5 Savvy Questions to Help Advisors Qualify CPA Partners
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5 Savvy Questions to Help Advisors Qualify CPA Partners

By Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols | @stephenboswell | @kevinanichols We’ve seen many financial advisors try and script their first meeting with a CPA with little to no success.  For starters, we’re dealing with people and it’s hard to predict what others will do or say. Not to mention, there are many directions the first meeting can take. You might be getting introduced over lunch, a cup of coffee, or grabbing their attention for a few minutes after a Rotary meeting.   Instead of attempting to script this meeting, we recommend having a handful of questions you can ask to get the conversation rolling, demonstrate your expertise and most importantly, gain telling insights into their practice. You'll want to ask questions to help you determine if this CPA may be a good potential partner. The following are 5 questions we recommend to help qualify potential CPA partners during an initial meeting.  However, don’t start your conversation with these questions – this may come across as too intrusive. Instead, your goal is to seamlessly weave them into the conversation. Question 1:  How would you describe an ideal client for your practice? Your goal is to work with professionals who have clients who match your ideal client profile.  If there is...

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How to Activate the Trust Factor within Your Team
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How to Activate the Trust Factor within Your Team

By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli Trust is the lubricant of all successful commerce and organizations that have it develop loyal employees. They rarely struggle with high-turnover, low productivity, or an unmotivated workforce.   As natural as night following day, internal trust within an organization breeds external trust outside the organization; clients, strategic partners, vendors, and overall reputation.  My guess is that none of this is much of a surprise to you. But the real question is why don’t more organizations, which include wealth management teams, make internal trust a top priority?  From our vantage point, the reason is that the neuroscience behind this highly valuable commodity is not universally understood. And because it’s so intangible, it’s easy to assume that you’ve built trust within your organization, your team, when there is still a level of distrust woven into the environment.  There seems to be an ongoing stream of research by neuroscientists that is continually shedding light on what has been referred to as the trust factor.  How would you like to have access to a drug, legal & safe, that reduces anxiety, makes you a nicer person, and enhances your ability to connect with other people? I know we would! But this “drug” isn’t necessary because we already...

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Tips for Prospecting at Seasonal Gatherings
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Tips for Prospecting at Seasonal Gatherings

By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli As I’m sure that you’re well aware, social gatherings during the holiday season are a natural environment for networking, mingling, and being seen. They present a unique opportunity for strategic prospecting - the opposite of “going through the motions.” However, there are a number of nuances that accompany the holiday season with regard to prospecting at social events. First and foremost, unlike a fundraiser or the prototypical networking event, social gatherings during the holidays are essentially about merrymaking – having fun. Alcohol flows freely, people tend to be loose and chatty, and they aren’t inclined to make major decisions. That said, a mini close delivered strategically for a later get-together is ideal. Mini-closing isn’t a request to review their investments; it’s simply a request for a professional meet and greet over coffee or lunch. So, consider the following tips to help you take full advantage of your prospecting opportunities at seasonal gatherings during this holiday season. Plan your holiday calendar You need to know the events your top clients are planning to host or attend. Simple questions like, “What do you have planned for the holidays?” go a long way. Then make certain you’re attending these functions if at all possible.  As...

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How Do the Affluent Search for a New Financial Advisor?
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How Do the Affluent Search for a New Financial Advisor?

By Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols | @stephenboswell | @kevinanicholsImagine for a moment that you’re an executive at a local company in town. You and your spouse have determined that you need a financial advisor. How do you begin your search?The answer to this question is pivotal in the world of financial advisor marketing. Why? Knowing how the initial search takes place provides insight into where to focus your marketing efforts.We decided to ask 403 investors with a minimum of $500K this very question in our latest research study. We then segmented respondents into three categories based on age.  The majority of investors in the 45+ category would ask their friends and family for recommendations. This should be no surprise. Word-of-mouth has been the primary search method for decades. It’s why at The Oechsli Institute we work with financial advisors to develop processes around generating more unsolicited referrals, personal introductions, referral alliances, and more. That said, it’s worth noting that in the under 45 category, more investors would start their search online than ask their friends and family for recommendations. Take that in for a moment. More of them, when faced with a need for a financial advisor, simply pull out their phone and run a...

