Matthew's Mind

Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.

Before you meet a prospect for the first time, what communication do they get? A confirmation call? That’s great.

The best in the business have a genuine, 15 minute conversation days before. Then they UPS an impressive introduction kit – including their personal and professional bios, video spotlight disc, potentially a copy of their book and a handwritten note. After that, a warm confirmation call is made, referencing back to the personal information they shared in your first call.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

At the end of your first or second meeting, after a potential client becomes vulnerable and uncovers their need(s) to you, what happens next? Another confirmation call, huh? That’s great.

The best in the business send female clients home with a flower, male clients home with snacks. Then they record a personal thank you video email, speaking directly to the person about what they can expect from here and how hard their team is going to work. After that, another UPS package hits the mail including a handwritten note, personal story or powerful piece of information for the client to enjoy until you meet again. Finally another warm confirmation call is made, this time referencing personal information they’ve given you in the meetings before.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

When someone becomes a client, and moves a portion or all of their life savings into your care, what happens next? A “policy delivery meeting? Maybe even edible arrangements? That’s great.

The best in the business jump out of their chair with excitement! They call in their staff to welcome this person to their firm and everyone shows how thrilled they are with emails, letters and calls over the coming weeks. They’ve joined the family. In addition to that, a thoughtful welcome kit is mailed to the client, perhaps with a handpicked item from staff members and a story about why they’ve chosen that item to gift to new clients. The story hits home. Thirdly, constant communication is given to the new relationship while their money is in process, helping them be confident about their decision every step of the way. Lastly, when the policies are delivered and the plan is set, a “Client Service Agreement” is outlined, showing clients what they can expect and who to contact from here. In addition to that agreement, a list of future client events is covered with them, highlighting where they’ll receive more in-depth information on topics and when/where they can introduce other people to your firm.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

In all my years of coaching the most elite financial professionals in the country, I’ve never … not once … spoken with someone who’s built out their client processes like above and regretted it. Never once have I spoken with someone who’s said it’s a waste of time, bad use of capital or doesn’t produce a high return on investment, client goodwill and retention rate. But for some reason, most producers don’t think this way. Is it the hard work involved? Lack of focus? Lack of coaching or accountability? I’m not sure.

But my challenge to you is one of pride. You need to take pride in this. Your prospects and clients deserve it, your firm deserves it and everyone is better for it. Become so good at what you do that you’re Un-Ignorable. From there, results will speak for themselves.

 

Federal law, state law and/or insurance carrier requirements may prohibit or place limitations on marketing activities. All producers and investment advisors should be aware of any gifting limitations imposed by federal regulation, state regulation, insurance carriers, broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisers, as applicable. Investment advisors are strongly encouraged to obtain pre-approval from the broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Adviser with which they may be affiliated.

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“That looks great Don. I love the idea.”

“Absolutely Cathy, can’t believe we haven’t thought of that before.”

“Wow Robert, we’ll get started on that right away.”

“That’s a no brainer. I’ll have you look at this before we finalize everything Lori.”

You’re so incredibly smart, aren’t you? Come to think of it, it’s hard to remember the last time you put a thought out there and someone in “your circle” didn’t like it. You’re such a genius, why wouldn’t they move forward with your thoughts? Charge ahead, push to completion and keep coming back to you for more brilliance. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Or…

“Maybe Steve, but I’m not so sure. Here’s something you haven’t considered…”

“No way April, that’ll never work. Here’s why…”

“Instead of doing it that way, we’d crush it doing things this way Phil…”

“That idea’s dead before it starts Ann; time to start over.”

Instead of fostering a team of followers, programmed to “yes” through all your viewpoints, why not create a “RED TEAM”. People in “your circle”, varied by task, project or skill set, whose sole purpose is to tear your ideas apart. Pick everything to pieces, tell you why it won’t work and make you – and anyone else alongside you – strengthen your value and defend your position. An internal stress test team if you will.

Ready? Red Team Go!

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When I find someone diving too deep into spreadsheets, focused too hard on numbers, dollars, decimals, commas, graphs and percentages – a red flag goes up.

If we’ve known each other for a while and we’re tackling a specific problem, I get it. Spreadsheets are necessary.

