In today’s conversation, I’m thrilled to speak with Erica Pauly. As the founder of Track That Advisor, Erica has created a business that solves one of the biggest problems I’ve seen financial advisors face over my last 11 years in this business… Here’s how the conversation typically goes:
I hop on a coaching call and the first thing the advisor asks is, “How do I get more qualified appointments on my calendar?”
My response: “How are your current marketing funnels working? What’s your cost per appointment? What’s your closing ratio per funnel? What’s your ROI per funnel on every dollar spent?”
Unfortunately, the answer I get 99% of the time: “I have no idea. How would I track something like that?”
Enter Erica and Track That Advisor who specializes in just this, helping financial advisors track all the metrics that matter in their business. At this year’s Journey event, which is an event we host twice a year at Advisors Excel where our top offices open up their entire playbook and share all of the marketing, branding, and everything else that’s lead to their success, the theme I heard more than any other was, “Erica Pauly of Track That Advisor changed our business. She’s amazing, her team is amazing, and basically our business is in a whole different place thanks to her.”
When I heard that from one office generating over $60 million of new assets each year, followed by an identical statement from a second office generating over $100 million annually, I knew I had to get Erica on the show.
Today, we discuss how financial advisors at every level can use data to work smarter – not harder. We explore how smaller firms can intelligently scale and make their first hires, as well as how larger firms can track their numbers to make sure each and every advisor on the team is performing at their optimal level.
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- [07:50] Erica tells the story of Track That Advisor, how she was (in her words) raised by Advisors Excel – and how watching advisors struggle with marketing events that flopped, and then even worse, making knee jerk reactions without knowing their numbers, led to her creating a company to help with meaningful tracking and analytics for the financial industry.
- [13:30] Erica gives a 30,000 foot view of a financial services firms’ growth process and how to make the transition from salesperson to CEO – including the very different types of data she tracks at every level along the way.
- [20:23] Erica shares “Aha!” moments from offices she’s helped when it comes to their marketing and sales funnels – and the big changes that firms made once they had proper analytics in place.
- [30:29] Find out why your firm’s mindset needs to change as you scale – and hear a powerful story about how having A+ talent on staff can turn little things like nightmare client emails into non-issues and how it can pay big dividends down the road.
- [41:19] Common issues Erica sees with pay structures as firms grow – as you transition from a solo advisor to an office with multiple reps – and her recommendations to keep associates and staff members engaged, rewarded, and motivated based on performance and pay.
- [1:11:03] Why so many of your office staff dread when you come back from industry training events wanting to track data that’s all over the place – and how this, combined with listening to your emotions (instead of good data) can waste your team’s time and lead to bad decisions.
And one more added bonus. Since Erica works exclusively with Advisors Excel, if after giving this episode a listen, you are interested in Erica and Track That Advisor’s services… she’s done you all a special favor. Even though she’s currently only onboarding 2 advisors per month into her program – to maintain her high customer service standards, I talked her into reserving a few spots for Blueprint listeners that may be interested in taking the next step with Track That Advisor. You can apply at www.BradleyJohnson.com/trackthat if you’d like to see if you qualify!
- [10:09] The big reason so many financial advisors’ marketing systems need to be more closely connected in order to succeed.
- [11:00] The phenomenal traits that Erica says lead to major issues for many financial advisors across the board – and why tracking too much data becomes a trap for so many firms.
- [16:59] The typical ROI that Erica wants to see from a standard seminar.
- [22:14] How Erica used data to make one firm’s second appointment rate from radio ads skyrocket by changing their strategy.
- [22:58] Why we as financial advisors need to stop shrugging off client dropoffs – and the power of making small tweaks to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue each year.
- [25:32] Ways CEOs can show their advisors and salespeople that every lead and every appointment matters – and why knowing your numbers makes this so much easier.
- [27:17] Allocation models, strategies, and challenges many firms face as they scale – and how revenue streams change during this transition.
- [32:47] The role Erica recommends hiring for before any others, what to look for when making this hire, and what they need to do in order to succeed in this position (HINT: it may not be what you think!).
- [37:25] Why Erica works predominantly with sales people, staff, and team members more than she works directly with advisors.
- [38:12] The core tools and best practices Erica swears by for financial services firms – and why she never imposes her own system upon a firm that has something that’s already working.
- [40:43] The key metric that every marketing person needs to maintain in order to ensure their firm’s success.
- [46:31] Ways your firm can screen leads to ensure that they’re prequalified and likely to move on to a second appointment.
- [46:51] Erica breaks down what some of her highest-performing large offices with many associate advisors look like – and why your system becomes a strict numbers game at such a high level.
- [51:12] How Erica used data to reveal to one firm that one of their associates, who appeared to be high performing, wasn’t actually bringing in any new business while spending tons of money – and devised a win/win solution for everyone involved.
- [52:33] Erica and I look at some of the biggest offices I coach – and the fears many CEOs have about hiring, retaining, and keeping associates busy.
- [54:04] Key takeaways from Erica’s top-level, top-performing offices – and how a disconnect between stories helped one office make the right hiring decision.
