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Like most financial advisors, you probably started out excited, but quickly realized getting clients is hard. In that situation, most financial advisors go out and try to land every client they can find.

If that’s you, you’re making an error that can kill your business—even if you succeed.
Because the truth about clients is: Not all of them are great, and some sap your energy and ruin your life and business.

There are 5 types of them. In this episode, you’ll hear exactly what they are, why they’re dangerous and how to spot them.

That way, you can keep those horror clients from ever entering your business and can build the business that works for you.

Show highlights include:

  • Why not to pick up the phone when your clients call (it sounds odd, but if you do this, they’ll know you’re doing good work for them). (7:40)
  • If your clients complain about losing money, you need to fire them. Here’s why. (11:50)
  • How high can your client’s expectations get before it endangers your business? Here’s where you need to draw the line. (13:15)
  • The important marketing lesson you can learn from old-school ways single guys tried to get a date. (18:15)

Go to the TheAdvisorCoach.com/Newsletter and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

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.

James: Hello and welcome to another fantastic episode of Financial Advisor Marketing. Speaking of Financial Advisor Marketing, I want to say if you haven't gotten my course, Financial Advisor Marketing Mastery yet make sure you get it. So go over to TheAdvisorCoach.com and enroll. I've got over 11 hours of video content, it's all designed to help you get more clients with less stress and get them in less time. It's my flagship course, it's the mac daddy if you will, and it's the one with the most material. [0:01:02.2]
But, I must caution you first, please, do not try to go through that entire thing at once. I've seen financial advisors get it, and I can check through their stats in the course, Jonathan, I can see what they're watching, how fast they're watching it, what they're doing, I see their activity, and there are some advisors that try to watch all 11 of them in like the first two days.

Jonathan: Yikes.

James: Well I admire their passion for it, but I want to caution them, hey, just watch one video a day, maybe one video every two or three days, just take your time, go through it. Don't go through the entire thing in the week. Just watch one video at a time, and implement the strategies in your business. Because that's the result, you're after results, you're after the result of getting more clients, not just to watch the videos. A lot of financial advisors are type A personalities, they're go-getters, and I appreciate that, I'm one of them. But you can't be type A with the course, because there's just a lot there, you're going to take it slow; you're going to implement and see the results. [0:02:01.2]

Jonathan: I hear you say like, "I'm going to out alpha you, I got more videos than you can handle." 

James: Alpha males, type A's, please don't be offended by what I'm saying, I'm honestly trying to help you because it's by far the most comprehensive, and in my opinion, the single most helpful product I offer financial advisors. I mean outside of the Inner Circle, which is just a month after month, but I mean nothing else even comes close, and I don't think I've talked about Financial Advisor Marketing Mastery very much on the podcast, which is weird, but there you have it, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com and enroll in that today. So there's my plug, my sales pitch value and we will move on to the podcast today. This is Episode 25, that's a pretty nice number. We've been rocking and rolling, we're like halfway through a year of podcast here, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Good grief. Already? It's flown by.

James: It doesn't feel like it. So if you're one of the four people who have been listening since day one, hi mom, thank you. [0:03:05.2 ]

Otherwise, if you're new around these parts, make sure you go back and listen to all the episodes, and I do expect you to start with number one, which was Rules for Successful Financial Advisors, I believe, and then Mistakes Advisors Make on LinkedIn, the productivity episodes and so far the most engaged I've gotten is from Number 13 I believe, which is Are Advisors Working While Drunk, and that's an amazing episode by the way. That was the sleep episode, Jonathan.

Jonathan: You know what, that one affected me too, but I'm surprised that's the one, with all the other stuff that you've said. 

