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If you want to be better, wealthier and more successful than any of your competitors, you can’t market yourself like your competitors. Most financial advisors do the same thing: They trumpet stock market commentary all over social media and chat up strangers about their finances at networking meetings. 

Those tactics can build a mediocre business. But they won’t attract the wealthy clients you want. In this episode, Bill Cates stops by to share with you how to do remarkable marketing that makes your dream clients come to you. 

Ready to stop the lame tactics everyone else is using and stand out in your marketplace? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • The “Layer Cake Method” that makes your ideal clients chase you. (6:55) 
  • Why choosing affluent investors as your niche is just as bad as choosing low-income workers. (9:48)
  • How dumbing down your marketing attracts smarter, wealthier clients. (12:11)
  • Why writing like a middle-schooler brings more clients than stock analysis only MBAs understand. (17:37)
  • How your website supercharges your marketing (even if no one ever visits it). (23:18)
  • 3 “Mad Libs”-like exercises that show you exactly what to say to clients. (28:15)

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. 

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.

Go to the https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Newsletter and pick up your free 90 minute download called „5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors“ when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Want to become an even better marketer? Check out these resources too:




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: Hey Financial Advisors, I have a super special episode for you today. I am talking with the legendary Bill Cates, and if you're a financial advisor, you've probably heard of him before. If not, he is the author of awesome books, such as Get More Referrals Now, Don't Keep Me a Secret and Beyond Referrals. His work has actually influenced the way, not just how I help financial advisors in the way that I think, but also how I operate in business itself, which is really cool because it shows that his methods and his techniques and his teachings can be applied elsewhere in other businesses, but financial services, especially. And whenever I hear people talk about Bill, it is always in the highest regard. And I've had a few speaking engagements where like, your name comes up every so often. The last one I did was in Delaware, in March, that's my home state. And they said, Oh, we're having Bill come in and do some work. I was like, wow, that's so cool. And here's a true story for you, the financial advisors watching this in video format. Bill sent me a LinkedIn request and I was like, wow, this is amazing and I'm honored to connect with them. And I sent him a photo of his book that I had in my home office here. I've got everything else in Kindle. Is that true? Is that a true story Bill? [01:42.4]

Bill: Oh, it’s true. Yeah, it's great. It's always fun.

James: I was just honored to connect with him and because his work has had a massive impact on the industry and on me. Now, his newest book is a book called Radical Relevance: Sharpen Your Marketing Message ‑ Cut Through the Noise ‑ Win More Ideal Clients. And I want to focus on the ideas from that book in our little conversation today. So without further ado, Bill, feel free to introduce yourself and we'll get started.

Bill: Hey James, thank you. It's a pleasure. You know, you remind me, I did a program a couple of years ago where my first book Unlimited Referrals came out in 96 and the guy brought the book to his presentation, you know, like 20 odd years later and we did a, did a little photo shoot, a little selfie with it, with my original book. So it's a, I think you can buy it on eBay for 3.95 or something now, but.

James: Wow, yeah. [02:36.1]

Bill: You've been out there long enough, things like this happen. It's a lot of fun. Thank you.

James: So let's start off with what I think is the most obvious question. The title of your book is Radical Relevance. So why is it called that and why is this concept important enough for you to write an entire book about it?

Bill: Well, you know, the, the subtitle kind of says it all Sharpen Your Marketing Message ‑ Cut Through the Noise ‑ Win More Ideal Clients, so. What we know is it's hard to reach people, right? It's just hard to reach people these days. And it's hard to distinguish ourselves a little bit in the marketplace, right. We're always looking for an edge away to reach more of the right people. And when I talk to advisors who I coach, who I interview, they'll just tell me, get in front of more of the right people, right? That's what they want. And so we have to be as relevant as we possibly can. And the way we become radically relevant is to make sure we're crystal clear on who our target market is, who do we serve and who do we not serve? What's the bull’s-eye of that market? What I like to call right, fit clients say ideal clients and having the right messaging. That's actually going to attract their attention. They're distracted. [03:46.8]

People put up barriers for, you know, strangers reaching out to them, even if we're referred to them. I mean, that's the best way to reach someone, but even then sometimes they still have a knee jerk reaction. So we've got to just make sure that all of our messaging is in line to help us reach folks. And what I've learned in financial services is that most people get taught how to prospect, right? Initially you get taught how to cold call or call leads, and you get taught how to ask for referrals, which I still teach folks to do. And that's kind of a form of prospecting and prospecting will never go away. It's always going to be a part of building and growing and maintaining a business really. But marketing, right. How do we draw people to us so that all that other part gets actually a lot easier. And so all of that is, is what radical relevance is about. [04:35.0]

James: So I'm glad that you mentioned the subtitle of the book and it's a wonderful subtitle by the way. And the phrase, Sharpen Your Marketing Message got my attention.

