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Since I run in financial advisor circles, I hear from successful—and not so successful—financial advisors all the time. Besides the financial advisor circles I’m in, I’m also in several mastermind groups for business owners.

My main takeaway from spending so much time with successful, and unsuccessful, advisors and business owners?

There are 5 key things that prevent financial advisors from being successful. Making any of these mistakes cripples your success.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

Once you know what these mistakes are, it’s easy to reverse them and unlock more wealth than you thought possible.

The best news?

In this episode, I reveal each of these 5 mistakes—and give you a simple way to fix them.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Why a scarcity mindset “costs” you more wealth than going out and buying outlandish material goods (3:22)
  • How Eve fell into the sneaky “Serpent Trap” in the Garden of Eden (and how you may be falling for this trap today in your business) (4:22)
  • The instant “10x Happiness” mindset shift that increases your joy by tenfold—at the bare minimum! (6:56)
  • The single biggest goal-setting mistake financial advisors make which forever keeps their goals out of reach (8:13)
  • How not believing in yourself can actually magnetizes success towards you (11:52)
  • Why your fear is the biggest threat to your financial security and success (and how to obliterate it) (16:08)

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.

Want to transform your website into a client-getting machine? Go to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/website to get The Client-Getting Website Guide.

Want a masterclass training in running effective Facebook Ads? Head to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training.

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: Hi-de-ho, neighborinos. What's good? This episode is going to be a bit different from the other Financial Advisor Marketing podcast episodes, because I'm going to riff a little bit. I'm going to talk off the cuff about things holding financial advisors back and preventing them from being successful.

I have a unique vantage point on this topic for a few reasons. At first, I've been broke. I've had limiting beliefs. I've struggled. I've been there. I am relatively successful now, I guess, kinda sorta. I'm not the most successful person in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but I do quite well for myself, and I talk about some of the businesses that I have inside the Inner Circle newsletter and I'm not going to spend too much time on that. [01:10.6]

I have also seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst within financial services. I've had the pleasure of befriending successful people in multiple industries. I'm a member of several groups, both free and paid, where successful people from various backgrounds congregate. This is in steel-production industries, e-commerce, financial services, accounting, so many different businesses, and I've noticed patterns. I mean, success leaves clues.

I also have the Inner Circle newsletter, which tends to attract high-level financial advisors who want to grow their businesses and become better human beings. The reason I bring that up is because they get direct email access to me for their questions, so I get to see what they're thinking, how they're feeling, the challenges they're facing, and so much more. I get to compare and contrast their situations with other financial advisors, and I see obvious patterns there, too. I see obvious differences. I want to share those differences with you in this episode. [02:08.2]

But before I do that, I want to let you know that the upcoming January Inner Circle newsletter is going to be phenomenal. There's going to be a link to a 55-minute video bonus on the last page, all about how financial advisors can conquer call-reluctance. It's with someone I personally hired in 2015 to help me overcome call-reluctance, and it transformed my life for the better. Yes, I had call-reluctance. I struggled with it. I hired this person. She helped me. It changed my life like you wouldn't believe, and she is going to help Inner Circle members as well. I call it prospecting-reluctance. The industry term is call-reluctance, but I call it prospecting-reluctance because reluctance can take many forms, but the official term is linked to the phone. [02:52.5]

The deadline to subscribe is December 31 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, not Pacific, not Central, 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. I genuinely feel sorry for advisors who are going to miss this newsletter issue. Last month's newsletter issue had a great bonus, too. This one is going to be, in my opinion, even better. I mean, it's hard to top last month's bonus, which was about creating superior client experiences, but this one, I mean, this one's going to be good.

So, let's get started with the first thing I've noticed which holds financial advisors back, and it's having a scarcity mindset. You have a scarcity mindset if you believe you're limited in some way. Maybe you believe there aren't enough prospects for you. Maybe you believe you don't have the resources to get something done. Let me hit you with this. You are not limited by a lack of resources. You are limited by a lack of resourcefulness.

