7 Notes That Will Double Your Referrals

Everybody wants everything done fast, don’t they?!!!  Unless it is done to them. 

  • Doctors are told to spend less time with each patient so that the hospital can make more money.  Be faster!  That’s not what the patient wants.
  • The customer support person on the phone, when I’m trying to get a fouled-up airline ticket fixed, is told to hurry up!  There are more people that need help.  That’s not what I want. 
  • A husband is impatient with his wife to get to the point or to get ready to go.  He’s got things to do!  But, that’s not what his wife wants.

Emails, faxes, the internet, credit cards, ATMs, drive-thru’s…everything is designed to hustle things up!  That can be good thing, or a bad thing, depending on what the person receiving the treatment wants.

Let me ask you a question.  How many of your clients want to be treated in a rushed fashion?  How many of them want you to hurry them through transactions and decisions?

Not a very big percentage is it?

In any profession, it may seem like the best policy is to communicate as fast and efficiently as possible, and there are certainly times that is the best policy.  However, when it comes to the overall perception that we want our clients to have of us, fast and efficient can seem very cold.

 When Slowing Down Can Make You a Bundle

Health, money, family, any of these things require the professional to slow down to show that they care about the person as much as the “ailment.” 

Using fast, efficient communication can actually backfire on a professional.  Instead of being perceived as great service, it can be construed as cold and uncaring.  You need to really foster the message of caring in your communications with your clients and prospects.

 How can you do that?

The handwritten note and a phone call are really the two best ways.  Given a choice between those two choices, the handwritten note is better most times because it conveys a more personal message and takes effort to produce it.

I think any professional that has been around for awhile understands the power of the handwritten note, but for many they are at a loss for what to put into a handwritten note.

Here are some ideas on how to use your handwritten notes to create a practice where people know that you care, and thus feel the need to refer to you.

7 Notes That Will Triple Your Referrals

  1. Say thank you as often as you can. Thanks for coming in. Thanks for the trust you put in me. Thanks for sharing what was happening in your life when we got together last week. Anything and everything. People love to be thanked!
  2. Follow-up on any meeting. If you just happen to bump into someone. Send them a note letting them know you enjoyed seeing them and you’ll have them eating out of your hand the next time you do see them. Send a note after a formal meeting, noting 1 or 2 of the top things covered. Follow-up with your accountant after he does your taxes with a handwritten note and you will have begun a whole different dynamic between the two of you.
  3. Remember client anniversaries, wedding anniversaries, and birthdays.
  4. Send a card to let them know you remember what is going on in their lives. A note sent after their vacation hoping they had a good time. A note celebrating the baptism of their grandchild if they brought it up at your meeting. A note letting them know you thought of them after the big storm last night.
  5. Send them a note about nothing or with a little joke or riddle to tickle them.
  6. Send them a note about a special meeting you are having or a lunch that you are hosting. Invite them and suggest they bring friends.
  7. The more that you send and the more personal you make it…the more success you will see.

I used to send 250 cards a week.  It took me 6 hours a week to write them, but it was worth it.  Before I started writing cards, I had spent about 6 years as a financial advisor, and I had never made more than $50,000. 

The year after I started writing handwritten notes, my income shot up to over $900,000 that year.  I’m here to say it works!

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Help Someone and They’ll Help You

Many companies have been able to jump start their business by forging a relationship with a non-profit organization.  Tom’s shoes… Bombas socks… LifeStaw… etc.  These companies became successful, almost overnight.  How?  By creating a feeling of giving while getting.

Other businesses have jumped on the bandwagon with charities like the Breast Cancer Foundation and St. Jude. 

Do you have a plan to both help your favorite charity AND help find new client?  If not, check out the “Non-Profit” section of this 5Q Affiliate Handbook.  It may just get you thinking of how helping the world could also help your business. 

Get it here courtesy of 5Q Group. 

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Make Your Clients Heroes to Their Kids… and watch your business flourish

Grandparents love their grandkids… and grandparents love people who do things for their grandkids.  If you want to be a hero to your clients… rent a movie theater and put on a movie for your clients and their kids or grandkids.  This is a WOW! Event for your clients.  They won’t know how you pulled it off.

It is actually pretty easy and not very expensive.  Here’s a free “How To”, step-by-step guide and Invite on how to do it!  Courtesy of 5Q Group. 

