Call 1: Creation of Simple Weekly Strategy (Pillar Identification)
William changed careers to become a financial advisor 4 years ago. His problem is that he puts a plan in place to grow his business, but when he doesn’t see results, he quickly changes directions. A pattern he repeats over and over. After reading my book, he realized he needs to figure out the right things to do each week, but just as importantly, stick with them long enough to see results. Listen as we identify the following pillars heavily focused on acquiring new clients:
To hear other episodes go to https://productivitygiant.com/simplify-your-strategy-magnify-your-results-podcast/
Brian Margolis (00:00:00):
This is Brian Margolis. And welcome to the simplify, your strategy, magnify your results podcast, where on each episode I use the pillar system to help a sales pro entrepreneur or other results based professional, create a weekly strategy to run a simple, more lucrative business strategy. So simple. It can fit on an index card, but so powerful. It's actually helped create multiple seven figure earners and is now licensed by some of the largest companies in the world to create strategies for their teams. If you'd like a free copy of my book on exactly how to do this, or want to be considered as a guest on a future episode, head on over to productivity, giant.com to be good. All right. So what I'm going to do for the sake of time, William, is I'm just going to kind of rehash what we talked about for a few minutes there prior.
Brian Margolis (00:00:50):
So you were, it's funny, you were a scientist like me, right. Or at least you were in that world. Yup. And then you owned a business for awhile and four years ago, you decided to become a financial advisor. You got real interested in, in the financial side of things. And so fast forward four years, you've read my book. You obviously liked it. That's why we're talking now. You've attempted, I guess at some level you've attempted to work on creating your pillars yourself, right. And so why don't you just catch me up on, you know, four years in what's going well, what's not going well and where you see the biggest growth potential, or the biggest, you know, issue we can help with.
Yeah. So that's a great question. And I I feel like the foundational elements of creating success in, in my business is proactively contacting folks and leveraging the opportunities within the field that I can excuse me, that I can propel at. So what I would do, like in a nutshell, I would create this plan and then I would implement it. And like it says in your book a couple short weeks, or maybe a month down the road, I'd see nothing come about. And I throw it to the wayside and said, that doesn't work. Let me try something else. But really what, in a nutshell, when it comes down to is wait a minute, it does work. It's proven to work because not only yourself that you've written on, but others out there that I've read that these processes that you put in place that are proven to work just need to be need to be done consistently, but really refining. What is the work that's gonna get you farther? And so problem is, is probably spending a lot of time on the five to $25 an hour work and not that thousand dollar an hour work.
Brian Margolis (00:03:08):
Got it. Yeah. Cause you don't see the, the, you know, immediate results, right? Yeah.
Yeah. I'm, I'm I'm I liked the McDonaldization of society, so I don't see it right away. I'm done.
Brian Margolis (00:03:20):
Yeah. No. And, and I mean that, listen, that's actually normal, right? That that's actually pretty normal. You know, one of the things I believe I say in the book is, you know, being good at something is very different than being successful. Right. And, and you could be a good financial advisor, your clients like you, when you do sit down with people, they trust you, you do the right things with their money, but that's a different skillset than growing a business. Right. Right. And then of course running a business. And so the analogy I use times is, is swatting flies. Meaning, you know, when you're first starting out, you know, day one, year one, however you want to think about it. You know, it takes a lot of efforts. There's only a couple of flies in the room. You know, your arm practically falls off with the amount of, you know, swipes you have to take to hit one fly, right.
Brian Margolis (00:04:14):
It feels like you can never get one and you're spending all this energy and nothing's happening, but eventually you hit a fly, you hit another fly, those flies die. And the other flies lay their eggs on them. And more flies come up and, you know, the compound effect starts taking place. And all of a sudden, you get to a point in your business, down the road where, you know, you can take a swipe without even thinking about it and hit a bunch of flies. Right? Yup. And so that effort to result ratio changes and as someone relatively new in the business, that can be frustrating. Cause you start questioning, you know, am I doing the right things, right. Am I doing the right things? And so, you know, one of the things, once we establish these pillars is I want you to feel confident that yes, I am doing the right things. It's just a matter of doing them consistently and then doing them effectively. Right? Correct. Yeah. Because if not like, like you said, you, you, you scrap everything, you change directions, you scrap everything. Again, you change directions, you read about something, you changed the directions again. So I definitely, I definitely feel your pain.
Yeah. I mean the great ideas that I put to the wayside are still great ideas. It's just, they weren't consistently done and they weren't managed and
Brian Margolis (00:05:41):
Measured. Yeah. Accurately.
So I do believe that consistency is key.
Brian Margolis (00:05:48):
So, so let's, let's just get right down to it. We'll actually, but before we do, before we do, did you come up with pillars yourself when you were looking through it, when you were, when you were introduced to the pillar system, did you ever come up with your own pillars? Do you currently have a set of pillars or scrapped at all?
Yeah. Yeah, I did. I you know, I decided to get an index card out and, and write three pillars on there. And just really easy pillars. It was a, you know, 17 contacts a day. You introduced me to the term of a non-sales touch, I believe. So I had about five of those a day and then about a half an hour of of, of weather reflecting on the business. So being the entrepreneur or learning my craft and that's through various professional designations. And so those three pillars were the three pillars I came up with after reading your book.
Brian Margolis (00:06:58):
Okay. And, and, and one thing, and, and obviously we're, we're the reason we're doing this, we're talking and we're recording. It is because other people, William will be listening and, you know, the goal is for them to learn as well to take what they've either heard in my course or my book and hear a real life example. Right. So, you know, I'm probably gonna slow down a little more than I would with, with the average client. But you know, one thing you said was 17 contacts a day or a certain amount of MSTs a day, you know, the six characteristics of the pillar, those those are not nuance. Or I should say there's nuance to them. They shouldn't be taken lightly. And one of the things I always suggest with pillars or not suggest, but tell is pillars should be measured weekly, not daily.
Brian Margolis (00:07:47):
Right. So if you want to do something daily, if that's your routine, that's okay. But the reason I say so, so let's say 17 just let's make the math easy for me. Well, we'll call it, we'll call it 50. We'll call it 15 today. Right. Which is what, 75 a week. I'd rather your pillar be 75 contacts a week. And if you decide to do it daily, that's fine. The reason I do that is, is, is for a few reasons. Number one is, you know, every day is just not the same, right? Not every day and then depends on the industry, but there's very few industries where every day is exactly the same. And so certain kinds of travel days or heavy client days, or however you want to think about it, don't always lend themselves to working on your pillars. Right. The second reason is that, you know, if something happens on Monday and you don't hit your 15 contacts, well then, you know, does that mean your pillars don't get hit that week. You blow all on Monday.
