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, Episode 49, I believe this is. I want to kick this podcast off with a funny story. I was talking to an advisor about his email marketing and he told me that his emails were "pretty good at getting clients." That's the exact phrase he used. So I asked him what he meant by that and he told me that he was, again, "halfway there" to setting appointments with email. I was a little confused because I don’t know what "halfway" means when it comes to setting an appointment with email marketing or any marketing, for that matter. As far as I'm concerned, you either set the appointment or you don’t. there is no "halfway." You know, my mom used to say "She looks kind of pregnant." [0:01:15.9]
James: Not a thing. You're either pregnant or you're not, and you either set the appt or you don’t. So I asked the guy straight up, I said, "Are you setting appointments with your emails or are you not?" And he 'fessed up and he told me, "No." And I remember thinking, "Yeah…I thought so." Because you can't halfway this stuff. Just like you can't be half pregnant - either you're pregnant or you're not. Now, you might …
Jonathan: You might be a little bit pregnant, huh? Like just…
James: A little pregnant… either you are or you aren’t. Now, the good news is, this particular financial advisor got my program called Appointments On Autopilot and he's now using email marketing to successfully set appointments. So, congratulation to him, if he's listening to this right now; virtual thumbs up to you. [0:02:02.1]
But I wanted to start off this podcast talking about that because a lot of financial advisors have this "good enough" mentality, and they slap together a marketing plan and they think just because it's good enough, they won't go back and change it. You should always seek to improve your business, improve your marketing machine. Good enough is no longer good enough. You know, sometimes good enough really, it's never going to be good enough. Just like with email - sometimes you have to buckle down and you have to do it right from the start and even when you think you've got all the pieces in place, six months from now, you're going to… you're going to know things that you didn't know before. You're going to see opportunities that didn't exist before and you'll go back and the thing that was good enough six months ago, you're going to fix that up and make it "good enough" again. I'm trying to think of another way to describe this. It's kind of like going and getting your eyes checked. You wouldn’t get a good enough prescription - either you get the right prescription or nothing at all because having a good enough prescription could be worse than not having any prescription in the first place. [0:03:06.3]
So be very careful - if you're someone with this "good enough" or "halfway" mentality because it can get you in a lot of trouble. There are some things that you just can't afford to mess up. Like with the podcast - producer Jonathan, I wouldn’t accept halfway produced podcast from you. If we recorded a whole episode and you're like, "There you go," and it cut off at like the 7-minute mark, I'd be like, "Well, what's going on?" It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.
Jonathan: You know, I am going to play devil's advocate for just a second and I think there is a place where good enough is good enough, the 70% rule…
James: Your employees.
Jonathan: 70% rule…
Jonathan: …70% rule is like get it good enough to get it out there, but like you said, make sure you go back and improve it.
James: Sure. I thought you were going to say the employees, where if you're hiring something out, you can't be a perfectionist. It has to be good enough in order for them to get the thing done. Like you have to get it out of the door at some point.
Jonathan: That's a good point, yeah. you have to get it out. You have …and then you can improve upon it [0:04:02.1]
James: But when it comes to the high level thinking, the systems of your business, you just constantly refine that thing, but on to the show because I have a feeling that this may be a longer episode than the typical one and it's because I wanted to do things a little differently. It's going to be a Q and A episode, and I wanted to switch things up a little bit and give the power to …
Jonathan: Free advice?
