GFSP™

The Global Financial Services Professional is a skills training designation designed for agents and advisors looking to launch their career in financial services. The designation equips advisors with the practical knowledge and skills to build a book of business, implement a consultative marketing/planning process, and help clients achieve financial security.

Offered in concert with The American College of Financial Services, GFSP™ is intended for advisors working outside of the United States and in the global marketplace.

Program Overview

Course 1 - Essentials for Building a Practice
  • Unit 1: The Psychology of Prospecting
  • Unit 2: Getting Started with Target Marketing
  • Unit 3: Selecting the Prospect
  • Unit 4: Creating Awareness
  • Unit 5: Social Media and Approaching Prospective Clients
  • Unit 6: Practice Management Concepts
  • Unit 7: Prospecting through Service
  • Unit 8: Ethics and Prospecting
Course 2 - Essentials for Meeting Client Needs
  • Unit 1: The Trusted Advisor and Financial Security Planning
  • Unit 2: Effective Communication
  • Unit 3: Meet with the Prospect
  • Unit 4: Gather Information and Establish Goals
  • Unit 5: Analyze the Information
  • Unit 6: Develop and Present the Plan
  • Unit 7: Implement and Service the Plan
  • Unit 8: The Way of the Trusted Advisor
Course 3 - Essentials for Financial Security
  • Unit 1: The Financial Security Pyramid and Life-stage Segmentation
  • Unit 2: Financial Management Essentials and Life Insurance Needs
  • Unit 3: Wealth Foundation Needs
  • Unit 4: Time-value-of-money and Special Planning Situations
  • Unit 5: Wealth Accumulation Needs
  • Unit 6: Wealth Preservation and Wealth Distribution Needs
  • Unit 7: Periodic Financial Reviews and Business Management Principles
  • Unit 8: Ethics

Program Delivery

The classroom portion of each course is currently delivered in a live-local setting.

All course materials are delivered online through The College's Online Learning Center. Students will use the Online Learning Center to receive online access to all relevant course materials, including:

  • Readings to help them learn the concepts, techniques, and strategies
  • Weekly quizzes related to each reading (no quiz the first week of the course)
  • Homework assignments, which include "breakout" questions to prepare for class, projects to apply what they learn, and other materials
  • A cumulative quiz to be taken at the conclusion of the course

In addition, students will have online access to a:

  • Grade book to access their grades
  • Downloadable and printable PDF textbook of all of the readings
  • Downloadable and printable PDF workbook of all of the assignments

Essentials For Building A Practice Course Details

This course teaches advisors proven methods to successfully build their practice. The key is identifying and working in markets that need, value, and can afford their products and services. The course focuses on how to discover these markets, identify individual prospects in them, and effectively reach them with sound messaging and approach methods. In addition, students will learn how to overcome common psychological barriers encountered when approaching prospective clients for an appointment and form the habits needed to build their practice.

Unit 1: The Psychology of Prospecting
  • Course Overview
  • The Role of the Financial Advisor
  • The Prospecting Puzzle
  • Overcoming the Five Challenges to Successful Prospecting
  • Understanding the Prospect
Unit 2: Getting Started with Target Marketing
  • Definition and Advantages
  • Define the Product
  • Identify Your Natural Marketing
  • Select a Target Market
  • Create Selection Criteria
  • Position Your Personal Brand and Products
Unit 3: Selecting the Prospect
  • Prospect Sources
  • Prospecting Methods
  • Organizing Your Prospecting Efforts
  • Conclusions
Unit 4: Creating Awareness
  • Prestige Building
  • Preapproaches
Unit 5: Social Media and Approaching Prospective Clients
  • Social Media
  • Approaching Prospects
Unit 6: Practice Management Concepts
  • Principles of Goal Setting
  • Business Planning and Organization Concepts
  • Strategies for Successful Mentoring Relationships
  • Creating Alliances
  • Your Personal Board of Advisors
Unit 7: Prospecting through Service
  • The Objective of Extraordinary Service
  • The Eight Laws of Extraordinary Service
  • Creating an Effective Client Service Plan
Unit 8: Ethics and Professionalism
  • What is Ethics? 
  • Why Do Professionals Have Additional Obligations? 

Essentials For Meeting Client Needs Course Details

This course focuses on the consultative approach to the marketing/planning process needed to build mutually beneficial relationships with clients and help them achieve financial security. Students learn how to conduct the initial and fact-finding meeting to discover a client’s needs and financial situation. They will also learn how to present recommended actions that will address the client’s needs and initiate an implementation discussion. Finally, the course covers the communication skills that successful advisors use to cultivate client relationships. The consultative marketing/planning process can be used to help clients with any financial security need.

