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: Financial advisors, this is part two of a two part series with Ben Settle. Last week we talked about why it's so important to create your own tactics along with some other cool ideas. So if you haven't listened to that episode, make sure you go back and listen to it. This week, Ben and I talk about the greatest lesson I've ever learned from him along with some advice on how to set more appointments and become more productive. You don't want to miss it. Here is part two. Before we get into the third big lesson. I've got a couple questions that I am personally interested in. Because this is an audience made up primarily of financial advisors, financial planners, whatever have you ever done any work like email, copywriting, whatever for the financial services industry at all?
Ben: I have. I have not. I've stayed, I mean there's, it's fine cause there's a whole financial like niche like the gore of financial goals after I've just never really been that into it. So no I haven't.
James: Well consider yourself lucky because they will look for any excuse [inaudible] you say no to something because there are compliance issues or whatever. [01:33.9]
Ben: Oh Yeah.
James: But the problem is even if you wrote something that was 100% compliant, the financial advisors belief system, would prevent him or her from actually moving forward with it like in the case. So due to your influence and because of learning from you and trying to figure all the stuff out. I am probably the most well versed financial services person and as far as online marketing is concerned in the world and my actual specialty is I, I've tested emails with advisors. I've been fortunate enough to do that. The reason I've been so successful with it is because I have avoided talking about money, investments and finances in the emails at all. And I don't want to talk too much about myself and go off on a tangent here. I'm just explaining this. The reason that works so well is because if you talk about money and finance and investments or whatever, in a financial advisor's email is it's a problem because the compliance department doesn't want you to talk about that stuff at all because you're not supposed to give investment advice and the future returns are not guaranteed, and there are a bunch of disclaimers and all that. [02:38.2]
But the most effective emails I've ever seen, literally across 2 million plus emails tested at this point at the time of the recording, just talking about just TV shows and, and music and entertainment. It's just, it blows everything else out of the water like it really is amazing. I know you talk about this in ‘Infotainment Jackpot’ the book that you have.
James: The hi, this is, I'm going to give something away to the advisers. There's something of value here. The highest I've ever seen for a financial advisor in terms of appointments set, this is not opens, I don't give a crap about opens. I don't care about click the rate any of that. The highest converting one was literally an email about a television show. And that television show was ‘Grey's Anatomy.’ It was sent to a list of nurses and it was talking about all this stuff that the Grey's anatomy nurses did wrong and it blew everything out of the water. [03:38.5]
And that's completely contrary to all the financial advisors were thinking. You can talk about money and investments and financing. You need to educate and give value and all this stuff. No, he was just literally talking about a TV show. And my God it worked.
Ben: Nah, I'm not surprised. You know, it's I can tell you this, the one of the highest selling emails ever wrote; now this is. It wasn't selling MLM, but it was selling to multilevel marketers trying to, selling a product that shows them how they can start positioning themselves as experts at whatever it is they do in three minutes a day. It was called ‘the three minute expert’ and I wrote a whole bunch of emails to sell it as an affiliate. But the one that just blew everything away in terms of like every metric eats sales. I didn't, I wasn't tracking it, my friend was doing it, so normally I wouldn't even care about opens. But he got the most open, most sales, the most clicks. It was, it wasn't even about like that. [04:35.9]
Oh this is, this is, by the way, I think everyone listening to this could probably use this angle if you're selling to men, not to women, but to men and the subject line was ‘An open letter to husbands, who make less money than their wives and it bothers them.’
James: I remember you talking about that in a newsletter issue.
Ben: Yeah, it will, because and the whole story we had nothing. Really it was just about a guy who was a stay at home dad and his wife lost attraction for him cause she was, she was more attracted to her boss now. And this is a very reality, this is what happened. Like I sold them the date eaters. This is like a story as old as time, it just happens. And I think a lot of people resonated with that because they either knew someone who went through something like that or they're kind of feeling a little insecure of themselves right now because of that. And so it really did. It wasn't about much; I mean it did kind of twist into that toward the end. [05:31.1]
Like here's what this guy could have done yet he could have made himself an expert at something and you know, blah blah blah, but didn't like talk like income or anything like that. And talking about it, it was just, it's just an insecurity. Writing about insecurities of people is just, there is no better way to get their attention. Tend to press on an insecurity and not in a, like I'm not talking about, not like in a mean way, but just bring it out in the open.
You know, you can't, they can't unsee it once you bring it out. And so that's something that I think everyone in every market is. If you are a financial advisor, make a list of the insecurities. Forget it doesn't have to be money in securities. In fact, the less, it's more you get away with away from that, the better in general what other insecurities and write emails about those and then kinda tie it into what you do and that's, that's the way I would do it.
