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: Financial advisors, welcome to another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing. I'm going to do something different for this episode and not just this episode, but the next episode and the next episode and the episode after that, because it's going to be a four part series and it's going to be called ‘Financial Advisor Laws Of Power.’ And it's inspired by one of my favorite books, which is the 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Green. So if you haven't read that book, make sure you read, you read it, make sure you get it from your library, buy it from your bookstore, get it on Kindle wherever you want to get it. It's a long book, just going to be straight up with you. And that's the producer, Jonathan, that's the first thing you said when I introduced this concept. You're like, that's a long book.
Jonathan: No kidding, man. I don't, if you're going to read it set, set aside a quarter to do it.
James: That's not a bad idea. And Robert Green has a bunch of other books. He's got Mastery and The Art of seduction and 33 Strategies of War. And what I think is your favorite, The 50th Law. [01:32.1]
Jonathan: Yes, it is. I love the 50th law. In fact, Doberman Dan and I did a show on the 50th Law.
James: Really. I'm going to have to look for that cause I, that doesn't ring a bell with me. So I'm going to have to take a look. I probably listened to it. If it was a long time ago, I probably listened to it. But if it's recent, well, I listened to that too, but I'm not sure it doesn't really help either way. So financial advisors, it is a long book. It is a controversial book. Some people hate it. Some people love it. Some people say that it's going to teach you to be like manipulative and Machiavellian and all that other stuff, but it will give you some insight into why people behave the way they do. It explains why people seemingly sabotage themselves, why they do cookie stuff. Everyone is power motivated. You cannot get out of the power game. I don't care if you're a Saint or none. You are in this game and you've got to play by the power of rules. And the book has a bunch of examples from throughout history, from Kings and Queens, to people in China, to different presidents, to warriors and all types of different examples. And they show you how the laws were used to their advantage, as well as how people have violated the laws, how they got hurt or even killed as a result. [02:38.3]
And as I was rereading the book, I noticed that a few laws out of the 48, they seem to apply to financial advisors more than others, specifically 16, which is very nice because it fits nice, it fits nicely into a four-part series with four laws each into what we're doing here. So I decided to talk about them here on the show, because think the subject is so, so fascinating, but first let's get the business out of the way. [03:03.8]
Over the past year, we've done some really cool stuff at The Advisor Coach, we released deep dive into niche marketing. We released how successful financial advisors think. And I've really been amping up the content and amping up the bonuses within the inner circle newsletter. So if you aren't subscribed to the newsletter yet, make sure you go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching and sign up today. And also big news, I officially want to announce it on the podcast. First book, the charity has officially given me permission to go public and say that the first month subscription fee, I mean, I donated directly to First Book that's what's happening, but they've allowed me to essentially announce that and make it public and make it “legit”. Like I can finally say it for real now. So if you sign up to the inner circle newsletter, it's $99 per month, the first $99 that you give me, it goes to The Adviser Coach, LLC, it's going to go directly to First Book. It's going to help children in low income areas. Children in need, get access to educational resources that will help them succeed later in life. [04:05.2]
James: And it's one of the biggest factors in people's lives is the knowledge and the information that they get. So, is that a win or what Jonathan?
Jonathan: Huge brother. I'm, dude I'm so I want to just tell you right now that you have inspired me. I have the do more, have more, be more, give more, and you have inspired me to give more and I'm following your example. I want to, I want to do what you're doing, bro. [04:26.8]
James: It is honestly like such a good feeling and such, it’s a little nerve wracking because you're just taking that big step with a charity and making it public and saying like, okay, for real, your money's going to the charity and not just like beating around the bush, cause they're like, Oh, okay, well you're not, you don't have the material to go public. And to basically say, I'm donating the first book, whatever. Cause if you do work with a charity, a lot of people will just give money to a charity in private. But if you want to include it as part of your marketing material, obviously you've got to get written permission. So that was what was holding everything up. I just never got the written permission. So I couldn't put it out there in my marketing materials, but now it's official. [05:04.2]
James: But onto the show about the 48 Laws Of Power, about the laws of power that applies specifically to financial advisors. And I want to preface this again, by saying that the book it's packaged in a Machiavellian style, that's just Robert Green's way of writing, that's his way of explaining things. And that may be off-putting to people. For example, he'll say something like get other people to do the work for you. And he could just say, delegate, delegate sounds so much nicer and so much more business oriented than get other people to do the work for you. So he has this Machiavellian style. I just want to throw that out there. Just know that that's the way he does it. So the first law that applies specifically to financial advisors and my opinion is never outshine the master. And this is actually the very first law in the book. And I think it’s the one that is the most important, never outshine the master. This is because masters like to feel secure in their positions. [06:05.6]