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Be More Like Dumbo… And Bring on More Clients

We’ve all been told at one point in our life… “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.”  But, how many of us take that adage to heart?  Tape yourself with a client.  Then, take out your stopwatch and time how much you talk vs. them.  What’s your ratio?  Is it anywhere close to 50-50?  If not, you could use some training. I found a superb document about listening, as it pertains to sales.  It’s called “Socratic Listening… The Key to Sales Success.”  You can find it here.

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10 Conversation Starters with the Wealthy

I have a secret for you. Most financial advisors assume the wealthy have tons of advisors chasing them.  They don’t.  The upper middle income has tons of advisors chasing them, but the truly wealthy are sometimes ignored because advisors feel…” Why bother, those people probably have advisors knocking on their door every day.”

With a little creativity, you can get a conversation started with someone that is truly wealthy.  If you are interested in taking a new look at how you can land the big one, check out the ten tips below:

  1. First, ask yourself one question—Why would a wealthy person want to talk to me?  If you have a good answer…you have a good chance of getting into talking to a wealthy person…If you have a GREAT answer…you have a GREAT chance of getting into talking with a wealthy person.  You should spend A LOT of time thinking about and answering this question.
  2. Mellow out! —Many advisors try to do too much for the wealthy client too soon.  The wealthy have an excellent sense of when someone wants something from them and doing too much for free up front will push them away from you.  Instead, go in prepared and slightly aloof…you do not need this client (if you really do, then you are already sunk).  You are here to help and if they want it, terrific, if they don’t, then you have others that want your help.  Being a bit detached is what tells the wealthy that you aren’t “after” their money.
  3. Don’t talk about their money! —Talk about what they have been able to accomplish with their money.  Review how the money has allowed them to give things to their family that will be remembered.  Talk about the causes their money has been able to move forward.  They want to feel that their accomplishments are meaningful and that they have had a positive impact on the world.
  4. Don’t complicate the matter—The advisor that can make life easier for the wealthy is going to have a friend for life.  Many of today’s wealthy people did not come from wealth…being wealthy is a new phenomenon for them.  What they really want, is to not be overloaded with data and facts, but a simple and easy to follow plan that is going to be invisible to them and their lifestyles.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use sophisticated planning tools…it means that the explanation and benefits of those tools should be easily understood.
  5. Don’t explain things—The wealthy do not want to be told what to do.  Your responsibility as an advisor is to have them discover things for themselves.  When the idea and planning is theirs, then it is going to get implemented.
  6. Street smarts over credentials—As mentioned earlier, many of today’s wealthy are surrounded with people that have made it without an advanced degree or “proper” schooling.  They understand that what gets things done is not letters behind your name but, knowledge of how to get things done.  Sure, you need to be educated, but rather than flaunt your degrees, flaunt your knowledge of how the system “really” works.
  7. Being an expert is worthless—This may be common sense, but so few advisors actually follow-through on it…become known as an expert. Being an expert is terrific, but if no one knows about it, it’s worthless.  Make sure that you are getting published on a regular basis…newspaper quotes…write articles and books…get on TV…. I know…I know, you don’t know how.  There is a whole cottage industry that exists to help you become an expert.  Find out how.
  8. You are working with decision makers—Many of the wealthy today have become so, because of their ability to think on their feet and get things done.  Make sure as you work with them that you are presenting your solutions in a manner that encompasses all of the information as you would present it to a CEO that was going to make a decision right then and there to move forward or not.  They are more likely to give you several minutes than, several hours, so make sure that everything you cover is pertinent and that they understand why the information is important for them to have.  You bore them for more than a minute or two and you are done.
  9. Be credible—The best way to make yourself credible is by being known for your ideas.  Many advisors spend too much time promoting themselves…and too little time promoting their ideas.  Believe me, if you have an idea that will work for a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, you do not need to advertise. They will find you.  Make sure that you have ideas that work for the wealthy and then make sure that everyone understands those ideas…you are not the main course…your idea is.
  10. Just stand still—Don’t chase the wealthy, let them chase you.  We are back to #1 again.  Why does a wealthy person want to talk to you?  If the reason is compelling enough, all you have to do is get the word out via speaking, writing, being quoted, creating websites, etc. and you won’t have to market.  The wealthy will find you.

Guys and gals, these tips don’t just work for the wealthy… but for anyone.  It’s just that if you are going to invest the time and effort needed to accomplish these things, you might as well do it for the wealthy. 

