The 3 Stages That EVERY Fee Based Financial Planning Practice MUST Pass Through in Order to Create Tremendous VALUE for Their Clients and Serious WEALTH for Themselves (Part 2) | FEE040 – Transcript
Alright, so now continuing from the last episode, in the previous episode I went through the Building a Foundation Stage of your business. So I guess the real question then is how do you know when you’re ready to move on to the next stage, because it’s very important that you don’t move on to the next stage until that previous stage is fully completed. I mean it really has to get locked down, because if you start jumping forward, you’re just going to-, it’s just not going to work for you, it’s all going to fall down around you. So you can’t really build this as a house of cards, you’ve got to build it with a good solid foundation. So make sure your founding is set up properly, and if you haven’t-, if you’re just listening to this show first, go back to the last show, FEE039, because it’s the Building a Foundation Stage that really has to be put in place before you can get on to this next stage. So-, but really, how do you know then, when you’re ready to move on to the next stage? Well you know you’re ready when you recognize who your business offering is for and who it’s not for. Being able to make this differentiation will now allow you to make better decisions on how to secure the future of your business through the Securing the Future Stage, and that’s what this next stage is. I’ve called it the Securing the Future Stage because it just makes sense. You’ve built the foundation. Now it’s all about OK, let’s just get this sucker growing, what do we need to do to put it in place in order to get this growing?
So the Securing the Future Stage. This is the stage where your primary focus is to build your business so it’s self-sustaining and self-managing. Did you hear what I just said? Self-sustaining and self-managing. Now, that kind of moves you out of the business. Well remember, we’re building a business here, not just creating a job. If you want to create a job, go back to the Building a Foundation Stage and then leave it at that. But if you want to create a business, now is when we’re going to start doing that. So this is the stage again where your primary focus is on creating a self-sustaining and self-managing business. This is where you build your true lifestyle business. And you’ve heard me talk about lifestyle business in the past. That is vitally important to me. And I think it should be vitally important to you because you don’t just want to create something that doesn’t reinforce how you want to live your life. I mean, we only get to do this once, so let’s make sure we’re doing it right from the beginning.
And the only way you can do this is if you nail down the following items. You’ve got to make sure your business is predictable, repeatable and replenishable. Now let’s pause here for a minute. Because if you look around-, take a look around and think of some of the greatest businesses you know, the greatest businesses in the world. So I’m going to use one that-, it’s easy to pick on but it’s easy to use because they’ve just done such a great job and they continue to do such a great job, and that’s McDonald’s. Now I’m not making a comment on the fact that I think their food is toxic and-, well actually not all of it because they do have a pretty good lighter menu when need be and some of their salads and stuff are really good, but anyways. I’m not here to talk about the product that they’re creating, I’m talking about the business that they’ve created. So let’s take a look at McDonald’s. Now ask yourself this, are they clear on who their market is so that they can build and offer that is targeted towards bringing in a predictable number of people to their restaurants every single day? Yeah! They’ve got predictability there. Are they making sure that what they offer can be delivered in a repeatable way every single time? Is this something that every time-, and I use the example like this often, but every time-, it doesn’t matter which location you go to, when you order fries, they taste the same and they look the same. Everything is repeatable in every single way. So yes, they’ve cracked that code in everything that they do. And it amazes me because I know other businesses that just haven’t been able to get to the point where they’ve got such a repeatable way of making things.
And the final one here, can this business do it all again the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and is it replenishable? Well yes, yes, yes it is. In this case it is. You know, so you’ve got to be able to really look at all these components for every part of your business. Now I’m not saying your target market is the same as McDonald’s, but I am saying that because of their ability to recognize who their target market is-, and you know I’ve said in the past that it doesn’t necessarily-, you don’t have to niche down your business, you just need to niche down your campaigns, your marketing campaigns.
Now, I mean you can do this for Walmart, Walt Disney, Apple, Tesla. I mean, just take a look at some great companies that are new companies, like Tesla. They’ve really been able to focus on who they’re going after and what their market it and who their market is and how they deliver it to-, I mean they’re just really done a nice job at creating the processes around everything. But remember, it’s all about making all the different components of your business predictable, repeatable and replenishable.
So where do we begin as a fee-based financial planner? You know, if you’re interested in running a business, not creating a job, this is what we need to do next. We need to start focusing on the Securing the Future Stage. Well as I said before, you need to know what you offer and who you offer it to. Who is it ideally suited for? Once you know that, then you need to identify the core areas of your business so that you can apply the three components we just talked about, the predictable, repeatable and replenishable, and we need to make sure that this Securing the Future Stage, that we can apply those three things to each core key component of your business.
So kind of let’s start with that. What are really the core, high-level key components of your business, right? What are the high-level things? I mean there’s a lot that gets done in each component, let’s take a look at what the high-level things are. Well the first thing is, the core part of your business, is marketing. So marketing is always the first step. Then the sales process. So marketing turns into sales. Sales then turn into your fulfillment side of your business, and the fulfillment side then turns into your profit. So remember the information that I’m going to go through here is not new, OK? I didn’t make up marketing. I didn’t make up sales, the need for sales in a business. I didn’t make up the need for fulfillment and I didn’t’ make up the need for profit, but it’s new-, I mean to you because we haven’t really dissected what it take to run a fee-based financial planning business, to that’s what I’m hoping to go through and get you clear on today. Because remember, I didn’t invent financial planning. I just seem to have taken it more seriously than anybody else. I simply pay attention to what’s working in other industries in order to figure out a way of incorporating what’s working in those industries to my industry. So that’s all I’m doing here is I’m saying, look, all of this stuff, I’ve just kind of pieced it together from other businesses. I mean McDonald’s has nothing to do with fee-based financial planning, yet it has everything to do with it. The way they run their business is very similar to the way you need to run your business, and say likewise with all the other companies that I’ve talked about in the past.