Bill: Hmm.

James: And I started thinking everything that you're saying makes sense, but is Sharpen Your Marketing Message, the same thing as having a value proposition?

Bill: Well, yeah, I mean, I would say the marketing message is, is a, is a portion and is informed by the value proposition. The way I look at it a little differently than what some people do. So some people would kind of equate value proposition with you know, elevator pitch, marketing message, whatever. I see the value proposition a little bit differently. I think the value proposition really is the sum total of all our value, our value proposition, meaning all the different things we do. So I encourage people to look at, especially do this with your staff or team, if you have one. So everybody gets on the same page and gets excited about it. But look at the beginning of a new relationship, the questions you ask, the things you teach, all the value that gets created there, onboarding new clients, and then how you stay in touch with folks, again, all the value in all of that. That's your value proposition. [05:42.4]

And then from there, we derive short ways of talking about it. We need short, succinct ways to talk about our value. We probably need medium size ways to talk about our value too, but it all comes from that work of getting crystal about the value in the first place. So for, you know, in this case, it could be how you reach out to someone with a, you know, in an email, it could be, you know, your website, we help folks get more relevant, more compelling copy for their website as you probably do too. And so that's, that's what I mean by being sharp and narrow and focused. The more, really the truth is the more narrow, the more precise, really the better, if you want to, you know, it may be counterintuitive for some folks, but if you really want to stand out and be recognized and attract people, you've got to get more narrow. You got to get more specific. And I know, you know what I'm talking about. [06:37.6]

James: Yeah. So we, two days ago, as of the time of this recording, two days ago, we actually did episode 100. So if everything goes, according to schedule, this will be episode 99 and financial advisors. The next episode will be obviously the live and someone had asked a question very similar to that. And the way that that I explained it was that going narrower is like, and stop me if you disagree along the way.

Bill: Hmm…hmm.

James: But it's like adding layers. So you can start with dentists as an occupational niche and then layer that with a geography and then layer that with your financial planning specialty, if it dentists in this geography who are interested in this specialty, now that's just an example, but is that the right line of thinking to just layer it and layer it and layer it? [07:21.3]

Bill: Yeah, it, I don't think of it as layers, but I, it makes total sense. Here's another way to think about the really the same thing is, so there's a difference between a target market and a category. So what I mean by that is a lot of folks like to help people, you know, navigate into a successful retirement, right? So they're looking for people seven years out, five years out, whatever. Sometimes, you know, you hear five years on either side of retirement, lots of different ways people look at it, but that's, that's a category of people we're trying to serve could be accumulators. It could be, you know, it could be other things, right? So, and that's okay, but it's not really a market. To me a market is there's a defined, you know, these people congregate somewhere. Now, they could congregate online, they could congregate in an association, they can congregate around the water cooler or any version thereof. And there are formal and informal ways of of communication within this market. So ultimately a target market is a place where you can actually create a reputation for yourself. Now it's hard to create a reputation for yourself. If you're shotgun in your marketing approach, it's hard to create a reputation for yourself if you're going after pre-retired right. Cause , is there an organization or pre-retired not really. [08:39.0]

James: There’s millions of them.

Bill: That doesn't mean you can't slowly over time, get known for that. So yeah, it just takes a whole lot longer and you're going to be working a lot harder every step along the way. But let's say you focus on employees in a large company, which so many successful advisors have done and you focus on helping people navigate into a successful retirement retirement. Now you're taking that category, which is kind of a topic, you know an area of expertise and applying it to a market. And now you become, you know, it's like, it's it's. So for me, my area of expertise is client acquisition, it's referrals, it's introductions, it's now it's talking about your value proposition and, and finding your target market, right. That's that's, that's my body of expertise and I do it with financial professionals and that's, that's my market. And by putting the two together becomes very, very powerful, which is the same thing you do, you have marketing expertise and you bring it to the financial services market. And so financial advisors and agents, they can do the same thing. And so, yeah, it's a layer. It's a, it's a combination, absolutely. [09:47.6]

James: Well, every so often I will see advisors who claimed that their niche is people are affluent investors, let's say, and I will fall into that group, but so would a 45 year old executive. So it's, somebody's about to retire. So would a woman who just sold her business. So it doesn't really speak to that group, but the way that you've described it, it makes perfect sense and.