When you out shine them, you stir up all types of insecurities. So if you're a financial advisor, your masters are your clients and your prospective clients. Now, some advisors will try to appear smart. They'll use a ton of jargon and they'll use a bunch of fluff and have all these charts and graphs and statistics in their marketing materials. And they give a presentation and they just go over the prospective client's heads. And it typically has the opposite effect of what they're trying to do because of this law. Because when you try to make yourself shine, for lack of a better term, you make the other person feel insecure. It is your job to make the other person feel comfortable. So one of the best strategies for making someone feel comfortable and taking someone from a prospective client to a real client is to make the person feel good about meeting you. [06:55.2]
So you want to reinforce that the fact that seeking out a financial advisor was a good decision. You're making them feel secure, not insecure. It was a good decision to seek out a financial advisor. It's a good decision to seek out financial advice. It is something to be praised. You were putting the spotlight on them because when you outshine them, it has the reverse effect. You don't want to make them feel insecure. So what you want to do is take an interest in them first, because if you make them shine, you will shine as a result. Now obeying this law, it can be tricky for two reasons. First you can out shine the master without even trying. And I must admit, I, I know this is going to sound like super arrogant, like kind of douche-y I'm guilty of this. And I know that sounds like bragging, but I promise you, it's not. I have been in situations where I have proposed solutions and different marketing campaigns that were so freaking good that other people became insecure, or I propose something that sounds too good to be true. And it stirs up disbelief in people. So they let their own limiting beliefs get in the way. [08:02.5]
So if you're a naturally charming person, I mean, I'm definitely not naturally charming. Some people may say I'm not charming at all, but if you're a naturally charming person, this might make people uncomfortable. Your charm, your wit your humor, they may be insecure around you because of your smooth personality. Then now they may smile. They may nod along the way. They may just go along with it, but that's just them being nice. People are very, very good at hiding their insecurities. [08:31.1]
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. [08:53.8]
And the second reason obeying this law could be tricky is this. Just because they like you doesn't mean that you have free reign to do what you want. Now, I don't want to spoil the book or anything, but there was a story in there of somebody who was loved by a King and he thought he could just do something awesome for the King. He was going to throw this big party and get a bunch of praise because he's was like, Hey, I threw this thing for you, King like, I love you so much. Well, he ended up getting thrown in jail because he out shined the King. So just because you're well-respected in your market or just because your social circle is tight, that you know, a bunch of people, you have got connections. You're very smart. It doesn't give you license to do whatever you want. You might have to tone things down a little bit. So that is the first law never outshine the master. What do you think of that producer, Jonathan? [09:44.3]
Jonathan: I hear you talking about humility. That's what I heard all over that, so thanks for sharing it.
James: And it's, it's important for financial advisors because clients are coming to them with humility. They're ready to get what some people call it, getting financially naked.
James: They're coming to you with their humility. They're like; I've got this investment here. I've got this investment here. I've got a Roth here, a traditional IRA here. They're showing you everything. You cannot take that trust and bend it and wreck it any way you want by outshining them. You just cannot. So next law and it is this. So much depends on your reputation; guard it with your life. This is law number five in the book, and it's especially applicable to financial advisors because financial planning is a relationship business. We are at a point in time right now in history where anybody can hop online and learn about personal finance. There are forums, blogs, websites, YouTube channels, and podcasts, all ready to tell people what to do with their money and to explain complex financial topics. This cannot be your value add anymore. The value add must be your relationship. Let me say that one more time, so you get it. Your value add cannot be mere financial advice, it must be your relationship. [11:05.5]
And one of the articles over the at TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog is about whether or not I think financial biases will become obsolete. And my answer to that is a resounding no, although I do think advisors will have to adapt. Now. there's not a day that goes by that. I don't have a deeper and more profound respect for the work that financial advisors do for the clients. I'm amazed at how much, some financial advisors care for their clients and how far they're willing to go to help people. that my friend can never be replaced. But still I hear from financial advisors who worry that robo advisors and all of the different free planning tools are going to, it's going to hurt their business. And maybe they will, if they have no value add outside of a basic financial plan and or money management. But in my opinion, that's not why people hire financial advisors, at least not anymore. People hire financial advisors to help them design a life. That's a quotable for this episode. [12:05.3]
Jonathan: Yeah, buddy.
