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We all have a deep desire to be liked by everyone we encounter. It’s human nature. But this quirk can also spell trouble for you as a financial advisor.


Because trying to please everyone comes with a steep cost: Your time, your sanity, and yes, your business’s revenue ceiling.

There are certain types of people you will naturally create more wealth for. They’ll implement your advice quicker. And they’ll be better clients for you.

So, why would you risk your relationships with the right kind of clients to focus on the worst type of clients?

You wouldn’t, and yet, that’s what you do when you try to please everyone.

In today’s show, I’m giving you permission to stop pleasing everyone, so you can enjoy more wealth, more freedom, and better clients.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Why adding testimonials and positive reviews to your online ads can actually tank your conversions (even if you’d think they’d help reduce skepticism) (4:01)
  • The single worst type of time-devouring client you can work with (5:17)
  • How taking a personality test magnetizes your ideal clients to you (10:08)
  • Did you know 1.2% of American men are literal psychopaths? Here’s how to prevent them from infiltrating your client list (13:22)
  • 5 reasons why “Repulsion Marketing” not only repels your worst clients, but also attracts your best ones (14:15)

Want to write emails that set appointments? I reveal the three biggest mistakes financial advisors make with email marketing, and how fixing them can lead to massive changes here: https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Mistakes.

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.

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: In this episode, I'm going to share some life-changing information with you. I promise, if you take this information to heart and apply it in your marketing, your business probably will grow. I'm not going to make any guarantees, because I don't know you or your specific situation, but I'm just saying, there probably can be no other way, and you'll understand what I explain everything to you. [00:50.2]

First, I want to start off with a story. I know I don't look like much today, but I used to be in decent shape. I did various sports throughout high school. I did powerlifting in college, and, honestly, one regret I have is not keeping up with my powerlifting because I gave up a lot of my lifting in order to hustle and get my bread up. It's kind of hard to hit the gym when you're working two or three jobs, plus trying to get a business off the ground, and I told the story on a previous podcast episode, but one of the businesses that I used to own was a clothing line that made gym clothes. It wasn't a huge success or anything like that, but it did okay. It did okay, I'm not going to lie.

I bring that up because, back in the day, I used to be connected with a lot of people in the fitness space on Facebook and other social media platforms, but I would see their Facebook ads all the time. Let's say that one of these guys was named Joe, which is not his real name. Now, I know Joe is the real deal. He's helped thousands of people get in shape and he put together some exercise videos, which he sold for $7.
One day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw one of his ads, and I noticed he had all these comments. So, I started reading them, because that's what you do. People were commenting things like, “Does anyone have any proof this works?” or “Has anyone tried this program and gotten results? I want to get in shape, but I don't want to spend $7 to do it.” [002:06.1]

I'd like to explain something. Joe is a wonderful person. He's a naturally nice guy. He is so nice. He wanted to please his audience so he inserted some video testimonials into the comment section. He had about 10 different videos with people talking about how great he was and how awesome the products were, and how great the videos were and how they changed their lives, just regular testimonials.
I would have just ignored the comments, because I know the information I'm going to share with you in this episode, or I would have commented back and said something snarky like, “Nope, there's no proof whatsoever,” or “No, not a single person has ever tried this.” But I'm not a naturally nice person like Joe. I'm an irritable grouch. Sometimes I will get financial advisors emailing me and they'll say things like, “Do your marketing strategies work for people in Canada?” and I'll say, “No, they immediately stop working as soon as you cross the border. Everything just goes to zero, right? Of course, they work, dumbo.” [02:58.3]

By the way, a side benefit of being an irritable grouch like I am is that you get away with a lot of stuff that other people can't get away with. I say crazy stuff on this podcast and I use wild email subject lines, and I engage in all sorts of weird behavior, and people just smile to themselves and say, “Oh, that James, that's just how he is,” and nobody bats an eye, right? But if you tried that after attempting to be Mr. Perfect all the time, then people would eat you alive, and actually, that might be the most valuable thing I share in this entire podcast episode. You have to set expectations in the beginning. Show people who you really are.
If you show up to meetings and suits and ties all the time, then it'll be really weird if you show up in a hoodie. But guess what? I wear hoodies and sweatpants and stuff like that in almost all of my online ads. That way, when I actually go somewhere and I do stuff with people, they're not surprised if I look like a bum. They're getting exactly what they expect. However, if I set this expectation that I'm all prim and proper, and they catch me on an off day, they'll be disappointed. [03:58.6]