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How are You Leveraging the Current Turmoil?

The markets continue to have spikes, spurts and dives.  How are you capitalizing on it?  We know the market is always going to have volatile periods… so what is your plan to use those periods to bring on more clients?

When things get rough in the markets… I have 2 post cards you can send out on a day’s notice to your warm (or even cold) list.   These are designed to both grab their attention… and let them know that you think differently than their current advisor.  I even tell you what to handwrite on the card to further enhance their effectiveness.

As a loyal reader, I’ll send you my system that walks you through using this tool.  You’ll get the downloads so you can create them on the spot in your office or take them to your local printer… whatever is easier for you.   Thanks again for reading!  Get your “Stock Market Worries” system here, courtesy of 5Q Group.

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Creating a Powerful Bio

Your bio creates enough trust so that by the time they come to see you – they are half convinced to work with you already. You just have to make sure you don’t fumble the ball.

You should never have to talk about your credentials with a prospect. They should always precede you. You should always send a bio in your confirmation letter. You should never be in a position, either at a one-on-one or seminar where you need to begin with your credentials. It comes across lousy and braggy. Let them read it before they see you.

Here’s how to create a Bio That Works for You

1.Get a decent color picture of yourself – NOT a crummy passport, mug shot. This photo should be one that you would be willing to send to a prospective love in order to “sell” them on dating you, if you were still single. Does it make you look old? Or confident and energetic? Do you look trustworthy? Are you smiling? What are you wearing? Put some time and effort into getting this done right! Consider candid shots of you being yourself like:
• With your family
• Speaking at a seminar
• Working at your desk

2. Put the photo in upper left-hand corner of bio

3. Unless you have experience in copywriting…hire a professional – Don’t mess around with the first impression that you are going to make with a prospect. Remember! Your bio is preceding you.

It takes skill to write a bio that creates an aura of authority and doesn’t end up either sounding like a laundry list of credentials or a pompous brag sheet. Hiring a professional copywriter to write the copy for this important document is money well spent.

Your bio should include:
• What makes you different (see 5Q Process & Elevator speech)
• What makes working with you a pleasure
• Why you chose this as a career
• Your professional designations and certifications
• Where you have been published or quoted
• The last paragraph should include personal information.

An example of that is: “Bob, is happily married to his better half, Mary. They have fun together with their 3 boys boating on the Mississippi River and following the boy’s athletic endeavors. Bob is also President of the Local Food Shelf and is a Deacon in his church.”

4. Proofread it…and then proofread it again – You should have at least 2 or 3 people proofread it looking for clarity, grammar and spelling.

5. Use sub-headlines –
• Your name bolded at the top
• Your mission statement or elevator speech

6. Short and Sweet – Your bio should never be longer than one side of an 8 X 11 sheet of quality paper. Also make sure that it is created in a format conducive to sending it electronically such as a PDF file.

7. Don’t forget “the man”– As with everything, make sure you submit your bio through compliance for review.

8. When it is done – put it together with a brochure about your firm with a quality looking map and written directions to your office, along with a handwritten note – all tucked into a nice folder. Mail this out to prospective clients, before they come to see you, and you’ll get people saying yes before you even have a chance to ask the question!

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10:1 ratio to riches Story

If you touch your prospects with nice, friendly and NON-FINANCIAL touches 10 times they think that you are a nice, helpful person.  Then when you touch them with a helpful, financial message, they know you are doing it to be “nice and helpful” not doing it to sell them something.

How do you know if something works?  I suggest the “Real Life Test.” Think of a real-life situation…put the idea to work in that situation…then, see if it works.

10:1 Real Life Test—

“Straight to the point” —Let’s say you move into an office next to a Property/Casualty agent.  The very first week he comes over and introduces himself, hands you a card and says he can beat your current coverage.

What would you do?  I would politely tell him I already have a guy that I work with, thanks anyways.

Hi ya neighbor!”—Let’s say instead of coming over to present his business in the first week, this Property/Casualty guy comes over and asks if you need anything. 

Then he starts dropping by every week, just to say hi or talk about the weather, share a joke or talk sports for a minute or two.

He does this for 3 or 4 months.  He has now had 10 friendly conversations with you.  You have built a relationship and have become comfortable with each other…

He then says, “Say, I saw you the other day with a boat behind your truck.  My company loves boaters!  We have a great boat protection program.  Would you mind if I gave you a quote on your boat?”

