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There’s nothing more important for entrepreneurs of any kind than lifelong learning.
But sometimes, what feels like learning actually harms you.

That’s the case in most schools: You learn things that seem useful, but will hinder your progress as a financial advisor.

In this episode, you’ll find out about 4 of those things—and how to switch your thinking around them so your mindset benefits you instead of harming you.

Show highlights include:

  • What negotiation is REALLY about (this is how you AND your clients end up happy. (8:50)
  • The simplest way to get more appointments. (10:28)
  • The most important thing you need to learn how to manage that has nothing to do with clients or money. (16:00)
  • 4 things that can automatically generate appointments for you. (19:50)

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, financial advisors. Welcome to the show, fam. I am glad to have you here. If you're not on my email list by now, you should be, so go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/57 to sign up and get daily, yes…

Jonathan: Daily?

James: Daily. Is that such a shocker? Yes. I'm going to email you every single day until you unsubscribe or you just …

Jonathan: Buy or die.

James: Thank you. Stop reading my emails. I actually delete you after I think it's 21 unread messages that I just delete you from there. [0:01:01.7]

Jonathan: Really? Oh, that's a good system. I should adopt that.

James: If someone is on my email list and they don’t open 21 of the last emails…

Jonathan: Hang on, James. Like I look at my emails. I write daily and I can see people skip like 1, 2, 3 weeks and then they come back on. So that doesn’t matter to you, does it, huh?

James: Well, it's just … if they're not interested…by that point, I mean, they would have missed a lot because a lot of the stuff that I talk about compounds and it… I reference other things. So it's kind of like if you skip the middle of a TV season, you can't just watch the first episode and then the last episode. You got to go through the middle and I had an autoresponder for a reason. Because I want to take you through a sequence. Then eventually you get onto the other email list, which is the broadcast, which is every single day. The autoresponder is every single day, but I…

Jonathan: So, how many on the autoresponder, James?

James: Right now, it is 90. I trimmed it down significantly. It used to be several hundred.

Jonathan: Wow. [0:02:00.5]

James: I have 90 and the daily emails, they're designed to just inform you and in the beginning, I talk about LinkedIn quite a bit. Then I talk about referrals quite a bit. Then I talk about very deep business building strategies and then after that, it's just me giving you little insights and little nuggets, but there's a very specific sequence that I want to take you through and that's what you get when you sign up at TheAdvisorCoach.com/57. So I'm not misleading you. It is an autoresponder. They're all automated. I'm not sitting here and typing them out and you know, thinking of you and you specifically. But at least for the first 90 or so emails, so - keep that in mind. Now…

Jonathan: And then you move them to the broadcast daily.

James: Yes, absolutely.

Jonathan: Okay. Alright.

James: That's what I do. Now…

Jonathan: I do 2 a day. They get autoresponder for 115 days and they get the other one, the broadcast at 9 p.m.

James: I will have to try that out to test it a little bit to see … I mean, if there was something that I really like - like for example, there's this speed reading program that I really enjoy called Seven Speed Reading, and you can go to, I think it's TheAdvisorCoach.com/speed-reading - that could be wrong. [0:03:09.8]

Maybe it's not that. But I really like this program, so if I stumble across something like that, I will send a second email in a day, and I'll say, "Hey, this really improved my life. I really enjoyed it. Check it out here and just something like that. But today, in the podcast world, the financial advisor marketing world, the universe that I control, we are going to talk about what you should have been taught in school and the inspiration for this episode actually came from my audience. So I really enjoy hearing from you. I love hearing which episodes you liked, which ones you didn't like, what you want to talk about, what you don’t want to talk about and someone emailed me a story about how he's pushing for personal finance to be taught in schools. And I thought that was pretty cool. I personally think personal finance and financial literacy, it should be taught in schools. The kids should know it. They should know a little bit about taxes, about paying bills, about saving money, about investing. They should know that. [0:04:05.1]

And I think it's pretty sad how we all get through this school system knowing algebra and calculus, but not how to balance a budget or not how to save money. Like it's ridiculous. And it's not just school, like high school or junior high, middle school. It's college too. My personal college experience wasn’t all that great either. I was very studious and I spent a lot of time in the library and I've read a lot. I still do. But I was reading a lot of stuff that wasn’t related to my classes. I was the guy reading that personal finance stuff. I was taking initiative. I read Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor. I read Phillip Fisher, Peter Lynch. I read that stuff in high school and I continued reading this stuff in college. Peter Lynch beating the street, right up on Wall Street, all that. I read those books. I loved them. And I couldn’t get enough. But the scary thing is that the average student loan debt today, according to StudentLoanHero.com is now… are you sitting down, Jonathan? [0:05:11.5]

Jonathan: I am.