I usually feel like I'm behind already.
Brian Margolis (00:08:59):
Well, you're not behind according to how you're setting it up, you basically didn't hit your pillars. Right. Right. Right. And then the third reason is let's just go to a Tuesday, a random Tuesday, and it's, you know, a bunch of things have happened. It's one, o'clock two o'clock in the afternoon. And then something else happens. It's three o'clock and you haven't even started your contacts. Right. And you look at that and you go, there's no way I'm going to contact 15 people today. Right. And so instead of working on it and banking those for the week, whatever you can get done, it's kind of an all or nothing you throw in the towel. Whereas if it was a weekly measurement yeah. If you spent the last 90 minutes of the day, you know, kind of set your timer and went after it, you know, you could knock a few of those out, right. That consistency of constantly doing it. Yeah. The second problem, not problem. But, but, but the thing to talk about with the way you set up those pillars is define what a contact is for me. And then we can talk about that. Well,
It'd be there's gotta be some quality behind it. It's not leaving a message. It's not sending out a email or even something through the snail mail. I gotta, I gotta verbally have a conversation that moves the needle one way or the other
Brian Margolis (00:10:24):
And really contact. Isn't probably the word conversation. Yeah. Okay. And is there a crate, cause I want real space. You want real specific criteria around pillars. You want to be able to give someone else your pillars and say, go do this. Right? Like how do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Okay. And so let's call it a conversation. And then let's also say, you know, what's the criteria around that? Is it a conversation with a prospect, with an existing client, with a center of influence, with a referral source with another financial advisor?
Yeah. I mean, it's all of those. And so it was kind of broadly defined. And that was, you know, it was just throwing those rocks in the bucket. I had a great conversation with this CPA, great conversation with this prospect and those numbers added up. But I, I wanted to probably refine that to, you know, if it's going to move the business, that thousand dollar an hour work maybe it primarily has to be prospects.
Brian Margolis (00:11:31):
Yeah. And that's something you and I can, can talk about in a little, in a little bit when we kind of reset your pillars here. But, but yeah. But do you see what I'm saying about getting the criteria down? Absolutely. Because you don't want to be too generous sometimes you need to be general, but other, and we'll probably talk about that in a little bit, but you don't want to be too general in that
Speaker 3 (00:11:54):
You can knock out your 15 or your 75 for the week. Excuse me. And still not feel like, you know, that was kind of weak, right. I'd rather have you go after less conversations and have a much more stringent criteria, if that makes sense. That actually would feel good. Yeah. Listen, I'm an, I can tell you this, just from having worked with financial advisors and people in general, 75 conversations a week, that's a lot of conversations to have weekend and week out weekend and week out because what happens over time with pillars is your pillars wind up increasing your urgent and significant activities. Meaning the number of meetings you have scheduled calls, clients, all that kind of stuff. Alright, so, so let's, let's take it from the top. Let's take it from the top. There's three questions I ask to get a list of potential pillars and you know, these aren't necessarily pillars. We're going to refine them into pillars toward the end, but let's start talking, let's start getting a list down. And question one is pretty simple. It basically says, you know, what is one thing? Or what are some things that you already know how to do effectively? And that if you just did a more consistently or did more of would have the biggest impact on your business and let me define effectively effectively, it doesn't mean you're the master.
Speaker 3 (00:13:30):
You get the result you're looking for. You can get a result from them. And so what is something you already can do that you get a result from that, you know, maybe at the end of the week, you're like, I just wish I would do more of that or be more consistent with it.
Speaker 4 (00:13:44):
That would be prospecting.
Speaker 3 (00:13:46):
Okay. So let's get, okay. So prospecting, let's get a little more specific. How do you currently prospect, what are some of the ways you prospect
Speaker 4 (00:13:58):
Professional networking and then just going out in the community and meeting people whether it's at their doors at social events getting there. Yeah, go ahead.
Speaker 3 (00:14:17):
This is just me always getting real specific, real measurable right. Door knocking is basically what you're saying. I'll for lack of a better word, right? Yeah. Yup, yup. Door knocking. Also, you know, attending networking events. Yeah. Whether it is saying, being out and about in the community.
Speaker 4 (00:14:39):
Yeah. So, so some aren't network, there's some clubs, social clubs here. But being there really does make a difference. Cause it's of the
Area that I'm in, it's almost like a two degree of separation. So it's, it's nice because people hear your name, they remember your name. And it travels far sometimes. So I need to be at those events a lot more.
Brian Margolis (00:15:06):
So I'll call that time in the community events. All right. So you got door knocking time in the community, anything by phone or email?
Follow up calls just with the folks that I do meet and that expressed interest in something that I can offer them a value in their lives. So, okay.
Brian Margolis (00:15:30):
So let's let me put that one to the side, just for a second. As far as prospecting, initial prospecting door, knocking time, you know, time at community events. Is there anything else you do effectively with regards to prospecting that you want to be more consistent with?
Yeah, it, it doesn't, it, it's not like meeting a prospect at their front door, but when I do take a, an attorney or a CPA out to lunch down the line that could pay dividends, but not immediately. So
Brian Margolis (00:16:06):
How would you, how would you answer the question then? Which is what is something I'm trying to boil it all the way down to the actual action, right? What is something you know, how to do effectively that, you know, you'd like to do more consistently here.
Yeah. It's just, I got to get in, got to get in their face. So it literally is the door of the prospect. So whether it's door knocking, walking into a business, introducing myself, those two things are, I can on my metrics are the most successful and effective.
Brian Margolis (00:16:40):
Okay. That's yeah. That's what I was. That's what I was kinda, that was my next question is what's actually producing the most bang for your buck. Right. That's it right there. And again, I imagine, you know, listen, the reality is down the road a few years down the road, that probably won't be the best use of your time. Right. Right. Because once you have a good amount of clients, then you start working the referrals and different things like that. But right now that's, you know, as, as someone who's only four years in door knocking, walking into businesses, seems to me like, like based on what you're telling me a pretty good use of your time time in the community. Is there anything else I'm not thinking of?
