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: Welcome to the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. You're in for a treat today because I'm going to share five things you should avoid if you want to succeed as a financial advisor. But first off, I want to point out that I've been getting a lot of engagement from financial advisors about the whole sleep thing, and I'm really blown away at how interested you guys are in sleep. I didn't realize that it would be this big of a deal. I mean, advisors have been sending me emails and they've been seeing me talk about it on social media and sending me private messages and they want to learn more. I just send them all the same thing. [0:01:04.9]
I've actually created a resource for it. It's at TheAdvisorCoach.com/sleep. It's an article. It's like 2000 plus words. It's completely free. You read it and you can see of my favorite tips about sleep. One of the tips I actually mentioned is to get an air purifier and I remember in one of your newsletters, producer Jonathan, you mentioned that you struggle with allergies. Do you have an air purifier in your house?
Jonathan: Man, I looked at that sleep article, and I'm like, I'll turn into a science project if I do everything that you have there, but I have one in my shopping cart that you recommended, or in my wish list. I just haven’t gotten it yet.
James: Okay. It's made for people who have allergies, and it helps them. One of the things that I've noticed, especially since I'm in the new house is I have the air purifier. I only have one right now. I'm going to get another one, but I have the one that I've been using in my office area, like the huge basement area, and air quality down there is fantastic, but there's nothing upstairs in my bedroom and I have been waking up in the morning with dry eyes and a stuffy nose. [0:02:10.3]
That hasn’t happened to me in years since I've been using the air purifier. So, something must be working there. If you're not sleeping well, if you struggle with a stuffy nose and dry eyes or whatever … I mean, I'm not a doctor and I'm not a medical expert, but air purifier has helped me out tremendously.
Jonathan: James, I want to tell you one thing since we're talking about sleep - not last night but the night before, 2 hours and 36 minutes of REM sleep. I know I've got you beat.
James: Wow, man. Yeah. That's what I struggle with and you definitely have me beat there.
Jonathan: Finally. I'm like one good night. I've got to bring that to James.
James: What's crazy is that so that sleep is essentially like a steam cleaner for your brain. So I mean, I consider myself to think pretty clearly and make good decisions and I can figure things out, logical thinking, all that good stuff. But I know that I am hindered because I don’t get that good quality sleep, and I only get like less than an hour every single night. [0:03:10.6]
I crush deep sleep, but REM sleep not so much. So it's just a lesson there and knowing your make up and knowing your strengths and knowing your weaknesses and operating within the confines of those. One more housekeeping tip - this isn't really marketing related, but as of the time of this recording and by the time this comes out, school season is back in swing. Kids are back in school. Things are happening. One of the charities I like to support is called Donors Choose, and it's DonorsChoose.org and you basically donate and the money goes directly to classrooms and you get to pick the school. You get to pick the kids. You get to pick the projects. One of the things I like to do is donate books or projects that are focused on books directly to low-income schools that have a match offer, and a match offer is essentially when a company like, I don't know, like Google or Amazon or Purdue or some company will actually match whatever you give. So if I give $100, $200 will actually go to the classroom to help that project, so…[0:04:08.3]
James: … Go to DonorsChoose.org, a little plug there for them because I really do want to help the kids and I'm a big believer that empowerment comes from knowledge and learning. So if you can give these kids projects that they need, if you can give them books, it goes a long way to creating tomorrow's leaders. I mean that. Hopefully, that didn't sound too cheesy, Jonathan, but …
Jonathan: I love it.
