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Proven Strategies Blog

2021-06-10 • 6 min video

The best in any field of endeavor are masters at identifying and responding to unexpected situations. Being nimble means you can pivot on a dime and take action. Take, for example, the kids of your best clients. Those in the 12th grade have had their graduation plans upended. No gowns, no prom, no ceremony. How about those in college or university? Final exams written at home with anticlimactic fanfare. Why not send those kids a beautiful card to pay tribute to their accomplishment? And life goes on. Birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones and life events have been celebrated virtually recently. Why not respond tangibly with a beautiful Lavish Card. You can also consider sending a copy of The Richest Man in Babylon - a great book for young adults embarking on a road to financial independence. Either way, while others watch things happen, be the one who makes things happen. Strengthening a relationship with a family can be achieved by bringing value to the next generation. And you also get to dig your well before you’re thirsty.

Use this downtime to catch up on your reading, visit: Duncan’s Recommended Reading: paretosystems.com/recommended-reading

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2021-06-09 • 20 second read

There are advisors who have made themselves indispensable to their clients, and created incredible buzz throughout families, by creatively bringing value to their clients’ children when it comes to understanding money and investing. If you read The Millionaire Next Door by Tom Stanley, you already know the power of positioning yourself within the entire family.

Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook: https://www.amazon.com/Advisor-Playbook-Liberation-Personal-Professional/dp/B01MQVORIW

Need a next gen strategy? Talk to my team: www.paretosystems.com

2021-06-08 • 2 minute video

Join Duncan MacPherson of Pareto Systems and Cathi Durrell of Lavish Cards as they discuss high touch strategies to avoid loyalty fatigue with your clients.

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2021-06-08 • 3 minute read

The Difference Between a Client for Life and Once in a Lifetime

Many people in business are transactional in that they sell something to a client but that may be the one and only time they do business together. Think of a car salesman, real estate agent, or the guy who sold you an air conditioner or installed your pool. There is a very good chance you will never do business with them again. Sure you might refer someone their way or you may need servicing down the road, but more than likely it will be "one-and-done".

Transactional sales people essentially trade their time for money and are always on the prowl for the next deal. Because of that, they don't need to worry too much about whether or not they like the customer they are dealing with. They simply get the deal, earn the commission and then move on. For a financial advisor though, the relationship lasts long after the initial commissions have been earned and spent. The lifetime value of a client relationship is where the real value is. This goes beyond just the recurring advisory fees or trailers. It also impacts money in motion opportunities as well as on-going referrals.

It is for that reason that having a panoramic Ideal Client Profile is essential. Now here is where it gets interesting. Virtually every advisor already has some kind of ideal client profile but they often have two or three substantial shortcomings: 

  1. It only focuses on assets
  2. It is in the advisor's head
  3. They keep it to themselves

Be Panoramic

Many advisors create a profile that focuses on investment "minimums" and the like. The ideal client is a good fit because his or her investment needs mesh with your expertise AND because they have attitudinal qualities that are aligned with yours. Assets can change over time while attitudes are often hardened. It costs you more than it gets you to deal with a client with great assets and a lousy attitude. 

Create a Checklist

Get it out of your head! It can be abstract to simply say that "I only work with nice people." List out the attitudinal qualities you are looking for. In other words, "My Ideal Client...":

  • Focuses on what I am worth, not what I cost
  • Sees the value in empowering me fully and exclusively
  • Lives within their means
  • Doesn't micro-manage
  • Is responsible and accountable
  • Is consistent
  • Is enlightened about the ebb and flow of the markets
  • Is respectful and courteous with my staff

...and on it goes.

Share it With Clients and Prospects

This checklist will give you and your staff clarity and focus in terms of sticking ardently to an Ideal Client Profile. But don't stop there, show your clients, prospective clients and partners your detailed profile during a review meeting, fit conversation, etc. The benefits of taking the abstract nature of an Ideal Client and documenting it into something people can conceptualize is powerful on many levels. New clients develop a sense of belonging and accomplishment that they are a good fit for you. They don't feel they are buying investments in a transactional way, they feel they are buying-into relationship with a professional. For partners, you become more refer-able because they feel more comfortable endorsing a consultant with a process. And you get to re-frame your value with existing clients and turn them into power brokers. They become re-acquainted with you thus increasing the quantity, and especially the quality, of people they endorse you to. 

Rules of Engagement and the Power of Checklists

Airline pilots are great examples of professionals who rely on checklists. Even though they have flown hundreds of times and could probably take off and land in their sleep, they still go through a checklist to ensure nothing gets overlooked. Create a panoramic and all-encompassing Ideal Client Profile and show it to people as part of your overall process. Demonstrate that you are all things to some people and that you are methodical and deliberate in your approach. Along with the natural Law of Expectation, this process and mindset will help you predictably attract the type of clients you are looking for. Some advisors call this a self-fulfilling prophesy. I say that when you clearly establish and then communicate what you expect, you tend to attract it into your life.

Continued success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

 

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2021-06-07 • 20 second read

Just a gentle reminder that, contrary to the old cliché, time is more valuable than money.

