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If you want more clients, you need more prospects. But if you’re talking to 20 prospects a day, you never get to create content, serve your clients and enjoy your freedom.

The truth is: You need fewer prospects than you might think to live your dream life. In this episode, you’ll find out exactly how many prospects you need to build the business even your clients could only dream of.

Ready to stop blindly chasing leads and build a business you actually like? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • Why spending $10k is better for your business than spending $100. (5:03)
  • The crucial difference between a qualified prospect and a poor tire kicker hellbent on wasting your time. (10:31)
  • The unshakeable confidence you get from 100 of these names will do 1000x times more for your practice than a bunch of “leads” (13:30)
  • Why “quality over quantity” makes you less successful. (17:08)
  • Why wild west gold diggers were better at marketing than your favorite guru. (17:43)
  • The slightly “woo-woo” mindset that magnetizes leads, prospects and clients. (19:45)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Ready to learn even more about becoming the successful financial advisor you know you can be? Check out these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:32]

James: Financial advisors, Thank you for listening to another week of Financial Advisor Marketing. If you're new here, I want to say thank you for tuning in and you're in for some, some shockers here, cause this is not your average marketing and advice and just vomiting information Joe, this is a little bit of mix of entertainment and fun and just relaxation just comes out every single Monday. So, maybe you just want to take the edge off the Monday morning, if you hate Mondays. Producer Jonathan, did you know that the majority of, or the highest percentage of heart attacks occur on Monday morning?

Jonathan: I did not know that.

James: It's true, that’s true.

Jonathan: That's another reason to hate Mondays, huh?

James: Well, yeah, around around 6:00 AM people wake up, they realize what they have to do heart attack spike during that time, right on Monday morning. And I am doing my part to help people to relax or maybe I'm doing my part and make it worse. I don't know.

Jonathan: You’re agitating them. [01:22.4]

James: So yeah, that's, that's cool. But this week we're going to talk about how many prospects advisers need to succeed. This is going to be a good one, but I want to open the show with a story about constantly improving your business. It's something that you want to do. You want to constantly improve your business, constantly optimize, constantly improve your client experience. So I have been actively building my own email list since 2015 and tens of thousands of financial advisors have joined. And for the most part, the gift that I give people for subscribing is a long PDF at this point, it's like 80 plus pages it’s called ‘57 Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.’ It's where I outlined some of my favorite marketing ideas and how financial advisors can apply them. Well back all the way back in February, I started looking at this PDF and I became disenchanted with it. [02:12.4]

And even though I had been using it for years and tons of advisors had told me that has helped them in a major way, I just didn't really like it anymore. I mean, the layout sucked, the tips were good, sure. But they weren't great and they were all tactical. And that this is not where I want to take my business. This is not the direction that the advisor coach has heading. So in the previous years we had been tactical like do this, not that step-by-step, I hold your hand through the process and those products will still exist. They will still be part of the business, but everything coming out, moving forward, we'll be a lot more strategic. So back to that, I put together a plan with my team to redo that lead magnet. So we completely revamped it. The layout is much better. There are images now because the old one was just texts. It's easier to read, it's more engaging. And most of the tips in there are brand new and it's very strategy-based. And I know I mentioned this before, but my vision for the advisor coach business is to help advisors be more strategic and I'm taking my own advice here. [03:12.0]

Tactics I mean, at this point in 2020, 2021, 2022, they're going to be everywhere. So many people are out there just sharing content and tips and tricks and all that, but not many people can help you think. Tactics are like puzzle pieces. Yes! You need them in order to put the puzzle together, you need to have tactics at some point, but I'm the guy who's helping you put the puzzle together. You've got the pieces. Anybody, you can get the pieces on YouTube, you can get the pieces on podcasts, articles, whatever. But if you don't know how to put them together, you won't have a finished puzzle. Tactics are a dime a dozen these days, knowing how to think independently and create your own tactics. That will be the currency of the future. So I'm very, very proud of what we do with the brand new ‘57 Marketing Tips. If you haven't gotten that, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/57 and once you join, you get an automated welcome email cause I practice what I preach. It's all automated. And there's a link in there where you can download it and read it right away. And if you've subscribed since like February, 2020, then you probably already have it. [04:12.3]