James: It's $29,800 per student.

Jonathan: Yikes.

James: What do you think about that? Do a lot of …

Jonathan: That's low. I think that sounds low. I bet that's going up.

James: Oh yeah, without a doubt. No, I think this may be for like 2017 or something like that, so this is … this is not a new … well, it's kind of new but it's not up-to-date I don’t think because …

Jonathan: This is what's propping up the government. You know that.

James: It's a big conspiracy. It's really like $50,000 but when you know your statistics and you know how numbers work, you know, if you went through the high school system and you know numbers work but you don’t know how to pay your taxes, you know that half of the people are … they owe more money than that. So there are people out there with 30, 40, 50, 60, and there are some financial advisors who have emailed me and told me that they're $200,000 in debt, in student loan debt. [0:06:01.4]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: It's just…it's crazy. Like, you're 22. You get out of school. If you do your Bachelor's degree, maybe you're a little older. If you go Masters or beyond. You get out of school and you're saddled with this seemingly insurmountable amount of debt and here's the thing - I don’t really want to plug too much of my own stuff at the beginning of the show, so I'm not going to, but I have never understood how people can go $30,000 into student loan debt for a piece of paper which doesn’t come with any money back guarantees. That would be a little different. Right? If college, if they came out and they said we have a 100% money back guarantee - we guarantee this result or we'll refund every penny, that would be a little different. Right, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I… yeah, right.

James: Wouldn’t' that … I mean, that would kind of justify the cost a little bit if you had the reassurance that if they didn't get results for you, that you wouldn’t pay anything.

Jonathan: If you don’t get results, James, it's your fault and you know that. [0:07:00.6]

James: That's true. That is true. But they go into debt and they finance out to the gills and they pay $300 a month or whatever it is for 10 years, every single month and they get it for a piece of paper that's not directly related to their job either, but on the other hand, I offer stuff like financial advisor marketing mastery, which is $1000 and that's like…what is that - if tuition is $20,000, that's 120th of one year of tuition and it's directly related to a financial advisor's career and it comes with a 100% money back guarantee for an entire year, which means the advisor can't lose. But, every one, no, I mean, people go through financial advisor marketing mastery and they love it and they get great results, but there are people who are lining up and wearing the fricking college sweatshirts and getting the pennants and the binders and all that and proudly proclaiming where they went into debt, but they can't …they' can't justify financial advisor marketing mastery when it's directly related to their career. It's 1/20th of one year of tuition and it comes with a 100% money back guarantee. But, I digress. Moving on to the show. [0:08:10.8]

Here are four things - I said in the last episode it would be five, but I actually have four for you. I apologize. Hopefully you forgive me. Four things schools failed to teach financial advisors. In a lot of ways, this is going to be the most valuable episode I've ever done. Number one is negotiation and you probably thought I was going to talk about marketing or business building or prospecting, whatever. I'm coming left field with this one. This is very, very important and it's a skill I believe should be taught in school, and a lot of people think negotiation is like a win-lose scenario. It's not.

Jonathan: Zero sum.

James: It's not a zero sum game. It's all about coming to an agreement and this is something which can help you in your business and your personal life. I mean, you negotiate with your prospects to set an appointment with you. Yes. But you also negotiate with your spouse about where you want to eat dinner. Almost everything in life is a negotiation. [0:09:07.5]

You're coming to an agreement with people and not only that, you're negotiating with yourself, all the time. a lot of people think in order to negotiate, you have to have someone else involved and that's not true. This is more of a mental thing. For example, if you struggle with procrastination, you're always negotiating with yourself about when you should do the stuff you're putting off. You're always negotiating. You make up all these excuses. You rationalize everything. Negotiation with yourself can be a powerful tool to develop self-discipline. I mean, you could make a pact with yourself. We did a podcast episode about the Ulysses contract and making a pact and doing something today which sets you up for future success. You could make a pact with yourself that if you commit to prospecting all week, you could treat yourself on the weekend. I mean, that's one example of how you could do it. It's very simple, very silly example, but it works. And I personally, I love to study negotiation. I find it fascinating. So I figured I would share some of my favorite negotiation tips which can help financial advisors in their business and life. This isn't an all encompassing list. These are just a few tips. I wanted you to think about these as we go through your week and your business and your life. [0:10:20.2]

So, the first one is never be afraid to ask for what you want. A lot of people don’t get what they want because they don’t ask for it. The same is true in business. If you want the appointment, ask for it. There are so many financial advisors who, they send their stock market commentary emails. I talked about it a couple of episodes, and they're like, "I don't know why I don’t get any appointments from these."

