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Starting a conversation with a new prospect is great: You get the chance to help someone get their finances in order and you get the chance to make money yourself.

But then they hit you with objections, doubts and skepticism. Suddenly, the conversation becomes awkward. And you often lose the client.

Luckily, you can bypass these situations and convert even the most skeptical prospects into clients—and it’s not by being rude or just dominating the conversation.

In this episode, you’ll learn all about how to close skeptical prospects and grow your business to become an advisor your clients trust and love.

Show highlights include:

  • How to make sure your prospect knows exactly what you can do for them and how much they’ll get out of working with you. (8:25)
  • The “Dollars at a Discount” strategy that removes skepticisms around fees and costs. (9:10)
  • 5 ways to meet more prospects in your market and break down their skepticism at the same time. (11:15)
  • When to let skeptical prospects walk and NOT turn them into clients to avoid time-sucking clients who hate you. (12:20)

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: Howdy, folks. Welcome to The Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast. If it's your first time, make yourself at home and make sure you come back now, you hear?

Jonathan: What is going on? Where am I?

James: You're on the wrong podcast, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yeah. I showed up at the wrong studio.

James: The James Southern Cooking Podcast - you know, fried butter …

Jonathan: James Dean.

James: I was watching this YouTube video with different State Fair foods and in Minnesota - this is going to be kind of gross, or maybe it's not - I've never had them. In Minnesota, they have fried lamb testicles.

Jonathan: Whoa. [0:01:05.8]

James: As fair food. I mean, I've had the Krispy Kreme burger; I've had that. I've had deep fried Oreos. I mean, I've had alligator bites. I've had a lot of different fair food in my day, Jonathan, but I've never, ever had lamb testicles. And I've got a couple of Inner Circle members in Minnesota, so if you're listening to this right now and you're an Inner Circle member, please, please take the time out of your day, I beg you - email me and let me know how those lamb testicles are. I mean, I'm being serious. I'm not joking around or anything. Like, if you Google it, literally, lamb testicle Minnesota State Fair, it's a real thing. I know people are going to be like this guy's just off his rocker, like what in the world am I listening to, but yeah, it's true. So let me know. And I said that because people are going to be skeptical about lamb testicles at State Fairs. They're going to be like, no way - that's not a thing. It's skepticism. Skepticism, that's what we're going to talk about. Good ole skepticism. And it can be a good thing. [0:02:02.7]

And in fact, I want you to be skeptical to some degree because skepticism can help you make good decisions but sometimes, it can hurt you and it can hurt your prospects. And here's another little example of skepticism from my own life. I recently went to the Borgata in Atlantic City. Have you ever been to Atlantic City, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I have not.

James: Well, I got to admit, you look like you'd be a great fit for the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Jonathan: Thanks.

James: You've got perfect hair. You said you're out there pumping iron. You're always …

Jonathan: My inner Guido? Yeah.

James: No. No Guido. You'd fit right in, but anyway… We went to see this comedy show at the Borgata and one of the comedians was famous for doing impressions and I'm not a huge fan of impressions. I mean, I've seen a bunch of them and they never really do anything for me. The only thing I've ever really liked as far as impressions goes is there's video of this guy going through the drive-thru pretending to be Hank Hill from King of The Hill. [0:03:02.6]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: That's like the only one. He's like, "Well, god dang it, Bobby, give me a Big Mac." That was pretty good, but I was skeptical. That's my point. I was skeptical because of my own experience with impressions not being funny. I had it in my own mind - this is important - in my own mind before the show even started that it was not going to be any good, that I wasn’t going to laugh, and I shouldn’t have done that. I should not have closed my mind right away. Now the good news is that the guy was genuinely hilarious. Again, because we were in New Jersey, he did some Sopranos impressions.

Jonathan: That was different.

