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The most common questions financial advisors ask themselves are “How can I get more clients?”, “How can I get more money?” and “How can I have more free time?”.

You’ve probably noticed those don’t help you reach your goals. That’s because sales and marketing doesn’t work that way. With that mindset, your content will be ignored, your clients jump ship and prospects never reply.

Bob Burg knows the real questions you should be asking and how you can turn them into massive sales success and more leads from referrals than you can handle.

Ready to find out the right questions to ask and transform your business? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • The “law of value” that determines your true worth to clients—this is the root cause of all marketing problems. (4:25)
  • 3 things to increase in your business—profit isn’t one of them. (8:40)
  • How to give more than you take without being a doormat. (18:30)
  • What most prospects don’t understand—and how to attract the “dream clients” you really want. (21:35)
  • Step nr. 1 to become the most valuable financial advisor. (23:43)

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 https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Find out more about Bob’s Endless Referrals here: https://EndlessReferrals.com

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. [00:32.0]

James: Welcome to financial advisor marketing, another week, another episode. And this week I am very excited for the episode because this guest has been requested by some of the listeners, and I must admit I have been following his work for years and we can talk a little bit about that. If you're in the financial services space, you've probably seen or heard the name Bob Burg come up again and again. That's because he is a hall of fame speaker, our bestselling co-author of the ‘Go-Giver’ book series, which is an amazing series by the way. If you haven't read the original Go-Giver book, I suggest you get it and read it right away. He's been on several lists as one of the businesses, most influential leaders and one of the world's most influential authors. It is my honor, my absolute pleasure to bring Bob Burg on the show this week. Bob, thank you so much for being here.

Bob: My pleasure. Great to be with you.

James: Now I first got introduced to your work a long time ago and that's when ‘Endless Referrals’ made a big splash in the financial services industry. [01:28.3]
So I imagine a lot of the audiences are there yet, the majority of financial advisors who are listening to this will recognize your name from ‘Endless Referrals’. How did you get started helping financial advisors get more referrals? [01:38.0]

Bob: Well, actually working with financial advisors began after the book came out because it ended up going through a lot of the different companies and firms and so forth. And I started getting invited to speak so that, that really happened in, in sort of in backwards order.

James: Now, one of the things that I really liked about the ‘Go-Giver’ was that I read it after reading ‘Endless Referrals’ again and it everything from ‘Endless Referrals’ just clicked for me. So financial advisors, if you haven't gotten ‘Endless Referrals’, please make sure you get that as well. Read that in conjunction with the ‘Go-Giver’ because you'll see a lot of things that you won't see by reading just one or the other. You'll see a lot of things in the ‘Go-Giver’ that you wouldn't see. You'll see a lot of things in ‘Endless referrals’ that you wouldn't see because they're so closely related. But for the people who may not be familiar or may not know, what is the overall message of being a Go-Giver. [02:28.0]

Bob: Yeah, it's a great question. The basic premise is very simple. It's just that shifting your focus and this is what's so key. Shifting your focus from getting to giving. And when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others. Understanding that doing so is not only a more pleasant way of conducting business, it's actually the most financially profitable way as well. Not for some way out there, woo woo kind of reason, it actually makes very logical and rational sense when you're that adviser who can take your focus off of yourself and instead place it on others. Really look towards how you can make their lives better, how you can help them, how you can solve their problems, how you can help them get what they're looking for. You become someone who they want to get to know they they like, they trust, they want to do business with, they.. they want to refer and introduce to others. [03:31.5]

James: Absolutely. I couldn't agree more and one of the biggest takeaways that I got from the book, was this idea of truly not just saying it just to say it, not in a semantic type of way. I mean absolutely truly providing value because financial advisors, you probably heard me talk about this, it makes my skin crawl when people say providing value is just like a catch phrase or just like you described like a woo woo ra ra type deal, but you explain it in a beautiful way where it's your literally giving more or perceived value in such a way then what you receive in payment.And I was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little bit more for financial advisors. [04:04.5]

Bob: Yeah. I think this is important to understand because it really can, can be confusing you know, if it's not something that a person is already familiar with. So the law number one, the foundational principal of the book is the law of value, which says your true worth in the business sense, of course your true worth is determined by how much more you ‘give in value than you take in payment’. Now when you first hear that, it sounds very counterintuitive, right? You know. What. Give more in value than take in payment I mean, how am I supposed to survive in my business? Never mind thrive. Kind of sounds like a, a recipe for bankruptcy. Give more in value than take in payment. And so to understand this, we simply need to understand the difference between price and value. [04:59.1]

