Latest Posts

I’ll let you in on a secret……

We find ourselves more interesting than anyone else.

 

Talking only about yourself is a one-way ticket to boring your prospects. But you’ll see Financial Advisors being guilty of this all the time.

 

So, why is it that when Financial Advisors talk to a potential client for the first time, they talk about themselves for much longer than they should?

 

It boggles my mind that’s how they think they’ll win over the business of their ideal clients. They don’t let the prospect say a word.

 

Think about your best clients. The ones that make you the most money and give you the most satisfying feeling.

 

You might recall meeting them in a situation like the ones you see below.

 

It wasn’t a planned meeting; it was spontaneous. How do we make the most of those situations?

 

If you meet someone who would make a perfect client, you need to ask the right questions.

 

Please don’t ask them tedious and superficial, ‘Hey how’s the weather?’ Type of questions. You’re going to put them to sleep. You’re a Financial Advisor, not a sleep doctor.

 

Your questions should get them talking about something that’s meaningful to them. One question you can ask is, ‘Tell me something good that’s happening in your world today?”

 

Nothing puts a smile on a face faster than being able to talk about something that matters.

 

Guess what? No one wants to talk money and assets with a person they just met. But they’d love advice from a person they like (and they trust).

 

If you want clients to more quickly trust you, hire you, move all their money to you, implement the advice from your planning process, and introduce you to everyone they know… you need to have strong communication skills. Join me on my November 8 LIVE web training at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET to find out how to do this.

 

Click the link here to reserve your seat NOW => https://youradvisorroadmap.lpages.co/communication-11-08-18/

Why Financial Advice Alone Won’t Cut It

Are you sending your clients and prospective clients financial porn?

In other words, are you emailing them financial advice information? If you are, I won’t judge you.

But while your intentions are good, the fact is, your clients are paying you to handle their financial future—they don’t want to spend their valuable time learning something you should be handling for them.

After all, that is your job, right?

However, there is something you CAN send them that’ll instantly warm their hearts and help you earn their trust: a Values-Based Quality of Life™ Newsletter.

Simply put, this newsletter will provide your clients with quality advice they can instantly implement in every aspect of their lives, including advice on:

  • Physical Health.
  • Inner Health.
  • Career Health.
  • Relationship Health.

We hear time and again from our Committed Advisors how beneficial this newsletter has been in building rapport and strong relationships with their clients.

In fact, many have credited the Values-Based Quality of Life™ Newsletter as the single factor to acquiring (and retaining) higher-paying clients. If you’re one of the hundreds of Advisors that have completed the Referral Process training course within AdvisorRoadmap™, you know just how important this Newsletter is to the Referral Process, and how sending this Newsletter to your clients, prospects, and referrals will set you apart from all other advisors.

Click here to learn more and to see if the Values-Based Quality of Life™ Newsletter is right for YOUR business.

“This is a really good newsletter, it’s well done. I didn’t throw it in the trash like I do with 99% of what comes in here.”          – Client of Scott P.

Communication Skills: The Key to Getting More and Better Clients

Could your communication skills save your life? According to my colleague in the Speakers Roundtable, Capt. Charlie Plumb, the answer is YES!

He survived 6 ½ years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp – the Hanoi Hilton. The same luxury accommodations as John McKain, only Charlie was there longer. Here’s what he has to say about communication, “I had been through the survival schools in the military and been told repeatedly, that if I were a prisoner of war to, ‘maintain contact with my fellow POW’s!’  I thought this was very logical. How else could we pass along the escape plans?  Much to my surprise, the ‘life saving’ value of communication in the camps wasn’t the information we were passing around, but the simple VALIDATION of another human being! After months of solitary confinement in a very dark cell a person loses track of ones very existence. There is no sounding board … no feedback … nothing to prove that you are real. The simple tapping on a wall (shave-and-a-haircut?) and the response (six-bits) proves your existence.  Someone is responding to you! The point for a Financial Advisor: It’s not the ‘data’ that’s the important part of the communication process.  It’s the simple validation of an individual and their pain.”