James: It was very funny. Tony Soprano, Paulie Walnuts - he did those impressions. Everybody was cracking up. There were a few people in the audience that were like, don’t do that. So if that guy is still around, I don't know if anyone approached him in the parking lot with a baseball bat after the show. Hopefully, he's still out there. Yeah, he was freaking hilarious. So that is skepticism at work, and I'm sure that this type of thing has happened to people who are listening to this podcast. [0:04:07.5]

I mean, they may find a prospect who seems like a perfect fit for them. They know they can help change that prospect's life for the better, and yet, for some reason, the prospect is still hesitant. The prospect is still skeptical and won't move forward, and it is frustrating. I know how frustrating it can be, especially when you know deep down in your heart that you could have a positive impact on this person's life. And I imagine producer Jonathan has had that. Maybe you've had a call with some people who want to set up a podcast and get started, but for some reason, they're just skeptical. Has that ever happened to you?

Jonathan: Come on, James. Are we being funny here? Of course.

James: Of course. It happens to everyone and it's just that people don’t believe, they don’t trust, and a lot of times it has more to do with them than anything else. And that's why I brought up the example with the Borgata. My skepticism didn't have anything to do with the comedian on that stage - nothing. [0:05:01.4]

I had never seen the guy, never met him. I'd never had any prior experience with him. It was 100% my own experience. And if you understand that and you can read between the lines, I'm not just literally giving you step-by-step. This is not a classroom. Right? But I'm telling you - it was 100% me, all the skepticism came from me. And I've been a skeptic many different times in the past too. Sometimes, it's a good reason. For example, I get at least a dozen SEO pitches in my spam folder every single day. Do you get them?

Jonathan: Once or twice a day.

James: Top of Google. I can rank you. Help your page rank. Every single day, people promising me to get to the top of Google and all this stuff. Well, guess what guys? I'm already there for a lot of terms, so let that be a lesson in researching your prospect first. Moving on. Enough rambling. Time to get into the meat and potatoes of this thing, or I should say get into the lamb testicles and potatoes of this thing.

Jonathan: Yes.

James: Here's how financial advisors can convert skeptical prospects. [0:06:07.9]
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, a 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: First of all, you want to realize that some skeptical prospects will never change their minds - ever. And this may not be what you want to hear, but some people will always be skeptical. It's a waste of time. It's a waste of money to try to turn these hardcore skeptics into believers. There's nothing you can say or do to open their minds. They've decided that they're going to keep their minds closed. They're close-minded people. I used to have a bunch of testimonials on my website and lots of different advisors, they were talking about how much I've helped them, how their lives have changed forever - all that. I mean, I thought that that's what I had to do. [0:07:11.0]

I thought I had to have these things on my website because that's what the experts told me to do. They said I had to have testimonials. But one day, I just decided to get rid of them. I just wanted to refresh my site and I really didn't see any good place to put the testimonials where it would look natural. It would look weird if I had the testimonials in there. I mean, I still have a few on my site, but they're few and far between. And guess what? There was no difference in conversion.

Jonathan: Wow.

James: Zero. Which tells me that no amount of proof can overcome certain skeptics, and I know financial advisors, at least in the United States, they can't use testimonials. I'm not telling you to use testimonials whatsoever. All I'm saying is that if I had dozens and dozens of people all talking about the benefits that they've experienced from working with me and people were still skeptical, hey, that's their problem and again, that's why I brought up the Borgata and the comedian. [0:08:07.7]

It was all from me. It was 100% my fault. And a lot of times, prospects, they have something that they went through or it's their own personal experience or it's their own knowledge where they will just close their mind and never open it ever again. And it's sad, but it's just a reality of life. Next, you want to insure that your value is clearly communicated because there are some hardcore skeptics. Those are the ones that I just talked about and addressed, but there are some people who are skeptical, but are still open-minded and perhaps the biggest reason people stay skeptical is because they fail to see the value in working with you. You have to be sure to communicate it clearly, to demonstrate it, and I had a private coaching client reach out to me and I talked to him. I broke down exactly how he could add another six figures to this guy's business. I mean I literally spelled it out. I don’t think it's possible for me to be more clear. And I gave him the value. [0:09:02.3]