Jonathan: "It's not working."

James: Like, do you have a link to your calendar? Is it in there? It's like, "Oh no, it's just a .. it's commentary on the stock market. It's just a review of what the stock market has done this week - the NASDAQ, the S&P 500 - you know, the biggest winners and the biggest losers." Ohhhhkay, so just to recap: There was nothing about the appointment? "No. It's a stock market commentary." [0:11:06.6]

Jonathan: They should know.

James: Yeah - they should know. Why.. why else would I send this, if not to set an appointment? Of course. They should look at it and be like, yes - I totally need to set an appointment with that financial advisor. Why else?

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: So…don’t that. Of course, it's not as easy as just asking. I don’t want to give you that impression that all you have to do is ask and then all of your dreams will come true and you'll get the pony you always wanted, but if you don’t ask, you probably won't receive. [0:12:07.6]

Also, number two, with the negotiation, don’t be in a hurry and I see this a lot with new advisors. They're in a rush to get clients and to build and book a business and a lot of times, this means they rush to their family and friends, to book appointments with them because anyone with a pulse is a prospect if you're in a rush and you're a new financial advisor and you're in a hurry to build your book of business and if you prospect that way and you go after your family and friends, you have more success in the short-term but eventually it fizzles out because the advisor realizes that he or she doesn’t specialize in anything. That's why I tell them - new financial advisors, pick a niche from day one. It may be a little bit slower in the beginning. I admit that. I am completely transparent about that. I'm not saying that your business is going to take off like a rocket ship from day one. It will be slower in the beginning, but you will be more successful over the long-term. Then when it comes to negotiating, being in a hurry is a terrible, terrible thing because it means the pressure is on you to get the deal done and that's when you get sloppy and you make mistakes. [0:13:11.7]

Finally, with the negotiation, do your homework. When you're in a negotiation, you're asking for what you want, it's critical that you do your homework on what it is that you want and how to get it. When it comes to financial advisors, this is why investing in yourself is so important because it's a form of doing your homework. If you want to get better at email marketing, awesome. That's a great goal to have but are you doing your homework? Are you investing in yourself? Are you making moves to make that happen? So. Stuff to think about. I really think negotiation should be taught in school. Now, let's move on to the next thing school failed to teach financial advisors. Unless you have any questions or anything that you want to talk about negotiation - anything you want to…

Jonathan: I think you covered it, bro. That was a whole episode.

James: With negotiation. Maybe I'll do something in the future. My Inner Circle members actually get a lot, a lot, a lot more detail about negotiation and they know how important it is. [0:14:06.5]

Number two. The number two thing that I think should be taught in school is how to fail. In the school system…

Jonathan: It's the opposite.

James: Yeah, it is. It really is. Failing is a bad thing and it's one of the worst things that could happen to you, to get that big F with the red pen or red Sharpie and it's got a circle around it…

Jonathan: The scarlet F.

James: The scarlet F. You go home and you cry and you hide it from your parents and anything is terrible but in the real world, you realize that failure is not such a bad thing. It's a teacher. You will learn more from failure than you do from success and I want you to try to adapt that mindset as a financial advisor. If you try to convert a prospect and you failed, that's awesome. That's not a bad thing because it means you had a prospect to begin with. Lots of people don’t even reach that step. They just sit around and procrastinate all day. If you're failing, it means you're trying. It means you're taking action. The more you fail, the more the odds are in your favor. [0:15:07.5]

Let me give you a real example. Let's say you have 10 appointments lined up and you know - because you track your numbers and you follow me and you're an Inner Circle member - you know your average conversion rate is 50%. That means you know in advance. You already know you're going to fail with five of them. You know you're going to fail with five appointments. You will not turn these people into clients. Does that mean you'd rather not have the appointments? No. Because then you wouldn’t get the clients at all. The faster you embrace failure as a positive thing and you view it more like shifting the odds in your favor, the better off you'll be.

Now, moving on to number three. The third thing I think that should be taught in school - high school, junior high, middle school, even elementary school is productivity. I'm not going to spend too much time talking about productivity because we have done several episodes on the topic, but I will say that I wish schools all across the country taught some basic time management techniques. [0:16:04.4]

I mean, at least give people something and lately I've been going hard with my personal productivity. I mean, there were a few weeks earlier in this year where I wasn’t as productive as I should have been, but now I'm back on the wagon. I'm laser focused. I'm super focused on getting financial advisors results. Like I eat, sleep, and breathe financial advisor marketing. If there's any way I can help advisors to build their business, I'm there. So, my productivity, I've got my game face on. I'm going hard with this thing and it should be taught in school.

