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As a financial advisor looking for clients, the first thing you need is an appointment.

But if you’ve tried to get more appointments before, you’ve probably noticed: It’s not as easy as it looks.

Whether you’re currently successful at getting meetings or not, there are three crucial mistakes financial advisors make when they try to set appointments.

You’ll hear all about them in this episode. You’ll hear what the mistakes are, why they’re bad and what to do instead so you can have a constant pipeline of leads for your new business.

That way, you’ll be the advisor who doesn’t worry about their lead flow while your competition wonders whether they’ll make it into their second year of business.

Show highlights include:

  • Why you can’t sell your services without an appointment—don’t even try via email or social media. (2:45)
  • Why you can’t create demand for your business—and how that insight lets you get people more interested with less effort. (10:45)
  • When not to talk about finances with your potential clients. (11:55)
  • If you think this string of words—let the prospect or client go immediately (it might kill your business in the long-term).(15:50)

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, boys and girls. Welcome to The Financial Advisor marketing podcast. Today, I've got a special treat for you because I'm going to talk about one of the most vital parts of a financial advisor's business, and that is stocking the candy dish. So, grandma…

Jonathan: For the old ladies.

James: … who can't make it. If you don’t get what I'm talking about, make sure you go back two episodes, I believe, and listen to the story about the kleptomaniac grandma who cleaned out the candy dish. [0:01:03.5]

So, if you're a financial advisor, the proper procedure is to stock up after Halloween and make sure that thing is filled for grandma when she comes in. No. No. It's actually setting appointments, and setting appointments is really important because nothing happens until you set the appointment. Like, I try to explain this to advisors and I haven’t really gotten an explanation so far that has like worked with everyone, but it's kind of like this. If you follow up and you do a bunch of work and you give gifts and all that stuff but you still don’t get the appointment, you might as well have never reached out in the first place. That's kind of what I'm trying to get at, because without the appointment, you can't get a client and without a client, you can't build your business. You can't make more money. You can't help people and you can't have all of the good stuff that comes with helping people, making more money, and building your business. [0:02:02.2]

So, the appointment is such an important thing for financial advisors because financial planning and all the stuff that comes with it really can't be "sold" without an appointment. There are some things that you just have to explain to people, and there are questions you have to answer, there are concepts you have to get before they do business with you. It's just a normal part of the process, and the faster and more effective you are at setting these appointments, the better off you will be, and we're actually, we have a great treat here because Jonathan rubs elbows with a lot of high-level marketers and business people, and when it comes to high-ticket stuff, I'm sure Jonathan would agree that this stuff has to be sold over the phone or by appointment. Right?

Jonathan: I don’t know any other way to do it.

James: Yeah. Well it's, and the reason why, I assume, is because people would have questions or they want to be, they want to have their hands held at least a little bit or they want reassurance that you're the real deal. There's something there that they need that they can't get unless they have an appointment. Right? Is there something I'm missing? [0:03:08.2]

Jonathan: You got to talk to people. You got to feel them out. They got to know that you hear them.

James: Yeah. And that's the way it's done for financial advisors. It's just marketing, prospecting, appointment, client. And if you don’t convert the prospect on the first appointment, then sure, you set another one. If they got stuff that they need to review or there are questions that they need to answer for you, then you have a second appointment. But the point is that you have to get the appointment because nothing happens without the appointment. And one of the biggest mistakes financial advisors make when setting them is not leveraging potential referrals, and it should be obvious to every advisor that they should be harnessing the power of referrals. Because everybody has a network and that network typically has people who are similar to themselves. For example, I'm doing this podcast with Jonathan right now, and even though our demographics are very different, we're mentally similar, we think in similar ways, and that's an important part of building a referral system. I mean we both, we had Toggl running at the same time. Like, come on. [0:04:12.2]

Jonathan: Nerds.