James: That's the one that people brought up, there's just something that they've never heard before and they've never considered. When I say engagement, I mean the emails I've gotten, like, "This one just totally blew my mind." and that's Are Advisors Working While Drunk. And I want to share another resource with advisors. Now, this is not a paid resource, I'm doing something out of the goodness if my heart here. If you go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/sleep, then I have an article right now, it's 10 tips that I personally have used to improve my sleep quality and become a better human being essentially. [0:04:13.9]
By the time you listen to this it may be 15, 20 tips, I plan on adding to it as time goes on, but right now it's like a 2000+ word article that I wrote myself. You can go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/sleep and read that. So don't want to get on a tangent there, but today I want to talk about five types of clients financial advisors should avoid like the plague. And even though I'm a big believer in attraction marketing and getting people into your business, getting clients I'm an even bigger believer in repulsion marketing. When I say that I mean that you should actively seek to avoid or even repel certain types of people from your business. And it shocks a lot of people when I say that, but it's true because I found that if you can repel a certain type of person, if you can get them out of your life and out of your business, then the attraction part tends to take care of itself. [0:05:10.6 ]

If you can get the wrong types of people out of your life, the right types of people become even more attracted to you. For example, if you're a financial advisor and you're not willing to invest in yourself, I do not want you around me because I have products ranging from $20 to several thousand dollars. There's really no excuse. I mean I have everything in that range, Jonathan, but when it comes to financial advisors, there are a few types of clients they should seek to repel. Doing this will make their business much more streamlined, and it will allow them to get clients with less stress, that's to goal, you want more clients, you want less stress, you want to get it done faster. So let's go through this. The very first type of client that you should seek to avoid like the plague, pretty intense stuff, is the type of client who says he doesn't want anything to do with the stock market, yet he's not willing to accept a return that's less, or any return that's not the market. [0:06:08.3]

So he wants to get market type returns without being involved in the market. Well I don't know, but this person sounds pretty darn hard to please, and you have to make a decision. Another example in my case is that financial advisors tell me that they want to be successful all the time, but talk is cheap. You know this, I know this, because their actions demonstrate to me that they don't really want to be successful, because they don't invest in themselves, they don't take success action. Jonathan, I sent you and Cupcake the testimonial before the show to get you a little motivated for the day, the guy grew his business 20% in two months. Did you see it?

Jonathan: Yeah, I saw it. From LinkedIn, right? Michael? Am I allowed to say his name?

James: Yeah, it's just amazing to me, and this guy even got his brother, who he said that his brother was new to the business, he even got his brother on my stuff. [0:07:02.5 ]

This is incredible, and that guy, his brother is just going to crush it, because the majority of my audience is, they have five years of experience or more. So the number one complaint I get from people once they go through all the stuff I offer, and it's not really a complaint, it's just an observation, they say, "I wish I could have done this earlier." I hear it all the time again and again and again, "I just wish I could go back in time, I wish I could get my foundation right." It is just amazing to me that people are getting the growth, they're seeing the results and I am truly blessed and humbled to have people share that with me and share their story. The second type of client you should avoid is the one who constantly calls you. You don't want that person who keeps nagging you, and if you're a financial advisor who puts up with those constant phone calls and constant emails, shame on you because you're letting that person know that you don't respect your time. It's the principle of the matter. If you are Pavlov's dog and every time your phone rings you just, you bark and yip, "I got to get the phone, got to answer the phone." [0:08:06.0]
You don't respect your time and people can tell. They'll be like, "Yes, he's answering the phone, yes, he's responding to my email in five minutes." But if it's you personally and not like an assistant or someone you've hired, it's just a clear flag that you don't respect your time.

Jonathan: It devalues you too James, I mean it's like you must not be busy if you're answering the phone all the time.

James: Exactly. If they answer the phone and I called them, I'd be like, "Wait, aren't you supposed to be working on something? Aren't you supposed to be working for me? Like what are you doing? Are you just sitting around waiting for me to call?" It's weird, and I want to point out that one of the things that advisors get impressed with when it comes to dealing with me and things like that, is I do have an extraordinarily fast response time, like less than five minutes, but most of the time I've got it on autopilot or I've got someone else checking it. There's a bit of a nice smoke and mirrors there, but I'm you're getting taken care of without me being there, without my presence. [0:09:09.3]

Jonathan: Great Oz.

James: Right.  I'm still providing the great service, but I'm not like Pavlov's dogs just hopping at the email. My productivity is still high, I can get the stuff done. A lot of people make themselves accessible in the name of good customer service, but there's a difference between providing good service and letting a client walk all over you, and I'm talking about the ones who call like every other day. If you're afraid to cut those people out of your business, you have a scarcity mentality, period.  [0:09:39.5]
Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle of Paper and Ink Newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.

