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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How Much Does It Cost to Turn a Prospect Into a Client?

Well, according to industry research… it’s about $395.  If you want a more accurate picture of your situation… do your own math.  Add up what you spend on marketing and divide it by the number of new clients you’ve brought on using that marketing.

If you did a seminar that cost $5,000 and you brought on 4 clients… then your cost is $5,000 ÷ 4 = $1250. 

Once you know how much it costs to bring on a new client, then you need to figure out if there is a better or more cost-efficient way to bring on new clients.

On an extreme basis, if you were confident in your sales ability, if you paid someone $1,000 to come see your presentation (yes, I know it’s not allowed, but follow me here) it would be more cost-efficient than spending $1,250 per new client using seminars.

Seminars are neither good or bad… feeding at seminars is neither good or bad… direct mail or Facebook marketing is neither good or bad…

It’s what it costs you per new client, that is good or bad, and even that is relative.

So, once you know how much it costs per new client, think outside the box.  Are there better or more effective ways to spend that money?  For example:

  • What if you put together a list of your best client’s neighbors (that’s easy to do with technology)… and mailed them a (funny, helpful, provocative) post card every week for a year? (I actually have a system that does something like this AND IT WORKS!)  What would that cost?  Let’s say it’s 10 neighbors, at 50 cents a card, multiplied by 52 weeks… that’s a total of $260.
    • How many of them would know your name by the end of the year? All of them.
    • How many of them would recognize you, if you gave them a call or dropped by their house? All of them.
    • What if you reached out to them right after the market crashes… or some other event that would cause concern… would they talk to you… the advisor that has communicated with them 51 times more than their current advisor who only calls them once a year? I know they would.
    • How likely is it that they might bring it up in a neighborhood get-together?  If so, might your good client hear about it and let them know you are a good advisor.  Odds are pretty good.
    • How many might respond to other types of marketing you are doing once they know your name? Odds are really good.
    • There are so many other ways you can leverage this marketing, if you get a little creative.

What are your chances of landing a client?  At least as high as spending money marketing to a bunch of strangers who don’t know any of your clients.

This process does work.  My advisors have done it.  Should you?  I don’t know, how much are you currently spending to bring on a new client.  That number is your answer.

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Get an Immediate Boost in Your Seminar Marketing

Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I’d tell my advisors to send invites and newsletters via email… because people were getting inundated with junk mail in their postal mail boxes and they didn’t get much in their email box.

Now that is reversed.  People’s email boxes are slammed and their postal boxes are empty.  And it ends up people love getting mail in their postal boxes.  An overwhelming amount of surveys in the last couple of years say people look forward to going to their postal mail boxes, to get their daily mail.

How does that affect you?  Well, in the last 6 months advisors have flocked to advertising via Facebook and digitally because it’s cheaper and novel.  And it has worked so well, it has attracted even more advisors now… in fact, a flood of advisors! 

So, guess what’s happened to the amount of advertising and seminar invites in prospects’ postal mail boxes?  It has fallen off tremendously… so guess what has happened to the effectiveness of postage (mailed) seminar invites… it has spiked upwards again.  Marketing can seem like you are on a never-ending merry-go-round… what works today… doesn’t tomorrow.  What doesn’t work today… starts working again 3-months from now.  Well right now… the postage delivered advertising is working, because so many advisors abandoned it.  You want to be where everyone else ISN’T if you want to be effective.  So, if you haven’t tried direct mail lately… you might want to give it a shot again.

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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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