James: … it's just because I support them. So, let's get into the show. I want to start off by staying that success is the result of sacrifice, yet what a lot of people don’t understand is that you're always sacrificing something. If you're not sacrificing for your goals, your goal is going to be to sacrifice. Now that's a quotable for this episode, Jonathan. If you're going out golfing all day, you're sacrificing the other stuff that you could be doing, but if you're staying inside and you're working on your business all day, you're sacrificing going out and golfing all day. [0:05:01.9]
So we're always sacrificing. It's just up to you to decide what you're willing to sacrifice and why. For me, it's a pretty easy decision. I just do what gives me the most fulfillment because I figure if I can sacrifice a lot of things and still feel fulfilled, it's not that much of a sacrifice. So in my mind at least, I'm not sacrificing that much. So if someone were to come in and observe me for a week, that person would probably come to the conclusion that I am really boring. It's true. And a lot of the most successful financial advisors, I mean, these are people in my Inner Circle. These are people that I've worked with one-on-one. From the outside looking in, they are tremendously boring people. I don’t mean that they put you to sleep when you talk with them because they have great stories and they're great conversationalists, but what I mean is if you observe them, they just do the same things over and over. There's almost like they're automated and they're like robotic about it and they're so rigid but it's because they've gotten themselves in such a groove and they're working a system that's been proven for them that it's just what they do. [0:06:07.1]
They're like a well-oiled machine. They do what basically appears to be work all day long. That's like me, I mean, I'm either writing or talking with financial advisors or reading or putting together a plan for them. That's pretty much it. Recording this podcast, I should say. There's not much else. So someone else might assume that my life sucks because that's all I'm doing. I don’t really go out and do much. You know, sure, every once in a while, I'll take vacation or something, but for the most part, I don’t. I literally eat, sleep and breathe helping financial advisors and all the stuff that comes with it. But, here's the thing - I love what I do. I mean, I absolutely love it. Can't get enough of it. So, it's not much of a sacrifice for me to give up all that other stuff because I find fulfillment doing what I do. So please keep that in mind as we go through these five things. It's very important as a financial advisor for you to find fulfillment in the stuff that you do. [0:07:00.7]
That doesn't necessarily mean that you're feeling at peace and you feel some nirvana when you make your cold calls or when you put together a direct mail package. That's not what I mean. What I mean is that the end result, you sitting in front of someone and changing that person's life, you putting together a financial plan that you know is going to change someone's legacy forever, that should be fulfilling to you. So for you to get through that boring stuff, the rigid, everyday prospecting - for you to get through that, it's very important because that is what gets you to the fulfillment, the feeling of fulfillment is helping people. So, let's get into the five things.
Number one thing to avoid, even though I just talked about the rigidity, I'm talking about being rigid in the activities, not in a schedule. So what you want to avoid is having a flexible schedule. Now what you want to do is you want to have some wiggle room in there. I shouldn’t say that you should completely avoid having a flexible schedule because you shouldn’t, but it should be blocked off enough to where it's predictable. [0:08:04.1]
For example, a lot of the most successful financial advisors I know, they block off prospecting in the morning. So they just have a time block. It'll say 9 to 12, I'm going to do prospecting, but they don’t necessarily detail every little thing that they're going to do because they want to adapt and adjust based on what is working. For example, if the week before, and I'm actually thinking of an Inner Circle member right now, this guy sent direct mail package that just blew everything else out of the water, and he had been doing LinkedIn prospecting and getting tremendous results with that for week after week after week after week, and he was becoming rigid and automated and this kind of thing. But he did time blocks for his prospecting. The minute that he found out that this direct mail package was beating the pants off of LinkedIn, even though LinkedIn was working for him, he could adjust. So you want to avoid having a super flexible schedule and avoid having a super rigid schedule. You want to have just enough where you plan out your day, but you can adapt on the fly. [0:09:04.8]
There's some experts and gurus out there who say having a flexible schedule, like truly flexible, like open, makes you more productive or whatever. I even mention this on an earlier podcast where Warren Buffet showed his calendar and it was completely empty, but that has not been my experience with high performing financial advisors. I found that these people are planners and by that, I mean they're planning their day. They know in a nutshell what they're going to do, when they're going to do it and who they're going to do it with. Nothing's really left to chance, but they still give themselves some room to adapt. So it's like knowing your goal, be rigid with your goal, but be flexible with the way that you get there. Now, does that make sense, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. I like the little bit of flexibility. I've been too rigid in the past, and you'd be ashamed to hear this about me, but I haven’t used a planner or anything for this quarter, and I'm actually doing better. So I don't know. It's up to the individual. [0:10:05.2]
James: What's your secret? Do you still have a goal in mind? I mean, what are you doing?
Jonathan: Yeah. You know what? It's like I did the 75 Hard thing, so this quarter was only about my fitness. I didn't care about business or anything. I was willing to sacrifice everything for it. What I found is in the time that I do work is like what's going to get me the most bang for my buck, like you do. It's going to be talking to people or writing.