- [57:11] Why ROIs went down across the board last year – and why growing a financial firm is kind of like franchising McDonald’s.
- [01:01:12] Why training and tracking new advisors is so crucial to successfully scaling.
- [1:07:12] What Erica tracks and reviews at firms she works with to make sure that teams are following the founder’s process.
- [1:14:45] What Erica would tell her 20-year-old self – and why it’s okay that nothing ever goes according to plan.
- [1:15:20] The reason Erica’s dad is the first person she thinks of when she hears the word success.
- [1:17:52] The reason Erica thinks the Apple Watch is ridiculous – and looking at a text on your watch is just as rude as pulling out your phone in the middle of a meeting.
- [1:17:01] Why Erica recommends that no advisor make decisions with their gut.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Track That Advisor
- The World Series of Sales
- Advisors Command
- Redtail CRM
- The Founder (Movie)
REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show, on to this week’s featured reviews! Before we get to them, I just have to say that you all continue to blow me away with your kind words and feedback, I really appreciate the couple of minutes you all have taken to share your thoughts as the reviews help our show get found and rank on iTunes. Also special thanks to those of you who took the time to leave a review since our last show as we are currently sitting 1 review away from 125, so who’s going to be the one to get us there???
This week’s first featured review comes to us from user Thrive55 who says:
Thanks for the review Thrive55! My goal is to not just bring people in finance to the show, but those who can bring outside concepts and ideas that can be applied to financial services as well. I’ve gotten amazing feedback from the episodes with Michael Hyatt, Tucker Max, Cameron Herold, John Ruhlin, Joey Coleman, Hal Elrod, Pete Vargas, Chris Smith, who are all outside of our industry. It’s been fun seeing advisors take their ideas and concepts and apply them to the financial planning world. So if you’ve missed any of those episodes, go back and check them out! Thanks for listening.
The next review comes to us from Rob who might be the most highly credentialed reviewer yet as he’s also a CLU, ChFC, RICP, he says:
Rob, thanks for the kind words and the review! Love that someone with your knowledge base and experience in our industry is listening in! Also, one of the best compliments anyone who coaches others could ever receive is that they are good at “simplifying the complex.” So thank you. I’ll do my best to keep our show on your “must listen” list!
Next up is user ajstoller who says:
Thanks for the epic review ajstoller, these type of reviews really keep me doing the work to put this show out! I need to come up with some kind of an award for those of you out there who have listened to every episode, so if you think of something aj, hit me up out on Twitter and let me know what you are thinking… In the meantime, glad the show is serving you and if I’m going to have someone complain about the show, I’ll take yours about wanting more episodes! Coaching advisors does happen to be my full time job, so as it stands today, that’s why you get an episode every other week, and for those of you out there who are loving the show and want to apply to see if 1 on 1 coaching with me makes sense, you can do that at www.bradleyjohnson.com/apply
And the last featured review for the week comes to us from user jbisulca who says:
Thanks jbisulca, I appreciate the review! When I started up the podcast, I wanted to not only interview interesting people I thought could bring value to all of you, but also do my best to share some of the tools they may have to offer to help you take the next step to actually implement what they had to share. It seems to be working as you all continue to bombard the website with downloads for all of the tools, so we’ll keep making them available!
Take the 1st Step to Building Your Ideal Practice: Apply for “Virtual Discovery Session“
For those of you that have interest in diving deeper or figuring out how you may be able to have our team help you implement many of the ideas shared on the show, my day job happens to be consulting financial advisors from all over the US on how to grow their business and design a practice that serves them, versus them serving it. Yes it’s possible to grow your business and work less, this is a model we’ve replicated over and over in markets all over the country… So, if you’d like to apply to see if it makes sense for us to have a 1-on-1 conversation on how to overcome what may be getting in your way, you can do that at bradleyjohnson.com/apply. It takes about 5 minutes to fill out the application so we can understand what your business looks like, what challenges you may be facing and how myself and my team may be able to help. We then dive into a Discovery session where we ask a lot of questions based on your survey. We do a lot of listening, and take a lot of notes to build a rough draft of our proprietary Elite Advisor Blueprint – 90 Day Plan™. Taking the first step is as simple as applying at bradleyjohnson.com/apply 🙂
Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!
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TRANSCRIPTSClick here to Read the Transcript
Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to Investment News, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications.
[00:00:25] Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
In today’s conversation, I’m thrilled to speak with Erica Pauly. As the founder of Track That Advisor, Erica has created a business that solves one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in financial advisor space over my last 11 years in this business. Here’s how that conversation typically goes. I hop on a coaching call and the first thing the advisor asks is, “How do I get more qualified appointments on my calendar?” My response to questions like, “How are your current marketing funnels doing? What’s your cost per appointment? What’s your closing ratio per funnel? What’s your ROI per funnel on every dollar spent?” unfortunately, the answer I get 99% of the time, “I have no idea. How would I go about tracking something like that?”