So you can learn a lot from a lot of the other business and industries if you just pay attention to what’s sort of behind in making those businesses work. Now, when we look at each core component-, so the core components again are marketing, turns into sales, sales turn into fulfillment, fulfillment turns into profit. When we look at those, what are we trying to accomplish? Well again, we’re trying to accomplish predictability, repeatability and making sure it’s all replenishable. Can you replenish that component? Can you replenish it all? So here’s the challenge, and the reason why most financial advisors never successfully migrate to a fee-based financial planning model. So pay attention here, because if you’ve tried this once before and it didn’t work, or if you’re fearful of trying it because you’re afraid that you might fail, this is probably the reason why you will fail if you don’t-, if you’ve tried it before or if you don’t pay attention to what I’m talking about.
All of these three components, the predictability, repeatability and replenishaility-, if that’s a word, but those three components need to be present in each of the core components of your business at the same time. So you need to have predictable, repeatable, replenishable marketing. You need to have predictable, repeatable, replenishable sales. You need to have predictable, repeatable, replenishable fulfillment. And all of that, the same thing with profits. So you’ve got to have that. Now that’s a daunting task. I mean my gosh, for one of these components it’s a daunting task. To put it all together for everything, to make sure that your whole business is working in tandem, that is a huge undertaking. Now you can’t spend all of your time perfecting the marketing side of your business and paying no attention to the sales side of your business, because if you do, and you don’t have your sales process outlined properly, you’re going to lose all of that momentum that you’ve created from the marketing to crappy sales process. And that just wastes all those evaluable leads. So you can spend all your time dialing in your marketing, but then if you don’t have a good sales process that you can follow that’s going to make sure that all those leads that are-, that you’ve identified, that you’ve qualified, if you don’t have a good sales process that actually makes those leads and turns them into clients, it’s all wasted.
You can have an amazing sales process, but without leads, you’ve got nobody to sell your services to. Without the infrastructure in place to manage the fulfillment of all of your financial planning sales, you’ll quickly fail because you won’t be able to sustain your business. I mean, think about it. Let’s say you spend all your time getting all this great marketing going, and it’s all working. Then you get all these great meetings, and it’s all working. Then you get all these new clients, but you haven’t got the fulfillment side done. And all of a sudden now, you can’t deliver on your promises. That is a big problem. That turns into no profit.
So pay attention to all of this. It’s all got to work in tandem. If you get bogged down in the fulfillment stage, as I say, it just-, anyways, there’s lots going on here. It’s a vicious cycle. I know, because I’ve been in it, and it sucks. So I’ve been to the point where I had once-, I mean years ago, I had a fantastic marketing process going but I didn’t know how to actually close the process, and so I ran into the same problem where I was bringing in a lot of new appointments but I couldn’t convert them. I didn’t know how to sell my fee-based financial planning process to them. And it was all falling down around me. And so for a period of time, almost over 20 years ago, I actually stopped. I said listen, I can’t continue. I’ve got to pay the bills. So I focused on the product sales, but I always knew that there was something wrong with that, that it wasn’t a sustainable, lasting business. So I migrated back and I reinvented things and I said OK, how can I make this work for me?
And that’s just really where my process has come from. It’s just all come from trial and error, and hopefully my error will be your learning and you won’t have to make those mistakes as well. So it does suck when you can’t get all these working, but it does-, life’s a whole lot better when you can get them all working. So it’s a real conundrum that we get into because we’ve got to not only I guess work in the business but it’s the working on the business that I’m talking about now. You basically need all of these core components of your business running on all cylinders to be able to rapidly build your business. And this honestly is where the true wealth comes from in the whole process. That’s where you-, that’s where when you know of or you’ve heard of fee based financial planners who are actually making a really, really good living and adding value to their client relationships, this is what they’ve done. They’ve basically put all these components together and they’ve got that sweet spot.
So being able to hit a predictable, repeatable and replenishable state in each of your core business component is so important. Get this figured out; in other words, get your entire business firing on all those cylinders and you’re going to see such a rapid increase in your cash flow and liquid net worth, your head will spin. In other words, you’re basically setting the stage here for building a business. And as I said before, if you don’t want a build a business, if you just want to keep on working in the job you’ve created for yourself, that’s fine. Stick with the Building a Foundation Stage. But if you want to take this to the next level, this is where Securing the Future Stage really kicks in. Do this, and life becomes a whole lot better.
OK. So I’ve told you what needs to be done, and I think I kind of-, you know it kind of makes sense, so let’s talk more about the complete process. Because it’s vital that you not only have a complete process but it’s also important that you name your process and all of its components, OK? So I’m going to take a bit of a detour here and I want to talk about process and the importance of it. So let me explain what I’m talking about here.
When you or someone you know is sick, this is a-, I’m going to use an example from another industry to sort of illustrate my picture here, or illustrate my point. When you or someone you know is sick, and one of the most stressful parts of being sick is not knowing what’s causing your sickness, that’s one of the biggest problems we have, so you can parlay that into some challenges that people may have with their finances. They may know something’s wrong, they just have no idea what. So when you’re sick, for example, or something’s just not right with your health, what do you do? You go to the doctor. Well then, what does the doctor do? Well, they usually do some sort of physical or assessment or something like that. And perhaps they do some testing and it usually takes a few days to get the results. Then, when they get the results, you may have a meeting with them to review those results. So let’s take a look at the psychology behind what’s going on in this stage.
You know something’s wrong with you, or you think something’s wrong with you, so you go to the doctor. The doctor does an assessment and runs some tests. Then, when you come in to find out the results, even if the results are not what you want to hear, the doctor will usually name what ails you. You hear what I just said there? They’re basically putting a name to your challenge, a name to your problem, and this is where an interesting thing happens from a psychological standpoint. There’s a sense of relief, even if you’re diagnosed with something that you just absolutely don’t want, you actually have a sense of relief because now, you’re being diagnosed with something that’s wrong, because you know, but you know what it is. You’re not longer left in the dark. So then what happen?
