Positioning Secrets of a $70 Billion Company That Every Advisor Needs To Know

Positioning Secrets of a $70 Billion Company That Every Advisor Needs To Know

One of the biggest marketing challenges RIA firms have is creating a compelling marketing campaign that all the advisors can benefit from.

When it comes to positioning your advisory firm, it’s critical that you identify profitable niche markets and plan to dominate them. But… this can be a challenge when you have a firm with multiple advisors that have their own unique style and a unique clientele.A “one size fits all” marketing approach is likely going to do more harm than good.

The only way to solve this marketing dilemma is to take a different perspective on the problem.

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

The majority of advisors I’ve worked with are woefully unaware of how real businesses use marketing and advertising to sell products and services. It’s much easier and much faster than the traditional direct sales methods we all grew up on… but only if you know what you’re doing.

In this article, you’re going to get a sneak peak behind the curtain of a multi-billion dollar company… and the strategy they’ve used to launch more than 20 billion dollar brands.​

The Company With 21 Billion-Dollar Brands

When it comes to identifying niche markets and launching category dominating brands, there is no one better than Proctor & Gamble. As a company, they are Jedi masters at the art and science of Positioning.

Four philosophies influence and color everything P&G does:

  1. Understanding what the consumer wants is critical to the business of P&G.
  2.  P&G’s corporate mission is to develop new products that deliver real value to the consumer.
  3. P&G creates unique brands for its products that consumers can form an emotional and trust-based relationship with.
  4. P&G maintains a long-term perspective on everything it does and is consistent and focused.​

Proctor & Gamble is a phenomenal company. Not only has it been in existence for 178 years… but 2015 marks the 125th year that P&G has paid a dividend with 59 years of consecutive increases.

P&G has thrived and survived for 178 years because they understand how this game is played better than any other company. While other companies try to widen their focus in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience… P&G knows that the secret to success is quite the opposite.

The only way to win is to narrow your focus and dominate niche markets.

A More Focused Business Portfolio

We conducted a comprehensive diagnosis to answer a fundamental strategic question: Which businesses should P&G be in? We chose 10 business categories where P&G understands consumers and has leading market positions, strong brands, differentiated products and business models proven to grow and create value. These 10 categories have been growing faster, and their operating margins are higher than those of the total Company. Their sales and profits are highly concentrated in the top consumer markets around the world. Yet they have significant growth opportunity in big, developed countries such as the U.S.,

After decades of category extension and geographic expansion to get bigger, we are narrowing our focus to these 10 categories to get better. Ultimately, a more focused P&G will lead to becoming the best-performing company in the consumer products industry— winning with consumers and delivering the most consistent and reliable performance in our chosen categories, countries, channels and customers.

More Innovative and More Productive

We have always believed that product innovation is the lifeblood of our business. We invent brands and products that create and transform categories, and that build consumer trial and create value in those categories for years— often for decades. Our brand and product innovations drive category market growth, which creates value for our retail customers and suppliers. We’re rededicating ourselves to product innovation that “wins from the top”— offering the best-performing products in the category, with the highest quality, at a modest price premium— yielding superior consumer value and growth.

Innovation is our lifeblood, but what has changed is the realization that we cannot deliver consistent and reliable growth and value creation without continuous improvement in productivity. We are implementing the biggest supply chain redesign in the Company’s history. We are moving to fewer categories, brands, initiatives, product lines and SKUs. We are consolidating to fewer plants, agencies, suppliers and organizations. We are focusing on fewer priorities and activities. This is leading to lower costs in overhead, cost-of-goods-sold, marketing and trade spending. In turn, this is driving more focus and more savings to reinvest in accelerating growth of the leading brands, the most significant product innovations, and the countries and customers with the highest potential for sales, profit and cash growth.

Source: Proctor and Gamble 2015 Annual Report  (emphasis added)

Clearly their strategy is working.

Of the 10 categories P&G competes in... they are the leader in seven of these categories and i#2 in the remaining three... with significant growth potential in all of them.

Across the 10 categories, P&G has 21 brands with annual sales of $1 billion to about $10 billion, and 11 brands with sales of $500 million to $1 billion – many of those with billion-dollar potential.

3 P&G Positioning Philosophies

Along with it’s main philosophies, there are three philosophies  that relate specifically to approaching positioning and branding:

#1) The only way to succeed is to find out exactly what the consumers want and how they want that benefit delivered. Every decision must be supported by research.

P&G is driven by research and development. Marketing isn't a guessing game. It's a research game. 

People think of P&G as a marketing company, but we are first and foremost a research-and-development company. R&D is the lifeblood of our business.

John Pepper 
Former CEO, Proctor & Gamble

When you are looking for niches to dominate, don't just pick something because you "like it'. Finding profitable niches is no different than finding lucrative investment opportunities. 

You already have the skill set to spot great opportunities. You've just never thought to use them in quite this way. 

#2) Consumers form an emotional bond with a brand — not a product or a company. Therefore, the brand has to have a personality and a character people trust and relate to— something distinct that no other competing brand offers.

Here is the reality every service based business has to come to terms with. Whomever the customer interacts with is the brand... for better or for worse. 

Keep in mind that the buying process is very emotional. Clients don't work with companies... they work with people. Your client facing advisors are who bring their personality and have a character people trust and relate to. 

Unfortunately, most advisory firms completely botch their marketing and wind up coming across as some bland corporate entity with a stick shoved up their ass... or some homogenous piece of "me too" copy that you could slap any company name on and no one would be the wiser.

Instead of trying to market a lifeless corporate entity, start putting your advisors in the spotlight.

#3) Manage each brand as if it were a separate business. Focus resources on whatever is required to build the business of each brand. Every brand must have a brand manager who oversees everything that affects that brand.​

Imagine for a moment that your firm operates like Proctor & Gamble. Each advisor is their own separate brand that has their own separate audience and need to be handled in their own separate way.

Once you start thinking of your advisors as “brand managers”… things will start to click into place very quickly.

Examples To Follow

​One of the major advantages you get by marketing your advisors separate from the advisory firm is that you can side step a lot of compliance and regulatory issues that can be otherwise tricky to navigate.

When it comes to utilizing marketing tricks and strategy... pretty much everything is fair game when financial advice is given through an individual as “entertainment” instead of from an RIA.

(Note: This doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to do say whatever you want as long as the communication is coming from a personal brand. Please run everything by your legal team and compliance officer).

When it comes to positioning an advisor, you have a few go-to moves:

  • Blog
  • Book
  • Guest Column
  • Podcast

​You’ll notice that the big names you’ve heard of in the wealth management industry use all of these positioning strategies to their advantage.

Ritholtz Wealth Management​

Quick. Name the two most well know financial bloggers who own a wealth management firm.

If you’ve been following financial anything, you know the names “Barry Ritholtz” and “Josh Brown”. When it comes to positioning themselves as true industry thought leaders, Ritholtz Wealth Management has done a spectacular job.​

Blogging is essential to my career. I no longer prospect for new customers, by phone or any other means. I prefer to spend my days getting smarter and to do so in such a way that the clients find their way to me.

Josh Brown
CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management

Notice how each blog has it’s own brand... and each brand has it’s own voice. This is exactly the approach you should take when positioning your advisors.

Buckingham Wealth Management​

Buckingham has done an incredible job of recruiting heavy hitting thought leaders to bolster their brand.

Buckingham has been absolutely crushing it through M&A and organic growth over the past few years. Not only have they added billions in assets, but they have quickly become the destination for existing firms looking for an exit strategy.

Hire A Professional To Do This For You

As a word of caution... unless you have someone on your team that is a certified marketing ninja and already knows how to do all this stuff... don't try this at home.

I can tell you from experience of just running my personal blog... it takes no small effort to keep this ship sailing. The amount of hours I put into the research alone would make your head spin.

And I'm a professional copywriter and marketer. 

Unless you have an advisor with an inhuman work ethic and a strong marketing background... it's highly unlikely that you're going to be able to get this job done in house. 

Yes, Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown aren't doing too bad of a job... but here is what you don't know about most major thought leaders.

They hire ghostwriters and copywriters to help them produce the huge amounts of content that gets produced.​

Let's get real. You don't have time to hone your copywriting skills, or learn how to manage your web properties, build landing pages, social media marketing, adwords, or the dozens of other things you need to run an effective marketing campaign.

You have better things to do (like serving your clients). 

If you're serious about implementing a killer marketing strategy to rapidly grow your advisory firm... do what everyone else does and hire a pro.

Want to work with me?  Click here now for a free 30-minute strategy session. 

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3 Ways Advisors Can Get More High Quality Referrals

3 Ways Advisors Can Get
More High Quality Referrals

​The easiest and most effective way to generate a steady stream of new business is by getting referrals. While you can certainly generate new clients from cold calling, it just isn’t a reliable or sustainable way to get really high quality clients.

But… most advisors I've work with have no idea how to intentionally generate more referrals. In fact, most of the referrals they do get happen by accident. (Note: Asking "who else do you know that has lots of money and would like my service" doesn't count as getting a referral)

Referrals are by far the best quality prospects you will ever get. It’s not enough to just hope people tell their friends about you and something comes of it. You need to install systems and process that engineer and orchestrate referrals on a consistent and predictable basis.

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospects

In this article, I am going to reveal some of my favorite strategies for creating high quality referrals that don’t require any awkward “who do you know” conversations or outbound sales activity.

Mastering the referral process is critical to building a thriving practice with wealthy clients. It is the only way to gain access the upper echelon prospects. Having solid endorsements and testimonials is the “street cred” you need to run with the big dogs.

