As a fee based financial planner, should you work with everybody who wants to work with you? | FEE016 – Transcript



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Now in today’s episode I want to talk about a topic that if you haven’t run into this challenge then you’re definitely going to. If you follow a fee-based financial planning business model then you’re definitely going to run into this challenge. And the question that really-, that I’m asking is: Should you work with everybody who wants to work with you? On the surface it sounds kind of a ridiculous question. Why not? Why wouldn’t I want to work with everybody? Because what I offer is so valuable to everybody. And I get that. And I get the fact that the financial planning methodology and good comprehensive financial planning can benefit anybody. But should you, you as a financial planner, work with everybody?

Now I’m going to give you some advice today, because this is something that I have actually experienced in my career, and I think passing this information on would be definitely valuable. So I want people to benefit from my experience in this case.

So just because people want to work with you, doesn’t mean that you should work with them. Now obviously it’s up to you; you can decide to work with anybody who you want with. But I just want you to be aware of what you’re getting yourself into by accepting just anybody. This is one of the biggest challenges you’ll find as a fee-based financial planner. It’s also one of the most challenging parts of the business.

I want to break this down into a few stages. You see, here’s a typical life cycle of a fee-based financial planner and fee-based financial planning firm. So we’re going to start off with stage one. And stage is where it really comes back to getting the fee-based financial planning mindset. So everybody who becomes a fee-based financial planner, you need to change your mindset; you need to get away from this whole idea of product sales and move into more of an advisory mindset. So the mindset is critical to your success. It’s a mindset that promotes adding value to your client relationship in exchange for your fee. It forces you to build a practice based on your clients’ needs as opposed to your own needs. And that’s really the main difference when you think of a commission-based system versus a fee-based system. In the fee-based model, in the financial planning model, you’re basically saying listen, I’m going to build my practice around what my clients need, what they’re asking for, what they want, as opposed to what I need.

Obviously from a product sales standpoint, when you’re basically in the product sales business, you need to sell product. And so in order to get your revenue, you just simply have to sell. So everything is based around how do I sell more, how do I sell, sell, sell. Well, from a fee-based financial planning model it has nothing to do with selling, but it has everything to do with your client’s needs. So the question is: How can I support my clients? The mindset is all about full disclosure. You approach things just differently when you’re a fee-based financial planner. You approach things in more of a comprehensive way. Products are simply your tools that you use to implement. The value, however, that people are paying for is in your process. The essence of this mindset is this: you simply provide value first. Don’t expect anything in return until you’ve provide value. And once you’ve provided value, then you can expect something in return. But it all starts with you providing value. So that’s the first step. We get to the point where you say, you know what, I do like the fee-based financial planning model, so I’m going to migrate myself over to that. It all starts with that mindset.

Now stage two, this is the fee-based financial planning business model. So this is where the rubber meets the road. What do you tell people when you are asked what it is that you do? When somebody says-, when you’re at a cocktail party, I mean this is one of the questions that I’ve always really resisted and hated, “Oh, what do you do?” Well, you know, in most cases what I say, if it’s just a conversation that I really don’t want to have at that point in time or I know that they’re really not interested and they’re just sort of kicking, you know, just sort of throwing a question out there just to fill up some air. Well, when they say “what do you do?” I usually just say I’m a financial planner. And I do this when I don’t really want to get into a long discussion with somebody.

Because it’s really-, you know, I get the fact that it’s just more of a social grace that people are asking that question. Maybe there’s some opportunities that I’m missing but generally when you do that you generally get pigeonholed into a category of well, you know, in their mind they hear you say I’m an investment guy. You may say I’m a financial planner, but they just really hear you’re in investments in some way, shape or form, so they can consider you an investment guy. And then they move on. And that’s fine, I mean you can always correct that later if you want to, if you ever have a-, you know, get a chance to have that conversation. But again, that’s sort of the off-the-cuff, when people really are just filling air with their comments.

But for people who you really want to know, and who really want to know what it is that you do, I usually say something like this. Well, I run a financial planning practice that specialises in working with business owners and retirees who are concerned about their ability to retire well. I use a trademark financial-, our trademark financial planning process, which we call the KAIZEN financial planning process, and we’re able to fully analyse and assess their ability to retire and provide detailed recommendations on how they can more efficiently structure their affairs so that they can put more money into their lifestyle today without sacrificing their ability to retire tomorrow.