Enter Erica and Track That Advisor who specializes in just this, helping financial advisors track all the metrics that matter in their business. At this year’s journey event which is an event we host twice a year at Advisors Excel where our top offices open up their entire playbook and share all of the marketing, branding, everything else that’s led to their success, the theme I heard more than any other was this, “Erica Pauly of Track That Advisor changed our business. She’s amazing. Her team’s amazing and basically our business is in a whole different place thanks to her.” When I heard that from one office generating over 60 million of new assets each year followed by an identical statement from a second office generating over 100 million annually, I knew I had to get Erica on the show.
Today, we discuss how financial advisors at every level can use data to work smarter, not harder. We explore how smaller firms can intelligently scale and make their first hires as well as how larger firms can track their numbers to make sure each and every advisor on the team is performing at their optimal level.
[00:02:21] Brad: Here are just a few highlights of what we get into. First, Erica tells the story of Track That Advisor, how she was in her words raised by Advisors Excel and how watching advisors struggle with marketing events that flopped and then, even worse, making knee-jerk reactions without knowing their numbers led to her creating a company to help with meaningful tracking and analytics for the financial industry. Next, Erica gives a 30,000-foot view of a financial services firm’s growth process and how to make the transition from salesperson all the way to CEO including the very different types of data she tracks at every level along the way. From there, Erica shares aha moments from offices she’s helped when it comes to their marketing and sales funnels and the big changes that firms made once they have proper analytics in place. Erica then reveals why your firm’s mindset needs to change as you scale and tells a powerful story about how having A+ talent on staff can turn little things like nightmare client emails into non-issues and how it can pay big dividends down the road.
We then dig into common issues Erica sees with pay structures as firms grow and as you transition from solo advisor to an office with multiple reps and her recommendations to keep associates and staff members engaged, rewarded, and motivated based on performance and pay. Finally, Erica and I explore why so many of your office staff dread when you come back from industry training events wanting to track data that’s all over the place and how this combined with listening to your emotions instead of good data can waste your team’s time and lead to bad decisions.
Okay. Before we get to the show, Erica has prepared a special download for you, Blueprint listeners, and I might add this is the first time she’s ever released this information publicly so you’re going to want to go check it out. She’s sharing her white paper, The Five Metrics Financial Advisors Should Actually Be Tracking to Maximize Revenue, and this is going to show you exactly how to stop wasting your team’s time and instead start tracking the data that actually matters. You can get your download for free at BradleyJohnson.com/49.
[00:04:27] Brad: As always, show notes that include links to all the resources, books mentioned, and people discussed are available there as well. And one more added bonus since Erica works exclusively with Advisors Excel, if after giving this episode a listen, you’re interested in Erica and Track That Advisor services, she’s done myself and you all a special favor. Even though she’s currently only onboarding two advisors per month into her program, she has super high standards when it comes to customer service, I talked her into reserving a few spots for Blueprint listeners that may be interested in taking the next step with Track That Advisor. You can apply at BradleyJohnson.com/TrackThat if you’d like to see if you qualify. So, that’s it. As always, thanks for listening. And without further delay, my conversation with Erica Pauly.
[00:05:19] Brad: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. I’m super excited. I have a special guest here, Erica Pauly, of Track That Advisor. Welcome to the show, Erica.
[00:05:29] Erica: Good morning. Thanks for having me.
[00:05:31] Brad: Well, it’s long overdue. I have to say first off, thanks because working with financial advisors for the last 11 years you finally created a business that like solves all of my problems that made my life so much more complete and the issue is, yeah, so for the last 11 years I’ve been dealing with phone calls like this where the advisor calls us up, of course as you know, basically their number one concern is, “How do I get qualified appointments on my calendar?” And here’s where I go to, “Well, how’s it working now? What are your marketing funnels? And for every seminar you did or the radio show you do or the TV show or those referral events, let’s dig in. Let’s dive in and look at the numbers. So, for every $1 spent on that seminar, what’s the ROI there? How many dollars are coming back in for revenue?” And the answer unfortunately that I often get is, “I have no idea.”
[00:06:30] Erica: Deer in headlights. Yeah.
[00:06:32] Brad: Yeah. Have you seen that look a couple of times?
[00:06:34] Erica: Yes, and it’s heartbreaking.
[00:06:36] Brad: Yes. And so, I’m so thankful in really how our paths crossed. You will dive into this a little bit later but on your website you say basically you were raised by Advisors Excel which I love but we do different training events throughout the year and in our last journey which is six of our top offices getting up on stage and basically sharing, “Hey, here’s something core to my business that’s working really, really well,” but I think you other advisors can really benefit from the name that I think was said most from our journey stages was, “Erica. We work with Erica Pauly of Track That Advisor. She’s amazing. Her team is amazing. Basically, our business is in a whole different place thanks to her.” So, when I hear that from offices like one of our offices doing 60 million of new assets per year down on Florida from another one of our offices out in San Diego that I think they’re north of 100 million a year now. I want to dive in. I want to get you in here and share. So, can you explain to the audience what is Track That Advisor, what do you guys do, how are you helping advisors out there?