If you don’t master the referral process, you’re going to have and extremely difficult time attracting affluent clients. Without references and endorsements, it will be difficult to gain the trust of wealthy prospects.

11 Reasons Why Referrals Rock​

​I’m sure you don’t need a ton of convincing that referrals are awesome… but just in case you do, here are 11 reasons:

  1. 65% of a company’s new business is from referrals – New York Times
  2. 84% of global consumers believe recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy sources of information about products, up from 78% in 2007 — Nielsen
  3. Customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising – Neilsen
  4. 83% of consumers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience- Texas Tech University
  5. 85% of a business’ Facebook fans are likely to recommend the business –Syncapse
  6. Offering a reward increases the likelihood of referral, but the reward size may not matter – American Marketing Association
  7. Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Neilsen
  8. A referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired through a different method – Journal of Marketing
  9. The lifetime value of a referred customer is 16% higher than a non-referred customer – Journal of Marketing
  10. A referred customer spends 13.2% more than a non-referred customer – Journal of Marketing
  11. Customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate — Deloitte

Long story short, it pays big money to get more referrals. So what’s the secret to getting a steady stream of referrals? Become more referrable!

The REAL Reason Why People Give Referrals

Have you ever thought about why people actually give referrals? The answer might surprise you.

The real reason why people give referrals is to improve their social standing among friends.

Yup. We give people referrals so we can look cool.

Think about it. How much satisfaction do you get when you tell your friends about something cool they didn’t know about? Especially when they love it and now have to forever credit you with introducing you to that thing?

If you’re like me, you like it a lot.

But… it really sucks when I tell a friend to go try out a new restaurant I like and they had a bad experience. Now I’m the guy who gave them a bad recommendation.

And no one wants to be that guy.

When you think about it, giving a referral is a pretty risky thing. Especially for someone who is wealthy. Whenever someone makes a referral or a recommendation, they are putting their name on the line. Even more importantly, they are putting their cool card on the line.

3 Ways to Engineer Referrals

When we talk about referrals, what we are really talking about is getting introduced. At all times, we want our prospects to come to us... not spend our time chasing prospects.

Keep in mind that your clients aren't professional sales people and have no idea how to tell their friends what you really do... or for that matter what kinds of people you want to meet.

This is why having a clearly defined niche is really important. The more clarity you have around what kinds of problems you solve and what kinds of clients you are looking for, the easier it is to find them.

Assuming you have a clearly defined target market... the ​secret to engineering referrals is to create low-pressure, low-risk ways for people to introduce you to their friends.

Here are three easy to implement ideas:

1) Deliver a Killer Service With a Clear Value Proposition

This might seem like a "no duh" kind of thing to list... but apparently its not very obvious because most customer service just sucks.

One of the easiest ways to get clients to refer business to you is to  actually deliver a great customer experience. But... if they don't actually know what it is you do for them, they are going to have a difficult time telling their friends why they should work with you.

Whenever it is appropriate (which is always), ask your client what it is they think they do for you. If what they think you do for them isn't aligned with your value proposition... you know where your problem is.

Your value proposition has two components:

  1. The Technical Aspect: This is actually doing a good job at the thing you're supposed to be doing.
  2. The Emotional Aspect: How your clients feel about doing business with you.​

It’s not enough to just do a good job from a technical perspective… you need to help your clients feel good when they do business with you. The more your client feels like they are being taken care of and they have a (relatively) friction free experience... they are always going to leave your office with positive emotions.

When you are crafting your value proposition, it's very important that you use the words that your clients use and NOT the words you would use. 

Clients say things like "I love working with you because I never have to worry [emotional] about dealing with all the complicated tax issues my business creates [technical]" or "I really like having an expert I can turn to when I have questions [emotional] about investing and saving for my retirement [technical]".

Experts and corporations say stuff like: "Delivering value, excellence, and quality since 1992" or "Unparalleled excellence in financial preparedness"​ or some other non-sense that no human would ever say.

Make sure that you and your client are on the same page about the problems you are solving for them! If you can't explain it in one sentence what you do for your client, there is no way your client will be able to explain it to their friends.

2) Content Marketing

While we absolutely want our clients to tell their friends about what you do... sometimes they can do more harm than good.

The best thing you can do is create some kind of content your clients can send to their friend that helps educate them about what you do. It could be a book you wrote, a video you created, or a blog post on your website.

Both the referrer and referral really like this because it sets up a no-pressure, no-risk introduction. No one has to put themselves in an awkward situation where someone feels like they are going to get sold something. 

3) Live Events

There is no better way to help your clients look cool than by hosting events that they can invite their friends to.

If you aren’t running a monthly live event, you should seriously consider it. It could be a client appreciation dinner, an executive roundtable, some kind of workshop, or just a simple networking event where you introduce people you know.

One of the biggest benefits of a live event is the element of social proof. When a potential prospect is in a room full of other people you work with... it makes it so much easier to say yes to working with you. You also get the added bonus of being positioned as an authority when you are the host.

Additionally, you have the chance to create a ton of value for the people you know by introducing them to other potential clients and referral sources.

The One Thing You Must ALWAYS Do To Get More Referrals...

Relationships are extremely important when it comes to generating referrals. People want to work with people they know, like, and trust. If you aren’t doing things on a regular basis to build and maintain those relationships… they aren’t going to have much of a reason to send business to you.

It amazes me how many advisors completely drop the ball on this one.

One of the easiest things you can do is to show your gratitude and appreciation whenever you get a referral. Not some canned “thank you” email you send a month later. Pick up the phone and call them. Send them a gift in the mail with a hand written card.

If you implemented only one idea from this article, make it this one. The more you can help people feel good about sending business to you, the more they will want to do it.

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7 Tips for Creating Lifetime Clients

7 Tips for Creating Lifetime Clients

If you aren’t converting first time customers into loyal lifetime clients... your business is dying. Acquiring a new customer is one of the most expensive activities inside of any business. The majority of your profit is made on the back end sales. Without repeat business… you have no business.

Running a churn and burn transactional business is awful downward spiral. It’s a never-ending daily grind where you’re constantly out hunting for clients. Not only does it cost an enormous amount of resources to continually acquire new customers... but it destroys your ability to provide great service to your existing clients (which ultimately affects your ability to retain them).​

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, we’re going to explore the basic strategies for converting first time customers into lifetime clients.

Customer retention is the lifeblood of a client building business. Repeat clients create a solid and predicable stream of revenue that you can use to fund future growth. Not only will your profit margins skyrocket, but your customer acquisition costs will drop (referrals happen from happy clients).

Fail to retain your clients and you’re basically screwed. You will feel like Sisyphus, trapped forever rolling a rock uphill only to have it roll back down. Your reputation will suffer and it will get harder and more expensive to gain new clients.

Lifetime Value: The Critical Metric​

Most business owners have heard the statistics on the cost of acquiring new business vs repeat business. Depending on the source, you’ll see it’s anywhere between 3-30 times as much.

Whatever the real cost is… it’s expensive.

But here is the better question. Do you know how much a loyal client is actually worth to your business?

Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.

W. Edwards Deming 
American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant

Knowing the Lifetime Value (LTV) is one of the most important metrics you can know about your business. Once you understand the LTV, you know how much you can afford to spend acquiring new clients. Even more important, you’ll know how much you can spend to retain your clients.

Yes. You are going to have to invest resources into client retention.

You don’t just “win” a customer and  they are loyal to you for life. It requires relationship building and continually providing value to retain great clients.

There are multiple ways to calculate LTV but for the sake of simplicity... we’re going to use a very basic equation.

[Average $ Revenue / Year] x  [Profit Margin] x [Average Customer Lifespan (in years)] = Life Time Value

Lets assume your average client generates $1,000 in profit / year and will stay a client for an average of 5 years. That means each new client is worth $5,000 total.

Let’s also assume that your average cost to acquire a new client is $1,000. That means in the first year, you are going to break even… but every year you keep the client you are going to net $1,000 profit.

That means the longer you can keep the customer coming back, the more money you’re going to make.

How much would you be willing to spend each year to keep that client coming back? Would you spend $100 a year to make $1,000? ($900 net gain)More importantly… would you spend $100 so you don’t have to spend $1,000 to replace the client you lost ($1000 expense + $1000 unrealized gain = $2000 net loss)?

Pretty eye opening once you look at it that way isn’t it?​

​7 Simple Ideas For Creating Clients For Life

​Remember that wealthy people prioritize relationships when it comes to doing business. Most businesses treat their customers like an ATM and never bother to create a genuine human connection with them.

Wealthy clients want to work with someone that they like and trust… someone who is looking out for their best interests and not how they can squeeze the most money out of them.

Keeping clients comes down to one very important thing. Constantly showing your appreciation.When your clients feel like you truly value them, they will value you.

When you have that strong of a relationship with your client, they aren’t going to drop you for another provider because they are cheaper.

Here are 7 inexpensive ideas to help you create a loyal clientele that stays with you for life.

1) Know Them by Name

Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Dale Carnegie
"How To Win Friends and Influence People"

If you ran into your client at the grocery store… would you be able to address them by name? What if they called in and said “it’s Jon Smith”… would you know exactly who that is without having to pull up your address book?

Nothing communicates “I value you” faster than knowing someones name. Not much communicates “you aren’t important to me” when you don’t.

Do whatever it takes to know every single client by name.​

2) Know Their Family Members by Name

If you ran into them with their spouse or children… would you know who they are?

Whenever you are doing your initial intake session, make sure you find this out. The easiest way to do this is to have a “client information sheet” that you have them fill out on their first meeting with you. Sometimes they don’t fill it out completely, but they will talk about their family members from time to time.

