The Best 30-Minutes You Ever Spent

If you want to work with small businesses, you have 20 seconds to get their attention.  Here’s what you do.

  • Get a list of 3 businesses you want to approach with your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Make sure all 3 businesses are close together and then buy either bagels or donuts for each. Now make sure to go there before business hours.  The boss is usually there before everyone else, and it’s probably the slowest part of his/her day.
  • Have this short conversation

If the boss is in, say:

Can I trade you 6 bagels and cream cheese…  for no more than 3-minutes of your time…  to give you an idea on how to lower your taxes… and then you can either kick me out or we can set up a time to get you more information?

The important phrase is “no more than 3-minutes of your time.”  Tell them up front that this will NOT be a long conversation… and the ball will be in their court as to whether they want to meet again later.  This up front declaration makes them much more likely to give you 3-minutes to hook them with your Unique Selling Proposition.

If the boss isn’t in, say:

Can I trade you 6 bagels and cream cheese… for you to let your boss know I’ll be giving him a call for NO MORE than 3-minutes of their time… to give them an idea on how to lower his/her taxes… and if after that 3-minute conversation they want me to take a hike… I will?

This will get you at least one… and most often two meetings a day, if you truly have a unique solution to one of their problems.  I used taxes in this example.

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Want More Appointments? Then Follow Through!

I was scratching my head.  So an advisor used a marketing system that did all the hard work for him.  It found people with more than $1 million who wanted to meet with advisors for second opinions.  Now these were NOT leads… but people that wanted to meet in the advisor’s office.  Awesome right?

I asked him how it was going, and he said about 20% of the people weren’t showing for their appointments.  I asked him how the conversation on the phone went when he called to confirm the appointment.  He told me he hadn’t been doing a confirmation call!

Wow!  I can’t believe he was getting 80% of these people to show up!  He was just relying on the phone call the appointment setting folks had with the wealthy clients.   Think about it… these people made the appointment for a second opinion… and then they hang up and think… “Wait a minute!  Who will I be talking to?  Will they try to hard sell me?  Hmm… maybe we shouldn’t go, after all.”

All he needed to do was give folks a call and have a friendly… non-salesy call with these folks and there is a high likelihood many would have showed up for their appointment.

Always follow through!

  • If you leave a voicemail… follow up with an email, referencing the voicemail
  • If you send a letter… follow up with a phone call and/or an email
  • If someone makes an appointment for you… follow up with a friendly phone call

Don’t rely on just one contact.  If you want to get the most of all your marketing… contact people as many ways as you can… AND give them as many ways to contact you back, as well!

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This is a Terrific Handout or Even Frame it for Your Office

Are you looking for a document that demonstrates that you put your client and their concerns first?  Please accept this done-for-you Financial Hippocratic Oath, courtesy of 5Q Group.  You can use it a number of ways… as a handout at seminars… in your appointment folder… framed and hung on your office wall.  It’s a great way to let people know the values by which you abide.

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This Works to Get Those Big Hitters to Call You Back!

People love humor… and people love themselves.  You can leverage these two things into getting almost everyone to reach out to you.

Using this technique… one guy got President George Bush to reach out to him… one company did this for a mailer of 1,000—and got appointments with 857 of those people.  What did they do?

When you get somebody to laugh, your response rate sky rockets.  So, what these people did was to have a custom, personalized cartoon made, for the person they were trying to get appointments with.

It’s going to cost you a couple of hundred dollars… but isn’t it worth it to get a whale to call you back?

Here’s a couple of sites that can help you do that…

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The ONLY referral that Works… and why all the other referral advice is worthless

Why don’t you get more referrals?  Your clients love you.  They know you are smart and provide great service.  We assume they like their family and friends.  So why don’t they refer more?

The answer is pretty simple.  REJECTION.

It’s why all the other referral systems don’t work.  I’ve read over a dozen books touting that they had cracked the code on how to get referrals… and hundreds of articles claiming the same thing.  They are all the same drivel repackaged.  Worthless advice that does not work.  It’s because they don’t put themselves in the client’s shoes.

We don’t like rejection, but it is part of our job.  However, rejection is NOT part of being a client… so they are not going to put themselves in a position, where they might be rejected.