Well generally you get a prescription. And that prescription usually has a name, be it a certain antibiotic, be it a certain protocol, be it a certain lifestyle change, what it happens to be, it’s got a name to it. The bottom line is that people find tremendous value in someone else telling them not only exactly what’s wrong, but stating what the solution is. When that solutions’s named, and a very clear process of what needs to be done is outlined, people feel more confident. Even if the news is bad. And their motivation level for moving forward with what the solution is goes way up. This here-, pay attention to this, this is the reason why when you migrate to a fee based financial planning approach and charge a fee separate from any implementation fees, you’re implementation rates go way up. And when people pay for what I say, they pay attention.
So it’s important to not only develop a process for what you do so you can execute it on a predictable, repeatable and sustainable replenishable basis each time, but you need to name the process and all of its key parts to bring life to the life solutions, to bring a confidence to the whole process. The confidence level of people-, it just simple goes way up when they know that someone else has thought through the process and has a complete beginning, middle and end to it. Understand what I’m just saying here. I mean this is important stuff. There’s a lot of psychology that goes into this, and even if the results-, or sorry, the prescription is bad or the diagnosis is bad, the worst thing in the world is not knowing what’s wrong. Now that we know and we’ve named what it is and we’ve named the process, I mean it’s just-, the confidence level goes way up.
The frustration level of dealing with you now goes way down because of the predictable nature of your process. The reality is that your frustration level goes up when you’re dealing with a business that doesn’t have a process. Have you ever dealt with a business that doesn’t have a process? That you just know deep down they have no idea what they’re doing? They’re making this stuff up every single day. Well it’s very frustrating because you have a low sense of confidence that the next day it’s going to work out the same way. You have a low sense of confidence that they have any idea that they know what they’re doing. It’s interesting in that because I’m so process-oriented and I understand how a well-thought out process is the key to running any business, you know, if I’m going to work with a company and I don’t feel that they have a process in their business, I’m actually-, I’ll probably go somewhere else, if they’re the best business-, well actually they probably wouldn’t be the best business in the world, because if they don’t have a good process, I just don’t have a lot of confidence in what they’re doing.
Psychologically, although prospects and clients may not be consciously aware of it, they will gravitate away from companies who don’t have a process and feel more comfortable with working with companies who do have a process. In other words, people may not be able to state exactly why they like working with you, but if you really probe them and you really dove into and dug down into what it really was, the answer would have a lot to do with your predictable process. That’s what I find. I have people say to me things like you now, I just know where I am with you, I always know what’s coming up and I’ve got sort of a sense of what’s coming up and why it’s coming up and what we’re going to be doing, and I always know that we’re always looking at everything. So all they’re doing is they’re speaking about process.
And they’re also, when they make comments about you know, I wish I’d met you earlier because the previous relationship I had, I would go there but it would always be-, I would not where we were going. I wouldn’t know why we were doing what we were doing. It’s just-, well that’s because there’s no process.
So how do you do all this? How do you bring everything I’ve just talked about together? How do we do this? Well, strap your seatbelt on, put on that five-point harness and get ready. Because I’m going to go through each of these, all the different stages that I talked about-, you know, the marketing, the sales, the fulfillment and the profit, I’m going to go through each one of those and talk about how to make it predictable, repeatable and replenishable, OK, so you can put this into action right away. My goal here, just like Gerard, the way you take all this information and put it to action. And you know what? It’s working. Well I want other people to do the same thing. So I want you to get off your ass and do something with this stuff, because this stuff is valuable, this stuff is powerful. Anyways, enough about that. So I’m warning you though, and this is a big caveat. This is a warning, warning you know. I should put some sort of a sound effect that just has a big fog horn going off that says warning, warning! Alarm bells, alarm bells!
Once you start with process, once you start down this path, you’d better be ready to carry the ball to the goal line. Because when you start it’s going to just consume you, it’s going to bring you right in. It’s the equivalent of burning the boats behind you. You’ve got to take the step, get let off onto the mainland and tell them to burn the boats behind you because there’s no going back. This is the starting of you building your business and creating a business and taking what you have now as probably just a glorified job and turning into a business that’s predictable, repeatable and replenishable. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
We’re going to start with how to make your marketing predictable, repeatable and replenishable. Now, if you haven’t listened to the previous podcast where I’ve outlined for you why I focus on a marketing process called education-based direct response marketing, you may want to go back and listen to those shows. I’m going to talk about a lot of the information in this. I’m just not going to go into as much detail as I have in some of the past shows, just because there’s no time. But I am going to go into as much detail as I can here.
So I’ve followed this approach, so this education-based direct response marketing because there’s a variety of reasons why. Well first of all, it’s ethical, it’s moral. It just makes a whole lot of good sense to identify what a target market’s biggest frustrations are so that you can provide them with free content on how to alleviate those frustrations, and then nurture those needs, those relationships. Nurture them along, so that when they’re ready to purchase the services that you offer, you’re going to be the one they call because you’ve built a certain level of rapport and confidence in who you are and what you do with them.
Secondly, it’s trackable. Tell me this. If you knew that for every dollar you invested into marketing, and you knew that every dollar you invested translated into ten dollars of new revenue, how much would you invest in your marketing? Well the best answer to that question is as much as you can.