So in other words, tell them who you are and the nature of your product or service. So this is sort of a formula you can use. So you can see in the little brief summary that I’ve put-, that I’ve just mentioned to you, you can say, you know, first of all you want to tell them who you are and the nature of your product or service. So in that case I said I run a financial planning practice, a fee-based financial planning practice, and I work with business owners and retirees. So suddenly I’ve told them who I am and the nature of my business.

Then briefly describe the pain that you address. Well, I work with financial planners-, or sorry, I’m a financial planner who works with business owners and retirees who are concerned about their ability to retire well. Now that’s a phrase that I tend to use because it’s, in essence, what people are coming to me for. I’ve recognised that the biggest pain people have is their uncertainty of whether or not they can retire well. And so this seems to be one of the pains that I tend to talk about.

Then briefly describe how a client benefits from your products or services. So I would say something like through our trademark process, our trademark financial planning process, we provide details on how to spend more today without sacrificing your ability to retire tomorrow. So we really talk about-, you know, and that leads to a discussion about making proper calculations and using proper calculation methods so that you are putting enough aside for tomorrow but not more than you need to. Because the reality is you can’t take it with you, and if you’re not enjoying the ride along the way, then it won’t be worth it if you don’t make it to tomorrow. So people tend to resonate with that. And I have a real strong belief in that methodology and that you don’t want to put too much aside for tomorrow because you might not make it, but if you do, you’ll want to make sure you put enough aside for the lifestyle that you want to lead. So the question then comes, well how do I get to that information.

So then if someone you’re speaking to, after going through that little brief intro, call it a 30-second intro, if somebody you’re speaking to is interested in something you said, they’re going to ask you. They’re going to say tell me more about that. Which really is all you’re looking for. You’re just looking to stimulate a further conversation and then just see where it goes from there. And that’s where going further in the conversation, if you get to a point where you know you’ve provided some content that might be of value to them, say listen, you know what, I’ve actually written a report or I wrote a guide or I wrote a book or something like that that you might find of interest. Why don’t I send it to you? Maybe take a look at it and if you have any further questions just let me know. But at least it gives you something to offer them.

So going back to some previous episodes where I’ve talked about creating content and content that you can use as a carrot to give away, this is one of the things you can do. You can either just direct them strictly to your website and say look, on my website there’s a link there, you can click on it and you’ll be able to download instantly a free copy of report XYZ. Or you can just say look, why don’t you give me your email and I’ll send it to you. I refer when they actually go to the website because that actually shows a certain level of motivation on their part. I’ll give them all the information and then I move forward with that. So there’s different ways you can use that. But again, that’s sort of the second step where you’ve got your fee-based financial planning business model mindset and now you’re starting to create the business model. And so when you talk to people it’s more about talking about financial planning than it is product.

Then in this third stage you move onto the fee-based financial planning client acquisition process. Now every business needs a client acquisition process. And all of what I’m talking about here is all about filtering. And I started the episode saying should you work with everybody who wants to work with you. Well, my answer is no, I don’t think you should work with everybody who wants to work with you. I think you need to go through a bit of a process to filter out the people who maybe it’s not appropriate for. Because on the surface they may seem interested and it may look like a good idea, but at the end of the day, when it comes right down to it it probably isn’t a fit. And there’s ways you can build your client acquisition process, things you can build into it, to start filtering those people out along the way so that everybody can exit gracefully and graciously, nobody feels any pressure. Because I’m not really one that-, I don’t really like any pressure sales tactics. I’m not really one for that. I do like to provide value and let people sort of-, you know, lead them down a path and if the path makes sense for them then absolutely we want to have those discussions.

So this is where we get seriously into filtering. I mean you can see in the previous one where the filtering was more about when I had my little phrase of 30-second commercial, so to speak, of what it is that I do. Well, I run a financial planning practice or I run a fee-based financial planning practice that specialises in working with business owners and retirees. Boom, what have I done? I’ve filtered out people who really it’s not appropriate for me to be working with. Like people who are just starting and that sort of thing. There are other people who specialise in those areas, and that’s where I want them to go because they’re going to get better service when they go to that type of business model. So start the filtering as early as you possibly can.

I also recommend the two-meeting process – and I’ve talked about it before – the two meeting process is designed to help filter out people who your service is not appropriate for. By going through and saying look, there’s no obligation, absolutely let’s have a conversation. If you think you’re interested enough to have the conversation with me then I want to provide you with that. But I am going to tell you that at that meeting we’re going through, and my purpose for that meeting, is more about trying to determine if what we do is appropriate for you and to give you an opportunity to assess whether or not what it is that we do, if it’s really what you’re looking for.

