Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

If you’re struggling to land more clients even though you’re doing all the right things from books and training programs, you might be making a different mistake.

Because while you can learn a lot from what successful people do, you can learn much more from what they quit on. In this episode, you’ll hear about 5 habits every financial advisor needs to break before becoming successful.

Listen now if you’re ready to let go of bad habits dragging you down and get full leverage out of the productive things you do.

Show highlights include:

  • How trying to get more clients can get you no clients at all and ruin your business before it really got started. (5:03)
  • Why you shouldn’t always try to get new clients—according to Harvard Business Review. (8:42)
  • If you react to clients instantly, you’re sacrificing your long-term success for short-term satisfaction. Here’s why. (12:04)
  • How comparing yourself to others makes you less happy—and gets you worse results when you copy “successful” people. (14:32)

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: Welcome to the show, financial advisors. It's Financial Advisor Marketing and you, the financial advisor marketers, are my fam or I should say, producer Jonathan is fam as well. If you want to start a podcast, go to producer Jonathan's ThePodcastFactory.com and if you start one, maybe he will let me slide for a month on these bills.

Jonathan: Hell yeah.

James: I mean, I told you how I helped that accountant - right - the accountant and the lawyers?

Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. [0:00:59.2]

James: So, listen up, fam. This is what I did. There was an accountant that I work with and he specializes in working with attorneys and lawyers and he came to me and he told me, "Hey, I'd really like to attract some more attorney clients and some more lawyer clients. Do you have any advice for me?" I said, "Yeahhh, but I'm going to need you to cut back on these fees." And I said that kind of jokingly. He said, "Sure, yeah - if you can get me attorney clients or lawyer clients, heck yeah. You know, I will work with you." And I was like, alright, here you go: Are there any attorney conferences or seminars coming up?" He said, "Yeah, there's one in New Jersey." I said, "This is what you want to do…" and he has a lead magnet but it's a printed book. It's a printed version and he does very well with that and I'm not going to get into the details of that, but I said, "Take that book and give it as a gift and put it together in the gift basket that they give these attorneys at the conference. Put that in every single gift basket." And he was like, "Whoa, but that's going to cost a lot of money. There's like… there's like 500 attorneys there and the books cost me $3 a piece." He was like, "I don’t want to put $1500 into a marketing strategy that I can't really track." [0:02:06.9]

I was like, "Just do it." I was like… because and not to get off on a tangent but I noticed that there are some people who are really into tracking everything and that's good. Their intentions are good, but sometimes you have to evaluate the risk reward. This guy had $1500 to put his book in a gift basket where they are for sure attorneys. They are for sure lawyers and they all gather together and they've got money because they're paying for this conference and seminar, so they've got money to hire. He did that and he told me the results were incredible. I mean, people emailed him and they said, "Thank you for the book" and they appreciated him sponsoring the event and that a few of them became clients. So…

Jonathan: Shocking.

James: Yeah, shocking, and out of 500 that I don't know exactly how many, but I'm guessing maybe three, four or five of them became clients, I mean 1% of these people, but it still adds a pretty big chunk of money to this guy's bottom line, so. [0:03:05.0]

Jonathan: More than that $1500, I'm sure.

James: Yeah, way, I mean because per quarter this…it's triple that just to have him look at you. Right? Just for him to breathe in front of you. But yeah, it's something to think about, financial advisors, especially if you have a niche. If you work with nurses and there is any place where nurses gather? Like a physical location where maybe you can sponsor the event or send a gift? If you work with engineers, is there something similar? I mean just get the old gears turning. So, something to think about. Now, let's move on into the meat and potatoes of the show. But I want to start off with saying that I got an email from an Inner Circle member telling me about how he finally set an appointment with someone that he had been following up with for the past three months and the best part is that the follow up took virtually none of his time because he was following up with an email autoresponder sequence. So that's pretty cool and there are some people who think that, oh, I don’t want to follow up. [0:04:05.2]

I shouldn’t follow up this much. But what you need to understand is that you kind of want your followup to take a while because if you have to follow up and follow up and follow up in order to set an appointment, it means that when you finally do convert the prospect into a client, another financial advisor isn't going to come along and poach that client because most of your competition is going to give up long before that prospect says, "Yes." You want to be the one who's getting the clients that nobody else can get. That's how you build a rock solid book of business. Pretty good advice so far, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Love it. Love it.