James: But in order to get people in the door, got to give people a reason. And that reason is going to be closely tied to them, trusting you. Very close to the first law here, never outshine the master. And now we're talking a little bit more about trust and your reputation. So since it's tied to them, trusting you, what do you need to do? You need to give them a reason to trust you. And that's why you need to cultivate your reputation. Now, according to dictionary.com, reputation is defined as the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. So in other words, it's what people think about you. Now, here's the crazy part that a lot of people miss. You can cultivate your reputation. It is not 100% dictated by other people. You have a say in your reputation. A lot of people don't acknowledge this, they never think about it. You have a say, you have control in your reputation because you control a large degree of how you appear to people which impacts how people perceive you. [13:09.3]
On this podcast, I tend to be a little bit more brash, a little bit more bold because I want people to perceive me a certain way. I'm pulling back the curtain here. I'm letting you know that it's what I'm doing. It's the same thing. If you're a financial advisor who works with a specific niche market, you're going to appear differently than someone who works with anybody with a pulse. So if you have a well-crafted website message designed to move someone from a visitor to an appointment, you are going to appear differently from someone who just has a website that looks like a digital brochure. You are cultivating your reputation. Now I'm not saying that you have complete control over how other people see you, but you do have some influence. So be cautious, be conscious and be strategic of how you appear in the marketplace. [13:58.1]
So what do prospective clients see when they interact with you, when they interact with your team or when they interact with your marketing materials? Now I've said it before on the show, but it is a profitable exercise. Put yourself in someone else's shoes and go through your business. What do you see? How do you perceive yourself? How do you interpret things? Take notes of what you think, the emotions that come up, how you feel, because you're, you'll be surprised at what you find. The next law is to court attention at all costs. And I say this, the next law, I mean is actually the next law in the book. We just covered law number five in the book. This is actually law number six. And Robert Green says, and this is a quote.‘Everything is judged by its appearance. What is unseen counts for nothing, never let yourself get lost in the crowd. Then we're buried in oblivion, stand out. What is unseen, counts for nothing.’ [14:56.8]
This is all about good marketing. And I think that that quote about what is unseen counts for nothing is brilliant. And it reminds me of financial advisors who have all of these credentials, all of this experience, but they don't use them to their fullest extent. Or perhaps they believe that the credentials alone will get them to clients. It doesn't work that way, because until your prospective clients see those things, they don't matter. You could be one of the most experienced financial advisors in the world, but until someone sees that until someone knows that it's not worth anything. Your skills, which help other people, that's the value you bring to the world. You are helping people put their financial puzzle together. You're helping bring value to their life, but they're only valuable in proportion to how much you use them and how much you use them is in direct proportion to how many people know you have them. So this law about quoting attention at all costs is about finding something that makes you different. How can you stand out? What can you do to make someone sit up and pay attention to you? [16:07.0]
So it's relatively easy to do this on a tactical level. If other financial advisors are doing nothing but text posts on social media, you can share images. If other financial advisors have boring seminars with copy and paste presentations, you can spruce them up and make them a little bit more entertaining. That's easy to do, but it's all tactical. You want accord attention on a strategic level, which means you must impact everything you do within your business, all the way down to how you carry yourself and how you operate among other people. Now, another thing you need to realize is the way you court attention can and should change over time. So Pablo Picasso was a good example of this. And I, I think Robert Green talked about him in the book. So Pablo Picasso never allowed himself to fade into the background. So whenever he felt like his name was becoming too attached to a particular style, he'd switch it up. He'd release a whole new series of paintings that went against everybody's expectations. People expected Pablo do one thing. He did the next thing. [17:07.8]
So if you look up Pablo Picasso, you’re gonna see all types of different styles, all types of different paintings he changed with the times, kept himself in the limelight as a result. Now the only caveat to this is that you must remember law number one, ‘Never outshine the master.’ Hopefully you said it with me, financial advisor. There are times when it's not in your best interest to be the center of attention. Think about that. There are some times when you just, you should not be the center of attention. So when it comes to your clients or your prospective clients, they should be the center of attention, not you. Now I know that that was going to cover four laws, but I want to keep you in suspense. Maybe what I'm doing right here is a law of power. So I covered three. The first three laws that I covered were ‘Never outshine the master,’ ‘Guard your reputation with your life’ and ‘Court attention at all costs.’ Now I'm going to keep you in suspense. We're going to cover another law and more strategies for you in the next episode and the next episode in the next episode; this is the first part of a four-part series. Make sure you stick around. That’s a wrap Jonathan. [18:11.7]
Jonathan: Yeah, I don't need to ask what's coming up next time. We know exactly what's coming up the rest of the laws. So thanks James. Love it. And thank you fam for tuning in. For more of the laws, come back next time. We'll see you then. [18:26.7]
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