentation. Below the description, you enter the information needed to produce the client presentation.

            Action Required: Enter a sample prospect's name. You can change the presentation date if desired. Otherwise, today's date will appear on the presentation. Click the Submit button.

            Result: The VSA needs a few moments to prepare a customized presentation for your use. When the presentation is ready, a screen will appear asking if you want to view the presentation on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the View link and you'll see that the presentation is customized with the prospect's name (if you entered one), with the presentation date and with information about you. At this point, you can scroll through the presentation to review it and, if desired, print one or more copies. Do your printing now or use your Web browser's Back button and click the Save link, because once you exit the Acrobat Reader, the presentation disappears.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Concept Pages.


            Destination 9:  Concept Pages

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A sub-menu listing the categories of available Concept Pages appears. From this menu, you select the Concept Page category of interest to you.

            Action Required:  Click General Estate Planning Concept Pages.

            Description:  A menu of General Estate Planning Concept Pages appears.

            Action Required: Enter a sample prospect's name. Click the Estate Shrinkage in Action button and then scroll down and click the 'Submit' button.

            Result: The VSA needs a moment to prepare the customized concept page for your use. When it is ready, a screen will appear asking if you want to view the concept page on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the Save link.  You will then be prompted to save the file to your hard drive. You can call that file anything you want and save it in any folder you want (suggestion: set up a folder on your computer for VSA sales content) as long as you give it a file extension of ".pdf" -- e.g. "BobSmith.pdf". After saving it, you should be able to open and view it and print it at any time just by double-clicking on the file name. Before you do that, though, you can prepare and save as many as you'd like, then go back later for the printing.

            Note:  On each Concept Page menu, you can select a cover page and up to ten different concept pages, enabling you to create your own presentation with a single click of the Submit button.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Calculators.


            Destination 10: Calculators

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A menu of available calculators appears. From this menu, you can select the needs analysis you want to complete.

            Action Required: Click on the After-Tax Corporate Cost Calculator hyperlink.

            Result: An After-Tax Corporate Cost Calculator input screen appears, which begins with a description of the needs analysis. Below the description, you enter the information needed to complete the needs analysis.

            Action Required: Enter the requested information and click the 'Submit' button.

            Result: The VSA Web site quickly returns a summary of results (in HTML). If desired, you can print a copy of this summary. Review the results summary and decide on your next action. Your choices are:

            1. If you are not satisfied with the results, use your browser's 'Back' button to return to the input screen and change some or all of the input; click the 'Submit' button when done. 
            2. Download a print-quality report that incorporates the results. 
            3. Return to the Main Menu.
            Action Required: Let's assume that you're pleased with the summary results. Click the 'Generate Report' button and the report will download and appear on your computer screen (a download link may appear; click it and the report will download).  Note that the report is customized with the prospect's name (if you entered one), with the presentation date, with information about you and reflects the results of the needs analysis. At this point, you can scroll through the report to review it and, if desired, print one or more copies.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Seminar Presentations.


            Destination 11: Seminar Presentations

            Type of Content: PowerPoint Slide Presentations

            Description: A menu of available PowerPoint slide presentations appears. From this menu, you can select a slide presentation, handouts for that presentation and/or you can prepare a personalized client presentation for a prospect with whom you are using a slide presentation at point-of-sale.

            Action Required: Click on the Seminar Presentation hyperlink for Educational Funding.

            Result: The PowerPoint Educational Funding slide presentation will download to your computer and display.

            Action Required: If you wish, click on the Handout and Client Presentation hyperlinks for Educational Funding to see these support pieces.

            Action Required: Click Main Menu and then the Fact Finders.


            Destination 12: Fact Finders

            Type of Content: Dynamic PDF

            Description: A menu of fact finders designed to address personal, business and estate planning needs appears. On this menu, you can complete the prospect's name, enter the date on which you will be using the fact finder with this prospect and select which fact finder you want.

            Action Required: Complete the Prospect's Name field, click the Confidential Personal Planning Questionnaire button and then click Submit.

            Result: A screen will appear asking if you want to view the Confidential Personal Planning Questionnaire  on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the Email link and a form will appear.  In order to see how this feature works, complete the Client Email Address field with your own e-mail address, add a Subject and type a message.  Then click the Send button.  The Confidential Personal Planning Questionnaire will then appear in your e-mail inbox, together with your personal message.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Personal Website.


            Destination 13: Personal Website

            Type of Content: HTML

            Description: Recognizing that many of the website programs available to advisors are expensive and/or difficult to maintain, your VSA includes a section that can be used as your personal website or as a link from your current website.

