How to Find and Meet the Best-Connected Person in the Room

The best way to grow your business through referrals, quickly, is to work with highly connected people.  The problem is, those people aren’t always easy to spot.  It’s not necessarily the most “powerful” person in the room.  The best-connected person is the person who knows everybody! 

If you create a friendship, and hopefully a business relationship with these people… they are the people that will go out of their way to promote you.  It’s their personality.

So, whenever you are in a room with people for social or networking purposes… it pays to get to know the person in the room, that knows the most people.  Here’s a simple and easy way to do it.

  • Find any person in the room to begin a conversation with, let’s say it’s Bob… during the conversation ask him if he knows anybody else in the room.
  • Next, go to the person Bob identified and strike up a conversation with that person.  Simply say, “I just finished speaking with Bob and he suggested I introduce myself…”
  • During that conversation, ask them if they know anybody in the room, besides Bob.
  • Repeat this process until the same name(s) come up once or twice. 
  • These names have an over 90% chance of being the best-connected people in the room due to a phenomenon called the “Friendship Paradox”.

Do your best to connect with these people conversationally and find out a bit about them.  Make sure you send a “Nice to Meet You”, handwritten card to them, the next day.  Then, a few days later, give them a call and ask them to breakfast or lunch.  And finally, connect with them on LinkedIn… but only after the handwritten note and lunch invitation. 

Otherwise, if you go straight to LinkedIn, they will feel as if you only view them as a business opportunity… instead of someone you think highly of and would like to know better. 

People that you like… like you.  People that like you, will be much more likely to introduce you to others.  It’s those introductions that will make your business grow.

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Are You in Danger?

Matt Oechsli, president of Oechsli Institute conducted a study to find the top 6 reasons affluent investors leave their advisor. 

This information can be used two different ways.  1) Make sure you do not suffer any of these 6 sins, to ensure you do not lose valuable client. 

2) These things are your competition’s Achille’s Heel… and remember, your best prospect is your competitor’s best client.  How could you use these things in your marketing to attract affluent investor’s, rethinking their advisors?

Top 6 Reasons

  1. Their advisor make’s more than one mistake.
  2. They perceive their advisor is more interested in marketing and finding new clients… than he/she is in taking care of them, the client.
  3. Poor communication.  This means a number of things. 
    • Advisor is not proactive in reaching out to clients… but instead waits for client to call them.
    • All communication is about money.  There are no relational contacts like birthday calls or wishes for the holidays.
    • Advisor does not understand what the client wants for communications… number of contacts per year… phone or in-person… educational content or not… etc.
  4. Not fully (and in a simple way)… covering ALL the fees they are being charged.
  5. Afraid the firm is not on solid ground or does not have a succession plan if something should happen to the advisor.
  6. Investment performance does not meet previously agreed upon expectations.  This means… Do NOT overpromise what you can deliver!

A great advisor should have at least one client focus group a year to gather client’s feedback as to whether they are hitting those 6 benchmarks. Top 6 Reasons

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Pictures Paint a Thousand Words

Concepts can be hard to explain.  Points of view can be hard to explain.  Getting people to change can be hard to do.  If you are looking for a laser that will cut through “hard to do”, look to simple pictures that make sense to everyone… and can be difficult to argue with…

Enter Behaviorgap.com.  Carl Richards is a genius when it comes down to explaining complicated concepts in simple drawings.   Here’s an example:

Carl’s book The Behavior Gap is a great read to get your creative juices flowing!

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Here’s How You Get Your Client’s CPA’s to Refer More People to You

Referrals are great… but referrals from CPA’s are golden!  Wouldn’t we all like more of those?  As with any referral, you should start with a person that both parties share.  In this case it would be… your client… that you and their CPA share!

And NOW is the right time to leverage that shared relationship!  As we go into tax season, I would recommend you find out the contact information for all of your different clients’ tax prepares.  Then, you send them a letter that looks like this…

Hello [Mr./Ms. CPA or Attorney Last Name],

Your clients [Mr. and Ms. Client] recently became a client of mine as well. They spoke very highly of you and the work you’ve done for them. 

