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If you’ve been a financial advisor for a while, you probably have a few clients. But if you want to work less and actually be fulfilled in your work, clients won’t cut it.

Because the best, richest and happiest financial advisors have raving fans. And in this episode, you’ll find out exactly how to create those fans.

Ready to leave behind average clients and have raving fans that refer you to their friends?
Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • How to create “immeasurable value” so you can get measurable results in your bank account. (6:40)
  • The two companies to study if you want to serve your clients better. (7:33)
  • If you can accomplish these two steps, you’ll always be outperforming your competition. (11:08)
  • Two signs you should fire a client or hang up the phone on a prospect. (19:33)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

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 Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, fam, my financial advisor marketers out there. I am so glad you're here and the new year is almost here. Hopefully, you're putting your ducks in a row and getting ready to make the next year your best year ever.

Jonathan: What? James, come on. They should have started that two months ago.

James: My Inner Circle members got a chance to start that very early because I started talking about that in November, so if podcast listeners, you get the free stuff. You get all the scraps. [0:01:01.2]

Jonathan: Leftovers for you.

James: So, if you're a financial advisor, I'm here to help you with that and I want to be part of your journey and I really enjoy coming here and talking with you every week and I am proud to be someone that you're listening to. I mean, the holiday season, I've got to be a little sentimental with you, and even if I seem like a grumpy old Scrooge sometimes, even though that's my true self, I really am like a Grinch, right, but I do appreciate you. I do appreciate you listening and I wish you all a Happy Holidays. I hope your stockings are hung over the chimney with care. Don’t hang your stockings if you do it carelessly. Hang those things with care. I hope you have your family dinners with… or had them, I should say, with no drama and no fist fights. We're recording this and certain holiday is coming up where the family dinner is pretty common. You partake in that family dinner, Jonathan?

Jonathan: We're having multiple of that family dinner.

James: Oh, oh yeah.

Jonathan: No fights, though. No fights.

James: Okay. That's good. No fights. Just keep the tequila locked up and…

Jonathan: Indeed. [0:02:02.1]

James: Well, speaking of family, I was on a flight recently and not private though, unfortunately, just kidding. I was watching the in-flight TV and the Cosby Show was on. Now, when I was a little kid, I used to watch the Cosby Show all the time and I wouldn't be surprised if I've seen every single episode. They were just a good, wholesome family, although I always thought it was strange that Dr. Huxtable, who was an OB/GYN, if I recall correctly, he had an office in his basement. I always thought that was weird, but we are not touching that.

Jonathan: Now we know the truth.

James: We're not going to… I'm not going to comment. No comment. We're not touching that with a 10-foot pole. Not in this show, Jonathan. So we're going to leave Mr. Huxtable alone. But in this particular episode that I was watching on the plane, one of the children, and if you're not familiar, I'm going to explain stuff to you … one of the children, her name is Vanessa and Vanessa did a science project for school and she set up the solar system and she was so proud of her solar system and she thought it looked so good. [0:03:06.9]

She worked hard on it, but then when she got to the science fair, she saw all of the other kids' project and she realized that hers was a piece of crap. She realized that her project sucked. Everyone else's was better than hers and they put more effort in. One kid made like a tornado or something and another made like a volcano. I don’t really remember, but I remember that all the other kids had these amazing science projects and the one that she thought was really cool, that she worked so hard on, it was just crap. And that's how a lot of financial advisors operate when it comes to service. They think they provide good service, but then when they encounter someone like Ritz Carlton or Disney, they realize how much they suck. So they're the Vanessa of the customer service world, and I know some of you out there may be thinking, Oh come on - you can't compare financial planning to Disney. [0:04:00.4]

Uh, yeah - I can because once your customer experience good service, no matter where it is - if they experience it anywhere, they'll realize how bad yours is. But on the flip side, think about how impressed you are when you unexpectedly receive good service. I mean, if there's one thing to go to Ritz Carlton where you expect amazing levels of service, but if you… like for example, if you call a bank… you call a bank. You kind of sorta expect to be on hold for like 20 hours and then when someone eventually answers the phone, you can't understand the person and they don’t want to help you because they get off in 5 minutes and they just want to go home and eat cornbread and watch Netflix with their boyfriend. So…

Jonathan: That's very specific.