James: So that is my little opener for the show. Now we're going to break right into the title. It's Five Bad Habits Financial Advisors Should Break Right Away, and I know in one of the earlier episodes, we talked about pet peeves - like chewing your food and not using your turn signal. Those are bad habits as well, but we're going to dig a little deeper into that.
Number one is trying to appeal to everyone.

Jonathan: What? Come on. [0:05:07.7]

James: This one gets on my nerves so much, and if the accountant that I talked about tried to appeal to everyone, the strategy that I gave him probably wouldn’t have worked because he wouldn’t have had the resources necessary, and by "resources" I mean the book to put into the gift basket to get those clients. Two weeks ago, I had a financial advisor email me and ask how he could market himself in several different niches at once. I think one of the ones that he gave was police officers. Then another one was business owners or small business owners, I should say, and real estate agents. Now…

Jonathan: Wow.

James: ... I'm all about trying each niche to figure out which one is your favorite, which one is the most profitable, which one is the easiest for you to work with but at some point, you have got to pick one. If you try to operate your business by appealing to multiple niches, you're making things harder than they need to be and you're not going to be able to see the things that you need to see and see the opportunities that are right in front of you because you're always trying to think about three things instead of one. [0:06:11.0]

If I'm constantly thinking about TheAdvisorCoach.com, I am going to crush the version of me that is thinking about the TheAdvisorCoach.com and then about another website and about another business and trying to think about three or four different things at once. It just doesn’t work. Some financial advisors are even worse than this. They try to market to everyone with a pulse, and I know the advisors listening to this show, right now, have probably heard this idea a million times, but you need to niche down. So, that is my niche down part of the show. Got that out of the way. We…

Jonathan: Surprise.

James: … can move on to number two. Number two is taking your clients for granted. Huge bad habit. I appreciate a lot of the work that you do, producer Jonathan, with The Podcast Factory, because it's obvious to me that you don’t take your clients for granted.

Jonathan: Thank you. [0:06:59.2]

James: And I know from personal experience - I'm not perfect - I know how easy it is to take clients for granted, especially when you're out there prospecting and talking to a bunch of new people - if you're working with a group of 10, 20 or 30 clients at a time and you're trying to grow your business and you've got 100 in the pipeline, you're focused on them and you kind of ignore your current clients a little bit. I've been there. Again, I'm not perfect. I know what that feels like. Yet, sometimes we get so focused on our goals that we just forget about the clients we already have and it's kind of like constantly planting new flowers and only watering those and not watering the ones you recently planted. Those old flowers, they're going to wither and die. You have to water them all. There was even a study done by Price Metrics, which found that the average financial advisor loses 10% of his or her clients every year.

Jonathan: Wow.

James: Ten percent, and that's drop dead average, which means half of the advisors are above that and half of the advisors are below that, and I really want you to visualize this. Picture your current income, whatever it is. I mean, if it's $100,000, cut that number by 10%. [0:08:10.6]

It's painful because if you're making $100,000 per year, you probably don’t want to lose the 10,000, and honestly, if you think about it, that number is much bigger than 10% because you have to spend money to acquire new clients. You have to factor in that cost as well. So not only are you losing income today, but you've got to put money out and you've got to allocate your capital tomorrow in order to bring in new business. So it's more expensive than that. The Harvard Business Review even reported that acquiring a new client is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing client. That means taking some time to appreciate your clients today, show that you care. It is literally - I'm not just saying this just to flap my gums and make some podcast material - it is literally one of the most profitable things you can do. [0:09:05.4]

So take some time; show some appreciation to your clients. Some of my Inner Circle members, I give some bonuses every now and then, maybe a little insert, maybe a little extra resource or recommendation. It's because I'm trying to show appreciation for them, and I don’t want to get too deep into why clients leave their financial advisors, but one of the biggest reasons they do leave is because of poor communication. So by simply communicating with your clients, like picking up the phone and calling them or …

Jonathan: What?!

