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There are 5 driving forces behind all human behavior. And if your marketing doesn’t hit on one of these deep psychological triggers, then, well, you’ll always struggle with attracting new clients.

That’s why even the best financial advisors fight tooth and nail to find new clients.

Here’s the good news:

In this episode, I reveal what these 5 deep psychological triggers are, so you can apply them to your marketing, and never worry about landing more clients again.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • How studying fashion trends help you close more clients with ease (2:42)
  • McDonald’s psychological secret for building a multi-billion dollar brand (and how to apply this secret to your marketing) (6:20)
  • How to smash any objection prospective clients throw at you and earn their lifetime business (8:07)
  • The weird way being brutally honest about the downsides of your offer makes your dream clients more likely to work with you (12:28)

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, if you're here right now, I want to say thank you for listening. I do appreciate you. I don't think people understand how much I want to see financial advisors win. I am rooting for you so hard. If you have a day where you feel like stuff isn't going well or your marketing isn't working as well as you thought it would, remember that I am pulling for you. I really am. I really want to see you win. [00:54.0]

In this episode it might seem like I'm talking in a hushed tone or I'm not as energetic as I usually am. That is true. I'm recording this at the end of a very long day, had a ton of stuff go on. Nothing bad, all good stuff, but just work, work, work, work, work, push, push, push, push, push, emails, emails, emails. For some reason, I got a lot of Inner Circle member emails today and I love it. I love what I do, but, man, I had a lot today.

But I want to get this podcast episode done. I want to make sure that I serve you in the best way possible, so you are quite literally getting all of me today. “Five Driving Forces Behind Human Behavior” is going to be the title of this episode and these can get you more clients. Since this is the Financial Advisor Marketing show, I want to talk about marketing, but I don't want to talk about stuff like content marketing or email marketing, not this week, at least. I wanted to talk about the things that apply to all marketing strategies, the things that get people to do stuff. Without these driving forces, your marketing won't be as effective, and as I’ve progressed in my marketing career, I’ve realized, if you want to become a better marketer, you should become a student of psychology. [02:05.0]

Now, I went to college for psychology. I have a degree in psychology, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I learned more in the first month of running a business and actually trying to sell stuff than I did in all four years of college. The theoretical stuff is great and it's fun to learn. I like reading. I like learning about the people who pioneered the field, I guess, but it was the practical hard hitting stuff that made me money. I quickly learned what worked and what didn't, and these forces are way bigger than any tactic. These are the psychological fundamentals that influence why people behave the way they do, and since marketing is about influencing behavior, it's beneficial for you to know these things, so let's get started.
Number one is social acceptance and belonging. Think about all the fashion trends that have come and gone over the past few decades, bell bottoms, parachute pants. I remember watching the MC Hammer You Can't Touch This music video and it came out … it was a little bit before my time, okay? I wasn't really wearing the parachute pants, but I remember watching that just thinking to myself, Man, I really wish I could have these parachute pants. [03:13.6]
Popped collars, baggy jeans, skinny jeans. Man, people loved baggy jeans and then we went skinny. Are we going to go back to baggy? But there's no inherent value in any fashion trend outside of the fact that a trend signals that we are like a certain group.

If you were a male in the early-2000s, searching for a mate, you may have frosted your tips. Oh God, that sounds so dirty, but I'm sorry, this is a family-friendly show. But what frosting your tips means is spiking your hair and dying the tips, okay? It made you look like a boy band heart throb, and if your tips were frosted—again, sorry, family friendly—girls would pay attention to you and make you feel accepted. [03:54.8]

A lot of purchases are about belonging to social groups, too, or at least identifying with the brands' values. Someone who wears Carhartts probably has different values than somebody who wears Patagonia. Someone who wears Jordans likely has different values than someone who wears Sperrys.

Again, this is about belonging, and if you don't believe me, imagine a person wearing Sperrys is put into a room with a dozen or so people and all of those people are wearing Jordans. The person with the Sperrys is the only one not wearing Jordans. Suddenly, wearing Sperrys, a brand that person might love and enjoy, feels wrong because it doesn't belong in that situation. Everybody's wearing Jordans except for that person. It just does not feel right.

I know it's a running joke that I talk about niche marketing on almost every podcast episode, but it's so important and it ties directly into this sense of belonging. If you work with medical professionals, the medical professionals can look to your business and see they belong there. If they work with you, they will be in good company. [04:57.4]

Another way to make people feel like they belong is to share your values. This doesn't mean get political. That does not mean get political. I've made a conscious effort not to get political with my content. With the podcast, with social media, with email marketing, I do not get political, even though I have some strong political views. What I mean is that people should be able to pick up on the kind of person you are.

With me, you know I love family. I love traveling, but I'm also very hard-charging. I like to push. I like to be more, do more, have more. I'm ambitious. It's hard for me to relax, especially when I'm at home. That's one of the reasons I travel so much. I can't relax at home. It's just who I am. People who are like me gravitate towards me because they know that I feel like they feel. I'm just like them, so I belong with them. They belong with me. We are like each other. That is the first driving force behind human behavior.