James: Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree more. One of the things that really makes the difference in some of them don't get it right away. I'm trying to hammer it into them again and again and again and though no fault of their own to an extent. I mean everything is their fault, but they just, I don't know. And they can't act on something that they don't know. [06:37.7]
The reason that the emails in the financial advisor space were so effective was because the call to action was for them to set an appointment. They basically like a calendar link like a Calendly, a Acuity and it just worked. But do you have any tips for people who send emails to set appointments? Not necessarily to sell a product or whatever, although they're selling themselves and selling the appointment. But just to get someone to click that Acuity language quick, that Calendly link and send an appointment.
Ben: Well let's do all the stuff we're talking about. Just get them involved in it. But the thing with getting appointments is you gotta have deadlines for something. You gotta make it painful for them not to. So you know, you gotta be able to say, look, whatever the story of the email is about, whatever it is you're teaching, but kind of withholding a little bit instead of, and this would be the same if you're selling or buying is the exact same thing. [07:29.2]
You say, look, in fact, this this thing that I'm talking about it does, you know it did, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is. And then you say, look, here's what I'm going to do. And anyone who's gets sets up their appointment with I might think for the, in the next 24 hours, I will tell you personally about this, but whatever it is, you guys got to build up to it. You will get appointments for, just for people who want to know that. And then of course, which you get 'em on, you know, you're talking to them that then you take it from there. That's how you do it. You know, make it fun. People love that. People love to be teased contrary to what people think they love being teased. You know, I know people love being teased because grown men, including people, financial planning services, spend all their money and strippers in Las Vegas. And you know, that's just it. They like being teased and it's sad that saying that's a good thing. But it does prove that people don't mind being teased and they will pay money to be teased quite frankly. So why not use that psychology legitimately and ethically and draw people into wanting to talk to you? That’ look at it. [08:34.9]
James: Yeah, it's just human psychology. And I know they’re going to be some financial advisors who just heard that and I'm going like, Oh that won't work for my clients.
Ben: Of course.
James: They're multimillionaires and business owners. That won't work for me.
Ben: No, they don't like to have fun. They don't like having fun multimillionaires. They're, they're the most boring people on the planet. You know these, you know, it's funny. Okay, so there's this guy Paul Hartunian. You probably, you seem to know, I've read like everything I've read, so you probably know what Paul Hartunian is the PR guy, right? He hasn't been in the game for a while, but I remember him saying is he, , he would, he was the best at writing press releases any stuff. Right. He was like, you gotta be outrageous because if you think that this, you think a CEO of a company doesn't go home and watch Beavis and Butthead.
Ben: Nowadays. Yeah, they do. Yeah. That's the thing. In fact, I think what people will find is the higher up you go, the less they, they get to see fun stuff and cool stuff and get outraged and outrageous stuff. [09:34.4]
You know? I mean, yeah, you always, you always want to be a professional, but you can't hold back and be cold and boring. Nothing will kill attraction for anything. I don't care if you're trying to get a member of the opposite sex or someone to buy something than being boring. Like you're better off, you are absolutely better off offending someone than boring them because the offended person, you can still get them. You will absolutely intellectually honest people you offend them on, piss them off. And for some reason that they love that. In fact, Russell Brunson once told me over dinner once, many years ago, he came to one of these masterminds they did and he's like, you know, Ben, I used to hate your guts. Oh, you know, Russell doesn't come off as like the hating type to me. Whoa, really? Whoa. That was bad. But then I kept reading your emails and you're actually kind of the reason I came to this thing. So you know, that happens. I just got an email from someone the other day like that. She's like ah I used to hate you. Yeah. Now here's the thing, actually, I teach this in the the March email player, this month’s email player’s issue actually. [10:34.8]
I talk about this story about, Mmm, comic book writer Peter David, who most people have no clue what I'm talking about her. That's okay. He basically made the incredible whole popular in the eighties and early nineties. He had this really successful run on the series and he was being asked by a magazine called wizard magazine. Well, what would you know? What's the secret? He goes, well, we noticed the more that I piss off the audience, the more sales up. And he goes, you know, I think that's, and then I realize that's what Chris Claremont did with the X-Men. You know, people probably know who they are. He was, this secret was just pissing people off constantly. Yeah. So I just kept pissing them off. The engagement was through the roof and you know, so when in doubt, say something controversial, you don't go against the grain, piss them off. Don't be insulting, but just say something you know people aren't going to agree with. And what you'll do is you'll give people what the late comedian Patrice O’Neal, who was pretty genius at this. [11:30.6]
Well, he would say give people options for thinking differently. And you know, people who vehemently disagree with you, believe me. That's what you want. That's what you want. Some passion from people. Like what? You don't put them to sleep like all the other financial people out there.