Price, and of course in the vernacular of a financial advisor would be, it would be fee, but just keeping it at a, in the original price, the dollar figure, it's a, it's a dollar amount, it's simply is what it is. Value on the other hand is the relative worth or desirability of a thing of something to the end user or the holder. In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, service, concept, idea, investment plan that brings so much worth or value to another person, to the other person that they will willingly exchange their money for it and be glad they did while you make a very healthy profit. [05:50.1]

A very basic example in terms of a financial advisor is that if you have someone invest with you and let's say you're helping them to create a, a very sound and lucrative financial future, you're helping them, yeah..plan to to have a retirement where they're not worried about paying the bills. You're helping them to leave a legacy, whether it's to a charity or or or their children or or both. You're ensuring that that what they do now is going to have a big payoff for them year from now. When you do this, you're providing them with a lot more, a significant amount, more value than what you're taking in payment in terms of fee. Yet you're also making a very, very healthy profit, which you should, but the reason this occurs is because your focus is not on your feet. Your focus is unmaking their life better. Your focus is on pleasing men. Your focus is on the value you are providing them. [06:56.2]

This is why John David Mann, my fossil co-author of the building giver series, or we say that money is simply in echo of value. It's the funder if you will, so values lightning, which means nothing more than that the focus is on the value you're providing the other person. The value comes first. The money you receive is simply a very natural result of the value you've provided.

James: I could not have said it any better, and I'm reminded of the Warren buffet quote I think it's, “ Price is what you pay, value is what you get”. And that's extremely true I mean, I've had Kindle books that I've gotten for 99 cents that have just transformed my thinking, transformed my life, and it all comes back to I paid a certain price, but I got a certain value that was disproportionate, if you will, to what I paid.

In addition to value, one of the things that you talk about in the ‘Go-Giver’ is the law of compensation and it's all about, or at least I gathered, that it's about how many people you serve and how well you serve them. [07:56.7]

And as a financial advisor, you can't just, well, I guess you could, you could serve one or two people really, really, really, really well. But if you want to build a big business, and I'm sure Bob would agree that you've got to serve a lot of people and you've got to serve them well. Do you have any other, any other pointers or any other pieces of advice for the law of compensation?

Bob: Yeah. You know, for your business to be sustainable and not subject to the whims of one or two people that, yeah, I'd say it's best to serve a whole lot of people. Of course it might be within a certain niche of where you're working, but you want to serve enough people so that you're, you're combining the exceptional value you provide with the reach, you know, with the—the number of lives impact with that value.

James: Exactly. And I think that one of the best things that financial advisors can do is to really focus on all three : increasing the value they provide, increasing the number of people that they serve and increasing the quantity of which they serve them. [08:56.4]

And that's described in the book. And one of the themes of the book is mentorship. So for financial advisors who are listening, what is your take on finding a mentor or what are some things in an up and comer should not do when trying to find one?

Bob: Well, I think finding a mentor is a great thing. Having a mentor can be terrific because the right mentor can help you shave years off your learning curve. I think that many people approach a potential mentor in a way that is rather counterproductive. They'll, they'll find someone who they know they really admire, and they'll reach out to that person and just say something like. Hey would you be my mentor? And typically, that's not a productive way to go about it because the first if he or she is someone you'd like as a mentor. There are probably many others who'd like them as a mentor who are all asking that same way, would you be my mentor? So there's nothing that distinguishes you. [09:55.2]

It can also come across a little bit entitled, you know, and so as though they owe you to, you know, to, to to help you. And, and when you just, you know, approach someone, will you be my mentor and sort of like, you know, asking some of, you know, and I'm talking about someone you don't already have a relationship with. It's sort of like saying to someone, Hey, would you share 40 years of your experience, your wisdom with me, even though we don't know each other from a hole in the wall. So I think it's understanding first that a mentor protege relationship is just that, it's a relationship and it develops over time.