What would you do? Feel obligated to say yes, of course.  Why?  He has never pushed or bothered you and heck, what could it hurt? Who knows maybe I will be able to save some money.

10:1 Ratio WORKS!
You can use this ratio over and over and people will never think you are being pushy but instead, helpful and friendly.  That you are a caring person. 

How often can you send a financial message?  After every 10 NON-FINANCIAL or what I call nurturing contacts.

If you give two nurturing contacts a month, that means that every 6 months you can give a financial offer.  If you give one nurturing contact a month, that means that once a year (10 months) you can give a financial offer. Or, 3 times a month allows you to make an offer every quarter.  It’s totally up to you.

Why leads rarely work – Finances are a VERY private thing.  Most people do not want to discuss their finances with strangers (definition of stranger = people you don’t know or trust) 

People know that you are smart– People know that if they ask you for some good ideas, that you would give them lots of good ideas…Then why don’t they respond to our marketing or ask us for our ideas?

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

People that sell for a living know this…they may ignore it, but they know it.

You can’t demonstrate how much you care in a marketing piece—You can say you care, but think about what YOU think when someone says, “Trust me.”

Do you?

You can show that you know a lot…BUT SO WHAT!—So does every other financial advisor as far as the public cares.  They really don’t think that any one of us is smarter than the other…the only way that you can demonstrate your different is too show how much you care.

How does your mother know if you care?—Simple, she measures how much you care by how much contact you have with her…more is better.  And what kind of contact, if the only time you contact her is to borrow money, what does she think you think of her?

If all that you do is talk about money to a client or prospect, what do they think you care about?  Them as a person?  Or, getting at their money? 

Create a friend and you have a client—What do friends and family want from you?  That you demonstrate that you care about them.  What is the easiest way to demonstrate it?  Phone call, email maybe?  Aha!  In this case, easy is bad!

We’ll all do something for someone when it’s easy…only if you really care about someone will you do something more difficult.

Email:

  • No cost
  • Simple
  • Easy and effortless

Sending a card:

  • You have to go out and look at cards and choose one
  • You have to buy it…you know, actually spend money
  • You have to sit down and think about what you want to write because once you write it with a pen you can’t simply delete and fix it
  • You have to actually write it
  • Then address the envelope, lick it and affix a stamp to it
  • And, finally drop it into a mailbox

So, put together a list of at least 100 people you would like as clients.  Send them each 10 NON-FINANCIAL notes, articles and cards… then follow-up with an offer by mail or phone… so how much have you spent?  100 X 10 X $1.00 (for piece and postage) = $1,000.  Guess how many of these 1,000 touches will now talk to you about your offer.  At least 10… and if your offer is good… you’ll land at least 3… and how much do you make per new client?  So, what do you think?  Is it worth the effort?

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How to Bring on Clients Using Focus Groups

For years, financial professionals had no problem finding new people to see. It has become increasingly difficult to get a steady, reliable stream of new clients to walk in your door. So, what do you do to get:

More people to see on a regular and predictable basis…without spending yourself into the poorhouse.

Two for the Price of One!
Why not try finding out what people really want and then giving it to them?

Do you really know what your target market wants? If you know the following three things about your target market…you are sitting on a gold mine:

  1. What keeps them up at night? What are they staring at the ceiling worrying about at 3 in the morning?
  2. What frustrates them? What drives them stark, raving mad?
  3. What is the deepest desire? What do they spend every available minute dreaming about?

If you know these three things you are on the road to riches… and the BEST part?  You can make a ton of money at the same time as you discover these 3 things using Focus Groups. 

Here’s my 27-page Focus Group Marketing Guide —complete with invitations, scripts and discussion guides.  All courtesy of 5Q Group.

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How to Get an Accountant to Refer to You

We just wrapped up the tax season… which means accountants are near the end of their money-making season.  Now, of course, they need to take a break after their busy tax season.  But, after that they will have more time to meet, network and build their businesses.

I put together a CPA referral system, with scripts… and MORE IMPORTANTLY… scripts that work because they address how they can make money by working with you… in a way they (and you) never thought about before.  It comes down to… you need to speak their language and this step-by-step system shows you how to do it. 

It’s yours to download at no-cost, courtesy of 5Q Group.

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