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When it comes to getting clients, there’s two words you’ve heard a million times: Prospecting and marketing.

And with so many people posting client-getting advice on social media, it’s easy to confuse the two. But if you don’t know the difference, none of your work will get results because you’re sending the wrong messages to the wrong people.

In this episode, you’ll discover the difference between marketing and prospecting—and how to excel at both so you always have a full pipeline of red-hot leads.

Do you want as many clients as you can handle? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • What you can learn about getting clients from 4th grade geometry classes. (6:28)
  • Why you’re in the marketing business even if you’ve never written a blog article or posted on social media. (10:51)
  • How your marketing budget kills your marketing results. (15:17)
  • How office decoration can make prospects run away—or close them before you say a word. (11:59)
  • The one insight that attracts more clients than the world’s best marketing strategy.  (17:21)

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.

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 Adviser Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisers 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 TheAdviserCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisers grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:31.7]

James: Welcome to another episode of Financial Adviser Marketing. It’s so good to be back financial advisers, I am so glad to be able to spend time with you, if you're listening to this on a Monday, you are, I guess what I would call an early adopter. As soon as the episode comes out, you listen to it that good for you. Are you being responsible person? I can help you grow your business, help you get more clients help you make more of an impact in your life, in other people's lives and I hope you're a good person because I mean, just putting it simply I've found that life is much easier if you're just a good person. And the reason I say that, the reason I'm starting to show off with this is because I've got a funny story about a financial adviser. Now, to be clear, let me just give a big disclaimer cause I know some people are going to get a little confused. Like this guy does not represent all financial advisers, I get that. Most financial advisers are freaking awesome, they're great people, I love them. Like there's a reason I, I am in this industry and I really do a lot that it's just cause I love it. Right? Most of the people are awesome, but this guy, wow, it was a bit of a basket case. So you ready for the story, Jonathan? [01:37.7]

Jonathan: You know it.

James: You're, I think you're going to love this one. So this guy had been an inner circle member for almost two years. I think like in a month he would have been at the 24 month mark so, and he's one of the rare ones who asked me questions every so often along the way, he talks about how great it is, how awesome it is, how much he loves it, the results he's getting all that stuff, right? I don't really have that many people who ask me questions, which is kind of shocking cause that's one of the benefits you get when you subscribe to the newsletter, like you can ask me questions.

Jonathan: They're afraid of you, James.

James: I don't want to entice people. But again, I mean, that's really what it is. You can ask questions, $99 per month, I mean, you get the newsletter, you get the bonuses, you get additional gifts. It's just a bunch of stuff, right? I mean, if you can't justify that, I'm not entirely sure you should be giving financial advice. But anyway, back to the guy, one day out of the blue, he just request to cancel a subscription. And I don't want to blame it on the pandemic, right. But I'm pretty sure that there the pandemic he's going to blame it and the coronavirus and all this other stuff, it's just a mindset thing, right. [02:44.8]
And I rarely get people who cancel, cause typically when people join, they stay for, I don't want to say forever because that's not true, but pretty much forever, right. And so we cancel a subscription and we think we're done here because that's typically what happens like, Oh, well thank you know, we appreciate you. Bye bye essentially and put on the blacklist. Wrong, because about a week later he emails us and he asks why he hasn't gotten a refund on all the issues. It was like…

Jonathan: What??

James: Yeah, and this is where things started to get weird. So he starts sending all these like crazy nasty messages, like literally every day. I mean, people can exaggerate and just hyperbole or whatever. This is real, like every single day. Why haven't, why is it in the back of my credit card?? Its like, first of all, it takes three to five business days if we had a refund policy to begin with. But here's the thing it says right on the sales page that there are no refunds ever. [03:36.5]