James: So, mentally similar. We think in similar ways and that's an important part of building a referral system. You want to identify how you can tap into other people's networks. Why? Because it's much easier to set an appointment with a person when that person's been referred to you. So, rather than trying to fight that uphill battle, why not check for referrals first? Just, it amazes me that financial advisors think they just skip over this or they gloss over it. They just don’t give it that much attention. Like, literally, go to your clients, see who they know, see who you can help if that person is in your target market, and if you've got a prospect in mind, if you know someone, like you know you want to work with Joe Smith, try to figure out if your prospect has any connection to one of your clients. [0:05:03.9]

Like, make, try to look and see if Joe Smith is friends with someone that you're already working with or if they work at the same place or if they golf together. Who knows? Look for the connection. And if it fails, you can't find a connection, so what. You're no worse off than you were before anyway. So, like, just do it. And one of my Inner Circle members, he does this brilliantly. He just like, I am so impressed with this guy, and I mean, almost all of the Inner Circle members are just like high achievers. They're like cream of the crop. And I love my Inner Circle members. If you haven't joined the Inner Circle, make sure you go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join that puppy because, I mean, if you're a high performer and you're really serious about your business, I mean, you're just going to filter down. You're going to join eventually. So, this guy is in an area where there's like three major hospitals all within driving distance of where he is, like within two hours, I'll say. And he works with nurses. So he's got a few doctors in his book of business, but primarily, nurses. And guess who those nurses hang out with? Nurses. So…[ 0:06:08.4]

Jonathan: Shocking.

James: They hang out with nurses, and I don't know if people don’t get it. I mean, it does sound too simple, but like simple is key. Now one of my favorite sayings, and I keep saying it on the podcast, is people think they have a complex problem, so they look for a complex solution. But the simple stuff, the golden rule here is that if simple exists, go with simple. People say, oh well, nurses work together, so they're not hanging out on the weekends. Uh, yeah they are. They're going out. They're hanging out. They're going out to eat. They're eating with their husbands and wives and having double dates and things like that. So, talk to them. And this Inner Circle member, if he's identified a nurse that is a prospect in his pipeline what he does is he does a little research to figure out if that nurse, his prospect, if that nurse might know someone who is already a client. [0:07:00.4]
That way, he can talk to the client and get an introduction to the prospect who happens to be another nurse, instead of reaching out cold. And that's another reason why you should have a niche market, a target market, it is because the chances of your prospects knowing someone you're already working with is significantly higher. And when I see, I mentioned this very, very early episode where someone joins the Inner Circle and the address is an office, I know that eventually a certain percentage of the other advisors are going to sign up. That's the idea. And you can do it with teachers, engineers, corporate executive, nurses, dentists, you name it. It just works. So take a look at your client base. Take a look at your prospect list. See if your clients may have any connection whatsoever to your prospects, and you'd be surprised at what you can find, and you'd be surprised at how easy it is to set the appointment, and you don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole, and you don’t have to jump through hoops in order to set the appointment. So. That is the first thing I want to talk about. [0:08:03.3]

Now, another mistake is trying to set appointments with people who do not match the type of person you're trying to target. Seems obvious, but this is like having that Inner Circle member try to set appointments with people other than nurses. Imagine if his whole business was set up to capture nurses, and then he tried to target corporate executives. He would get a lot of resistance. It's much easier for him to stay in his own lane. It is kind of the difference between biking uphill and biking downhill.
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.