That's most effective. Those are the two. Okay. And you, and you, and you said,
Brian Margolis (00:17:28):
You said something about CPAs and centers of influence. Yeah. Something you're good at building those relationships you're pretty effective at, or is that still something you're working on?
No, I'm pretty effective at that. It seemed to have a good outcome on every time I'm able to get an attorney or a CPA out to lunch. It's not, it's not every day or it's not every month, but build some good relationships off of that. So
Speaker 3 (00:17:56):
You're effective once you're sitting down with them. But how effective are you at getting to consistently sit down with them?
I would say not as not as affective as I want to be. Okay. And as again, is that
Speaker 3 (00:18:13):
Just a matter of, you need to do something more consistently reach out to them more consistently? Or is it, is that more of a skill set that has to be developed?
No, I think I just needed to reach out to them more consistently. Like I said, it's one of those things where it was an awesome hot topic right. In the beginning. And then a couple of cancellations, a couple of nos. We all hate to hear the word, no. You know, kind of pushed me back and said, well, maybe this isn't the right thing to be doing. But if I look at the ones that I was successful with it was quite easy actually. And I really gained a lot of knowledge from it. So I would say I can be more effective.
Speaker 3 (00:18:54):
Well, no, no, wait, what you're saying is you can do it more consistently that retail there's two, see, there's two components to this and you're going to realize this when I ask question two, which is there stuff that you can already do effectively that you could be more consistent at, right? You might not like reaching out to them, but maybe you're, you know, maybe you're effective enough that if you call enough of them or email enough of them, you do get some appointments. Right. Even though you might not like it. Right. So if you're effective at it, then we need to do that more consistently. If we decide that's a pillar getting better at, it would say, Brian, I reach out all the time. And I just, just can't seem to get many people to sit down with me. So in that case, we have to actually get better at it. You see the difference?
Absolutely. I wrote it to, I make two columns on my, on my paper and I could see the difference already.
Speaker 3 (00:19:50):
So, so, so let's, let's, let's not, let's not leave that. Let's, let's come back to that and say again, is it, are you effective enough right now that, you know, if you reached out to 10 centers of influence a week or something, you, you know, you might get an appointment every other week or something out of, out of 20. You'd get one. Yeah, I could do that. Yep. Okay. Alright. Now, are there enough centers of influence to, to reach out to 10 a week?
Yeah. Being in a smaller area? I would have to say we'd probably use up that pipeline pretty quickly. You know, maybe six months.
Speaker 3 (00:20:36):
Okay. All right. Alright. So let's look, all right. Let's move off prospecting for a second. And you mentioned followup as something you need to do more consistently, right?
Brian Margolis (00:20:48):
Yeah. Okay. So you have conversations with people and by the way, follow up can be, you met them. Now you need to get them to sit down with you, or it could be someone who sat down with you and now you're trying to move them through the process of becoming your client. Right. Are we category we're categorizing all that as followup, right? Yes, absolutely. Okay. I got you. And, and this one to me is actually a pretty simple one. It is, especially at your level where I imagine you don't have 10,000 people to follow up with, right? Correct. Okay. Where do you keep your followup opportunities? Where do you keep people you've met and talked to people you've sat down with, but they're not clients yet. Do you keep that in some kind of Excel sheet? Do you keep that in some kind of Salesforce?
Yeah. So it's in, it's in the company software that we have. So I have it in there and I'm like, I have a notebook that I actually have it written down as well. My problem is with that, like I said, I like hot and fast. So if they haven't done business with me by the second followup, it's almost like my business ideas. It's kinda like, Oh, well, I guess they're not I haven't been consistent with it.
Brian Margolis (00:22:12):
Okay. All right. So the going back to my original question, all right. And by the way is an interesting thing. You'll find here, William, when you listen to this recording, is that, and that we all do it and your clients do it and I do it, but we very rarely actually answer the question we were asked. Wow. Right. And you'll notice yourself when you listen to this. And it's just a great, a great lesson for like, when you're sitting down with people or what is that? They, you know, I asked you about the system, right. That you use. And I was trying to get more information on that. And somehow that spun into that. You're not good after the second one, because you like it hot and fast. Right. And it's just interesting because it's also interesting when we think about our own businesses is you got to ask really good questions, but then you actually have to make sure you answer that question right. That you ask yourself. And so let's bring it back full circle. So you use this, you have it both in your company software and you have a notebook of all the people that you've kind of prospect at some point that, you know, you potentially should be following up with. Right? Correct. Okay. Is the software kept up to date? What is the most UpToDate one? Is it the notebook? Is it the software? Is it both?
I would have to say it's the software. Okay.
Brian Margolis (00:23:41):
So you keep the software up to date. Okay. So in
Speaker 3 (00:23:46):
That case here, here's a very simple followup pillar that we can think about. It could simply be review. Let's just call that your opportunity report and you can call it what you want, but I'm going to call it your opportunity report that you could probably print some kind of report out of all the people who you've talked to with their notes, but they're not clients yet. Correct. Right. Okay. So if you just reviewed your opportunity report from top to bottom every week, twice a week, then your problem is solved. And here's what I mean. Just let me be very clear about review review means, you know, from most recent to oldest and you can cut, you know, you can, obviously, if someone you don't feel is a good opportunity anymore, they should be knocked off the list. Right? Correct. But you basically go from, you know, the last person down to the person, maybe you talked to a long time ago and you just kind of go down a name by name.
Speaker 3 (00:24:52):
And if you feel that they need a followup call or a email or some kind of touch, then you do it. And if you don't at this point, you're like, now they're good for now. You skip them. So I'm not saying you follow up with everybody on the list. Does that make sense? Correct. I'm just saying the pillar is twice a week. You have to go down that list from top to bottom. It's one of the most effective pillars I have in my own business. I call it Excel, follow all of my potential clients, companies, opportunities, you know, all different ones. I keep on an Excel sheet. And once a week I just go through that sheet from top to bottom. Now that can take me sometimes 90 minutes. Sometimes it can take me two hours, but you know what, it's the most important two hours, hour and a half hour, whatever it is I spend that week because I get paid to follow up. Right. I spend all this time and energy opening opportunities. I want to walk them across the finish line. All right. Right. And so I want you to keep that on the side as a possible one is, you know, review your opportunity sheet twice a week. I like it already. All right.