Keep detailed records of this kind of information. The difference between asking “how’s your wife doing?” and “how’s Sharon doing?” is night and day.​

3) Know Important Dates/Events

Do you know when your client’s birthday is? How about anniversary? Do they have a big trip coming up? Is their kid on a travel baseball team and they are going to the national tournament next month? Is there kid graduating from school this year?

The more you know about the important events happening in your client’s life, the more opportunities you have to show your appreciation by doing something thoughtful. Sending cards or gifts on these dates is an easy, low cost way to show that they matter to you.​

4) Know Their Hobbies, Likes, and Dislikes

Is your client an avid cyclist? Super involved with their church? On the board of a non profit? Wine aficionado? Loves Italian sports cars? Watches?

These are all ways to create touch points with your clients. Not only will you have plenty of conversation topics, but you’ll have a great way to get involved with your client’s social networks (this leads to referrals).​

5) Ask For Feedback

I’m not talking about having them fill out an impersonal survey. I mean calling them up and asking them “how am I doing?” and “what can I do to better serve you?” and actually following through on their suggestions.

Your clients will tell you how they want to be served if you just listen to them. It also shows that you are humble and are always looking for ways to improve. Not only will it help you deliver a higher quality service, but when problems happen over the course of your relationship, your client will know that it was an honest mistake and that you are sincere when you say “it won’t happen again”.​

6) Connect Them With Cool People

The richest people in the world look for and build networks; everyone else looks for work.

Robert Kiyosaki 
Author, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"

Do you have a few clients that you think would really get along? Can you connect your client with someone who will help them grow their business?

One of the best ways to create high customer loyalty is to become a center of influence and a connector. If you’re not already, try hosting a regular in-person networking event. Not only will you get to know your clients on a more personal level, but it’s a great opportunity for them to bring referrals to meet you on neutral territory.

7) Weekly or Monthly Newsletter

It amazes me how many business owners just completely ignore doing follow up activities. Don’t expect that your clients are just going to pick up the phone and call you when things happen. Stay in front of them with useful and helpful information.

This is a great way to continue to build your position, educate your client about how you can help them, and is also a great way to generate referrals (they can give one of their friends a newsletter as an introduction to you).

Whenever possible, send physical mail instead of email.

Yes, it might cost you a couple dollars to send them out… but it makes a huge difference when it comes to conversion rates. Also, your clients are more likely to see and read it when compared to email.

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John Doe
UI/UX Designer

4 Steps To Wowing Wealthy Clients With World Class Service

4 Steps To Wowing Wealthy Clients With World Class Service

Working with wealthy clients means delivering world class service. The key to attracting a steady stream of affluent clients in one way or another relies on social proof.

You MUST deliver an outstanding experience that not only creates loyal clients… but advocates who are willing to endorse you and refer their friends.​

Keep this in mind at all times: You are in a service business. You exist because you serve the needs of your clients. Designing an ideal experience from your customers perspective (not yours) is how you build a highly profitable business.

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, I’m going to cover the basic elements of a a high quality customer experience.Mastering the delivery unit of your business means creating loyal clients for life. Marketing drives the people to you in the first place, but your delivery keeps them coming back (and referring all of their friends).

Your reputation relies on your ability to deliver. Mess this up and there is no amount of marketing that can save your business. Not only will you not get referrals or repeat business, but your retention rate will plummet. Do whatever it takes to deliver an outstanding experience… or suffer the career killing consequences.

Blame the Process, Not the People​

When it comes to delivery, quality and consistently are both important. The only way to create a consistent and high quality customer experience is to rely on systems… not people.

Are great people important to delivering a high quality customer experience? They sure are. But even your best people can’t outperform the systems they are using.

This is often a tough pill to swallow for a business owner. It means taking full responsibility that your team's poor performance is solely your fault.

After all, you designed the systems and trained them on how to do their job… right?​

A bad system will beat a good person every time.

W. Edwards Deming
American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant

I’m continually amazed at how often small business owners seem to be in business by accident. Somehow, despite any clearly defined systems or written operations manuals, they have a business that generates revenue.

This usually isn’t a problem until the business owner tries to grow and hire new people. Absent any clearly defined systems, people are left to their own devices to figure things out... and this creates all kinds of problems.

On-boarding New Clients

Delivering a high quality customer experience isn’t an event. It’s a process. All processes have clearly defined phases which the customer must be systematically moved through.

All steps of all phases need to be written down and documented. The only way you are going to be able to reliably scale your business and deliver a consistent customer experience is to have standard operating procedures that all team members use.

If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.

W. Edwards Deming
American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant

The goal of the "Delivery" phase is to convert a first time customer into a life long client. In order to do this... there are a few key phases you need to map out.

Phase 1) Setting Proper Expectations​

Whenever you are on-boarding a new client, it is imperative that you set proper expectations. The majority of client issues you have can be traced back to unmet expectations.

Whenever someone is entering into a new business relationship, they have all kinds of pre-existing mindsets and expectations. If you don’t teach your clients how to do business with you, you will be held to a standard that you don’t know what is.

Things you are going to want to cover:​

  • ​Terms of your agreement — This is going to be things like how payment works, deliverables, how often you are going to meet, and other nitty gritty stuff.
  • What your client can expect from you — What kind of relationship are you going to have with your client? Is it a coaching relationship? Consulting relationship? What are they going be able to hold you accountable for?
  • What your client should NOT expect from you — Equally important is what you will NOT be providing for your client. There are some things that the client will need that are outside of your ability or desire to provide. This is a great opportunity to refer them to someone you trust.
  • What you expect from you client — Your clients will treat you how you let them. Don’t accept poor behavior from someone because they are paying you money. Make it very clear up front that you expect your client to prepare for your meetings, do what they commit to doing, and otherwise conduct themselves in a professional manner.

    This is also a great opportunity to explain that as part of your business relationship with them, you expect them to refer you business to you.
  • How conflict/mistakes will be handled — One of the most important things to cover is what will happen when mistakes get made. If your client expects you to perform perfectly without exception, you are setting yourself up for failure. It is inevitable that over the course of a business relationship, things will go wrong.

    Walk your clients through potential pitfalls and hazards that might come up in your business relationship. Most of these things will never happen, but when they do, your client will have the peace of mind knowing that you not only knew it could happen… but that you have a solution for it when it does.

Phase 2) Goal Setting

In many ways, delivering a high quality customer experience involves getting the client to set goals and holding them accountable.

Remember… your client wants something in their life to change. Thats why they hired you in the first place. What they often don’t realize is that this means they must change as well.

Humans don’t like change. It requires a lot of hard work and effort. In order to facilitate change, that means you are going to have to hold your client accountable to doing things they don’t “like” to do.

Keep in mind that we are not setting goals for our clients. We need to get them to set their own goals so it aligns with what they want… not what we want for them.

We only need to approach goals from two time frames. Short term and long term.

  • Short Term Goals — Anything within at 90-day time frame
  • Long Term Goals — Anything that is a one year or longer time frame

Top advisors understand that the majority of what they do for their clients is help them manage their emotions and develop their mindsets (especially when it comes to things like money). This is what creates real value in your client relationships and keeps them coming back.

Phase 3) Creating Positive Emotions​

Keep this in mind when designing your ideal customer experience. What separates a commodity from a high-end service is the emotions the other person experiences during the transaction.

The buying process is driven entirely by emotion. Emotion is what causes all action inside of humans... not logic.

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou
American author, poet, and civil rights activist

Make it a point to be the most enjoyable meeting your client has that week. You want your client to leave every interaction they have with you in a good mood. The more positive emotions you can help create in your client, the more they will enjoy working with you.

More than anything, your clients want to feel like they are in control. After all, if they were able to handle this problem on their own, they wouldn’t need your help.

Your clients will very predictably go through emotionally charged events and decisions. Identify what those moments are and figure out a way to help guide your clients through their emotions. This helps them feel in control of their life and they will love you for it.​

Phase 4) Solidifying the Sale by Over Delivering

One of the easiest (yet often ignored) ways to create a high quality customer experience is by sending a hand written thank you card or an unexpected gift when you get a new client.

It’s something almost no service providers do and it immediately separates you from the competition. Not only does it give your new client the unexpected surprise of something positive, it creates a story that reinforces their decision to do business with you. Plus, they can tell their spouse/friends/co-workers how awesome you are and it’ll generate referrals

.You don’t need to do something lavish to show your appreciation. This is most definitely an “It’s the thought that counts” type of thing.​

Great Customer Service Starts With You

At the core of delivering a world class service is you. It requires a commitment to delivering at the highest level and never accepting “good enough”.

Often times this comes back down to how you think about your own business. Is your business there to serve you and your selfish needs… or is it designed to serve the needs of your clients?

Good enough never is.

Debbie Fields
Founds, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Your content here...

When you decide that your clients needs come first, you will automatically start doing the required activities to consistently deliver a high quality experience. It will require more effort in the short term, but in the long term it will grant you the freedom you desire.

Serious about improving your customer service? Start by interviewing your existing clients and ask them what you can do to improve. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn if you just listen to your clients.​

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Needs To Attract Affluent Clients

Free report reveals the 5 free (or low cost) tools every advisor needs to start attracting affluent clients today.

6 Steps For Effortlessly Enrolling Affluent Clients

6 Steps To Effortlessly Enrolling Affluent Clients

If you plan on working with high-end clients and charging a premium price, you need to know how to sell. It doesn’t matter how good your marketing is, how strong your reputation is, or how incredible the referral was… no affluent prospect is going to become your client without some kind of face-to-face meeting or phone call.

