From Advisor to CEO
Includes Q&A - with Duncan
Tuesday, December 13th at 12 pm ET
There is a shift happening right now, where advisors are dusting off old habits and mindsets, and achieving new levels of growth. Join Duncan MacPherson, in this actionable webinar, as he discusses his experiences with advisors transitioning from their traditional role to CEO.
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2022-11-28 16:44:20 • 20 second read

What does the advisor of the future look like?

There is a shift happening right now, where advisors are dusting off old habits and mindsets, and achieving new levels of growth. Join Duncan MacPherson, in this actionable webinar, as he discusses his experiences with advisors transitioning from their traditional role to CEO.

Learn how to:

  • Grow on your own terms
  • Drive enterprise value
  • De-risk your business
  • Build a scalable playbook

Join Duncan for this informative Go-to-Webinar webcast by clicking here:  www.paretosystems.com/webinars

Can’t make it, but don’t want to miss out? Don’t worry, register now and ask your question, and we will give you access to the recording following the broadcast.

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2022-12-02 15:59:20 • 20 second read

Remove the mystery for the world around who your ideal client is. People who chase speak in terms of who they are looking for, people who attract speak in terms of who they are suited for. Professional scarcity conveys that you are not all things to all people. You are all things to some people. Define this on a sheet of paper that is client-facing. Show it to them as you are telling them that you only accept new clients that are introduced to you, and assuming there is a good fit.

Download Chapter 1 of The Blue Square Method for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-12-01 18:39:09 • 20 second read

Stephen Covey, the legendary author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, advised that you should always begin with the end in mind … I suggest that you apply a mindset of building a business with the intention of selling it for maximum value at some point in the future.

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2022-11-30 16:48:50 • 20 second read

The reason we say that branding is a continual effort is because the law of optimization reminds us that we have to continually refine and optimize to rejuvenate, in order to keep up with natural decline. Think of exercise. Have you noticed that disciplines take far longer to compound than neglect requires to erode them? Don’t misinterpret this. We are glass-half-full optimists, but we’re always mindful of competitive forces, commoditization and the law of familiarity. You might have heard the joke about the parkour enthusiast jumping from building to building and feeling energized, and on one jump missing the landing and falling. According to the story, someone on the fifth floor heard him yell, “So far so good!” If we allow ourselves to take things for granted, we can engineer our own collision course with obsolescence.

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2022-11-28 16:49:53 • 2 minute video

Obviously there are fundamentally essential elements of how you conduct yourself that impact the enterprise value of your business. The one that is getting so much more attention in the last couple of years is your intellectual property, and the degree that you run your business like a business.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-25 21:08:58 • 20 second read

The best way to take care of your business, your clients and your growth potential is to take impeccable care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. We’ve seen fee-for-service professionals strive to take care of everybody and everything around them, but it came at their own expense. Self-sacrifice does not breed respect, self-interest does. So in that hour-a-day, or whatever model you adopt, charge up your batteries, pay tribute to the temple (your mental and physical health) and slow life down a little.

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2022-11-24 21:00:25 • 20 second read

Frustration and anxiety are born in the space between expectation and reality. If your expectation is high and the results you get are low, you’re going to be let down. Work the process and results will come.

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2022-11-23 16:34:27 • 20 second read

A Pareto + AdvisorStream Event

How can you put more sand in your hourglass? And at the same time elevate the client experience? In this webinar, Duncan is joined by special guest Kevin Mulhern, co-founder of Advisor Stream, as they show you how to provide relevant timely content that your clients will actually find of value.

If you are not just a Needs-based planner, but a Goals-based planner, how do you stay top of mind in a world with so much noise? How do you build a presence in online communication that instills confidence in your personal brand? How do you use process and automation to incorporate content that is personalized for your very best clients, prospective clients and strategic partners?

During this session, learn exactly how to:

  • Be perceived even more as a Goals-Based Planner to your clients
  • Achieve total client engagement in all channels of communication
  • Competitor proof clients with amazing personalized content
  • Incorporate a proven-driven content tool, like Advisor Stream, in your business to save you time and dramatically increase your current client experience


Watch the replay of Duncan and Kevin’s informative Go-to-Webinar webcast by clicking here: www.paretosystems.com/webinars

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2022-11-23 16:29:47 • 20 second read

You might be wondering why branding appears as such an early chapter in this book. It’s because branding is one of the easiest adjustments to make that gets dramatic results. Consider again the art and science of being a fee-for-service professional. The science being your technical ability and core competency - the art being how you achieve professional contrast. The art, not the science, is often what separates the best from the rest. In client acquisition, once a prospective client becomes aware of your existence, you are trying to hold their attention and have them tune in to your signal. You want them to say to themselves, “I like that. This is what I want.” A professional branding strategy is a constant work in progress, not a one-and-done. You establish your brand and you keep tinkering and reinforcing it to ensure that you don’t fall into inertia confidence.