Bill: Yeah and what you could, you could try to try, you could build your business with affluent investors, and I'm not saying that would not work because every time I say do it this way, there's 25 people out there doing it this way and you're having lots of success.

James: Oh totally.

Bill: So I would never say there's only one way, and we know that you can accelerate your success when you take that, you know, if one investors and then you marry it with an actual market that you can then go after now, you can have more than one target market. I don't recommend trying to start and develop one more than one at the same time, but you can, you know, and a lot of advisors that, you know, more mature advisors that they look at their book of business, they probably have two or three potential target markets there. And sometimes they just need to formalize it a little bit and make the decision to go, you know, to pursue that sort of market. Yeah, so it it's there is a difference between category and market as far as I'm concerned. [11:07.6]

James: For sure. So back to the book, Radical Relevance. So I am intrigued by the title of chapter three. And for those of you listening, the chapter is titled The Neuroscience of Relevance. And I read a lot about Neuro Marketing. I have a psychology degree. So my, my background, not just in marketing, but also in psychology. So that spoke to me specifically.

Bill: Hmm…hmm.

James: So how can understanding neuroscience make a difference in how financial advisors attract and win new clients? [11:36.1]

Bill: Yeah, boy, there are so many ways. And I, I just loved writing that chapter. Made my brain hurt a little bit, but, and I had three neuroscientists who were kind of overseeing me a board of directors, or, you know, a examining the material I was writing to make sure it was accurate enough. And so a couple of things, first of all, what we know about the brain is the brain is trying obviously to keep the organism alive, that's its primary function. And one of the ways it does that is to conserve energy, to conserve calories. The brain actually is trying to spend fewer calories when some of us are actually trying to expend more calories and like the COVID-19 right, and that I put on. So if we know that, then we know that the brain seeks clarity, because if we present a confusing message, or if they were confused in any way about what we do or about where they're headed with their finances, then the brain will shut down to that. It doesn't like that. It doesn't want to work quite so hard. So three areas where I see clarity playing a very pivotal role in, in our work. [12:46.2]

And it feeds the brain when it wants, first of all, for, for us to be clear on who we're trying to attract and to get crystal clear on that, it's the bull’s-eye within the target market. And then that message that conveys that to folks, cause if, if our message is not crystal clear, if they don't like get it instantly, then they have to work to get it. They may not work to get it at all. We lose them. The other part where clarity plays a role is in helping them get clear around their financial situation, which many advisors do a pretty good job with. And that is, you know what is their hero look like? Where their buckets of money insurance, et cetera, what is their, their look like their legacy, their, you know, their retirement, et cetera, getting clear on that. And you know, every advisor has helped a client get clear on the current or the future sees the incredible value that they've delivered to their clients. And so that's a place where, cause guess what? They're confused, brain doesn't like that, brain gets nervous, shuts down da da da.. [13:48.6]

And that's where sometimes people get stuck in inertia and they don't move forward to work with us or someone because they're confused and the brain doesn't know where to go. So related to that is the third part of clarity is clarity of what it means to work with us. What do we look like? How to do it? What's the next step? And what's the three steps in your three-step process or the five steps or seven steps or whatever your process is to articulate that. So people can see what it's going to look like. And the brain goes, ah, I see a path now I see more clarity. I will take that path. So that's one of them. I'll give you one other one from the brain. And then in chapter three is roughly six times a second. You imagine that's pretty fast. The brain is going, where am I? Am I safe? Right. Very unconscious, but it just wants to stay safe. And about three times a second, the brain is going, is there an opportunity? Squirrel, right. [14:42.4]

So what we know is the brain puts twice as much emphasis on staying alive, solving a problem, you know, feeling safe, feeling secure than it does the opportunity. We also know the brain does like opportunities. It wants to grow. It wants to learn and wants to try new things, but only when it feels safe. And so what we want to do is when we present our marketing message, when we present our value to pokes, we usually want to start with an empathy and knowingness for their challenges and problems, challenges, whatever word you want to put to it. And, and you know, this James, that the word empathy is probably one of the most powerful words in sales and marketing. Empathy means appreciation for. So when our message shows that we have appreciation for their situation and the more targeted we are in our market, the more appreciation we really will have for them and the better we can articulate that they respond well to that, the brain goes Ahhh…someone who gets me, someone knows me, relevant message, right? It's gotta be relevant. [15:49.3]