With that said, you can certainly approach a approach pretty much anyone and you know, and simply say something along the lines of yeah, I know you're very busy and if this is not something that you would for any reason choose to do, it's certainly very understandable. I'm wondering if I might ask you one or two very specific questions. [10:55.4]

When you do it this way, you greatly increase the odds that this person will take time to have that conversation with you. First, would several of these several of the concepts even within that sentence, beginning with the last part of it. When you say one or two, may I ask you one or two very specific questions? This way that person knows you have an agenda and you already have planned out what you're going to ask them. So it's not as though the people who say, Oh, can I pick your brain? And they don't know how much time that person's going to waste and have a right eye. But you're saying one or two very specific words. So they see you as a serious person. They see you as someone who is. Now the other thing that you did though, in the way that you asked, which again, sounds counterintuitive to a lot of people, but it works so well. And that is to say, yeah, I understand you're very busy. This is not something you either have the time to do or, or, or would want to do for any reason, that's perfectly understandable. Totally understandable. [11:55.5]

You've given them, what I call the out or back door, which is basically an emotional escape route to be able to easily tell you No. Now again, that's counterintuitive. Why would you want to make it easy for them to tell you, you know, because first of all, they're going to say no if they want to say no. It's just a matter of whether they feel you're trying to guilt them into doing it or whether you know you're respecting them. And so really what I call bird’s law of the out or back door is that the bigger the out or backdoor you give someone to take, the less they'll feel the need to take it. But the fact that you framed it as you did makes that person feel very comfortable with you. So again, they know there's no you know, attachment. There's no, you know, emotional demand that you're making. You're very respectful. You're only going to ask them one or two very specific questions. You've created the environment where you've made it very easy for this person to say yes. [12:55.7]

So what you want to do is ask those questions. Make sure of course that you don't ask anything that you could have found the answer to by simply doing your research.

James: Right man, I second that,

Bob: Yeah. And then you know the so and at the end of the conversation that you've thanked them, let them know how grateful you are. You look forward to immediately applying their wisdom and you'll keep in touch and let them know how things are going. Fine. Now what I would do right after that is send send them a personalized hand written note of thanks. Not an e-mail and not a not a text, a handwritten thank you note. It says something very simple like, dear Mr. Johnson, dear Ms. Smith or their first name, however the relationships and established, thank you so much again for taking time out of your busy day to you know, to, to counsel me. I so appreciate it. Your wisdom is invaluable and I look forward to applying it right away. We'll keep in or you know, we'll keep you updated. Best regards, sign your name. [13:59.3]

Put it in a regular envelope, hand address it and a hand stamp it, you know, no meter machine but a regular stamp on it. Send it out that day. That another nice touch and that is to, to make a small donation. It doesn't have to be big, just a small donation to their favorite charity, which again you can discover by researching it online if you, if you have to even call their administrative assistant, but I'm sure there's something online about this person and their charity or favorite cause make a small donation in their name. They'll be notified of this. Now you're not doing it to kiss up or anything. You're doing it simply to once again communicate that you respect the process, that you're filled with gratitude and that you take this seriously and you want to make sure to communicate that they understand your desire is to in some way add value to them. [14:55.1]

James: Yeah, I think that's some of the best advice that this podcast has ever had.

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 three-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. [15:39.0]

James: I do want to mention both for you and for the listeners. I get about 20-50 different advisors every single day asking questions. A lot of them are exactly what you said where they could, could have been answered with a simple Google search or you know, they say, Hey, I love your blog, I read it all the time and then they proceed to ask you a question that is answered in the very first blog article on the list. But what I found amazing, and maybe you can relate, is that the, there are some people who ask yes or no questions and they're very short. They're like, would you do this? I, all I do is respond yes or no, and I'm not being cold. I'm not being curt. But that little piece of insight is tremendously valuable to them. And that's just a way of providing value.It doesn't really cost me much. [16:26.0]

I just shoot off the word yes or the word no, and they get something from it. It's not intrusive, it's not pick my brain, it's, it's very easy. And the advice you give about the handwritten notes I have, I've gotten one, and that was from an inner circle member of mine, but over the years, I'm talking five years. I mean we started off like one or two a day and then now like 20 to 50 a day. Over five years I have literally never gotten a handwritten note from financial advisors that, I mean just like cold outreach from them asking question to me answering never. But I have gotten several charitable donations and I appreciate that quite a bit. I support donorschoose.org so I think that's amazing advice.

Bob: Can I add one, one thing?

James: Sure.

Bob: You know, you can then follow up with that person three weeks later or a month later and you might have another question or you're letting them know what's going on. [17:19.8]

You're keeping them up to date and over time, if a mentor protege relationship is supposed to develop because that's what it is, it's a relationship that happens over time, then it will, if not, it won't. So you don't want to be too attached to any one person having to be your mentor. It might be that there's going to be a series of people who you meet with once or twice and you really gained some great knowledge. You might need that person who's going to be your long term mentor or it might never happen. But again, it's, it's, it's in the way you have it progress. That creates that environment where it's much more likely to happen.