James: Yeah, crazy - right? Pick up the phone and call them. Now you don’t have to call me, Jonathan, because we have the calls like every week, The Podcast Factory, the family calls.

Jonathan: Yes, sir.

James: It's a communication stream. You can pick up the phone. You can send a quick email. Whenever you do that, you increase your chances of retaining that client and one Inner Circle member actually has a fantastic system where at the end of every day, he reaches out to one of his clients and he just checks up on them. It takes him less than 5 minutes to do. It has a huge impact on his business. [0:10:08.8]

Every day, at the end of the day, he takes them through a cycle - you know, one client today, another client tomorrow and he just rinses and repeats and he checks up on them, asks what's going on - has anything changed - what's new. If there's an anniversary, he reaches out, happy anniversary. If there's a birthday - happy birthday. It takes 5 minutes - huge impact on his business. If he wants to leave the office at 5, just make that call at 4:55, maybe 4:50 or 4:45 if you've got someone who's going to talk your ear off, like me. But these clients love hearing from him, and that's a little idea. Just a little nugget that you can apply directly to your business and it goes back to taking your clients… not taking them for granted, but appreciating them and showing them that you care. [0:10:53.8]

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: Moving on - number three, the third bad habit that financial advisors should stop, get rid of, destroy right away is being reactive instead of proactive. This one is a little bit more abstract because financial advisors don’t necessarily realize that they're being reactive because they never take the chance to step back and observe their business from afar and you can't really know that you're being reactive unless you do that and you can't do that unless you're proactive. So it's like a vicious cycle -you can never really step back, and as the saying goes "Work on your business." [0:12:01.8]

One example of this where financial advisors are reactive is when a client calls and maybe they complain or something goes wrong and there is something that is maybe like a 4/10 on the urgency scale, in reality, but the client makes it seem like it's an 11/10, and the financial advisor drops everything. They ignore their prospecting. They ignore their marketing. They ignore their business building activities in order to put out a fire. If you are constantly running around trying to put out little fires all day long, you'd never have time to grow your business. You never have time to step back and look and observe and see which activities are moving your business forward, which ones are moving the needle. You never get to see that and you never get to observe and it's just a rut that you get stuck in. It's really…it's a dreadful habit that you definitely want to avoid. Now, producer Jonathan - do you have any experience or any advice for the financial advisors on being proactive instead of reactive?

Jonathan: I like the imagery of Earl Nightingale. You said "rut" just now, and he says that a rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out. So you're like lying in your grave. [0:13:10.1]

James: That is some powerful imagery, and yeah, I … is that from Lead The Field? Which one is that from? I don’t remember.

Jonathan: I don’t even know. I think he repeats these things over and over again so we get them, but it was one of his audios, but yeah man - I think that's the problem and the other one, putting out fires and if you're too busy. If you're like too busy to do things, you might have to step back and take a look - are you really doing the right things.

James: Sure. Yeah. And productivity is all about getting more output from the same input. It's not about having a million checklists, as I've said in the past. It's not about having all these apps. It's about getting more output and if you really find yourself being reactive all the time and you're really bogged down and you feel like you're maxing out at every level, maybe it's time to hire someone. You know this - I just recently hired another virtual assistant. [0:14:00.8]

So got two now and it's an amazing move because it allows me to hit the reset button. I can just clear my calendar, not clear it all the way, but clear it somewhat and take that time and really examine how I can get financial advisors more results, how I can help them, how I can improve their lives. I can get bigger and better results for them than ever before because I have taken the time to hire that virtual assistant. So take your time and look at your business. Figure this out.