The brain will shut down to anything that is irrelevant cause there's too much coming at it. And so that's, that's what it means to be radically relevant, so relevant that you actually wake up the brain of your prospects and they pay attention to you. So that's just a few things that, that came from the research I was doing on that chapter. [16:06.5]

James: Well, I think that it's important to note that simplifying your message and becoming radically relevant. It's one of the best win-wins I've ever heard because not only does it help the financial advisor become more efficient in his or her business, but it makes it easier for the client. So you're always serving the client. You're always doing the things for your clients and making their lives easier. So not only is it helping you, but it's helping them as well. So its, its

Bill: Well, yeah, I mean.

James: It works.

Bill: Our job is to remove stress from our client's lives. So let's make sure that we're not, you know, adding to it or, or not doing our job by making them work too hard to understand who we are, what we do, how they would benefit from working with us. You know, some advisors, I was just talking to one yesterday actually, and he admits this about himself. I could just tell that he's one of these guys, he knows a lot. And he's a, you know, really knows his stuff. And I said to him his name is Adam. I said, Adam is, let me ask you this. Do you ever find yourself having to be super careful not to put too much onto your prospects and clients not to try to teach them too much and go down the rabbit hole of details, he says, Oh yeah. [17:16.7]

He says, I'm troubled all the time. I'm fighting against that. That's my tendency to do that. And you know, again, you don't want to overwhelm people. You want to be clear. You want to be actually more simple or simpler. You know, you've probably heard this generally when we're writing our messaging, writing, marketing copy, as it's called, we're often instructed to think in terms of an eighth grader, a ninth grader, right? Ten-Year-Old whatever. I think we are not ten-year-old but.

James: The readability score.

Bill: It's not, it's not to be arrogant. It's not the meaning to our prospects and clients it's to help us to keep things simple, shorter sentences, not. Man, every time I look at at advisor's value propositions and how they talk about it, it's, it's littered with jargon that they don't even realize this jargon. Right. They don't even realize that what they're saying would confuse somebody. So yeah, it's, it's better for our prospects and clients to. [18:13.8]

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. [18:36.4]

James: So I'm glad you brought up messaging and the value proposition and when you can read it, because I see a lot of what you're talking about on financial advisors websites. And this is the question that I wanted to ask you specifically. So I know that one of the ways that you help people is with a website messaging and getting the messaging, right. And the value proposition and clear and succinct and doing the win-win that we just talked about. In your view, what makes a website effective? Do you have any examples of website copy and messaging that financial advisors.

Bill: Yeah.

James: Could use?

Bill: Yeah, I do. So think of it this way. There were seven, seven models for stories. If you talk to writers, screenwriters, they'll tell you there's seven basic models. One is known as the hero's journey. And if you look at a lot of adventure movies, they follow the hero's journey, particularly Star Wars. [19:25.4]

So you've got a Luke Skywalker, the hero, you have Darth Vader, the enemy. You know hero encounters enemy encounters challenge, whatever it may be. And they find a guide and the guide instructs them, and they go through all kinds of ups and downs and all together. But eventually, you know they defeat the enemy and God, and hero is transformed. So mistakes that I see a lot of people make is they, when they build and, and write copy for their websites and their LinkedIn profiles and all kinds of other collateral materials as they present themselves as the heroes. And I'm sorry, but you are not the hero. You are the guide. You were applying for the job to be the guide in, in, in your client's story, because they want to be the heroes of their own story. So that alone, just coming from that perspective in the book, I have the 17 rules of Radical Relevance. And one of the rules, I think is 13, go from copy that's I centered we our I to you and to your, and you look at most websites and it's we, this, we are this, we do this, I do this right barons, 100, you know, whatever you hear it all. [20:35.7]

And it's all and look, it doesn't mean that you can't present your credibility. Yes, you need to do that. But you don't start with that. You start with concepts and words that that display empathy. There's that word again, knowing this appreciation for, so if someone comes to our website, they think, Oh, this guy gets me, right. It's a message that applies. So give you some examples. Todd McDonald very successful at what he does. We can give you the story some other time if you want it, but essentially his target market and his bulls-eye are family owned, closely held heavy construction firms.