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2022-11-21 16:24:21 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Thane Stenner and Duncan discuss the three questions every advisor should be asking their clients to make them the voice they listen to.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-18 16:59:00 • 20 second read

Branding not only impacts prospective clients and existing clients, it impacts other influencers like strategic partners. Branding is the lifeblood of advocacy. It is reputational and can be relayed. Marketing can create transactions, but does not go anywhere near as far as branding when it comes to referrals. Introductions from advocates are a recurring revenue stream for your business and build the very fabric of your business. Transacting is like sewing without a knot at the end of the thread. Lastly, and it bears repeating, branding helps achieve stewardship, meaning your value is bought, not sold.

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2022-11-16 17:30:55 • 20 second read

Branding is not just a first impression, though. It’s a lasting impression. Professional contrast is not a one-off event. It is something that must occur on an ongoing basis for as long as the relationship exists. In the spirit of advocacy, branding impacts how you are perceived and how you are described. In part, it’s fueled by how you articulate, communicate and demonstrate your value to stand out from the pack. It’s a sequential flow of value, communicated so that somebody can understand and appreciate everything your value does in an ascending way, and then it’s your consistent execution that backs it all up after the person opts in.

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2022-11-14 15:14:03 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, my guest Thane Stenner, and I discuss how the influence you have on your client relationships can dramatically impact how a client not only feels about their belonging to your community, but how they articulate that to someone else. I joke that your clients may go as far as saying “he probably won’t accept you as a client”, when introducing a friend or family member, helping to ensure you are only bringing on those clients that you are best suited to work with.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-11 18:25:59 • 20 second read

As practice management guru Kevin Bishopp likes to say, you project strength and calm when you aren’t ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. People pick up on that energy. They are more compelled to share your value with others because it is so much more impressive than that of the common pack. People feel a sense of accomplishment when they join your community because it’s not something they were talked into, it was something they aspired to.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book The Blue Square Method for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-11-10 18:27:14 • 20 second read

You want to speak to a specific hook that grabs someone’s attention. Again, it’s not what you say but rather what they hear that matters. Your hook has to speak more to what your clients want rather than what it is you do.

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2022-11-09 18:23:27 • 20 second read

Tell the world that you value and guard your time. Unless and until you do, nobody else will. You will find that people will start respecting your time more and your productivity will increase. You may even have people commenting on the initiative and inform you that they are now doing the same thing or at least considering it..

This is an excerpt from ‘The Blue Square Method’. Download Chapter 1 for free here: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-11-07 16:15:41 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Thane Stenner and Duncan discuss engaging with your clients in such a way that they feel energized by the experience and how a big part of that is the quality of the questions asked.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-04 17:45:55 • 20 second read

In client relationships, trust is not something that “just happens” over time. You have to intentionally build it. Eventually, that trust leads to client advocacy. In this episode of Always On, you will learn how to enhance your relationship management and instill strong trust in your existing clients.

Listen now by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep31

2022-11-03 09:13:15 • 2 minute read

The Evolution and Elevation of the Financial Professional with Thane Stenner

The Japanese have a concept called Kaizen, which means “constant and never-ending improvement.”

If you want to become the advisor of the future and avoid a growth plateau, it’s important to strive for Kaizen.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson speaks with Thane Stenner, CIM®, FCSI®, senior portfolio manager and senior wealth advisor at Stenner Wealth Partners. They share proven strategies to engineer professional contrast and achieve constant growth.

They discuss: 

  • The evolution of the financial industry from transactional to relationship-focused
  • How he grew his business by reducing the number of clients
  • How to mold the way your clients articulate your value to their network
  • Every reason to be at the front of the change curve (even if it means making mistakes) 
  • And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep31

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2022-11-02 19:42:56 • 20 second read

There is an old maxim that states that, "Marketing is what you say; branding is what they hear." At a basic level, marketing helps you sell something, while branding helps you build something. Marketing typically involves stand-alone campaigns and strategies that have a beginning and an end. Branding is ongoing and every investment into your professional branding strategy builds upon itself, and can become a proprietary asset over time.