Do not underestimate the power of human connection. Communication is how human beings connect. Check out the rest of Charlie Plumb’s inspiring story at www.charlieplumb.com. And be prepared to stop whining. If he can survive 6 ½ years as a POW you can certainly survive a recession. The quality of your communication skills will help.

You may never rely on your communication skills to save your life, but they are the key to whether or not prospects and clients trust you, whether or not they move all of their money and financial affairs to you, whether or not they follow your advice, whether or not they stick with you during challenging times, and whether or not they refer you and introduce you to others.

Yes, communication skills are vital for financial advisors. What you say, how you say it, and when you say it can make all the difference in the world to your success, failure, or mediocrity.

Keep reading to discover some immediately implementable and results-producing ideas. And I will go beyond that and also introduce you to some of the best and brightest communicators I know and their relevant ideas. You’ll get some of their “nuggets” and I’ll refer you to their books and websites so you can explore further those things which resonate with you.

Bert Decker, author of the excellent book You’ve Got to be Believed to be Heard and the creator of the Decker Communications class, www.decker.com, says, “the quality of your communication determines the quality of your life.”

Patricia Fripp, one of the most precise and effective communicators in the world, quotes one of her mentors, David Palmer, as saying, “specificity leads to credibility.” I admire Patricia for her relentless pursuit of accurate, articulate, and specific communication. How specific is your communication? How often do you use substitute words like “stuff” for the actual word that accurately describes what you meant to say? How often to you say things like “kinda” or “sorta” or other ambiguous words that make you sound like you really don’t know what you are talking about? How much more compelling could you make your communications by being more precise with your words? Go to www.fripp.com to download excellent articles about being a better, more precise communicator.

The fundamentals of excellent communication are to know the right questions to ask and when to ask them, to listen with empathy, and when it’s your turn to talk to articulate your ideas and your advice with conviction, in a way that’s all about them, so your clients and your prospective clients respond positively and take appropriate action. Review your notes, script, and processes for your initial client interview with prospects and all client meetings and consider how well you do these 3 things. What questions do you ask? In what sequence do you ask your questions? Are you truly listening with empathy or are formulating in your head what you are going to say when it’s your turn to talk again? How do you respond to prospect or client questions or comments and then come back to ask your next planned question? What is the objective for them? How can you make the experience valuable whether they hire you or not? Do you know what to say when the appropriate thing to do is to “politely disengage” and not offer to be hired?

Having a script or talking points is not so much about memorizing the words and sounding like a robot. You have a script and / or talking points so you show prepared to create a good experience for them and a positive result for you and them. This is not a sales technique. Sometimes a positive result is deciding not to work together. The objective of good communication is to determine fit, not close the sale.

If you have been in one of my speaking engagements or attended our Academy you have heard me say, “You build trust by listening to their story, not by telling yours.” Patricia Fripp says, “Salespeople often talk too much about themselves and their service or product. They make a speech rather than having an exchange or interaction, otherwise known as conversation.” What makes it a better conversation for them is when you ask questions and they do most of the talking. And not superficial chit-chat about how long they’ve lived in the neighborhood, the weather, or their favorite sports team. Your questions should evoke a meaningful emotional response. Giovanni Livera puts it this way, ““When you connect people to their heart, you connect them to you.” www.giovannieexperiences.com

Great communicators are truth-tellers. This doesn’t mean that you are mean and completely tactless saying things like, “Wow! That’s an ugly baby.” As Dianna Booher, the author of Voices of Authority and Communicate with Confidence puts it, “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth should not be 3 separate things.” www.booher.com In other words, the truth should be plenty compelling to inspire your prospects and clients to action without having to resort to spin, hype, exaggeration, or embellishment to make your point about why a prospect should hire you or a client should take action based on your advice.

The most successful communicators record their meetings with their prospects and clients and listen to them so they discover the truth about their communication effectiveness and make improvements based on this truth. Recording allows you to accomplish two great results.