James: Hmm…

Bill: Saying it again, family owned, closely held heavy construction. His clients build runways, bridges, commercial buildings, roads, big stuff, right. And so if you go to his website, homepage, Caterpillar tractors, earth movers, you go to another page, people in hard hats, you know, this and that. And so he's showing knowingness, he's showing you are my market. You are where my expertise is, but through the pictures, right? So they get it. They feel at home with those pictures to go, Oh, this is not the typical financial advisor website. I kind of missed the retired couple walking hand in hand on beach, clip art, you know. And so [21:52.3]

James: Or the lighthouse.

Bill: Right, or the lighthouse, guiding the way. So that's a place, right. Another one of my clients Dennis O'Keefe great target market in Verizon employees. And this is a perfect example where we're talking about earlier, where he guides Verizon employees into a, into a great retirement, right? And so that's just target market 27 years, he's been doing that. And so on his website, he has three places where he wants people to consider and click. Are you a Verizon employee, which are most of the people that will be coming to his website, click here. And then you get everything around Verizon. If you're, you know, pre-retired click here. If you're already retired, click here and he has copy for them because sometimes it's, the spouses or friends and you still work for those people. But then if you click on the Verizon website, he talks about Ma Bell, anybody old enough, you probably don't even remember James, when they used to call it Ma Bell, bell, telephone, and then AT&T and then they broke up and entered it. And now it's Verizon. [22:54.3]

And Verizon and people call themselves phone people. So he uses the words. He uses Ma Bell. He uses phone people. He talks about their retirement plan. And the changes that have happened over the years, anybody reads that they go, Oh, this guy gets, this guy knows us, right.

James: Absolutely.

Bill: And, so that's why he's been so successful around this. And look, could you be successful in this business without a website? Yeah, probably, but you know, especially once you develop a reputation for yourself, but I see the website as kind of a canvas for how we paint our value. Even if nobody ever went to the website it's really worth doing and doing well, because you get really clear on how you need to communicate your value in all kinds of ways. And website is one of the many ways. [23:42.4]

James: It’s one of your best employees, I mean, it never, it off, it never really asked for anything. Works 24/7
Bill: If you send people there, yeah. I mean, but you know, most advisors, their websites aren't found by search engine optimization. That's not how people stumble on advisor websites, right? It's they got recommended and somebody wanted to look them up first. That's usually the way it gets found or, you know, you're doing a little bit maybe social media stuff. You're creating some awareness and you're driving them to the website.

James: Yup.

Bill: If not this, the other way, they'll find it. But either way you can't build it and they will come. [24:18.7]

James: I'm glad you said that. Because when I say stuff, sometimes people believe me. Sometimes they don't. So financial advisors, seriously, Bill Cates just said that people are essentially doing, what's called direct search. So they're not, they're not stumbling across your website through a search engine, now they could. But statistically, and based on what I've seen in financial advisor analytics, it doesn't happen as much. Seriously, take me up on it. Go to your analytics account right now. And you will look for direct search. And I, I,

Bill: Alright

James: I can't promise you that I don't know your unique situation, but most of you are going to see that that is the bulk of your traffic. And that bill is 100%, right. That people are typing your website and directly they're clicking on something that you've shared on social media.
Bill: It's mine. It's my number one. And you know, there's nothing wrong with that.

James: Yup. [25:02.5]

Bill: Because I mean, as long as it's enough, because it means you're, you're, you know, people are learning about you in lots of different ways. So there's nothing wrong with, with getting most direct search. If you're doing things you need to do to get people coming and searching. Now, look, if you let's say you ha your expertise is a family with children with special needs. All right and you write the copy for your website in a way that Google is going to pick that up a little bit. Right. And someone types in, you know, special needs financial advisor. Yeah. That might work, right.

James: Also.

Bill: You may very well come up on that. And so that's, that's, that's back to the radical relevance message, right. The more narrow, the more targeted, the more we get specific with who we're serving, then we can start to write the types of copy and the search engines might pick up and we stand the chance of getting ranked. But the way most financial advisors write their copy, you're just, you're fighting against the gazillion other people and you'll never get ranked. So if you really are interested in SEO, you know, and making that work for you target right. Niche, get more specific. Then you're, you're competing with fewer people. [26:16.1]

James: You're competing with Motley Fool and Investopedia and JP Morgan and American express. And they can

Bill: Yeah.