Thirdly, it’s scalable. Once you find your magic formula, you can scale the marketing efforts up or down, depending on what you need to accomplish. If you need to bring on some more business, you notice that maybe your pipeline is starting to get a little bit low, turn up the volume on the marketing and start putting some money at it, knowing that that money’s going to translate into new business. Now the problem is if you turn it up too high, you’re going to get too much new business and you won’t be able to just handle it. You’ll hit capacity very quickly. So you can turn it back down again. It’s amazing how you literally-, it’s just like an assembly line. Turn up the speed, turn down the speed. It’s all under your control. It’s no longer hit or miss or guessing games. It’s all predictable.
Fourth, it’s automatable. Is that a word? Automatable? Anyways, you know what I’m trying to say. You can automate the whole process. You can put virtually 100% of it on auto-pilot, which allows you to spend more time doing what you love to do. Remember, this whole process we’re going through, it’s all about creating a lifestyle business. You know, that’s really, at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do here. You know what business you want to be in, but you don’t want the business to consume you. You want to be in control of it. And so that’s why again, I always got to come back to your reason, the type of lifestyle that you want to have, you can design your business around your lifestyle instead of your lifestyle around your business. So, let’s talk about how to get this lifestyle business set up.
Now we’re going to start in the core section number one, which is marketing, OK. So remember, marketing leads to sales, sales lead to fulfillment leads to profit. So we’re going to start with marketing here. So marketing is the lifeblood of your business, you know. The lifeblood of your business is like the lifeblood of human. Leads to a business are like air to a human. Without air, you can’t last very long. Without leads, same fate. You can’t last very long. So where do you start?
Well, start off by finding a market niche that you want to with, OK? Again, it doesn’t have to be the one you’re going to put your business-, you don’t have to choose that for everything. But this is more of a campaign that you want to work on. So say, OK, what area do you want to work on? Do you want to work with retirees, do you want to work with business owners? If so, maybe are they retirees in a certain niche? Is there retirees at a certain geographic location? Is it business owners in a certain market niche? Whatever it happens to be. Choose what that market niche is.
And ask yourself, and maybe even go and ask them what their biggest frustrations are with the financial industry. Believe me, people have comments on this. If you don’t believe me, go ask ten of your friends. What is your biggest frustration with my industry? Just ask them that. Don’t ask them, say, what’s your biggest frustration with me or with your financial planner or anything like that, because it looks too much like you‘re a cat looking for food. What I’m saying is just go and ask them. Say look, I’m going some research here and I want to know what’s your biggest frustration with the financial industry? Well people will start to share that with you. So take that information and write a report, or some sort of free-, or just get some free content or do some research online and get some-, do something that will actually speak to the solving of all of the frustrations, the main frustrations that people have mentioned to you, and provide this content or free report to that market.
Well the report is then delivered electronically. So in order to deliver it electronically, you need that person’s email address. So how do you get the email address? Well, email address honestly? This is your goldmine, this is your treasure chest. You obtain your email addresses by offering your free content via email to them. So to do this, you need to get their email address and you acquire that through what’s known as a landing page or a squeeze page. In other words it’s a page on the internet that offers the content and they have two choices when they hit that landing page. They can either elect to request the content by giving you their email address, or they can leave. Those are the only two things, so make sure-, one of the key criteria for building a good landing page or a squeeze page is to make sure they’ve only got two decisions, to stay or leave. And if they stay, they request the content. If they don’t stay and request the content, then they leave. You don’t want to give them any other options because that’s too distracting. The page basically squeezes them into making a yes/no decision.
So now what that does is now you’ve basically said OK, here’s a group of people and we’ll talk about different ways you can target these groups, and a handful of people within that group have identified themselves as people who are interested in the content you’re putting together. In essence, what you do then is you start nurturing those leads along and continue to provide them with valuable content. Set up an auto-responder email system that will handle the delivery and communication of your content and follow-up. You know, this is how you build your email list. It happens for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s the best employee you’ll ever have because it happens on an automated basis, very inexpensive, they don’t take any breaks. I mean it’s great. Your email list will become your treasure chest. Remember that. The starting point of all marketing comes to getting leads, and this is where the process we’re going through is how to make this all a predictable process.
So remember the stage in the Building a Foundation Stage that talked about knowing who your services are for and who they’re not for. You need to get very clear on this. You need to get very clear and this and create a campaign for this. And I just-, I’ve talked about that before, so let me give you an example here. Let’s say you want to target families who have made it through what I consider the tough years. You know, the years where they’ve got a newborn, they’re experiencing lack of sleep, they’re always tired, you know, those years. In other words, you feel that you can provide great value to this particular niche. So then develop some content that will answer some of that particular niche’s biggest questions. You can even title the report something like ‘The Three Biggest Mistakes Families with Children Under 5 Make with Their Finances and How to Avoid Them’, or something like ‘Warning, The Six Key Questions a Proper Financial Planner Should Never Ask you During Your First Meeting – A Consumer Awareness Guide to Help New Families Find a Financial Planner Who They Can Build a Lifelong Relationship With’. See what I did there? That’s content kind of targeting saying hey, listen, if you’re a new family and you have children under five or if you’re a new family and you’re thinking about financial planning and whatnot, here are some key things you need to be aware of. So there’s the marketing pull there, but also you can see how I’ve targeted it towards that particular niche.
Now you need to find a crowd of people who that you can identify who in that crowd is interested in your content. This next step protects you from wasting money on people who are not interested in your content. OK, remember how-, going back, I’m just going to take a pause here, going back to making this predictable? Well, you now know this is the first step, if I go to a certain crowd, I’ve got a way of identifying who in that crowd is actually interested, and I’ve got a way of doing it. Or I can do it in such a way that I only pay for the people who are interested. How great is that?
