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Proven Strategies Blog

2020-11-05 • 10 minute video

Support, sift and strengthen your client relationships to focus on commonalities of your client's interests, beyond just money and the technical, to truly stand out from the pack and be their voice of reason.

Visit the Pareto Systems Knowledge Bank to access videos, scripts and templates that will help you focus on your clients' interest and be their voice of reason:

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2020-11-04 • 20 second read

The circumstances don't make the man; they reveal him. It's not about the glass being half full or half empty – the question is this: Is the glass growing? A mentor shared this with me a long time ago, he said, “If you fill a cup with water and you leave it there, when you come back, it will have evaporated. You’ve got to top it back up - but that's as big as the cup gets. When you top up with experience and take some risks, you keep personally and professionally developing your skills and refining your process. The Cup gets bigger even as you keep topping it up.”

2020-11-03 • 2 minute video

Relationship Management is often an over-looked yet very important part of your business. However it can be the key to cracking the code to taking your business to the next level.

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2020-11-03 • 4 minute read

Integrating FORM into Your Client Goal Setting Process

Of the many steps of the personal branding process that can fast-track clients to advocacy, integrating FORM has to be among the easiest. When you on-board a new client or have a review meeting with an existing client, ensure that there is a tab in their Personal Financial Organizer (The PFO Binder that is the central hub of your relationship) that outlines the importance of FORM. Simply explain that you take a holistic and panoramic approach to client relationships and that part of your process is to know as much about your clients' Family dynamics, Occupational issues and Recreational interests as you do about their Money.

Many clients will be amazed that you are so thorough and comprehensive. A few will wonder what the real benefits are. Either way, to drive the point home further, integrate FORM with your client goal setting process. But again, be panoramic and all encompassing. Sure you want to understand their financial goals, but you really want to understand what money means to them holistically as it relates to their family, occupation and recreational aspects of life.

We recommend our advisors use our W5 goal setting process with clients and include that document into the FORM tab within their PFO. This is a tangible and meaningful way to effectively make connections for the client as it relates to Family Investment Legacy and Transition issues, Occupational Retirement goals as well as Business Succession objectives, Recreational wish lists, etc - all of which become more predictable when tied into the solutions you provide.

When the Why is Clear, the How is More Appreciated

When you and your clients are crystal clear about all the reasons why they want to achieve financial independence, they place far more value on how you plan to get them there. This competitor-proofs your clients in a way that ensures that anyone trying to steal your clients will meet resistance and dead ends with every dripping effort.

And again, you get a double-win because the more your client buys-into your process and understands and appreciates it, the easier it will be for them to describe your process to someone else.

On that point, many advisors tell me that their clients have told them that they don't talk about money with their friends and family members. In truth what they are saying is that they aren't clear about your process or how endorsing you to someone will ultimately reflect back on them, or they are concerned that you will try to sell their acquaintance on buying an investment product and becoming a client. If that ever happens, use the misconception as an opportunity to re-frame their perception and start the process of helping them understand your commitment to stewardship rather than salesmanship. To accomplish that say something like this: 

"Fair enough. The reason I'm asking is because a major component of my value proposition is in making myself available to act as a sounding board for friends and family members of my clients. They do not need to become a client of mine to take advantage of this service. Especially when it comes to family members because I have developed and refined a Family Investment Legacy Process for clients who are thinking about succession issues. So no worries if this isn't relevant or something you are comfortable with. I just want my clients to be aware that I will make myself available to be a sounding board for people who are important to my clients. Frankly it's the most fulfilling aspect of my job and one of the primary reasons I became a financial advisor."

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2020-11-02 • 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.

2020-10-29 • 12 minute video

Focus on 'what could be' rather than dwell on 'what could have been.' In this episode, Duncan discusses how, during times of turbulence and volatility, the art and science of being a Financial Advisor is revealed as this isn't just about wealth management, it's more about relationship management.

Important links: Chris Jeppesen and Duncan MacPherson upcoming webinar:

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For access to videos, scripts and templates to help you be your clients’ voice of reason check out the Pareto Systems Knowledge Bank:

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2020-10-28 • 20 second read

Clients don't just buy something, they buy into something. Moving customers who are just “buying something” into a client role can reveal a vein of gold, and that shift can come about when you go back and treat your existing customers as prospective clients. Reintroduce yourself, your process and your value to gain that empowerment.

2020-10-27 • 4 min video

In this video, Duncan discusses the importance of identifying and focusing on your top clients to convert them to advocates and achieve organic growth.

WEBINAR INVITATION: The Main Thing - The one adjustment top advisors are making to fuel growth with Steve Phillips & Duncan MacPherson – Click to register free:

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2020-10-27 • 2 minute read

As a coach in the financial service community, I continually ponder this very simple question: Why are some Financial Advisors more effective than others?

You already know that the quality of your client relationships is just as important as the quality of your advice. And while I will never trivialize the importance of providing sound financial strategies and solid investment decisions, they alone won’t guarantee success. In fact, it has been proven that there are three numbers in the combination that can unlock an advisors full potential:

  • Sound investment advice
  • Consistent client relationship management
  • Predictable deployment of best practices

To validate this, we often scrutinize what separates the best from the rest in this business. We look at why some advisors are more successful than others and what it is they are doing that others don’t.