But if you've subscribed before then you don't have it. And a word of warning, if you're expecting a bunch of do this, not that type information, you're going to be disappointed. Like I said, I am moving away from this model. And to give you a little taste, the very first tip is about embracing productivity. And the second tip is about focusing on value instead of price. These are not tactical at all. They're more about embracing a certain philosophy. For example, when I talk about value versus price, I mean that in order to grow a business, you constantly have to exchange your resources for more and better resources. If you hire an employee for $35 per hour, your goal as a business owner is to get more than $35 per hour in value back. That's how business works. If you spent a thousand dollars on online ads, your goal, just to get more than a thousand dollars back, the price doesn't matter. I would rather spend $10,000 and get back $15,000 then to spend $100 and get nothing back. Price is irrelevant when you understand what you're getting in return. I know Jonathan, you're a pretty big baller. You got a $30,000 masterminds and all that good stuff. Right? [05:17.7]

Jonathan: I think my, my words out there, cause nobody's supposed to know about that.

James: Mmm. Well, would it be our little secret? Just us.

Jonathan: Hey, you know what though? Speaking of that and price and value, I missed you the last time you came down to Florida because I joined that mastermind and I'm coming up on a year. Hopefully you'll come back to Florida, but I did the math and I got 4X ROI on that already.

James: That's insane. But people just don't understand that. And there are people out there who will look at that and say like only 4X. It’s like..

Jonathan: Only?

James: Ya right, I know. But the thing is that they think like this, they think they can buy a 999 Kindle book and make a thousand dollars. And they're like, Oh, I just made a 100X my money. Okay. But is that your standard? I mean, at the end of the day, you still only made an extra $990. That's the absolute amount, like 990 extra real dollars are in your bank account. But if I go out and I hire someone for $50,000 total over the lifetime of our relationship and I make $400,000, I am now $350,000 richer and you are $990 richer. So yeah, this just think about it. And as a financial advisor, the same is true for you because you are a service provider. [06:27.8]

You have to be able to provide more in exchange than what you are taking in order to incentivize people to continue doing business with you. Another example, when people join my inner circle newsletter, they tend to stay for a long time like months and months and years and years. And I even have a photo on the sales page right now showing someone who has gotten billed again and again and again, the people they don't leave because it's very, very easy to recoup the investment. For the average advisor, you only need to get one client per year, not per month, not per quarter, per year in order to have the newsletter paper itself. That's how easy it is. But the core business philosophy of why inner circle members stay subscribed is because they understand and I understand the price versus value concept. I'm offering the newsletter for a relatively low price compared to what they're getting in return. They go around, they do that with their clients. They do that with perspective clients and they build their business the same way. Speaking of business, let's get down to the business part.

Jonathan: Absurd. [07:30.6]

James: This week, I want to discuss an interesting concept. It's the idea of how many prospects you need to succeed because not many people get clear about this stuff, but in order to get clear about it, I need to break down the differences between leads, prospects, and qualified prospects. Now I have personally refined how I approach this over the years. So if you've been following me since 2015 or before that just know that my approach has changed a little bit since then. I mean, I had the original coaching program where we focused on something a little bit different. I had 37 sales tips, which we also revamped this year and that focused on something a little bit different. [08:12.3]

So my approach has refined because I've observed this with the top financial advisors. I've observed it with the worst financial advisors and what they do differently. So just a word of warning about that. When I talk about leads now, I'm talking about people in your target market. If you are a financial advisor who specializes in working with corporate executives, you're looking for corporate executives. Those are your leads. If you get a direct mail list with nothing but corporate executives, that list contains your leads. If you target them on Facebook, you're targeting them because they are your leads. Okay? Clear enough. Your prospects are the leads who at some level, even if it seems insignificant, they have acknowledged your existence. If you send out that direct mail piece, someone who doesn't respond at all that person's still a lead, but if someone responds back, it says that he would like to meet with you or set an appointment or whatever that person does a prospect.So that's someone who has demonstrated interest. [09:12.2]

And let me be clear. You must be a lead in order to become a prospect because leads are in your target market. Someone who joins your email list, who is not in your target market would not be a prospect, because he or she was never a lead to begin with. So even, even though someone has said, yes, I'm interested, I'm going to join your email list, I'm going to be in your world. It doesn't necessarily mean that that person is prospect because the person was never in your please list. You're never in your target market to begin with. So those are leads, those are prospects and those are what you need to start with. [09:44.]