Speaker 3 (00:26:04):
Okay. I have a couple of seven figure earners I work with and one of them, well, I have a few more than a couple, but I have one of them. He calls it his payday matrix. Right. Cause he knows that's how he gets paid. He gets paid for following up. So every, you know, at some point during the week, first half of one of the days, he goes through his payday matrix, he calls it. Alright, follow up, prospecting. Anything else you feel like you need to do more consistently something you can already do effectively? Well, those are the two main ones that I know can
Propel me. Be a huge springboard for my
Brian Margolis (00:26:49):
All right. Well, let me, let me just throw a couple else out that maybe you haven't thought of. And tell me if there pillar stay rise to the level of potential pillar here asking for referrals. Are you good enough at that yet? Or are you not good enough that even if you ask, it's not going to result in money,
You know, I'm torn right now between asking for the referral or providing such great value in their lives that it's an automatic referral or asking them to be an advocate. So I'm kind of this in this olive oil situation being pulled from both sides, that, which is the better way to do it.
Brian Margolis (00:27:30):
Can I, can I, can I, can I solve your problem real quick?
Yes, please. Both. Okay.
Brian Margolis (00:27:37):
Right, right. If you bring so much, if you make sure you're bringing so much value that people deepen the relationship, you're top of mind, all that stuff. A lot of times that's going to result in referrals just because, but then also when you do ask for referrals, the fact that you've provided that level of, you know, of wow. And going out of your, you know, whatever it is, it's going to make, getting them a lot easier. Right. So, so to me, it's both the, and again, I like to use the word introduction. We can use them interchangeably. Right. People tend to coil up at the word referral. You know, an introduction is an introduction or referral means you're vouching for this person. Right. And when it comes to people's money, like a financial advisor, that's something a lot of people aren't comfortable doing. Right. Yeah. Okay. So, so you talked about NSTL earlier to me, if you sent to an STS a week, I don't know how many total clients you have, but how many households are we talking now that you think would be not total households in your book, but total households, you think if you deepen the relationship would work, would work. You know, it would help with referrals.
Oh, I could say probably at least a hundred.
Brian Margolis (00:29:02):
Okay. So if you, if you did three and S a week, okay. And we can define what an NST is here. But if we, if, if you sent three N STS a week, that's going to result in deepening the relationships, building advocates for you keeping top of mind. Right. And helping with referrals. Do you agree with that?
Yeah, absolutely. I love that non sales touch.
Brian Margolis (00:29:29):
Yep. So the non-sales touch and I'll just kind of give you the basics of how I look at it from an advisor point of view. It's different in every profession when it's basically you reaching out, you know, to someone, you know, if you know, John is a big fisherman, right. And you, you know, and you said, I think you're in the Carolinas. Right? I am. So, you know, you, you sent, you sent an article to John on the, you know, top 10 fly fishing places in the Carolina Carolina's to visit before you die kind of thing. You know, when you send him that article out of the blue and said, I saw this article thought of you, right. Even if you went searching for that article, that's fine. You know, that's what I consider a non-cell touch. Right? If you find a little chatchki for five or $10 regarding fly fishing or this or that, and you, you know, you drop ship it from Amazon and say, Oh man, I saw this thing for fly fishermen, you know, thought of you, right. Have a great season or something. So that's what I mean by non sales touch. All right. And I think you, you know, where I'm going with this, I really liked that holiday cards. Okay. They're fine. But they're not non-cell touches in my opinion, non-cell touches when you go over and above when they're not expecting it. I think books make amazing non-cell touches. Especially if you work with like business owners and you give them books on marketing that you've liked or business building or anything like that. So, but three non-cell touches a week. All right.
Okay. And again
Brian Margolis (00:31:07):
The way you, I want you to think about non-cell touches, even if it takes you an hour to send out three of them, I don't think it will, but let's say it takes an hour to me. That's a great use of an hour. That's a great use of an hour because the reality is your best clients are, are going to come from deep relationships and referrals. And in the world of being a financial advisor, you know, what is one good client worth it's worth it's worth a lot of business, right? Correct. Yep. So, okay. So we've got three Ts as a potential one here. And then the other one was, I'm drawing a blank. Now I had another one
I wanted to ask you about,
Brian Margolis (00:31:50):
We talked about asking for referrals. We talked about NST. T's something else you need to do consistently. All right. We'll have to love to put it on hold for a second. Okay. So we've got prospecting following up and STS, and then as part of MSTs, how, how effective are you at actually asking for a referral when you're sitting down with someone
It's funny? I don't have any apprehension about asking. Okay. And one of the strategies that I looked into was the social media platform seeing who their friends are and asking for an introduction through that as well. So I don't have any apprehension asking for a referral.
Speaker 4 (00:32:40):
It's just it's the connotation around it? You know, they,
Brian Margolis (00:32:46):
You might have a great meeting, but then they get caught off guard by that
Speaker 4 (00:32:49):
And feel a little bit, I don't know.
Brian Margolis (00:32:52):
Yeah. So awkward under understood. And so what that means to me is you need to find a script or a way of asking that doesn't do that. Right? Yeah. So for, so for example you can, let's say, I don't know if there's a service you offer, but what is something you do for some of your clients that, you know, it's not just financial advising, but maybe it's helping them pick a five 29 or helping them figure out their retirement date for social security. Is that anything you do?
Speaker 4 (00:33:31):
Yeah. I think one of the best things is you know, reminding them when they're 60 for the three months prior to signing up for, for Medicaid, Medicare have a nice book that I give them. But it's that, it's that added value that I have no business doing their Medicare, but I want you to know that this is how this is when you can sign up three months prior, and this is the information you need. And it's just a nice little piece leading into their retirement.
Brian Margolis (00:34:08):
Okay. But I think what I'm looking for is a service you provide, meaning, do you ever help someone? Here's what I'm getting at? One of the great ways to get introductions is to provide a service for someone. So let's say you sit down with someone and you help them with the social security calculators and all that stuff, you know, figure out at this point when the best age for them to take their social security is right. Maybe that's something you do for them. And then after you do it, you say, listen, as a service to my clients, as a service to my clients, you know, if you have any friends or family that you think could use help with figuring out when to take social security, you know, they don't have to be a client of mine. I'm happy to help them with it.