Think about it.  They go to their friend or family member and say, “Bob!  You gotta work with my advisor!  He’s awesome!  He’s been getting me great returns for the last 8 years.  He’s created this fabulous income plan that has more money coming in than we ever dreamed possible.  And boy, or boy, does he take good care of us.  You have to sit down with him!”

What is their friend Bob going to say?  “That’s OK, I got a guy.”

How does your client feel?   Rejected.  When will they refer again?  Never.

Now don’t get me wrong.  If someone ASKS your client if they know a good advisor… then they will absolutely refer to you.  But, then we are just waiting passively for that miracle to happen.  It’s why we get a few referrals every year… but don’t get them on a regular basis.

Or maybe you have that one guy in a hundred that loves to bird dog for you.  Loves to talk you up.  Terrific!  But how many of your clients are like that… and how long before that guy runs out of friends to talk to?

You need a referral system that is active instead of passive… and above all, predictable.  After 35 years in the professional sales business… I finally found the one referral that actually works.

You must make them want to refer for their OWN benefit… not yours… not their friends… but for themselves.

How do you do that?  It’s NOT by offering compensation for referrals.  It’s been tried.  It doesn’t work.  People feel “dirty” getting paid to sic, what they are afraid their friend will think is a salesperson, on them.

Instead, here’s what you need to make this referral technique successful:

  1. It has to benefit your client at the gut level. It must help them avoid something that would be very unpleasant.
  2. It has to be apparent to them, that the benefit is for them alone… and that you will NOT benefit by selling their friend something.

This second one is tricky.  I mean, we do want a referral so that we can bring them on as a client… and eventually sell them something, right?  Otherwise, what’s the point of the referral?  Don’t worry, we will sell the person they refer something… but it cannot be the first thing we do.

So, your client must believe they are referring their friend or family member to receive a NON-financial service or value.  Something that has NOTHING to do with what you get paid to do.  Nothing to do with investments, insurance or investment software.

The reason for this is that your client will be willing to refer their friend or family member, if they think it is for something valuable, that has nothing to do with money.  They aren’t comfortable referring, if they think you are just going after the money… and as we said, they know that the person they refer will reject them, if it’s just about the money.

What I use to achieve this is a list of 7 NON-financial things that are simple to take care of up front… but if not taken care of… could cause big problems down the line.  Time… money… and hassles.

Using a NON-financial offer makes the referral easy.  Here’s how it would go:

  • Give your client the NON-financial benefit (in my case the 7-item checklist) … at no cost. Simply a value-added benefit that you are now offering to your clients.
  • Walk through all the negative consequences that would/could happen to your client if you hadn’t helped them by giving them this benefit.
    • Have them realize the time… money… and hassles you have helped them to avoid in the future.
  • Then simply say:
    • “Do you have anyone in your life that looks to you for advice… or comes to you for help… maybe runs things by you?
    • “Would you like me to do these NON-financial things for them too… because if we don’t, who are they going to ask for help and drag into their problems… all the time, money and hassles? Who do they look to for help?”
    • “Would you like me to take care of these NON-financial things for them… so that their problems… don’t become YOUR problems?”

They make the referral because it helps them avoid the HUGE problem of being saddled with helping out a loved one, when this thing happens to them.  They will actually schedule the appointment with the referral for you!  No chasing… they schedule it for you!

Now this does not work with all clients.  It only works with clients who have family or friends they help out.  That may only be one out of 5 of your clients, but they will give you multiple referrals.  And the kicker is… when a Center of Influence makes that referral… schedules that appointment for you and the person they are referring… how good is that referral?  It’s as good as done.

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Get the Best Advice on How to Grow Your Business… You will blow your competitors away!

If you are looking at leveraging the newest and best ways to reach clients, here’s a great way to do it that doesn’t cost you an arm and leg.  Consider sponsoring a marketing, design or public relations class at a local university.

Students will come up with lots of fresh ideas that you did not even know existed.  They’ll even build you tools you can use, that would cost thousands, if you hired a professional company to do them.  This is so effective, even huge companies like Steel Case and Fossil Watches do this regularly.

It is effective for 3 reasons:

  1. It’s inexpensive. Universities are looking for real life experiences for their students.
  2. You own the ideas!
  3. You get to scout for local talent that you can use when they graduate

Let these budding professionals impress you with their creativity, knowledge and ideas that will make you shine over all of your competitors.