Sales has nothing to do with “convincing” and everything to do with “understanding”. You cannot convince anyone to do anything. The only thing you can do is seek to understand what is motivating your prospect and then help them to take action to get something they already want.

At the core of the enrollment process lies a deep understanding of what makes your prospect tick. What are their biggest fears and frustrations? What are their wants and aspirations? What decisions have they already made up in their own mind that they just need someone help taking action on?

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, we’re going to cover the basic principles of building a duplicatable enrollment process in your business.

Mastering the enrollment conversation is critical to the success of your business. Once you create an ethical enrollment system that removes pressure… you’re conversions will skyrocket. You’ll be able to get more high quality clients with less effort. With a pleasant buying experience, you’ll notice you will get a surge of referrals from happy new clients who loved how easy it was to get started.

Ignore this step and you risk causing unrepairable damage to your reputation. You’ll have people tell you “no” and you won’t know why. You’ll come across as needy and desperate putting lots of pressure on the prospect… and you will start repelling people from your practice.

In order to re-create your enrollment process, we're going to have to kill the sacred cow in the advisory business: Direct Sales.

Why Direct Sales Doesn’t Work

Everything you think you know about building a clientele is based off an antiquated business model called “direct sales”.

Here is what you don’t know about direct sales: It is a fantastic way for a business to shift all the risk onto the commissioned sales person while taking all of the upside... and very little downside.

Does direct sales “work”? I suppose I could trim my lawn with a pair of scissors... but that doesn't mean it "works". If you look at the massive turnover rates in the industry as a whole… the only logical conclusion is “no, it doesn’t”.

So how do direct sales companies survive?

Often times it relies on manipulating the salespeople into believing that their failure is entirely their fault… claiming that their system works... "you just didn’t want it bad enough”. Despite the mountain of evidence that shows just how flawed their business model is... to admit that direct sales doesn’t work is to admit that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe.

Direct sales isn't a viable business model... it's a glorified meat grinder.

The skills that got you out of Egypt aren't the same skills that will get you to the promised land.

Dan Sullivan
The Strategic Coach

You may have cut your teeth using direct sales (I certainly did) and built a great clientele… but we are entering a new era of business. You need to adapt to the changing environment if you want to have any chance of surviving. 

By engaging in a traditional direct sales model, you are playing out of position. You aren’t an advisor, you’re a salesperson. From the beginning, you put yourself in an adversarial role with your prospect. You are pursuing them trying to set an appointment and "sign them up” (i.e. get their money) instead of them pursuing you.

Remember. Wealthy people can afford to do business with the best in class. Why would they assume you are the best, most in demand professional in your market if you keep actively pursuing them  trying to “meet for coffee” or "touch base"?

So much of the enrollment process relies on your positioning and status relative to the prospect. People want to work with high status people... and ideally higher status people. As long as you pursue your prospects, you will ALWAYS be perceived as lower status.

You MUST get your prospects to come to you. That is the only way to set up a true enrollment conversation that properly positions you as the authority that is qualifying them… instead of them qualifying you.

Ethical Enrollment Conversations​

​Let’s just assume that you’re following an attraction based prospecting model and you’re meeting with qualified and motivated prospects.

What do you do?

Every good enrollment conversation goes through a few very predictable steps.

Step 1) Rapport​

Rapport is accomplished in two ways. Referrals or testimonials (social proof) or demonstrating expertise (authority). When you’re using an attraction method, you’re going to have a lot of rapport an authority by default (they came to you because they made it through the Engage phase).

However, you still need to create a human connection with your prospect when you get them on the phone or face to face. This can be as simple as talking about how you know the referral, finding out that you both like sushi, or just asking them how their day is.

This doesn’t take long, but it’s imperative that you establish rapport before you move on to the next step. This might sound weird, but you’ll just kind of feel it when it happens… almost like something clicks inside the mind of the other person.​

Step 2) Find a Need​

Keep this in mind at all times. Your prospect already wants to buy a RESULT. Not your product or your service. Your job is to figure out what result they want to have.

The needs of your prospect are driven entirely by emotion. People make decisions emotionally and justify them with logic. Find the emotional pain points and you’ll understand how to get your prospect to take action.

If you can’t find an emotionally motivating reason that the prospect has for taking some kind of action… it’s highly unlikely they are ready to make any kind of commitment or change.​

Step 3) Gain Agreement​

Your prospect only needs one compelling reason to buy. Once you find it, you need to ask the prospect if you understand what they want.This is important for two reasons:

  1. You will know what your prospect actually wants
  2. Your prospect will know you know what they want

Once you gain agreement, the sale has been made. Once they commit to a position, they are going to make decisions that are consistent with that position (Commitment and Consistency in action).​

Step 4) Demonstration​

Once your prospect has let the cat out of the bag, now it’s just a matter of showing them that you have what they are looking for. Instead of feeling sold, the prospect feels like they can buy.

This stage should be REALLY short compared to the rest of the sales cycle. Most people spend way too much time espousing the wonders of the product or service they are selling, not realizing that this is boring the prospect out of buying.

Once you have agreement with the prospect, all you need to do is prove you got the goods.​

Step 5) Price Build Up​

In general, your prospects have no idea how to value your service. Before you talk about price, you need to educate your prospect of the massive value they are getting by working with you. If you don’t do this, you are almost always going to get a price objection.

Compare your service to other things they could buy. Show them what it would cost to NOT work with you. What are the other benefits that come from a relationship with you?

Throw in as much value as you can. This doesn’t need to be long, but make sure that you properly frame your offer with a much higher dollar amount.​

Step 6) Close​

Great sales people understand that they never sell anything. All they do is help people make decisions that is in their best interest.

In general, people don’t like to make decisions. Making decisions requires commitment involving money and that freaks people out. There is risk involved, uncertainty, and most of all… fear.

The best closers understand that this is a very emotional process. Closing is about walking people through their emotions and helping them come to a decision. Once you take that approach, you’ll be able to properly guide your prospect through the decision making process.​

It’s Still A Numbers Game​

The only way to grow your business is to add new clients. If you aren’t talking to a new prospect every single day, it means your business is dying.​

At the end of the day, the only way to get more hits is to take more swings. Creating a system that attracts prospects to you just gives you the opportunity to take more swings in a shorter period of time.

The only way to get better at enrollment is to do more enrollment calls. 

Sales is a skill set that is learnable. No one is a “natural salesman”. Creating an enrollment system that works for you (and your ideal client) is going to require plenty of practice, testing, and tweaking.

People are still going to tell you no. You’re going to try stuff that goes horribly wrong. You’re going to look like an idiot sometimes... but that is all part of the process.

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Is Cold Calling Killing Your Business?

Is Cold Calling Killing Your Business?

Let’s get to the point. Networking and cold calling are killing your chances of attracting affluent clients.

Here’s why: If you’re still relying on old school direct sales tactics to drum up business… it means you’re wasting time doing something that is not only ineffective, but something you’re probably not any good at.

Take it from me. I spent over seven years in direct sales and have made over 80,000 sales calls. Unless you’re a professional sales person, you probably suck at prospecting.

Actually, now that I think about it… most professional sales people suck at it too.

So why are you still out there pounding the pavement trying to go "client hunting” when most professional sales people don’t do it successfully? Because you haven’t built a system inside of your business that takes care of the prospecting activities for you.

This is really counter intuitive, but it is significantly cheaper to spend money on advertising to generate leads than it is spending hours of your time at networking events or cold calling “for free”.

It’s simple math. If your time is worth $250 / hour, and it takes you 10 hours of prospecting/followup to get one client, that means it “cost” you $2,500 to generate one client.

What if you could get pre-qualified, pre-interested, pre-motivated prospects to come to you asking to do business with you instead?​

In this article I’m going to talk about how to do just that.

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position Establish authority in a niche market.

Step 3) AttractGet qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

​Building a client attraction system is the single most important thing you can build inside of your business. Getting this right means no more cold calling. It means never having to waste any more of your time playing business card roulette. It means having the option to only work with clients you want to instead of “whoever shows up”. It means having the freedom to just worry about serving your clients best interest.

But, if you decide that this isn’t worth investing in… you’re going to be stuck taking whatever business you can get. You’ll give off that smell of desperation that repels affluent clients away from you. You’ll be stuck on the sales treadmill for the rest of your career, constantly chasing your next payday… always wondering where your next client is going to come from.​

The Customer Vending Machine​

Imagine for a moment that you had a vending machine in your office that was full of crisp $10 bills that were on sale for $2 a piece. How many do you think you’d buy?

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen in either one of our lifetimes… but what if I told you that you could build a machine that does the next best thing? Instead of cold hard cash… the vending machine is stocked full with your ideal customer.

Imagine being able to spend money today and have a paying customer walk through the door on command.

It’s not a fairy tale or some get rich quick scheme. It’s how marketing and advertising is supposed to work. So why aren’t more businesses using advertising successfully?​

​It mostly has to do with how advertising gets sold.

Branding Is Bullshit​

Traditional advertising is propped up on this huge lie called “branding”. Talk to any ad salesman and they will tell you some bullshit about how many "impressions" need to be made before someone will respond to your ad.

Think about it.

Anyone who is buying ad space is doing it because it’s supposedly going to increase sales.

Now imagine you are an ad salesman and you get an angry call from one of your customers because he got exactly ZERO phone calls after running that expensive full page ad you sold him. What would you do to get him to keep running an ineffective ad at a full page spread price?

Yup. Make a boldfaced lie about how you need to run it more times before “people remember you”.