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How Elite Advisors are Capitalizing on the Robo Movement
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How Elite Advisors are Capitalizing on the Robo Movement

By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli Back in the early 19th century as the Industrial Revolution unfolded in England, a group of workers who were opposed to all the technological change (fear of losing their jobs from the disruption) attacked factories and destroyed machinery as a means of protest. They were inspired by Ned Lud, hence the term luddite (a person who is opposed to technological change).  Let me assure you that I’m not insinuating that today’s financial advisors are luddites. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s been our experience that financial advisors have consistently been early adopters of new technology; computers, fax machines, laptops, Internet, email, and now digital marketing. However, there’s a difference between being an early adopter and fully capitalizing on the opportunities afforded by the speed and scope of this digital revolution. So how can financial advisors control their destiny in the face of the robo movement?  We suggest modeling what elite advisors are doing on two fronts. First, they’re embracing technology as a means of engaging their clients, referral alliance partners, and prospects. Second, they’re staying current on technologies that their clients may find valuable. Let’s explore these two concepts in more detail. 1. Developing Soft-Tech Skills  It seems as though I’m writing...

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9 Words You Should Never Say in Sales
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9 Words You Should Never Say in Sales

By Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols | @stephenboswell | @kevinanichols There are some words and phrases that, in selling to the affluent, should never be used. These verbiage mistakes can kill your positioning, make you seem pushy, or showcase a sales-first mentality.  Not only should these words be avoided in sales scenarios, they should be avoided in talks with clients, team members, and centers of influence as well. All of these perceptions matter.  Here they are...the words to avoid, an explanation of why they’ve made our list, and some things to say instead: “Prospect” Why: It dehumanizes your most important contacts. Plus, it makes it seem like they are your “targets,” not the next additions to your client family.  Instead: Try potential client, future client, or prospective client. “Objection” Why: To them, it’s not an objection. It’s their reason for not moving forward right now. When there are large sums of money in play, expect a longer sales cycle and bumps along the way.  Instead: Try using concern or question. “Discount”  Why: It cheapens not only your pricing, but your positioning. Saying things like “we can sharpen our pencils” portrays neediness when you could be portraying strength and confidence. Instead: When it comes to discussing fees, use words like fair, competitive, and transparent. “Customer”  Why: It...

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Are You Living a Success Mindset?
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Are You Living a Success Mindset?

By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli What would you think if I told you that the majority of financial advisors in your area, your alleged competitors, are not real competition at all?  It’s a bold proclamation, but it’s my position that most advisors don’t have the mindset needed to compete at a high level. They might have had this “success mindset” in the past, but have lost their edge somewhere along the way.  Do you have a good grasp of the mental attributes that have helped you succeed? We call these Accelerators. Maybe you were highly goal focused or you planned your days in advance. When acknowledged and harnessed, these traits and behaviors lead to future growth.  What about the mental attributes that have held you back? Perhaps you’re a perfectionist or make too many excuses. We call these Limiters. These traits should be recognized and mitigated in order to succeed at the highest levels.  As you can see from our research below, the majority of financial advisors are not on top of these two essentials:  I understand the mental attributes that help me succeed 20% I understand the mental attributes that hold me back 19% 2019 Oechsli Institute Financial Advisor Study (n=411) Essentially, 80% of your colleagues have yet to...

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Do the Affluent Download Whitepapers?
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Do the Affluent Download Whitepapers?

By Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols | @stephenboswell | @kevinanichols Many social media advertising campaigns follow a similar formula. I’ll give you something of value if you give me something. These ads dangle the proverbial “carrot” in exchange for contact information. Oftentimes this “carrot” comes in the form of a whitepaper, webinar, or other “lead magnet” that’s enticing enough to justify someone providing their email address.   Here’s a Facebook example we designed for a client in our Social Media Outsourcing Program…. The prospect clicks “download” and is then prompted to input their email address. So, what percentage of investors have taken part in this?  In a recent study, we asked investors with $500K or more in investable assets if they’ve ever given their email address in exchange for a lead magnet.  What we found is what you’d expect. Age plays a factor; 61% of those under 45 have participated, versus 20% of those over 65. When financial advisors want high response rates, they would be well-served to target younger investors. That said, a 40% rate for investors 45-65 is still substantial.  (*$500k investable assets, n = 403)  What does this mean? If you target this type of investor, this is a great strategy. A large percentage are willing to offer...

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