James: Very specific meal - cornbread and Netflix. Netflix and corn. But, when you get someone quickly who is actually willing to help you, you're blown away, even though, I mean in all honesty here, this should be the minimum, but it's so impressive because you expected it to suck. [0:05:02.7]

So this customer service thing goes both ways. Either way, it's up to you to make sure that your service is good enough for your prospects and clients and good enough to create raving fans, Jonathan's term, who not only stick with your business but give you referrals. So, let's get into the meat and potatoes or the meat and cornbread of the show about how financial advisors can create raving fans. First of all, you want to think about the little things, the little touches because a lot of times when it comes to creating raving fans, it's the little touches that matter. For example, this particular car dealership that I go to, they have phone chargers and laptop chargers all over the place in the waiting area.

Jonathan: Nice.

James: That's a little thing. I mean, I never really seen that. I am sure it's common now, you know, because I don’t go anywhere else except this one place, but I mean, they've got me. Right? Because I mean, I go there and I work a little bit and typically the stuff doesn’t take that long. That's a plus too. And a lot of dealerships also have just like coffee and water, if that. This one literally has a vending machine where you can just pick and choose whatever you want. You can …

Jonathan: Sweet. [0:06:14.7]

James: Yeah. Nice stuff. They've got a little sign on the vending machine, like go to front desk for quarters, and they give you the quarters. You can get Diet Coke or orange juice or whatever you want and it's a little vending machine. I mean, I've never seen that in any other dealership, anything that's free. I mean, I've seen vending machines in other dealerships, but there it is. And it's just a little touch and it's got to be cheap for the dealership, too. It's like $1 per drink or something but the value that the people get from that is immeasurable because they're like, wow - they really care about me - they're going to make sure I have the drink that I want instead of just this boring coffee that's been out there all morning or just water that probably came from the toilet, giving me toilet water and stale coffee. I can get the Diet Coke of my dreams and another example of thinking about the little things that actually does come from Disney. I mention Disney for a reason because Disney's got amazing customer service and producer Jonathan lives near the big ole' mouse and I don't know if you go to Disney frequently. Do you? [0:07:15.6]

Jonathan: You know, we used to. We had a pass, but I have read several books by the team at Disney and how they keep it magical by staying down there and talking to the people and finding out the wins that they can give them.

James: Yeah and I'm going to talk about that because if you want to give good customer service, I encourage you to study those two companies I mentioned - Ritz Carlton and Disney because they dominate customer service. They eat, sleep, and breathe making their customers happy. So with Disney, let's say that a young child, and I didn't know this - I thought this stuff was nuts - but let's say that there's a young kid in line and the kid waits to get on a ride only to find out that she's not tall enough despite all those signs being at the beginning of the ride, but let's say the kid can't read and the parent is just so engulfed in her phone that she never looks at the signs and that's super frustrating for the kid. You get to beginning of the ride and you're ready to go and you're pumped up and then they tell you, sorry, you're not tall enough. Like screw you, dude. [0:08:12.7]

Kids don’t say that. But it was a major complaint from the parents, even though they should have read the signs, but the parents were complaining and the sign should have been bigger, I guess, and they should have said it more times and it ruined things for the kids. That's the real victim here. The kids that got frustrated that they can't ride the rides. Now, Disney could have been like, well it's your fault, idiot - didn't you see the sign? But, what they did is …that’s the magic - the magical part - read. That's like when … so for example, I mean, we're not going to go off track too much here, but every once in a while…so I sell a product called Your First Year as a Financial Advisor and it's 124-minute mp3 audio download and on the sales page, I say, "It is an mp3 download," no less than three times and then on the checkout page, I say it again, that it's an mp3 download. [0:09:06.6]

I still get people who are like, where do I go to download the book? Like what book? What are you talking about? I can't make… I can't say it… what do you want? For me to say it four times and then twice on the checkout page? Like I don’t understand. It says it. People don’t read. But that's what Disney… Disney decided to start handing out these special passes that when kids get there, if they can skip the line at their next ride, and I think that that's brilliant because it's a way to mitigate the problem and make the whole family happy again at a very low cost, virtually nothing, no cost, to Disney. And part of the reason that that's so awesome for the families and the kids is because it's unexpected. That's one of the keys here. You kind of read between the lines. You get the theme. I'm talking about unexpected stuff is really what improves your customer service. [0:09:59.9]

