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2019-11-20 17:38:02 • 20 second read

Ambition gets a bad rap at times, and it shouldn’t. The foundation of pure ambition is rooted in absolute gratitude. Putting some proportion to your existing success and the concept of your vision for the future must be balanced by humility and appreciation for your accomplishments, both in your nature and in what you’ve nurtured.

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2019-11-20 16:39:10 • 20 second read

At The Woodlands outside of Houston along with Melissa Taylor, Jared Todd and Michael Sloboda at First Trust presenting on our Total Client Engagement process for a great group of fee-for-service professionals.

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2019-11-19 18:36:10 • 20 second read

Duncan MacPherson in Toronto with Karl Chung and Colin White at First Trust Portfolios along with a great group of fee-for-service professionals attending an Echo Meeting.

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2019-11-18 18:43:11 • 20 second read

Oscar Wilde said, “A cynic is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” Don’t let the cynics dictate your approach. Find the people who share and value your approach and who have an alignment of interests with you. These are the people who embrace you so completely that they feel they are doing a friend a disservice by not introducing them to you.

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2019-11-15 17:33:25 • 20 sec

When you position the concept of a referral as a service you provide rather than as a favor you seek, and then drive it home with your sense of purpose, refer-ability is amplified. You don’t look needy and your value is easy to describe to others.

Learn more about our proven introduction process:

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2019-11-14 19:51:24 • 20 second read

In Palm Springs with two great coaches, Steve Phillips and Marci Fried along with an elite group of fee-for-service professionals at a Mastermind Session.

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2019-11-12 21:37:06 • 20 second read

Had a great time in Atlanta with Ted Jenkin and Lee Heisman discussing entrepreneurship on The Shrimp Tank Podcast.

Catch the podcast here:

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2019-11-11 18:33:53 • 20 second read

"In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below."
- John McCrae

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2019-11-08 18:36:57 • 20 second read

How do you welcome new clients? How do you say thank you for client referrals? How do you respond to client service issues? Do you recognize milestones? As a business owner, branding is everything to your business, and everything you do is part of your branding. Everything you do matters. Scrutinize the entire client experience, and make a list of how you will respond to moments of truth. This is the first step in creating velocity, building confidence and ensuring that you are continually refining and optimizing your systems and procedures. Everything has to be rooted in process and habits.

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2019-11-06 21:51:16 • 20 second read

In Los Angeles with Dan Murphy at First Trust discussing proven strategies outlined in The Advisor Playbook as well the mindset and best practices of top fee-for-service professionals outlined in The Blue Square Method - landing in Q1!

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2019-11-06 19:18:18 • 20 second read

A lot of people in your market area need your expertise, but you shouldn’t spend time with people who need you at the expense of people who deserve you. You are only one person with just 24 hours in a day. Work with the people who are already convinced and let them convince their acquaintances for you.

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2019-11-04 18:31:26 • 20 second read

Many people still think of professional advisors as salespeople on commission. Your actions on a daily basis will either validate that or prove them wrong. This is why I spend a lot of time deprogramming our advisor clients and replacing their sales approach with a consultative approach. That shift allows them to implement a service model that ensures their clients focus on what the advisor is worth, rather than what he or she costs.

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2019-11-01 16:55:31 • 20 sec

There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them - Ralph Marsten

Pareto Systems' Total Client Engagement Process will help you overcome obstacles and achieve a breakthrough in your business. Click here to learn more:

#businessdevelopment #practicemanagement #branding

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2019-10-30 16:56:40 • 20 second read

Talk to your clients and insulate them from the many factors out of your control. The more they trust you and feel comfortable with you, the more likely they will respond with advocacy when a friend asks them if they are happy with their professional advisor.

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2019-10-28 18:03:44 • 20 second read

If you travel around the world, you don’t have to go too far to realize that most of the people on the planet would kill for your worst day. Because you aspire to achieve things through integrity-centered actions, you accomplish goals through the service of others rather than at the expense of others. So keep on dreaming big dreams but, in the meantime, be happy with what you’ve already accomplished while you aspire to fill in the boxes that have yet to be checked.

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2019-10-28 15:41:41 • 20 second read

In Philadelphia speaking to a great group of PGA golf professionals about converting clients to referral generating advocates as a value add-on behalf of Stephen Scanapicco and Charles Fahy with Morgan Stanley as well as Eric H. Daley at First Trust.

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2019-10-25 16:53:20 • 20 second read

Remember: You can only work it if the clay is soft. Professionals find that no growth comes from arrogance; only from the humility can they improve.

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2019-10-24 15:26:15 • 20 second read

In Dallas along with Ann Koblenzer at First Trust launching a Total Client Engagement process that converts clients into referral generating advocates.

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2019-10-23 20:41:06 • 20 second read

There is a distinction between a financial plan and financial planning. A financial plan for a client is essential, but it’s proprietary and is being increasingly commoditized. With any material change in my life - a critical life event – it will render that plan obsolete. Financial planning is not fixed and transactional. It’s fluid and dynamic. You can’t outgrow it. Clients grow into it, especially when it comes to continuity and succession.

