Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Whether it’s fitness, business or relationships: Some people accomplish in weeks what others do in years. 

When you’re growing slowly, it’s easy to get angry at all the people surpassing you. It’s easy to make excuses and say they had some hidden advantage. 

But it’s much more productive to become one of those people. In this episode, you’ll find out how to grow faster than you are now and leapfrog your competitors. 

Want to get ahead instead of watching others pass you by? Listen now! 

Show highlights include: 

  • What a pregnant woman can teach you about getting more clients as a financial advisor. (5:39)
  • Why you’re destined for success if you ask tons of questions (and why having all the answers can ruin you). (7:44)
  • The “liferaft” you can use to find out exactly what to prioritize next to accelerate your business growth. (13:45)
  • Why gurus, executives and coaches max out their credit cards (and how to stop listening to them) (17:34)

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

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients, without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal.

James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.

James: Financial advisors, what's going on? Hope you had a good weekend. If you're listening to this fresh on Monday morning, if you're listening to this on a Friday afternoon, I hope you had a great week. Whenever you're listening to this, I hope you had a good something, okay?

Now, I joke around a lot on the show. I go on little rants, and it's for entertainment purposes only. It's meant to be entertaining. This episode is going to be more serious, though. It's going to be titled “My Best Advice for Growing Fast.” It's a cool, sexy title, I know. I'm going to try to live up to the hype as best as I can. But, first, I'm going to do something that breaks a major rule in presenting and teaching information. I'm going to tell you exactly what it is right now before getting into the content. [01:17.0]

I'm not going to do some story and build it up like you're supposed to in a presentation or in content delivery. I'm just going to tell you. Here it is. My best advice for growing fast is to ask more questions. Seriously, that's it. Ask more questions. Get help from people.

The worst thing that can happen when asking for help is that you get ignored. Actually, either you get ignored or maybe you hear an answer that you don't want to hear or you weren't prepared to hear. One of the reasons I stopped responding to cold emails and messages was because I had to give answers sometimes that people didn't want to hear. [01:54.8]

I get messages all day long.

“James, can you share this? I made an infographic. Can you put it on your website?”

“James, can you put a backlink here?”

“James, can you help with this?”

“James, can we set up a time to chat? Can I pick your brain? Can we get a Zoom call together?”

“Can we hop on a call? Can we jump on a call?” People love to hop and jump on calls. Have you ever noticed that they love to hop and jump and skip, hop and jump on a Zoom call? No, no, no. I don't have time for it—and I love it and I'm grateful that these people are reaching out to me. I really am, I'm appreciative. I know sometimes it doesn't sound like that, but I really, really am—and the craziest part is these people get mad when I say no.

Here I am thinking that I'm being a decent person. I say no, no, no, no. I'm giving an answer. For the longest time, I didn't want to ghost these people, because I’ve had people ghost me and it's not a good feeling, but they get madder. They get madder when I give them a response compared to what if I just ignored them. [02:57.6]

Now, of course, if I ignored them, then I would have to deal with the follow-up B.S. I would have to deal with the “bumping this to the top of your inbox” and “just touching base” emails, but at least that doesn't elicit, or usually I elicit, a visceral response from people. But if somebody says, James, can we hop, jump on a Zoom call? and I say no, they're just like, Oh, you big meanie, you jerk, you go to H-E-double-hockey-sticks, and they just get mean. They get nasty, because they don't like being told no. Nobody's told them no before.

You want to see who is real, there's a song out there. You want to see who is real, start telling people no. The reason I'm doing an entire episode about this concept is because it is so abundantly clear to me. It is so, so clear, I realize it might not be clear to other people, which is why I'm recording an entire podcast episode about it. [03:49.3]

Look, I have the Inner Circle Newsletter, right? You hear it every episode. There's a little mid-roll in the middle of the show when a lady comes up and she's like, Hey, if you want to learn more about how James can help you grow your business, you know it exists, okay? And if you've been listening through this podcast for more than a dozen episodes and you haven't subscribed to the Inner Circle Newsletter yet, you need to evaluate your life. I don't mean that in a negative way. I don't mean that in a holier-than-thou sort of manner. I mean for real. You need to evaluate your life.