James: Absolutely. I mean, that's what you want to focus on. For most financial advisors, it's going to be marketing and prospecting. Number three I recorded as working with your current clients, making them happy, following up with them, staying in touch, that kind of thing.
James: So. Number two. We're moving right on down this list. Number two thing to avoid is this nagging belief that you can be all things to all people. I know how tempting it is to be in financial services and look at all of the people who need your help, all these affluent people in America who need your guidance. [0:11:00.3]
They need your services. It's tempting, I know, but you've got to specialize. It makes everything easier. Your marketing becomes almost effortless once you specialize and while we're recording this, I recently released Appointments On Autopilot, which is the email marketing program I've been hyping it up for a month or two. This is easily the most impactful thing I've ever created, and one of the ways that you can make email work better for you is to specialize. If you have a niche, then you basically can create an entire email marketing system telling stories about that niche and helping that niche and talking about them and how you help them and things that you do that nobody else does. You will stand out because rather than sending like a boring stock market commentary email… I actually, a financial advisor actually sent me a screen shot of a reply. This guy was like, stop sending me these effin market commentary emails. It's just, I get where the guy's coming from because people want to hire a financial advisor so they don’t have to think about that stuff. [0:12:04.3]
They don’t want to know about the stock market stuff and what it's doing. A lot of the people who care about that and follow the stock market like that, they're do it yourselfers anyway. They're just going to open a Vanguard account. They're not going to have a financial advisor. So I understand where the guy is coming from. They're not sending stock market commentary emails if you want to get clients. You're sending something like I work with nurses, this is why I care about nurses, here's a story, here's an article that's related to nurses. You do your market research about nurses. Like, it works because you're specializing. You're not all things to all people. The financial services industry as a whole has an extremely high turnover rate. [0:12:42.6]
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: The simple fact is that the majority of people, the overwhelming majority do not make it. One of the biggest contributing factors to them not making it is the irrational belief that they should cast a wide net. They've either been convinced by others or convinced by themselves, they're just telling themselves these things, that the way to success is to see as many people as possible and to let everyone know they exist, and it's a faulty approach because I would rather see 100 people in my target market and convert 50 of them than to see 1000 people in general and only convert 25 of them. Honestly, I'd rather see 100 people and convert 50 of them than to see 1000 people and convert 75 of them because you have much more effort in seeing those people and working with them. [0:14:01.6]
I would rather take that time and put it towards higher value tasks and more important things and growing my business and getting back to the drawing board and working on it rather than in it. Hopefully, that makes sense as well. One of the things that people were shocked about with Appointments On Autopilot, and I don’t want to drone on about this product but they were shocked to hear me say that I would rather have a smaller email list, and that's true because I would rather have a list that contains people in my target market and it's the same principle. I would rather have 100 people on my email list that are all in my target market than to have several hundred who are not because I can be specialized. I can write an email about a particular market. I can talk about them and their problems and their fears and their challenges and I can relate to them. I can build trust. I can build rapport a heck of a lot easier than talking to a general market and producer Jonathan, have you figured out your niche with The Podcast Factory? Anything that you're going for? [0:15:03.1]
Jonathan: What niche? I'm on the podcast for everybody - broke people, rich people, scammers.
James: No scammers. Oh no.
Jonathan: No, no, no. It's coaches and consultants, but there are certain people within those niches that I can help more than others and so usually a phone call cures that.
James: Absolutely. One of the things that I thought and I'm always thinking about how I can help other people in my network grow their business and I was thinking about for you, was like maybe you could go after people who already have podcasts. That sounded like a good idea at first, but the more I thought about it, I was like, no because they probably wouldn't be open to it. They're like oh no, I'm doing everything myself. Everything's great. Right? I don't know.
Jonathan: You know what? And I don’t want to derail your show. I've gone back and forth on that. Like you had a podcast before and it worked out great because you're like, oh I see the difference. But some people just aren’t as smart as you.