James: You just gave away my entire business model. I don't know if you looked at the reviews for this show or not, but I've got a bunch of one stars and I'm proud of them. So.
Ben: Yeah, you don't get one stars, you're not doing it right, right. Like that's how you know you're doing it right.
James: There are so many people out there like, well one thing, I don't have a fragile ego. I'm more interested in results than my ego. Like I really don't. I'm at the point where like, I really don't care cause like the financial advisors in my inner circle and the financial advisors who purchase stuff from me and do business with me, they get results. And that's the only thing I care about. Their opinions are the only opinions that matter to me.
Ben: Yeah, I mean at the end of the day, what does it mean? You know, okay, so few years ago I was at, the seminar I was speaking at is for copywriters and this, this girl came up to me at the bar, I was hanging out with some my copywriter friends. And she was pissed at me. She jokes that she wanted to throw a drink in my face. [12:40.9]
I don't know if she's going to take it that far. Well she starts like, like nagging me about how come I'm only, I only, I write my emails like I'm talking to guys. What about girls? Can't girls, buy. And I said, because guys are the ones buying. They're not, I call you a customer. No, no, why the hell would I try to get you as a customer? And she was like, it doesn't make, and then of course she was just like, it was like a huge thing for her and she, it made her think differently and she was great and she actually became a customer. But that was the thing. It's like I'm not trying to sell the people who aren't my buyers. In fact, I try to carry people out who shouldn't be buying and those who make it through make it through my membrane. Oh, like hurdles I got to jump through, whether it's my personality or views on stuff or whatever. They become very, very good customers and that's something to think about too. [13:32.8]
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. [14:12.5]
James: I've, I've experienced the same thing and I remember Dan Kennedy had a story about how he would give his speech and do his whole shtick and shebang and everything and people come up at the end and they'd be like, Hey, can I have your business card? He'd be like, business card. I just gave you the best. Like if you're not ready now and you, you don't want to work with me now, what? What the hell should I give you a business card for like. And that's how I've approached my business and it's changed everything for me.
Ben: Yeah, I remember that. So it was a great story is like I just spent an hour giving you the best of what I got the best. Okay, I can't give you a better than that right now. And you didn't buy, why would I give you a business card if you really want to know more by the product and then, and that just by the way that that air of this, listen, this is powerful too, that that is like a to be a jerk or anything, but to literally just weed out the ones who are going to be pain in the buck customers anyway, which automatically turns on the ones who are going to be great customers at least that's been my experience. [15:16.9]
James: Yeah and financial advisors, you have to understand what he just said because I know a lot of you email me personally and you, you, you ask questions about I'm afraid I'm gonna alienate certain people. I'm afraid I'm going to turn some people off like you are. But the problem is that you're not doing that and because you're not doing that, you're not attracting the people who would otherwise do business with you. So by not doing this stuff, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. And Ben to kind of wrap this thing up here for the show. I promised the listeners that I would give three big lessons I learned from you and we talked about number one, which is forming your own tactics rather than just blindly copying whatever. I call these advisers, copycat advisers for a reason because it's like we talked about with the opt-ins and stuff, copies stuff that doesn't work as well. [16:06.2]
Then the second thing was why it's important to invest in yourself. It really is. But the third big lesson that I've learned from you is how to eliminate neediness from my marketing, and you talked about this in a 2018 issue of your email players newsletter and it legitimately like for real, not just saying this because we're on the show and I'm trying to make a good show. This is for real. It changed my life because I was very needy in my marketing because I was like, and I still kinda sorta believe it, that financial advisors need better marketing and to an extent they do, but I, I could at this point, I could care less if they get it from me or not. I knew deep down that I could help financial advisors and I put them on pedestals and what not. I just to an extent worship them. But as soon as I stopped doing all that, everything changed for me. Now I will tell people just straight up, I'll say, do not buy if you don't have these qualifications. And I could care less if they buy or not. I just say, don't buy it. If you, if you don't want it, you don't want it. I could care less. I will literally turn financial advisors away. [17:09.9]
Now here's my question to you. How can people as a whole eliminate neediness from their marketing? What are your some quick ways rather than we, cause we could talk about this for days.