But one of the privileges subscribers have is the ability to ask me questions. They get a secret subject line they can use to get top priority in my inbox. I actually have a filter set up to automatically flag any emails with the subject line, so it will literally be at the top of my inbox. It's not just a marketing gimmick where I say, Oh, yeah, get top priority in my inbox, without any real meaning behind it. No, it will actually, for real, be at the top of my inbox.

My Inner Circle members are my top priority above all the other stuff I have to deal with in life and business. They're also the first people I respond to when checking email, because they're at the top, which means they get me at my freshest and my most alert mental state. Nobody else does. [05:04.0]

IT BOGGLES MY MIND!!! Bold capital letters, exclamation, exclamation, exclamation points. It boggles my mind how few people, in terms of percentages, use that privilege. On the one hand, I don't really mind it much, I’ve just got to be honest with you. I don't because, if they don't ask questions, they're not taking up any of my time. I can use that time to do other things. I can lay on the beach. I can read a book. I can go for a walk. I can do whatever I want to do. But on the other hand, I know that the advisors who don't ask questions are the ones who need it the most.

Here's one of the most illuminating concepts I’ve ever heard. Let's imagine there's a pregnant woman. She's expecting her first child. There is literally a book called What to Expect When You're Expecting. It has sold millions and millions of copies. It has proven it has helped a bunch of people. [06:05.2]

Okay, here's what's important. The woman with the mindset to get that book and read it probably doesn't really need it as much as the woman who thinks she can ignore it. Does that make sense? The woman who doesn't seek out any help and thinks, I'm good, I don't need help, I got this, is probably the one who needs the help the most. The same is true with a lot of things in life, fitness, having healthy relationships, and definitely business.

The person who understands how important it is to ask questions and get help is probably already a relatively high achiever and a high performer. The person who ignores this concept, who ignorantly believes he or she doesn't need help, is the one who really needs it the most. [06:56.04]

Can you believe—I did the math a long time ago and I really should do it again—but when I did the math a long time ago, it was fewer than 5%? Fewer than 5% of newsletter subscribers asked me questions on a regular basis. Isn't that nuts? Again, I don't mind it that much because it means I only spend about 30 minutes per day answering questions, so it's a major benefit for the advisors and it's a small time commitment from me. I mean, it's a win-win.

Even, look, I’ve got to be fair, there are advisors out there and they just haven't asked a question yet. They're using it as a safety net. When stuff really hits the fan, they have a bat phone that they can use where they send that email and I respond back and I save their butt. I help them, whatever it is. I get that.

I’ve also noticed that the advisors who ask me questions, they tend to be the cream of the crop, and every so often, I’ll take a peek at the websites or social accounts, etc., and I'm amazed at how much they're crushing it. It's just another example of the rich getting richer, a.k.a. the advisors who have the drive and the motivation to succeed, they take the initiative to join the Inner Circle and ask me questions when needed. [08:05.3]

Now, of course, this does not mean we're pen pals. We do not email back and forth every day. I do not have time for that, but I am here to help when needed. If somebody has a legitimate problem that I can help with, they ask me something that I'm qualified to answer, then I would be honored. I would be totally honored. You have no idea how grateful, how happy, how much joy I get from helping someone who needs it, someone who has demonstrated the propensity to take advice.

There's a difference between people who just try to take, take, take, and never give and they never have a symbiotic relationship with you—they just come and go. They're fly by night—versus someone who is committed to growth, someone who is committed to excellence, and when that person comes forth and says, Hey, I would really like your help with something, XYZ, I am honored. [08:58.2]

This effect is so pronounced that—again, this math is from long ago. I haven't done it recently, but I'm just pulling from these old statistics—more than 80% of Inner Circle members who cancel have never asked a single question, not one. If you want to get picky, that number should actually be higher because there are several Inner Circle members who cancel because they retire. They literally get out of the business. They're not financial advisors anymore. They're retiring. If you take those people out, then the number will be even higher.