So where are these crowds of people? Well, you could say well, they’re maybe in a ten-mile radius of your office, because you know, our businesses are kind of geographically focused; it’s hard for us to deal with people on the other side of the country, so-, well maybe technology is making that a little easier, and I’ve got some really interesting examples of that on how we’ve actually started working with clients who are on the other side of the country. But anyways, but you could just say like, I’m going to start focusing on a ten-mile radius around my office. So you can prepare what in Canada is called an unaddressed ad mail campaign and you can do a flyer drop to these targeted neighbourhoods based on your demographics. You could use social media ads, you can use-, you can identify-, example, first identify what magazines you’re target market might read, OK? So maybe your garget market in this case might read new parent magazines or sports magazines or music magazines or health and fitness magazines, or health and fitness magazines that are focused on people who have just had a baby and whatnot. Then you can go in and find the Facebook company pages for those magazines, or other pages that kind of speak to those main topics. You can then create a post on your company page, or sort of go to some high-level ways of using Facebook for the social media ads. You can then go to your company page and post some of the content to the followers of those magazines, and the followers of those magazines and the followers of those company pages you identified your target market might be following. You can promote your content to those people through some of the advertising structures with Facebook.
Again, not wasting any money on people who aren’t in your geographic area. So you can narrow it down geographically. And remember, you’re only paying for people who are going to click on that to take a look at your content. You can promote this free content and drive them back to your landing page for this free content so that you can obtain their email address and deliver the content that you’ve promised to give them and started your automated email nurturing campaign.
Now, focusing on these groups are now-, you’ve got ways of having people stand up and identify that they’re interested in your content. Other ways of doing it would be local newspapers, using education-based direct response ads. So find a local newspaper, put an ad in it. Now, don’t follow the same-, the ad promotion that makes you look good, that makes you sort of want to show your mom or your kids or your spouse or whatever. The ads are-, direct response advertising does not look fancy. So the ad that I would recommend could be just a headline. Keep the ad nice and small with a call to action using your website landing page to deliver the content. So an example, the ad might say WARNING, in all caps, the six key questions a proper financial planner should never ask you during your first meeting. Free consumer awareness guide helps young families with children under five find a financial planner they can trust. Download for free at www.sixkeyquestions.com or something like that.
So you see how you’re basically just saying, like I just want you to identify yourself, and the people I want to identify themselves are the people who are going to fall into this category or criteria. Young families with children under five who are looking for a financial planner they can trust. OK, so now you’ve started to narrow down your market a bit. Now, every week I would recommend you find a handful of articles that you can deliver via your website. Because a lot of the content, your website, your social media, all that sort of stuff, you need to show activity. You can just sort of have it and not post anything on it.
Well, one of the challenges is how do get this content? Where do I-, you know, what do I post? Well you do need basically to find content that is worthwhile to your particular markets. So again, if you’re dealing with new families and whatnot, make sure all the content you’re creating or you’re putting on your postings is actually something that would enhance and that that particular market might value. What it does is it kind of shows your market that you’re dedicated to them. It says listen, I’m going to focus on you, because I know more about you than any other market, so I’m going to start delivering content to you. They appreciate that, you know. They appreciate all of that, and so-, we’ve got a process in the Academy where we go into great detail on how to fine the free content and all the different tools you can use in order to find free content on a very simplified basis, so you have content you can send out to your target market every single week. So definitely take advantage of that.
Now, how do we-, let’s talk about predictability. So at the end of the day, how is utilizing a strategy like this for your marketing predictable? Well, by being able to measure your results, you can determine the following. For every dollar you put into your marketing campaigns, after 12 months, what return did you generate on those initial dollars? Well, if it cost you $1,000 to run a Facebook campaign for a quarter, and that generated a new client which generated $10,000 in new revenue from that client, over say a 12-month period, you basically just turned $1,000 into $10,000, or you made a ten times multiple on that. That’s phenomenal. Now, here’s the crazy part. Your marketing now is free for the next ten months. Think about it. You took $1,000 and turned it into $10,000. Now you’ve got ten months’ worth of marketing where you can do that over and over and over again. So in essence your marketing becomes free.
I mean it always surprises me when people say well, I don’t need to market. I get all my business from referrals. And that’s fine, but I’m thinking gosh, if they could just find that magic formula, put something together that says well, I’m going to then just automate my whole process and turn $1,000 bills into $10,000 bills on an automated basis. Why wouldn’t you do that? Especially when referrals-, you know, it’s not impossible to sort of make them predictable and repeatable and whatnot. You can build that into your business for sure, but I don’t know. I think if you’re just looking for referrals, it’s hard to build a business to the level I think that you would want to do.
Anyways, let’s now move on to repeatable. How is this process, this whole marketing side, repeatable? Well, by using a methodology like this, you-, do you think you can do it over and over again? I mean, if your $1,000 ad, put in the local newspaper, generated one new client, and you did it this month, you did it again next month and you kept on getting one new client for every $1,000 you put into that newspaper ad, well the reality is that if it worked the first time, similar results will come the second and third, so yeah. Get out there. This is where I tell you to fail forward. Put something in place. Do an ad and then split test it. That allows you to make it so it’s trackable and replenishable and it’s predictable and repeatable. And really what it does, it just allow you to dial it in and say OK, if last month I was able to turn $1,000 into $10,000, what do I need to do to maybe turn that $1,000 into $20,000 to bring my cost of acquisition down to half that? What do I need to do in order so you can start split testing and doing some tweaking on that?
Now, on the replenishable side, can you see how using this process allows you to replenish your leads month after month after month? Well that’s the whole purpose, is that if you’ve got a process that works, do it again next month, do it again tomorrow and just keep on having it turn out new leads for you. And if you’re not ignoring the leads from the current month, you know, because when you do it for this month, now you’ve got a whole series of leads, then you do it again for next month with a new lead campaign. But remember, you don’t forget about the leads that you got the month before. You turn that into an automated nurturing system, and that’s the power. Because you know, I think I’ve said it before in a previous podcast. Of the people that are going to buy your services, 15% will actually do so within the first 90 days of inquiring about your service. The 85 % that didn’t buy in the first 90 days, they’re going to buy within the next 18 months. If you’re not nurturing those leads along over that 18-month or two-year period, then you basically are losing rights to that revenue. And that’s a lot of revenue. So pay attention to that. You’ve got to set the system up on an automated basis in order to do that.