1. You hear things on the recordings that help you do a better job for your clients.

2. Listening to yourself makes you a better communicator in future conversations.

Prospects and clients love it when financial advisors record the meetings. Why? Because your actions demonstrate that you truly care enough to get it right. Here’s how you introduce the recorder in a way that enhances your credibility and makes it all about them, “I appreciate the investment of time and effort you made to be here today. You’ll notice that I’ll ask many relevant questions, take copious notes, and I also record the meeting. The reason for that is because I’m very thorough. If we choose to work together, I’ll listen to this recording at least one more time. Do you know how you can watch a movie a second or third time and see things you missed the first time?” (Nice long pause for them to respond.) “Well giving you advice about your money so you can achieve your goals is obviously much more important than a movie, so we want to make sure our advice is right for you.” And then you ask your first question. Olympus and Sony both make excellent hand-held digital recorders.

Don’t be surprised when they nod and smile because they are impressed with your thoroughness and professionalism. Only the most obnoxious and / or paranoid people would refuse to let you record. And when would you like to know you are meeting with obnoxious and / or paranoid people? The sooner the better, right?

Having taught the idea of recording prospect and client meetings for more than two decades, I have heard about a couple of firms who forbid recording client meetings. If you work for a company with a policy against recording your conversations and meetings with your prospects and clients, you should quit and find a new firm. These companies clearly do not truly care about supporting you to serve your clients at the highest level and are not dedicated to your success, nor are they client-centered. Could you imagine a professional sports franchise forbidding the players from video recording their games and viewing them to improve to serve their clients (the fans) better? Absurd.

Great communication skills may not save your life, but they can certainly make you much more successful and happier.

Check out www.youradvisorroadmap.com to help you elevate your client value and accelerate the growth of your business.   

How to Measure the High-Trust Client Relationships

The evidence of brilliant client interviews is the existence of high-trust client relationships. Ask most financial professionals if they have good client relationships and they say, “yes, of course.” Ask them how they define a good client relationship and it gets a little fuzzy. Sometimes we describe our client relationships more by how they feel than by tangible evidence. “We have rapport.” “I like them and they like me.” “We have been doing business for many years so we must have a good relationship.” “They own three products I recommended.” Much like a good golf shot is more effectively measured by where the ball lands than by how the shot feels, great client relationships are better judged by proof than by feelings. If you have ever hit a golf shot that felt really good, but the ball didn’t go where you wanted it to go then you know what I mean.

For the discriminating financial professional with high standards I offer the following five criteria for measuring great client relationships.

1. You know where all the money is.  If you are still discovering assets months or even years into the client relationship the client is sending you a message. Are you listening? I am amazed by the number of financial professionals who do not believe that prospects will tell them where all their money is in the first interview. Especially because I know many financial professionals who consistently get clients to bring all their documents and fully disclose where all their assets are in the first interview. If they won’t tell you where all the money is in the first meeting when will they tell you? That’s right, when they trust you. So if you don’t believe people will tell you where all their assets are in the first interview then what you are really saying is that you don’t know how to deliberately earn their trust. (Because if you had a strategy for deliberately earning their trust you would do that first thing in the first meeting, wouldn’t you?)

2. The client does what you advise them to do with little, if any, convincing, persuading, or selling. This is not because they are ignorant or irresponsible, but because they trust you. The old-school lessons we learned in sales training led us to believe that we had to make clever features and benefits presentations, be a master objection-handler, and a smooth closer. But have you noticed that when you are trusted you don’t need anything you learned in sales training? The harder you have to sell the more you know that this person doesn’t trust you enough to follow your advice. Your great clients follow your advice without selling.

3. Referrals. A good way to measure what your clients think of you is by how many of their family, friends, and colleagues they introduce you to. You can make all the excuses in the world, but the truth is that if your clients really trust you and are impressed with your work they will give you referrals, frequently unsolicited and always when you ask for them. Clients who trust you and are impressed with your work will do all of your prospecting and marketing for you.

4. The client is more influenced by you than by all outside sources. Clients who question your advice (or lack of it) based on what they read in magazines and newspapers, see on TV, hear on the radio, or input they get from friends and relatives are sending you a message. Are you listening? Clients who believe you are their trusted advisor are not swayed by outside influences.

5. Bad market. High-trust client relationships are as strong in a bad market as a good one. Your high-trust client relationships don’t expect you to predict the market, interest rates, world economics, or all the other things you both know you have no control over. No client is happy when performance isn’t good, but your great clients don’t blame you. Your relationship is based on helping them make smart financial choices and being their coach to consistently execute the sound financial fundamentals that lead to financial success.