Please let me know if there is any way that I can assist you in your work with [Mr. and Ms. Client]. I believe their transition to me went smoothly and I want to make sure that anything we do, dovetails with the work you’ve already done for them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call at [your number] or email me at [your email].  I’ve also enclosed a card.  With your permission, I will drop you a note occasionally with matters of interest, just to keep the lines of communication open. 

Best regards,

[Advisor Name and contact info]

First, you compliment them and let them know you share a client… and then you offer to make their lives easier (instead of trolling for new business).   Now, chances are, some of your clients share the same tax preparer… so you might send 3 or 4 of these letters to the same CPA.  What does that say to the CPA?  Holy cow!  This advisor must be good!  Since many of my clients are using them!

Then, after tax season follow up with a call to the CPA and reference the letter to open the lines of communication.  Then, begin to drip with your newsletter to them.  CPA’s only refer to people they know and trust.  By following the procedure I just laid out, they will begin to know and trust you… and the referrals will follow.

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Eggselent Idea!

Do you have a great idea you’d like to share with a big prospect… but they won’t give you the time of day?  Here’s how to fix that.

  • Big hitters are interested in good ideas… that’s how they became big hitters. 
  • On the other hand, they also are very protective of their time. 

So, you need to leverage both those thoughts.  First you need to create a 2-minute Unique Selling Proposition that clearly states the benefits of your great idea.  You need to be able to communicate it in no longer than 2 minutes.

Then, mail your prospect an egg timer set to 2-minutes with a hand-written note saying you’d like to share an idea that would take just 2-minutes of their time.  Call them on the day the mail is likely to be delivered and ask them to start the egg timer for you to deliver your great idea. 

If it truly is a great idea… they WILL give you WAY more than 2-minutes… and likely a face-to-face meeting.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Want a truly effective… and inexpensive way to market?  Look no further than your local paper.  Subscribe to all your local papers, big and small.  Then, start reading them with the purpose of identifying people with whom you’d like to work.  Here are some examples…

  • People that have just had a new baby
  • People that have just been promoted
  • People that have just won an award
  • People that have opened a new business
  • People that have done something remarkable

Now, cut out that article and laminate it.  Mail it to them with a handwritten note congratulating them on their achievement.  DO NOT bring up business in this note!  Simply sign it and enclose a business card.

Then, about two weeks later (before they forget you) follow up with another note giving them additional information on what you do and how that could benefit them.  Add them to your drip list and wait for the relationship to grow!  This is only successful about 10% of the time… but you do the math.  The return on investment is still incredible!

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5 Myth’s of Financial Advice Marketing

  1. Flawless work is enough—NO! Flawless work is expected! It’s the bare minimum. If you think that delivering outstanding results will attract new customers, you are sorely mistaken. It will keep your current clients happy, but will not attract new ones. Why, you ask? Because EVERYONE claims to have outstanding results… the public doesn’t know who to believe and who not to believe… so they don’t believe anyone. If you want to thrive, you have to have a systematic and proactive way to get the word out about the value you provide.

  2. Marketing plans that work are hard to create—the best plan is short and easy to follow. Here are the 6 steps:
    1) Write down EXACTLY what you are trying to accomplish IN DETAIL. Who are you trying to get in front of… how many people… what do you want them to do?
    2) Describe the benefits you are offering in your marketing. Why would someone want to take advantage of your offer? Why does it matter to them? Can they get it elsewhere?
    3) Describe the exact person you want to get in front of.
    4) Describe the thing you do better than all your competitors.
    5) What is it that you want people to think when they hear your firm’s name?
    6) How much are you willing to spend to get in front of each prospect?

    Figure these things out FIRST… and your marketing plan will unfold before you.

  3. The internet offers unlimited marketing opportunities—Yes and no. Because internet marketing has a lower price point… many marketing organizations and advisors have rushed into it. Unfortunately, just like seminars, dinners and everything else advisors have used before… it works great until everyone starts doing it. After it gets crowded… it still works… you just have to look different than everyone else.

  4. You must find a client’s pain—We’ve been told by guru’s to ask silly questions like… “What keeps you up at night?”… “If you had a magic wand, what problem would you solve?”