Just to get things straight. Building a brand is a real thing. It’s the reputation the company, product, or service has in the market place. That DOES NOT happen by running clever advertisements, having a fancy logos, or any of this other “branding” bullshit companies try to sell you on.

You need to get the prospect to take some kind of action. If you can’t compel a person to get off their ass and pick up the phone, go to your website, or come to your shop… all you did was waste money buying advertising instead of paying for results.

So how do you get people to take action and attract them to your business?

Direct Response Marketing Is The Answer

A lot of advertising and small business marketing messages are really No Messages at all. They're just "business cards." Name, rank and serial number. Who we are, what we do, where we are.

Dan Kennedy 
The "Millionaire Maker"

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is they don’t understand that the goal of advertising is to get the prospect to take action.

It’s not about you. It’s not about how great your company is, or how long you’ve been in business.

It’s certainly not about your pretty building, a beautiful landscape, or your cute slogan.

It’s about enticing your prospect with something they already want.

Your prospects are overwhelmed with information and are bombarded daily with advertising messages. You have a very small opportunity to cut through the noise and get your prospect to notice you. Don’t waste your chance by saying something meaningless and uninteresting (i.e. anything about you).

The key to getting action is to put the right message in front of the right people at the right time.

This can be broken down into three steps:

Step 1) Understand Your Market

The aim of marketing is to know and understand your customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself

Peter Drucker
Management Consultant

Remember that we want to get the prospect to TAKE ACTION when they see our message. The single biggest reason why most advertising efforts fail (in my opinion) is because the company doesn’t understand who their customers are... and more importantly what they already want.

Listen. You aren’t going to convince someone they want something they don’t in your advertisement. Stop trying to convince people to buy something they don’t already want.

You only have a couple seconds to grab the attention of your prospect. Don’t waste it because you were too lazy to do your homework and figure this out.

Step 2) Meet Your Prospects Where They Are

Fish where the fish are.

This is the “timing” element of the equation. You have to be at the right place at the right time to get the kinds of results you want. It doesn’t matter how good your bait is if you don’t fish where the fish are when they are hungry.

All too often business owners get caught up in rather pointless debates as to which media is “the best” to use (ie. Facebook, PPC, Magazine, direct mail, radio, JV partnership, etc) instead of focusing on answering the question “where do my ideal prospects hang out when they are trying to solve the problem that I can fix?”

Usually this debate comes down to the decision maker’s fear of taking risk. If your main concern when evaluating advertising options is “price” and not “return on investment”, you’re kind of screwed. It’s kind of like looking through a telescope from the wrong end.

Whenever you are evaluating any kind of media buys, it’s always better to pay more for a smaller and higher quality list than it is to pay less money for bulk.

The "Motivated Prospect" Checklist

  • Pain and urgency
  • Proactively searching for solutions
  • Few or no perceived options
  • Has already spent money trying to solve this problem (and ideally recently)

When your ideal prospect is searching for solutions… where are they searching? What magazines does that person read? What books are they buying? What local organizations are they apart of? What events are they going to?

Most businesses are just too lazy to do this kind of preparation, so their ad buys wind up netting them a loss. They then incorrectly assume “advertising doesn’t work” and stop testing. For the business owner who is willing to do their homework and can handle taking risk, this means an almost uncontested advertising opportunity.

There are more considerations when it comes to getting your prospect to actually SEE (or hear) the ad, but that is very specific to the media you use and will need to be covered separately.

Look for at least 5 (ideally 10) media buy options before committing to any one of them. Any reputable media outlet is going to have some kind of “data card” that shows the demographics of their audience (they do this because they want to entice media buyers to buy ads with them).

Step 3) Make Them An Offer​

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.

Samuel Johnson 
English Author

​Let’s assume that you’ve correctly identified a niche market and have found a suitable list to advertise to. In order to get the prospect to take any kind of action, you need to tell them to take some kind of action.

It continues to amaze me how the majority of ads I see include NO CALL TO ACTION! It’s like they just didn’t know what to do with all that money they had lying around... so they decided to waste it on a full page ad that just has their logo, a picture of a building on it, and if they remembered… their phone number or website.

Most business owners think of advertising completely backwards. They think the goal is to get their name “out there” instead of getting the names of their prospects “in here”.​

Keep in mind that we are still in the “Attract” phase of the system. The goal of this step is to move them into "Step 4 - Engage”. Most business owners mess this step up by trying to sell in the ad (or by not doing anything at all). All you want to do in this step is get people in the market to raise their hands and say “yes, I am a prospect”.

The best way to do this is by giving away some juicy information for free that helps them solve their problem.

“For your free report on how to retire by 50, go to [this website]”
“For a free consultation on making lots of money, call [phone number] right now”
“To watch our free video series on getting out of debt, click here now”

When you start structuring your ads to ask for a response, you can now track how effective each ad is… and where the best leads are coming from. Now it’s just a game of “beat the control” as you test new ads and new offers to increase your ROI.​

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Needs To Attract Affluent Clients

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Content Marketing Strategies For Attracting Affluent Clients

Content Marketing Strategies For Attracting Affluent Clients

If you want to attract a steady stream of affluent clients to your business, you need to develop a scalable system that can build relationships with a high volume of prospects that doesn't require lots of human resources.

Having to manually followup and build relationships with prospects is one of the biggest weaknesses in the direct sales model. In order to properly follow up with hundreds of prospects, it requires a huge amount of discipline and effort that most people just don't have.

One of the most common misconceptions advisors have is that they "need more leads”. Often times this just isn’t the case! They have plenty of leads, but don’t have any systems in place that allows for quality follow up.

All of the data confirms that the majority of sales aren't made on the first attempt... but typically on the 5th or greater attempt!

Let’s get real. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You have a business to run and other better things to do than "check in" with people 5-12 times.

There is an interesting study that was done by the Inquiry Handling Service. They handle millions of leads across all kinds of industries… and what they find is that 50% of the people who inquire about something will buy that thing within 18 months.

But… only 15% of them actually bought the thing they inquired about within the first 90 days. That means that 85% of all transactions occurred between the 3 month and 18 month mark.

The fortune is certainly in the followup.

This creates an interesting problem. Most businesses have plenty of leads… but they can’t afford to followup with the huge number of prospects they have in the pipeline. To followup manually with everyone requires an investment of time, energy, and effort that most professional sales people aren’t willing to commit.

So what happens? Most advisors wind up settling for the 2% people who are willing to say “yes” on the first meeting... and these are rarely the best prospects.

The answer? Content marketing.​

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, I’m going to cover the basic frameworks of creating an automated followup system that you can use to engage an infinite number of prospects at a time.

This step is a critical tipping point. Getting this right means having a waiting list of pre-educated and pre-motivated prospects who are eager to do business with you. It means never losing business to your competitor again. It means freeing up your time and truly leveraging your knowledge instead of trading time for money.

Engaging The Affluent
With Content Marketing​

Here's the reality about business in the modern age. Your prospects are going to do their homework on you before they will accept a meeting with you. In fact, 81% of prospects conduct online research before making a buying decision. 

Even more interesting is that prospects have made almost 60% of their buying decision before they ever talk to an advisor.

This means that you'd better have some great content that engages your prospects and helps them decide you're the right fit.

Let’s take a look at this stage from the prospects perspective.

Imagine that you have a problem of some kind. It’s become urgent enough that you are now actively searching for solutions on the internet. You find 10 different advisors on Google… but as far as you can tell, they all look the same.​

All the websites say some version of “click here to give us your money” or “dedicated to quality and excellence” or “fill out this complicated form and we’ll get back to you (maybe)”… and does absolutely nothing to communicate to the prospect “we understand your problem and we can help you fix it”.​

So what winds up happening? Lacking any understanding as to what makes the companies different… the prospect defaults to price to make their decision.

If you've ever had someone ask you "what do you charge" you know that this isn't exactly a good starting point...

This is great news for you. Most advisors websites and content marketing is absolutely awful. You don't need to do much to stand out and position yourself as the clear choice for your market. 

9 Ways To Deliver Content​

​Content marketing is responsible for doing two things:

  • Build trust with the prospect
  • Educate and motivate the prospect to take action

Thats it.

You have a very small window of opportunity to get someones attention in the first place. The only way to capture their interest and engage them is by talking about how they are going to get their desired result.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean lecture people, it means helping them understand how to think about their problem… and how to buy a solution for their problem.

The goal of content marketing is to educate and motivate our prospect to take action and voluntarily move into the Enrollment phase of the sales cycle (usually a discovery call of some sort). Content can be repurposed across several different media channels, but make sure you chose the channel your prospects are using.

There are 9 different media channels that are effective for delivering content to your audience.

1) One-to-One: When you are just starting to create your engagement strategies, start with one-to-one interactions first… and as close to face to face as possible. If you can’t engage someone one-to-one, you have essentially no hope of automating this process.

Interviewing prospects on the phone is a phenomenal way to quickly generate ideas for engagement.​

2) Live Events: Another great way to start testing ideas and engagement strategies is to do live events. This could be a small roundtable discussion you host, a larger power breakfast, a lunch-and-learn, or a guest speaking opportunity.

If you’re not good at public speaking, you’re going to want to figure that out. It’s too important a skill to not have.​

3) Newsletters: One of the easiest ways to scale your engagement is by writing a regular newsletter. You don’t need to be the worlds best writer. You just need to be consistent and keep the topics relevant.

This can be either email or direct mail. If you are trying to reach busy people who have cluttered inboxes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how effective snail mail can be.​

​4) Blog: In a lot of ways, your blog content is going to be some version of your newsletter content. The main difference is that you’re going to want to think about things like SEO so your content can help generate traffic.