The same thing goes with the direct response marketing that I promote. So all the marketing that we do is all about filtering. It’s all designed more to filter people out as opposed to filter people who are interested. So definitely I spend a lot of time on being clear on who my market is, and I write to that market. I write content for that particular content. I don’t necessarily write any content that will attract people who aren’t interested in working-, that I’m not interested in working with or who I haven’t really built my practice around adding value to. So definitely in the writing that you do you want almost to have in your mind – I’ve heard people call it an avatar. And an avatar is an idea or a picture of your ideal client. And you want to write to that client, you want to talk to that client, you want to talk to that avatar. And everything, all of your communication, is directed towards that avatar. So definitely take advantage of that.

Now consider this mental picture. Okay, so I’m going to paint a little bit of a picture. There’s you, and attached to you you’re now attached to the world by way of the internet. Now this is the power of the whole direct response marketing process, is that you have the world at your fingertips as a result of the internet. Now how do you filter that down? Well, again, it’s all about filtering. You create, in essence, a piece of content that discusses something relevant to what it is that you do or relevant to your market, your target market. So what you’re doing then is it could be a free guide, it could be a free report, a blog post that you’ve written, it could be a podcast episode, it could be an article, you name it. But it’s a piece of content that you feel your market would be interested in knowing more about.

And so what you’ve done is you’ve-, like if I wrote an article or a piece for something for business owners. Well, you know, if it’s directly focused towards business owners and it talks about business owners in the title and it talks about business owners in the first paragraph, really, do you think everybody’s just going to say oh, well that’s an article, I’ll read that? No. They’re going to see the headline and say well, you know, that doesn’t-, that’s not for me. Because people do a lot of headline surfing, especially if-, you know, you’ve done it yourself. If you’ve gone through a newspaper or a magazine or anything like that, what are you doing? You’re doing headline surfing.

And so you’re creating content which is relevant to your avatar and your target market, which is, in essence, filtering the people who you don’t want to approach and who you don’t want to really have conversations with. It just simply filters them out. Because what you’re in essence trying to do is filter out enough people so that the people that are left standing are the people that are definitely appropriate for what it is that you offer.

So what you do then is you ask the internet who’s interested in the content that you have. And you do that by way of promotion. You do it through social media, you do it through blog posts, whatever it happens to be. You just basically ask who’

So interested in this content by using the different methods that we’ve talked about in previous episodes. So then people, what they do is, they’ll then respond and register for the content in exchange for their email address. And so that’s, in essence, you know, you’re lead generating at this point. So then what you do is you send them the content instantly. And all of this is automated, as I’ve talked about in previous episodes. You send them the content that is requested, and then nurture them by sending them more content that is sort of a natural progression to what they originally requested. In other words – and I’ve heard-, I believe the quote was by Gary Halbert, who’s a guru when it comes to marketing. He basically said you want to try to enter the conversation that’s already going on in their mind.

So there’s a conversation that we’re all having, especially when we have a need for something or if we’re out there seeking something. We have a conversation going on in our head. Well, you want to try and kinda-, you want to try and enter that conversation that’s already going on by way of offering your content to answer those questions. And then once they’ve got that, you know, if you put out a piece of content, ask yourself, well, once they’ve read this, what’s their next question going to be? Well, maybe that’s the topic for your next blog post; maybe that’s the topic for your next piece of content or free report. So definitely try to focus on getting involved with the conversation that’s already going on in their head. And you build an understanding of that by simply having conversations with your existing clients and new clients, and writing down, what are the pains that they’re experiencing, what are the concerns that they have, what are the issues that they’re faced with. Start identifying and recognising what those are, and then simply start putting content together to support answering those questions.