Yes it’s true: your best client relationships have told the whole truth about where all their money is, do what you tell them to do, do all your prospecting and marketing for you, are more influenced by you than anything else, and don’t let events you cannot control diminish your working relationship. They sincerely value your advice and their relationship with you. This is the proof of great client relationships. Yes these are high standards for measuring client relationships. Imagine what your life will be like when all your clients live up to them.

Check out the AdvisorRoadmap™ Virtual Training Platform that provides you with everything you need to know about Client Acquisition, Client Service, Leadership, and Time Management available 24/7 on your computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone for an extremely affordable price.  To discover more so you can build trust even more quickly and accelerate your results, go to: http://www.youradvisorroadmap.com/

Article written by Bill Bachrach

Grow Your Agency or Downline by Creating a Results-Oriented Culture and being an Effective Leader

Understandably, most businesses are focused on nurturing the relationships with their clients, but running a successful business is also dependent on effective management and leadership skills.  If your employees aren’t functioning to the best of their abilities, your business won’t be either.  So, ask yourself, are you an effective team leader?

 

Let’s look at how you might determine this or how you might get even better at being an effective leader.  You might want to develop a work culture in your organization that is geared towards achieving results rather than just putting in the time. Of course, this is easier said than done and you have to work hard to implement this approach and get your employees to follow.

 

Attending this high-content FREE web class you will discover how to:

  • Contribute More to Your Business through Effective Delegation
  • Model the Top 3 Traits of Successful Leaders
  • Be an Effective Leader
  • Earn the Respect of Your Team
  • Create a Results-Oriented Culture
  • Utilize Effective Communication That Produces Results

 

During this high-value web class Anne Bachrach will share lessons from coaching Advisors who make middle six-figure to seven-figure incomes.

 

Web Class Date: October 24, 2018
Time: 1:00pm ET / 12:00pm CT / 11:00am MT / 10:00am PT
Register Now at: https://us12.campaign-archive.com/?u=7867b046943bbb698de9ec630&id=d0e2243c2a

Anne is looking forward to having you on the Insurance WebX Insider web class with her.

Can’t attend? Don’t worry. Register and you will receive a link to the replay.

 

 

“Attract Trust: Build a community of right-fit clients by behaving in a way that earns trust.”

Trust is not the objective in an advisor-client relationship. Rather, trust is a byproduct of the other things you do, such as your behavior, your communication, and the quality of your work.

If gaining your clients’ trust is your objective, then the focus is in the wrong place: you. When your goal is to establish trust, it might be to further your agenda: “I have to get them to trust me so they hire me, so they give me assets, so they buy my product or idea” and so on.

Consider this point of view instead: “I am going to show up relaxed, be authentic and professional, create a great client meeting experience, ask great questions, listen with empathy, be well-organized, respect their time by not bragging about myself or my company or over-explaining financial concepts and ideas, and be selective about letting only right-fit people join my community of ideal clients. If, in the process of behaving this way, they trust me and hire me, fine. If not, that’s OK, too.”

You may be concerned that relaxing or abandoning a more intense sales focus will diminish your results. Actually, the contrary is true. Which is more likely to attract successful people as clients: the relaxed trusted advisor or the intense salesperson? Relaxed doesn’t mean lacking in passion for helping people make smart choices about their money. It means that you don’t show up with what we used to call “commission breath.”

Below are nine time-tested ideas for behaving in ways that create the byproduct of trust.

  1. Look for right-fit people to join your client community versus going after anyone with money. Create an ideal client profile where personality is equally important to money for them to earn an invitation to join your client community. Notice the difference in how it feels to think of inviting people to do business with you versus thinking only of closing the deal.
  2. Ask good questions about your clients’ values and goals: What’s important about money to you? What are your tangible goals that require money and planning to achieve? How much do you want to have for that goal? By when? What are two or three words that describe what you are thinking and feeling once you have achieved that goal? Does the idea of having a comprehensive financial plan that gives you a higher probability of achieving your goals and fulfilling your what is truly important to you in life (your core values) appeal to you? Would you like to join our client community and have us do this work for you?
  3. Listen with empathy. The tendency, especially during an initial client interview, is to think about what you are going to say next while they are answering your question. When you do this, you don’t really hear what they said. It’s difficult to be empathetic to things you weren’t mentally present to hear. The solution is to have your questions memorized so you don’t have to think about what you are going to ask next, thus allowing you to be fully present and a much more empathic listener.

