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2018-10-12 • 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 LavishCards.com. 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:www.lavishcards.com/prints-canvas/

2018-10-11 • 5 minute video

In this episode of The Blue Square Method video Duncan points out how we all have the same 24 hours of time in a day and the importance that emotional intelligence has on practice and relationship management.

Need more sand in your hour glass? Talk to our friends at First Trust, or check out the Advisor Playbook: www.paretosystems.com/the-advisor-playbook

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2018-10-10 • 20 second read

Give some consideration to the concept of a client advisory council. It’s an unbelievable bang for the buck in terms of investment of time, money, and effort. Just invite six or eight of your favorite clients to a lunch or a dinner and simply tell them that you take a lot of pride in the client experience you provide, but you know you can always raise the bar. Let them know that they, the clients, are the only critics whose opinions really count - and that you want to make them the voice you listen to.

To learn more about implementing a Client Advisory Council into your practice, check out the Total Client Engagement consulting program and take the first step to the next level: www.paretosystems.com/total-client-engagement

2018-10-09 • 6 min video

In this episode Duncan discuss the concept of the Ideal Client Event, that’s agenda driven and more experiential than a simple presentation, to re-introduce and shift the focus from products, pricing and performance to a trusting relationship with the people, the practice and the process.

Want to learn more about the Ideal Client Engagement, and Advisor Protocol visit: www.advisorprotocol.com

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2018-10-09 • 3 minute read

Is it your fault as an advisor that the markets are volatile and the future is uncertain? Not any more than it’s your fault when autumn becomes winter. Your responsibility, however, is that your clients are prepared for winter, and that it’s not a shock to them when it arrives. However, if your clients tend to refer you only when things are rosy, you have a serious vulnerability in the way that you have positioned yourself. Things do not have to be this way!

If advisors would take a page or two from a profession that has already gone through this brand of disharmony, the dentists in the preceding section being a great example, 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. 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.

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 professional 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 professional advisor, repeatedly and consistently as their lives and needs unfold.

Like the “dental health” 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 professional advisor for an occasional or sustained hit to a balanced portfolio would be akin to blaming a dentist for your impacted wisdom tooth. The end result is that the instant rapport and the Client Process are what the clients learn to value in their dealings 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 I hear from the clients of professional 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 referable. Scrutinize everything and create a referable experience so that you can nail down the small changes that makes for major improvement; the processes that sharpen the winning edge.

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2018-10-05 • 60 Sec

The law of familiarity is a powerful force that can have clients eventually take you for granted because they're not bought into the entire array of value you provide.

I've had a client recently who has not only done this for the 20 percent of his clients who generate 80 percent of his business, but also for strategic partners. He has many relationships with accountants and lawyers and bankers and other influencers and the problem is they've never really gone from intent to consent and introduced a consistent array of clients to this advisor and his model. Up until now he has primarily been taking them for lunch, had a conversation in which he admitted that he kind of “wandered generally around his value”. He talked about how he helped people and his successes and general things like that.

He's gone back, now, taking them for lunch and reintroduced himself, but instead of wandering generalities he’s used meaningful specifics with all roads leading to his process. He talks about how he's developed and refined a process that puts every piece of the puzzle together and rather than just wanting to refer and create recipe reciprocity with strategic partners, he wants to talk about making introductions and engaging strategic partners into the process so the clients can have a complete picture. And it’s worked. It can for you, too.

Check out The Two-Way Street consulting program which will help you build a network of professionals who will introduce you to quality potential clients and provide your best clients with access to their superior services: https://www.paretosystems.com/two-way-street.html

#businessdevelopment #practicemanagement #coaching

2018-10-04 • 5 minute video

In this episode of The Blue Square Method video Duncan discusses the concept of being a conscious company and how being client facing around your benevolence, charitable giving and philanthropy is one of the purest forms of collaboration you can have with your clients, your staff, and your strategic partners.