​5) White Papers: To keep things simple, we are going to put "write a book" in this category (a book is just a really long written sales letter). Any time you can release high-quality research or educational content that is packaged into an easily consumable report... do it.

These are often referred to as “lead magnets”. Not only can you use them from a front end perspective (i.e. getting the opt in) but you can use it as a way to see what topics your audience is interested and offer more specific content.

6) Webinars: Webinars have a lot of similarities to live events, but you lose the benefit of being in a room with prospects and the advantages of personal presence. The major benefit to a webinar is that you can reach a global audience and you can automate the experience.

Make sure these aren’t just thinly veiled sales pitches. There are enough of those and all they do is create negative PR.​

7) Video: Time and time again, we are seeing the powerful effects video is having with engagement and conversion. In fact, Youtube is the #2 search engine in the world.

If you want to stay competitive in the online marketing space, video is going to be a tool you need to develop.​

8) Social Media: Tons of different options for social media and all of them have different considerations. If you’re not already good with social media, you’re going to want to hire a professional to help you out with this.

Start with Linkedin if you are trying to reach business owners and high level decision makers. Facebook and twitter both have their advantages, but the lead conversion ratio seems to be better on Linkedin (for now).​

9) Podcasts: Personally, I listen to a ton of podcasts whenever I’m driving. It’s one of the only times in my day where I have a long period of time where I’m really not doing much.​

Not sure what to do for a podcast? Interviewing industry experts or recordings of live trainings are a great option. Because of SEC regulations, you have to be careful about getting endorsements or testimonials from clients... but you can do case studies about successes you've had.

Focus On One Option At A Time​

Whenever we are considering a media channel to engage our audience, it’s important to think what media channels are our prospects using… and more importantly how they like to consume information.

As you are building your content marketing strategy, it’s important that you don’t go crazy and try to do everything at once. Focus on ONE strategy at a time.

In the beginning, start with the least technical options first. Interview prospects and clients one-on-one first. Then invite your clients/prospects to an event you’re hosting. Then add in an email newsletter (at least monthly, ideally weekly).

Once you’ve gotten a consistent schedule with your newsletter, then you can start diving into some more of the technical things. Ideally, you should just hire someone to handle the tech stuff and you focus on creating the content.

The key to creating great content is to know what your prospects already want. The more you can interview and interact with your market, the better your content is going to be (and the more effective of a tool it becomes).​

The 5 Tech Tools Every Advisor
Needs To Attract Affluent Clients

Free report reveals the 5 free (or low cost) tools every advisor needs to start attracting affluent clients today.

How To Properly Position Your Practice To Attract Affluent Clients

How To Properly Position Your Practice to Attract Affluent Clients

Attracting affluent clients relies heavily on your position in the marketplace. For a market segment that can afford anything they desire, doing business with the best is a premium that they can afford to pay.

If you want to work with wealthy clients, it’s imperative to be perceived as the #1 option in the minds of your prospects.

The key word here is “perceived”. Positioning has nothing to do with the quality of the products you sell or the service you provide (although it certainly helps to have great products and services). In fact, it’s actually quite rare that the “best” service is the best selling service.

It's the brand that is perceived to be the best that sells the best.

Positioning starts with a product. A piece of merchandise, a service, a company, an institution, or even a person. Perhaps yourself. But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.

Al Reiss and Jack Trout 
"Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind"

Far too many advisors focus on irrelevant or counter productive strategies when it comes to gaining market share. In general, most advisors (wrongly) assume that the best "product" is going to rise to the top.

They think that the battle is played on an objective and rational playing field instead of inside the irrational minds of human beings.

This strategy inevitably puts these businesses at a huge disadvantage. So why do companies waste epic sums of money trying to play the “me too” game instead of taking the first mover advantage?

In my opinion, it’s because most advisors can’t handle risk and are woefully disconnected with the needs of their market. They are afraid to fail, so they will only do something that is a “sure thing”… and by the time anything is a “sure thing”, it’s already too late.

What's the difference between advisors that consistently capitalize on opportunities and everyone else that doesn’t?

Successful advisors use proven systems and processes continually discover opportunities and take calculated risks… and the others don’t.​

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, we are going to focus specifically on positioning. This is going to be a higher level overview of the basic concepts and frameworks needed to properly position professional services.

Be #1 or #2: Fix It, Sell it, or Close It.​

In 1981, Jack Welch became CEO of General Electric and lead the company to a 4,000% increase in value. His now infamous strategy was to become #1 or #2 in every product category they owned. If they couldn’t, the division was axed… no matter how profitable it was.


Because Jack Welch understood two fundamental facts about being the market leader.

  1. It Pays to be #1 The majority of the market is split by the top two players while the rest play for the scraps
  2. Opportunity Cost — Company resources are finite. You have to allocate your resources to maximize your return on investment. Money being sunk into poorly positioned brands divert resources that could be used to grow and protect properly positioned brands.

For smaller firms who don’t have the immense war chest a Fortune 500 company has... this strategy becomes even more important.

The single biggest mistake I see advisors make when it comes to growing their business is wasting their resources on inferior opportunities.

The only way to get a proper return on your marketing investment and secure a competitive advantage is to focus ONLY on your highest value opportunities and discard the rest.

It's Better To Be The Big Fish
In a Small Pond​

Keep this in mind. No company in the world has enough money to compete in all niches at all times. Even one brand has a dominating share with a generic product, there are always smaller sub-niches that are being underserved.

When you are a smaller firm that is trying to capture market share, it’s a much better strategy to narrow your focus and specialize than it is to try and compete with a well established leader.

Just as animals flourish in niches, people who specialize in some narrow niche can do very well.

Charlie Munger 
Vice Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

Specializing creates a fantastic opportunity for you to position yourself. The more specialized you become, the more valuable you are perceived to be. Not only will you be able to charge a premium price, but it becomes much easier to dominate the category and become #1.

Most of this has to do with buying psychology. When a prospect has a problem... from their perspective it is very specific and unique to them. Event though a one-size-fits all solution might actually work, they want to buy a solution that feels like it's custom made to fit their specific needs.

Think about it.

If you had a brain tumor and needed surgery to live... would you work with a general surgeon who has done this operation a couple times... or work with the specialist who only does this type of surgery and has done it hundreds of times?

It's a no brainer. You'd go with the specialist.

It’s no different when positioning your advisory firm to appeal to affluent clients.  They want to feel like your service has been specifically designed for their specific needs (even if they are the same problems everyone else has).

Luckily, because wealthy people are wealthy... they have plenty of problems that exist that are specific to their net worth.

However, it’s not enough to just arbitrarily pick something to specialize in. You need to specialize in something where demand already exists.

Look For People
Who Are Looking For You​

Remember that positioning is a battle that is fought in the mind of the customer. Huge sums of money are wasted in business trying to capture the attention of people who aren’t interested and aren’t looking. Don’t waste your valuable resources trying to convince closed minds to become open.!

Winning a positioning battle requires an impressionable mind. It’s critical that you focus your efforts on putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time.​

How? Marketing and advertising.

Yes, you can certainly get plenty of business using a direct sales model… but you’re going to get slaughtered by competition that is using modern marketing methods.

The key to marketing and advertising is to intercept sales... not to try and convince people to buy. You need to start looking for people who are already looking for a solution to a problem they have... and put an offer in front of them.

The Marvels Of Modern Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing has completely changed the advertising game. Laser targeted ads to hyper specific niches are not only possible, but really rather affordable compared to the advertising options of even 10 years ago.

Here’s something you don’t know about web traffic. Google accounts for over 90% of all global organic search traffic according to recent research from Define Media Group. Of that, 95% of the web traffic goes to sites on Page 1 of Google searches.

What happens on Page 1 is where this gets really interesting.

Google Result Page RankAverage Traffic Share

This means the top three spots control 61.5% of all traffic sent from Google!

All things being equal (which they never are), this means that by simply moving from #2 to #1… you would double your ROI.

Now being ranked #1 on Google isn’t the end all be all of positioning... but the human mind functions in the same way. By default, the first option that comes to mind is the option most often picked.

It pays to be #1. Make sure you do whatever it takes to get there.​

Creating and Protecting
Competitive Advantage

When it comes to positioning, claiming the #1 spot is only half the battle. Even if by some complete miracle you find a profitable market that doesn’t have any competition… it certainly isn’t going to stay that way for long.

In nature, there is no such thing as uncontested access to a valuable resource. There is always someone else looking to eat your lunch. Not only do you need to climb to the top position, but you’re going to need to continually protect your position from competitors.​

So we think in terms of that moat and the ability to keep its width and its impossibility of being crossed as the primary criterion of a great business. And we tell our managers we want the moat widened every year

Warren Buffett
Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

Opportunity cost plays such an important role when it comes to establishing and maintaining your position. Most advisors have never considered that it takes a continual investment of resources to defend a position. This is why it’s critical that you focus all of your resources on ONLY your high-value opportunities.

You need to cut out any service you provide where you can’t become #1 or #2. When playing for the wallet share of the wealthiest clients, no other position will do.

Building The Moat

Tactically speaking, you can do an almost infinite number of things to widen your moat (which we will cover a few in this article). At the end of the day, what positioning comes down to is best described as “Influence”. Once you understand the key principles of how to influence others, you’ll have a much better idea of what you can do to become perceived as #1.

In 1984, Robert Cialdini released his now landmark book on persuasion and marketing "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. Cialdini’s theory of influence is based around six key principles that influence the minds of people.