James: Oh, that's so sweet. Thank you. Yeah. I thought about it. I thought about it. I'm always thinking about that kind of stuff. Like, hmm, how could I help so and so improve his business, and I thought about it and I can't really think of anything else right now, but that was one of the things. So. And with financial advisors, one of the things that works for financial advisors is to go after people who already have a financial advisor. [0:16:20.4]
James: You just look at the numbers, you realize that attrition is a real thing. Financial advisors don’t communicate with their clients, or I should say the average financial advisor does not. The number one reason that clients leave their financial advisor is a lack of communication, and when that happens, you will be poised as the strong number two. So, well I don’t want to talk about that. I'll save that for another episode in the future. We'll move on to number three.
The number three thing you want to avoid is procrastination, and yes, it's very simple stuff. I know this is not earth shattering, but it's stuff that financial advisors need to hear on a regular basis. We need to have it reinforced. Even me, I procrastinate every now and then. I need to have this reinforced. If there is one thing that I've really had to work on it's this and for years, I was a procrastinator, but I've stopped for the most part, and Jonathan knows this. If we …we stop recording in one show, I've already got show notes for the next one in his inbox in a few hours except for this time, of course. Right before we record this show…[ 0:17:20.7]
Jonathan: You had three, to give you credit. You were ahead by three.
James: Yeah, right. Yeah. So I get to work and one of the things that has helped me to stop procrastinating was getting clear on what was important to me and this goes back to the fulfillment thing, and it goes back to the sacrificing thing. It might feel good to put things off now, but you're going to pay later. In some way, shape or form, you are going to pay. If you don’t prospect today, you're going to feel it in a few months, in a few years. It's going to come back and bite you in the rear end. Financial advisors struggle with procrastination because for the most part, they don’t have anyone breathing down their neck to do certain things. [0:18:00.0]
Financial advisors are the captains of their own ship, as they say. So they've really got to buckle down and get that procrastination under control. Procrastination is the thief of time, health and success - another quotable, Jonathan. It will take everything from you, so get your procrastination under control. Now I'm not going to give too much advice because like I said, I still struggle with procrastination. I am still learning. I am still growing with this stuff, but it's very, very important and the more I have gotten procrastination under control and the more I've helped my Inner Circle members get their procrastination under control, the better my life has been and the better their life has been.
Number four - you want to avoid doubt or a lack of self-belief and this one is a killer, Jonathan. It's absolutely heart-breaking because I see so many financial advisors who beat themselves up and make their lives so much harder than they have to be simply because they don’t believe in themselves. If you doubt your ability to accomplish great things in life, you will not accomplish great things in life. [0:19:04.1]
It's that simple. We all doubt ourselves from time to time and it might sound like a silly example, but I strongly doubt that I can run a marathon right this second. That's just a belief I have. Now, of course I can take action and I can reinforce my beliefs. I can do it with training and what not, but right now, I have my doubts. If someone said you have to run a marathon today at 3 o'clock, I don’t think I could do it, and that's just a belief. Yeah, it's based on certain facts and certain situations and certain circumstances, but it's still a belief. If I continue to harbor that doubt, I would never get started with my marathon training and that would inhibit my ability to achieve. So if a financial advisor believes that email won't work and just shuts his mind off, that financial advisor will never take the first step to learning about email and learning about that new marketing strategy and learning about how it can help his business. It is really heart-breaking and with the marathon example, the only reason I would start training for that marathon is if I believed I could eventually do it. [0:20:06.9]
Otherwise, why bother? Right? And that's how a lot of advisors are operating. They don’t take chances with themselves or their businesses because they don’t have the belief. I see it all the time with my Inner Circle members. I know I keep going back to them. They just need a little push to join and they're like, oh, my goodness, you changed my life. Thank you so much. It happens because they start taking actions and those actions give them positive results. Then it just repeats, but they need a little nudge to get started because I already see the results. My belief is rock solid. I know I make massive changes in financial advisors lives because I do it all the time and if you make massive changes in your personal client's lives or their finances, you see it all the time. You have that belief in yourself and if you're making excuses or you're rationalizing with stuff that you want to do and your own goals, you're really just saying you don’t believe in yourself, and we could go on and on about belief, but it's incredibly, incredibly important - you've got to foster a sense of belief that you can accomplish your goals. [0:21:11.9]
Jonathan: James, I mean, this is the reason right now that anybody listening if they have that doubt, they don’t believe in themselves, this is a reason why you need to get into the Inner Circle. There's this thing I call borrowed belief and even if they don’t believe in themselves, when they get around others who do, and when they get around you, who is showing them proven path, they can borrow your belief until they believe it themselves when they see their results.