  1. Record your client meetings, especially the initial client interview. You may have seen one of my previous articles in a magazine before about recording client meetings.  To save you the trouble of searching back issues here’s a script for introducing the recorder.  “I appreciate the investment of time and effort you made to be here today. The fact that you have done so tells me that you must be serious about your money – is that true? (Pause for answer.) You’ll notice that I’ll ask many relevant questions, take copious notes, and I also record the meeting. (Refer to the recorder and pause.) The reason I record is because I’m very thorough. (Pause.) Do you know how you can watch a movie a second or third time and see things you missed the first time?” (Long pause for response.) “Well giving you advice about your money so you can achieve your goals is obviously much more important than a movie, so I want to make sure our advice is right for you. If we choose to work together, I’ll listen to this recording at least one more time to make sure to get it right.” (pause)  Ask your first question.
  2. Give advice with conviction. Salespeople tend to offer alternatives and let the prospect or client choose. Trusted Advisors gather all the information they need, consult with other experts where appropriate, and – with conviction – give the best advice for the client. There may be more than one way to achieve a goal, but there is only one best Find the best way and give advice with conviction.

  1. Tell the truth, even if doing so jeopardizes the relationship. Serious and successful people don’t want to pay good money for a rubber-stamp, “yes-person” telling them only what they want to hear. It’s your job to tell the truth, especially when it’s what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.
  2. Be inspiring. Focus on helping clients and prospective clients create a compelling vision for their future and become their bridge to make it happen. Being a future vision creator is much more trust-building than being a problem-solver.
  3. Be a comprehensive financial professional. It’s interesting that most financial advisors claim to be comprehensive, which implies “everything.” Do you really help your clients take care of everything related to their money?
  4. Put the client first. It sounds almost silly; yet, there is a lot of discussion and controversy by regulators and industry leaders about the fiduciary standard. It’s simple. In all situations, under all circumstances, put your client’s needs ahead of your own. Isn’t that what you already do? The good news is that your competition needs somebody else to define integrity for them.

Keep in mind that these are not tactics to build trust. They are powerful behaviors of financial professionals who are very good at what they do and who genuinely care about helping people get their entire financial house in order, achieve their goals and fulfill what is truly important to them in life (their core values). By behaving at this very high level of professionalism, your clients’ trust is the byproduct of that behavior.

Join Bill Bachrach on October 9 at 11:00am Pacific / 2:00pm Eastern for a FREE LIVE TRAINING, Client Acquisition Mastery in the World of Digital Advisors and Disruptive Technology. Register NOW by going to https://youradvisorroadmap.lpages.co/clientacquisition-10-09-18/

 

Check out the AdvisorRoadmap™ Virtual Training Platform that provides you with everything you need to know about Client Acquisition, Client Service, Leadership, and Time Management available 24/7 on your computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone for an extremely affordable price.  To discover more so you can build trust even more quickly and accelerate your results, go to: http://www.youradvisorroadmap.com/

Do you want to work less and make MORE?

If the answer is YES or DUH…, then let Bill show you how you can do it!

Chances are very high that your current approach to client acquisition practically guarantees that you will work too many hours, for too little money, and for too many of the wrong clients.

Ironically, most Advisors want exactly the opposite: more money, less hours, and more of the right clients.

  1. More Money.
  2. Fewer Hours at the Office.
  3. Fewer Clients (but HIGH DOLLAR clients)

Bill Bachrach will share case studies, stories, and examples of what the best Advisors do well and what most Advisors are doing wrong.

In order to work fewer hours, acquire the RIGHT clients, and make more money, join us LIVE for this training session on October 9 by clicking this link. https://youradvisorroadmap.lpages.co/clientacquisition-10-09-18/.