Unit 1: The Trusted Advisor and Financial Security Planning
  • The Value of the Trusted Advisor
  • Using Financial Planning to Increase Financial Security
  • The Marketing/Planning Process
  • The Client-focused Mindset
Unit 2: Effective Communication
  • Types of Structured Communication
  • Attribute of an Effective Advisor
  • Basic Communication Principles and Skills
Unit 3: Meet the Prospect
  • The Initial Meeting
  • Planning the Initial Meeting
  • Objectives of the Initial Discussion
  • Skills and Techniques Used in the Initial Discussion
  • Engaging in the Initial Discussion
Unit 4: Gather Information and Establish Goals
  • Objectives of the Discovery Process
  • Skills and Techniques Used int he Discovery Process
  • Conducting the Discovery Interview
Unit 5: Analyze the Information
  • Objectives of the Analysis Step
  • Analyze the Information
  • Overview of Life Insurance Analysis Methods - Case Study
Unit 6: Develop and Present the Plan
  • Objectives for Developing and Presenting the Plan
  • Develop the Plan
  • Present the Plan
  • Case Study: Life Insurance Plan Development
Unit 7: Implement and Service the Plan
  • Implement the Plan
  • Service the Plan
  • Putting It All Togther
Unit 8: The Way of the Trusted Advisor
  • An Advisor's Ethic Obligations
  • Ethical  Principles that Should Guide the Behavior of a Trusted Advisor
  • Best Practices of an Ethical Advisor
  • Common Ethical Challenges in the Financial Services Sales

Essentials For Financial Security Course Details

This course provides advisors with a strategy for helping clients identify the various financial and risk management needs to address to achieve financial security. Students will learn how to identify these needs and potential solutions at the various levels of the financial planning pyramid. The pyramid levels include wealth foundation, wealth accumulation, wealth preservation, and wealth distribution. An understanding of the financial planning pyramid will enable advisors to give recommendations that reflect the client’s overall financial situation. In addition, the advisor can add value by alerting clients to threats and opportunities relevant to their financial security.

 

Unit 1: The Financial Planning Pyramid and Life Stage Segmentation
  • Financial Security
  • The Eight-step Marketing/Planning Process
  • The Financial Security Pyramid
  • Uses of the Financial Security Pyramid
  • Life-stage Segmentation
Unit 2: Financial Management Essentials and Life Insurance Needs
  • Financial Management Essentials
  • Wealth Foundation
  • Life Insurance
Unit 3: Wealth Foundation Needs
  • General Insurance
  • Accident and Health Insurance
  • Emergency Fund
  • Last Will and Testament (Will)
  • Disability Income (DI) Insurance
Unit 4: Time-value-of-money and Special Planning Situations
  • Time Value of Money
  • Special Planning Situations
  • Strategic Alliances
Unit 5: Wealth Accumulation Needs
  • Principles of Saving and Investing
  • University Education Funding
  • Retirement Planning: Accumulation
Unit 6: Wealth Preservation and Wealth Distribution Needs
  • Wealth Preservation
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Other Insurance
  • Wealth Distribution
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Estate Planning
Unit 7: Periodic Financial Reviews and Business Management Principles
  • Periodic Financial Review
  • Managing Your Time
  • Strategic Planning
Unit 8: Ethics

FAQ

How many courses are in the program and what are they? 
There are three courses in the GFSP™ program:

  • Essentials for Building Your Practice
  • Essentials for Meeting Client Needs
  • Essentials for Financial Security

What is the class timeframe and design? 
Each course consists of eight two-hour class sessions that meet once per week over an 8 to 10 week period (accounting for holidays and/or weather). There is an additional two-week period recommended to study for, and to take, a cumulative course quiz. By design, all three courses are to be finished within one year, including the comprehensive exam that tests on the material from all three courses.

Who should enroll? 
The courses are designed for newer advisors and agents, or any advisor wanting to refresh their practice management.

Who will teach the class?
The moderators are leaders/managers who have been approved by The American College of Financial Services.

How is the course delivered? 
The course experience is guided by a moderator during the live classes. Course materials and activities (other than the classroom) are located on an online Learning Management System. Students are provided access to this system upon enrollment.

What testing is required to complete the program?
A comprehensive exam covers the content from all three courses. The exam will be administered at an approved testing center, typically a Pearson Vue testing center if one is available locally.

What is required to pass? 
A Moderator’s Grade of 70% is required to pass each course. The Moderator’s Grade consists of the average score of class quizzes, projects, class participation grades, and a cumulative course quiz. In addition, a grade of 70% or higher on the comprehensive exam is required to receive the designation.

What is the cost? 
Contact your GAMA representative for pricing.

How do students enroll? 
Contact your GAMA representative for information on enrollment.

What do GFSP™ designees need to do on an ongoing basis? 
Designees must professionally recertify annually in order to use the GFSP™ designation. Continuing education must remain current.

How does professional recertification work? 
Continuing education (CE) is required to be reported biennially to The American College of Financial Services. Currently, it is set at 30 hours, with one hour of ethics as part of that total, every two years.