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2019-10-21 15:27:19 • 20 sec

For branding to work, it has to be consistent and congruent. Professionalize it and standardize it in your playbook, your messaging and your resources to strengthen relationships and create advocacy.

We help our Blue Square Method clients develop a consistent and congruent branding process. See if you are a fit for Blue Square:

#branding #businessdevelopment #practicemanagement

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2019-10-18 13:47:58 • 20 second read

Many professional advisors I work with are successful, enjoy an impressive lifestyle and should be content, but many of them are still ambitious and are frustrated because they have hit a plateau. While every advisor’s scenario is unique, often the plateau stems from inertia confidence. Simply put, the advisor is busy repeating habits and patterns, and has been for an extended period of time. They are getting results, but they can raise the bar and achieve more.

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2019-10-16 15:17:55 • 20 sec

Technology can help us elevate the client experience for the 80 percent who generate 20 percent of the business - to tap into that vein of gold as those lives unfold. But it also to buy us some time to elevate the client experience for the 20 percent who generate 80 percent of the business.

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2019-10-15 15:57:37 • 20 second read

In Dallas along with Ryan Borer, at Fusion, Morgan Palmer at First Trust and Jake Marxen, at Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC launching our Total Client Engagement enterprise solution!

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2019-10-14 17:43:28 • 20 second read
A Very Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian Friends and Family!
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2019-10-11 16:54:56 • 20 second read

If you've got a team, if you've got clients, they're lead not pushed. Self-actualization is all about that best version of our self; not leadership for what gets us, but for what it makes of us.

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2019-10-09 16:35:56 • 20 second read

What are the qualities of your favorite clients? The answer probably isn’t anything centered on business only - on assets and profitability. Their personality traits, their respect for you and your team and their proactive advocacy will stand out. It’s never only assets – attitude and advocacy are just as important.

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2019-10-08 17:50:54 • 20 second read

In Austin along with Channon Cain, Michael Ratay, Robert Carey and Scott Dawson with a great group at an Echo meeting outlining best practices that separate the best from the rest.

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2019-10-07 17:55:01 • 20 second read

A transition is an incredible opportunity for you to reintroduce yourself to your clients and elevate how they perceive you and how they describe you. Show how a transition – for example to another firm – is a positive for the client and you reinforce those relationships.

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2019-10-04 16:08:47 • 20 second read

Identifying what will suffice versus what is necessary - the practical versus the strategic - has a multiplier of benefits. You only have 24 hours in a day. Let's not get through the day. Let's get from the day by focusing on what's essential.

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2019-10-02 17:25:59 • 20 second read

Are you trying to achieve an inflection point and a breakthrough? One of the things that contributes and fuels a breakthrough is the intellectual property you’ve built in your business. You and your team needs to consistently take all of your quality skills and intentions and document them. Professionalize, standardize and monetize so you can become a Franchise Ready Advisor.

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2019-09-30 17:05:04 • 20 second read

Why is it important to you to hear someone reveal the goals that give their life purpose? It takes the accomplishment of the goal beyond anything trivial and drives home purpose. Professionalize this so it's not just good intentions. Understand what somebody aspires to with respect to their family, their occupation and the recreational interests, because money is a means to those ends, but the value you bring around their money ensures that those goals are attained.

Work with my team to learn how to help your clients realize their goals:

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2019-09-27 15:52:34 • 20 sec

Use a framework in your gifting. Any time you send a gift, it should have impact so it can't be dismissed because it shows that you're paying attention to what's important to your clients around their family, their occupation, and their recreational interests and aspirations. What you send has to have shelf life; it can't be consumed, it can't be forgotten.

Our partner, KeyEra Gifts, offer the perfect gifts that have a lasting impact. Their one-of-a-kind vintage keys attached to a beautiful personalized key chain is the perfect way to say thanks and promote your brand. Visit their website at or call 1-250-801-3217 to learn more.

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2019-09-25 16:42:54 • 20 second read

Expectation management for yourself and your clients is vital. The stronger your relationships are, and the better your communication strategy and execution is, the more likely that your clients will say to you, “Whatever you think is best. I will follow you anywhere.”

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2019-09-24 20:30:31 • 20 second read

I am excited to announce that my From-the-Field series is now available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music! We will be posting exclusive content here as well, conversations, interviews, and consultations that you will not find anywhere else! Subscribe today!

Apple Podcasts:

Google Play:

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2019-09-23 17:02:01 • 20 second read

When a client leaves, call them. Say you respect their decision and then ask, “In the spirit of elevating the client experience and striving to learn from this, I'd like to ask you: Why did you leave?” Whatever the answer, I want you to think in terms of what refinement and optimization looks like. Make your clients the voice you listen to. Refinement is triggered by critical moments. Some are positive, some are negative. Let all of them serve you as you move to take your business to the next level.

Pareto Systems' Total Client Engagement Process will help you retain and attract top clients. Click here to learn more about the process:

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2019-09-20 19:07:54 • 20 sec

In Cleveland presenting on our enterprise deployment on behalf of Jack Conroy with First Trust - it's incredible when an entire firm buys into a turnkey process to elevate the client experience!