#1) Reciprocity​

People generally feel obligated to return favors offered to them... even if they are  unwanted. Humans have a dislike for individuals who don’t return a favor, and as a result will return favors in order to avoid being disliked.

Free samples are an excellent way to create reciprocity with prospective clients. Any time you can give your prospect a test drive of what its like to work with you... they will be more inclined to do business with you. Make sure that whatever you give away is actually valuable.

Content marketing is a great way to give away a ton of high value information for free and build trust with the market. If you aren’t regularly producing high value content and giving it away to as many people as you can... you’re missing out on a huge positioning opportunity.

As a side note: when you give away your BEST tips, tricks, tactics, and strategies for free… people assume that “if this is the free stuff, how good is the paid stuff?”

Give away your best stuff for free and you’ll quickly separate yourself from the competition.​

#2) Commitment and Consistency

People have a desire to appear consistent in their behavior. Consistency is highly valued by society as a whole. In general, when people make a commitment of some kind, they are going to act consistently with those decisions.

It’s much easier to get a series of smaller commitments than it is to get one large commitment. This is call building “yes momentum”. The more a person says “yes” to offers you make and actions you request, the more likely they are to continue saying yes (the opposite is also true).

When it comes to protecting your position, this works nicely in your favor. If you are the incumbent provider, its highly unlikely that they are going to switch (unless they are unhappy with you and are open to change).​

#3) Social Proof

People generally look to other people similar to themselves when making a decision. This is especially true in situations of uncertainty.

Testimonials and referrals are the most powerful forms of marketing. Whenever you can show prospects that people like them work with you and endorse you, the more powerful your position becomes. If you can’t get a direct endorsement, write a case study about a client you worked with and the results you helped them get.

This is another reason why specializing is so important. The tighter your target market is, the better your testimonials and referrals get.​

A caveat to this:

Heavy hitters look for experts inside of their network first before going to the Internet. “The expert at hand is the expert that’s hired” (or so the saying goes).

Building relationships with Centers of Influence is going to be an important part of positioning yourself and getting ultra-high-quality referrals.  Make sure you are intentional about building and maintaining relationships with valuable referral partners. 

​#4) Authority

People have a tendency to believe that if an expert says something, then it must be true. Humans like to take shortcuts when it comes to decision making. It’s much easier to trust an “expert” than go through the effort of forming your own opinion.

Being perceived as an authority is really much easier than you think. All you need to do is put yourself in situations that automatically imply authority.

  • Get Interviewed by Someone — Media and news outlets are constantly looking for “experts” to interview. We have a natural bias to assume that if someone is being interviewed by a media outlet, they must be important. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t really matter who interviews you, it just matters that someone did.
  • Interview Other Experts — Another really easy way to build authority is to interview other experts and thought leaders. If someone high status is being interviewed by you, you are "cool by association".
  • Publish Research — If you put in the time, effort, and energy to go do some research about a problem in the market and publish your findings… you’re automatically assumed to be an expert. These are commonly referred to as "white papers" and also make great lead generation tools.
  • Guest Author —Again, media outlets are constantly looking for content. Build a relationship with a high-traffic or influential blog/magazine that is relevant to your niche and become a regular contributor (another “cool by association” tactic).
  • Speak at Live Events — Whether you host your own or speak at someone else’s, live speaking engagements (or webinars) are an easy way to build credibility and authority.
  • Write a Book — It almost doesn’t matter if its a best seller (although that certainly helps). Published authors are automatically assumed to be experts.

#5) Liking

People are more influenced by people they like, or have a positive perception of. This is most dramatically impacted by physical attractiveness and similarity.

If you haven’t noticed this already, people like to do business with people who are "one of them".  The "Old Boys Club” works for a reason.

Go do things that wealthy people like to do. Take an interest in what your clients are interested in. The more “like them” you appear to be, the more they will unconsciously like and trust you.

#6) Scarcity

People tend to want things more as they become less available. Additionally, scarce items have higher value.

As a service provider, you are a knowledge worker. You get paid for what you know. Do you know how to do something that most people don’t? Do you have a rare skill set that is valuable? Do you know how to solve a specific problem people pay money for?

The more specialized you become, the more valuable your knowledge is. If you are the only person in the world that knows how to solve a very important problem, you have the ultimate moat.

What You Can Do Today
To Position Your Practice

What you do is going to largely depend on where your business is and what kind of resources you can commit to building your position.

The most important thing to do is "look for people who are looking for you”. You cannot easily manufacture demand, but you can stand in the path of demand.

The most profitable habit you can cultivate is the habit of constantly being on the lookout for groups of people (markets) who have demonstrated that they are starving (or, at least hungry) for some particular product or service.

Gery Halbert
Legendary Copywriter

Identifying high-value opportunities isn’t something you just do one time. It is something that you must be constantly doing. Positioning starts with understanding the needs of your market and looking for opportunity.

Where are your prospects going to get help with their problems? What communities already exist where you can meet people and uncover their unmet needs? What large brands are selling a “general” service that could be niched and specialized?

The best place to start is to talk to your existing clients and see where your opportunities lie in your own business. Make it a habit to interview at least one client and prospect every single day.

Engaging your market is what is going to drive every single strategic decision you make.

If you bother to ask your market will tell you want they want. Make sure you’re listening when they do.

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Needs To Attract Affluent Clients

Free report reveals the 5 free (or low cost) tools every advisor needs to start attracting affluent clients today.

Column 2

How Any Advisor Can Find Highly Profitable Niche Markets

How Any Advisor Can Find Highly Profitable Niche Markets

Want to double your revenue in the next 12 months or less with half the client load? It’s actually easier than you think.

It all comes back to finding profitable niche markets.

I know, I know. You’ve heard this one before. So why haven’t you done anything to find one?

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. You have all of the relevant information you need to know hidden in a place you probably never bother to look: Your client list.

In this article, I’m going to share with you one of the most important practice management principles you can use to find high-profit niches in your market.

What you’re about to learn is a fundamental practice management skill. Learning how to spot trends and identify profitable niche markets is the key to rapidly growing your business and maximizing profit.

Do not outsource this task!

This is far too important for you to leave up to chance. Failure to spot meaningful trends in your business spells certain disaster. You will continue to waste money on low-value and high-maintanance clients that suck the life out of you and your business.​

​What You Already Know
(but probably aren't doing...)

​Service based businesses have a very specific bottleneck that has to be considered when it comes to profitability — you have a relatively finite amount of working hours (roughly 2200 hours a year) in which you can use to generate revenue. When it comes to maximizing profitability, the first and most critical step you can take is actually understanding where profit comes from in your business.

You've probably heard of the Pareto Principle (the "80/20 Rule") more than a few time. If you haven't... it simply states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. More specifically, 80% of your profit is going to come from 20% of your clients.

To put it another way, you are wasting 80% of your available hours servicing clients that only generate 20% of your profit.

Don’t believe me? Go grab your client list and see for yourself.

Most advisors have never really considered the extraordinary amount of resources they waste (both in cash and man hours) supporting clients that really aren’t that profitable. If you’re serious about growing your practice, you’re going to have to get serious about pruning your client list on a yearly basis.

For whatever reason, the majority of advisors have a really hard time with the idea of pruning their client list. I think it comes down to a two major reasons:

  1. The advisor doesn’t actually know who their target market is… and more importantly who it isn’t.
  2. The advisor doesn’t have a reliable method to generate more high-value clients and is afraid of "losing business" by turning people away.

Building a profitable business means using processes and systems that create predictable results. By far the most important system every business needs is the one that consistently and predictably generates clients.

The "Attracting Affluent Clients On Autopilot" System

Step 1) Identify — Uncover your most profitable opportunities

Step 2) Position — Establish authority in the niche market

Step 3) Attract — Get qualified prospects to come to you

Step 4) Engage — Educate and motivate prospects to take action

Step 5) Enroll — Selling conversations that convert prospects into customers

Step 6) Deliver — Designing and delivering an ideal customer experience

Step 7) Retain — Creating long term clients out of first time customers

Step 8) Refer — Getting high quality referrals to high value prospect

In this article, we are going to focus strictly on identifying profitable opportunities inside of your existing book of business.

The Elusive Obvious

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact

Arthur Conan Doyle
British Author, Journalist, and Doctor

Here is the elusive, yet highly obvious strategy for growing your business: Sell something people ALREADY want to buy.

It continues to amaze me how many businesses waste enormous amounts of resources trying to sell something people don’t want.

Your clients don’t care about your company... you... the products you sell... the services you provide... or any of that nonsense you think matters.

No really.

Your prospective clients cares about one thing and one thing only.


They have a problem and they want it solved. They don't like something about their current situation and they want it to change. There is a specific, tangible, real world result that they are trying to get... and you need to know what that is so you can communicate that you will help them get it. 

Keep this in mind as we continue exploring niche markets. The niche is a need the market has.

When looking for profitable niche markets, there are four critical factors you need to look for:

The Profitable Niche Checklist

  • Is the prospect experiencing pain and urgency? 
  • Is the prospect proactively searching for solutions to their problem? 
  • From the prospects perspective, does he have few or no options?
  • Is demand in the market increasing?

You need to get a “yes" to all four of these. (Technically you can increase revenue in a mature market, but if you aren’t already a well positioned and well financed player, you’re wasting your time).

The majority of new client relationships begin with you helping someone get out of pain. You MUST focus your effort looking for people who are in pain… and who are looking for you.

The Pain That Makes People Take Action

​In general, most people are NOT motivated to buy a solution for preventative measures (unless it’s about their children)… but are HIGHLY motivated to buy solutions to existing problems.