So if you go to another amusement park and you wait in line, only to find out that you're not tall enough, then you're SOL. They don’t care, but Disney does and they make it better for you. Disney does a lot of amazing stuff and I found out recently that guests are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can. I didn't know that. I think that's awesome. Like, the level of detail that goes into that, where you're never more than 30 steps away or maybe it was 30 feet, 30 feet away from a trashcan - phenomenal. Then another is that - I didn't know this either - the Magic Kingdom will actually pump in the scent of freshly baked cookies into Main Street. They thought all of this through. They want it to smell like cookies all the time. It's not the cookies themselves, it is the thought that goes into it. It's the detail.

Jonathan: Come on, it's the fact that that makes you run into the store and buy cookies.

James: Right. It's more than that. It's the fact that someone sat down at one point in time and really thought about how they could make this so amazing for the customers and this is key, just like Jonathan said, not only make the customer experience amazing, but increase sales as well. [0:11:12.8]

Get more money while making them happier. And if you can do that, you will not have business problems to the degree that your competitors do.

Hey financial advisors, If you're looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, I invite you to sign up for James' brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. On this webinar, you'll discover why email marketing is able to generate upwards of 4400% ROI for smart financial advisors, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisors make with their emails, and the proven 3-step process for converting prospects into booked appointments using email. All you have to do is head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and register today.

James: Next, now to create raving fans, the next big point that I have here for you in the show is to put yourself in your clients' shoes, and that's exactly what Disney did, especially with the cookie stuff, and I know that some financial advisors out there are going to listen to this, like, oh James said just put yourself in your clients' shoes - how original. Yeah, I haven’t heard that one before. But it is funny, Jonathan, because they keep listening to the show.

Jonathan: They're waiting to hear something new.

James: I guess so. Didn't Ben Settle say like Howard Stern, he got more people listening because they hated him rather than they loved him?

Jonathan: The haters listen longer than the lovers.

James: They sure do. So they'd be like, oh that's … I haven't heard that before, but you really want to do it. I encourage you to just like take one morning and go through everything that your client sees. If you've got an office, just do everything, from your onboarding emails to parking in your parking lot, to walking in and being greeted, how your receptionist or your secretary greets you, your onboarding emails, your direct mail pieces, everything - everything - because until you can fully visualize what your clients are going through, you can't improve your process to create raving fans. I know one financial advisor who did this, who actually took my advice - that's the thing - people exist who actually do what I say. [0:13:23.0]

Jonathan: Shocking.

James: I know. And he did this and his waiting area was boring and there was nothing in there except chairs. No magazines. No TV. Nothing. But he never realized that or like it never clicked for him until he went through pretending to be a client. So he spruced up his waiting area. Simple. Simple stuff. Number three - never reward bad behavior - ever. And I must admit that while I'm a strong believer that you should go out of your way to create an amazing experience for your prospects and clients, it's just a given you want to do things that blow them away and make them happy, you should never, ever, ever reward bad behavior. [0:14:07.7]

Don’t encourage it whatsoever. Just get it out of your business and it's been a while since I have told a casino story, so here goes. A casino may kick out a belligerent guest even though that guest may be spending a lot of money. People who see that happening, they're like, whoa - this guy just lost 10 grand at the roulette table. Why are you kicking him out? Don’t you want to keep him here? Well, no. And if you haven’t heard this story before, one of my first jobs was working at a casino and I absolutely loved it. It taught me more about human nature and marketing than anything else I've ever done in my life because you had to literally get a population of people to come into a building and lose money. I'm not going to sugar coat it. That's really what it is. You had to get people to say, you know what I'm going to do tonight? I want to go … I want to drive somewhere. I want to park my car, go inside. The thing is huge. Like casinos are built like labyrinths where you get lost. [0:15:08.9]

There are no clocks. I want to go to that place and I want to just blow my whole paycheck. That's essentially what it is. If you can do that, you can easily, easily get clients for anything with any semblance of value where that's being provided. Like you're providing actual results. But if you can get people to come into a casino and just lose their money, you can do anything. But there would be times where there would be someone drunk at the roulette table or the blackjack table and just drunk out of his mind and yelling and screaming and harassing all the other patrons and even if the guy was losing thousands of dollars, it was still in the casino's best interest to kick him out. Why? What I really want you to think about this. Why would they want to kick someone out who is literally handing them thousands of dollars? This is a high level thought exercise here. It's because his behavior impacts the other patrons. [0:16:06.7]