            Action Required: In order to view a copy of your personal home page, enter this URL in your web browser:  

            http://finsecurity.com/compliance 

            Result:  Your personal home page, provided by the VSA, appears. You can send clients and prospects to this site via e-mail, business card, word-of-mouth or any other method and, so long as you are an active VSA subscriber, visitors to your personal home page will have a wealth of financial and other concepts at their fingertips!  In addition, the content in your personal home page is automatically maintained for you in order to reflect the most current tax, legal and regulatory information.  Finally, you can further personalize your home page with a personal picture, a brief description of your business and/or any required broker-dealer information.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Tools & Techniques.


            Destination 14: Tools and Techniques

            Type of Content:  HTML

            Description: Online searchable library of basic through advanced financial planning information.

            Result:  A new Web browser window opens to the menu for the Tools and Techniques volumes.

            Action Required:  Click on one of the Tools and Techniques volumes of particular interest to you.

            Result:  The menu for that Tools and Techniques volume appears.

            Action Required:  In the left frame, click on a chapter title of interest to you.

            Result:  The selected Tools and Techniques chapter appears.  The menu remains visible in the left frame and can be used to navigate through the Tools and Techniques resource.

            Action Required: Close the Web browser window with the Tools and Techniques Library, which returns you to the VSA; in 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Specimen Documents.


            Destination 15: Specimen Documents 

            Type of Content: Fixed PDF

            Description:  A menu of available specimen documents appears. From this menu, you can select the specimen document you want to review and/or provide to a client's legal or tax advisor.

            Action Required: On the Specimen Documents menu, click the Non-Trusteed Partnership Cross Purchase Buy-Sell Agreement hyperlink.

            Result: The selected specimen document will download and appear on your computer screen. You can use Acrobat's 'File/Print' command to print a copy for use with a prospect's or client's legal adviser.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Client Worksheets & Gifts.


            Destination 16: Client Worksheets & Gifts

            Type of Content: Dynamic and Fixed PDF

            Description:  A menu of available financial worksheets/client gifts appears. From this menu, you can make your selection.

            Action Required: In the Motivational Messages area, click the first motivational message hyperlink.

            Result: The VSA needs a moment, since the motivational message includes your name and other contact information. When ready, a screen will appear asking if you want to view the motivational message on your screen, e-mail it to a prospect or client, or save it to your computer.  Click the View link and the selected motivational message will download and appear on your computer screen. You can use Acrobat's 'File/Print' command to print a copy to give to the prospect or client.  Alternatively, you can e-mail the motivational message to a prospect or client or save it to your computer.

            Action Required: Click your brower's 'Back' button and on the menu, review the Financial Worksheets area of the menu.  This is a series of handy forms that can be provided to prospects and clients. Further explore this resource as time permits.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Tax Information.


            Destination 17: Tax Information

            Type of Content: HTML

            Description: A sub-menu listing the types of available Tax Information appears. From this menu, you select the area of tax information of interest to you. This area includes a variety of tax resources, one of which is TaxFAQs.

            The acronym FAQ is widely used on the Internet in reference to frequently-asked questions. TaxFAQs is designed to provide concise, plain-language answers to a wide variety of frequently-asked tax questions. TaxFAQs answers include supporting citations, as well as hyperlinks to those sections of the Internal Revenue Code that relate to the answer.

            Action Required: In the TaxFAQs area, click Individual Life.

            Description: After the Individual Life Insurance TaxFAQs menu appears, scroll through it to get an idea of the types of questions and answers covered in this section. Then:

            Action Required: Click on FAQ12/C/3.

            Result: The answer to FAQ12/C/3 appears on your screen. Scroll through it and note the highlighted hyperlinks to related IRC Sections. If desired, you can click on one of the IRC Section hyperlinks in the FAQ answer and the selected IRC Section provided by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) appears. If you do so, use your browser's 'Back' button to return to the FAQ answer, which you can then print if you want.

            Action Required: Explore the other resources in the Tax Information area. When done, in 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Building Your Practice.


            Destination 18: Building Your Financial Services Practice 

            Type of Content: HTML

            Description:  A complete program on establishing the systems needed to build and maintain a successful financial services practice.

            Action Required: On the Building Your Financial Services Practice menu, click a chapter of interest to you. 

            Result: The selected chapter will appear on your computer screen. 

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click CE Online.


            Destination 19: CE Online

            Type of Content:  Interactive online courses in popular Life & Health topics, filed for CE credit in most states. Paper and online CE exams are available for each course.  The courses are available for your learning and/or reference use.  If you wish to use any of the courses for CE credit, there is a $25 grading and filing fee per course.

            Description:  An interim page containing additional information about the CE Courses appears, together with links to each of the courses.

            Action Required:  Click on the name of a course of interest to you. (To view state requirements and credits available for each course visit www.nationalunderwriter.com/ce/requirements.asp).

            Description:  A new Web browser window opens and the course will begin, prompting you to select your choice of a narrated or interactive text format. (Both feature the same content; the text format is, however, more appropriate for low-bandwidth connections). You must have the Macromedia Flash player installed to view these courses. This free software is available at www.macromedia.com. If you are not sure whether or not you have the player installed, simply click on a course name to begin taking the course. The course will alert you if you need to install the player.