Now that you’ve built some rapport through the nurturing process with these leads, you can then offer to them an initial free, no-obligation discussion to see if there’s a fit between what it is that you offer and what it is that they’re desiring with the services that they think they’re looking for. And so it’s a very non-threatening way of saying hey, you requested the information, I’ve provided it to you, I’ve given you some further information, you know what? If there’s anything you want to talk about further, if you’d like to get together for an initial meeting, a no-obligation meeting, here’s what would happen. Maybe you can be right upfront with them and say look, the purpose of that meeting is simply to assess whether or not… I’m going to assess whether or not it’s appropriate to work with you. And I’ll tell you at the end of that meeting if I feel it is appropriate. And it also gives you the chance to assess whether or not it feels good for you to be working with us. If you feel that the services we provide are what you’re looking for, then great, maybe it makes sense then to get together for a look at the details. But until that point, let’s just get a clear understanding, high level, 30,000 foot view of what it is that you’re looking for and make an assessment as to whether or not we feel mutually that it makes sense to go to that next level. People love that approach, and they feel it’s a very non-threatening approach. And it’s really just the right approach, you know. There should be no pressure in any of this.

And again, all of these steps that we’ve just gone through are filtering steps; filtering out the people who your service are really not appropriate for. And then ultimately you get to the point where you’ve presented your offer, you’ve assessed whether or not the prospective is somebody that is appropriate to be working with, and you’ve given them a chance to assess whether or not the services you provide are appropriate. And at that point you then decide whether or not there’s a right fit and if it makes sense to move forward. So focus on that, on the client acquisition process. It’s all about filtering out the people that you don’t want to work with.

And then the final stage really is now you can present the fee-based financial planning, what I call the wow experience. By filtering out the people who your service is not appropriate for, you’re left with your ideal client. They’re the ones that are going to provide referrals. They’re the ones that are going to be extremely motivated. They’re going to be the ones that you’re going to have a great experience with them, you’re going to love getting together with them. They’re the ones that are going to implement your recommendations. They’re going to follow your lead, they’re going to love what you do, and they’re going to really, really see the value in what it is that you’re providing. Because if they’re not seeing the value, if you’ve somehow been able to crowbar somebody into becoming a client but they don’t really see the value, they’re not going to be a client for long and it’s not going to be a relationship that you’re going to love working with. And so oftentimes it does make sense to really put the pressure on pushing people away so that the ones who do come back come back much stronger.

Now here’s the big problem. If you follow this process, the filtering out process, there’s a chance that you’re going to second-guess yourself. Because as you move people through you’re going to come across-, I guarantee it, you’re going to meet with people who will have a lot of money, you’re going to meet with people who will not be appropriate clients, and you’re going to be guaranteed to meet with people who have a lot of money who are also not appropriate for you to be working with. And I also guarantee that you’re going to begin to work with them as their new financial planner, even if you don’t initially feel that it’s appropriate. Maybe it’s because you’re just starting out. You’re so anxious to bring on your first fee-based-, true fee-based client, that you’ll pretty much take anyone who can fog a mirror as a client.

And there’s nothing necessarily, again, wrong with that. Just be aware of what you’re doing. You don’t have to resist taking them on as a client; just be prepared for what you’re getting into and what you’re going to be facing at some point in the future. Because if you continue to do that, at some point you’re going to hit what’s called the capacity ceiling. Right? And this could take many years to hit, but you will hit it, I guarantee it. And it’s going to be harder and harder at that point to manage your growing business, because maybe you’ve got a handful of clients who you don’t really love getting together with, because you probably shouldn’t have taken them on in the first place. But you did take them on because they loved what you offered, it seemed to make sense from a financial standpoint, but you know, the relationship, you just don’t love getting together with them. And it’s no fault of your own, it’s no fault of theirs, it’s just you took them on when you probably shouldn’t have, but maybe there was another motivation. And as long as you’re providing value for what they’re receiving, well then there’s nothing really wrong with that. You just need to be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.

So when you hit that ceiling, you’re going to have two solutions. The first solution is you can hire someone to manage your non-profile clients. And that can work. It can also be a headache. But it is definitely a solution. The other solution is you can sell your non-profile clients to another adviser who sees those clients as their profile client. And that really, in my mind, is an ideal scenario. Because now what you’re able to do is make sure that the client is getting some tremendous value, and when they start working with this new adviser suddenly that new adviser is going to be-, seems like they’re going to be speaking directly to them because everything that they’re ,doing is geared toward that particular market, that particular niche. And if it’s not in your niche it’s very hard to support that client. And at the end of the day it’s good for everybody involved. It’s getting people to where they should be.

Or keep firm. I mean what you could do, you could take people one, but you could also say I’m really going to take this seriously, I’m going to keep firm on my filtering process and I’m only going to accept profile clients. So that means you’re going to be turning away people who maybe aren’t profile. And you’re only going to accept people who really appropriate for your services who you really feel you can add value to. And that’s really the preferred method, is sticking to your guns.