James: Yeah. I 100% agree. I think that some people reach out and they try to get a mentor and they're like, Hey, you're supposed to be the Go-Giver. You're supposed to just give me everything and give me all of your advice and give me all of your time and wipe out the calendar. But it doesn't really work that way. And you've explained it well. But are there, are there any like misconceptions about being a Go-Giver? I mean, the name itself almost implies for people who don't know that you're just giving constantly. I mean, can't you be taken advantage of that way? [18:28.2]

Bob: Well, I mean, you, you could be if anything, but, but being to being a Go-Giver first of all should never be confused with being a doormat or being a martyr or being self-sacrificial or being taken advantage of, you know, if you're, if you're finding yourself as a pattern being taken advantage of, again it's going to happen to everyone, I'm like sometimes because we're human beings and that's just what happens. But I'm talking about a pattern of this happening.

James: Sure.

Bob: If you're finding that happening with you, it's not because you're a Go-Giver, it's not because you're a good person or because, yeah, no, it's because you're doing things in such a way that allow you to be taken advantage of. So no, we need to, to, to be able to set limits, but we do so in a way that's kind and respectful and yeah, and so forth. I think the, the thoughts, the misconceptions, if you will, that people have about being a Go-Giver is probably before they read the book. Because as you said, it sounds like one of those things that go giver, you're giving yourself away. You're not making a profit. Well, go givers tend to be the most profitable because a Go-Giver, when they sell, they're selling on value. [19:40.6]

They're not selling on price, right? If you sell on low price, you're a commodity. If you sell on high value, you're much more likely to be looked at as a trusted resource. So when someone sells the Go- Giver way they're probably at the higher end of the price scale. Although like you said, you know, some people might think, well, Go-Giver means you have to say yes to everything? Absolutely not. As a Go-Giver, when you do business this way, you tend to be very, very successful. And you know, we all have a limited amount of time, right? We make the time to do the things that we need to do, but that's still limited in whatever way you cut it and you, you couldn't possibly say yes to everything and everybody, you wouldn't be able to serve the people you're supposed to be serving and taking care of yourself. So no, we we have to say no much more than we say yes, but we, again, we do it in a way that honors the other person and is kind and respectful. [20:34.3]

James: Yeah. And I, I appreciate that you keep mentioning that the Go-Giver way is often the most profitable way or at least more profitable way to do business. And I can identify with that because I would rather give someone $10,000 and have them produce $20,000 of value for me in my life then to just price shop everywhere and pay 5,000 and have that person only produce 7,500 and I mean that makes mathematical sense.A lot of people will continue to shop around and say, I can't, I can't put out $10,000 I only have to put out 5,000 gets a cheaper price, but they're not looking at the big picture. So I love how you explain that.

Bob: Yeah. Well there are two things about that. One is that not everybody's your customer or client, you know, you're looking for the ones who are, who are looking more for quality and high value than to just low price. The other though is knowing how to communicate value in such a way that the other person understands it to be a value. Because sometimes the person who says they're just looking for low price, that's only because they don't understand the value and if they did, they would pay a higher price. [21:40.7]

And so there, there are two kind of aspects of that, but you're basically, you're looking to attract into your world the people who, who are much more likely to respect the way you do business.

James: Now do how many pointers for financial advisors on how they can demonstrate their value. Because a lot of them struggle with that. That's a common question I personally get. They really struggle with letting prospects know the value above and beyond the 1% a year or the couple hundred bucks for the plan. How can they do that?
Bob: It's important to do that because while just by the very nature of what you do as a financial advisor, you do get your clients much more value than what you seen in payment. So does every other advisor basically, you know, it's a, it's a commodity that you're dealing with and there's nothing wrong with that. [22:30.5]

It's just, it's just what it is. So while you may even do things better while you, I mean, you know, my financial advisor, I mean, he's a guy who I wouldn't trade him out for the world. This guy has taken great care of me. He goes above and beyond, you know, he cares. I've referred him to all of my family members and he's done very well by us. Well, we've done very well by him because of his caring and he is very knowledgeable, very competent, and the guy really works hard for us. Okay, we love him.
Now that's fine. But until that other person knows this about you, they don't know it about you. And if a prospective client cannot distinguish between, and this is why, by the way, referrals are so important. Referrals and introductions. but that aside before a prospective client, until they, they understand the difference, they don't know the difference. [23:22.4]