[00:07:34] Erica: Right. Well, first of all, thank you for having me on today and it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m humbled that our clients find what we do so worth it because I’m very passionate about what we do. I take it very personally. So, yeah, a little bit about Track That Advisor. I was raised by Advisors Excel. I started in the industry about a decade ago. So, in 2009 I was introduced to this world and was a marketing director for a producer who is with Advisors Excel at the time and so it was just, I mean, you guys were just kind of getting off your feet and getting growing and I went to the journey. I went to The World Series of Sales and I saw what they were telling these advisors to track and in my role as a marketing person, I was kind of more just this robot who was getting mailers sent out and making sure I was reading through stuff and making sure the website was up-to-date.
And after a few years, they got to a point where our producers would come back from a seminar or come back from something that was a flop and they wanted to take everything a completely different direction and I couldn’t tell them if that was a good idea or not and I felt like I personally was failing in my job and they never made me feel that way but it was just really hard to not have any sort of proof to tell them if things were a good idea or if they weren’t. And so, that’s when my passion really started for it. I since moved. My husband and I kind of we had a kid and life happened and Track That Advisor was born because I knew it was a need in the industry and I knew that tracking and analytics is so important. And so, what we do now is we work with advisors all over the nation and it’s looking simply at data.
[00:09:31] Erica: It’s looking at the analytics, it’s looking at trends and it’s not just telling them, “Hey, here’s your closing percentage or how much production you did.” It is so far beyond that and it’s me being able to come to them and say, “This is the story of what happened. This is what your leads are doing. The people that come to seminars are reacting completely different than radio people in your sales process and this is how you have to treat them differently,” and advisors a lot of times they don’t think through those things because they’re in the daily grind and they’re just doing the first appointment or a second appointment or the closing appointment. And so, for Track That Advisor to come in and be able to say, “This is what’s going on. This is where this associate advisor is really, really good. They are great with radio leads. This one is not so much great with radio leads.” And so, to be able to bring that sort of data, that sort of information, and that sort of story to an advisor has just proven very cool for me to watch and watch them make decisions from that knowing it’s good real data.
[00:10:38] Brad: Yeah. And you guys what I heard you say though that’s really cool is it’s not just, “Hey, here’s a new spreadsheet to add to your stack of other spreadsheets that you have in your business,” but it’s, “Here’s how to make sense of all that. Here’s the story that actually can drive business decisions behind all those numbers.”
[00:10:54] Erica: Right. And one of the biggest issues, there’s usually two overarching issues that I see across the board. One of them is a phenomenal trait that most of producers have is their drive to succeed and their drive to be excellent and their drive to be better always and it’s a phenomenal trait that I see but it gets them in trouble and they are constantly seeing data or their team is showing them the spreadsheets and it’s showing something. And because they want to get better, they make poor decisions on data that may not be right. It might be data that isn’t necessarily appropriate for them to be tracking at a size of an office they are and because they have this drive to do so well, they’re having their team track 72,000 different things and they’re not doing anything with it. It’s overwhelming to them. And so, yeah, I mean that’s where we come in and say, “Great. Well, you can have 72,000 data points but let me tell you a simple story that’s happening between all of these different points and how they are intersecting.”
[00:12:01] Brad: Okay. So, let’s dive in there. Because as we were talking before we went live here, in financial services, the beauty of financial services is it really gives you so much freedom as an entrepreneur to build whatever business you want. So, if you want to be a solo financial advisor with a small team, great, you can do that. If you want to build a massive organization where you’re the CEO and you’ve got 15 advisors on the team, great, you can do that as well. So, can you share just high-level, Erica, as far as, okay, here’s more of what I would call like we see this transition inside of Advisors Excel where to be quite honest a lot of people when we meet them for the first time they’re a salesperson? So, I’m a salesperson and that’s a lot of running on the treadmill. I like that, the activity that I don’t have time to actually slow down and track my numbers. And then we see a lot of them transition to a true financial advisor where it’s more building a plan for clients and then from there we see many of them going back to wanting to strive for excellence and continue to grow. Advisors Excel, as you know, you’ve been inside of the organization for the last decade. We attract a very growth-minded individual and we’d like to call it an optimistic overachiever, right?
[00:13:12] Erica: Yes.
[00:13:12] Brad: And so, many of them have now crushed it as an advisor so now they moved to a CEO so how do I now lead the team? And now I have multiple advisors, as you referenced, that I’m tracking their numbers. So, could you give us kind of a 30,000-foot view of, “Okay, I’m a salesperson. Here are the key metrics that I’ve seen where we track those to get us to the next level. Okay. Now, I’ve moved into really a financial advisor where I’ve got assets under management, annuities, life insurance, and what do we track there? Maybe a smaller team.” So, like solo team, smaller team, and CEO, I now have a large organization because I know you’ve worked with all three of those kinds of offices.
[00:13:52] Erica: Yeah. And that’s a great point for us to discuss because it looks very different on every type of office. So, the first type as a salesperson, when we work with those offices, they are, they’re in a whirlwind, they are in the thick of it, they are doing everything, and they are running on that treadmill and it’s exhausting. So, where we come from with that is obviously number one thing, tracking your business, just what’s coming in the door and where it’s coming from. That is the first thing you have to get under your belt of is it coming from the seminar? Is it coming from those radio spots that you guys just tried out for six months? Because that stage is it’s really scary to spend that kind of money when it’s such a small team and so it’s just scary. There’s a lot more fear there because we have to have those ROIs up. It’s very detrimental to the owner themselves if it’s not. And so, where I say new business is the biggest thing and where it’s actually coming from so that we can look at ROI. ROI is always important, right?