Now in other words, follow what’s called-, what I consider the professional model. Charge fees for the writing of your financial plans. Charge fees for the advice that you’re giving through the comprehensive financial planning process that you’re going through. Charge fees for taking clients through that process. Charge fees for the oversight and implementation of their investments. Provide them with full disclosure on the fact that you will be compensated for insurance products that you put in place for them. But make sure you’re only putting the insurance products in place based on the plan that you’ve put together, and that the plan actually identifies that there’s an exposure or a risk that’s there. Don’t just sell insurance because you think it’s going to-, because that’s what you need to do to make money. That’s the old method, that’s the old commission-based method, and it’s going by the way of the dodo bird. And it’s just not going to continue and people are getting too smart for that.

However, you do need to make sure that you, going forward, you do have full disclosure. The thing that I love about the fee-based financial planning approach is that when you write a comprehensive financial plan, the results and the… everything is really, really-, it’s in black and white. We know very clearly why a recommendation is being made because we can see, well, we’ve done the analysis, the analysis shows that maybe there isn’t enough insurance in place. So that’s why the recommendation for another insurance policy is put in place, because we’ve identified that there’s a risk here. So you want to be able to justify everything with the financial plan that you’ve created.

Disclose everything, everything that you do, by way of a letter of engagement. So the first main document that you want to get a client to sign, actually, the first document that you want to get them to sign when they become a client, is a letter of engagement. It basically outlines for you everything – and for the client – everything that you’ve talked about. It puts in writing the fact that you’re charging a fee, what the fee is, that you would be compensated through investments and insurance on a fee-based model, or commissions if it was insurance and you don’t have a fee-based model for that. So it’s just definitely something that it’s just good practice, it makes good sense. And people actually quite like the fact that you do have a letter of engagement.

Now here are some of the frustrations that will be minimised as a result of following this more professional model.

Number one, skittish clients who are very reluctant to have you implement their investments for them. Well, that’s a real frustration, because you can sit down and you think okay, great, I’ve got this new client, we’re going to go through the financial planning process, you do the whole financial plan, you put together the recommendation, and the recommendation is for them to move forward with an investment solution. Well, you then sit down, you go through, and at the last minute they just aren’t comfortable with moving forward with that. Maybe they’re just more comfortable doing it themselves. Now in the previous model, the commission based model, basically you’ve done all the work now for nothing. In this model, you’ve charged a fee for the writing of their financial plan, so if they decide not to move forward with it, well that’s fine. Then it just means you don’t have the oversight and implementation you’re going to be having to spend any time on. But what you do have now is you have a client, a fee paying client, for the financial planning, and so you just simply support them through the financial planning.

So that’s one frustration, because I’ve just seen it time and time again where people do all this work and at the end of the day the client says oh, no, I think I’m going to do it myself. And now you get nothing. And it’s a very, very frustrating position to be in, and following a fee-based model simply means you’re never going to have to experience that again. Fees will always be on the table, and you will never be afraid of having a fee discussion again, because you’ll clearly be able to illustrate the work that you do for the fees that you receive. It’s very simple. When you develop a financial planning process, your own unique financial planning process, and a client says “What am I paying for again?” you can simply go back to the schematic and say , okay, well the fee for the financial planning is to put all of this together. The fee for the implementation and oversight is to exactly what it says, is for the implementation and oversight, and to monitor the portfolio to make sure that it’s on track and that you’re accomplishing your goals with that. And then the compensation that you receive from any insurance that’s put in place is also disclosed as well.

And at the end of the day, clients who follow your model will pay less overall in fees, and they’re going to receive such tremendous value for the fees that they pay. One of the interesting things is, when you start working with clients on a fee-based nature, upfront, initially their comments are well, what are these extra fees, you know, I’ve never seen these before. Well, the reality is that at the end of the day, the model that we put together, the overall fees that they pay, are lower than what they were paying in their previous solution. They just didn’t know it.

So it’s up to you to educate them on that point. And so not having the fear of having that discussion because it’s a very easy discussion to have when you can say look, here’s where you are right now, these are the fees that you’re paying, you don’t know you’re paying them, but you are paying them. Here’s what I’m recommending. Let’s add up all the fees in both cases and let’s see which one comes in at a lower rate. Well, your fees will always come in at a lower rate if you do this properly, because you’re always going to wholesale solutions, it’ll cut out a lot of the middlemen, so you’re able to bring the overall fees that a client experiences down, which at the end of the day is a good thing. And once you’ve illustrated that to a client, believe me, they’re never going to question things again. They will always look at you and go yeah, upstanding guy, upstanding, ethical, makes sense, full disclosure, love working with him, everybody should work with him. And that’s the experience you want to have.