Then when you get to the checkout page, there's that little check box that you have to check, like you literally cannot purchase and you cannot subscribe to the newsletter unless you check the box that says, I understand I'll be built $99 upon subscribing the $99 once every 30 days afterward, unless I cancel. I also understand there are no refunds on subscriptions, but I can cancel it anytime for any reason. So to be clear, you cannot subscribe to the newsletter, the transaction won't go through, unless you explicitly agree that there's the no refund policy because well that's required by law. You know, in, what's called till-forbid billing, you have to have your customer explicitly agree that they're going to get billed again, right? So I'm being fair and square here. I'm keeping everything above board, I know there were a lot of companies that do till-forbid billing without the check box and they're being bad little boys and girls, but I just keep it like that. [04:28.2]

Now here's the funny thing in the emails that this guy has sent, he had a Bible verse and a signature and what makes it even better? Here's the exact one, tt's Proverbs 11-17, “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cool man hurts himself.” So hold up by that logic, this guy's hurting himself and he really is. I mean, I don't want to get too much into it, but it gets better, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yes.

James: It gets better because this guy wonder dude, the boy genius; he does a charge back on like the past three or four newsletters. And I think that there's like a limit like 60 days or whatever, you can only go back so far with credit cards So that would make sense, which means not only was he being extremely rude, nasty, not to me, but like to my virtual assistant. I mean, I checked in, I was like, Holy crap, like what's this guy's problem? He's effectively trying to steal by doing a charge back on a newsletter subscription that he couldn't even have if he didn't agree to the no refunds policy. And by the way, there's no credit card company on planet earth, is it going to let you win a dispute if the sales page says no refunds, and on the checkout page, you got to check the box that says, I agree that there are no refunds. So we haven't gotten the official ruling yet, it takes like several months. But come on, none of this is very Christian like. Is it Jonathan? [05:45.8]

Jonathan: Not even close.

James: I mean, I know that I'm not like super Christian in anything. I'm not super religious in any particular religion, I studied them all essentially, but I'm pretty sure I'm pretty sure this isn't in the recommended behaviors for Christianity. Oh well on today's episode, everybody, we're going to get this show, moving. This episode is called ‘Marketing Vs. Prospecting: What’s The Difference?’ And I wanted to do this episode because I have a bad habit of using marketing and prospecting interchangeably a lot. And I mean, I really shouldn't do that because they're not the same thing, they are different. I kind of like to think of it like this every rectangle is a square, but not every square is a rectangle. A square, it's a special kind of rectangle where all the sides have the same length, but rectangles can have lengths that aren't all the same. So remember that every rectangle is a square, but not every square is a rectangle. And in the same way, I like to think that all prospecting is marketing, but not all marketing is prospecting. [06:56.3]

So let's start with some definitions. My definition of prospecting is essentially all outbound marketing, where you are involved and you are reaching out directly to a potential client, your time is involved in this process. Entrepreneur.Com defines prospecting as the search for potential customers or buyers and that's very close to my definition because I view prospecting as qualification game. And I talked about that concept in previous podcast episodes, the one where I mentioned that leads are not the same as prospects. And when you're prospecting, you're trying to get people to raise your hand and say, they're interested in learning more, that's really it. If I have a list of 20 people in front of me and I'm calling them to see if they're interested in setting an appointment with me to learn about what I do, that's prospecting because I'm taking a group of leads and I'm trying to identify the prospects within. [07:49.6]

So prospecting is when you take your leads, you try to figure out, Hey, who is interested? Who's not interested.? You filter who are the prospects and who are not prospects? And let me give you another example, just so we're clear. Imagine I send out a bunch of direct mail pieces. If my goal of that direct mail piece is to take some type of action, I want the person who receives it to take that action, like register for a webinar, give my office a call, whatever. The purpose of that mailer is to separate prospects from leads, because if someone responds to the mailer, that person is a prospect. This is direct mail is outbound marketing, I'm sending it out into the world, I am involved in the process. But here's the thing, is direct mail also marketing? Yes, yes it is. Because remember all prospecting is marketing. And my definition of marketing is one that encompasses the entire process of taking someone from a cold lead to a converted client, everything. Like everything you do to take someone from, Hey, I, this person doesn’t know me whatsoever, doesn't even know I exist to this person is paying me money, that is marketing. Prospecting is just one piece in that puzzle. [09:09.3]

Hey, financial advisors – if you’d like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James’ monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, The James Pollard Inner Circle.
When you join today, you’ll get more than one thousand dollars’ worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren’t available anywhere else.
Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/Coaching to learn more.

