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Hi! This is Coach Joe Lukacs and welcome to this episode of The Magellan Network Show. In this episode, what I want to talk to you about is how advisor’s really mess up their marketing by trying too many different things and here’s what I mean.

Recently, I had an advisor come to me seeking whether or not we could work together. Part of my process is to have you schedule a 30-minute introductory call through my website no strings attached. If there’s something there that makes sense then we’ll do a deeper dive in the evaluation process.  

In this evaluation process, I always ask about what your stresses are and what’s frustrating you. To give you a little flavor here, this is a person who has been in business for 25 years and has a little over half a million dollars of revenue so by normal standards is successful.  

But they’re always chasing something. No matter how successful or how good a win is, it’s never enough. It’s like, “Yeah, but…”. Then you go to conferences or you go on the web and you hear or see other advisors doing other things and you go, ‘If I don’t do that, I’m going to miss out’. Then we have this fear of the scarcity piece.  

I think what a lot of advisors do is they really get themselves twisted because they see what everybody else does and they try to mirror or mimic that. At the end, they all end up collecting these “shiny marketing objects”.  

When you really think about it, the easiest thing to do in our business is to go ‘whip out’ your credit card, hand it over to somebody else and they will magically fix your problems because we now have some marketing problems.  

They’ll go, ‘ Here’s my Amex. Cure me’. Right? How many times in your career did you try that? Only to learn at the end that it didn’t cure anything. All it did was increase your balance.  

A lot of times, it’s not the fault of the creators. I mean, I create a lot of programs too. In my mind it’s a partnership. I create content, system, framework, but then I need the advisor to execute the framework.  

But what happens is, we get smart. You have to remember that when you buy a system, it is designed to work exactly as how it is built.  

So, when you start hacking it or messing with it, then why did you buy it? All bets are off on anything you purchase when you start changing it. It’s because it has been tested and vetted that way and not in the way that you would want to go do it.  

What we have to realize is basic. You get bored because everything is working. Let’s be very clear in our space.  

We are not trauma surgeons or firefighters. We are not first responders. We don’t run into burning buildings. What we do is basically boring.  

It’s meaningful work because it solves people’s problems and gives them a sense of certainty. That’s never going to diminish.  

It’s not supposed to be exciting unless, you get your thrills from thinking, ‘We can retire now’. When we get bored, we start ‘monkeying’ with stuff. We start playing with things that are working.  

An old saying in our space goes, “It works so well I stopped doing it”. There’s an example right there of what we do. Your business is supposed to be boring.  

Your marketing should be ‘rinse and repeat’. So, let’s get back to that piece for a second. Stop trying everything and dabbling with it all and executing it poorly.  

What I did was, I asked him to rate himself about his referrals, COI relationships, and a couple of hundred clients. One, being totally dysfunctional and 10 being he could teach me.   

So, what I got was a level three to four on the referral gathering, optimizer and on COI relations. Now he wanted to do this big online campaign, social media push, seminars, radio show; all these things would be about $50,000 worth.  

So, I said, ‘Let’s back up for a second’. What’s your endgame when you look at your marketing and your business model? Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind”.

The end in mind is how many new relationships per year. That’s what’s going to matter most. Most advisors would think of getting about 12 to 18 new clients. If you get 24, that’s fine!  

You don’t really get 30 to 50 unless you’re in a big team with lots of moving parts. A totally different animal. But if you’re a ‘solopreneur’ or on ensemble practice, you’re going to be somewhere between 12-24 to be safe.  

So, if I’ve already got a couple of hundred clients from the last 20 -25 years and I don’t do anything proactively then, I need to get some strategies in there.  

I’m not saying to beat people up or anything crazy like that. But if we strategize there, we’re going to get that seven or eight rating! What do you think that’ll do for your business?  

Well, that probably will get double the number of referrals. For optimization, let’s say you’ve got 200 clients. What percentage of those households are optimized?  

We have a balance sheet or financial plan, insurance, lending, we know where all the assets are, if they’re with us or not (but they better be with us); the whole gambit. So, you have a four rating so probably around 20 to 30%.  

For COIs, if you have 200 households, do you know everybody’s tax repairer or legal representative? Do you have that somewhere? Some ‘Yes’, some ‘No’.

Then we’ll spend $50,000 on a vanity project to get us on the air, which creates a mess. I’m unoptimized! For those with MBAs out there, what business case is that?!

This is what advisors will do which I see over and over; and this is shocking to me even after 25 years.  We don’t operate a sound business practice. I always say that I’m not the right coach for everybody because of the way I talk.  

So, here’s what I said to him, ‘Look. If you want to go blow that money to make yourself feel good because you’re on the radio, you’ve got a podcast now and all that; but at the end of all that, we still don’t know how to make our clients aware that we’re open for business and we’re here to help you or people you know, i.e. referrals?’

If you don’t have a process to get, at a minimum, a balance sheet if not a full blown financial plan; then we have an issue there. How many CPA/attorney/COIs does one really need to be hyper effective?

Less than a hand. The thing is, until you’ve met with all hundred, as an example, two-thirds of them aren’t going to be worth anything to us.  We’re not going to resonate. They’re going to be competitors. I get all that.

But let’s say it was one out of ten. So, for every 10 COIs, nine of them were a bust, but only one ‘drank your Kool-Aid’. One. And you have a hundred to visit with. 90% absolute failure rate, right?

This is what we all think is right. It’s because it’s easier to get seduced with a shiny object. It’s easier to go ahead and hand over your Amex card and try to solve your problems.  

You know what? They’ll work. But it works rarely. Here’s the last metaphor I’ll give you and we’ll wrap this up for today.  

If you’re racing and all you do is invest in your car, change this, add that, improve on this, tune this up, fork over that Amex card; but you suck as a driver. Are you going to be any more successful? Yes or No?  

Of course, the answer is ‘No’. Great car, crappy driver. Bad results. Average car, great driver – great results! That’s been proven over and over! You can drive to a win.  

So, here’s my thought for the day. Instead of forking over your Amex card to solve a challenge that you don’t think is in the mirror, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.  

It’s time to say, ‘You know what? I do suck at referrals. I got to get better at that’ or ‘You know what? I’ve got no clue on what I’ve got on my business books. I’ve been absent. I’ve let my responsibility lax’.  

You need to fix that. You’ve got a hundred other professionals that you can go visit with or at least reach out to just for your client base.  

You don’t need to buy some CPA list. I’ve got people telling me that they’ll be buying a CPA list and then ask me about what I think. I ask them how many clients they have and if they know who their CPAs are.

If they say ‘No’, then I say, ‘Why the hell are we buying a list?’. You don’t need to be a stranger. If you meet with them, you can have at least some commonality. A common client. Let’s think people! It’s not that complicated.  

Stop forking over your Amex card. Let’s go do the work, have an honest assessment of where you’re at with your business and stop screwing around. Okay?

Hope you enjoyed this. Have a great day and see you next episode.