Number two is certainty. This is a deep one and it goes back to securing necessities like food, water, shelter. Imagine you're in the Stone Age and you're in a family of hunter-gatherers.

What if your food source kept relocating every day? That would inhibit your survival. What if the river from which you drew your water went dry at random times? Again, that would inhibit your survival. The need for certainty is so prevalent, once you see it, you can't unsee it. [06:20.8]

For example, one of the reasons businesses and different franchises like McDonald’s are so successful is because people know for certain what they're getting when they purchase an item. You know that a Big Mac you get in Orlando, Fla., is going to be just like the one you get in New York City, and marketers exploit the need for certainty all the time. That's what brand building is. Is Tylenol really different from the generic brand? No, but Tylenol has built certainty within the marketplace. The same is true with brands like Advil and et cetera. Sure, there are generic products out there with the same ingredients. Pay attention to that. These items have the same exact ingredients, but they do not have the same sense of certainty. [07:03.8]

At its core, certainty is all about having predictable outcomes. You can predict that your garden will be there next week if you're a hunter-gatherer. You can predict that your water source will be in the same place. You can predict that Excedrin, if you take that, your headache will be gone. This is also why financial advisors struggle, because not only is it difficult to, quote-unquote, “sell” certainty in the first place; it's made harder with things like investment management, volatility, and changing lifestyle situations.

But don't worry, not all hope is lost. You can explain to your clients that you've dealt with similar situations before. If they're worried about bear markets, you can explain that you've been through them before and you've been fine. You can increase the level of certainty here. You can show data going back 100 years and showing that the average bear market lasted this amount of time and it went down this much, and there was this downturn. [07:56.0]

Is this 100% certainty? Again, no, but it's much better than feeling like you're in the dark. You can show your clients that you've dealt with people like them before. Again, yes, this is having a niche, but it's also about having things like case studies and stories prepared. Yes, prepared. I mean this. Prepared to share with prospective clients when objections come up—and one of the most common objections is “This doesn't make sense for me specifically,” because they're uncertain.

Objections are about uncertainty. They're not certain that they're going to recoup the money that they spend with you. They're not certain that you are a good fit for them. They're not certain that they can't do better elsewhere. You can also have processes because even in an uncertain world, you can have a certain way of dealing with things.

The way I do it is by having if/then rules. If something happens, then I do this. This means even if the event is uncertain, I have a plan for how to respond. My response will be certain. Really think about this. You're giving people a sense of certainty. This will never be 100%, especially not with financial advice, but you can raise the level of certainty above your competitors, above the alternatives, and if you have that level of certainty, people will gravitate towards it. [09:16.0]
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.

Number three: security. This is similar to certainty, but it's more about being secure in your home, your family, your person, and more. It's all about having things like a safe neighborhood, access to healthcare, steady employment and protection from nefarious forces, and all of these drivers of human behavior, they can be used for both good and evil. How you feel about things like indexed universal whole life insurance and annuities will inform if you think they're good or bad, because when markets have downturns, these things get pushed a little harder because indexed universal life insurance has a floor. It can't go below zero, except for your insurance costs and whatnot. [10:20.5]

Again, if you're an “actually” person, please refrain from sending me your emails. I know, I know, I know, there are insurance costs, okay? But there's still security. There's security in knowledge. People know what they're going to get. They know they're not going to lose money. Again, it sounds very much like certainty, okay? People are certain on their floor, but the certainty provides security—and guess what? Security does not come free. It comes with a tradeoff. In this case, with the indexed universal life insurance, the tradeoff is the capped upside. [10:55.2]

Even hiring a financial advisor, it's a tradeoff. You're paying a fee or a percentage or whatever, but you're paying for the security of having fresh eyes examine your financial situation. You're paying it to have someone tell you that everything will be okay. You're paying it to have someone talk you off the ledge when things go bad. When someone says that they don't need a financial advisor, it's like someone saying they don't need disability insurance. I think, yeah, I hope you never use it.

In a perfect world, you would not need a financial advisor. I know this is like blasphemy, okay? But let's get real. In a perfect world, you would not need a financial advisor. You would already be endowed with all the knowledge necessary to make your decisions. You would be an emotionless robot, executing flawless strategy and sticking to your plan, no matter what. Sadly, that's not the case. It's not a perfect world.

In a perfect world, you would never get disabled. You would be able to work no matter what. There would never be any need for disability insurance, but that's not the case either, so you trade some of your money today for the security of being covered, should the bad stuff happen. I really need you to understand this. This isn't really even about marketing anymore. This is a philosophical way to embrace life, to know that security will always come with a tradeoff. [12:09.4]

We see this in the development of nations, like the United States that gave up security for liberty. You see that today, even with different political decisions. You see it with people's homes; they give up a little bit of money to secure their home, maybe with an alarm system or with some boom sticks, boom-boom-pow. Inner Circle members are probably picking up what I'm putting down here, because telling people about this trade off, it's a damaging admission. That's what it is. That's the copywritings term for it and it's one of the most powerful copywriting strategies you can use.