It ruins their experience because then they start to think, is that the type of person who comes here? I don’t want to associate with that and then they leave. Then they … it's like a herd of people just rushing out the door because one person is being belligerent and they're like, whoa - is that who comes here? Is that me? Is that what look like right now? It's … you've got to get rid of it. You've got to stomp out that bad no matter how profitable it is. I mean, I've got people who, they message me and they're like, I'm interested in working with you one on one but I don’t want to fill out that long application - how much does it cost? Like, just tell me the cost. And I'm sure you get that too, Jonathan, don’t you? Every once in a while? "How much is it? Just how much?"

Jonathan: Oh, yeah. I love … that's my favorite question because they just disqualified themselves.

James: Exactly. I don’t even look in their direction anymore because "Oh, just tell me how much it costs." Like, let's cut the BS - how much does it cost. It's like, well, dude, there's a reason why I want you to go through the application. Like, I don’t do it just to like distance myself from you. Like I'm actually looking for stuff to make sure I can help you. So if I just give you a number, you're going to be like, oh, you know, $25,000? Hell no. That's too much. [0:17:13.0]

Like get the justification. They don’t get it. So, don’t do that and in addition, rewarding bad behavior, it actually impacts your psyche. It impacts how you treat your other clients and it impacts your standards because it lowers your standards in your life. Just don’t do it. That's why I just cut that stuff off. And here's another story with the private coaching. I had someone send me an email and he wanted to become one of my private coaching clients and it's just another one of those how much guys, but he offered to pay right away. He asked for the payment link and all that. He just said, hey, you know, I want to pay, just let me pay. I don’t want to go through the process. I want to start working with you right away. So I responded back to him and I told him that I was booked solid and that I was not taking on any new clients. He responded with and I have the direct quote here, "I guess you're too busy to work with me then. Fine. Go f word yourself."

Jonathan: Wow. You dodged a bullet. [0:18:12.7]

James: Exactly. Like that's what it is. I didn't respond though, and then two weeks later, he sent me an email saying, and I've got it here in front of me. He says, "James, are you SERIOUSLY not going to take me on as a client? What if I paid double?"

Jonathan: No thanks.

James: He wanted to pay double in the first place. Like if I said no then, I'm not going to stay no or I'm not going to say yes two weeks later. So I ignored him because I don’t reward bad behavior. I don't know if he thought I was going to bend to his command and say oh yes sir! Absolutely!

Jonathan: Yeah, and then he owns you.

James: That's what he… yeah. It's just insane. Like I'll take you on, sir! Yes, siree, absolutely, sir! No problem, sir!

Jonathan: I was just kidding about that ha ha…

James: Yeah, right. I'm just kidding about the application. I'm just kidding about all that stuff. All that's fake. Like no. If I'm booked, I'm booked. Sorry. [0:19:04.9]

Like I made my commitment to my current clients. It's my responsibility to make sure they get everything I have. If I took him on, I would be doing my current clients a disservice. Now, I want to wrap up this podcast, but let me leave you with this. There is a difference between good customer service and merely like tolerating bad behavior. You are not doing the right thing when you coddle people who throw temper tantrums. If clients or prospects treat you badly or they treat your employees badly, do not be afraid to let them walk. You have the power. Don’t be needy. So to recap, there are three of the many, many ways you can create raving fans. there are hundreds of ways, but the three of them that we talked about in the show today is refusing to tolerate bad behavior, putting yourself in your clients' shoes and thinking about the little things, really focusing on the little touches and I encourage you to study Ritz Carlton and Disney. I will probably do another episode on this topic or at least related to it because there are so many different ways financial advisors can improve their service but those three things, they are some of the most profitable things you can ever learn. [0:20:16.8]

Jonathan: Amazing. I'm going to throw one more in there. Lead with love. The people at Southwest are another customer service centered company that has done really well. So, James - what do you have coming up for us next time?

James: Next week will be How Financial Advisors Can Make 2020 Their Best Year Ever.

Jonathan: Right on time for the new year. Alright, fam. That is a wrap for another Financial Advisor Marketing. We will be back in your ear buds next time. Thanks for tuning in.

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