Am I off the mark here Jonathan? Is this making sense?

Jonathan: I am actually glad that you have brought this up because our writers loved that episode where you were making those distinctions. I'm glad you're taking it a level deeper.

James: Yeah, because this is honestly one of the things where I don't want to say I get a lot of questions. But I get a lot of questions about email and LinkedIn and social media, whatever. But every so often people will be like, well, how do I set up my email prospecting system? I'm like, well, there's a reason I don't call it that I call it the email marketing system. And I don't want to get into like, I mean, technically I'm getting into semantics here, but I don't get like into it with them because I just say, yeah, sure, here's your email prospecting system that you can set up. And I just go along with it and I use it interchangeably. I really shouldn't do that. [10:34.8]

But dictionary.com defines marketing as ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or service services, including market research and advertising.’ That's a pretty broad definition too. And let me run that by you again, it says the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. Hmm. Okay. So are you in business to not sell any products or services? Probably not. You're in business to create economic activity, point blank period. Therefore your business is marketing, there is no other business, nothing else matters. This literally the definition of marketing, the action or business of promoting and selling products and services. If you're in business, you probably want to sell products and services. I mean, if you don't, then you're not in business and if you don't, you're not in marketing. It's really that simple. Like by definition, there's no other business, it can't exist. [11:39.9]

And I'm really glad we're doing this episode because I think it helps them advisers understand that marketing does not fit in some narrow box. Yes, I know we talk about things like email, we talk about things like LinkedIn and content direct mail, seminars and all that. Those are the obvious ones, but I want you to really think about this financial advisers. What about the way your office looks? Is that marketing? Yeah, it is. Because it is in the business of promoting and selling products or services. And if it doesn't do that, it's bad marketing. It's also bad business decisions because that means business is marketing, marketing is business, they are the same thing. So how does your office look? How do your people answer the phone? What is your email signature look like? You’re all these little touches, what gifts do you give people? [12:31.1]

There are so many different things that people overlook because they think they're not marketing when they really are. Because all the little things combined to promote and sell products or services. People overlook it, they're like, Oh, I've got to do content marketing, I've got to write another blog post this week. But your people aren't getting back to prospects for 48 hours. Hmm. Okay. Interesting. So it's just, it's you have to look at what you're doing. You have to look at your business as a whole. It's funny to me because, and not funny in like a hahaha sense, but just strange because you have financial advisers who focus on like holistic financial planning, where they look at everything in a person's life, but they don't do the same for the business. Maybe you need a holistic plan for your business. And I'll tell you another little story. [13:19.7]

When I turned 18 years old, my mom took me to the bank and got me set up with my own personal bank account. And that for a lot of people listening, like financial advisers, like that's really late. I didn't even have a bank account until I was 18, that's crazy. Cause I know you can set up like a joint account with a parent when you're super young, I understand that. But this bank account at 18, it was just my own, it wasn't joint with her. The people at the bank were happy. They made me feel comfortable. They made me feel like I achieved something, right. That's the feeling that they gave me like, congratulations, you know, you just turned 18. You got your own bank account now. Yay. Like that kind of thing. Well, is that marketing? Yeah, that's marketing. That's not their brochure. That's not pamphlet. That's not a direct mailer, but that darn shore is marketing. The way that they make made me feel when I opened that bank account and that emotion that I carried with me, I was like, Holy cow, like I'm independent. I'm hot stuff. I got my own thing. Got my own bank account now. [14:18.2]