So this is how you set up your core marketing component of your business. This is how you make it. You know, repeatable, predictable and replenishable. OK, so now let’s move on. Moving on to the next stage here.
So we just kind of talked about the marketing side. So what does marketing turn into? Marketing turns into sales. Now, for marketing to turn into sales, now how do you really-, what’s the process you go through for converting those leads-, qualified leads who reach out to you to get together? What’s the process you go through? What’s the sales process? Now because if you can’t convert those qualified leads into sales, you’re wasting money. All that marketing is for naught. So you need to create a predictable, repeatable and replenishable process for converting your leads into sales. And if you haven’t already guessed it, there’s a proven process for how to do this.
Again, this process is outlined in great detail in some of the previous episodes that I’ve put together on how it’s all executed, so I’m going to touch on the highlights of it. But really, you just need to make this whole process go smoothly, and I go into great detail on this in the Academy. Again, we go through every step. We’ve got all the scripting and everything laid out. I mean, everything’s just delivered to you there. So again, if you haven’t signed up to be notified when the next session at the Academy is being released-, or being open up, just go to www.ilovefinancialplanning.com and put your name on the list there and we’ll make sure you’re notified when the next session of the Academy opens up. We haven’t actually opened up the Academy for quite some time. I’ve been so busy doing a lot of the testing on a lot of the work that we’ve been doing in our business-, to get our business, again, working as best we can. So it’s been tough for me to open the Academy up, and I know I’ve had a lot of people reach out and say hey, when’s the next session of the Academy opening up? When’s it opening up? So I just will tell you that we’ve been putting a lot of work into that. We’ve been updating it with a lot of the latest and greatest of the marketing process that we’ve been using, so if you’re interested there, just go to www.ilovefinancialplanning.com and register to be notified when it’s set up.
So, but if we take now, we’re going to move on to the sales side in making this all predictable, so let’s get into the details on how to make the sales component of your business as predictable and repeatable and as replenishable as possible. So on the predictability side, to make your sales process predictable you need to map it out so that you can-, so you know what you’re doing at each stage. The sales process starts when the marketing process ends. This is when the lead reaches out to you to take advantage of a free, no obligation initial meeting.
So here are kind of the high-level steps on how all this works. So Step One, you convert the lead to a prospect and create a financial planning opportunity on your system. So that’s what we do on our sales force system, is we convert them from a lead to a prospect so we can track that opportunity. Step Two is book the initial meeting and associate this meeting to the new opportunity. So we always book our meetings against the opportunities so we know what we’re meeting for. Then we email-, Step Three is we email the prospect a new prospect welcome email, and this outlines everything they need to know about their initial meeting, what to bring, everything about directions, how to get there, all that sort of stuff.
Then Step Four is, we have my assistant prepare the initial documents to be used at the first meeting.
Step Five, then, is have the initial meeting, you know, but basically execute it. Sit down and have that meeting. It’s important-, now what I’ve done is I’ve scripted out all of the meetings to it becomes habit and routine, and I’ve discussed what I say and how I say in previous episodes, but basically you want to make sure you map it all out. And the reason for that is because you can start the split testings a little bit. You can try different phrases and different ways of delivering your message in that first meeting. Then basically you’re looking at that point, once the meeting’s over, you’re looking for a yes or no as to whether or not it makes sense to have a second meeting with that particular prospect.
If it’s a yes, then you book the second meeting and provide the prospect with an information package and checklist of information they need to bring with them to the second meeting.
Step Eight is to prepare the first meeting summary letter and mail it out to the prospect, so between other meetings I’ll basically send out a little confirmation note saying listen, I just wanted to re-state what I heard at that meeting just to make sure we’re on the same page here.
Step Eight is then prepare for the letter, as I say, and then Step Nine is having-, you know, have your second meeting, and have the review documents and everything put together in anticipation for that, so that that meeting can be taken at-, can be had and delivered with the same predictability each time. Because this is the meeting-, remember, the second meeting is where you’re actually presenting the fee. And you’re charging the fee and you’re basically-, your goal at that meeting is get a yes or a no on whether or not they want to move forward with your services. So you need to make sure you’ve got that all split tested out, because if you don’t, then you won’t know if you change something if that had a better or worse effect on your ability to move forward with somebody who qualified for your services. So definitely take advantage of that.
Now, at that point, at the end of the second meeting you’re looking for a yes or a no. And if it’s a yes, then you want to book your Plan Presentation Part One and then go through all the process of getting them all set up, getting the letter of engagement signed, getting their credit card processed, all that sort of stuff. If they decide no, then you close the file. But if they did decide yes, then you want to prepare and send out a new client welcome kit.
Now you see how this process is all very predictable? It sort of just maps it through, everybody goes through the same experience, kind of like no matter what office location they go to, just like McDonald’s French fries, I want-, no matter where the office is, I want the fries to taste the same, no matter what office people go to, I want the experience to be the same. So this is-, that’s an important part.
Now, is it repeatable? Well yes, since you have all this mapped out, you can now program his into your systems and have it happen on an automated basis, so that as the prospective client moves through the various stages, different things get triggered. This is the test, so to speak, as to whether or not your system is repeatable. Can you automate it? If you can’t automate it, it’s not repeatable.
So now you can start to see how all of that, the sales process, it’s-, there’s a process there that’s predictable, repeatable; you can replenish it each time with all the news leads coming in, so it’s definitely doable there.