I've seen advisors create incredible marketing campaigns with nothing but courage in a computer, while advisors who spend tens of thousands of dollars with so-called marketing agencies stay stuck. There is an abundance in this world, and it's up to you to get your share of it. [04:03.5]

I'm going to share something with you from the Bible. I'm not here to push religion on people. My belief is that you should study ancient wisdom, and if you live in the Western world, then you should at least have some familiarity with the foundational text of your civilization. That's kinda sorta something you should do, if you want to be a well-rounded person and be informed, but, hey, that is my opinion.

Anyway, check this out. What if I told you that the Garden of Eden was a place of abundance? God specifically said to Adam and Eve, they may freely eat of any tree in the garden. I don't know where you come from, but “freely” and “any” are abundance words. If I say, “You can freely stay at any house in the United States,” that would be an abundance of homes. If I said, “You could freely eat at any restaurant in America,” you would never go hungry again. That is abundance.

But there was one tree they couldn't eat from, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They had all this abundance and one restriction. Imagine if I said, “You could eat freely from any restaurant in America, but you couldn't eat from this one McDonald's in Minneapolis, Minnesota.” You would think, Okay, that's not that big of a deal, right? You have all this other food. [05:14.5]

But what did the serpent do? The serpent got Eve to focus on what she lacked. The serpent drew her attention to what she did not have. You're free to have other opinions, but this one is mine. The very nature of evil focuses your attention on what you don't have. It causes you to ignore the abundance you have in your life. If you have a scarcity mindset—in my opinion, again, you are free to believe whatever it is that you want to believe, but this is how I roll, bro—if you feel that way, it is evil permeating your life.

Here's something extra trippy. I'll give you a source, too. I didn't put it in there. I didn't write the stuff. I'm merely studying. I am a student of this. If you have something that can change my mind, I welcome it. This is Genesis 2:9. In the English Standard Version, it says, “The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” [06:08.8]

What does the word “midst” mean? In the middle of, okay, so that means Eve had to walk past all the stuff she had and see all the beautiful trees and abundance all around her to get to what she didn't have. I want you to think about this as a principle. How do we operate as human beings? If someone has the latest and greatest technology, we focus on that instead of everything else we have. If someone has the iPhone 24.5, okay, then our iPhone 13 kind of sucks in comparison and we focus on that.

If someone sells a business for $10 million or $20 million, we think about how nice it must be, but in doing so, it tends to focus our attention on how little we have or how we didn't sell a business for $10 million or $20 million, and in my opinion, that is evil permeating your mind. You need to focus on what you have. Do you have a phone? Excellent. You can use it for prospecting. Do you have a computer? Excellent. You can use it to create marketing materials. Do you have friends? Do you have family members? Excellent. You can use them as a support system. [07:10.2]

I want to make it clear, my life improved tenfold, at least tenfold, when I started focusing on what I had instead of what I didn't have. When I started being grateful for the things that were around me, I started getting more stuff. I started accomplishing more. When I was grateful for the goals that I had accomplished, I started setting and accomplishing bigger goals. This worked for me. It might not work for you. Your mileage may vary. I'm just sharing my experience.

Look around. Say a silent thank you for everything you see around you. Be grateful. There are some mindset coaches out there who recommend writing things down that you're grateful for in a little journal or something. I do that, but I don't do it every day, but what I do every day is I say that silent thank you. I express my gratitude internally.

I believe our natural state is abundance. I truly, one hundred percent, down to my core, believe that. Our natural state is living freely and abundantly, and sadly, we move away from that abundance. I might talk about this in a future podcast episode, who knows? But I'm going to move on to the second thing. [08:13.2]

The second thing that holds financial advisors back is not having clear directions. What do you want out of your business? What are your goals? Do you know? When I tell financial advisors to set goals, I typically hear things like, “Oh, I want to be happier,” or “I want more clients,” or I want to be healthier.” That's not clear.

Let's pick apart “I want to be healthier.” You need to figure out which part of your health you would like to improve and then figure out ways to improve it. Do you want stronger legs, stronger biceps? Do you want whiter teeth, healthier eyes? What do you want? Do you want better hair, better skin, better nails? There are supplements for that.