But when someone’s too focused on figures, that can mean they’re struggling to find a reason to care about me; to care about the cause and the “why”.

Don’t let that be you.

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What your work space looks like says a lot about you…

  • Is everything designed and coordinated? Or haphazardly put together?
  • What pictures, awards, art (or lack thereof) do you have up? What do you value?
  • Will I find a lot of electronics or none? Drink and food stations or not? A single to-do list or thousands of stacked pages?

And most observations can be taken at face value. You created your space and dwell inside of it… 40, 50, 60, 70 hours a week! There’s no one to impress, no one to answer to. It’s authentically you.

So if I see a spotless, well designed, detail-thought-out work space; there’s a good chance your world operates in that mode. Conversely, if I see piles of dust, documents everywhere and no coordinated thought; chances are you live there mentally too. Cluttered desk, cluttered mind.

Give me 15 minutes in an office & I can tell a lot about someone – as a person and professional.

So what’s your work space say about you?

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I’m blessed to be surrounded by greatness. Elite financial professionals, visionary founders, the hardest working support team on the planet and extraordinary peers.

jonesToday I’d like to share insight given to me by Josh Jones. Josh’s official title is “Director of Consumer Marketing Innovation” at Advisors Excel. But what does that really mean? I’m not sure I even know.

But what I’m sure of, is Josh is genius. He’s a liaison at our firm between internal coaches like me, financial agent clients we serve and the ultimate end consumer (America’s retirees). With his unique vantage point, he’s able to speak into situations that others don’t have the perspective to see. So enjoy Josh’s challenging thoughts, then tell me – Are you an Indian or a Pilgrim?

Indians vs. Pilgrims

Indians (Native Americans) killed buffalo and harvested every single piece of meat for nutrients, every single bone as a tool, every inch of hide as cover. Pilgrims shot buffalo and took the back straps and ribs and moved on to kill the next buffalo.

At some point, you have to decide where you are on that continuum as a financial professional. (When you decide that, we have everything you need to make your next move.)

Pilgrims:

  • Hop on the seminar treadmill at $7K per pop and put 15 households in a room
  • Only pursue the seven who wanna meet with you
  • Close the two you can close with a hit-n-miss pitch and move to the next seminar
  • EXIST

Indians:

  • Do a seminar as one of three different marketing strategies
  • Put 15 households in a room
  • Close 13 because of your polished skill and the added credibility/visibility of your other marketing activities
  • Have an automated drip follow-up for the two who didn’t set appointments
  • Close 10 of the 13 prospects you bring in because of a tried-n-true, systematic sales process
  • Leverage a true, value-driven follow-up system in place for the other “three who got away”
  • Welcome the 10 you closed into the family with an unrivaled experience
  • Become systematized in every aspect of everything you do in your office
  • Immediately differentiate from all other producers in the universe by thoughtfully adoring clients in non-business ways
  • Proactively groom introductions/referrals by making it easy for clients to identify them and fun for clients to provide them
  • Position yourself to gather all assets over time through an ongoing/systematic meeting process & over-the-top value delivery
  • Strategically keep eyes open for all clientele in positions of influence and maximize those opportunities
  • Leverage every chance for lower cost, higher exposure marketing in front of increasingly higher net worth prospects
  • Continue forging key connections and fanning out media opportunities
  • Lay off the seminar throttle, spend time with your kids, reintroduce yourself to your spouse
  • Stop having to seek with every move you make and instead, become sought after
  • THRIVE

(JJ: “First to bark about the comparison being politically incorrect is a goober.”)

The use of these concepts is no guarantee of your future success. Your results may vary.
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You know this person, the Idiot Millionaire. They make more money than you, produce more sales, help more people, make a bigger impact. (They might make more money than anyone you know.) But they work half as hard, always seem to have more free time and they’re not half as intelligent as you. If you’re honest with yourself, deep down you’re jealous of their accomplishments and lifestyle.

But the most irritating part about the Idiot Millionaire is they’re where you should be, living the life you deserve! Is someone playing a joke on you? Where a less talented person rules your domain? All the while, people like you never realize their true greatness?

What’s the deal?!?

Simple. Easy. Straightforward.