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2022-10-31 02:07:48 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 30 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Mike Cy and Duncan discuss how top advisors are separating themselves from the advisor down the street and continually elevating above and beyond client expectations.

Click here to watch on Youtube

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2022-10-28 16:38:30 • 20 second read

Book a recurring meeting with yourself for an hour every day to work ON your business and yourself. Rather than just reacting to your schedule of appointments and tasks, and then using whatever is left over on “other things”, deliberately allocate a slot from, say, 3 to 4 pm every day to tune out the world and stop letting the business run you. Run the business. View this appointment with as much importance as any other meeting with a client and show this initiative off to the world.

This is an excerpt from ‘The Blue Square Method’. Download Chapter 1 for free here:: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-10-27 14:28:55 • 20 second read

For a professional whose solutions are not tangible, and the benefits of which can be delayed, it is essential to create a client experience that de-commoditizes your services – and a process that communicates those benefits clearly.

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2022-10-26 18:55:40 • 20 second read

The goal with branding is to demystify your value so that everyone who interacts with you understands and appreciates your value fully and completely. You can communicate and demonstrate your value, differentiate your value and capitalize on your value. When you consider the productivity spectrum, starting with maintenance for what you have, all the way to attracting what you want, addressing the gaps in relationship management might shock you in terms of the degree of impact it has.

This is an excerpt from Duncan’s new book, ‘The Blue Square Method’, that he wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter 1 for free: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-10-20 15:47:12 • 20 second read

The Advisor of the Future with Mike Cajthaml Jr.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson talks to Mike Cajthaml Jr, business consultant at Pareto Systems. They share strategies to create professional contrast as the financial industry becomes increasingly commoditized....

Listen now at the link below..

https://bit.ly/AODM_ep30

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2022-10-19 16:43:14 • 20 second read

The goal is to depersonalize your client relationships - not to downplay your personal contributions, but to enhance their appreciation for your bench strength, your practice and your process.

This is an excerpt of Duncan MacPherson and Chris Jeppesen’s newly released book: The Blue Square Method. Download Chapter 1 for free now at: TheBlueSquareMethod.com

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2022-10-17 16:30:22 • 20 second read

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Click to watch on YouTube: youtubelink here

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2022-10-14 15:29:45 • 20 second read

Your technical ability is a foundation to build on. It’s promissory on an outcome and the performance of your core deliverables, and you don’t want to be living and dying strictly by that sword. Practice management is promissory on a client experience – it represents what it means to be your client over the lifetime of the relationship. Professional contrast can start with your technical ability but it is amplified by your commitment to practice management. It’s the difference between being a good dentist and running a thriving dental practice.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com 

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2022-10-13 15:34:31 • 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: www.paretosystems.com/total-client-engagement

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2022-10-12 15:33:32 • 20 second read

Do you have too many households or clients to serve? Do you have too many holdings or products to keep track of properly? Have you diluted your brand by offering too many individual solutions versus building them into a panoramic, all-encompassing and proprietary process? Clients can become numb to complexity. Your value proposition has to be clear and intuitive. The goal is to constantly find ways to decommoditize your value, so that clients focus on what you are worth rather than what you cost. We’ll talk more about the concepts of right-sizing clients and reallocating clients to more suitable models throughout this book. The point is to expand your thinking beyond the way your competitors view themselves and deliver their solutions.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-10-10 14:24:11 • 20 second read

In this excerpt from one of Duncan’s recent Virtual Events/Podcasts, he discusses how the current volatility can actually serve you and not hurt you.

Click to watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5USDdsVU5nE

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2022-10-07 15:36:49 • 20 second read

 Have you ever thought about what lingers in a client’s mind after talking with you?

Have you given them something experiential that will resonate with them – something that they might share with others too?

In the latest episode of ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’, you’ll discover ways to rejuvenate your clients, whether it’s on the phone or in-person. 

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep29

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2022-10-06 14:37:25 • 20 second read

Finish Strong in 2022

Q4 is the perfect time to finish the year with a bang, especially as we come out of an unprecedented disruption. It’s also the perfect time to build momentum and prepare to fast-track success in the New Year.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson highlights four key steps financial professionals should take to maximize their client relationships and position their businesses for a strong and profitable final quarter of 2022, and for a great start to 2023. These strategies are easy to implement and translate into results quickly and predictably.