I told him the math, the numbers and there's a particular marketing strategy, which is called selling dollars at a discount, so… and I do it all the time. I'm just being transparent with you guys. It's a podcast, we're just here hanging out. I'm just telling you exactly what I do. So with the Appointments on Autopilot program, it's going to be $1495 or $1500 or something like that - it's going to be worth tens of thousands of dollars to the right financial advisor. And I explain that on the sales page. I'm selling dollars at a discount. And dollars at a discount, when you're doing that, it's an extremely powerful strategy because you're putting one value in front of someone and then explaining how what you're charging is significantly less. And people see it. They're like, oh, this guy is offering me $5 for $1. That's kind of how advertising works. You put $1 in, you get $5 back, assuming that you're advertising and that your marketing machine works. You have to do this with your prospects because it's likely they don’t have the financial education that you have. They don’t know what some of these terms mean. [0:10:04.6]

They don’t know how all the financial tools and all the different products fit into their overall strategy. They just don’t know. It's up to you to communicate that value to them. Then finally, you want to become part of your market, and this is one of the most powerful strategies I can ever give you for overcoming skepticism as a financial advisor. If you're a financial advisor who works with dentists, I want you to get so tightly wrapped in the dentist market that you almost believe yourself that you're a dentist. I want you to listen to dentist podcasts, read dentist blogs, go to their trade shows. I want you to walk and talk like a dentist while filling your brain with financial knowledge. When you do this, people can tell that you genuinely care about them and you want to help them. I'm being completely transparent here again. This is what I do. This is why I do so much work in the financial services industry. I genuinely care. Yes, I know that it is a phenomenal marketing strategy. I have over 100 articles online. I've got this weekly podcast, daily emails. I am everywhere. [0:11:04.9]

And if the skeptics don't or won't take me seriously after all that, that's on them. And just like I said, there are some skeptics who will never work with you. So if you're involved in your niche industry journals, if you're involved in their community meetings, if you speak their language, if you're involved in social media groups, if you're connected with them online, if you are out there, putting yourself out there in your niche and becoming part of them and people are still skeptical - hey, that's completely fine. You've done all you could do. And sometimes skeptics are just afraid. Skepticism is really fear talking because skeptical people know if they invest in something that's proven to work and they fail, they are the problem, not the system. Because the simple fact is that financial advisors have been proven to add value to people's lives again and again, and you can read articles online about justifying your fees, how financial advisors add value, different things like that. They prevent people from making financial mistakes like not having an estate plan. [0:12:00.0]

They prevent people from selling when the market has dipped or they're selling at the wrong time or overpaying in taxes. The value is proven, but people are afraid of being "exposed" if it doesn’t work for them. And that's where the skepticism comes from. So those are three of my favorite strategies for converting skeptical prospects. You may have been surprised to learn that most of the time, I don’t want you to convert skeptical prospects. Let them walk. But to recap - realize that some skeptical prospects will not change their minds. You're trying to get blood out of a rock or blood out of a turnip or whatever that old saying is. Number two - insure your value is clearly communicated and you can demonstrate this to people. You're doing dollars at a discount. You're presenting yourself in such a way where it's a no brainer for someone to work with you. Number three - become a part of your market. This is by far the most powerful strategy I can ever give you for overcoming skepticism. If you're part of your market and you're competing against the generalist financial advisors, if you're in there every single day working with, let's just say teachers, and you're helping teachers. [0:13:03.3]

You've got referrals from teachers. You're in their blogs. You're on their social media groups and on the networks and things like that - you can relate to them and serve them and help them like no one else. And if someone realizes that you're heavily involved in their community and they're still skeptical, move on. So that's it for this podcast, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Man, you nailed it. So what's coming up for us next time, James?

James: Next week is going to be a good one because I'm going to talk about what I think is arguably the greatest productivity hack ever for financial advisors. I know people throw the word "hack" around. They're like, oh, I hack. But it may make some people uncomfortable and I will admit that, but if you have the guts to do this thing, it could crank up your life to a whole new level.

Jonathan: Cannot wait. Another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. We'll be back with you next time.

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