Let me be clear, my cancellation rate is extremely low. It's well below the average for a subscription product. That's a great thing. I'm extremely proud of it, but I hold myself to a high standard, so I like to dig into the numbers and the data to see the difference between advisors who succeed and advisors who don't, and one of the factors, again, is abundantly clear. It's all about asking questions. [09:56.6]

Once upon a time, I had someone cancel his subscription with this email. I'm going to read the email to you. Here it is: “You are a great resource, but I must cancel. I have surpassed capacity, been so busy with new and existing clients, I haven't been able to read the last five newsletters. Please cancel the subscription.”

I must graciously accept the compliment because I am a great resource, and it feels good seeing my Inner Circle members get more clients. I love seeing it. It’s what I live for, but—but—by canceling his newsletter subscription, he's killing the golden goose that lays the golden eggs. This move is so dumb that it's literally been made into a cautionary fairytale for children. [10:42.8]

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 $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.

What's going to happen one, two or three years from now with no more golden goose? And I don't want to go off on a tangent here, but five newsletter issues, each newsletter issue is between 15 and 20-ish pages, and depending on how quickly you read, it should take you about half an hour to read. If this person didn't have half an hour a month, whoa, this person needs to get his life together as well.

But, if you’re at capacity, then you should either, one, hire more people; two, improve your systems; or, three, fire your worst clients. In fact, I reckon this guy would have freed up at least a third of his time. That's not even an exaggeration, a third. That's actually very conservative. If you're listening to this and you're like, Bull crap, he would never have freed up a third of his time, yeah, he would have by ditching the bottom 10% of his business and that time he could have invested into, gee, I don't know, actually reading the newsletters and applying the lessons inside. [12:04.5]

But the biggest thing I want to share with you about this guy is that he could have sent me an email asking for my recommendation on what to do before he hit capacity. I would have given him some pointers and I would have given him some recommendations to avoid this problem in the first place. Alas, he asked no questions.

What happens if he wakes up with an appointment from his dream client? Will he have to turn that person away because he's at capacity? What if one of his marketing assets, like a blog article or a webinar or whatever he has, gets shared by a popular influencer in his niche and he gets booked solid with appointments? Is he going to cancel every one of those appointments because he's at capacity? I hope not, because you think about the economics behind building a financial advisor's income while keeping the time commitment low. Obviously if you're at capacity, you have no more time to invest, but you're building your income while keeping your time commitment the same or lowering it. [13:08.8]

It's all about dropping from the bottom and adding to the top. You're getting rid of the lowest value clients. You're giving them to another advisor, while increasing your average client value. That's all it is. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this guy's problem could have been solved and his income almost certainly would have increased, if he emailed me and asked, James, what should I prioritize if I'm about to hit capacity
That's all it would have taken. Now, of course, applying the information as well, but it's just like it's the little life raft that you just throw out into the water or you go, you throw it, it lands in the water and you get it.
I also had a guy who said he was canceling to start his own marketing business, and so that one really had me cracking up because, honestly, I would have stayed subscribed just to ask questions about how to approach clients, how to run certain campaigns, stuff like that. [14:09.6]

And I really love the newsletter model because it separates the fakers from the action takers, because if people say they're running a legitimate profitable business and they're worried about $99 per month, they're fakers, plain and simple. They are literally faking it and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

It's kind of hard to be nice when you're saying, Hey, you're faking your life or you're faking your business, but it is true. If you're running a business that nets $500,000 per year in profit, and the only thing I do, the only thing I do is help you improve that business a mere 3%, that's an additional—do the math for yourself—3% of $500,000 is an additional $15,000. Now, subtract the “cost.” I say cost in air quotes here, but the cost of the newsletter and your left with—get your calculator handy—15,000 minus the $99 per month for a year is $13,812 in your pocket. [15:14.2]

That's real money that you can spend or invest, and that's with a tiny, itty-bitty, measly 3% improvement. I'm not making these wild grandiose claims. I'm not saying, yeah, you can take your business to the moon and blah, blah, blah. I don't do that. I'm just saying, literally, if you're an action taker, if you're someone with a successful business already, if you're someone who is serious, who is committed, who obviously has at least some sort of system in place to get a business going, then I can make it better.