James: Well, kind of. I'm going to answer the questions to the best of my ability and if some advice comes from that, so be it. So that's why the content of this particular episode, it comes directly from questions advisors have sent to James@TheAdvisorCoach.com, and in some of the previous episodes, I've been like, "Hey, send your questions to James@TheAdvisorCoach.com." I've basically been putting them in a little folder. Some of them come up again and again and again, and those are the questions that I'm going to answer in this episode. I can't promise I'll get back to every single question that people email me because I get a lot of them, but I do read every single one, and like I said, if I get the same question frequently enough, I will address it in an email or a podcast episode or something like that. [0:05:04.8]
So, let's get into the questions. One of the most common ones and I'm keeping these questions short because a lot of them were like, hey, I'm 26 years old, from Illinois and I do this and I grew up here and my mom was an engineer and it's like, super long questions. It's like get to the freaking point. So, alright - I have shortened these questions for brevity sake and one of the most common ones was "How can I get prospects to make a decision?" They're financial advisors who are essentially saying that people want to drag out the process - they procrastinate - they got to follow up a million times and they're all asking the same question - how can you create urgency in your prospects? Now, here's my answer and you may not like it, but I don’t think you should try to go above and beyond. Yeah, I really don’t, above and beyond to create urgency because financial planning - now, stick with me here because this is going to sound kind of weird but, financial planning by itself has its own built-in urgency. [0:06:06.9]
For example, every month that goes by without setting up a 529 plan, that's another month closer to your child being away in college and it's a little bit of urgency. Every month that goes by without setting up a tax plan is another month where your tax bill is more than it should be. So assuming your prospects understand the built-in urgency and if they don’t understand it, then you know, the goal of your marketing machine and content machine is to help them understand it, but assuming they do, I wouldn’t push more than that. Because ask yourself this, "Do you really want a client who is nonchalant about the process, who doesn’t really care about what you do, doesn’t care about implementing your advice? Probably not. So, that lack of urgency is a good thing because it's a red flag telling you that maybe, just maybe, this is someone you should not work with, and I use this all the time. [0:07:01.4]
If people, they drag out the process for private coaching, I don’t really do private coaching that much anymore, but when they did, I'd be like, look, you know, this … your business is losing tens of thousands of dollars every single month if we don’t fix this problem. If that's not urgency for you, I don’t want to work with you. I would just turn people away and that turned some people off, but I only want to work with the people who I can genuinely help and help in a major way, and a lot of prospects, if they don’t have that sense of urgency, and if you get a bunch of them into your pipeline, you more than likely have an inbound marketing problem. And the reason things like LinkedIn and email marketing work so well for financial advisors is because they serve as a filtration mechanism, meaning the people that end up setting appointments with you, the people that you actually see, those are the ones that have the urgency to begin with. So there are a bunch of people who don’t have urgency, but they never get in front of you because they never actually set the appointment. Hopefully, that makes sense. I mean, think about it that way. [0:08:01.0]
If someone gets your emails and schedules an appointment with you, that person has already demonstrated a sense of urgency by setting the appointment. That person has already demonstrated interest. If your prospects weren’t interested, they wouldn’t set the appointment. So, there you go. Answer to what I think was the most common question that I've been getting since we have started this podcast. So, there you go, everyone. We're done here. Right?
Jonathan: Drop the mic.
James: Two. We got a couple more questions. Number two is "When would be too soon to focus solely on your niche market or target market? Also, is there a typical time range you've seen when people recognize or find a niche?" So that's a two-part question and I'm trying to answer both parts. First of all, it's never too soon to focus on your target market. It's one of the most powerful things you can do when it comes to marketing your services as a financial advisor, and I've gotten a lot of questions about niche marketing because I talk about niche marketing so much on this show. [0:09:00.6]
As far as the typical time range, no, I really haven’t seen anything stand out. That's not to say that it doesn’t exist somewhere. It's just that I haven’t noticed it. I mean, I'm not like omnipresent. I'm … what is it … omnificent whatever… I'm not. It just…it's I haven’t seen the thing, but I have seen people who are brand new, they pick a niche, they start on day one. I've also seen people who are 10 years in the business who work with anyone with a pulse or anyone who can fog a mirror and then they just woke up one day and they realized, hey, you know, I can't keep doing this. I'm spinning my wheels. And they start with a niche. So, I've seen all of that and everything in between, but I will say this as kind of like a warning, so people can't say I didn't tell them: In the very first year, the financial advisor who picks a niche and focuses on that tends to make less money than the generalist. That's just because the generalist quickly goes to family and friends and whoever will listen and gets some clients that way. [0:10:05.7]
The person who picks a niche usually spends that whole first year getting some solid footing and introductions and content created and all that to appeal to the niche, but even though it may be a slow start, that niche-focused advisor, once you get to year three, year four, year five, that advisor just destroys everyone else because they've got a content library. They know the niche inside and out. They solve a specific set of problems for a specific type of person. They are, they're honed in that and they just totally crush the generalist, who are running around with their hair on fire, putting out different fires, essentially.
Jonathan: The compound interest effect, isn't it?