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2019-09-20 16:27:27 • 20 second read

Who views it as an accomplishment when you bring on a new client? Is it you for closing them, or them for qualifying because there's a good fit? Which is the track to advocacy?

Attend Mastermind in Palm Springs, CA to discuss strategies with other like-minded advisors looking to turn their top clients into referral-generating advocates. Springs 2019 dates have been added! Click here to learn more:

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2019-09-19 13:57:14 • 20 second read

Presenting on The Blue Square Method in San Antonio on behalf of Michael Ratay and Melissa Taylor at First Trust - focusing on how to pivot from organic to scalable growth and become franchise ready.

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2019-09-18 16:34:17 • 20 second read

Make sure prospective clients know you're a specialist, not a generalist. Whatever your target market is, do case studies, success stories, warnings and examples around that target market to help activate contrast - so that prospective clients understand you are superior to their current provider and give them a reason to reach out and talk to you.

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2019-09-16 19:43:35 • 20 second read

Ask readers to ask for something as part of your content call-to-action. Write a white paper and you create content that becomes a hook to a first interaction. This helps you sift out prospects from the mass of suspects.


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2019-09-16 16:25:22 • 20 second read

Duncan MacPherson in Dallas presenting at a Top Performers conference along with Tracy Giffen, Tim Daniel, Joe Selvaggio and Kyle Donley at First Trust - focusing more on what practice management does rather than what it is - advocacy, competitor-proofing and total client engagement.

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2019-09-13 17:11:02 • 20 sec

You can't want it more than they do. The idea of attracting anyone is all about an alignment of interests: It's all about a fit. You're not trying to convince someone to do something – they’re acknowledging fit.

This is one of the most important concepts we address with the advisors we work with, and that we follow ourselves at Pareto. Any professional that is interested in engaging with us, we take them through a fit process which includes gaining an understanding for our process, and our approach. These daily posts are a great starting point to see if there is an alignment between what we do, and what you are looking to achieve. We hope that some of these posts are having an impact on you and your business.

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2019-09-13 16:10:50 • 20 second read
ln Palm Springs for a Blue Square Mastermind event along with my good friend Steve Phillips from The Advisor Protocol.
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2019-09-11 16:58:08 • 20 second read

Professionalizing and standardizing the client experience, using an org chart to outline roles and responsibilities, building a playbook to capture procedures and a service matrix that defines how your service model works provides immense value to your clients. There are many benefits to this for both you and your clients. One of the most important for you is to ensure that you're constantly investing 80 percent of your time with the 20 percent of the clients who generate 80 percent of your business.

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2019-09-10 20:58:40 • 20 second read

Having a great day in The Twin Cities with Dan Lavin and Rich Jacquemart with First Trust along with Mark Gherity at the Advisor Growth Forum.

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2019-09-09 18:35:59 • 20 second read

When a client is relentless on fee negotiation and you are tempted to back down, ask yourself “are you fighting for the fees, or are you fighting for the relationship?”

If the answer is the relationship, is this client a ‘AAA’ client? If they have the assets, do they also have the attitudinal qualities and the advocacy?

If you can’t answer yes to those questions, what does this relationship look like in three to five years - and do you want to walk that road?

Pareto Systems Consulting Clients learn to focus their efforts on the clients that matter most and never need to negotiate their value. Learn more about our consulting programs:

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2019-09-04 16:25:09 • 20 sec

Don't pitch what you want or what you need. Position what you provide and how it helps people. Make it easy for your clients to articulate that value and the quality and quantity of referrals you get will go up.

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2019-08-30 20:45:35 • 20 sec

Brand yourself to Business Owners, Professionals, and Executives. Podcast available NOW at the Apple Store and Google Play. This Lightning in a Bottle audio is from a recent consultation I had with one our Blue Square Consulting clients. We talk about his branding and messaging as he moves up market working with business owners, professionals, and executives.

Apple Podcasts:

Google Play:

#practicemanagement #businessdevelopment #branding

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2019-08-30 16:00:40 • 20 second read

Remind people why they should value you beyond rates of return: Your process addresses continuity and succession, family investment legacy - when first-generation earned money becomes second generation found money. Your process addresses that, so just a couple of gentle reminders about some of the core values that you represent, but ensuring that clients never take your value for granted. As Warren Buffet would say, “Price is what you pay, value’s what you get.” Remind your clients of the value of your process - not necessarily what it is and what you do, but what that process does for a client now and in the future as their life unfolds and their needs evolve.

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2019-08-28 16:10:49 • 20 second read

Look around your office and just assess how it makes your clients feel. What imagery do you have that symbolizes your value? I'm sure you have pictures of your family and milestones that you've achieved and artwork, and that's all great. It says a lot about you, but what is it that you're imprinting in your clients minds that takes the abstract and commoditized nature of your value and makes it conceptual and proprietary?

For artwork for your walls that will reinforce your branding and set you apart from the crowd check out our friends at They actually do much more than just cards, they do gallery style art prints and canvas that will make your walls pop. Click here for full details:

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