Brian Margolis (00:34:57):
Right. So if you can think of anyone, if you know, so in other words, you all, you're positioning a referral as a service. I see. Makes sense. Yep. Absolutely. It does. And there's a book called the advisor playbook by Duncan MacPherson that goes through that. I'm reading it right now. Are you really? Yeah, I'm on like page 30 something. Okay. That's great. So, so, so, so referrals is probably something you should be, you know, thinking about getting better at. But do you think you're effective enough now to ask for one referral a week? Yeah, I have no columns on that. Okay. Do you already do that or is it something that we need to make a pillar essentially a in the four years
Speaker 4 (00:35:38):
That I've been working? I might've asked for one referral.
Brian Margolis (00:35:41):
Wow. Okay. Then we're going to start slow, ask for one referral a week. Okay. And again, we'll, we'll call it introductions, right? Yup. All right. All right. So let, let let's jump onto question number two. So question number two is what is one skill that if you significantly improved on would have the biggest impact on your business, even if nothing else changed. So if you could snap your fingers and go from a two to a seven or a three to an eight or whatever in a certain area, you know, what would that area be? What's the biggest bottleneck in your business from a skill area, or I'm not good at it or effective at it?
Speaker 4 (00:36:27):
I would say my presentations.
Brian Margolis (00:36:30):
Okay. Go ahead and elaborate on that. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (00:36:33):
Yeah. So whether it's a prospect or a client I don't practice very, very much on my presentations, whether it's a product or a service or why we do financial planning what does it mean in your life? So actually reading the financial or, I mean, the advisor playbook brought to light a very great method on the introduction process or the initial process of a prospect. And I thought that was amazing. So I tend to shoot from the hip. And if I had a process in a presentation that's molded that can roll off my tongue. It's repeatable. I think I would be, I would be, it'd be a game changer.
Brian Margolis (00:37:23):
Okay. And I'll add to that repeatable and effective. I mean, one of the things I talk to clients all the time about is, you know, there's being good and there's being effective. Right. You might know your information inside and out, and you may be able to give that presentation you're talking about in your sleep, because you've done it so many times once you've crafted it, but then the next step is, is it actually effective? Right. Yeah. And I know that sounds funny, but there's a lot of people who are really good at presenting and they really have their stories down and their talk, but they're not effective, meaning they're not getting the person sitting across from them to take action, right. They're not hitting the hot button. They're not using things like, you know, social proof and, you know, fear of loss and relational tactic, you know, all the things that go into effective messaging.
Brian Margolis (00:38:16):
And to me, you know, effective messaging is it's a $10,000 an hour skill forget $1,000 an hour. Effective messaging is the most important skill in the business world, in my opinion, right? In the days of trying to get people, your number one competition, a lot of times is inertia, right? It's people just continuing to do what they always do. I mean, look at what a great product life insurance is, right for the right people, obviously, but for the right people, I'm blown away and you probably are too as to how people can have kids of a certain age and not have life insurance. Right. Yeah. I mean, to me, you shouldn't be taking them to McDonald's until you have life insurance and Al and most people would agree with that statement. Right. But very few companies or people are good at presenting that message in a way that makes people actually want to take action and go get life insurance, right. To, to beat that inertia. And so, again, to me, effective messaging, that's a, that's a $10,000 an hour skill. That's why good copywriters guys who are good at effective messaging, they make all the money. I mean, some of them charge 20 to 100,000 a day to help craft messages. Right. And so, okay. So it's definitely an area we're going to talk about. Any other skills
I would have to, I would have to I mean, I think my communication, as far as just a normal conversation with empathy and listening I really it really took me a long time to learn, to be a good listener.
Brian Margolis (00:40:02):
So we're not, we're not natural at it.
It's yeah. Yeah. I had a I had a manager tell me to take the cotton out of my ears and put it into my mouth. That was the best advice I'd ever gotten. So yeah, I think listening is definitely becoming a better skill of mine.
Brian Margolis (00:40:22):
What about, what about hard skills? So like soft skills of listening and things like that, but like, you know, if you're going to build a big practice, I mean, there's one that's sitting out there like a meatball to me right now. But I want to kind of see if you come to the same conclusion. I mean, what's the biggest bottleneck in your business is it is the biggest bottleneck in your business, your conversion ratio. Like when you sit down with someone at a meeting, how's your conversion, how many of them, you know, do half of them become your clients? Do you know? Now my conversion ratio is pretty high. Okay. So then what's the bot. So then what is the bottleneck? The pop, the pipeline. You got everything. Yep. So then what's the skill you need to get better at?
Well, that would be a,
Brian Margolis (00:41:13):
Well, that's our first pillar, right?
Prospecting. Yup. So,
Brian Margolis (00:41:17):
But we were only, but remember we were only talking about things you already know how to do effectively. Right. We weren't talking about getting better at prospecting and marketing. Yes.
So that's been a big thought of mine lately is when I do prospect. What's my message.
Brian Margolis (00:41:34):
And am I, am I conveying it correctly? Yeah. because the first thing is there's apprehension when they see you. I don't want to be looked at like a salesman. So my messaging and my communication on the during prospecting can get better. Okay. And then what about just marketing prospecting in general? Because as you know, there's a lot of advisors out there, a lot of business, people in general who are very good at filling the pipeline. Right? Yeah. And there's no shortage of ways they're doing it. Some are doing it, social media, some are writing books, some are doing it through inbound marketing, online marketing. Some are, you know, they know how to position themselves in the community and other ways. So they meet a lot of people. I mean, there's 10,000 different ways advisors, you know, get clients. Right, right. They specialize in certain things.
Brian Margolis (00:42:34):
You talked earlier, this was off recording, but just for the first couple of minutes, you said you specialize, you know, with divorcees. Right. Right. So niche, niche, marketing, I think another great niche in your industry is, you know, parents of kids with special needs. I think that's a huge one because although the financial planning is the same, the goals are very different. Right. When you're talking about having a kid that, you know, needs to have income even through their adult life. Right. Yup. And so, you know, there's a lot of, a lot of niches. And so here, here's what I'm getting at. I believe one of the skills you need to significantly improve in is just marketing period. Right. Okay. How do I fill my pipeline? Right. How do I, how do I fill my pipeline? Would you agree with that? Yes, absolutely. Okay.