James: Yeah, and it's … I see it in life. I see it in business. I see it in health. I see it in happiness. It really is amazing that financial advisors, they intellectually understand the concept of compound interest, where you put a little bit of money away today and years from now, there's going to be a whole bunch of money. [0:11:05.4]
But the same is true with your business efforts and everything else in life. If you work out a little bit today, eat a little healthier today, eat a little healthier tomorrow, eventually that stuff compounds and I've seen it in business after business after business and even when I used to do coaching as like the main thing, I mean the business is called The Advisor Coach - right - I don’t do it that much anymore, but when I did the coaching for people, I go back and I still talk to them every now and then and we exchange emails and things like that. I see their business just freaking grow beyond anything I would have personally thought possible for them in the short time that we were working together or the long time we were working together - it depends on who it is. And it's compound interest. It really is. So, amazing stuff.
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: Number three - this is a very common question, too. It's about elevator speeches. So people are like, "Hey, how can I give an elevator speech How can I give an elevator pitch - elevator talk - whatever? They call it a bunch of different things.
Jonathan: Very tall building.
James: Go to a tall … Go to a tall building. By the way, speaking of elevators, I was reading something yesterday where people were complaining about how slow the elevators were and they weren’t taking them so people, the company, installed mirrors in the elevator. So they didn't fix the problem. They didn't make the elevator faster, but they changed people's perception. They felt like the elevator was faster because they had mirrors and they were looking at themselves the whole time. [0:13:12.2]
Jonathan: That's fascinating.
James: So, I don't know what the lesson is there. I'm sure there's something in there where like change the perception of yourself or your business - I don't know - don’t know what it is but I was reading about that yesterday and it had to do with elevators. People were asking, essentially, do you have any tips on improving the elevator speech? I'll use that term. And this is a great question, I mean, it really is and I'm going to tie the answers from question one and question two together because the answer to this really is two-fold. First, you want to get in a situation where you don’t have to give the elevator speech at all. You shouldn't be focused on "How can I give the elevator speech or make it better?" You should be focused on "How do I not give it, whatsoever. How do I get in a position where people come to me and they already know?" [0:14:03.6]
Like when people, people email me, it's because they're coming from this show or it's because they come from the blog or it's because they come from my LinkedIn or social media or webinar or something like that. they don’t just magically appear. They already know who I am. They already know what I do. They know a little bit about me. So it completely eliminates the need for me to be like, "Oh, I'm a guy who helps financial advisors get more clients. I help build their business. One of my specialties is online marketing." Like I don’t need to do that. They're already prequalified. I mean, the reason that Appointments On Autopilot program has been giving such amazing results for financial advisors is because, from answer number … to the answer to question number two is that the entire email marketing process is a qualification mechanism. Imagine that you have a website - you're a financial advisor, you have a website with content directed towards corporate executives. Then at the bottom of the piece of content, you have got a lead magnet and that lead magnet offers a free .pdf geared specifically towards corporate executives. Who do you think is going to opt in to your email list? [0:15:09.5]
James: No plumbers! Corporate executives, of course, yeah, right - You're right - yay. Everyone gets a medal. So, by that time, you've eliminated any and all need for an elevator speech because the person opting in already knows what you do and how you work with them and that's your specialty, and LinkedIn is another amazing way to do this because you can literally put what you do and who you work with in your ad line. So that's kind of sort of the elevator speech. So that's the first part of my answer to this question. The second part is to get clear on your niche, going back to niche marketing again, because giving an elevator speech becomes a lot easier when you have a niche. For example, if my elevator speech is "I help financial advisors get more clients," that's clear. That's it. [0:16:00.1]
A lot of people may say that that elevator speech is too short. I disagree because the purpose of an elevator speech is not to whack someone over the head with an entire monologue about you. The purpose of an elevator speech is to foster a conversation, and that's a quotable for this podcast. The purpose of an elevator speech is to foster conversation. I guarantee you, if a financial advisor started talking with me and I had… and that advisor had no idea who I was and the advisor said, "Well, nice to meet you. You know, what do you do?" And I responded with "I help financial advisors get more clients." That financial advisor, I guarantee it because this is happened before and it happens every time, the advisor will say something like "How?" or "Really?!" like "Say what?! What do you mean?" The point is that we would have a conversation. I wouldn’t go off on this 30-second schpiel with a bunch of jargon and buzzwords. I would keep it simple in order to start that conversation. I wouldn’t be like, oh, well I help financial advisors by setting up local marketing campaigns geared towards finding prospects in their local area. They'd be like, ohhkayy…I mean, they may say like "What?" or "How?" or "Tell me more." But the "I get financial advisors more clients." Is short, sweet, to the point. He is going to respond with "What? Really? How?" the conversation is started. Makes sense. I mean, am I going a little too crazy, Jonathan? [0:17:22.3]
Jonathan: No, it actually reminds me of story brand where they talk about people not wanting… we don’t want to burn calories to figure out what you do and if you don’t say clearly or succinctly enough, we're burning calories and we ignore you. So the simpler you can say it, the easier it is for me to understand, and the quicker we can get into a buying conversation.