James: And something similar to this is when financial advisors try to set appointments with people who obviously don’t care about their finances. Maybe they openly admit that they're not going to save or that they don’t like saving or they never thought about planning for retirement. So what usually happens when someone says, "Oh, I never plan for retirement," the financial advisor thinks, "Oh, boy! This person hasn’t done any retirement planning. Time for me to swoop in, to the rescue!" But that's not the reality, Jonathan. The reality is that the person probably won't be interested in hiring a financial advisor either. One of the examples I gave in a previous episode was if you're selling watches and you have two audiences, two groups of people that you're going to sell these watches to - audience #1 has no watches, has never bought a watch; audience #2 has five watches, each, they all have five watches each and they love watches, they subscribe to a watch magazine. [0:10:03.4]
It would be wrong of you to think, well, they've already got five; I can't sell them another one. It's like you could more easily sell the person who has five watches than you could the person who has none because the person who has five has already demonstrated that he or she values watches. And they've already done the hard work for you. They've identified themselves as someone who is likely to not only do business with you, but enjoy doing it, make it easier for you. You'll be happy working with them because you just jive together, and the reason that is is because it's much easier to channel demand than it is to create demand. And I'll repeat that for you note takers out there. It's much easier to channel demand, people coming in, you're just going to channel it, than it is to create it, to try to get people interested, to try to take someone who has never thought about planning for retirement or never thought about protecting their family and say, and try to educate them and fight that uphill battle to create the demand in them. [0:11:11.1]
You want to channel you. Your job as a prospector is to go out there, figure out who would be interested in working with you, and then amplifying that interest. And that brings me to the third mistake. The third mistake financial advisors make when setting appointments is trying to get too technical too soon. There are some financial advisors, especially the newer ones, they will try to approach someone and offer a free portfolio analysis or a retirement income audit or something fancy and…

Jonathan: Huh?

James: Yeah, you don’t understand it. Hey, that's just, yeah - it's like huh? What are you talking about, sir? And I mean, it's not a reflection on you or your prospects, but getting too technical too soon can scare them away. It's just too much, and I know that the technical stuff may not seem like that big of a deal to financial advisors because they do it all day, but to "normal people," it is a big deal. It confuses them. [0:12:09.8]
They don’t want to do all that right away. And I mean, I've heard horror stories, Jonathan, of financial advisors approaching a prospect and say, "Oh, well what we're going to do in our meeting is we're going to do a retirement income audit." And like…

Jonathan: Audit sounds bad.

James: … what is that? Yeah. Yeah. And a side note, don't use the word 'audit' when you're talking about finances. I mean, come on. You don’t need to be a genius to figure this stuff out. I know in other businesses, like Joe Polish, legendary marketer for carpet cleaning. He did the corporate carpet. Amazing, right. There are certain digital marketers who do it an SEO audit. Great. Fantastic. It works. But please, please, when you're approaching people about their finances, and you say you're going to audit them, oh, not a good idea. And I mean, I applaud the financial advisors for knowing about SEO audit and like carpet audit. [0:13:09.3]

At least they're doing the research on different marketing that works. So like, kudos to you. You've got the first step right; you're doing the research, but you got to use a little common sense here, you know. Don't use the word "audit" in your financial presentation. Or, what usually happens is the prospect will say, "Oh, well, you know, what are we going to talk about in the appointment," and then they just unload on the prospect, all this jargon. They say, "Well, we're going to identify, you know, gaps in your insurance planning and we're going to take a look at your portfolio and we're going to see if your expense ratios are too high, you're paying too much in fees, the drag, your tax drag, and if you're, you don’t have a health savings account, which is triple tax preferred," and they start using all these words and jargon, and the prospect, I mean, they just, you lose them. The only thing that you need to do is get the appointment. [0:14:01.7]

You do not need to go rabbit hunting with a shotgun. You just need a little 22, little rifle, just pew, so a much better approach is to frame the appointment as a casual conversation, where you're just going to learn about the other person, you're going to see if you're a good fit. That's all. No pressure. Nothing fancy. Nothing technical. And I know that financial advisors may have a little bit of resistance to this because, and it goes back to the certifications and experience thing and education thing, but like I didn’t get all this, all these certifications and all this education so I could just take it easy and be casual about this. They're like I've got leverage my experience. I've got to leverage my education. But yeah, you can but you're not going to do it before the appointment is set. You're not going to do it on day one. Like that's what they don’t get. When it comes to marketing and prospecting, you're not just going to unload on your prospect with all this jargon and technical stuff. Just take it easy, and in fact, I've found that some of the best financial advisors out there, they don’t even use computers on their first meeting. [0:15:08.0]