Let's say, you have high blood pressure. Instead of saying, “I'd like to be healthier,” you could upgrade that goal to “I'd like to reduce my blood pressure.” But wait, we're not done. We're not even close to being done, because you need to figure out your target. What blood pressure do you want? Healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80, I believe, so that could be your target. [09:11.0]

Then you need to figure out what is causing your high blood pressure and reduce that. You also need to figure out what causes low blood pressure, aka the outcome that you want, and do more of those things. Sodium can cause high blood pressure, so you can put together a systematic plan for reducing the amount of salt that goes into your mouth hole.

You can also increase the amount of foods you eat, which are thought to reduce blood pressure, such as, hmm, fruits and vegetables maybe, and that would be healthy. Okay? You could eat more fruits, eat more vegetables. When you flesh out your plan, your new goal can be to eat half the amount of sodium you're eating now, and you will accomplish that goal by substituting salty foods with fruits and veggies. [09:50.6]

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.

When you set your goals this way based on concrete, measurable activities, the score really takes care of itself, and the same thing happens with financial advisors who want more clients. You need data. You need specificity. When you combine those things, then you have a clear direction.

You can say, “My goal is to send 50 LinkedIn connection requests to prospective clients per week.” That's clear. It either happens or it doesn't. There is no ambiguity. You can say, “My goal is to send out 100 direct mail pieces per week.” That's clear. It either happens or it doesn't.

Lewis Carroll once said, if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there, and that is so true. Don't fool yourself into thinking “more clients” is a destination. That's like me saying, “I want to go north.” Okay, that narrows it down. North is not south. North is not west or east. But what exactly is north in relation to where I am? [11:08.8]

I'm in Delaware. North could mean Pennsylvania. It could also mean Maine. It could mean Canada or the North Pole. Those are very different locations, but if I'm in Naples, Florida, and I say, “I'm going to drive north on 41 for 10 miles,” I will almost certainly end up near Vanderbilt Beach. Assuming Vanderbilt Beach is my destination, I now have a much clearer path to get there than “north.” This stuff isn't complicated, but it requires the hardest work in the world, which is thinking.

The third thing that holds financial advisors back is a lack of belief in themselves. This could be an entire podcast episode by itself, but I want to touch on it because I have something to say that I think can help a lot of people. Sometimes it's okay not to believe you can accomplish a goal. Huh, what? Why would you say that? Isn't it important to believe in yourself? Yes, but sometimes you don't have any evidence confirming that you can accomplish the goal. Most of the time, rock-solid belief comes from evidence. [12:09.5]

If I flip a light switch, I have a very strong belief that light bulbs will either turn on or off when I do it. I've done it so many times. I don't have to consciously think about if it will happen or not. Compare that to something with a little less belief, like setting a new personal record in the gym. Let's say, you've never benched 315 before, but you have benched 305. You technically have no evidence that you can bench 315 because you've never done it before, but you do have evidence that you're growing and getting better, because one day in the past, you benched 250. Then you got to 270. Then you got to 290. Then you got to 300. Then you got to 305, okay?

So, you have evidence for that, so you should have a reasonable belief that, either today or sometime in the future, you will be able to bench 315. You don't have rock-solid belief because you've never done it before, but you have a reasonable belief based on evidence. [12:59.7]

I think building a marketing machine, beliefs tend to work the same way in that respect. If you have an online ad that is generating five leads per day, it's not unreasonable to think that you can have two or three online ads generating 10 leads per day. Why? Because you have evidence that you've done part of it. It's just that you haven't done the real thing yet. You have evidence that you're getting there. If you're just starting out and you've never generated any leads online, of course, your belief isn't going to be as strong. That's to be expected.

I think people sabotage themselves by thinking their beliefs should be as strong as it is when flipping a light switch, when they have no basis for such beliefs. If you've never networked on LinkedIn before, then it's natural for your beliefs to be shaky, but once you begin seeing results, your beliefs will get stronger.

The fourth thing preventing financial advisors from being successful, it's their companies. This one might hurt some feelings, but I'm merely calling it like I see it. I've given this example a few times on this show before, but I think it illustrates my point well. [14:03.2]

I want you to imagine that Coca-Cola can advertise everywhere, in radio, in print, on television, on social media, and billboards everywhere. Coca-Cola, wherever you look, Coca-Cola is there. But Pepsi is only limited to billboards. Do you think it would take long for Coke to obliterate Pepsi? Of course not, but that's what's happening in the financial services industry.