The Idiot Millionaire, despite all their weaknesses, has one thing you occasionally lack: guts.

Yes, the Idiot Millionaire may in fact be an idiot. But your “smarts” are exactly what’s holding you back. Instead of “going for it,” you over-analyze every situation. Most times, it just doesn’t “feel right” and next thing you know, you’ve talked yourself out of moving. No momentum. No inertia. You’re thinking about your perfect dreams, while the Idiot Millionaire is creating it.

Time to change that. Crack back open that Big Book of Ideas and pick something … anything … to pursue with passion. Take the first step and set the wheels in motion, until you’re immersed in that project and destined for success. This is how all millionaires, all change makers, all people who create a bigger, longer-lasting ripple effect on others make it happen. None of them had any more talent than you; they just had the guts to “do it”. Idiot or not.

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A few weeks ago I applied to attend a networking and idea conference. I say “apply” because it was exactly that:

  • A long(ish) online application, including professional and personal accomplishments
  • Thoughts around why you were looking at their conference and
  • An upload section to include work you’re proud of

After I “passed” that first round, I was invited to a 30 minute personal phone interview with the group’s founder. During our time together we discussed things like:

  • What I’m passionate about right now
  • Success and struggles, along with
  • What gets me going every day

Overall it was a process I admire, a blend between “sales”, vetting & prospect pre-commitment. Plenty to steal from and implement in my own world.

Things must have gone well enough (from their perspective) since I was offered membership to their platform event in Los Angeles. Awesome! With that, it also opened doors into more intimate events, venture capital groups and philanthropy avenues. Needless to say, I’m excited.

That said, something else stuck out about this group even more. It’s what I walked away thinking about…

Registering myself for their event, I came to the payment screen. Getting ready to put credit card information in, I saw a button that read “Gender Differentiated Pricing”. Clicking it, this is what I saw:

Gender_Differentiated_Pricing

Talk about progressive! Talk about different! Talk about setting a tone for everyone walking into the group (women and men)!

So what can you do with this?

As a financial professional (female or male it doesn’t matter), could you steal this concept and place it into your firm somehow? Any place you could differentiate this way, as you move forward with female clients?

Or it doesn’t have to be gender inequality and the pay gap. Could you take on another issue you’re passionate about? And using that societal cause, dovetail it into a market separator you’ll speak and act towards, where others aren’t?

Because walking into this group’s event later in 2017, I’ll have a different mind frame. I know they think one level deeper, they don’t have issues taking action and they reflect current realities and passions in their platform, where others are slow to act.

And I respect that.

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“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”

Let me say it again…

“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”

I heard that from a former Special Operations officer talking about his training. He was taught to slow things down at the beginning. Learn efficiency, logical steps and making your process flow smooth. Once you’ve drilled something into being smooth, then you can speed it up.

“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”

The same can be said for facets of your business.

  • Think about your marketing plan layout each year. Step by step have you looked for efficient, logical steps and how initiatives should flow smoothly? Then multiplied your efforts?
    Or do you speed things up (spend more money) too soon, for the sake of going faster?
  • What about your sales process? Efficient, logical flow from meeting to meeting, including what should strategically happen each interaction and communication points along the way. It should be something you’re proud of, when viewed from your prospect’s point of view.
    Or do you go too fast (unclear process, undefined expectations, a process that’s too haphazard) for the sake of going faster?
  • Should we even talk about staffing and your incredible support team? I can’t count how many times I’ve visited with a producer’s staff and thought, “How on earth does this producer keep competent, engaged help in their office?” It’s scary. In building a team, building a real business, how much of that is efficient, logical and slowed down?
    How much of that has been sped up prematurely?

“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”

If it works for the most organized, disciplined, trained, and equipped defenders of our freedom; it might work for you.

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“A timid salesperson has very, very skinny children.”

You can feel it. Prospects can sense it.
There’s an aura in the room of uncertainty and question.

So do yourself a favor – and promise to never (as a salesperson) step into a conversation timidly.

Vulnerable? Sure. Candid? Absolutely. Timid? Never.

Instead, step out of that room/conversation and educate yourself. Then rehearse over and over until you find certainty! Step back in, adding conviction to your certainty – and your children will eat well forever.

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