Brian Margolis (00:43:35):
And then the last thing we're going to come back to all of these and actually put pillars in place. But the last question is, you know, what is something you could organize plan or create prior to taking action that would make the action much more impactful. All right. Let, let me, let me say that again. What is something you could organize planner create prior to taking action that would make the action much more impactful? And so what I mean by that is for some people, you know, prospecting, like I, you, as you know, I work with a lot of wholesalers who call on financial advisors, right? And one of the things I help them to do, one of their pillars often is the creation of a hit list every week. Right? There's no shortage of advisors they could schedule or call on every week. And so I make, I teach them a process to go through, to create a hit list prior to scheduling so that they wind up in front of the advisors based on time and circumstance, most likely to do business, not obviously guaranteed, but most likely. And so, in other words, by creating that hit list prior to scheduling, it makes the scheduling much more effective. Does that make sense? Yeah. For some people it's meeting prep, right. If they prepped prior to their meetings, the meetings would be much more effective. They often catch themselves flying by the seat of their pants by realizing they missed opportunities after the fact. Right. By not ha you know, so sometimes is there anything you can think of that if you just organized it planned, it created it prior to doing something else then
Boom. Yeah. Yeah. And you touched on that a very eloquently. Like I said earlier, shooting from the hip, whether it's through my communication or my actions, that's how I led my four year career in financial advising. So in the last two weeks, I've actually created the action plan for not only the day's events, but for the week as well. I know what time I'm going to do this. I know how many people I need to see here. So that hit list is still being modified, but I'm narrowing it to be more specific so that I have a better chance at achieving those goals. Okay.
Brian Margolis (00:46:18):
So what are you suggesting that each week you should plan or create or organize?
So I actually set times within my week of when I will be out maybe door-knocking when I will be in placing calls to center centers of influence, they're all specifically geared around the time of day along with the appointments that I have. So I can look at my week and see what exactly I'll be doing.
Brian Margolis (00:46:55):
Are you, are you good at holding yourself once you do that to actually doing it? No. I'm the first,
First to say that so accountability.
Brian Margolis (00:47:08):
Yeah. I do understand because there's some people that they put something in their calendar, it's gospel and they're going to do it. And other people, they can put it in their calendar and it looks great on Monday morning, but when Wednesday afternoon comes around, it's like, ah, they find something else to do. They push it to somewhere else. Right? Yeah. Well, I mean, not
So I, I do an insistent
Speaker 3 (00:47:30):
That I am being held accountable to. Well, let me ask you some, do you think you're good at it enough that by actually doing it every week, do you, it will improve your business in a significant way? Yes. but it has to become a habit and, and, and I don't even want to get into hitting your pillars yet. That's, we're going to be talking about that when we talk next month. Right? Okay. First, first let's identify what the right things to do are, okay. What are the right things to do? And then once we know what the right things to do are then we want to make sure we're doing them consistently. We want to share we're doing them effectively. But let's just focus on the right thing. So is planning your week, you know, is that something you need to do? Cause if it's not a pillar, you don't focus on it. You're not going to do it. Oh, that's absolutely essential. Okay. Cause you're not going to naturally do that every week. Plan your week.
Speaker 3 (00:48:38):
I'm not understanding the question or statement as far as if planning, if we don't make planning your week a pillar. Right. Right. What we're calling planning your week, where you sit down and you block out your times for the week one, you're going to do different things. Will you naturally do that anyway? Or will it just not happen? No, I need structure. Okay. That's fine. Alright. And I don't mean will the week happen? I mean, will you actually plan your week? It sounds like you won't. So I forgot that I'm hearing. Okay. Yeah. So let's talk about the pillars that I know are going to be in place. And then we'll talk about the last one. All right. So to me, I think one pillar is the followup and review your op you know, the reviewing your opportunity sheet twice a week, right? Yup. And then taking whatever action is necessary. The second one, I think is a pillar is the three NST sending three MSTs a week. All right. Yep. The third one, I'll go through these again, but I just want to make sure. So, and then the third one to me is you need to plan your week, right. Even if it's on a Tuesday and you forget on Monday, you need to plan your week.
Speaker 3 (00:50:00):
Yeah. You either do that or you don't do it. It's it's done or it's not done. Right. Right. Okay. I think down the road that will fall off. But for now I think it should be a pillar. The fourth thing is, I think you should spend 30 minutes a week on messaging. Now let me, let me define that. Okay. 30 minutes a week on messaging is both input and output. All right. Here's what I mean, you need to learn about effective messaging. Right. And that could be talking to other advisors, like, how do you sell this product? What's your wording, right. Or it could be reading a book on effective messaging or things like that. Right. There's no, you know, there's a lot of books out there on communication, effective messaging, copywriting, things like that. Right. So it could be learning, but it's also output, meaning actually sitting down, like you talked about and crafting that message and then memorizing it, working on it, making it better. Does that make sense? Yes. So at this point, at this point, those both count toward effect toward your 30 minutes of messaging. Okay. And as far as categories, you know, things you say, when you're at the door, things you say, when you're inside of business, things you say during meetings, how you ask for referrals, right. Working on your referral scripts, things like that.
Speaker 3 (00:51:59):
Well, I like that. So 30 and again, that's a minimum 30 minutes. If you want to do more, that's fine. But every week you need to set a timer and I would, I would buy a timer if I was you, that's not on your phone, like a kitchen timer. Right. And I would, in 30 minutes, doesn't sound like a lot. But when you actually start thinking, putting yourself in this situation, focusing, writing out a message, thinking it through, you're going to realize it's a lot of time. And if you get interrupted, you turn off the clock, right? Yeah. So 30 minutes a week. Now, if you catch yourself focusing too much on input that you know, all you're doing is watching YouTube videos on effective messaging, but you're not actually doing anything with it. Then we'll talk about, we might have to put some more criteria around that, right. About how much of that time is spent on the output. Things like that. Good. I like that. The fifth pillar I'm seeing potential pillar here is spending one hour a week on marketing research. Now let me, let me define this one. Okay. Okay. One hour a week. I'm marketing research. I'm putting an hour because this is relatively easy. This is you listening
Brian Margolis (00:53:26):
To podcasts, reading our online articles, reading books, financial advisor, magazines, whatever it is, finding free financial advisor trainings by all the coaches out there on all the different ways that financial advisors prospect. Right. And there's a million of them, by the way, what I just said this to, I said this yesterday to the other person, the other financial advisor, I'm recording this with, but the, the, the theme here is research a lot, commit to a little, or explore a lot, commit to a little, okay. I don't want you finding an idea. You like, and then going down the rabbit hole, I just want, I want you to think of it like a book report. I just want you to learn all the different ways. Cause everything's novel. It always seems like the best idea in the world, right? Yeah. I just want you spending an hour a week exposing yourself to all the different ways that financial advisors drive prospects. Right. And there's so many of them and just keep really good notes on it. Right.