James: All pay bigbucks to ensure that they rank for Roth IRA and they ranked for wealth management. So the more specific you can get the better. And so I know that you make the distinction between strategic relevance.

Bill: Hmm…hmm.

James: And tactical relevance.

Bill: Sure.

James: What are the main strategies around, well, let's start with strategic relevance. What are the main strategies.

Bill: Right.

James: Around that?

Bill: And we we've been, we've been doing that mostly. Although we've gotten tactical a few times, but so strategic relevance, it's the big decisions that we all have to make. Who, who who's, who do we serve and who do we not serve, right. For whom do we do our best work? Who we try to attract? Who we do, who do we not want to attract anymore? So the target market, our bulls-eye our best clients. How, what, you know, what decisions are we going to make that might make us a little bit different in the marketplace? So those are the kinds of the big decisions around that. [27:14.0]

And then by tactical, it's really how all that plays out. So as an example, differentiation, right? You make, may make a decision to focus on employees in a large company. That's, it's initially a strategic decision, but then you have to back it up with tactics and, and sub strategies to make it happen, right. So if you do that, and then you get to know their benefits package in a way that a generalist wouldn't and you have, again, empathy appreciation for, and you see the strengths and the weaknesses. I just had a client and I'm coaching the other day, you know, do that with one of his clients, he got his thing, their benefits package. And he says, I know exactly how I can help these people. I know exactly the hook of what I can say, you know, when I invite them into my world, because he looked at their benefits package, right. And so now all of a sudden, when you talk about what you do, you have a way to differentiate yourself in a way that's meaningful. Another one of the radical rules of relevance in the book is only differences that matter. So when you talk about what makes you different, it better be something that's tied to a very specific benefit that your target market wants. [28:21.8]

And so how do we do that? We do that by learning as much as we can about our market, the challenges, the, the fears, the, the, the problems, the aspirations, the opportunities, and then, and then in a tactical way, communicating that. So I'll give you one specific formula here for how we talk about our difference. And I got this from a gal named Caryn Kopp who wrote a great book called Biz Dev meaning business development and Biz Dev Done Right. And she, I, she calls it the differentiation gap formula. It's in my book, Radical Eelevance with her permission. And I interviewed her to get this. And so it goes like this real simple. Now we're tactical, right? Anyone can only, we can, for example, or it could be most can, very few can, for example. So anyone can tell you they can develop a financial plan to take into the future, right. You know, only we are, we are one of the few firms that specialize in working with folks in your company. [29:27.7]

We, because we know your benefits package, the strengths and the weaknesses we can anticipate your problems and challenges down the road. We can help you maximize the opportunities that are in front of you in ways that others can't. For example, one of my clients, one of our, one of our clients told us that he thinks we know more about the benefits package than the HR department. So this is an example of, of how that formula plays out. And so when you target a market and when you have a special expertise, that's what makes you different. And then you can express it in a way that separates you from other people without talking bad about other people, right? You're not saying these, you know, other financial advisors don't know what they're talking about. It's just, we have expertise in your company or your industry or your university. And so we, because of that, we bring more value. [30:22.6]

Another part of the tactical and you probably talk about this I'm sure. You know, this is, this is age old, the difference between a benefit and an advantage and I mean, sorry, a feature and advantage and a benefit. And unfortunately, most folks in this industry when they communicate their value, they're communicating in terms of features, sometimes advantages, but rarely do they do they bring it to a stop at a benefit. And because of that, it's weaker. It just doesn't pull people along the way. You'd like to, I'm not saying it's totally ineffective. A lot of successful people make a lot of these mistakes. So they're still having some success, but it would be more effective if they handled it properly. [31:05.3]

James: Well, it is, it's hard to compete on features because Betterment, Wealthfront Vanguard digital advisor, a lot of the robo-advisors, it may be blasphemy for me to say this, but I mean, they're going to win with features and they can, they can provide financial plans in five minutes. I mean, I've been through Vanguard digital advisor, I've got the plan through them. I've gotten a plan through Wealthfront, but it was never tailored to my situation like you're describing.

Bill: Right.