[00:14:57] Brad: Yes. Show a simplistic level, let’s just, for example, and if you have examples feel free just to jump in here but let’s say they have one primary marketing funnel which is a lot of smaller offices so let’s say they do a seminar a month and then let’s say, of course, like every office they get some referrals along the way and they get some additional business from existing clients. So, what would that tool look like? If you hopped in and you parachute into the office to basically save them, what does that look like? Like what tool are you providing there?
[00:15:31] Erica: So, when we come into the smaller offices that have just basically the one funnel, I’m going to come in and I’m going to say, “Okay. This is your bread and butter. We need to make sure that that is always going to stay at least at this point at the size of your business. That that is a process that has been completely ironed out, so we know that it works,” because again they’re going to want to go to the next level and they’re just not there yet. So, we’re looking through, okay, you’re doing these in these seminars. Again, how many people are showing up and doing all that? But with your sales process, where are they closing? Where are they falling off? If they’ve only got seminars that’s much easier for us to really see what’s going on and diving down to is there a problem with the number of people that are actually showing up in the seminar or is there now a problem with you closing at that second or third appointment. That’s a lot of money that we’re talking about that’s getting lost in either the front-end or the backend and when we’re looking at just the one marketing source, that matters greatly, and it will dramatically affect the ROI at the end of the day. So, for us particularly when it’s one father-son or whatever it is, a smaller office, for us to just determine, “Okay, what’s happening in the sales process? Where are those red flags?” is generally the first step for us.
[00:16:52] Brad: What are typical ROIs you see? Because you’re working with a lot of different offices and a lot of different markets across the country, what are ROIs you see just on a standard seminar?
[00:17:03] Erica: Standard seminar we want you to be a 3:1. So, we want you to be making $3 on a $1. I would say that’s standard and ironically, last year was a rough year for everybody. And so, as a trend I saw it lower but for the most part and I’m talking just a regular seminar, not a White Glove seminar, not any of the fancy stuff that everyone is experimenting with, just a regular mailer, it goes for two nights, it’s generally about a 3:1. I’ve seen offices go upwards of 7:1 and I see offices at 2:1. And you did a webinar actually I think it’s beginning of the year about ROIs and if people are at a 2:1 they freak out and that’s where I come in and say, “You’re still doubling. You’re profitable. You are fine,” but it’s that drive to do better and it’s that drive to be excellent and so they want to be that 3:1 that we do see. We do see twos but, yeah, I would say general rule of thumb for seminars is a 3:1.
[00:18:01] Brad: So, yeah, you bring up a point, that episode math versus emotions because going back you can’t do the math if you don’t track the numbers which is why like you’re my savior. Thank you for creating your company. Because a lot, otherwise, where do marketing decisions fall to? The emotions. Like, “Oh, that last seminar, nobody was in there. I’m not good anymore,” seminars. Well, how do the math look, right? And so, what I love about what your team does is you’re now taking the emotions out of it and the analogy I made on that episode is just picture like a slot machine. You put $100 in a slot machine, you pull the handle and it pays out $200. Are you going to be walking away from that slot machine anytime soon? Probably not unless the slot machine right next to it you put in $100 and it pays out $400. Okay. Well, I’ll probably go put my money in that one now. So, I love that you’ve helped advisors figure out the analytics to make smart business decisions. Question, and I don’t want to go too far down the seminar track here because I want to continue down the path of different size offices, but I have to pull this out because oftentimes what I’ve seen and we all have egos in this business, it’s okay, but oftentimes I’ve seen an advisor say seminars don’t work and then a guy named Joel out of Hartford, Joel, hey, if you’re listening in.
[00:19:19] Erica: Love Joel.
[00:19:20] Brad: I’ll never forget he said this and I just lost it in the back room. He’s like, “It’s not that seminars don’t work. You don’t work.” And that’s really blunt and that’s like I’m glad he said it and not me but what’s interesting is once you go back and what you’re talking about is you’re starting at the top of the funnel, how many people actually showed up off the mailer in the room? Did you fill the room? And then from there, how many set appointments? And then of those appointments, how many actually showed up for the first appointment? And then from there, how many showed up and then became clients? And once you dive into the numbers like that, what I love for my offices that have those numbers, we can actually address the problem.
[00:20:00] Erica: Right.
[00:20:00] Brad: Right? And so, “Hey, only half the room were full.” Well, that’s a mailer issue. “Hey, only 70% showed up that actually booked appointments.” Well, that’s, maybe they’re just being nice and saying they want to book an appointment but really, they have no intention so maybe that’s a presentation problem. So, do you mind sharing some aha moments maybe from some of these offices that you’ve helped where once you plugged in the seminar funnel and once they could address the ratios like what were some like big changes you saw people make based off of analytics and the numbers that you were doing?