And if they don't, it's always going to come down to who has the lowest fee. And you know, again, unless your last name is a Walmart or amazon.com low fee is not a good way to do business. It's not profitable. It's not, it's not productive and it's certainly not sustainable. So, so how do you distinguish yourself and communicate that value? Well, it starts with you being that value because they're going to buy you before they buy your company and before they buy your products.Then so the question becomes, so are all right, how do I communicate this additional value, what we call extrinsic value, value over and above what the product is designed to do, which really has everything to do with the experience, right? And there are dozens, if not hundreds of ways to communicate that additional value, but they tend to come down to five, what we call elements of value. [24:24.5]

And those elements are excellence, consistency, attention, empathy and appreciation. And to the degree that you can communicate one or more, hopefully all five of those elements of value at every single touchpoint, whether you know from, from when you first meet them, whether it's an outbound call or a, an inbound contact or, or you've met them at the at a local charity event or your kid's ball game or wherever you happen to be from that first moment through the relationship building process or the follow up and follow through, through the sales process, through the referrals, to the degree that you communicate those elements of value, that is the degree that you take your competition and fee out of the picture.

James: Yeah, I couldn't agree more and I don't want to give away too much from the book or reveal the information that's inside too much. [25:23.3]

But to kind of wrap up the interview, I want to touch on the law receptivity where you're being receptive to receiving. I mean, if you're being a Go- Giver, if you want to increase your worth and make more money and impact more people and touch more lives, you've also got to be open to receiving. So what are some ways that people can be open to receiving and to receive more? I mean, it makes sense.

Bob: Yeah. Well, the law of receptivity and this is really what, what brings it home is that, okay, the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. And this really means nothing more than the fact that we breathe out. But we also breathe in. It's not one or the other. We breathe out carbon dioxide, but in order to survive and to thrive, we also need to breathe in oxygen.We breathe out, which is giving, but we also breathe in which is receiving. Giving and receiving despite the messages we hear from the world around us, whether it's media or school or community or you know, whatever we're so much of that. So many of the messages that we get about money and about prosperity and about abundance is it, you know, that, that you know, rich people evil or if you make a lot of money, you did it on the backs of others or you took advantage of it. And while there are certainly people out there who do that by and large, that's not typically the story, especially to the degree that we operate in a free market environment where no one is forced to do business with us. [26:59.7]

The only way that you as an advisor can make a real lot of money is to provide exceptional value to a whole lot of people. And when you do that, you understand that giving and receiving are not opposite concepts. Giving and receiving are simply two sides of the very same coin and they work in tandom. The key is not, you know, whether you're a giver or a receiver, that's the treacherous dichotomy, the false dilemma, right? The unnecessary use of the word or giver or receiver No, you're a giver and a receiver. But you know that the focus, it needs to be on the giver, the giving of value to those whose lives you touch. You focus on the giving, but then you allow the receiving and when you do, you know the world opens up to you.You live in abundance, you live with abundance and everything including financial. [28:01.6]

James: Absolutely. And I think the biggest takeaway is the fact that we do live in a free market economy where our entire world and entire economy itself is based on value exchange. We're exchanging value constantly and businesses do that, individuals do that. They’re continually making the world a better place. And one of my personal mentors from many years ago, he had a saying that, he liked to say a lot it was, “There is no giving back, there's only giving and that changed my worldview more than all the other little quotables and little Instagram posts that people put out there and it really clicked for me and reading the Go-Giver, it reinforced it even more that there's only giving and you are rewarded and you receive to the extent that you give to the world.

Bob: Wonderful.

James: So thank you very much for during this interview. It's been an absolute pleasure. I hope financial advisors got a lot from it. I hope that they go back and take some notes, but if there are advisors who want to get more involved in your world, what do you suggest they do or how do they get in touch with you? [29:04.2]

Bob: Yeah, probably the best thing is to go to Burg, burg.com and while they're there they can, if they'd like to check out the books, they can get a free chapter of each one so that you can see if you like it and then click the, if you do, also on the blog a bird.com/blog I ran a series of, of I think it was 22 brief videos called ‘Endless Referrals the Go- Giver way’. So the last one is actually at the top, so scroll down to the beginning of the series and I actually take you through a solve the endless referral system in a series of tips.

James: I actually watched those. I read, I know exactly what you're talking about and I did, I liked them. So thank you for putting those out there. Once again, thank you for doing the show and thank you for being such a giver. Financial advisors, I will catch you next week. [29:52.9]

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