Brian Margolis (00:54:37):
Because two or three months down the road what'll happen is something is going to stick out to you as you know what I've thought about this multiple times. And every time I think about it, I come to the same conclusion. I'd be really good at that. And I think longterm that could really help me. Right. Yeah. I've had that happen, but right now I just want you learning different ways. Make sense? Yeah. Okay. All right. So let's talk about this last pillar or the first one we talked about your prospecting pillar or pillars, right? It sounds to me like the most effective, short term way you're getting customers is let's call it pounding the pavement, right. Door knocking or walking into your business. You're walking into a business, right? Yup. Okay. That has been effective for you. It's the only way I've gotten my business. Okay. So now how much, so how much, how much, how many hours of this, if you had to guess, do you have to do, to result in one new client actually signing up with you? I would have to say it's going off of old data, probably anywhere from,
Brian Margolis (00:56:07):
I'd say two hours, two hours, and you wind up with a client or you wind up with a prospect. I say, kinda end up with a client. Really? Yeah. Does that surprise you? Cause it's
It, you think it should be longer?
Brian Margolis (00:56:26):
I think it should be way long. Listen, if you could door, knock your way to a client. Every two hours. I'd be door knocking all day, Monday and Tuesday.
Yeah. So I mean, I'm, I haven't door knocked in probably the last year I went out last Thursday and I've got one already. I only went out for an hour and a half. So that's my problem is I know that I, can
Brian Margolis (00:56:50):
You get it done? Well, actually that's not the problem. That's the solution,
I guess. You're right, man. You're framing it the wrong way. So
Brian Margolis (00:56:59):
Yeah, I get that. You don't like doing it.
Yeah. Yeah. You're right about that.
Brian Margolis (00:57:04):
One of the things in the book, one of the things in the book talks about changing your language, one of the cap strategies, right? I think you need to change the language from door knocking to digging for gold because or something like that. Because the way I would be looking at it is man, if I bring in a new client every week from, you know, this, these are like scratch off lottery tickets. You don't know what's behind that door. Right. I imagine the ones you get, you don't like grind to get them. It's just the perfect time and circumstance. Right. They're thinking, wow. Like, no, I am actually thinking about some of my finances. You know what I mean? Yeah. Right, exactly. Yeah. That's scratch off lottery tickets. Well, if you're scratching off lottery tickets, I want to scratch off as many as I can. So when you go out there, how, you know, what's a long session for you?
I've been out there for a half a day. I think that's my maximum. Yeah.
Brian Margolis (00:58:10):
What do you, what do you find? What's the word I'm looking for? Do you find a certain time of day tends to be better for businesses or for people,
You know, for businesses? It's the AMR hours for, for residential, it's the PM hours. We seem to have a lot of stay at home moms and live in an area where there's a lot of retirees. So, so yeah, that afternoon, especially when the bus is dropping off, the kids are there and just picked up their kids from school.
Brian Margolis (00:58:42):
Right. This, okay. So I have a feeling we're going to be talking about this in November when we talk again, but this is something you're going to have to fall in love with the process. You're going to have to fall in love with the grind. This is what's going to make or break you. It sounds like at least to get to you to serve your time long enough. So you can start getting the referrals, getting all those things. Okay. So here's what I would suggest. I'm guessing you need to do at least two, two hour sessions a week
Speaker 3 (00:59:23):
Or, you know, the other way to look at it is you could say four hours of door knocking a week total. Okay. Well tell me how you feel about that.
I actually had it a little bit more than that. Okay.
Speaker 3 (00:59:42):
Feel free to do more, but to hit your pillars every week. So you, you just told me everything I needed to hear. You said you haven't done it in a year. Probably even longer, right? It's a moment. Yeah. It's a momentum sport. Yup. Okay. So to me, this is something you should take pride in, right? This is, this is something you should take pride in and, and, and maybe you and I can work through the psychology of that next time or some other time, but you know, there's different ways to think about and rename what you're doing. Right. Right. Do you guys have a pamphlet or some kind of book that you give out that if they actually read would help them, even if they didn't hire you.
Yeah. And I have it on me. You know, whether it is a FA a pamphlet, a newsletter, something that can give them value. I leave them with value. I do that every time, right?
Speaker 3 (01:00:41):
Yeah. I mean, my, my rec my recommendation would be every time you leave a porch or whatever, say, listen, you already paid the price. Like, you can just say it, tongue in cheek, you know, you've already paid, you've paid the price of having some stranger knock at your door and having to talk to them. And I appreciate that your, your return on your investment is if we never talk again, read this pamphlet, it could change your financial life. Right? Yeah. Like if that's all we get out of this interaction is mr. Johnson is that you read this pamphlet, my job will have been completed. Right. Or breathed this book, or that has to be your attitude, right?
Yeah. Yeah. Another way to put it is you know, I counted how many nos I would get at the door, put a monetary figure on that for the next. Yes. you know, I knew, I knew, I knew I had about what was that? It was about $25 every, no, that I got,
Speaker 3 (01:01:48):
Did you ever read the book? Did you ever read the book go for no,
No, I was, I was thinking, so I was thinking the other book that's very popular.
Speaker 3 (01:01:59):
Read, read, go for, no,
Yeah. I definitely want to read that. I know the biggest one out there for prospecting is the one that I hate the most. I can't think of it right now.
Speaker 3 (01:02:10):
That's fine. Go for it. Go for, it was a short book. If I remember.
Well, I like short books, obviously. Yours was great. Yeah. Well, it would have been kind of funny
Speaker 3 (01:02:20):
If I woulda wrote a book on boiling your business down to an index card and it went for 400 pages, so, yeah. Okay. So I think you need to, I think you need four hours a week of door knocking. In fact, I'm going to actually, I'm going to lower that to three. Okay. It'll lower it at the three. That means if you want a nap, if you do want to knock it out in one day, you can, if you want to split it up, you can. Okay. But three hours now, as far as time in the queue, and then by the way, door knocking means walking into businesses, things like that. So,
Speaker 4 (01:03:06):
Yeah, that's how I put it. Okay.
Speaker 3 (01:03:08):
As far. And by the way, you want to work on, I would work on your messaging for that. That'd be where I start. Right.