Want to learn more about Do Some Good and how they are impacting communities throughout Canada? Visit: dosomegood.ca

Check out the Infographic here: https://consciouscompanymedia.com/sustainable-business/infographic-business-case-conscious-companies

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2018-10-03 • 20 second read

Narrowcast instead of broadcast. Set a goal to become the specialist, not a generalist; the specialist for business owners. There are business owners within your client. These clients are going to have continuity and succession and family investment legacy issues – so engineer a process to become indispensable to these clients. From a pure organic target marketing perspective, simply start calling business owners in your town, especially family enterprises and smaller blue collar first generation businesses that are self-made. Don't call them up asking for business - ask them for advice. There's an old saying: "If you ask someone for money, you often get advice. If you ask someone for advice, you often get money."

Learn to focus your efforts, join Duncan at a Pareto Systems Mastermind event in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. or Kelowna, BC. Limited seats remain for dates this fall, visit our website to learn more: www.paretosystems.com/mastermind-total-client-engagement

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2018-10-02 • 5 minute read

Why do people refer a professional to their friends, family, or people in their inner circle? Usually when I am discussing this topic with Financial Advisors, invariably the answer the Advisors come up with is that “they want to help that person.”

I don’t deny that this is probably true, but our belief is that the motivation is more ‘selfish’ on the part of the person that is referring. Yes, they want to help their friend or family member etc., but ultimately they want to hear back from that person, and they want to hear validation about the recommendation in question. That is true whether or not it is a Financial Advisor they referred, or a good book, or even a terrific bottle of wine.

Just as giving to charity makes us feel good inside, having someone come back to us and say: “Thanks so much for introducing me to John, he is a true professional” or “That book you recommended was amazing, thanks,” go a long way to validating the choices we have made in our own lives. We want to share the special things we have discovered. Put simply, when we get the positive feedback at the end, it feels great. We are also doing a good deed in the process, so let’s call it ‘enlightened self-interest.’

I mention all this because when someone has just signed on with a new Advisor, the new client’s propensity to refer that same Advisor to someone else is at its highest right at the very beginning. That said, this last fact is entirely dependent on the Advisor’s process for how that client was brought on at the beginning.

Did the Advisor use an agenda when we had our first meeting? Or did he take notes on a legal pad? Was there a pre-appointment process that made me feel I was heading into something special before I even met with the Advisor? Or did he see me within two days of the initial contact, projecting absolutely no scarcity in the process? When the papers were signed, what happened then? Did the Advisor just move on the next conquest, or was there a New Client Welcome Process that continued to validate my decision to work with that advisor?

All these things in concert with one another create an experience that makes people want to share the experience with someone else, and right off the bat too. If the Advisor is consistent with all of those things, and the person that I refer has the exact same experience that I did, I know that person will come back to me, and they will say:

“Wow, it was just like you said. I wish I had done that five years ago.”

Of course that makes me feel special, and the feeling I get is that I want to do it all over again with another friend so I can get that same emotional payoff. Better yet, now I am even more assured of the Advisor’s consistency because of the feedback I received. As a result, I am even more confident about referring someone else!

Examine your process for taking on a new client. Is it memorable? Would you refer someone into your process? Would you be confident that you would get glowing feedback from the person you sent there? These questions and answers have huge implications as to the number of referrals you receive.

If you don’t have a pre-appointment process, start one. Make it good and stick to it; you know; just how the dentist does it. Send out a letter, an Introductory Kit perhaps, and then make a courtesy call the day before the appointment as a reminder.

If you are not using agendas, start! Decide on a nice Welcome Gift that is sent out when all the paperwork is signed, and then be consistent with it. Also, when selecting an appropriate welcome gift, don’t pick something that looks like you walked approximately 20 feet down to the company gift shop. Make it seem as if there was some effort, and that will reflect that you genuinely value your new relationship with that person.

From what I have seen in my experience, this type of attention is so rare in today’s business world, that if you decide to get serious about some of the things I am discussing (hopefully all of them), people will be referring you all over the place. When you exceed someone’s expectations, not only will they contrast it with their prior experiences, they will tell others. It is basic human nature, and we all do it. Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2018-10-01 • 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.”

If you’d like to increase your capacity by professionally developing your skills and refining your processes, join Duncan at a Pareto Systems Mastermind event in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. or Kelowna, BC. Limited seats remain for dates this fall, visit our website to learn more: www.paretosystems.com/mastermind-total-client-engagement

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