[00:20:32] Erica: Yeah. That’s my favorite part of what I do. So, when we have these reviews, I sit down with our clients twice a year and say, “Okay. This is what happened the last six months, or this is what happened over the year as a whole.” And every review I do there’s an aha moment. So, one of them a couple of years ago we were sitting down, we did the review, and we were noticing that everything, their seminar leads, their client referral leads, everything was doing very well in sales process except for radio. And radio would set, they would keep, had a great ratio there. They would not set a second appointment. They were falling off pretty, I mean, at a high, high rate and so I said, “Okay. Talk to me about that. What’s going on there?” and they said, “We have no idea. We treat it just like every other first appointment,” and a red flag goes up. And I think a client referral lead knows you by association and a seminar lead has sat in a room with you for an hour-and-a-half and they know your demeanor and they know your personality and they feel comfortable with you and that trust has already been built.
These radio people maybe they’ve heard you for a year, but they’ve never met you. They don’t really know who you are, and they may have these assumptions before they come in and if you’re treating it like a regular first appointment, there’s no relationship there at all. And so, we talked through it and they had decided, “Okay. We’ll make first appointments for radio people an hour-and-a-half and we’re going to do a mini-seminar. We’re basically going to bring them in. We’re going to talk with them. We’re going to establish that relationship that is missing,” and six months later they’re kept first to two set second percentage skyrocketed for radio people in particular. And so, those types of things and it happens every review. I mean there are just things we see that when you break it out like that, it’s blaring but you don’t notice it and they don’t notice it when again they’re in the grind every day and saying, “Ha, we lost another one. I guess they don’t want to schedule,” but when we look at the story, it’s much easier to identify that I guess.
[00:22:45] Brad: So cool. And there’s this thing we do in financial services that we’ve got to break this habit and you’re helping to break it. It’s shrugging off like, “Well, I guess we lost another one,” where when you actually do the math, you think about the marketing dollars spent to create that first appointment, that’s a lot of money. And when you just shrug off, “Well, I guess they’re not going to the second again and again and again,” the small little tweaks that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional revenue when fixed and when tracked and when done properly. So, my guess, that one business metric right there you probably tracked. Any idea what additional revenue just fixing that one thing potentially drove to that firm?
[00:23:29] Erica: I mean, you can speculate on it of would they have gone to a second or not? But radio became their number one producing source which it was. I mean, they were thinking of scrapping it before. So, massive difference and to this day they still do that process and that was years ago so yeah.
[00:23:48] Brad: I’m guessing you get high fives maybe thank you cards, maybe Christmas gift boxes from them.
[00:23:52] Erica: Yeah. People appreciate it. They do and it’s great to be appreciated. It’s nice and one thing just to speak to something you have just said was the idea of the cost per lead of shrugging their shoulders and it goes both ways. So, a lot of times when we do these reviews I tell the owners. I say, “Go back,” particularly the CEO owners who have grown their company and I say, “Go show your associate advisors what it is costing you for them to sit down in that first appointment because that is money out of your pocket.” And it’s fascinating when they’ll see the cost of a first kept appointment and sometimes associate advisors not picking on them but sometimes it’s not their money and so they’ll say, “Oh, I can’t get to their money. They’re not a qualified lead,” or whatever it is and for me to say, “Hey, well that’s $1,500 to $2,000 that you just sat down with and didn’t take a lot of time.” I’m pretty sure the owner of the company would’ve figured out a way or try their hardest to keep that lead. And so, again, speaking to those CEO type businesses is very important to know those types of stats so people can’t shrug it off when it’s not their company.
[00:25:09] Brad: Yeah. That’s such a good point. Yeah. Every founder of the company struggles with how do I get my teen to care as much as I do? Well, one way you can do that is actually show them this is the marketing dollars. And what’s cool like the other side of that coin, not just what I spent, what I as a founder invested in your success, right?
[00:25:31] Erica: Right.
[00:25:31] Brad: I spent $1,500 to get you a great opportunity to help someone today. Please take it seriously but once again you don’t know that if you don’t know your numbers, right?
[00:25:40] Erica: Right. Correct.
[00:25:42] Brad: Okay. So, let’s circle back. Sorry. I’m taking you off track here. We’re going to try to pull it back here. All right. So, you hit on a salesperson. So, let’s now transition to, okay, more of an advisor building a financial plan, maybe a team of let’s say a team of two or three, kind of a director of first impressions, obviously, a client service person and maybe they’ve got somebody in a marketing role kind of as well here. So, maybe staff of three or four. The numbers you track, how do those change? Maybe the people in charge of tracking them, what does that look like?
[00:26:17] Erica: So, yeah, the offices once you move from just a salesperson running a treadmill then you’re becoming an advisor. So, now we’re talking actually the full plan so this is when we bring in AUM. It’s when we’re writing more life. This is when the sales process, the actual coming up with the plans matters greatly and so there’s a couple of things here. One, the allocation. So, you have to decide as a firm what direction you’re going to go and that’s something that we encourage people to kind of decide, are we doing 50-50 splits? Do you have a plan in place? It’s obviously what’s best for the client but as you know, a lot of companies kind of have a split that they like to stick with.