So the bottom line is that you shouldn’t work with just anybody. I get that you’re probably going to take on clients initially that you probably shouldn’t. Just be aware of what you’re doing. Just be aware of that. It’s not that it’s wrong; I’m just wanting to stress the fact that you need to be aware of what you’re doing and what you’re getting yourself into. Sometimes you just have to. Sometimes it’s a referral from a great client that you just say, you know what, it makes sense from a business standpoint to keep this client happy, so you move forward with that.

But on the other side also, if the client that’s being referred to you really isn’t profile and it doesn’t really make sense for you to take them on, and you actually don’t take them on, that sends a very clear message to your client saying look, I’m very serious about this, and unfortunately, thank you very much for the referral but they just didn’t qualify, there was something that didn’t work. And you know what? Clients will oftentimes thank you at the end of the day for being very clear on who it is that’s appropriate for you to work with and who it is that is ideally suited. Because deep down clients kinda know if the referral is right or wrong, and if they maybe didn’t realise it upfront and then you say, you know, what, it just unfortunately wasn’t the right fit and it didn’t make sense for us to move forward but we did make sure that we directed them to the right place, well that’s a good thing. Because then the client knows, you know what, yeah, that makes sense.

And clients at the end of the day don’t want to refer people that aren’t ideally suited for working with you. So definitely don’t be afraid to turn people away. And just have an upfront conversation and say, you know what, our services really weren’t as appropriate for whatever reason. You don’t want to disclose any privileged information that you have, but I think that information going back to the client is a good thing, because then clients sometimes will feel… what’s the word I’m looking for? They will feel like they are privileged. They feel really good about, yeah, you know what, maybe that isn’t an ideal, but I qualified to work with this guy, and I feel good about that. So there’s a lot of good that comes from that.

You’ll always be able to hold you head high because you will always have taken the high road. That’s the beauty of the fee-based financial planning. You never have to have those difficult conversations. You simply-, everything’s upfront. There are not hidden agendas, there are no… nothing like that. And I’ve had situations where prospective clients have challenged me on that and they’re trying to find where I’m trying to screw them. Whether I’m trying to take advantage of them. And I just say to them look, I don’t see what your challenge is here. I’m telling you upfront, these are the fees, this is what’s involved, there’s nothing hidden, it’s all fully disclosed. And when they truly get that, it really adds a lot of credibility to what it is that you do.

Have you ever taken on a client that you shouldn’t have? So this is one of the questions that I have for you. In following this method, I’m asking you this question: Have you ever taken on a client that you shouldn’t have? What happened? How did it end? Did it end? Looking back, do you see any warning signs that you can learn from? Looking back and saying yeah, if I can go back and I play back in my mind the whole experience I had with that frustrating client, was there a point in the initial process that I recognised that I probably shouldn’t move forward with him in the first place? Was there a point that that took place? And if there was, then what can you learn from that?

So look back. Do you think a fee-based model would’ve protected you from these frustrations? So when you look back at those frustrating clients, if you had been following a fee-based model, and you presented fees at certain times, would you have experience the same results? Or would they have even not become a client because you would’ve been able to filter them out? So ask yourself. And let me know your thoughts on this by commenting on this on the podcast post on our website. I want to know. Have you ever taken on a client that you shouldn’t have? What happened? How did it end? Looking back, did you see any warning signs that you can learn from? Do you think a fee-based model would’ve protected you from the frustrations? And let me know your thoughts. And maybe if you can put some comments in there, I think everybody, all of the financial planners who subscribe to the website and are following the website, would really find that of value. And I think it would share and lend itself-, because it doesn’t always work out. I mean I’ve had my frustrations as well.

So this is episode 16 and I’d love to hear some of your stories. The good ones and the bad ones. Just comment. Please don’t use any client names in your comments. Change the names and whatnot just to keep things somewhat secretive. But yeah, love to hear what some your experiences have been going f-, you know, some of your frustrating experiences. And I also want to know, if you haven’t embraced a fee-based model in your practice yet, do you think that by doing so will make a lot of those frustrations go away?