Join Bill on this powerful training session to help you accelerate your results, so you can stop working too many hours, for too little money, and with too many of the “wrong” clients.

Income seldom exceeds personal development.―Jim Rohn

When you attend the LIVE training, you will have access to a special and valuable BONUS you only get when you show up for the LIVE webcast. We know how busy you are and how easy it is to register and then get distracted by something else when the time for the online training rolls around, so here’s an incentive for you to carve this event into your schedule in stone.

The bonus training video includes the 5 key habits of top Advisors who build businesses with 50 or fewer clients who each pay them $36,000 per year, or more. Whether you want to build a business exactly like this or not, these 5 key habits will help you build a stronger, better, and smarter business.

Show up for the Master Client Acquisition web training and Claim Your Bonus Training Video.

 

Would you like to know how to get the clients you REALLY want?

Do you have a process for attracting the type of clients you REALLY want to be working with?

If YES, could that process be even better, so you more quickly get even better results?

If NO, you need one!  Otherwise, you’ll get caught up in the cycle of working too many hours, for too little money, and serving too many of the wrong clients!

Join Bill Bachrach on October 9 at 11:00am Pacific / 2:00pm Eastern for a FREE LIVE TRAINING, Client Acquisition Mastery in the World of Digital Advisors and Disruptive Technology.

Don’t Miss Out and Claim Your Spot for The Free Training Now!

The industry is changing to become totally transparent, let me be totally transparent with you right now.

Most Advisors say they work too many hours, for too little money, and with too many of the wrong clients.

More importantly, this problem will NOT fix itself.

In a survey we recently conducted,

  • 93% of Advisors say they need or want to make more money,
  • 83% say they want to work fewer hours per week and take more REAL vacation every year, and
  • 98% say they would like to have a smaller total number of clients who each pay them more.

If this is you, claim your spot for our FREE Training on October 9 at 11am Pacific Time / 2pm Eastern Time!

If you have a sincere desire to work less, get paid more, and work with the ‘right’ clients, you want to attend this free training.

In addition to getting the most clear and concise definition of “client acquisition” you’ve ever heard, Bill will answer the following questions:

  1. Who should be your target client and why?
  2. Why is it easy to “steal” (rescue, as we like to call it) the best clients from established advisors?
  3. What’s the BIG mistake that most advisors make and what to do about it?
  4. What are the keys to successful Client Acquisition, like where to find higher-net-worth prospects and convert them to clients.

Bill also shares case studies, stories, and examples of what the best advisors do well and what most advisors are doing wrong.

In order for you to work fewer hours, acquire the RIGHT clients, and make more money so you can improve your qualify of life, join Bill Bachrach “LIVE” for this training session.

Claim Your Spot for The Free Training Now!

Join us for  this powerful training session to help you accelerate your results.

 

Would you like to know how to get the clients you REALLY want?

Do you have a process for attracting the type of clients you REALLY want to be working with?

If YES, could that process be even better so you more quickly get even better results?

If NO, you need one!  Otherwise, you’ll get caught up in the cycle of working too many hours, for too little money, and serving too many of the wrong clients!

Join Bill Bachrach on September 11 at 11:00am Pacific / 2:00pm Eastern for a FREE LIVE TRAINING, Client Acquisition Mastery in the World of Digital Advisors and Disruptive Technology.

Don’t Miss Out and Claim Your Spot for The Free Training Now!

The industry is changing to become totally transparent, let me be totally transparent with you right now.

Most Advisors say they work too many hours, for too little money, and with too many of the wrong clients.

More importantly, this problem will NOT fix itself.

In a survey we recently conducted,

  • 93% of advisors say they need or want to make more money,
  • 83% say they want to work fewer hours per week and take more REAL vacation every year, and
  • 98% say they would like to have a smaller total number of clients who each pay them more.

If this is you, claim your spot for our FREE Training on September 11 at 11am Pacific Time / 2pm Eastern Time!

If you have a sincere desire to work less, get paid more, and work with the ‘right’ clients, you want to attend this free training.