    These questions make you sound like a used car salesperson. People are sophisticated when it comes to sales pitches. They can see questions like those from a mile away. Also, if they really had pain… they wouldn’t have waited for your marketing piece to finally address it… they would have reached out to someone a long time ago to fix it. Remember, we want clients that have money… and clients with money don’t have overwhelming pain.

  5. Best Practices Work—Yes and no. They work until everyone does them… and then they stop working. To be successful today, you must do 2 things…
    1) You must market in a way that is different from all your competitors
    2) You must hone your sales skills so that when you get in front of someone… even tire kickers and plate lickers… you can get them to move their money to you. When was the last time you taped your meeting with a client and figured out what you could have done better? If you haven’t done this… you AREN’T getting any better.

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Solve the Puzzle of Getting that Big Hitter to Respond

Do you have one person or a group of people that if you landed them… it would be a huge boost to your business? If you are willing to invest a little effort and 6-weeks of your time… here’s a creative way to get them to pay attention to you.

A non-profit created a very successful fund-raising campaign using a puzzle. Here’s how you can use the same idea to get your big prospects’ attention.

  1. Create a simple graphic that illustrates or states your Unique Selling Proposition.

  2. Google “Personalized Puzzle” and you’ll find several companies that will create a puzzle for you. The cost is around $15.

  3. Make sure to use the “children’s” version of the puzzle so that your puzzle has bigger, and fewer pieces. Around 30 pieces would be good.

  4. Send the first 3 pieces of the puzzle that would make up one of the corners. You should insert a cover letter that lets them know when they are able to solve the puzzle… to either call or email you the complete word (or idea) of the puzzle… and you’ll give them a $100 gift card to a popular, local restaurant. Let them know you’ll be sending them pieces every week for the next 10 weeks.

  5. Here’s what’s happening…
    1) You are getting them to interact with you via the puzzle
    2) You are approaching them in a way nobody else ever has… you are different and are standing out from your competitors.
    3) You are getting them to actually THINK about your proposition. REALLY think about it. IF you have a great idea or proposition… you are golden!
    4) You are getting them to reach out to you (when they finish the puzzle)… instead of you reaching out to them. The chemistry is completely different when they are chasing you vs. you chasing them. In a GOOD way!
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Double Your Response Rate with a Tool That’s Sitting on Your Desk

Want a simple way to double the chance somebody will respond to your letter or request?  Then capitalize on the fact that people need to feel they are getting personal attention.  In several tests (neurosciencemarketing.com), it was found that when a handwritten, yellow sticky note was attached to a letter or advertisement… the response rate more than doubled. 

Here’s the odd thing… handwriting the note ON the actual letter or advertisement did boost response… but only by 50%.  Handwriting the exact same note on a yellow sticky note affixed to the letter boosted response by 100%.  And it gets better… the responses with the sticky were also more thorough and prompt!

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Want a terrific AND totally compliant way to use testimonials?

We all know testimonials are VERY effective… but Registered Reps have to be very careful about using them… and RIAs aren’t allowed to use them at all…

OR ARE THEY?

You should have a small group of client Ambassadors that you treat like gold.  You should identify your most influential and persuasive clients.  Meet with them and ask if they’d like to become a member of your Ambassador’s Club.  Of course they will want details…

Ambassador’s Club is an exclusive club of who you feel are your very best clients.  Because they are your best clients you’d like to have regular private events and get-togethers with them…

  • Wine tastings
  • Dinners at nice restaurants
  • Party bus to the ball game, concert or play
  • Private backyard barbecues
  • Etc.

If they are interested, you ask them if they would be willing… as an “Ambassador” to take occasional emails or phone calls from prospective clients who want a reference.

First, it is completely fine to give the name and contact information when someone asks for a reference (which is now a legal testimonial)… AND what do you think these people that you treat like gold are going to say about you?

Second, these are folks that could rotate through any seminar you do to tout your incredible service and trustworthiness at the end of the seminar to boost appointment ratios.

Lastly, some of your Ambassadors will give you referrals all on their own… and, we can never get enough referrals.

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