Number four. This shouldn't be a surprise - we're finally at the marketing part of this podcast episode - is real marketing. I wish real, real marketing was taught in school.

Jonathan: The real, real.

James: The real, real. I want to keep it real and be real, real. This is a financial advisor marketing podcast, fam. Colleges don’t teach real marketing skills. High schools don’t. I mean, I took a bunch of marketing classes when I was in college. I took marketing. I took advertising, public relations, you name it. [0:17:05.0]

I would guess that maybe, maybe 5% of that stuff applies in the real world. The rest of it is complete BS. Colleges would have you believe that marketing is all about branding and getting your name out there, and that's not true. Marketing is about taking someone from a cold lead to a paid client and doing it for less money than you make from the client. That's it. Let me give it to you one more time. Marketing is about taking someone from a cold lead to a paid client. Someone is out there. You work with dentists and there's a dentist in Chicago, Illinois that doesn’t know you, doesn’t know your business, doesn’t know your name, doesn’t know you exist. You're going to let that person know you exist and not only are you going to let that person know you exist, you're going to create so much desire and you're going to get so much intention that that dentist sets an appointment with you. Then you're going to present what you could do, how you can help, how you can add value to his situation, how you can transform his life, and he's going to pay you for it. [0:18:08.4]

Because he's going to be so wrapped up with what you could do and he's going to be so intrigued by you, your business and what you can do that he has no choice but to do business with you. That's marketing. And I don’t want to get too off on a tangent here, but I kind of, sort of think that these big advertising agencies, they got together and they created this concept of branding so they could make more money from the customers. I think it was some type of big conspiracy where they were like… they sat around and they were like, "How can we charge money for something that the customer can never track, something that they'll never be able to know for sure if it's working, but if they're doing well and they're growing the business organically, that little bit of growth could be attributed to us. We can all raise our hand and we can say yeah, yeah - that's because of our branding. But if it doesn’t work, we'll just say we gotta try again." [0:19:03.1]

So, I think that's a conspiracy and that… maybe it's just me wearing my little tin foil hat today, but that's darn smart on their part, to come together and be like, what can we sell that can't be tracked, it can't be measured? I mean, I… maybe I'm making it harder on myself. I've got Appointments on Autopilot. You can track email. You can track my open rates versus your open rates and you can track my appointments versus your appointments and if I don’t give you results, hey, I can't keep your money because you're going to ask for a refund. Right? I've got to get you results, but these big companies all come together. They say, "Let's create a branding campaign and they can't really track it." Real marketing, it's going out into the marketplace, making contact with someone, facilitating a relationship and it doesn’t mean that you have to make one… you don’t have to be the one to make the contact either. Your LinkedIn profile can do it for you. Email marketing machine can do it for you. A direct mail can do it for you. The options are limitless, but you're not branding because branding is just letting people know you exist and getting your name out there and all that. That may work for sodas and restaurants because people have an idea who they are and what they do. You see a McDonalds ad. You're not going to suddenly be like, "Whoa! What's this new fangled thing I've never heard of?' You're going to know it's McDonalds. You're going to be like, "Oh yeah, McDonalds. We get it. You exist." But with financial advisors, you've got to take people through a process. [0:20:23.5]

So, to recap - those are the four things financial advisors weren’t taught in school that I believe - not just financial advisors but everyone - should be taught in school - is negotiation; how to fail; productivity; and real, real marketing, the one where you put your money at stake, where you are investing in yourself and your business and every dollar that you put out there has got to bring some friends home. That's real marketing. So, that's a wrap for this episode, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Love it. Love it. What's next time?

James: In the next episode, I'm going to talk about Three Best Habits of Rich Financial Advisors. Am I allowed to say "rich?" People don’t like that anymore, do they? [0:21:07.5]

Jonathan: I just think it's nice.

James: An Inner Circle member actually emailed me and he asked about habits and it wasn’t related to like being rich or accumulating wealth or whatever but it really got me thinking and I realized I saw these specific three things across virtually all of the best financial advisors in the industry. I feel blessed because I've been able to see this up close and personal and next week's episode is one you do not want to miss.

Jonathan: I cannot wait. Fam, thank you for tuning in. We will be back in your ear buds next time with another Financial Advisor Marketing.

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