I called a client of mine in Florida and got his voicemail. He had a very professional, pleasant greeting, and - right out of our Playbook - at the end of the voicemail he said “I return messages between 3 and 4 pm every day. If your matter is urgent, please contact so and so”. He is projecting to his clients and anybody else that he values his time. He guards his time, and unless and until you do, nobody else will.

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2021-06-04 • 20 second read

One of the easiest and most powerful branding strategies you can deploy to exceed the expectations of your high net-worth clients - and make yourself indispensable to them in the process - is to adopt a train-the-trainer mindset. Help them to encourage their children to develop a solid financial philosophy and approach.

Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook: https://www.amazon.com/Advisor-Playbook-Liberation-Personal-Professional/dp/B01MQVORIW

Need a next gen strategy? Talk to my team: www.paretosystems.com

2021-06-03 • 6 min video

Everything is possible, but virtually nothing is certain. In periods of difficulty we find ourselves lurking. When you have a plan C and you think through all the contingencies, and spend a lot less time worrying. Join Duncan as he discusses the power of plan C and the impact it can have on you and your team when developing your strategy or plans.

Do you have a ‘Plan C”? Visit our website to learn more about our customized consulting designed to help you re-focus your business and take it to new heights: www.paretosystems.com

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2021-06-03 • 6 min audio

Everything is possible, but virtually nothing is certain. In periods of difficulty we find ourselves lurking. When you have a plan C and you think through all the contingencies, and spend a lot less time worrying. Join Duncan as he discusses the power of plan C and the impact it can have on you and your team when developing your strategy or plans.

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Google Play

Do you have a ‘Plan C”? Visit our website to learn more about our customized consulting designed to help you re-focus your business and take it to new heights: www.paretosystems.com

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2021-06-02 • 20 second read

I spoke with a client last week about communication and how they transmit their message and, ultimately, they need a receiver to tune that in. Think of the room you're in right now. There are probably a thousand signals and with the right receiver you can pull anything in. But there is also a signal-to-noise ratio. There's a lot of noise out there. You want people to tune out the noise and really tune into what it is you're communicating.

Everything you say is either a "me too" or a "so what": A "me too" that resonates and stands out and differentiates, or a "so what" that's just part of the noise.

Do you want to make sure your communication stands out? Talk to my team about our Total Client Engagement process and ensure your signal is being received: www.paretosystems.com/total-client-engagement

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2021-06-01 • 2 minute read

The Best Way to Improve What You Do is to Listen to the People You Do it For

All elite professionals understand the importance of ongoing personal and business development. Top performers know that they have to be continually sharpening their skills. It’s true, to earn more we have to learn more. But it can be a challenge to make the time and to measure the ROI. That said, and as the metaphor reminds us, you can never be too busy cutting wood that you can’t make time to sharpen your saw.

Now you might be thinking that I’m going to recommend that you attend seminars and boot camps, hire a coach, read books and participate in virtual learning programs to improve your skills and deliverables. All of those options are fine. But before you ever listen to an outsider giving you advice, listen to your clients. They are far better equipped to tell you what you need to do to improve. As Mark Twain said, “The customer is the only critic whose opinion really counts.”

There is a double-win when you listen to your clients. Not only do you get a clear sense in terms of how they perceive you (and describe you to others) but you also can use this initiative to drive business. The ideas in this Actionable Tip of the Week can create an invaluable foundation for on-going client acquisition. We’ve seen several advisors achieve meaningful breakthroughs using some of these simple strategies.

You can start with a low-key and informal survey using probing questions during your next round of client call rotations. As you know, we recommend that you consistently reach out to your best clients via the telephone as part of your ongoing service process. As you also probably know, we suggest that you approach each call with the goal of being interested rather than trying to be interesting. You aren’t calling to sell something or be the bearer of profound news or insight. You are simply touching base and asking good questions. This is about competitor-proofing and long-term relationship management. Obviously you want the initial questions to be about the client and their  F.O.R.M. (Family, Occupation, Recreational interests and Money) But there is a natural segue in every call where you can shift the focus to you while still asking their opinion.

1. To ask to get a sense for their satisfaction and loyalty is:

What’s the one thing that you really value most about our relationship?

2. To see if they understand everything you do and provide:

Have we done an effective job explaining our full array of services?

3. To get the client thinking about people they could introduce is:

When you talk about me with a friend, what do you say? How do you describe me?

It’s a good idea to start a question with this simple softening statement:

If you don’t mind me asking…

And then clarify the question with a little more details by saying:

The reason I’m asking is….

The key here is that you aren’t marketing to yourself. It’s easy to get into a bit of a vacuum with your business development efforts and lose objectivity. These questions get the clients engaged so that you can get a sense for where you stand.

From a loyalty perspective, your clients are exposed to countless competitive messages. You want to show them that you don’t take them for granted. From a money-in-motion perspective, your clients’ needs are constantly evolving. As a new need presents itself, you want the client to instantly think of you as the person to fill that need.

From an advocacy perspective, you don’t know when a referral opportunity will come about but when it does you want to be top of mind with your clients so that they will be compelled to endorse you.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

Pareto Systems
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