But what’s really fascinating is that this study transcends the financial services industry. The most successful consultants, accountants, dentists and other skilled professionals aren’t just effective at their core roles, they are also proficient at creating exceptional client experiences that lead to loyalty and refer-ability. The quality of the core deliverable is crucial, but that alone is not enough.

One of my favorite examples would have to be dentists.

First Things First       

One of the most important things dentists realized was that their time is their most valuable asset. Your dentist doesn’t call you to confirm your next cleaning. Someone else does that (in fact, try to get your dentist on the phone. It’s not easy. They guard their time.). A good dentist creates organization and structure and empowers people who make $25 per hour to do $25 per hour tasks. In the process this liberates the dentist to focus on what he or she gets paid to do while creating scarcity that is attractive.

Master the Things That You Can Control

Somewhere along their specific evolutionary curve, dentists also clued into the fact that their vocation was close to the top of the list of professionals that many people despised, and then they got smart and did something about it. They started concentrating on the things that they could control. One thing they could control was preparing an environment that was so memorable and relaxing that people felt great even though they were visiting the dentist! With this historical move, dentists finally realized that they too could make use of word-of-mouth advertising! For the first time, people were talking about their dentists, and yet it wasn't in the context of pain! They were talking to their friends, families and colleagues about this special brand of 'instant rapport' that they had experienced, and it was at a dentist's office! People hearing about such things could have remarked to themselves: 

"I must check this out! My dentist basically uses pliers and rum!"

The other smart thing that successful dentists did was to help their patients map out a foundation for good dental health. As a part of this foundation, clients were taught that they would need regular and never-ending visits to the dentist to ensure that this strategy for good dental health was to succeed. In other words, it was an ongoing process that never ended until the patient died or lost his/her teeth. Clients are trained to empower their dentist. Every new service provided by a dentist is communicated to clients in a forthright manner and positioned as a benefit to the client rather than as a sales opportunity. Clients become aware of their unmet needs before they even realize the need exists. And they take action.

Where is this all going? Is it such a stretch to think that we can implement the same kind of atmosphere and professional processes into the office of a financial advisor? Dentists realized at some point that the overwhelmingly negative public predisposition toward their kind was out of their control. Once they started mastering the office visit and educating their clients about the link between great dental health and how that was directly proportional to a lifelong relationship with their dentist, they have never looked back. The good dentists attract, they don’t chase.

Be Referable 365 Days a Year

Is it your fault as an advisor that the markets are volatile and the future is uncertain? Not in the least. However, if your clients tend to refer you only when things are rosy in the markets, you have a serious vulnerability in the way that you have positioned yourself with your clients. Things do not have to be this way!

If advisors would simply take a page or two from a profession that has already gone through this brand of disharmony, they would finally have a business where clients can and will refer them regardless of how the markets are doing. This is not a pipe dream. There are advisors who have already integrated these things into their businesses as we speak. These advisors have clients who have been taught the doctrine and who are not faked out by volatility. As a result, because their clients' expectations have been exceeded in the areas that the advisor can control, these advisors are immensely referable 365 days out of the year.

What's Holding You Back? Your Clients WILL Embrace This Approach!

When 'instant rapport' takes place at your office and the experience is coupled with a Client Process where the complexities of financial planning have been simplified and “future-paced”, clients will embrace your efforts. They will also realize that it would be a disservice not to recommend this five-star service to others they know who are unhappy with their financial advisors. Through a crystal-clear Client Process, clients are taught that financial planning is not an event, but a process that involves ongoing interaction with their financial advisor, repetitively and forever as their lives and needs unfold.

Like the dental mantra, clients can learn a financial mantra and will deliver it to others just as naturally and eloquently. With this kind of structure, to blame a financial advisor for an occasional or sustained hit to a balanced portfolio would be akin to blaming a dentist for your root canal.

The end result is that the 'instant rapport' and the Client Process are what the clients learn to value in dealing with the advisor instead of fixating on the rate of return on their investments.

To those advisors who doubt the veracity of this claim, the number one piece of feedback we hear from the clients of financial advisors who have embraced this approach of perfecting what they can control and improve on is: "Finally! This is what we've been waiting for!"

Typically, when affluent prospective clients hear about a superior brand of advisor, they will distance themselves from the transaction-oriented advisor as quickly as possible and gravitate to the full-service advisor.

The bottom line is that everything – every action and reaction – executed by you and your team makes you either more or less refer-able. Scrutinize everything and create a refer-able experience!

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2020-10-26 • 20 second read

You need a process to sift real prospects from the mass of suspects. Your advocates will do that for you. Your most valuable prospective clients are the friends and family members of your existing clients. Your existing clients have more persuasive impact on them than you ever will, so don't go out there and try to convince new people - work better with the people who are already convinced. Show them how to convince people and you'll create client acquisition.

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