What this means is that we are looking for is some kind of trauma. When something outside of a persons immediate control happens and causes them acute pain… they become extremely motivated to take action and fix something.

In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. 

Their results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), known more commonly as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Subsequent validation has supported the links between stress and illness.

To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.

Life eventLife change units
Death of a spouse100
Marital separation65
Death of a close family member63
Personal injury or illness53
Dismissal from work47
Marital reconciliation45
Change in health of family member44
Business readjustment39
Gain a new family member39
Sexual difficulties39
Change in financial state38
Death of a close friend37
Change to different line of work36
Change in frequency of arguments35
Major mortgage32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan30
Change in responsibilities at work29
Child leaving home29
Trouble with in-laws29
Outstanding personal achievement28
Beginning or end school26
Spouse starts or stops work26
Change in living conditions25
Revision of personal habits24
Trouble with boss23
Change in residence20
Change in schools20
Change in working hours or conditions20
Change in church activities19
Change in recreation19
Change in social activities18
Minor mortgage or loan17
Change in sleeping habits16
Change in eating habits15
Change in number of family reunions15
Major Holiday12
Minor violation of law11

While the scale is used to measure the risk of stress induced illness... it's a great framework for finding highly motivated buyers. 

It will come as no shock that death and divorce is one of the major reasons people seek outside counsel... and the most predictable reason why assets move hands.

Identify The Pain Points
Of Your Best Clients

Now it’s time to dig through your client list and look for patterns. We’re going to have to use the surface level data combined with your personal knowledge of your clients to make any real conclusions about your high-value opportunities.

As we are analyzing your client list, we have two important stages to consider:​

  1. Front End — What was the initial reason they came to the business? The majority of all business relationships start by helping a prospect get out of fear and pain.
  2. Back End — What are the ongoing problems your client has that allow you to continue the relationship?

These are both terms familiar to any sales person or marketing team that is focused on generating more revenue.

When it comes to acquiring new clients... what we are looking at is the front end (why they come to business in the first place).

When it comes to retaining clients and creating repeat business... we are looking at the back end.

We are looking for two things when we are analyzing your client list:

  1. Niches — The niche is the specific need the prospect has. These are the very specific results the client wants to buy (and the specific pain they want to get out of).  From the prospects perspective... this is going to be a very tangible result like "generate another $2 million in the next 5 years" that is rooted inside of a conceptual framework like "I want to retire in comfort" or "I'm afraid of losing the wealth I've worked so hard to create".
  2. Avatars — These are the more surface level demographics/psychographics of the prospects in the niche. This is everything from age and gender to affinity groups and hobbies.

Who Are Your Best Clients?

To keep things simple, we are just going to analyze your top 10 clients.

The goal of this exercise is to find a group of people that have two important things:

  1. Identifying a type of problem your business is best suited to solve (and generates revenue).
  2. Identifying what traits your favorite clients have so you can find more just like them. It's much more fun to build a business serving clients that you relate to and enjoy serving.

Step 1) Write down the names of your top 10 clients.

Step 2) What was the major reason why they became your client  (use the SRRS scale above)?​

Step 3) What are the ongoing problems or stressors in your clients life? If you don't know this off the top of your head, you need to call this client immediately and find out.

Step 4) List out some basic demographics. Age, gender, marital status, and ages of children.

Step 5) What industry do they work in? Are they a business owner (or equity shareholder) or employee? If they are an employee, list their position and size of the company they work for.

Step 6) What are their hobbies? Start with the ones the spend the most money on (cycling, hunting, sailing, golf, horses, and other expensive things like this).

Step 7) What affinity groups are they apart of? This will be things like country clubs, special interest groups, and anything they like to collect (classic cars, wine, fine art, antiques, stamps, coins, sports memorabilia, watches, etc)

Step 8) What charities do they support? Are they on the board of a non-profit organization? 

Look For Trends

Once you make your list, you're going to notice some interesting trends. You probably have a "type" that you just naturally attract and enjoy working with. It's very likely that your best clients are a reflection of you (and the stuff that you like).

What is the most common reason why you get new clients? What are the most common reasons why your clients continue to do business with you?​ Do the majority of your clients have the same hobbies? Support the same charitable causes? Work in the same industry?

The ideal outcome of this exercise is to figure out who your best clients are, why they do business with you, and where you can find more people just like them.

Profile Your Top 10 Clients Right Now​

Get out a sheet of paper and do this exercise right now. It should take about 30 minutes - 1 hour depending on how well you know your clients.

You'll have an immediate "aha" moment once you profile your top 10 list. One of them will most likely be "I don't know my clients nearly as well as I should".

If you don't know all of this information off the top of your head (which you should for your top 10 clients) call them after you finish the exercise and take them to lunch. Make sure that you know the answers to all of these questions by the end of your meeting with your client.

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How To Get More Clients Today

How To Get More Coaching Clients Today

If you want to rapidly grow your business, it is critical that you have a process for generating new clients.

Let’s face it. None of us want to deal with all this icky sales and marketing stuff.

In a perfect world,  you wouldn't need to do any of this "sales and marketing stuff". Potential clients would be lined up around the block eager to work with you. You'd be in so much demand that you could charge whatever you want... and people would gladly pay your prices. You could just hang out with really cool people all day and get paid to help them overcome their challenges and achieve their dreams.

I have a secret to tell you. This fantasy is what is holding you back from achieving any kind of meaningful growth in your business.

I’m about to share with you the secret formula that will get your prospect to gladly take out their wallet and give you their money.

Once you learn how to do this, it will be like you’ve gained super powers. Your practice will grow by leaps and bounds one you know how to enroll new clients. 

However… if you don’t learn this skill, you will never have a profitable business. You will waste thousands of dollars on more courses and products searching for the “magic bullet”… and still have no new clients. You'll be stuck spinning your wheels forced to accept whatever business walks in the door. 

The Secret Sauce

So what is the secret to getting people to buy? It’s really quite simple. In fact, it’s so simple… you might not believe me.

Sell something your prospects ALREADY want to buy

Most people make this WAY more complicated than it needs to be. You don’t need to learn convoluted sales talks. You don’t need to learn high pressure closing techniques. You don’t need fancy marketing funnels.

You just need to figure out what your prospects already want to buy… and then figure out how to give it to them.

Once you understand what your prospect really wants... not what you want them to have... your coaching business will grow.  When you start selling what your prospects already want... this is when you can start naming your price.

So how do you figure out what your prospects want to buy? Simple. You just ask them.​

The Five Elements

There is only one reason why anyone will buy anything. They are dissatisfied with their current situation and they want to make a change. They are experiencing some kind of pain and are already motivated to get the problem solved.

When a person is experiencing pain, they create a story in their minds about their pain. As advisors, we know that working on the inner game is what creates real long term results results... but your prospects can't accept that they are the source of their pain. Instead, they blame external sources for their pain... and therefore think the solution to their pain can be solved by something external.

This story is surprisingly common and predictable (even though your prospect thinks it's unique to them). 

Your prospect’s story has 5 elements to it.

Element 1) The Cave

This is your prospect's “Fears and Frustrations”. Additionally, this is also their current reality (of pain). On the surface, you will find plenty of tangible challenges your prospect faces. However, underneath it all is fear. Uncovering their fear and you will uncover what is really motivating them to take action.

Element 2) The Garden of Eden

This is prospect's “Wants and Aspirations”. This is the fantasy land that they dream of when they go to sleep at night. When a person is experiencing pain, they will most commonly dream about a magical world where they have unlimited resources, infinite pleasure, and zero responsibilities. All of their problems have been solved, and they live happily ever after.

Element 3) The Door

This is the thing that is preventing them from leaving The Cave and getting to The Garden of Eden. This is the big problem that they want to get solved. From your prospects perspective, they are convinced that if they can get this one major problem solved, it will solve all of their problems forever (really).

Element 4) The Key

Imagine that the door has a gigantic padlock that is holding it shut. The only way to get the door open is to get this lock off first.  Your prospect think that if they can just get this one piece of the puzzle, it will be like knocking down the first domino and setting off the chain reaction to opening the door.

“The Key” is what your prospect is most interested in buying. The offer you make to your prospect is the promise that you will give them the key to this lock.

Element 5) Realistic Time Frame

This is, from the prospects perspective, how long he thinks it will take to make the key. Each prospect has a sweet spot when it comes to time frame. Promise results too quickly, and the prospect will think it sounds too good to be true. Promise results too slowly, and it doesn’t sound appealing enough to buy.

Once you uncover these five elements... you now have a formula. "You are stuck [in The Cave]. You want to have [The Garden]. Getting [The door] is what will get you from here to there... but you currently stuck and you need [The Key] to get unstuck.

When you start uncovering your prospects story, something very important will happen. Not only will you know exactly how to enroll that person into your coaching program... but you'll very quickly know when someone isn't a good fit for you (or that you just don't want to work with them). After all... the only thing worse than no clients are horrible clients.

Talk To At Least One Prospect Every Day

Learning how to uncover your prospects hidden story is like any other skill… it just takes practice. If you want to turbo charge your business, you need to start interviewing AT LEAST one prospect every day.

If you'd like some more detail on exactly how to interview someone... and some "fill in the blank" interview cheat sheets... you're going to love this free report. It breaks down the entire interview process step-by-step and goes into much more detail about how this process works. 

Free Report Reveals: How To Get High-Ticket Coaching Clients In Any Niche

Discover the simple step-by-step method for getting higher paying, higher quality coaching clients. 

Special Bonus:
5-page interview template that you can print out and use on every call you have with potential clients.