James: Oh, sure. Yeah. That's crazy. That's like next level complete Criss Angel Mind Freak, but it's true. You can borrow someone else's belief and if someone else sees the results and they're getting this stuff, it's kind of like hiring a personal trainer and when people don’t believe that they can get in shape, even though they get a little nudge and they eventually hire a personal trainer, they may start with doubts - they're like, oh, I don’t know if this is really going to work, let me give it a chance, but the personal trainer has the results. [0:22:07.1]
He's like, I look like this - I'm a Greek god or something. I don't know - I've never had a personal trainer. I've always done this stuff myself, but if you .. I imagine that's the first thing they say is like, look at me - I'm a Greek god.
Jonathan: Unless you hire the wrong one, all flabby and stuff.
James: But that person says okay, I've done this many bench presses and my diet looks like this - I've done this many squats - I do it three times a week and then I look like this. And the person who hires the trainer is looking at the trainer, and is like, well, crap, you know - I got to do that stuff. And they're borrowing the belief and it's true in business. It's true in life. It's true in love. It's true in health. It's true in wealth. Everything. You can do this. It's like a little shortcut, but we're going to move on to number five, the final thing that you want to avoid as a financial advisor and not earth shattering stuff. It's simple. Distraction. You want to avoid distraction. People are probably more distracted than ever before. [0:23:01.7]
This means focus is more precious than ever before. What's crazy is that there are probably financial advisors listening to this right now who are trying to multitask - hey, you - are you trying to multitask right now? Are you doing something other than listening to me? Why? Why are you putting your distractions in your life? By doing that, you are not really able to listen to me and understand what I'm saying. If you're multitasking right now, stop. And hopefully, I caught someone out there who is multitasking and hammered the point home because that's exactly my point. People listening to this right now who aren’t 100% focused on me are only sabotaging themselves because they aren’t getting the entire message. It's not just me. It's just if they're listening to an audio book or if they're watching like a lecture or something like that and not putting 100% into it, they're not getting 100% of the message. Why do it if you're only going to go halfway or you're not going to get the whole thing? Especially when you're trying to educate yourself and you're trying to invest in yourself - don’t get 50% of the message. Get 100% of the message. [0:24:04.0]
That way you don’t have to go back and listen to it again for all the missed parts, especially if it's a how to training, like if you're watching how to put together a direct mail piece or how to put together emails that work. If you are in and out of that training, you're going to miss some valuable points and you're not going to be able to put the whole thing together, and getting rid of distractions, it's a way to upgrade your whole life. Your friends could be a distraction. Your so called hobbies could be a distraction. Destructive behavior, that could be a distraction, and so on. If you get rid of those things, you can focus on the things that matter. Again, we're going back to the sacrifice thing. That's why I wanted to start the show off with sacrifice because if you can sacrifice all the distractions, success comes easier and producer Jonathan and I were actually talking about this before we got on the show is I usually record from my main office computer. It's a big rig and I've got the all the monitors and it's really cool and I enjoy working there. But my internet is actually capped to where I can't watch video or stream video. [0:25:09.4]
I mean, I could stream audio, but like I can't watch YouTube videos or anything without it constantly stopping and starting because it's in a certain position of the house and the internet won't reach it, even with a range extender. That's a blessing for me. It's not…I'm not sad about it and I'm not frustrated about it. I'm actually grateful that I can't stream the video because I will not get distracted on my office computer. That's a great way to look at it. Right, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Yeah. You've got to flip those problems into opportunities.
James: For sure. So that is the end of this week's episode. I hope you had a great time with me. Before you even ask me what is coming next week, I don't know. So, if you have any ideas, financial advisors, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't promise I'll respond because I get a lot of emails, but I do read everything and I appreciate your input. You, my dear listeners, are the ones who make this show great. Thank you, and I will see you next week.
Jonathan: Yes, yes. Another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. Thank you, guys, for tuning in. We will be back next time.
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