Well, all these years later, I don't even bank with them anymore because they screw up the easiest task. The reps are rude. The website operates like it's from 1998. I don't bank with them anymore. Well, is all that stuff marketing too? Yes. The way the reps treat me, the way the website looks, their ability to screw up like the craziest, like mobile deposit. And I try to do a mobile deposit and it's gone through, it's submitted. And then five business days later, it's like, actually it wasn't submitted, we don't have it. Now I take it to the bank and they're like, Oh yeah, our mobile deposit doesn't work. Well, dont freaking have it say submit then, like I don't get it. People just don't think through these things. And I think someone who hasn't been indoctrinated, Oh I'm sorry, educated into this way of thinking that person views marketing as an either or activity. And this is very common among financial advisers who have a “Marketing Budget.” [15:26.3]

They view marketing as this line item that they've either spent or haven't spent. And it's one of the absolute dumbest things I've ever heard because marketing is a spectrum. Either something improves the odds of someone doing business with you or it hurts those odds. That is it. This is not a tactic. This is all about changing the way you think, this is where I'm taking the business. This is the direction we're going. It's going to be more strategic. It's going to be a little bit more abstract because I'm at my business like seriously helps winners wins. Winners win. Everyone who is asking beginner questions and I had a financial adviser, I try to push these people away, but I had a financial adviser hire me for a 30 minute consult. I mean, it's $2,500. It's price high enough to where I want people to say no, like I'm good, I’ll just subscribe to a newsletter. I'll do something else. Right. But this guy insisted on booking me. So I had a call with him and he just started asking beginner stuff. And I was like, I kind of felt bad like you just spent $2,500 for something that you could Google, right, Jonathan. I mean, I'm glad to take the money.

Jonathan: Crazy. [16:31.6]

James: I'm sure you would too. But just like, man, like seriously, just Google it. I mean I've got articles, like if you Google, if he Googled the questions that he asked me, I literally have a blog post about that same exact topic that you could just print and reference and highlight and he could have it in his office. But instead it's a phone call, right? I mean, granted, it's worth a lot of money. Someone just straight up give you an answer, don't get me wrong like that's worth something, but don't ask the beginner stuff. My business is so far beyond beginners at this point and I'm going to keep pushing beyond beginners. This is a, this is a high level tactic. And this is a high level strategy, all wrapped up in one, just like rectangles and squares. Just like marketing prospecting. I'm combining the tactics and strategies together because the people who want strategies first, like the great Ben Settle says “You can create their own tactics.” But once you realize that everything is marketing, you start getting more serious. You start playing to win. You got to stop thinking, okay, I'm marketing now because I'm making phone calls because I'm sending a direct mail because I'm conducting a seminar. I'm marketing now. And then in a couple of hours, I'm going to stop because it doesn't work that way. [17:39.3]

You can prospect for a certain amount of time. You can make those calls. You can send outbound stuff. You can do outbound marketing for certain amount of time and then stop. But marketing never stops. So just to recap, all prospecting is marketing, but not all marketing is prospecting. Just like every rectangle is a square, but not all squares are rectangles. Marketing is much bigger than a lot of advisers think, that's really what this entire show is about not just this episode, but this entire show. It's not about giving you some tips or tricks although I throw a few in every now and then it's about changing the way you think. Because if you become a better thinker, you become a better business person. I could care less about what the next person is doing about how the majority of people think because the majority is almost always wrong. They can't think outside the box, they’re constraint. But what's really trippy is that when you realize when it comes to marketing, there's no box. There is no box. It doesn't exist. And once you truly accept this, you're thinking is man's, everything is marketing and that's it for this week. [18:47.6]

Jonathan: I love it, James. I love it. So what do you have coming up for us next time?

James: Next time is going to be another high level episode and it's going to be titled ‘Three Things Successful Advisers Do that You Probably Don’t.’

Jonathan: Ooh, can't wait for that. Fam another Financial Adviser Marketing is in the can, we will be back in your ear buds and next week. Thank you for tuning in. [19:10.5]

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