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the Joe guy. Joe put these testimonials on his Facebook ad, because people were skeptical and they were asking questions, and Joe figured that having the testimonials would make a difference, and to be fair, testimonials can help. That's one of the first things you learn when you begin to study marketing. You learn that testimonials are good for reducing skepticism and building proof, because people see other people in their situations and they get results, and they say, “If this person got results, then I should probably get results, too.”
What's interesting is, in some of my personal split tests, testimonials actually hurt conversions. I used to have a version of my Inner Circle Newsletter page where the version with zero testimonials actually did a heck of a lot better than the one with testimonials, but that's a story for another time. The current page that I'm using has 30-something testimonials from financial advisors.
People started commenting on Joe's post or his ad and they started saying things like this. “Fake. These testimonials can easily be purchased online.” “Oh, sure, the guy who made the videos is the one uploading testimonials. Real believable,” or “Stop trying to swindle people out of their hard-earned money. These videos won't do it.” [05:10.7]

I was cracking up reading these comments because they highlighted an important truth. You cannot please everyone. People were asking for testimonials. Joe gave them testimonials and they still complained. People went from complaining about him not having any proof to complaining that the proof was fake.
Complainers will always find a way to complain, no matter what you do. They could complain about you not having any availability on your calendar. Then when you do have availability, they'll complain that your meetings are too long. It's just what they do. You wouldn't expect a dog to meow or a cat to bark, so you shouldn't expect a complainer to do anything but complain.
People will also find a reason to dislike you. If they're really set on it, they will find a reason. They might choose to dislike the way you look, the way you talk, or something else entirely. I can tell you right now, there are people in the financial advice industry who hate my guts, and I tell them, “Take a number, bro. Get in line.” [06:09.1]

People hate that I share how much I love God. They hate that I love myself and that I love my family. They hate that I’ve achieved at least a little bit of success by being myself. They can't stand that. They can't stand seeing somebody be successful just being themselves, and truthfully, that's one of the biggest lessons I think people need to learn. Many people have this misconception that everyone will celebrate your success and cheer you on. That is not the case. Lots of people might say they're rooting for you in the beginning, but sometimes the worst thing you can do for people who say they're rooting for you to win is to actually win. Then they start to hate. They may not like that you're winning.
Let me tell you who is most likely to hate on you for winning. Are you ready for this? Sit down if you're standing. It's going to be some important information. It's people like you, the people with similar backgrounds to yours. People who grew up in the same area. People with single parents, if you had a single parent. People with learning disabilities, if you had a learning disability. Do you know why? Because if you succeed, then you shine a light on them and it begs the question, why haven't they succeeded yet? [07:13.5]

I got a lot of hate when I first started the Advisor Coach and my coaching, the part of the business that was coaching started taking off, because I was super young, and there were lots of people who would say, “Oh, how could this person who looks like he's not even out of high school be so successful in his coaching, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years?” and so on and so forth. People were just super hateful in some instances, and the reason I bring that up is because they were envious of the success that I had that they were not able to achieve for 15 years or 20 years or 10 years, or whatever it is, right? So, you just have to keep on trucking and realize that that is going to happen.
Another reason why you shouldn't try to please everyone is because some personalities simply don't mix well together. You might be okay putting a lion in a water buffalo in the same room together, but I'd advise against it. It might be okay, but I would not do it. Life is too short to spend it with people you just naturally don't get along with. [08:07.3]

I'll give you an example. I personally don't do well when working with neurotic people. If you take the Big 5 OCEAN personality test—that's what it's called. O-C-E-A-N, the OCEAN personality test—and you rank high in neuroticism, there's a good chance that you and I won't jive together. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. But they're rare. I'm okay with some neuroticism, because it's a spectrum, but I think being neurotic, it can be a wonderful trait to have sometimes, but if you max it out, then that's tough for me to work with. [08:38.6]

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.

One of the biggest reasons why it's hard for me to help neurotic financial advisors is because of their emotional sensitivity. It makes them defensive. This means they resist feedback. They resist suggestions for improvement. They get apprehensive when faced with constructive criticisms, and they can take it personally, and that's bad for someone like me who literally does that for a living. [09:22.6]

I help financial advisors improve their marketing and their businesses, and even when they accept advice, they might struggle to implement it because they have a predisposition to worry and to overthink decisions. If I say, “It's okay, I'm not insulting you personally. I'm just giving you some constructive criticism,” even when they can accept that, it's hard for them to implement the actual changes. It's not that they're bad people. It's just that it's really hard for me to help them, so if they don't like me, then just practically speaking, it doesn't matter.
Now, would I prefer that they like me? Absolutely. I want to be liked by everyone. I want to be nice to everyone and all that, but I’m talking as a business person here. Does it impact my bottom line if the people I can't help also don't like me? No, it doesn't. [10:08.7]

Another example for my business is people with S personalities. I am personally an INTJ from the Myers-Briggs, which is introverted, intuition or intuitive, thinking, and judging. In case you're curious, I googled the most successful Myers-Briggs personality type and found the individuals with the ENTJ type, so I'm an INTJ so people with the ENTJ type tend to earn the most money on average. All I have to do, I guess, is become more extroverted and then I can have the most successful personality type.
I’ve discovered that I don't work best with people who are really high S’s, so the second letter of the Myers-Briggs is either “S” for sensing or “N” for intuition, and it's all about how you process information. Someone who is strong in sensing, lives in like the now, living in the moment, and doesn't think too much about the deeper meaning behind things and doesn't think about the future. People who are intuitive, like me, will look for that deeper meaning and they'll think about the future all the time. Since I'm a hardcore strategy guy, I also rank really high in N and not S. [11:16.2]