Now I’ve got a few questions for you. How’s it going? I’ve heard from a lot of people who are implementing some of the topics and things that I’ve talked about in the past 15 hours of episodes that we’ve put together. I want to hear from you. Have you implemented any solution, any idea, anything that you heard or learned about in the episodes of this podcast, have you implemented anything? You see, it’s all about taking action. The ideas are great; the action needs to happen for the ideas to be implemented. So if you’ve implemented something, what did you do? How did it work? What worked? What didn’t?

I have a great series of meetings that I have on a fairly frequent basis with my staff and so on, and I call them What worked and what didn’t meetings. And we basically take a look over a certain time period, generally it’s on a quarterly basis, and we look back at the quarter and say okay, for the last quarter, what worked and what didn’t? And we try to build upon that. Well, exactly that. If it was a strategy that you implemented, what worked and what didn’t in that strategy? Do you have your weekly social media programme running on Twitter? Have you set up your weekly-, you know, a tweet inventory? And are you broadcasting those tweets on a regular basis and scheduling them through whatever schedule you’re using? Whether it be [Market me suite 0:42:32] or whether it be HootSuite or whatever the programme is that you’re using. Are you doing that? How’s that going? Are you gaining followers? Are you engaging your followers? Are they reaching back out to you and retweeting your information? Have you set up a WordPress site? Have you set up your website?

Did you follow the recommendations that I had in the previous episode, or one of the previous episodes where I talk about most financial planners and most financial advisers have such crappy websites and how I think that they should be set up differently? Did you follow that? Have you done any of that? Have you written any blog posts? Have you written anything whatsoever that you think would be-, that’s worked well for you? Or did you write something that didn’t work well for you? Have you created any new content? Have you put together any reports or guides or anything like that?

Do you have any questions for me? I can always answer any questions via email. Email me the questions, just like a lot of the other people have done that I mentioned earlier at the beginning of this episode where you can email me your questions and I’ll answer them on the air. Or I’ll definitely email and respond to you. Or you can call me at 416-626-6515, extension 23, and simply leave your question on my voicemail. Then what I’ll do is I’ll have that-, my voicemails are all converted to audio files, and then I’ll have that audio file that I’ll be able to use in an upcoming episode. I’ll play the voicemail, I’ll then put… And if you want you can indicate in your voicemail just to leave your name out of it if you want it to be anonymous, that’s fine, I’ll just edit that out. But I’ll then play the voicemail and then answer your question on air. I think a lot of people would benefit from that, hearing questions that others are asking. Or simply record your question on your end through your own computer or whatever, create an audio file through your iPhone, and then email me the audio file and I’ll do the same thing with that.

I’ll tell you right now that the most successful thing that’[s working for me from a marketing standpoint is creating and giving away free content. We’re getting a lot of people on our website registering to receive our free content. And our email lead nurturing programme is actually generating client meeting requests. I mean it’s interesting. I just sent out a piece a couple of days ago, it was a quarterly investment market update piece. And I just sent it out, and about an hour after I sent it I got an email from one of the leads on my list – and it’s not a very big lead list – I got an email from one of the leads saying hey, I’d like to get together with you, here’s my contact information, please if you could contact me and we can set up a convenient time to get together, that would be great. So it works. I mean it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing. So we’ve recently spent a lot of time on creating content. I’m doing a lot of writing in the blog, just to make sure that we’re getting a lot of content out there. And I’ll tell you, I’m doing it, and we’re seeing some leads coming in from that. So that’s a good thing.

So I want to know what you guys have done. I want to know what you’re working on, what challenges you’re working on. If you have any questions, I’m here to help, for sure. So here’s my challenge to you. Take one idea that I’ve talked about, and commit to implementing it. Go back into a previous episode, I don’t care what it is. Fail forward is what I like to call it. Take an idea and implement it. I don’t care if it doesn’t work. I’d rather you learn what doesn’t work so that you can start to whittle out what’s not working, as opposed to do nothing and always wonder. You have no clue; you just have no frame of information that’s coming to you. Because failing tells you a lot of information. If you don’t do anything, you always get the same result. If you implement something and fail, you get some valuable information that you can tweak and make better. If you implement something and it works, now you’ve got something you can try and beat. You’ve now got a split testing opportunity. Just do something with the ideas that I’m giving you. So get out there and build yourself a better business.

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Copyright © Scott E. Plaskett 2012 All Rights Reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without Scott E. Plaskett’s written permission.

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