Hey, financial advisors, if you're looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, I invite you to sign up for James' brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. On this webinar, you'll discover why email marketing is able to generate upwards of 4400% ROI for smart financial advisors, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisors make with their emails, and the proven three-step process for converting prospects into booked appointments using email. All you have to do is head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and register today. [10:24.5]

James: Your qualified prospects, now this is the part where I've kind of added, I've refined it and made it a lot better. Your qualified prospects are the ones you decide, make sense for you. Just because someone wants to learn more about you and what you do that does not mean the person is qualified. I've had tons of financial advisors who reach out to me all the time, but that does not mean they qualify for the inner circle newsletter. Here's what you need to realize, if someone is on your email list, for example, that person is a prospect because he or she has acknowledged your existence at least some level. They said, Yes, I understand that you exist, I want to be a part of it. [11:00.5]

There's some interest there. And even when that person schedules an appointment with you, that person is still a prospect and not a qualified prospect because you haven't qualified him or her yet you are the one steering the ship. Let me explain this one more time, Just to be a hundred percent clear, because I know there there's going to be some financial advisors who are still confused. Let's say that someone must have a minimum of a million dollars in liquid assets before you take that person on as a client and someone reaches out to you with $10 million, that person is still not necessarily qualified until you the financial advisor, the one steering the ship, the one running the business, until you say “Yes, I want to work with that person.” Does that make sense so far, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Yes, it does. [11:51.7]

James: So you go from leads, prospects and just because they're a prospect doesn't mean to qualify because you, the business owner still have the call, right? I mean, you're the one who is saying.

Jonathan: Ideally.

James: Ideally, right? I mean, there's a bunch of people out there who I don't have that control. We don't realize they don't realize they have the power to have that control. It’s their choice at the end of the day; it's what they want to do. The big problem is when financial advisors talk about filling their prospecting pipeline, that's a popular sales term; I'm trying to get away from the sales terminology. But I mean, honestly, it's the terminology used in old school sales and prospecting. It's still some of the best to use because people get it, they understand. But when people talk about filling that pipeline, but typically talking about leads, they're not talking about prospects. So they delude themselves into thinking that they have dozens or even hundreds of prospects in their pipeline. But what they're really talking about is leads just people in their target market. [12:45.7]

My own recommendation, here we go. This is the “Value” of this podcast because if there's any advice that I'm giving, here it is. My own recommendation is that you should have 100 prospects, not qualified prospects and not leads, you should have 100 in your pipeline. This is a completely arbitrary number, I get it, I know it. But in my experience, having 100 prospects in your pipeline should serve as your baseline. It'll give you some just unheard level of competence. Remember this is different from having 100 leads. It's very easy to go out and put a list together of a hundred leads. I could do that today. We all have Google. We all have these tools that the scrapers and the Chrome extensions, we all have these. We all have the sales tools. Anybody can do it. [13:30.5]

You want to have a hundred people who have at least demonstrated some level of interest in what you do, but you just haven't qualified them yet. That is what separates the wheat from the chaff and full disclaimer, unless you have a solid marketing machine in place, this is probably going to be extremely difficult for you. This is why this is like a goal you should have. This is not going to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. And here's the part that most people miss, let's say that you are “Closing Ratio” another sales term but I mean, everybody gets it when I say what that is. Your closing ratio is 20%. This means you get one client for every five prospects, it's 20%. And let's say you have the 100 prospects that I'm talking about. If you convert one of those prospects into clients, you need to add five more prospects to your pipeline. A lot of people think that if they convert one, they need to replace one. [14:27.6]

That's not true, you got to go back to basic math class here. Because your closing ratio is 20%, it means that all you've done when you convert, one is you found the one out of the five that won't convert. So you need to add another five. So you're 100 that you start with is going to grow and grow and grow to the extent that you don't, relentlessly qualify them. And that is why it's so important that you have qualified prospects distinguished from prospects, because you can keep a handle on your pipeline, essentially. Because if you don't relentlessly qualify, relentlessly filter people out of your, your pipeline or your CRM with the people that you're working with, it's just going to grow and grow and grow. And you're going to, it's going to end up to be chaos. And I want you to imagine how much your world would change if you knew going into the office next Monday morning, knowing that you had a hundred prospects ready to go, and all you had to do was have a conversation with them, qualify them a little bit more, that's it. [15:30.0]

How much confidence would you have? How much would your income change? And I know some financial advisors might be thinking, Oh, well, that's too hard or maybe that's impossible, but you've got to look at it through a math lens because businesses math, if you know your numbers, you can succeed. And producer Jonathan, you're pretty good at math, right? Do you consider yourself like a math wizard? At least a bit. [15:51.4]

Jonathan: You know I’m, I’m a savant. No, not really. I have to try hard to keep up with math.