            Result:  Each course contains a navigation tutorial and a link to purchase the CE exam. 

            Action Required: Close the Web browser window with the CE Course, which returns you to the VSA; on the Main Menu, click Virtual Underwriter.


            Destination 20: Virtual Underwriter

            Type of Content:  Fixed PDF

            Description:  A menu of General Underwriting Concepts and Medical Conditions appears.

            Action Required:  On the Virtual Underwriter menu, click any topic of interest to you.

            Action Required: In the left frame, click Sales Ideas.


            Destination 21: Sales Ideas

            Type of Content:  HTML

            Description:  Sales ideas that originally appeared in the VSA's twice monthly newsletter, the Virtual Advisor.

            Action Required:  On Sales Ideas menu, click and review several of the sales ideas.

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Resource Center.


            Destination 22: Resource Center

            Type of Content:  Thousands of state specific government and legal documents and forms, as well as a wide variety of legal FAQs.

            Description:  An interim page on which you select the state for which this information appears.

            Action Required:  On the interim page, select your state of residence and click 'Go.'

            Description:  When your state menu appears, click one of the resources of interest to you.

            Result:  The selected resource will appear. 

            Action Required: In 'Browse By Tools' in the left frame, click Mental Vitamins.


            Destination 23: Mental Vitamins

            Type of Content:  HTML

            Description:  A menu of available Messages from the Masters and Quotes from the Masters "Mental Vitamins" appears.  Use these resources to refine your skills, sharpen your attitudes or just as "food for thought."  You may also want to include print-outs of some of the articles as part of mailings to clients and prospects. 

            Action Required:  On the menu, click Messages from the Masters by Topic.

            Description:  The available topics will appear. Click one of interest and then select a 'Message from the Masters' of interest to you.

            Result:  The selected Message will appear. 

            Action Required: Return to the Main Menu.


            Destination 24: Needs Menus

            Type of Content: HTML and Images

            Description:  We'll continue our tour with a review of the Needs menus.  The Needs menu organizes the Tools reviewed above around a series of prospect and client needs: Personal Planning Needs (e.g., Retirement) and Business Planning Needs (e.g., Business Continuation). 

            Action Required: In the Personal Planning area, click Retirement.

            Result:  A Retirement Planning menu appears, on which you select the phase of the sales process for which you need VSA retirement planning tools and resources.

            Action Required: Click Analyzing the Need.

            Result:  A menu appears on which you'll find all of the VSA resources available to assist you in analyzing retirement needs, including needs analysis calculators, financial calculators and concept pages (remember that you can request a cover page and up to 10 concept pages with a single click of the 'Submit' button).

            Action Required: Click Retirement Planning near the top of the page to return to the Retirement Planning menu; then click Resource and Reference Tools.

            Result:  A menu of all the VSA resources and reference content that can assist you throughout the retirement planning sales process appears, including specific chapters in Tools & Techniques that deal with retirement-related issues.

            Action Required: Review the various Personal Planning and Business Planning needs menus as time permits.  When done, click  Main Menu in the left frame.


            Final Destination: The Links

            Type of Content: HTML

            Description: The final stop on our tour is a quick review of the links that appear down the left side the Virtual Sales Assistant:

            • Main Menu - Click the Main Menu link anytime you want to return to the Main Menu.
            • Table of Contents - A complete listing of the VSA's resources in PDF format.
            • Quick Start - An abbreviated overview of the VSA and its resources.
            • Sales Ideas - Suggestions on how to use the VSA to make money.
            • Virtual Advisor - Current edition of the Virtual Advisor, which includes a tip on how to make use of VSA resources, as well as current industry news; the Virtual Advisor is published twice a month.
            • Help - Contains a variety of information on using the VSA.
            • Subscriber Services - Click the Subscriber Services link if you need to change any of your personal or billing information, if you have a billing question or if you want to cancel your subscription. 
            • Suggestions - Your suggestions for improving the VSA and adding to our content are welcome. Click the Suggestions link in order to submit your suggestions.

            • Browse by Tools and Browse by Needs - A navigational tool to the VSA resources.
            • Search - Try the search feature if you're looking for information on a specific topic.
            Action Required: At your convenience, explore the assistance and resources available behind the VSA Links.
            This concludes our VSA Guided Tour. If you have any questions or need assistance in using the VSA, be sure to use our e-mail Help System (click the 'Help' link). We also hope that you'll make active use of our Suggestion system to let us know about the type of content that you'd like to see added to the VSA. With your input, we're confident that the Virtual Sales Assistant will continue to deliver the sales, marketing and technical resources needed to operate productively in today's financial services environment.


            Updated: 15 Jan 2019 01:47 PM
            Helpful?  
            Help us to make this article better
            0 0