The computer is off. No laptop. No desktop. Nothing. All they have is a pen and paper, and maybe they have a little folder or something for the prospect to take home, like a packet, an information packet or something like that. They go in the complete opposite direction of what most advisors do. Instead of getting super technical on the first appointment, they intentionally keep things as simple as possible. And it works. And no, this is not dumbing it down. You're not treating your prospects like they're stupid. You're just not rushing into things. You're taking it slow. You're genuinely trying to see if they're a good fit. And if they're not a good fit, don't be afraid to let them walk, because you're building your business for the long-term. You don't, you can't please everybody. If your gut says, "Hey, this person's not going to be a good fit. They're going to cause problems," let them go. So, that's my thought about that. [0:16:01.6]
And the best sales people in the world, not just financial advisors, the best sales people do this too. They will not try to sell to someone who isn't a good fit, because it won't work. The same idea applies to advisors. So, there you have it. Three appointment setting mistakes financial advisors make. Number one is not leveraging referrals. Number two not sticking to your target market, that's a huge one. Number three is getting too technical too soon. So. That is.

Jonathan: Yes, sir.

James: A wrap.

Jonathan: So what do you have coming up for us the next time, James?

James: Well, before I discuss what's coming up next time, it just hit me. I don’t believe I plugged anything in this episode.

Jonathan: What?! How dare you.

James: I don’t think I did. I don’t think I plugged anything. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to plug My Big Book Of Business Building Secrets For Financial Advisors, which you can get at TheAdvisorCoach.com/big and I'm not really going to talk about it. Just go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/big. Check it out. It's just, I mean, it's a no-brainer. [0:17:08.0]

Like, once you read this sales page and you understand what it is, it's a no-brainer, but there are only 2000 available and to be completely transparent, I priced it high enough to where that 2000 copy supply will last me for quite some time, but I've done it that way because I only want the top 1% of financial advisors to have this resource. So, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/big. Place your order. There's no digital download component whatsoever. It's a physical book. Shipping is free no matter where you live. You'll have it within, I say 1-3 weeks because I want to be on the safe side, but typically, it's out very fast, especially if you're in the United States. And you will have this and I want you to put it on your desk and I want it to be a reference. So, there's my plug. And next week, I'm going to talk about how we are all programmed to achieve a certain result, and it's up to you to break that programming and, you can tell, I have probably been listening to a lot of Doberman Dan recently with mindset stuff. [0:18:05.1]

Jonathan: Yeah, the programming.

James: I'm nowhere near his level. Like the stuff he's talking about, like I'm not, I'm just not there. Right? I am the nitty gritty tactical make you more money, more money in your bank account. Maybe one day, I will be at his level. But even though you're programmed, you're still responsible for your results. And a lot of people don’t get that. They just pass the buck. They say, "Oh, but it's in my programming. This is how I am. You know, my parents raised me this way. I can't.."

Jonathan: Ugh. Reprogam.

James: But even if you are programmed, even if you are, and you are, trust me, but even if that's the case, you are still responsible for your results. I mean, if you got out and you kill someone in a drunk driving accident and the police get there and the police take you in and you say, "Oh wait, no. I was programmed this way." Like no. You're still going to jail, bro. Your program does not…

Jonathan: You're about to get programmed some more.

James: You're still responsible for your results. Yeah, Big Bubba in the shower is going to program you. [0:19:03.0]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: When you realize that, everything can change for you. So tune in.

Jonathan: Yeah. Cannot wait for that. So, another Financial Advisor Marketing is wrapping up, but don’t you worry. We'll be back next week. Thank you for tuning in.

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