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Simple Ways to Lock the Sale

How skeptical are people today?  Very.  How do you get them to lower their defenses and understand that you truly are there to help?  Start by treating them special… and sadly, in today’s world, it doesn’t take much to make them feel special.

Here’s one thing I do:

  • Get a little Marquee board you can hang outside your office to welcome all your clients.

Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Finley!

You will be amazed at the effect it has on people.  They absolutely love it!  They have probably never had that happen to them before.  And you can get a little Marquee board on Amazon for less than $30.

There are many little things you can do to make clients and prospects feel special… and they cost diddly.  You can find out how I outfitted my office to create wonderful experience… all for less than $300 a year.  And clients rave about it.

Get my WOW! Experience Guide HERE courtesy of 5Q Group.

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Create a Buzz and Get the Most Important People in Town to Come to Your Event

What would you do to start rubbing elbows with the most influential and affluent people in town?  Here’s what a law firm in Minneapolis did to attract an all-star list of attendees at their event.

They tapped into people’s ego.

  • They picked out a fun venue that people would enjoy… think conservatory… zoo… historic building… etc.
  • They arranged food (hors d’oeuvres) and music (local well-known band)
  • They put together the list of people they would want to come to the party
    • It was diverse. People with money… People with influence… People from business, sports, the arts and politics.
    • Think “interesting” people that others would enjoy meeting
  • You then invite them to an “Compelling People” dinner
    • Give the event an exclusive feel by creating a VERY upscale invite… you know… quality paper, graphics, a wax seal on the back
      • “You have been identified as a Compelling Person… you and a guest are invited to attend a special event planned for the Compelling People of [INSERT YOUR CITY NAME].
      • Talk about the time, place, food prepared by… and entertainment
    • If possible have them hand delivered by someone in a tux or formal dress
    • It’s better yet if you can give them the invites in front of people… at the place of work to make them feel special… at lunch… at a game… on the golf course… in their backyard with their family.
  • Put a mysterious ad in the newspaper and radio… asking people if they had been identified as one of the Compelling People in [INSERT YOUR CITY]. This will build an exclusive feel for those invited and boost attendance.
  • When guests arrive, they should get an envelope containing the guest list, a note about the purpose of the party and a suggestion of the first guest they should look to meet (with their short bio).

So, what were their results?  Two new HUGE clients within a month… and over 50 other movers and shakers who now knew who they were, and would pick up the phone, when they called.  Over the next year at least 4 other clients were tied back to this party.  The profit outweighed the cost by over 10-to-1.

And this little venture also paid off in branding and name recognition… and much more business was generated indirectly.

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A Marketing Hole in One!

Wouldn’t you rather be on the golf course, instead of your office on those fine summer days?  Well, here’s a way to have fun AND bring on clients.

Invite 2 or 3 people you would like to make clients or get to know as centers of influence.  They should come from different industries.  Some ideas may be… accountants, attorneys, chiropractors, dentists, business people, realtors, politicians, etc.

Let them know it is for some fun… but also to get to know people where there might be mutual business or strategic interests.

Here’s how to conduct the perfect business golf outing:

  • Ask them to meet at the club an hour before tee time
  • Bring some snacks and drinks to get things rolling
  • Make introductions and suggest moving to the practice green
  • Make sure golf cart is stocked with their favorite foods and beverages—do some homework by calling their office staff and picking their brains
  • At the tee, surprise them each with a sleeve of top-notch golf balls
  • Make it a rule that the first 9 holes are about golf… NO business talk
  • On the back 9, it should be easy to bring up ideas on how you all might help each other out
  • Remember to send them all a handwritten thank you note after the outing
  • Get them on your newsletter
  • Then, follow up on any ideas discussed
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Get the BEST Testimonials All Advisors… Including RIA’s and Registered Reps Can use!

My office had only one type of art hanging on the walls in the waiting room… 5 big picture frames filled with a collage of snapshots of happy clients, having the time of their lives.  Guess what every prospect looked at when they came into my office?  Guess what they would inevitably find?  Someone they knew with a huge smile on their face.

Every summer I would have a barbecue or Luau and invite all my clients and their friends.  I had an over 90% attendance at these fun parties.  I took tons of pictures.  I would then send a pic to each of my clients and fill another big picture frame with the rest of the photos.

If you’d like my step-by-step instructions and invitation on how to put on a Luau for your clients… you can find it here… courtesy of 5Q Group.

Have fun!

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