Duncan discusses:

• A proven process to rejuvenate relationships with your best clients and amplify growth through advocacy
• How to make timely adjustments to increase efficiency and productivity
• Sample scripts to use in client meetings (and holiday cards!)
• Tips for maximizing your value during volatile market conditions
• And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep29
 

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2022-10-05 17:07:57 • 20 second read

Surround yourself with good people, empower them to strive for excellence, and hold them accountable to building enterprise value, and you will create loyalty among some and reveal a lack of fit in others. Incentivize for quantitative performance and offer discretionary rewards for qualitative performance, too. No matter how much we talk about best practices and processes, people are essential.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-10-03 14:03:40 • 20 second read

In this excerpt from episode 28 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Jeff Ambrose and Duncan discuss how small tweaks and a small change to your approach can significantly impact your client relationships and help you to stand out and be different.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-09-30 17:36:14 • 20 second read

Leadership is about empowering and liberating a team to see what it brings out in everyone. You may have heard of the fascinating (and hopefully true) phenomena that an alpha wolf will lead from behind. When moving, the front of the pack is apparently made up of the youngest, in the middle are the oldest – they determine the pace – and then trailing behind are the strongest of the group. There is no need for bravado or an obvious show of strength. Even if this is only the stuff of legend, it’s still something we should consider ourselves.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-09-29 17:37:45 • 20 second read

Competitor-proofing and countering loyalty fatigue has to be ongoing throughout the lifetime of a client relationship. Making your process and value clear to a client through your relationship management process insures you won’t disappear in a sea of sameness - or find yourself suddenly replaced because a drifting client decided to “try something new.”

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2022-09-28 15:29:08 • 20 second read

As you will see throughout the book, we will never suggest that you ask for referrals. We’ve seen it all. Common variants are: “Who else do you know?” or “I get paid in three ways” or “I’m trying to grow my business” and all the other nonsense that a) doesn’t work and b) makes you look needy. You can’t pitch the idea of a referral as a favor you are asking of a client, but you can position it as service you are providing to a client. That distinction is massive and we will outline it comprehensively in subsequent chapters.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

2022-09-26 15:11:00 • 20 second read

In this excerpt from episode 28 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Jeff Ambrose and Duncan discuss where the most successful advisors are spending the majority of their time when it comes to client interactions.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-09-23 20:41:18 • 20 second read

Your financial qualifications, licenses, and technical know-how are not enough to make you indispensable. If you want to attract and retain clients, you need to think beyond investment management.

Learn how to enhance your value proposition and differentiate yourself from your competitors in the latest episode of the Always On podcast by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep28

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2022-09-22 18:37:15 • 20 second read

Add a Coaching Dynamic to Your Client Experience with Jeff Ambrose

There’s a huge difference between someone buying your products versus someone buying into a relationship with your practice, people and process.

Adding a coaching dynamic to your practice can help you win and retain clients in the long run.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson talks to Jeff Ambrose, business consultant at Pareto Systems. They share strategies to create professional contrast as the financial industry becomes increasingly commoditized.

Jeff and Duncan discuss:

• Action items that every advisor should have on their client meeting agenda

• Why clients might be seeing only 5% of your total value (and how to fix it)

• How coaching improves your relationships — especially with high-net-worth clients

• The underrated benefits of goals-based planning

• And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep28

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2022-09-21 14:44:27 • 20 second read

For obvious reasons, a client who engages with you due to fit is far more predisposed to becoming an advocate. Why? Because of the ultimate incentive that comes with advocacy. Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right-hand man, said it well: “Show me the incentive and I’ll show you the outcome.” The incentive of advocacy is that the client is an advocate of their friend, not just you. They feel they are doing that friend a disservice by not introducing them to you. They know you will appreciate the new business, but that isn’t the only incentive. The advocate knows how the introduction will reflect on them and how their friend will benefit, and let’s be honest, a consultant is far more referable than a salesperson.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: www.thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-09-20 16:36:01 • 20 second read

Relationship management encompasses how you manage the world’s perception of you and how people describe you to others. You’re not just managing the performance of your core competency, you are managing a business and you are managing people. You have to be as deliberate, intentional and process-driven with numbers two and three as you are with number one…

Click here to read more on LinkedIn

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2022-09-19 14:45:44 • 5 min video