[00:27:02] Brad: Yeah. So, let’s unpack that a bit because some of those listening in might not be familiar with what we’re talking about. So, one of the thing core to Advisors Excel is what we really believed in as far as a portfolio or allocation model especially because most of our clients are dealing with retirees, higher net worth that they have 500,000, a million, 2 million, 5 million they’ve saved now. It’s how do I put that nest egg to work basically to make sure I am good for the rest of retirement? So, really what Erica is referencing here is most of our offices are going to have a portfolio that obviously they’re managing assets so fee-based, they’re in RIA or an IAR, Series 65. Then they’re going to have an annuity portion specific to producing income so how do we create a pension-like income for retirees to get them to and through retirement? And then as you referenced, a portion of protection built in there, life insurance, and all that working cohesively together. So, going back to the split you referenced, you’re saying, “Hey, 50% is going into some income-producing asset like an annuity, 50% is going into fee-based like AUM.” I’m on track there?
[00:28:10] Erica: Right.
[00:28:11] Brad: Okay. So, yeah, let’s keep rolling there.
[00:28:13] Erica: Yeah. So, and thanks for backing me up for a second. So, what happens when you move into that position, yes, you bring on staff so there’s not a cost there as our overall cost go up as a company, but what also happens is when we got this AUM split, revenue changes. So, what is coming into your company it changes from you just doing annuities and you’re doing kind of that higher commissions on there. It’s just you. You’re taking home a lot of that money. Now, we’ve got a staff. Now, we’ve got AUM pays out very differently and so that’s one thing that we do focus on when people are trying to make that transition into more of a full-service firm because profitability is going to look very different and they have to know that and that’s okay. It’s not bad.
It’s them becoming more of a whole advisor which is great and that’s what we want them to be doing. That’s where we actually start looking more at the bank and really saying, “Okay. You’re going to feel this.” The cash flow you’re going to feel a difference here and that’s fine but let’s just make sure that we’re focusing on that because if you move into that advisor or whole advisor role from a salesperson, your sales process should be pretty good. I mean it’s going to change a little bit, but you’ve ironed out your sales process particularly from that one source you were doing and so hopefully if we don’t come in too late to help people, the sales process has ironed out then now we’re looking at, okay, it’s going to shift this year and let’s really actually look at what’s coming in, what’s going out. ROIs are going to look a little different and that’s okay. So, that’s probably the biggest change we see when they start bringing on the staff and when they start writing different types of business.
[00:30:00] Brad: Hey, blueprint listeners, I have a special opportunity for you this week. I would not interrupt the middle of an interview otherwise. We just hosted an event at AE Headquarters that is the first of its kind. It’s focused on how you as a financial advisor can make the leap from traditional old-school marketing to the new digital frontier. Long story short, we had a number of applications that came in after our main event had filled up, so we decided to pull the trigger and open up one additional date in July for those who missed out. Those dates are July 15th through 17th and we’ll be adding a very special guest for this one as well. Here’s who speaking and what will be covered. First, we’ll have Brad Parscale, the actual Facebook marketing expert as featured on 60 Minutes who helped run Trump’s Facebook marketing campaign during the last election. I might add this isn’t a political conversation where he’ll be discussing right or left but rather a deep dive into the tactical overview of the strategies that drove results using social media.
Next, we’ll have the digital marketing firm that is consistently filling our clients’ events with 40 plus prospects per evening. Incredibly, they’ve only missed on that number four times over the last 400 campaigns that have run over the last three years. All attendees are being invited directly from Facebook ads with an online registration process to an educational event with no dinner being served. They’ll show you exactly how they’re doing it including something called a look-alike audience which is a tool you can utilize on Facebook to clone your top clients. More on that at the event. Then of course once you get a qualified attendee to actually show up, it becomes about the automated follow-up process you have in place to actually get them to your office. We’ll have an Infusionsoft expert in to share exact campaigns working today in financial services. If you aren’t familiar with Infusionsoft, you should be as it’s changing the game for our clients. Then we’ll have two of our top performing offices which gathered 233 million and 97 million organically in 2017 sharing their real-world marketing ROIs, how they consistently keep their calendar full, and the key to scaling your firm so you’re no longer a salesperson but rather a CEO.
[00:32:09] Brad: Lastly, we’ll have special guest nine-time New York Times bestseller himself, David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, author of Smart Couples Finish Rich, Smart Women Finish Rich. He’ll be joining us in walking through the framework to make sure your practice has a trainable process which makes you scalable and, in the end, salable. Who doesn’t want that, right? If you’d like to see if you qualify to attend, take five minutes to fill out a short application online. It’s at BradleyJohnson.com/TheCatalyst. For those that qualify, we’ll fully cover your cost to attend including flight, hotel, and attendance to the event. So, if you’d like to make sure your practice is ahead of the curve as the world transitions from newspapers and direct mail to digital and Facebook, go fill out the application to save your spot.
[00:33:03] Brad: Okay. So, a couple of things. Don’t let me forget, we’re going to make sure we bust out a McDonald’s reference before this is all done so I’m going to come back to that. So, remind me if I forget.