Jonathan: That's something you should deal with. I've had advisors tell me, "I have these clients that they just call and they bother me, or they're control freaks or they're narcissistic or you name it." Then I'm like, "Why don't you cut them out of your business?" "I don't really want to do it." and they just are making up all these excuses. It's a scarcity mentality. They don't honestly believe down to the core that they could go out and get new business with ease. They're holding on to these pennies, when if they just let go of the pennies, dollars would just come to them. They just don't get it. And I understand you have to take a leap of faith, you have to have a system in place, I'm not denying any of that. I mean if you're down to your last dollar or your last client and you really need that person, then of course, I expect you to have a scarcity mentality at some level, but a lot of these advisors I work with or who are listening to me are already doing fairly well, but yet they're afraid to go from $150,000 a year, to cut the bottom 20% percent of the clients out, go down to $110,000 per year, and that prevents them from getting to $300,000 because they can't take that cut, they just can't get rid of the people. [0:11:18.6]

If they're unprofitable that's a whole another story. If you're unprofitable and struggle with getting rid of them, you have some serious problems. Because if they're not making you any money, they're not contributing any value to your life and your business in your bottom line and you still keep them on, I can't even help you with that, because that's something you got to work a therapist or something. Go listen to the therapist podcast. Number three and the third type of client is the one, and this is a true story. I got an e-mail from an advisor, he forwarded it to me from a client who sent him an email saying, "I don't pay you to lose money." So apparently this guy's funds or his investments had a down month because the market was down, I mean these things happen, and he sent his advisor an email like, "I don't pay you to lose money." Whoa. [0:12:09.8]
Like how much of an A hole is this guy. Right? I don't know why you would ever think to send your financial advisor that email. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't put up with that crap. I would just be like, "You are gone. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Financial advisor told me that one day he came into the office after a down day in the market and he checked his email, and that was right there, just that one sentence, there is nothing else. The financial advisors, they know they can't control the stock market, give your financial advisor a break, they're trying to help you, they're trying to do good work for you, they can't magically make the Dow go up or the XNP go up. They can't do it. 

Jonathan: They got you by the shorts, bro, that's why. 

James: These are the clients who expect too much. I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to describe this, because it is good to expect a lot from people, I expect a lot from financial advisors, but there's a fine line between having high expectations and just straight up expecting too much. [0:13:15.3]

I mean if your client thinks you're going to make millions for them overnight and they're just starting with like one million, it just doesn't work that way, and you need to give them that reality check, and you need to have that conversation with them of what to expect. You have to have a solid client onboarding process, I get that, but even if you put them through their onboarding process and they still have these expectations and they just won't stop berating you for stuff you can't control, again, get rid of them.

Jonathan: Cut them loose. 

James: Cut them loose, let them go. There's a song Cut Them Off, maybe we'll make that our podcast theme if I can get the rights to it. The fourth type of client is the one who is overly analytical and the client wants second opinions, third opinions, fourth opinions, and there's an old saying, "You don't get a dog and bark yourself." [0:14:13.6]
Like an old country saying if you can think about that and it makes sense. You're not going to get a dog and then bark yourself, the dog is going to do the barking for you. So if you're hiring a financial advisor, let the advisor do his or her job. Either your clients trust you or they don't, and if they don't trust you, don't be afraid to show them the door. Because if they're a problem for you, let them go be a problem for someone else, and I know that sounds crude, I know that sounds crass, and I know that this is something that other experts and gurus aren't going to tell you, but this is the truth. And whether you like it or not, I'm trying to help. If people really are a problem, cut them off. Because you've got better things to do with your time. There are people out there who appreciate you and what you do and the services you offer more than your bad clients could in ten lifetimes. So just get that, like understand that. I remember this guy reached out to me and he was interested in private coaching, and I outlined a little game plan for his entire business. [0:15:05.9]