James: Sure. Absolutely. And if … as a marketer, I've done this. I don’t expect financial advisors to get into the technical stuff behind marketing, but I have run tests on websites - they're called a heat map test and I've done a bunch of them and the typical rule is that people generally don’t scroll down very far on websites and it's like Jonathan was saying, they don’t want to…they don’t want to burn calories trying to figure out the stuff that's on your website. They don’t want to scroll and look and waste their time. If it's not above the fold, most of the time, people will just bounce. They'll just leave. So, perfect, perfect point. [0:18:23.1]
Next question and I think I only got this one from one person, but I thought it was such a good question, I wanted to answer this on the show. It was "How can I stop over thinking everything? My constant over thinking complicates my life and business since the biggest reason I don’t prospect as much as I should." And this one was like five paragraphs, but that's essentially the question. "How can I stop over thinking everything?"
Jonathan: Get a therapist?
James: Here's the number to my therapist. People over think a lot, though, don’t they, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Oh, yeah. I live with one.
James: Awww - like what - "Should I wear this" or what business should I…
Jonathan: Cupcake? Oh, forget about it. I pawn her off to Huddy now. I'm like, "Ask Huddy." "Should I wear this pair of shoes with this dress?" I'm like, oh my god - I can't burn those calories, baby.
James: So, the solution is to get rid of all of her outfits except for two. [0:19:16.4]
Jonathan: I've tried to talk her into that, bro. That's what I do.
James: Give it to Goodwill. Yeah, I do too, actually. All the clothes that I'm wearing right now I've actually gotten for free from companies that send it to me and I just, I'm like, that's it - this is what I'm wearing from now on. If I've got to go out in public and show my face, then I'll put something nice on, but don’t think I'm sitting around in a suit or anything, because I'm not. I'm not. I'm sitting around in some nice lounge pants and some cool tee shirts and stuff, but yeah, I don’t over think stuff, and it is super common. Especially among new financial advisors. I will say that. It is way more common in like first year, second year advisors because they, they … one of the things is they think they have to know everything and they have to know everything about their prospects and everything about how to solve the problem they're going to solve before they go out and market their services. [0:20:03.3]
It's just not true and there's a very specific type of call reluctance called "the overpreparer" and this is someone who tends to overanalyze and avoid action. They're typically very busy. I mean, if you look at this people, the overpreparers, and you went into their office, they would be doing a lot of stuff. Like there'd be busy work though. They wouldn’t accomplish much. All that busy work, it keeps them from meeting qualified prospects and it's also the person who wants to do research on every single person before calling them and then calls and doesn’t get through, which means all that time spent researching was wasted. Because they're like, oh wow - I need to know a little bit more about this prospect. I need to do a little bit more research before I call. And then they call and it goes straight to voice mail. Well, you could have been doing a whole bunch of other stuff. Like there's a bunch of different types of call reluctance. I think there's like 10 or 12 and it's also known as prospecting reluctance because we're not just making cold calls anymore. I'm going to give you a book recommendation. I want you to go ahead and write this down. It's called The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance by George Dudley and Shannon Goodson. One more time - it's The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance by George Dudley and Shannon Goodson. [0:21:14.0]
It's an amazing book. It can help you not only to stop over thinking everything, but to stop hesitation when you're prospecting. It deals with call reluctance. They're the experts. I am not an expert in any way, shape or form in prospecting reluctance. I can help you with your mindset a little bit. I can help you get where you need to go a little bit faster and I can definitely help you with your marketing, but when it comes to some deep-rooted insecurities, I'm just not there. So, I'm going to pawn that off to the experts, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Good idea.