In addition to getting the most clear and concise definition of “client acquisition” you’ve ever heard, Bill will answer the following questions:

  1. Who should be your target client and why?
  2. Why is it easy to “steal” (rescue, as we like to call it) the best clients from established advisors?
  3. What’s the BIG mistake that most advisors make and what to do about it?
  4. What are the keys to successful Client Acquisition, like where to find higher-net-worth prospects and convert them to clients.

Bill also shares case studies, stories, and examples of what the best advisors do well and what most advisors are doing wrong.

In order for you to work fewer hours, acquire the RIGHT clients, and make more money so you can improve your qualify of life, join Bill Bachrach “LIVE” for this training session.

Claim Your Spot for The Free Training Now!

Bill is looking forward to having you join him on this powerful training session to help you accelerate your results.

 

 

Alternative Advice

According to Investopedia, an alternative asset is any non-traditional asset with potential economic value that would not be found in a standard investment portfolio.

 

This column uses alternative investing as a springboard to explore how alternative client conversations and advice can help distinguish your client value promise from your competitors to increase client loyalty and grow your business. What is alternative advice? Alternative Advice is advice outside of what is considered to be the traditional domain of financial planning or wealth management: tax, money management, estate planning, and insurance.

 

You will discover 3 aspects of alternative advice: Financial Organization, Identity Theft, and Health.

 

When is it appropriate to give your clients “alternative” advice? Any time it would be valuable or helpful for them.

 

Financial organization is the process where you get ALL of your financial documents and data organized and simplified. What would your life be like if all of your account numbers, user IDs, passwords, and security questions for every bank account, credit card, insurance policy, investment account, reward program, passport, driver’s license, computer, tablet, phone, and cell service…virtually everything with a statement and online access…was completely and fully up-to-date and organized? If something happens to you, how easy will it be for your spouse or children to open your computer and find all the docs and access details necessary to keep your life working or transition your financial affairs in the worst-case-scenario? Obviously, getting this done even with a power of attorney would be a nightmare. Where is the password for your computer and the code to open your tablet and mobile phone? Who knows that besides you? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be this financially organized? If financial professionals aren’t this organized, imagine the state of the general population. Even the most financially successful people who pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for financial advice are not very financially organized.

 

On a scale of 1 – 10, one being a total disaster and ten being a perfect example for the world to follow, when it comes to being financially organized, most of the financially successful people I ask say they are at a level five or below. In fact, not a single person I’ve asked has said they are higher than seven. When asked if they would like to be a 10, they always enthusiastically say, “yes!” They often tell me that getting financially organized is a project they’ve been meaning to get to… for many years. Sadly, their financial planners, wealth managers, accountants or any other advisor has never mentioned it or offered to help.

 

This is the kind of alternative advice and help that elevates your client value and can move the needle on the trust dial in the right direction. Yes, you can charge for getting clients financially organized. And, yes, you can charge annually to “audit” their financial organization and bring everything current. Recurring revenue is not just for AUM. In a world where compensation for financial products and investment management continue to decline, perhaps the next generation of financial professional will be the financial organizer.

 

Our industry tends to focus an inordinate amount of energy on what can’t be controlled: the market, the economy, politics, and world events. Instead of wasting time having a client conversation about Trump’s latest tweet, have the alternative conversation about financial organization.

 

The financial organization conversation leads very naturally to the alternative client conversation about identify theft. Do you know anyone who has had their identity stolen? If you do, then you know what a nightmare it is. What do your clients do with all of those paper and digital statements? Where do they store them? Are they secure? How can you help? How valuable would it be for your client to have the maximum identity theft security?

 

Do all of your clients have a fireproof safe in their home? What’s supposed to go in that safe? How do you know if what’s supposed to be in the safe is actually in the safe? Where is the combination? Where are the back-up documents for everything that’s in the safe? What should be in a safe deposit box instead of the home safe? What documents can be held only electronically and the paper shredded and future paper statements discontinued? Where are their paper account statements? All too often, in an unlocked filing cabinet or desk drawer where the housekeeper, handyman, babysitter, or any other worker has easy access. What kind of shredder do they have and do they use it? I’ve been in a friend’s home office where a stack of sensitive documents is piled next to the shredder in plain sight. When I ask when they will be shredded, their “process” is to shred every week or so. In the meantime, that pile is identity theft nirvana. Are all shredders created equal? Nope. Do you know which shredders do the job and which delight identity thieves? Why not just give every client the best shredder with instructions for use? It’s not a gift like a bottle of wine, it’s a deliverable.