Ns are imaginative. They are future-focused. Just like I said, that's me. I'm always thinking about how to get better and how I can make tomorrow better than today. I'm not saying that I can't work with people who are S’s, because I have a ton of S's who do great work, but I'm saying it's difficult for me to work with someone who is a really high S, because this stuff exists on a spectrum. I am just more N than S. I still have S in me, but if you're maxed out on the S part of that, you’d probably never think about the future, and if that's the case, then I would wonder why you're a financial advisor, because that's a huge part of helping your clients, getting them to think about the future. If you can't do that for yourself, then it's going to be really hard for you to do it for other people. [12:01.8]

Sensing people, I said this, too, they tend to live in the now. They tend to live in the moment. They struggle to think ahead and they really want instant gratification. They usually are not willing to sit down and plan out their futures. They don't set New Year’s resolutions, they don't really set goals, because they just want to live in the moment. It doesn't mean that they're bad people either. It just means that they're poor fits for me. People who are high Ns, on the other hand, are fantastic fits for me. My point with all of this is to explain to you that even if a high S person really disliked me, it wouldn't matter from a business perspective, because we weren't good fits for each other anyway.
Another point I'd like to make is some people are just, honestly, terrible people. There's really no other way to put it. I want you to imagine the meanest, most sadistic, horrible person you can think of. Now imagine that person doesn't like you. Would you really care? Of course, you wouldn't, but you probably wouldn't like that person either. [13:06.7]

Now, just to be clear, I think you should still love that person. You should still love all people, in the sense that you respect them as human beings and you value their individuality and their lives, but you can love people while disliking them. I know that's going to go over some people's heads, but whatever.
One more reason why it's okay if people dislike you. Did you know that 1.2% of American men are psychopaths? That number comes directly from the American Psychological Association. Psychopathy is an actual trait. It can be identified. It can be measured. Psychopaths, they lack empathy. They're self-serving. They have a grandiose sense of self-worth. They can be pathological liars, and they're highly manipulative.
You probably don't want these people involved in your business, but I guarantee you, you want them in society, because you definitely want psychopaths working in the U.S. military to protect the country. You want them to do intelligence work. They can infiltrate groups like a surgeon and take them down. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round, but you probably wouldn't want to be friends with them. If they disliked you, again, it wouldn't matter. [14:12.7]

The final thing I want to explain to you is that while I'm a big fan of attraction marketing, I'm an even bigger fan of repulsion marketing. I've found if you can repel the wrong types of people, then the right types of people become even more attracted to you. There are several reasons why this works so well. This could be a podcast episode by itself and I'm just going to run through five quick reasons why this is super effective.
First, your targeting becomes clearer. By being explicit about who your services are for, you automatically make your offering more appealing to the right clients and that is awesome.
Second, when you work with clients who align with your values and your approach, the relationship is generally more harmonious and productive. There are certain things I believe in and I'm not going to get super political on this podcast. I made a promise to myself that I would never really get bogged down in the political stuff, because, honestly, I really don't like a lot of the stuff that Republicans are doing, I really don't like a lot of stuff that the Democrats are doing. I don't really fit in either way, and I can find flaws and I can find great things in both parties. [15:12.6]

But if you are super conservative or super liberal and you try to work with someone who is not, you're going to have a really bad time, and you might as well just set that expectation in the beginning. Life is too short to just grind your head against the wall every single day.
Third, a brand that's not afraid to say, “We're not for everyone,” is often perceived as more authentic and trustworthy. This, honestly, is amazing in marketing and it's refreshing in an industry where financial advisors try to be all things to all people because they try to get everybody to like them. Saying you're not for everyone shows confidence. It shows confidence in yourself, confidence in your business, confidence in your services, and your understanding of your target market, and that does wonders for marketing. [15:55.7]

Fourth, by repelling the wrong type of clients, you save time and you save resources, because that time and those resources would have been spent on unproductive or unprofitable engagements and meetings and client time. Your marketing becomes more efficient as you're not spending effort on leads that don't convert into your ideal client base, and that is huge. That's one of the biggest secrets that I’ve used to make my Inner Circle members successful.
Fifth, finally, repulsion marketing is also about setting the right expectations. It's about being upfront about what you can and cannot do, what you want and do not want, and you align your client expectations with your service delivery. This reduces misunderstandings. It reduces potential client dissatisfaction down the line. It just makes everyone happier. It is a massive win-win.
That's all I have for this week's episode. I hope this has made you feel a little bit better about not trying to please everyone, because it's not even possible. Just be yourself. Keep doing great work. And I’ll catch you next week. [16:58.0]

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