Ben: Yeah, I mean I, I think the first thing you gotta do is not need the sales. So that may, like if somebody is kind of struggling, that might mean getting a night job or something. And I really mean that. Like I, you don't have to stay there, but if you need somebody's money or a sale, you've already done the water from the very beginning. You have to really not care like you have to and you also have to be know that you have to be very honest with yourself and them that you're not going to be able to help everybody. And giving the drawbacks of why they shouldn't buy it from you is actually a very compelling thing to do. Because it just shows complete non neediness trying to get people to tell you no. A lot of this, this goes back to stuff I learned from the late, Jim Camp world's most feared negotiator. [18:05.9]
He try to get you to tell, you know, he would try to get you to say no to him. Not like in some kind of manipulative way but just by being completely blunt with you about the drawbacks. I have this a customer and she helps her dad and a pain management type company and she was, she was she, she asked me questions cause she's an email player, subscribers. So she asks me questions and all that. And I said, you know, you just have to come out and like tell them, look, here's the reality. And used actual numbers that are actually true. X number of people this never works for like for example, your physiology may just not work with our methods. That's it. It is. You may not use it correctly. It's not going to work for you. You know this and that. You may use it and it still may not work for you for reasons nobody in science can't explain it. So you have to understand that there is risk you are taking this, this is not easy. This is going to take a lot of work and you're gonna have to change your lifestyle. You're gonna have to give up things that you don't want to give up. It's not going to be pleasant. [19:07.1]
You need to understand this is not an easy thing to do, okay and were expensive. We are super expensive. We're more expensive than in any other option out there. But you know what, despite all this, let me show you what some of our customers have said. And then you go in and then you go into your details and your proof. That's how you become non-needy by being completely, almost trying to get them to tell you no, and not hiding anything, being blunt, but still give me reasons to buy from you. I'll tell you what the the model for this says, okay, there's anybody can find this and I've been told that this ad was fraudulent or something, but I, I'm, I, I'm going to ignore that. I think it really exists. I think it was true. Okay. There was this guy Ernest Shackleton back in the early 19 hundreds he was looking for, take an expedition in Antarctica. He put this little classified ad in the papers, hazardous journey, you know, all this danger, safe return, doubtful. You know, it was like five or six negative things. [20:06.8]
Like, Whoa, why would I go on this? And then the last sentence was recognition in case of safe return. And like half of England came out, you know, applied for this. Why? Because he was so blatantly honest. He wasn't sugar coated. He wasn't needy. If anything, he was trying to curate people out the weak he was trying to curate the weak. Think of it that way. You want to curate out the weak, the weak being people are never going to do what you tell them to do. They don't really care. They don't want change. Most people don't ever want to change your situation. I mean unfortunately you want to deal with them. Probably not. So what are you going to do to turn on the people who do? Well, you're going to be blatantly honest cause they've seen it all. They’re cynical. Rightfully so, they're skeptical. Everybody's screwed them over. Their banker screwed them over. The real estate person screwed over. Their mortgage person screwed him over there. Favorite politician has probably screwed them over eight times, in different ways from Sunday. Everybody's lying to them. Everybody's promising them stuff that never comes true. [21:04.8]
You be the one that comes out and says, look, I'll be honest with you, I don't even know if I can help you and this is going to be expensive. If that's a problem, trust me, it's okay. Hey flit off whatever. But if you do want my help, here's what I might be able to help you with. And start with that. And you were talking about like there's all these rules and laws and all that.
James: Oh yeah.
Ben: Right. Very regulated. So the way around that is to look at those regulations and you make your standards for your own advertising more strict than the government, and you can't go wrong. And you might find that people finds you more believable so it could work to your advantage.
James: Yeah. And that I've tried to, I've tried to do that. It's hard for me to really explain it because I have to, the financial advisor market is extremely skeptical, and like you said, rightfully so. I want them to be skeptical. I want them to verify everything I have been talking about, I want them to understand that it may or may not work for them, but if, if I just come out and say, I have made this even tougher than compliance, they're going to be like, yeah, okay.
Ben: Well, you don't have to tell him that. I'm just saying like
James: Oh, sure. Yeah. [22:06.5]
Ben: Internally, just, yeah, don't tell them that. Because then it sounds like you're virtuous, they know or something. Right. But yeah, no, I know what you're saying, but I'm just saying look at the laws and say, you know, I'm not even going to be on the radar because I'm not even going to. Like you're already doing it. I mean, you're already talk in tone and don’t do it, but I'm just saying like keep that conscious in their mind that like you're not going to even touch these areas. Right. You're not even gonna mention amounts or anything. It's cause it's not important. Right. Because we all know what really matters in any market is getting their mind shape changed and their inner game change or nothing changes. So you know, we can promise them everything in the world, yeah. That's why I wrote these ‘Villains Books.’ Quite frankly, I wanted people to come to me with the right mindset so I don't have to like spend time, rota-rootering out all the crap.
