Quit Schmoozing and Start Networking

If it works… networking is a great use of your time… again, if it works.  So let’s talk about a few things that can make it work:

  • Don’t just go to “networking events”  go to all the other places people gather – education classes, charity gatherings, fitness classes, etc. – you can network any place people gather.
  • Have a great Elevator Speech – Go here for my complimentary e-book on creating an effective Elevator Speech
  • Start conversations… the one I use is, “Is it the little things that get you, or the big things?”  And then I simply tell a 1-minte story about surgery (it ties nicely to investing when done correctly).  This never fails to easily get them asking more about what I do.
  • It’s NOT a numbers game.  It is far better to make a real connection with a few people… than it is to gather 50 business cards.
  • Listening is MORE important than talking.  People love great listeners, and they remember great listeners.
  • Arrive early and leave late.  You up your odds of productive conversations.
  • Don’t spend too much time with people you know… that is time wasted when your goal is networking.
  • Find the wall flowers!  These are people desperate for a connection!
  • The buffet line is the easiest place to start conversations.  So, don’t load your plate… instead come back to the buffet line over and over.
  • Make notes about the people you meet.  You can use this information to write handwritten notes to follow up the next day.  THIS COMBO… personal info and a handwritten note… WILL MAKE YOU A TON OF MONEY!
  • Wear something that will get people talking… an unusual tie… flamboyant socks… an interesting name tag (decorate it or write something on it that will get people talking)

Incorporate some of these ideas the next time you go to one of those boring meetings and finally make it pay off!

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Be Negative and See Your Income Soar

We are always told to emphasize the positive… it ends up the opposite works WAY BETTER!  University of California  researchers found that when:

  • One group of homeowners were told they could save 50 cents a day by doing a couple of things to make their homes more energy efficient
  • And another group was told they would LOSE 50 cents a day if they didn’t make the changes…

The 2nd group where the changes were couched in a LOSS were 300% more likely to make the changes.  How are you presenting your solutions?  Its it on how your recommendations could make their life better (not productive)… or are you presenting your solutions to make sure they avoid loss (VERY productive).

I coach all my advisors to present the negative and NEVER present the positive… and they see their income jump by 63% the first year they make that change!

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Finally! A Way to Leverage CPAs into Bringing Us New Clients

Finally!  A Way to Leverage CPAs into Bringing Us New Clients

Stick with me for a second as I explain this… it’s not the same old tired thing you’ve heard a million times before.  Deal?

The first step is set up an appointment with a CPA.  That’s easy enough… tell them you are looking for a CPA for 3 of your top clients (duh, right?).

The difference is… what you talk about at that meeting.  Think about accountants,  what do they want?  They DON’T want more returns to do… they want to do BIGGER returns.  What kind of returns are those?  Business returns!   But how good are CPAs at marketing?  Lousy, right?

So when you meet with them, let them know that you have ways to get in front of business owners and you were wondering if they would be willing to lend their expertise to those business owners.  You now have their attention.  You ask them if they would be willing to work together, as a team, with these business owners for the business client’s benefit.

When they agree, you propose to market jointly.  When they agree to market jointly, you get the credibility the CPA brings… and, they get to use your marketing ability to get in front of business owners.  You then create joint marketing material… don’t worry, it doesn’t cost much.  You can do a number of things (but I’ll tell you my favorite in a second):

  • A new, joint website
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Education events

My preference is the “small business newsletter.”  It’s cheap and easy and you get an excellent ROI.   The newsletter is NOT about investment issues!  It’s about topics that will make business owner’s lives a little easier or more profitable.  It is about THEM and their businesses.  Not about us and what we offer.

If you’d like to see an example you can download it here.  By offering real value to the business owners in the newsletter each month… it really opens a relationship.  Both you and the accountant can approach these businesses after about 3 months of newsletters.  The business owners will know who you are and you’ve paved the way by offering advice they found helpful the previous three months.  It’s a three month game, but the rewards can be worth it.

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The Best Time You’ll Ever Spend in December

If you are willing to put in just one week of work… just one week… and NOT one cent of money… within 45 days you will be bringing in 3 to 5 new clients each month.  What better time to invest a week than in December when you are twiddling your thumbs?  

This 20-minute video walks you through how to do it step-by-step

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Nice WSJ Article to Impress the Importance of Income Planning to Your Clients

The Wall Street Journal article, “Say Goodbye to the 4% Rule” gives a startling example of the importance of income planning.  

“If you had retired Jan. 1, 2000, with an initial 4% withdrawal rate and a portfolio of 55% stocks and 45% bonds rebalanced each month, with the first year’s withdrawal amount increased by 3% a year for inflation, your portfolio would have fallen by a third through 2010, according to investment firm T. Rowe Price Group.  And you would be left with only a 29% chance of making it through three decades, the firm estimates.”

