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2018-12-26 • 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.

Learn how the Blue Square Method can help you make 2019 your best year ever:

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2018-12-26 • 3 minute read

If you have read any of my articles, you will know I talk about about the importance of describing what you do for your clients and prospects as a process. Too many advisors, when asked what they do, say things like:

"I help my clients manage their assets and risk."

It has been proven to resonate far better, not to mention be far more memorable, to say:

"I've developed and refined a process that enables me to manage my clients’ assets and risk."

When you refer to your approach as a process rather than simply suggesting that you help people, it adds so much persuasive impact to your messaging because it sounds official and organized rather than generic and abstract. You see this all the time in the marketplace where a firm will give something they do a name by basically calling it something. Westin Hotels refer to their beds and showers as Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Showers. I can tell you that I've stayed in a lot of hotels and I'm not sure that their beds are any better than any other comparable hotel but many people are convinced that Heavenly Beds are better. In the minds of many people, every other hotel simply has beds, while Westin has Heavenly Beds - again because that's what they're called. And, let's face it, when it comes to selecting one hotel over another a good bed and shower is ultimately what people crave.

As I've said, a branding strategy addresses what your clients’ want, not what you do or who you are in the classic sense. So what do your clients want? They want to face the future with anticipation rather than apprehension and they want to feel confident with the track they are on. An advisor with a process projects that far better than an advisor who simply "helps clients...." 

From Vapour to Paper

You can't stop at just saying you have a process, you have to demonstrate that you actually have one. I say that because advisors ask me all the time, "How can I create this process you keep talking about?You already have a process, the problem is you don't refer to it as such and you don't have anything to show them what it looks like. Think about it, when you on-board a new client and align solutions to their needs, you use a process. So start referring to it that way.

I ask coaching clients of ours to sit down and simply get their process out of their heads and on to paper - even in point form. A very effective advisor was shocked to realize that there are actually eight steps to her asset management process. But she never thought of it in those terms before. Now that she has listed out the steps on to a sheet of paper she can now show a client and prospective client with far more persuasive impact. It is now referenced as a bullet point on her agendas and she can help demystify what she does and help people conceptualize her approach and appreciate her more fully by showing them.

Among the many benefits, this is an essential step to ensure that your clients are telling their friends:

"You should meet my advisor, he has an excellent process and he's a great guy."

As opposed to:

"You should meet my advisor, you'd really like him, he is a great guy."

Your Clients Will Do Your Prospecting for You

Again, your clients can do a great job positioning you in their friends’ minds as an ideal alternative to their current advisor and begin creating a nagging feeling in their minds that you are a far superior option.

You can take that one step further by providing an Introductory Kit as part of your introduction process. This is as important for the client referring as it is for the prospecting you are hoping to attract. For example, when you say to a client:

"If you ever have a friend or family member that you would like to introduce to me, simply call me to get the wheels in motion and I will put them into my introductory process. I'll reach out and have a brief initial conversation, I'll send out my introductory kit so they can get to know me a little better in advance and then I'll carve out the time to meet with them to get to know them better and be a sounding board to help them make some informed decisions."

Your clients can envision this in their mind’s eye and describe you in a more compelling way. Your prospect gets to hold something in their hands and gets to know you a bit before they even meet you (and send it via 2-day courier to elevate its importance and increase the value the person places on the upcoming meeting). Of course, you further validate your professionalism by providing a printed agenda in the initial discovery meeting, and outlining your on-board process and personal financial organizing binder in the fit meeting. Again, tangible things they can hold in their hands that reinforce that you have a process. All of this has been proven to enhance a prospective client’s motivation to take action. You don't have to convince them with a closing strategy, the prospective client comes to his or her own conclusion.

I'm not suggesting that your clients will start referring to you as their Heavenly Advisor, but I can guarantee that their description of you will be far more effective than before. I can also guarantee that your prospective clients will perceive you as a professional with a process and will be drawn to you like never before.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

Take Action:

Are you a Financial Professional who wants to:

  • Competitor-Proof Clients
  • Gain Their Full Empowerment
  • Create Referral-Generating Advocates

Upcoming Dates for Mastermind sessions in Palm Springs, CA:

  • Thursday, January 31st, 2019
  • Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Click here to learn more:

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2018-12-24 • 20 second read

In this holiday season, just reflect a moment on gratitude. Gratitude is part of what fuels ambition and it’s powerful to savor the things we’ve already accomplished. Let’s be grateful for what we have while we aspire to what is next.

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2018-12-21 • 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.

Pareto Systems Blue Square Method will help you overcome your plateau, learn more:

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2018-12-19 • 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.

Are you looking to become the best version of yourself personally, professionally or both? This is what the Blue Square Method is all about. Click here to learn more:

2018-12-18 • 5 minute video

In this episode Chris Jeppesen and I discuss the strategy of utilizing a ‘3-minute trailer’ to highlight your process and showcase your value as an all-encompassing, multi-generational financial planner.

I also invite you to join me and Chris for our 2019 kick off webinar! Click here to register:

The Advisor of the Future - Adapt and plan to thrive while others struggle to survive

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 4:10 EST

Webinar Details: I invite you to join me and Chris Jeppesen - co-authors of The Advisor Playbook - for a strategic planning webinar where they will pass along actionable, proven strategies that will enable you to:

  • Put more sand in your hour glass through effective time allocation efficiencies
  • Refine your growth and profitability model
  • Create intellectual property and elevate the client experience to drive enterprise value

You've heard the mantra, "The best work on their business not in it. The best get from the day, not through it." If you're looking for the best practices that separate the best from the rest, this webinar is for you. Click here to register:

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2018-12-18 • 5 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

Take Action: Webinar Invitation: The Advisor of the Future - Adapt and plan to thrive while others struggle to survive

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 4:10 PM EST Join Duncan and Chris for this informative Go-to-Webinar webcast.

Click the following link to register:

Can’t make it? Don't worry register anyway and we will send you the recording.

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2018-12-17 • 20 second read

Join me and Chris Jeppesen for our 2019 kick off webinar! Click here to register:

The Advisor of the Future - Adapt and plan to thrive while others struggle to survive

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 4:10 EST

Webinar Details: We invite you to join Duncan MacPherson and Chris Jeppesen - co-authors of The Advisor Playbook - for a strategic planning webinar where they will pass along actionable, proven strategies that will enable you to:

  • Put more sand in your hour glass through effective time allocation efficiencies
  • Refine your growth and profitability model
  • Create intellectual property and elevate the client experience to drive enterprise value

You've heard the mantra, "The best work on their business not in it. The best get from the day, not through it." If you're looking for the best practices that separate the best from the rest, this webinar is for you.

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2018-12-17 • 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.

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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2018-12-14 • 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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