James: Number five: "What would you do to target medical doctors?" and I got this question from a lot of people - What would you do to target this niche. What would you do to target this person? I picked the medical doctors and I'm going to give the answer. I would do the same thing I tell everyone else. Use an approach that includes multiple marketing strategies. You want to find doctors. [0:22:04.2]
You can send direct mail pieces to them, handwritten notes, phone calls, seminars, referrals, so on. You want to find the medical blogs, the podcasts, the email lists, all that stuff. Leverage it to your advantage. It's out there. Go wherever doctors are hanging out and get in front of them. I know that's vague advice, but I'm literally giving you the overview because this entire show and everything I do is about getting more clients. So I'm giving you the big 30,000 foot view. I've got dozens and dozens of hours of stuff talking about marketing for financial advisors. So if you think you can email me and be like, what would you do to target this market, it's like… I've got all the stuff; it's about that. But the idea of using multiple marketing strategies, that will never change regarding of your niche. It is literally the most impactful thing I've ever seen when growing a financial advisor's business. Nothing comes close. The last question. We're going to wrap this up with one more question. [0:22:58.3]
"I've tried stock market commentary emails to get more clients and I've gotten zero results. Is there anything you would recommend or do differently?" This is another question where it's like there's literally an entire product that talks about this, but it is a good question. Thank you for sending this. Yeah, stock market commentary emails suck and they just do. They do. Not only that, most financial advisor emails, they're just terrible to begin with because most of them are just boring updates. They let you know whatever blog post they uploaded, they're like, heyyy you know, I uploaded this blog this week - me, me, me. Like, look at this. They let you know like something about the stock market or they send you this monthly e-newsletter with a bunch of current events, but those stock market commentary emails in particular, they are the worst because a large percentage of people, the overwhelming majority by the way, they hire financial advisors so they don’t have to think about that stuff.
James: Yeah. And the webinar that I hope we're doing in the call to action for the show, TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar, I actually give you a screen shot of a response that a prospect sent a financial advisor, which says essentially "Stop sending me these effin stock market commentary emails. The whole reason I hire a financial advisor is so I don’t have to think about this S-word." [0:24:21.7]
James: And that's a pretty direct approach, but if one person says it, it's on the mind of many of your prospects, and the emails that work best are the ones that surprisingly include entertainment and that’s because people want to be entertained. And I learned this from Ben Settle, who learned it from Matt Furey. There's a reason actors get paid millions and there's a reason why teachers can barely survive. Society values education more than teaching but what a lot of financial advisors do is they try to teach. They're like, I'm going to teach. I'm going to become a teacher. I'm going to give you stuff and I'm going to try to provide value and all that. [0:25:01.1]
Not only that, but they're constantly being judged by email providers based on how many people open, click, you know, engage, reply, all that. But unfortunately, the stock market commentary emails, they get you some of the lowest opens, clicks and replies out there, which means your sender reputation score gets damaged, which means you end up in the spam folder, which means even if you decide to clean up your act and send good emails and be a good little boy or girl, it's probably too late for you because you've already ruined everything. So be very, very careful if you're doing that stuff because you're on thin ice. If you get nothing else from this podcast, please stop sending those stupid commentary emails. You're playing with fire and don’t be surprised when you get burned. Now, time for my shameless plug. I haven’t really done any shameless plugs in the past couple of episodes, so I am going to do it. If you want an email marketing system that works and has been proven to convert prospects into set appointments, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/appointments. [0:26:06.2]
One more time - that's TheAdvisorCoach.com/appointments. I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it on the show because the sales page goes into a lot of detail, but I do want to mention this comes with a 100% money back guarantee, and I offer that guarantee because if you're not happy, I'm not happy. Anytime after a year, after you make the investment in yourself, if you want your money back, you can get it because I only want to keep your money if I get you results. You can only make this bold of a guarantee when you're confident that what you have is the real deal because it is the real deal and I priced it so getting one client, literally just one, can pay for the entire thing in full. With a money back guarantee, it's like it's a no brainer. You've got nothing to lose. So, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/appointments to check everything out.
James: It felt good to get that shameless plug in there. That way, I can finally sell something and get some complaints about how I sell stuff on this show.
Jonathan: You earned it, man.
James: That's it for this week. [0:27:01.4]
Jonathan: Alright. So what's up for next week?
James: Next week, I'm going to talk about Facebook marketing. I don’t think I've talked about Facebook on this show and I may have - I don’t remember. I've gotten several different questions about Facebook marketing. I didn't want to include it in the Q and A, but I actually wanted to do a whole podcast episode on Facebook. So, if you're interested in using Facebook to get more clients, make sure you tune in.
Jonathan: Woo-hoo. Fam, did you hear that? He's going to Facebook marketing next week. Sexy! Alright, that is a wrap for another Financial Advisor Marketing. We will be back in your ear buds next time. Thank you for tuning in.
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