Speaker 4 (01:03:14):
That's that's yeah. That's my biggest worry right now is my message. This is what I do.
Speaker 3 (01:03:20):
I would find the person that was the best door knocker in your company or in financial advisor services that you've heard of or know, and I would contact them and find out how they did it.
Speaker 4 (01:03:31):
Yeah. That's I thought about that. And really for me, it was you know, they they're teaching the new phase, the beginners, how to do it. I felt like going back because I'm ahead of them and getting that message, that newer message to me would make me feel a little more insignificant. But that's great advice because I was thinking about that. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (01:03:59):
I think three, I think three hours is, is, is good. Do that, do do that consistently now, as far as reaching out to centers of influence. Okay. As far as reaching out to centers of influence again, you know, do you, how do you usually contact them by mail? By
Speaker 4 (01:04:22):
Mostly by phone? I don't send it.
Speaker 3 (01:04:25):
You don't find email to be effective
Speaker 4 (01:04:28):
Email as well. So phone and email, but I'd never met snail mail. Anything I met. Yeah. I actually met email when I said that. Sorry. Yep.
Speaker 3 (01:04:36):
By the way, when you're, when you're looking into your marketing stuff, I mean, you should really look at direct marketing as well. Okay. You should really look at direct marketing as well, because once you, once you get hooked, once you realize that one good postcard or one good ad or one good message. And I know I'm sure you're restricted about what you can send and not send, but right. One good thing can, you know, can change your whole life. As far as that it's, it's addictive once you get some responses. Okay. So as far as reaching out to the COIs, my suggestion, if you're going to make it, a pillar would be reaching out to one a week. Now again, you can do more if you're on a roll, go for it. But this is about consistency every week you would reach out to one.
Yeah. I don't want to make it more than that. That sounds absolutely fine.
Speaker 3 (01:05:34):
Okay. All right. So here we go. You're ready. You have a lot of pillars in number. I don't think you have a lot of pillars in time. Alright. Right. So here, here, let me just review your pillars again. And then we'll wrap this up and we'll talk in a month and we'll see how you're doing. I want full transparency, full honesty. Keep track of if you hit them each week, if you didn't hit on what your issues were, all that stuff. Right? You got it. Okay. So the first one is, and again, you can write them in any order you want. I'm just writing them how I have them on the paper. First one is review your opportunity sheet twice a week. Right? Second one is send three N S T is a week. Third one is 30 minutes of messaging. All right. Fourth one is one hour of marketing research. Fifth one is plan. Your week six one is three hours of door knocking. The seven one is reach out to one center of influence a week. And the one we left off for now was asked for one introduction a week. Do you want that one on there?
Speaker 3 (01:07:15):
Yeah. You know, I do. Cause I want to do it. Okay. I mean, listen, it sounds like it's a lot of pillars, but some of these are like ask for one introduction a week happens inside a meeting. So it doesn't really take much time, you know, reaching out to one center of influence a week. Shouldn't take you, but 15 minutes to find someone and reach out. So although you have a lot of number right now, I think this is where we should let's start here. We can always reduce them. Okay. We can always reduce them. I can tell you, this is
So different from when I did. My pillar is after reading your book.
Speaker 3 (01:07:49):
Yeah. That's well, you were probably, you probably just didn't take a very deep dive. And honestly, if I had to knock these down to three pillars, they'd probably be similar to what you originally said. You'd have a, you'd have a door knocking pillar. You'd have a followup pillar and you'd have an NST pillar. And if I had to add a fourth, it'd probably be, you know, you know, one hour a week sharpening the ax and we will it with
Brian Margolis (01:08:16):
Messaging and marketing research. So I'm actually giving you a more detailed one and we can simplify it. I want to kind of see how you do with this.
Speaker 4 (01:08:25):
Yeah. I I really liked this. I think it took a second set of eyes and ears to hone in on the pillars that I need because I seriously sat there. Yeah. I modeled some of my pillars off of the, the examples in the book. I also have made my assistant read your book and we collaborated. We're trying to figure out our own pillars. So we spent, we spent some time on it, but this is eyeopening because it's so different from what I originally came up with.
Brian Margolis (01:09:00):
And by the way, without getting into a whole lesson on how to hit your pillars, but you can delegate some of this. If your assistant knows who some of these people are that are your clients, you know, he or she could look for potential NSDs, right? They could look for potential centers of influence. Then you actually reach out to them, but they can find them for you. Right.
Speaker 4 (01:09:22):
Well, I already wrote it down in my notes. Assistant use assistant. So because she knows more about them and their family and things than I do. I don't know if that should be the case, but there's things that I'm probably missing with my clients that she knows more about personally.
Brian Margolis (01:09:50):
Okay. And then the, the other thing I'll say, one last thing is I'll just give you one tip on hitting your pillars. You need to control your mornings. What time do you get into the office at
Speaker 4 (01:10:02):
Anywhere between eight and eight, 15 around there.
Brian Margolis (01:10:05):
Now is your office like in a little strip mall or standalone or something like that?
Speaker 4 (01:10:09):
It is it's in a small little strip mall.
Brian Margolis (01:10:12):
Okay. So assuming you get in at eight o'clock and I don't know if that's the earliest you can get in. I'm just going to assume it is to me from eight o'clock to 10 o'clock every morning should be blocked out for you to build your business for you to focus on these and other proactive things. And then if the phones, you can start picking up the phone, answering email, doing all that stuff at 10, I promise you it'll all get done. Parkinson's law. The task will expand to fit the time you give yourself to do it. If you start your day at eight and start putting out fires and doing this and doing that, or you started at 10, if you ended at the same time, you're going to get the same amount done. I promise. The best thing you can do is control your mornings.
Brian Margolis (01:10:59):
I'll just leave it at that. I like that idea. Alright, perfect. Easier said than done. All right, man. So we will, we will connect next month at our scheduled time. If you know between now and then you have any followup questions or anything, just email me or text me or anything like that. Okay. And so it was a pleasure meeting you today and I'll talk to you in about a month, Brian. Thank you very much. All right, William, take care. Thanks for listening to another episode of simplified your strategy, magnifier results. If you know someone you think could benefit from this episode, be their hero and share it with them. If you'd like a free copy of my book, or you want to be considered as a guest on a future episode, head on over to productivity, giant.com have a great day. And thanks again.