Number four is comparing yourself to others. Now this is a bad habit among people who want to achieve a lot in their lives, people who are very competitive. They're constantly looking at other people and other people's results and sometimes this can be pretty disastrous, especially when you're trying to copy a marketing campaign or a marketing strategy that doesn’t work. I see this all the time with financial advisors. They look at someone else and they're like, oh this person is doing blogging - I've got to do blogging too. Then, I take their blog and I put it in a website traffic tool and I find out they're blogging and not getting any traffic. [0:15:05.2]

So you're copying someone who's not getting any results, and then you see someone - oh, this person is doing video marketing. They're sharing videos on LinkedIn, but like, when you take a step back, you realize it doesn’t work. So you are running your own race. You are who you need to be. There's a Jay Z lyric, "Look in the mirror. My only opponent." That's life. You are your only opponent. You are the one you're trying to beat. This is more than just business. This is life. You're not competing … if you're trying to get in shape, you're not competing with a body builder at the Power House. You're not. You're competing with yourself. Are you better than you were yesterday? If you're trying to be a better parent, you're not trying to compete with Mother of The Year or Father of The Year, even though I'm sure everybody's got a Father of The Year mug that they proudly proclaim, "This is mine." You're competing with the version of yourself that existed yesterday. You are truly, and I know I just said this, but you are truly running your own race. You have to compete with yourself, and I think there's a Warren Buffet quote, which said, and I may be misquoting it, but it's something like this: It's like greed doesn’t run the world - envy does. [0:16:08.5]

And I think there's a lot of truth to that because people are so envious. They're looking at people. They're comparing themselves to someone who's in a different position, has different resources, different talents, different abilities and when you compare yourself and you try to do things that other people are doing and you run their race instead of yours, you're living by a set of values that aren’t yours to begin with. So even if you accomplish the goals that the other people accomplish, they're not yours and you won't be truly satisfied with it. The only way you can gain true satisfaction and happiness in the goal-setting sense is to accomplish goals that were set by you and you've become a better version of yourself, so that's a little bit too deep for one episode. Maybe we'll do another or one little tidbit - maybe we'll do a whole episode on that in the future, but I want to finish this up with number five. [0:16:58.5]

This is a terrifying habit. It scares me when I see it and it's lying to themselves. This is when financial advisors say they'll do something and they don’t do it or they write down a goal or a plan of action and they don’t follow it. Imagine writing a goal down - say I want to have 10 new clients in the next, I don't know, wherever you are in life - it may be a quarter, it may be a month, who knows. If you've got a big business, maybe it's a year. But when you write that down and you write out your action plan - you say I'm going to prospect this much tomorrow, this much next week, this much next month and you don’t do it, you're lying to yourself and you're destroying your self-esteem. You're just, you're doing irreparable damage to how you view yourself. If you get this image in your mind of someone who doesn’t follow through, then all of your future goal setting actions, they've just been sabotaged because you're now thinking of yourself as someone who doesn’t follow through, so why in the world would you set goals anyway? And it just seeps through your whole business and it affects your marketing. It affects your prospecting. It even affects your accounting because you start … if you spend a lot of money on needless things, you start to view yourself as the type of person who spends a lot of money and then when you say, "I'm going to cut back and make my business tighter and run a tight ship," it's essentially lying to yourself because you've done irreparable damage. [0:18:17.9]

So, those are the five habits. I'm going to recap them one more time. It's lying to yourself, financial advisors lying to themselves. It's comparing yourself to others. It's being reactive instead of proactive. Taking your clients for granted. Trying to appeal to everyone. Those are terrible habits that all financial advisors should break right away and I hope that's helped you.

Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Plenty of good stuff there. Each one could be its own show. So, what do you have coming up for us next time, James?

James: So we're going to shift gears a little bit, and I'm going to talk about what struggling advisors need to know right now because it's come to my attention that there are some advisors who are listening to this show who are really, they feel like they're just, they're just spinning their wheels and they're not getting anywhere. They're running on a treadmill or they're like a duck in the water where if you look at that duck, the duck looks calm and cool and collected, and it's just gently floating down the stream, but if you get underneath, you see that that duck is paddling away like crazy. [0:19:16.9]
There are a lot of financial advisors who operate their business like that. So I'm going to do an episode just for them called, again, What Struggling Advisors Need To Know Right Now.

Jonathan: Love it. Alright, fam. Another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. We will be back in your ear buds next time. Thanks for tuning in.

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