So now we’re going to move on to the fulfillment side. Now, fulfillment stage, you hit that stage when-, you actually have to do some work for the client. Because up until now it’s just been about getting leads and then turning those leads from a marketing standpoint into new clients. And that’s what the sales process is, but now that once they become a new client, now you have to do some financial work.
So, the first thing you need to do is to map out the process you and your team will go through to complete the opportunity for our client. Now in this case, I’m going to outline the steps to fulfill the financial planning opportunity. Because remember, there are many different opportunities you’re going to identify through this process. This to me is the first one you’re going to go through.
So Step One, you pass the file on to a plan writer in your office so that they can create what’s known as the Base Plan. Step Two, this is where the financial planner reviews the base plan for accuracy, OK? Because you don’t want the financial planner spending time on data entry. You want to put people in place for that, ultimately. Step Three, financial planner then identifies other opportunities that should be reviewed with the client. Example, you can find investment opportunities, life insurance opportunities, living benefit opportunities, executive compensation program opportunities, education savings plan opportunities, tax planning-, you mean, you name it. As you go through the plan, you’re going to start to recognize other opportunities you can identify. Our system just simply allows us to track those opportunities so we can start bringing them up with a client through the financial planning process.
And then Step Four, you as the financial planner, you’re going to review that Base Plan and create a recommended plan to be reviewed with the client. And that’s where your planning comes in. You know, financial planning software is not designed-, good financial planning software I should say, should not replace a planner. It should make the planner’s job easier and should enhance the planner’s ability to get to the bottom line, to get to the details that need to be looked at. So keep that in mind. That’s one of the main reasons why we use the razor, is that it doesn’t do the financial planning for us, it just allows us to make better-, to analyze the information better, to be much clearer on the data, so that we can make better recommendations to our clients which they can then implement, or we can implement for them.
So OK, so let’s see, where are we at? So we’ve-, the financial planner reviews the plan and then Step Five is when we actually present Part One of the plan. You know, and Part One to us, if you take a look at our website, Part One is simple presenting the retirement planning calculations, taking a look at the investment components and the tax component. So it’s not complete, but it is Part One.
Then, after that we go through Part One, you know, go through that process. Then we book Plan Presentation Part Two. So at the end of Meeting One, we always book the next meeting. So we go through that, we execute Part Two. At that meeting we’re going to review the adjusted plan for many adjustments that they needed to make from the previous meeting, and then we’re going to take a look at the risks of the plan. Things like life insurance, living benefits, estate planning, all that sort of stuff, and that comes from a lot of the opportunities we recognized through the planning process.
Then Step Nine is moving forward with all the opportunities identified. So this is where you basically get their permission and get their buy-in for analyzing each of the opportunities. So you could analyze your-, as I say, life, living benefits, group plans, executive compensation, whatever it happens to be. Again, these opportunities-, each opportunity I recognize has their own stage, so it’s not driven off of the main opportunity, they have their own opportunities that they’re going to need to follow through various stages as well. And all of my opportunities are set up sort of in the pre-, doing work, where they say OK, yes, I want to move forward with that, and I want to get the opportunity to get it looked at. Then we move into what we need to do to execute that plan so that their opportunity is never forgotten about.
Then we finalize the client’s plan to be used as the new benchmark for all of our future progress reports, so once we’ve done that and we’ve identified everything, and the client says yeah, that plan, I like it! Now we’ve got to document that we now use this as a benchmark for all future progress. And then we close the financial planning file and we simply return all the original documents to the client.
You see how this is a process that’s predictable, replenishable and repeatable? Or sorry, predictable, repeatable and replenishable. It’s got to be mapped out this way. If it’s not, you’re going to be making it up along the way and it’s just not going to work when the volumes start to hit you.
Now, we’re going to move on to the profit side, OK, because we’ve just talked through marketing, we’ve talked through sales, we’ve talked through fulfillment. Now we’re going to move on to the profit side. Now the moral of the story here is that when you take this type of approach to your business, a very methodical approach-, when you get this methodical approach under your belt you can now analyze each component to make sure you’re profitable. Now here’s a ratio that you need to embrace in your business. I never-, it took me a while to embrace this, but I tell you, as soon as I did, my business made it to the next level, and I simply made it to the next level because you were doing things properly. You were focusing on what was important. The ratio I want you to focus on is what’s called 40/35/25. Forty simply is the percentage of your gross revenue that should go to your compensation. So 40% of every dollar that comes in should go to your bottom line-, or sorry, not your bottom line, your payroll, for you or your spouse in a family-type practice. Thirty-five, so 35% of your-, is the gross revenue that should go towards your administration and operation. So you should be able to run your business on 35 cents of every dollar that comes in. Then 25% of your gross revenue should go to your pr-tax profit.
Now take a look at your business over the last 12 months. What I would do is just simply take a look at the final number and take a look at each component. So the first component is your-, the gross revenue, second is your expense category, or all the operation expenses, and third is profit. So analyze your business against that, and see where your ratios come in, because you want to be as close to that as possible.
Now yeah, so focus is simply that and-, chances are pretty good, though. I will just caution you that your numbers, when you actually look at your analysis-, and this is what it was for me when I first started, so don’t think it’s something bad if you get to this, but basically, your numbers will probably look closer to 80/20/0, which means 80% of the money that comes in goes to your compensation. Twenty percent goes to your admin and operations, and nothing goes to profit because there’s nothing left over. So take a look at that and really take a look at what your numbers. So if you’re not at that 40/35/25 model, then start-, this process will probably start getting you on track for that.