 

If a fire or other disaster is threatening their home and evacuation is necessary, what physical documents should be taken? That’s a trick question because the answer is NOTHING. All any family should have to worry about is themselves, their family members, their pets, and whatever personal memorabilia they can carry as they evacuate. Why? Because the few original physical documents are protected in the safe or safe deposit box and all digital documents are secure, encrypted, and backed up. Even if they can’t grab their laptop, they’re covered. Or should be, shouldn’t they?

 

For more information to help you help your clients, check out www.johnsileo.com.

 

What would happen to the quality of your client relationships if you had the alternative client conversation about identity theft and provided this service?

 

Many financially successful people feel that having money helps them maximize quality of life while they are healthy and provides the money to pay for things that improve their health that health insurance doesn’t cover.  It’s often said about money, “it’s better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it.”

 

Smart financial advisors work with clients in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. For the obvious reason that these are the people who have all the money and, therefore, the discretionary funds to pay for financial advice. As we age, we have to work harder to maintain health and fitness. Regular checkups and procedures become more frequent and more hours per week are required to stay fit. More if you’re battling a chronic disease like MS or diabetes or waging war on health challenge that’s trying to kill you.

 

Here’s a good question to get this alternative conversation started, “How hard are you fighting to maintain a high degree of physical health and fitness?” The older you get the more you understand the term “fighting.” Your clients easily engage and appreciate this conversation.

 

It’s not a deep dive, but you can use the following basic information to frame the alternative client conversation that their time and energy are better invested in maintaining a high level of health and fitness to enjoy their money, rather than wasting time and energy worrying about how things that can’t be controlled will affect their money. You take care of their money so they can focus on taking care of themselves. This is really good advice and it’s appropriate they hear it from their financial advisor.

 

The 5 basic areas are: Cardio. Strength. Flexibility. Balance. Nutrition.

 

  1. Cardio is mostly about heart health. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. For too many men, the first symptom they have heart disease is death.
  2. Strength is muscle mass and muscle mass begins declining after age 30 without a deliberate program to keep it. Why do you want to be strong?
  3. Flexibility or limberness refers to the range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in muscles that cross the joints to induce a bending movement or motion. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Being more flexible doesn’t happen by accident.
  4. It’s not the broken hip that kills people. It’s the hospital stay and the “recovery.” Best to avoid the fall that breaks the hip in the first place. Read this interesting piece in wikipedia about balance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_(ability)
  5. Nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing food. You are what you eat it. No truer words ever spoken.

 

Develop a relationship with the Executive Health program at the best hospital in your town and refer your clients. These programs are typically one or two-day extensive health exams. They have all the latest, greatest data and resources for improving cardio, strength, flexibility, balance, and nutrition. They are usually not covered by insurance, but cost a fraction of what your clients are probably paying you.

 

For your next client appreciation event, hire a health and fitness expert speaker instead of a money manager or economist. Your turnout will increase, as well as the feedback.

 

“My financial advisor beat the market.”

“My financial advisor helped me prepare for retirement.”

“Is that all? My financial advisor saved my life.”

 

Besides referrals and your greater sense of fulfillment, the longer your clients live the better for your business, right? For all the talk about generational wealth transfer, do you really want to work with the children of most of your clients? Have you met their kids? Do you like their kids? Do their kids meet your Ideal Client Profile. Very often the apple fell far from the tree. If they have 3 kids and the money is divided 3 ways, after taxes and after they pay off their debt and the grandkid’s debt, remodel the house, buy a new car, and take a vacation, how much of the original money remains? How much more work will you have to do for less money? If all 3 of the kids stay with you, now you have 3 families to serve. Every advisor I know has horror stories on this subject.

 

Alternative advice is good for your clients and good for you.

 

To discover more about how Bill and his team can help you be a more direct and candid communicator who helps clients make better decisions, check out the state-of-the-art AdvisorRoadmap™ Virtual Training at http://www.youradvisorroadmap.com/