Retire at the wrong time and follow the 4% rule blindly… you could end up with a 67% chance of running out of money.  If that isn’t an endorsement for using a professional to help you manage your portfolio on a yearly basis… I don’t know what is!

You can find the article by simply Googling, “Say Goodbye to the 4% Rule Wall Street Journal”.

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The Right Way to Use LinkedIn

When someone endorses you on LinkedIn for a skill—go old school. Send them a genuine… handwritten… postcard to thank them. No sales… no self-promotion… just a thank you. I know an advisor that sent out 18 of these over 2 months and closed two very nice deals from them. Can you beat that for return on investment? Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note! :-)

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Now THIS is How You Generate Referrals!!!

If you’d like to put the amount of referrals you get on steroids… consider this. If you arm your clients with a great elevator speech (using the information in this video) and then show them that you really care… you’ll see more referrals than you ever dreamed about.

How do you show that you care? Try these ideas:

  • Contact your clients when it NOT necessary—just check in to see how they are.
  • Send them a note out of the blue telling them how much you enjoy working with them
  • Ask your customers what you could do to make their lives easier… encourage them to be wild and crazy with their ideas
  • Do something a little extra and surprising for them
  • Pass along helpful information that has nothing to do with their investments
  • Make sure you are there to lend a hand when they need it… basement floods… child needs help, etc.
  • Recognize your clients (with their permission) in your newsletters. Everyone loves to be loved!
  • Don’t cut corners—don’t use virtual assistants… or use “send out cards” with the fake font… or use cheap pens… be a class act!
  • When something doesn’t go right… get on it and let your client know what you are going to do about it
  • Respond promptly
  • Better yet… reach out to them before they reach out to you. If the market is down, call them! Just don’t wait around hoping they don’t call.
  • Give them free things. It could be checklists, guides or even movie tickets.
  • And lastly… be a person of your word
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You Do What?

How would you like to net three great, new clients between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? Use the information in this 8 minute video to find out how to bring on clients at no cost… especially during the Holiday Season. How? When you attend all of those Holiday gatherings and someone asks what you do… or “How’s business”… follow the step-by-step directions in this video and you’ll have people insisting on an appointment with you.

Find it here: http://www.5qgroup.com/landing-page/5Q-ElevatorSpeech

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Run Your Practice Like a Seal!

Navy SEAL Master Chief Will Guild was interviewed by Men’s Health Magazine and talked about 6 Key Principles that SEALS live by.  Incorporating them into your practice and life will give you the mindset you need to succeed.

  1. Put Teammates First – Ask yourself… How do I treat others in my office and life? How do I fit into our team?  What are my responsibilities and am I carrying them out?
  2. Absolutely 2nd Guess Yourself – We all get down sometimes.  We may even want to quit.  That is the very time you need to 2nd Guess yourself.  Don’t give up without looking at the situation from all angles.
  3. It’s OK To Be Afraid – Being okay with being afraid is the 1st step to overcoming your fear.  And if you aren’t afraid of something… you aren’t trying hard enough.
  4. Your Body Controls Your Emotions – Want to be calm?  Act calm.  There is proven science to the “fake it til you make it” mentality.  Smile or laugh and you can’t help but be happy.  Use this valuable tool the next time you feel frazzled or angry.
  5. Baby Steps – Don’t worry about scoring the touchdown… worry about taking the hike cleanly.  Focus on your task at hand and not the end game.  Success is guaranteed when you do this.
  6. Have Faith in Yourself -This is essential to create mental toughness.  Have faith in yourself and you’ll always figure it out… no matter the difficulty you find yourself in
Source: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/keys_to_achieving_mental_strength/
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9 Great Tools to Grow Your Practice

  1. www.ebri.org – Covers retirement and related economic security topics.
  2. http://Crr.bc.edu – Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. This site has a wealth of information you can use to grow your practice.
  3. www.aarp.com – The website sections called “Work & Retirement”  and “Money” have excellent tools for both you and your clients.
  4. www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu – An excellent source for information on topics related to retirement income security.
  5. www.ssa.gov – Your one stop shop for all questions about Social Security
  6. www.theamericancollege.edu/retirement-income-center – Has many useful resources for you to help your clients prepare for and succeed during retirement.
  7. www.dol.gov/ebsa/ – This site is full of useful information including links to health plans, retirement plans and retirement savings information.
  8. www.choosetosave.org -This is a great resource for you to recommend to your clients or their children to educate them on the need to save.
  9. www.choosetosave.org/ballpark/ – This is a great retirement calculator (you can even get it for your smart phone so you have it at a moment’s notice!) that has the implied endorsement of the government because it is linked to both the Department of Labor and IRS sites.
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