James: Me too. That's the point I'm trying to get across. I mean, you don't need to be a super genius or a Harvard MBA or Wharton MBA in order to get this stuff. You just need to have at least a loose grip on it, understand you do your money math. So let's get back into some more. We'll say that for every 100 leads, you have only two people get back to you and say that they're interested in learning more, or at least having a conversation with you, just two people out of a hundred leads. I'm being conservative here so you can see how the math works. That means in order to have 100 prospects in your pipeline, you need to get in front of 5,000 leads, this is just the reality. I'm not dealing in, Oh, I'll get you a million clients next week. This kind of guru marketing quote unquote expert thing. This is just the reality. I deal with the numbers, the math behind growing a business. [16:47.8]

So 5,000 leads, write that number down, put it on your fridge, tattoo it on your arm, your forehead, whatever you have to do, remember that you need at least 5,000 based on those numbers to get to 100 prospects. You can break it down any way you want, you can run the numbers based on your business, on your ratios, but my point is that you must have numbers of people in order to be successful. You need quantity before you can get to quality. I used to have it backwards. I used to try to just get quality, just randomly look for the best and just try to find them and pluck them out. It's not the way to do it. It's relentless qualification, it's relentless filtering. Email does amazing job at that, social media does an amazing job at that. You can get an assistant to do the qualification for you, however you do it, but it's, it's amazing how much this makes a difference. [17:34.4]

I know I mentioned this a few times in some of my, some of my products over TheAdvisorCoach.com and in the blog, over the, TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog. But if you look up the origins of the word prospecting, when it was used for real gold prospecting, the way people got to the gold, was by removing the dirt. They didn't just go out and magically find gold, it didn't just appear. They didn't just walk out and be, Hey, there's the gold. They got it by filtering out the dirt. And eventually they were left with nothing but gold. That's literally how prospecting works. And it's real sense. And that's also how prospecting works in business because you'll burn yourself out, trying to find gold, any other way You've got to filter it. And if you're a student of marketing, like I am, you already know that the entire direct response marketing industry is based on this one, concept alone. [18:25.1]

Some of the biggest marketing companies in the world understand that they've got to start with what they call a lead generation device in my business and helping financial advisors I would call it a prospect generation device. Because the whole point of it is to get people, to raise their hands and say, they're interested. It could be as simple as asking people to enter their information online, to get a free report. It could be as in depth, as having someone schedule a meeting with you on your website, either way, you've got to have something to take people from lead to prospect and at a minimum, you should have a hundred of them in your pipeline at any given time. The goal of prospecting. One more time, just identify prospects. That's pretty much it. And, when you've got a massive pipeline at all times, little side benefit rejection starts to hurt less. If one person flat out rejects you, well, you've got 99 more waiting in the CRM, it's not that big of a deal. [19:22.8]

But if that was the only person you made contact within that week…. pheew, it can be pretty devastating. I mean, it could mess with you psychologically, you could be, you could have neediness. This is a topic that we could discuss for another podcast episode. But you got neediness; it just destroys your business. But we are running out of time and I want to wrap up this podcast for the week. Hopefully I've hammered this idea into your head hard enough. It's all about operating from an abundance mindset. You want lots of leads, lots of prospects and lots of opportunities because if you cultivate abundance in one area of your life, it's easier to get that abundance in other areas as well. For example, you have lots of leads, you have lots of prospects, if you have lots of prospects, you'll eventually have lots clients. I mean, you have lots of clients, you'll have an abundant business because that helps a lot of people and it compensates you accordingly. And before I go, I want to mention that email marketing is one of the best ways I've ever seen to build a pipeline. And it's a way for you to qualify leads and prospects on autopilot. I don't want to drone on too much about that, but if you're interested, go over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar I have an entire webinar about this concept. And if you're not interested, I'll catch you next week. [20:37.1]

Jonathan: No teaser for her for what you have coming up for us.

James: I guess I will indulge in the teaser. So I will just say this next week, we're going to discuss what I consider to be my biggest limiting belief of all times. So this is going to be deeply personal, we're going to talk about me. I'm going to be a little selfish here, but I think that this limiting belief that I've struggled with, I think a lot of people have it and it can help a lot of people. So stay tuned for that.

Jonathan: True. Now, now I have to come back next week. That is a wrap fam. Thank you for tuning in another financial advisor. Marketing is in the can. We will be back with you next week. [21:13.5]

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