There are financial advisors out there who are limited when it comes to things like LinkedIn and email marketing. These are two of the most effective marketing channels you can have. If you can't use them to their fullest potential, then you are, like Pepsi, being only allowed to advertise on billboards.

The goofiest part is that these compliance departments paint with a broad brush, because they have to serve the lowest common denominator. And I get it. I get it. I totally get it. If you're running a big company, then, yes, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator. I totally understand, but I'll give you an example. [14:56.3]

Some companies will put a blanket ban on using email autoresponders, the technology itself. I'm not talking about the content in the emails. Even though the content might not talk about money at all, it might not talk about investments and might not make any claims whatsoever, even if the content of the emails is one hundred percent compliant outside of email form, these companies still hold advisors back by refusing to allow them to use email, or an email autoresponder. It is one hundred percent unadulterated stupidity.

The emails that I teach financial advisors to use are story-based. They're informative. They're entertaining. They don't talk about money, or at least, they shouldn't. They don’t talk about investments, or at least, they shouldn't, although I see financial advisors have money stories and stuff and I just say no, no, no, but, hey, people are going to do what they want to do.

Even though they would be one hundred percent compliant outside of the email format, the minute they take this and put it into an autoresponder, the company says, “Wait, wait, what are you doing? Don't do that. You can't use technology. What are you trying to do, dummy? Are you trying to make your life easier?” and they just clamp down and it's just asinine. It really is. [16:07.8]

The fifth thing preventing financial advisors from being successful is prospecting-reluctance, and I began the show by sharing that the upcoming January Inner Circle newsletter issue will have a special bonus all about call-reluctance, which I also call prospecting-reluctance.

You can subscribe to the newsletter at TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. Make sure you lock in your spot by December 31 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard time. Deadlines exist for a reason. I say that all the time. People don't take me seriously. They think, if they subscribe on January 4, that they're going to get the January issue. No, that is not how it works. You have to subscribe by December 31. Deadlines are there for a reason, because we ship it out. We send it to the printer and then it ships out. We're not holding the bus back for you.

Prospecting-reluctance is all about the psychological blocks preventing financial advisors from reaching out to people. There are 16 different types of call-reluctance and we don't have time to discuss all 16 today, so I'll focus on the commonalities. They're all rooted in the mind, how you think. [17:08.0]

Generally speaking, prospecting-reluctance comes from fear. But fear of what? In my experience, it's the fear of losing something. Losing time, if someone says no. Losing money, if someone ghosts you. They're all fears about loss.

But what if you could shift your mindset to serving people, because what can you lose if your goal is to give people stuff? If my goal is to give a charity $100 and they say, “No, James, please stop. We don't want you. We don’t want your money,” did I lose $100? No. I merely didn't fulfill my goal of giving them the money and serving them.

If my goal is to help you learn better ways for you to market your business through this podcast and you refused to listen to it, did I lose anything? No. I would argue that you lost by not listening, but, seriously, I didn't lose anything. This isn't for me. I already know this stuff. This is for you. I know how to market businesses. I've grown businesses. I've made money, so and so forth. This isn't for me. This isn't helping me, and this is helping you. I didn't lose anything. [18:12.0]

The beautiful part about, quote-unquote, “selling” in financial services is that consultative selling works best, and that's all about helping people anyway. This means not only is that approach the most effective, but it's also the one that can help you reduce prospecting-reluctance, because it decreases the fear about potentially losing something. When you think of helping people, it is difficult to fear loss.

I don't have time to cover much material about prospecting-reluctance, which is why I'm including it in the 55-minute video download with the January newsletter issue. In that video, we talk about key traits successful prospectors share, the best way for financial advisors to handle rejection—and that advice, let me just tell you, it is so good, I made her repeat it to make sure you catch it. I think it's the only thing in the entire interview where I stopped her. I was like, I'm sorry to interrupt, can you say that again? It's so good—the most common form of call-reluctance among financial advisors, including exactly how to treat it, and so much more. [19:12.8]

So, if you want it, make sure you lock in your spot before December 31, over TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. Seriously, you don't want to miss this one. Otherwise, I will catch you next week.

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