If you're upfront with people about the negatives of an offer, they're more likely to believe you and do business with you. Explaining that there is a tradeoff for security is one of those negatives and I’ll leave it at that. I'm not going to give away the good stuff on a free podcast episode, sorry. [12:56.2]

Number four is significance. There has always been this question of what happens after we die. Nobody knows. If you want to get down a really weird internet rabbit hole, I will tell you that multiple people have been interviewed after near-death experiences and they describe similar things. They describe similar feelings, similar sights, sounds and more. These are people across space and time. They don't know each other. Even children have described similar things to adults. If that's your cup of tea, you can research that on your own time. I want to make sure that you know that that exists.

But people want to feel significant because eternity is so huge. Eternity is staring us in the face always, and if you're of the Christian persuasion, I recommend reading a book called Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today and Forever. Again, I'm not trying to push religion on anyone. I've actually read many, many, many different religious texts. I study them. I personally kind of am driven towards a certain religion, right? But if you are of the question-- Ugh, can't even talk today. If you're of the Christian persuasion, I recommend, again, reading that book, Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today and Forever. It will rock your world, because eternity is a long time. It's eternal. It never stops and your little 70 or 80 years on this planet is so insignificant. [14:18.5]

Nothing you do here will matter compared to eternity. Even if you think about human beings we still know today, pharaohs from Egypt, philosophers from Greece and artists of the Renaissance, you realize that these people are merely a blink in human history, and that's terrifying. That's terrifying stuff. 99.99% of people will be completely forgotten in a few hundred years.

So, what do we do? We chase significance. We want to build things. We want to leave a legacy, and one can make the argument that a lot of wealth-building and a lot of business-building, perhaps all of it is about significance, because the wealth will outlive you. If you die today, your bank account will exist outside of you. People say you can't take it with you when you go. That's true. Your money will go somewhere, though. Someone will get that money. [15:03.5]
Henry Ford has been dead for decades. Yet Ford still chugs along. That's his legacy. He is significant because of it. Sam Walton left Walmart. Ray Kroc left Mcdonald's. None of these men are around to see their work, but I wonder if they achieved some sort of peace because they knew that they would be significant beyond their deaths.

Now, what does this have to do with marketing? As cynical as it sounds, it's about making people feel more important than they are. It's giving them the understanding that they can be significant in some way. I used the word “understanding” deliberately. I almost used the word, giving them the “illusion”. “Illusion” would've been the word that I’d use, but I think “understanding” is a little more optimistic. It's a little more hopeful. Whether that's through charitable giving or an estate plan, or whatever, you're giving people a sense of significance.

Significance, it can also be external validation. Are you validating your clients? Are you making them feel important? I know that as a financial advisor, you can go from talking to someone who has $10 million in assets to someone who has $500,000 within a couple hours, and that can be a trip. That can play some games in your head. But both of these people are important in their own ways and you need to respect that. [16:17.8]

Money comes and goes. I'm just as important as I was when I was broke, and I'm just as important today as I'm going to be in five years, 10 years and 20 years from now. My sense of significance will grow with the wealth. I understand that, or my illusion of significance will grow, but my external validation, it should still be the same. People should love me the same today as they will 20 years from now. They should have loved me the same when I was broke as they do now. This is the part of significance that people crave. They want that external validation. They want to know that their lives count for something that will be bigger than themselves. [17:00.0]

Then number five, this is the last thing, the last driver of human behavior, and it is self-actualization. This is the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potential. According to Maslow, one characterization of self-actualization—say that 10 times fast—is having frequent peak experiences, and peak experiences are feelings of limitless horizons, feeling powerful, being in wonder and awe, and feeling the conviction that something valuable has happened.

Since you're so close to the financial-planning occupation, you may take for granted that you are helping people achieve these peak experiences. As a financial advisor, you are helping people accomplish what they want, because you are focusing on their goals and helping them achieve what they want out of life. You are the actualizer and a man named Carl Rogers said that human beings have an actualizing tendency, which aims to develop all capacities in ways that maintain or enhance the organism and move it toward autonomy. [18:00.4]

What is financial freedom? Isn't that autonomy? Isn't that the result of developing your capacities? You can't earn your income if you're on your deathbed. You can't experience life if you're not healthy. You can't achieve wealth without producing something valuable for the marketplace, and even once you've attained wealth, you can't keep it unless you've developed yourself as a good steward, unless you've actualized yourself as a good steward. A financial advisor is valuable in all of those areas. If you can communicate that you help with these things, your marketing will become better.

To recap, these are the five drivers of human behavior. These are deep psychological triggers that move people to do certain things. Number one is social acceptance. Number two is certainty. Number three is security. Number four is significance. Number five is self-actualization. [18:56.0]

Again, thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you're not on my email list, I figure I’ll plug something here. If you're not on my email list, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/57. That's the number five and the number seven, so TheAdvisorCoach.com/57, and opt into the email list. When you do, you'll get an 80-plus-page PDF called “57 marketing tips for financial advisors.”
I will catch you next week.

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