You can do the math for your business and your income. If you make a hundred thousand dollars per year and I give you that same 3% improvement, you've doubled your money with the newsletter. Actually, more than doubled, and all it takes is one idea, one concept, and one strategy, to completely revolutionize your business forever, and a lot of people don't get that. They just don't. [16:09.2]

They don't understand all it takes is a little itty-bitty improvement, because the barrier, the $99 per month, it is so low if you're running a real business, and even if you close your eyes and never opened a single newsletter issue, you would still have the opportunity to ask questions that are specific to your business and your situation. If you are an action taker, that's worth the money by itself.

I do this in my own life. I'm not just sitting here on a pedestal saying, “You should do this. You should ask questions.” I paid for memberships and subscriptions solely so I could ask questions. Not too long ago, I came out of pocket for some B2B sales training material. Do I sell B2B? Not really. Do I help people who sell B2B? Again, not really. But I'm paying the money because this guy is an expert, and if I have a question about sales, I want to get his unique perspective. [17:07.2]

I want to compare and contrast it to the other sales stuff that I’ve heard, the other sales training I’ve taken, what I’ve noticed in the best financial advisors in the world. I want to compare what he has to say because he has the results. He has posted his tax returns. He understands what it takes to become a successful B2B salesperson.

While we're on the topic of money—I brought up money, like the 3% improvement. You're making 500k or you're making 100k, or whatever—if you knew how many, quote-unquote, “successful people” had failed billing attempts, it would astonish you, and I'm not just talking about financial advisors either. I've got fintech executives in there, coaches, consultants, big name gurus, etc.

If you had any idea how many of those people had their credit cards maxed out and there's a failed billing attempt, like when they get automatically rebilled for the newsletter and it says, “Failed billing attempt. Card declined.” you would be terrified, but it's real. [18:09.6]

The same people who are out there talking about how they can grow your business to the moon, they're the same ones who get their credit cards declined. Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I'm merely giving you the message. Do not shoot the messenger. There are a lot of people out there who are faking it, people who get those credit cards declined—and guess what nearly all the people with failed billing attempts have in common? They don't ask questions.

Once again, the people who need help the most, seek it out the least, and I don't intend for this to be some weird sales pitch for the newsletter, but it's not. I never thought I would talk about the newsletter this long in this episode. It's just that the newsletter really opened up my eyes to this problem. I want you to get the lesson here. Don't be afraid to reach out to people and ask for help. [19:02.8]

I cold-emailed a very famous business owner who built his business primarily with webinars and I asked him a very simple question. “Do webinars showing a person's face convert better?” He responded and said no. It took maybe five seconds for him to reply, I'm guessing, but it couldn't have taken much more than that. I didn't waste his time with a long 16 paragraph email. All I said was like, Hi, love your stuff, and, boom, question, and I got my answer. I don't need someone to be super-formal or anything. I wanted a yes or no based on his experience and that's what I got. No.

I once messaged the CEO of an email marketing software at seven o'clock on a Saturday night and he helped me out. I wasn't afraid to ask for help. I just messaged him on LinkedIn and said, “Hey, you don't know me, but I'm a customer. I've been a customer for years. I really need your help with this thing,” and he helped me. This is the CEO of the organization. I am forever grateful to that guy. [20:01.6]

Now, I get tons of cold emails every day. I don't respond to them because I quite simply don't have time. I have other things to do. I do have the newsletter. I am running a business. I have other income streams that I don't really talk about. But I don't fault the people for trying. There are other people out there who will respond. I'm just not one of them. I’ve set up my life to where I choose to not deal with cold emails.

All that to get to this. Here's the big takeaway for this week. I want you to actually do this. Don't just listen to the podcast episode and think, Wow, that's a good one. James really bought the heat this week, and then move on with your life. Do this.

Make a list of three things in your life that you want to improve. They could be anything, business, personal, whatever. Then reach out to three people each who you think could help you with those things. That's a total of nine people. You list three things and list three people each and reach out to them. Ask them for help. [21:04.0]

It will probably take you less than an hour to do this even if you are slow, and in exchange for that hour and a little brainstorming, you could potentially solve your problems. Isn't that what you want to do anyway? You want to solve your problems. When you're done and you've solved those problems, and you've gotten responses from people, move on to another three things. Make another list. Do it again. Do be afraid to ask for help.

With that said, this episode is over, and I will catch you next week.

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