Do you know when you have an interaction with somebody and the impact lasts long after the conversation is over? It’s tough out there for a lot of folks right now, and with all of this in mind I have a challenge for you... Get Caught.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-09-16 13:47:03 • 20 second read

The best way to start a relationship is through a fit process, not a sales process. You’re not trying to convince a prospective client to take action, you’re trying to activate professional contrast and let them come to their own conclusion that your combination of people, practice and process is an upgrade from their current situation - or any other option. Ironically, it is common that using a fit process will prompt a prospective client to try to close you – they interrupt you halfway through the meeting saying, “You know what, I’ve heard enough. I just want to get started.” You’re not convincing them, they are trying to convince you there is a good fit. You’ve undoubtedly had that happen before. The stars just lined up beautifully. It was the perfect synchronicity of professional scarcity and professional contrast. You projected no pressure or need and yet you were able to convey that no one else was better suited for the client. The point is, that can be engineered – it’s by design, not by luck or by chance.

This is an excerpt from the newly released book The Blue Square Method that Duncan MacPherson wrote with co-author Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter for free now at: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-09-15 18:21:05 • 20 second read

Being financially competent is not enough to acquire a business.

If you want to set yourself apart from other buyers, listen to what the seller wants and understand their objectives.

With your interests aligned, your chances of securing the deal drastically increase! In this episode, Katie Bruner and I discuss the key factors (both financial and non-financial) that affect your ability to secure M&A deals. Stream it (or download it for later) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep27

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2022-09-14 16:00:29 • 20 second read

When it comes to client acquisition and business development, the most enlightened philosophy is that of stewardship, not salesmanship. Salesmanship asks a client to buy something, chasing them with closing techniques and trying to convince them to take action. Stewardship asks a client to buy into something, attracting them with a process-driven, win-win approach, and letting them come to their own conclusions – convincing themselves with reason and self-motivation.

Why is this so important? In the world of transactional one-off encounters, salesmanship is used to drive business and capture a buyer’s fleeting enthusiasm before their intent diminishes, but you’re not selling a car. This is not a transaction. Your value must be bought, not sold. Salesmanship seeped into the F4S world as a way to drive business. At conferences, language like “You eat what you kill,” “You’re a hunter gathering assets,” “Squeeze more juice out of the orange to gain more wallet share,” “Increase your net-new households,” “Open up new accounts” and “You have to drive production,” became common. The problem is, that kind of jargon is from the lexicon of the coin-operated brokers of the world.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book The Blue Square Method for free: thebluesquaremethod.com

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2022-09-12 20:33:58 • 20 second read

Respect Your Natural Capacity - Duncan’s European Road Trip

Continuing his European Road Trip, Duncan is in Nuremberg, Germany where he discusses Little’s Law and your natural capacity.

Click here to watch on YouTube

Visit thebluesquaremethod.com to get your copy, or to download the Chapter 1 for free.

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2022-09-08 14:34:16 • 20 second read

How to Find Your Ideal Match in M&A with Katie Bruner

Purchasing power, operational processes, client experience, core values…There are several nuances you might consider while screening potential buyers/sellers.

Such due diligence is key to finding your ideal match in M&A.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson talks to Katie Bruner, managing partner at SkyView Partners. They share the ultimate “acquisition checklist” that helps buyers in winning deals and sellers in weeding out unqualified purchasers.

Katie discusses:  

  • Key factors (both financial and non-financial) that affect your ability to secure M&A deals
  • How to ensure greater client retention after an acquisition
  • The “intent, consent, implement” process of finding the right-fit partner
  • How current market volatility is influencing the M&A landscape
  • And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here: https://bit.ly/AODM_ep27

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2022-09-07 15:02:22 • 20 second read

Our clients wanted to make more money and be more productive and efficient, and drive the value of their business higher. It’s not as if there was an emptiness in any of that as an achievement. They simply pushed to add more meaning to their success. Our consultations often shifted to discussing how to engage their team more fully to achieve these breakthroughs. Our clients started to decline bringing on new clients that weren’t aligned with their ideal client profile and even started disassociating from clients who weren’t a good fit, respectfully right-sizing their client base. As one of our graduates so eloquently put it, “Life is too short to have a crappy client.”

This is an excerpt of the newly-released book ‘The Blue Square Method’ by Duncan MacPherson and Chris Jeppesen. Download Chapter 1 for free now at: TheBlueSquareMethod.com

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