Now keep in mind, this plan literally could have doubled or tripled his business, yet he kept second guessing every little thing. I said, "We're going to do this and this and this." I just gave him the outline, and looking back I shouldn't have done that, so I do take some responsibility, but he just kept nit picking everything and he was like, "I don't think this is going to work, I don't think that's going to work." I was like, "Dude, either you do it or you don't. I'm going to sleep fine either way. I know my stuff works. If you don't like it and you want to second guess every little thing, don't let the door hit you on the way out." Again, I am like, I'm amplifying that attitude for you, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but that's kind of the mentality that you need, so think about that. Now, we're going to have a little fun with these, because the fifth type of client you want to avoid is the one who's a kleptomaniac. This is a funny story. I had an advisor tell me that he kept a candy dish in his office, like I mean just service professionals, they got candy in there, like butter fingers and Reece's and little mints and things, and he had one in his office and there was this little old lady that would come in, she was a client and she would clean that entire candy dish out every time she visited. [0:16:20.7]

He would have her sitting there in his office and she would just pick it up when he was a looking, just like scoop in her purse or something. She's a kleptomaniac, this lady would come in every meeting and steal his whole candy dish. We can't have that. That's kind of jokingly, I mean I'm sure she is a nice lady, but like come on, don't steal the guy's candy dish. He never confronted her about it, but he had cameras in his office, and I mean he could just go back on the camera and see this lady was just taking the thing and just scooping it right in her purse. I mean how many mints do you need, lady. Little old ladies, maybe this is a stereotype I have, and I hope I don't get hate mail for this, but I thought they were supposed to carry mints and like butterscotch candies around. [0:17:04.6]

Jonathan: How do you think they get them?

James: Yeah, don't you have enough? Or maybe that's where they get them from. Maybe that's where they're all coming from, they're all getting the butterscotches and mints from the financial advisors' office, and I never thought about it until now. That's where they're getting them. By the way, you should avoid any and all clients who come to you wearing tin foil hats. Yes, that's a true story, I don't have time to get into that now, maybe a future episode. A guy came in wearing a tin foil hat and some crazy stuff happens. Sometimes the right marketing, it's not about attracting the right people into your business, sometimes it's about repelling the people you don't want. That's pretty much what I have for today. You want to focus on repulsion, at least for a little bit, and maybe not make it your entire game plan, but once you understand that by putting a stake in the ground and saying, "There's this person that I don't want." your business will start to improve, and the example that I gave, I was a guest on a podcast a couple months ago and they asked me about this stuff, like, "Wow, you really have a strong opinion about the repulsion marketing." [0:18:12.4]

I was like, "Darn right I do." They're like, "Well can you give us an example of repulsion marketing in practice?" and I thought about it for a little bit and the perfect example is actually old personals ads in the newspaper. Like when people put an ad in the paper looking for a date or a boyfriend, girlfriend. That's a perfect example. It's a perfect example of attraction and repulsion marketing together, because you would say something like, "I'm a single white male age 25, I'm looking for single white female who's in her 20's, she's got to like walking on the beach, she's got to like reading, but she cannot be a smoker. Nonsmokers only." There you go right there. You're just putting your stake in the ground saying, "I don't want any smokers." and that's like a really simplified example, but that's kind of the idea. If you have any of these traits of people that I don't like, please stay away. But at the same time, if you like walking on the beach and you're in your 20's and you're a single female come my way. That's repulsion and attraction marketing combined. So if you can take that idea, if you can read between the lines and you can apply this to your business and your website, your email, your direct mail pieces watch things get easier. That's a wrap, Jonathan. [0:19:21.4]

Jonathan: I feel like you missed a big opportunity. Like all these bad clients are grenades and you should be lobbing at your competitors. Be a referral source for your competitors.

James: I didn’t want to touch that one, Jonathan. They can fight fire with fire too. If you're a good financial advisor you probably don't have many of these, but if you're giving them to your competition and you're better than your competition, they probably have a lot worse clients and they're going to send them back to you. So be careful, don't put your hand on the stove, it'll burn.

Jonathan: What do you have for us next time, James?

James: In the next episode I'm going to talk about some things I wish every new financial advisor knew. So the information in the next podcast episode really can shorten a lot of advisors' learning curve. Not just for new advisors, even if you're an experienced advisor please, tune in, because it's going to help you. That's what's coming up.

Jonathan: Alright, looking forward to that. So another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can, thank you for tuning in and we'll be back in your ear buds next time. 

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