James: You know, the Verizon employee could go through Wealthfront or Vanguard digital advisor, but they have no idea about the benefits package. So that's stellar advice. [31:37.8]

Bill: Right. I mean, what an advisor does that, that the, that the robo situation situations kid is you bring customized the wisdom. I mean, you bring experience, you bring knowledge and you customize it to those folks and all right, so customizable and that's not, I mean, that's okay. And it's not like you don't want to talk about it, but everybody talks about it, right? Everybody talks about, we customize our solutions to our clients, right. I'm not saying you don't talk about it, but it's not a point of distinction so much anymore. Same thing with a financial plan, doing a financial plan used to be appointed distinction. Very few people did it. And now everybody's doing in some form or another, and maybe you do it better than other people, but, you know, depending on how you talk about that, that may not matter, people might not get that. But you could say, you know, in back to this differentiation formula, anyone can, can do a financial plan for you. Heck a computer can do a financial and they do. [32:34.6]

James: Hmm…hmm.

Bill: We're one of the few firms who, and then you fill in the blank or only we can, or very few advisors can do what we do, which is blank, blank, blank, blank. Right. So, you know, if you want to compete on planning, make sure you have a way to differentiate yourself from the way other people are doing planning. So there's, yeah, you can, you can compete on that, but it's sometimes a little more work when, when you, you know, the easiest way to differentiate yourself in the market is to have a target market. That's the easiest way. Can you be successful without it? Sure, absolutely. I've worked with a gazillion people that are successful without the target market, but more and more people are looking for it more and more people are, are, are, have become interested in that because they know it's a faster road. And some say they wish they had done it when they first got started. And now they're trying to figure out how to do it. [33:26.8]

James: I call it like cutting your lawn with scissors. Hey, technically I could get it done. And I could go out there and I could cut every inch of the lawn.

Bill: That’s great.

James: I could, but I'd rather have the lawnmower. So we are

Bill: You got to have the service that does it, which is what I do.

James: So we are, we are running close on time here.
Bill: Sure.

James: This has been amazing and financial advisors I want you to go back and listen to this at least one more time, but before we go, how can financial advisors learn more about Radical Relevance and maybe get one or more if they want to hand it out to the people in the office, copies of the book or the audiobook. [34:00.5]

Bill: Sure. Sure. And I'd love to sign a copy for you. So yeah, if you go to radicalerelevancebook.com, radicalrelevancebook.com, and there's a little fun little video there, and you can see, you can get the Kindle from Amazon and audible from Amazon and a paperback from Amazon, or you could go directly through us and get, get the, the deluxe hard cover copy.

James: Oooh.

Bill: Personally, autographed by the author to you. And if you buy multiple copies, I'll autograph them to your team or your clients or wherever you want to get it to. So radicalrelevancebook.com. And then I have a free report for everybody who listens to you James. Just go to exponentialgrowthguide.com, exponentialgrowthguide.com. We've got our free report there for you, no gimmicks, just go get it. And this is a nice blend of things I've taught for a long time around referrals and introductions that a lot of people know me for. And then some of my newer content around a value proposition and radical relevance. [34:56.7]

James: So, exponentialgrowthguide.com. Now is that the best way for someone to get in touch with you, or if they want to get in touch directly, how could they do it?

Bill: Direct referral coach this referralcoach.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn, right. If you type in bill Cates on LinkedIn, I'll come up, not bill Gates, Bill Cates. I pretty much own Bill Cates and Google search for the first couple of pages. There are other Bill Cates out there, but sorry guys, but I've kind of monopolized that one.

James: Yeah. You’re the Bill Cates.

Bill: Yeah, I'm the Bill Cates. Hey, we have what we call the Cate's Academy for Relationship Marketing. And so we wanted catesacademy.com and I found out that there was a music school in Texas called Cate's Academy. They had catesacademy.com. So we use thecatesacademy.com. Right. And I found out, unfortunately for them, they just went out of business and I was able to acquire their the URL. So eventually we'll get that one going as well. So yeah, it's a, there's other Bill Cates out there, believe it or not. [35:58.3]

James: It's interesting about the, the, the thing that you just said. Cause that's why my website is TheAdviserCoach.com. So I'm in a similar, I'm in a similar position though.

Bill: Understood.

James: So thanks a lot. This has been awesome. I can't wait to hear more from you, the next book and the next one and the next conference you do.

Bill: I’ve got a couple under way.

James: So thanks again. I appreciate you. [36:19.1]

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