So if you’re still with me, OK, and I mean we’ve gone through a lot of information here, if you’re still with me here and I haven’t scared you off this whole process, I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to hear what you think. I’d love to hear whether you agree with what I’ve said and I want to hear back from you what your fears are, what your challenges are, what’s getting in your way of being able to do this so I can help you. I mean just like some of the other people, Betty, Andrew, Stewart, you know, Syrinivasen, all of you people who reached out to me with some further questions. That’s what I want to hear from. I want to hear from you because I know this shit works. I mean it’s something that I do every single day. Keep in mind that this whole process, it sounds simple but it’s very complex at the same time. And I get that. I get that, because ever since I started with free podcasts I’ve been indundated with questions from listeners. I’ve been inundated with requests for more, which I think is really cool.
But also, it’s very challenging for me. Remember, this isn’t my day job, and I know that there was probably a little bit more time between my last show and this show, simply because we got busy. But I hope that the depth of which I’ve gone into and the way I’ve mapped this out so it kind of makes up for some of that delay between the last two shows. But my point is that my day job is being in the trenches, running my own firm, marketing for new clients, meeting with new prospects and going through my sales process, meeting with new clients, going through the fulfillment stage, going through all of that. Which is why, with all the demand from people and listeners from around the world who have emailing me and saying hey, I need more, I need more. How do I get all this information? How do I put this all together? It sounds like you’ve invented-, you know, you’ve put all this together. I don’t want to re-invent the wheel.
So how do I do all this? Well that’s again, I’ve talked about The Fee Based Financial Planning Academy™ in the past. I can’t-, unfortunately, the real downside of this is I can’t run the Academy sessions full-time. I wish I could. I wish I could just open it up and just run them full-time so that you could just join in whenever you wanted to, but I can’t because there’s a lot of my involvement. I do a lot of coaching calls in them. We do a lot of conversations. We do a lot of coaching calls there where I can answer your questions one on one. So we do have that, but the point is that I’m kind of there every day in the trenches so when you have a question for me through the Academy, I’m able to deal with it head-on, because I can say look, here’s exactly what I’m doing today to solve that problem.
So consider this show as a bit of a pre-announcement that I am planning on opening up the Academy soon. I’m only going to open it up for a very short period of time for the registration, because again the registration’s a bit of daunting task to make sure everybody gets where they need to be, and all the access and all that sort of stuff. I haven’t mapped out exactly when the Academy is going to open again, but I’m in the process of sort of-, as I say, updating the Academy with a lot of new content, a lot of new marketing materials. A lot of it’s really focused around Facebook. We’ve been doing a lot of Facebook work and a lot of strategies, and so there’s some great information in there. Yeah, so I’m really, really excited about that, because I know how well it’s working for us.
And this past year for me has been an amazing testing ground. We executed a ton of new initiatives and well, I’ll be honest with you. A lot of them didn’t work, but a few of them really did, and it’s these ones that really worked that we said OK, now let’s turn this into more of a-, let’s turn this-, what we did and let’s put it into a process so that we can teach this information to everybody in the Academy, so were in the process now of just adding them into the academy.
I’m just going through some more-, creating more content, the videos and that sort of thing that are in the Academy so you can learn exactly how to do it. So hopefully you can avoid making the same mistakes. I’ve also received some amazing emails from existing Academy members who were fortunate enough to participate in previous openings of the Academy and previous sessions. And they’re telling me how much success they’re having by implementing what they’re learned from the Academy. And I’m going to share some of those success stories during the launch of the registration period, so when we open up registration, basically the way it works is there’s a bit of a pre-launch that’s processed. So it’s where-, there’s some videos that are going speak to exactly what the Academy is, show you some inner workings of how it is, and I’m going to actually highlight some people who’ve been in the Academy and just explain how they’re using it and some of the success that they’ve been having, and how they’re finding certain stages, which they really thought were fearful and were really scared of. And at the end of making it through and making it over that hurdle, they look back and go, well that was easy.
So stay tuned for the next episode where I’m going to show you-, really we’re going to take what we’ve just learned here and we’re going to turn it up a bit more. Sorry, I jumped ahead there. That’s the commercial for the Academy over with now. As I say, if you do want to get information on the Academy, just go to www.ilovefinancialplanning.com and we’ll make sure you’re notified of it.
Now, I’m going to talk a little bit about what we’re going to do next episode, because the next episode is going to go into scaling your business, OK. First episode was all about creating the business. The second episode, this one that we just did, is all about making it sustainable, making it work so you can build it really-, you know, build the foundation in the first-, that you’ve got something that’s worthwhile to somebody else. Then we can show you how to really turn it up and build your business, but now the third one, the scaling of your business, this one is exciting, because this is how we show you how to really turn your business into something that is so much bigger than you, and show you how to scale it in such a way that it enhances your lifestyle and provides you with such confidence moving forward, it’s amazing.
Yeah, so the next episode we’re going to really talk about how to just take it to the next level. How do you really make it so you can bring on other financial planners and get them working for you and get them making your business. So it’s not for everybody. I tell you, getting to this point-, if you can get first of all through the first stage, with is Building a Foundation, that’s a huge, huge milestone. Then getting through the Securing the Future Stage, oh my gosh, that is massive. It doesn’t happen overnight. It can take a while. To be honest with you it just definitely-, it all depends on where you’re at with your business.
But then once you get past that, I’m going to show you how to scale it. I’m going to show you how to turn it to 11, get this thing working for you so it’s so much bigger, if you want to go that route. A lot of people honestly keep it at the Securing the Future Stage, and they’re good with that because they’re having so much fun and they’re making things-, it’s just, life is great at that point. But for those of you who wanted to just take it to the next level, this is where you can create some massive, massive wealth, because you’re creating value in a business that runs completely independent of you and it just goes-, it takes it to the next level.
So take the information we’ve just gone through in this episode and take action on it. Take the information in Fee 039, the previous episode, take action on it. Don’t do anything in this episode until you’ve got the first episode done. You’ve got to do them in order, because if you don’t, you’re just going to blow your brains out. Get the Building a Foundation Stage done first, then move on to the Securing the Future Stage and get out there and build yourself a better business.
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