James: Hi, that's amazing business mindset to have. I wish more people thought like you. One last question. I've got one because I've been following you for years now. I've gotten to see firsthand how insanely productive you are. Like I, I consider myself a pretty productive person. [23:06.6]
I mean, I've got the podcast and the newsletter and the emails and the website and the management and all that. But you do all this stuff too and you've got a ton of books and other projects and you've got an app and you've got some other big things that I’m just not going to mention it because it's none of my business. You've got a lot of stuff going on.
James: How do you manage to stay so freaking productive?
Ben: You know, it's just first of all, I enjoy what I do so that, that helps. Right? But if you have a passion for what you do, it's not even work. But I also am always looking for ways to integrate everything. The best resource I can ever give someone on this. I'm sure you read it. It's a Dan Kennedy's ‘No BS time management book.’ I just follow it religiously. And what you find is, in my case, I get up real early. I get up at 4:00 AM every day, sometimes even earlier. It helps that I don't probably need to sleep more than six hours a night, but still I get up and I go when the sun, I work until the sun comes up, which is like an hour or two. When the sun starts coming up, I'd take a three mile or three hour, which comes out to 10 mile walk. [24:10.2]
During that time I walk. I'm actually doing work. In fact, my business partner and I in the app business, what we do is we get on this app called Marco polo and we go back and forth and we create content just talking to each other and record it. And I answer emails and I do sometimes phone calls while I'm walking. So I, what I do is I just work everything in with Dan Kennedy's unused capacity teaching basically. And time is a big unused capacity people have. So I'm always trying to do that kind of stuff. And you know what else helps, dude, I'm going to be honest with you. This is, this goes against a lot. A lot of people want to hear probably. Well, I spent a lot of time, many years trying to get to this mythical thing where I could just kind of push a button and every day I wake up and not have to do anything. Right. I had it down to like literally 10 minutes. I even have a program called Ten minute work day.
James: Ten minute work day.
Ben: Yeah. And it, it, it's absolutely real. I mean I did that for like six or seven years till I got bored out of my mind. Now I realize I kinda like working all day. [25:07.3]
Like it's not, I wouldn't be, I get so miserable when I'm not at work. I love what I do. So it helps if you love what you do, it's not, it's not like you have to figure out ways to do it for necessity. You figure out ways to get more done because you just want to get more done, cause it brings you fulfillment. I don't know if that helps anybody listen as most people want the opposite. Like my friend Doberman Dan, he's always trying to get his day down. I'm like, you know what, I'm just embracing this. I want to work all the time. I'm not happy unless I'm working and that's just, you know, that's a big part of it.
James: Doberman Dan's on another level, that's another. Financial advisors that's another gentleman who had a podcast with producer Jonathan from the podcast factory. His stuff on mindset is just above my pay grade for right now. He's like, he is next level with the stuff and he also has a newsletter marketing Camelot if you want to check that out, but he is very into mindset and stuff, I found that for me personally, not, this may not apply to everyone. [26:06.5]
I don't expect you to, I just need to pick like two or three people that I'm going to follow and learn from because if I have like five, six or seven, I'm just going to get confused. So.
Ben: Yeah, I'm the same way.
James: All right. This has been an incredible interview. Thank you so much for doing this. Financial advisors, we're going to be back next week with hopefully producer Jonathan, we'll be back. But Ben, if someone wants to get in touch with you, get involved in your world, sign up for your newsletter, whatever you want to tell them, please tell them now.
Ben: I would just say go to bensettle.com and you can, if you apt in, you entrust me with your precious email address, I will send you the first issue of my email players newsletter as a PDF. It's a print newsletter, but I'll send you a PDF. It's a no brainer to go through that and use it and see if it makes you money or not. And if it does, you don't feel free to subscribe or not. Either way you'll get daily emails from me every day.
James: Daily emails. Oh no.
Ben: Sometimes multiple daily emails. And you know, it's the beauty of email is you control the experience you want to opt out of, right? So it's all good. But that's bensettle.com
James: Amen. You got it. Once again, thank you for doing this. Financial advisors I will catch you next time. [27:20.5]
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