[00:33:14] Erica: McDonald’s. You got it. Okay.
[00:33:16] Brad: Yes. So, I think something that you hit on that’s key that I see often offices struggle with is as they start to scale and hire so, as you mentioned, cash flow gets different because when it’s just them or maybe like a father-son or husband-and-wife, we have a lot of husband-and-wife teams, hey, everything that comes and goes into the bank account and moving on. So, one of the things I see is as you hire, it’s a mindset thing for offices and rather than looking as an expense, the offices that I’ve really seen I was actually just talking with one of our offices on the East Coast today. They just hired a service advisor superstar, rock star. He was out in New York. He was working with a firm that oversaw billion dollars of assets. He himself was personally servicing a 300-million-dollar book.
[00:34:12] Erica: Holy cow. Okay.
[00:34:13] Brad: Yes. And so, he just joined a team. He wasn’t cheap but here’s the mindset I want to get here because this plays into exactly what you’re talking about from a number standpoint. So, Derek, the guy I was talking to said, “It was amazing,” as there was this email in his inbox. He’s like, “Oh gosh, I got to get to that. It was from a client and it was like a complicated question.” This service advisor literally had the thing knocked out, answered, buttoned up before he even got out of his appointment and he was like, “That was the best feeling in the world.” Like, that would’ve been the email I was dreading answering until the end of the day that was going to take me another 45 minutes to do the research and knock that thing out. So, I think one thing to go injunction with your cash flow conversation is a realization that when you’re hiring hopefully A+ talent because that’s what it takes, it’s an investment into your business that’s going to pay dividends down the road. And I’ve also heard the saying, an A player is always free. Because now what happens, I mean, and you’ve seen this firsthand so if you’ve got stories here, I would love to bring them out of you. Where have you seen where people like made the hire and they’re like, “Oh gosh, I’m not sure I can afford it,” and then a year later like, “Oh my gosh, this investment that I made in my business from a staffing standpoint, no-brainer. I can’t believe I didn’t pull the trigger like five years ago on this.” Do you have some stories like that?
[00:35:33] Erica: Absolutely. So, I mean and particularly in the stage that we’re talking about of becoming that whole advisor. So, again, it’s a fearful thing and the biggest recommendation I guess that I could make for a first hire would be a marketing person. They don’t have to be a marketing person in the sense of all these great ideas. They get those from Advisors Excel. We don’t need any more shiny ideas.
[00:36:00] Brad: We don’t have a shortage of those.
[00:36:01] Erica: We don’t. We don’t need anymore because the advisors are very creative and they have great ideas and so they need an implementer which would be the marketing person and sometimes they’ll think of marketing as coming up with new ideas and that’s not necessarily the role in our industry for a marketing person. The marketing person should be an implementer, so they can run with those ideas because the advisor gets distracted. They also are good at selling. They need to stay in the selling role and not in the implementation of marketing ideas and in one office, so we saw they were a little bit nervous. They hired in a marketing person and the market they weren’t sure if they were going to run with the idea or implement it or how they were going to do, and this person could get people on the calendar. I mean, our numbers changed so quickly that by the time this person came in to chase leads. So, a lot of time, producers that’s not their forte. Again, they’re good at selling and we keep them in that chair.
And so, this gal came in and just followed up that was like the biggest difference she makes was following up because they had a place with all the leads. They knew who had called in and here she is simply making phone calls and she had a backbone. That’s another thing for if they’re looking for a marketing person. They can be great on the phone. That’s fine and that’s great if they’re a people person but you need somebody in that chair also to call the person who canceled the appointment and say, “Ah, what happened? We’d love to get you back in,” and not be afraid of kind of an awkward conversation and be able to talk and be able to get to know these people. That has been one of the biggest when we’re looking to do one hire. A marketing person who is not just happy and nice on the phone but really somebody who can implement ideas and who can follow up with leads will make the biggest difference when you’re transitioning from that sales role to the whole advisor role.
[00:38:02] Brad: So, you hit on something that I see as a very common mistake for a lot of offices. They see that appointment setter as an administrative person oftentimes and a lot of times I see unfortunately a not very well-paid administrative person. They just kind of found them into a role where in reality what you just hit on is that person and the right person is a salesperson. Not necessarily sitting down and implementing the plan but they’re going to be persuasive. Like you said, they’re going to have a backbone where they’re persuading that person into the appointment and that’s a sales role. Very different from the administrative role. So, that’s something to keep in mind in that role too is make sure you know what you’re hiring for, so you find the right people.
[00:38:40] Erica: Yes.
[00:38:41] Brad: Okay. So, let’s keep going down the path. Unless there’s anything else you have on the advisor role, can we move to the CEO, advisor transitioning to the CEO?
[00:38:51] Erica: Yeah.
[00:38:52] Brad: Okay. So, maybe paint that picture. You work with some of our biggest offices that have large staffs, have multiple advisors. Paint the picture of what that office looks like and then, I guess, we go down the same path of what are the numbers that they’re now tracking, who are the additional people on the team. One other thing before we move on, I would assume the person that kind of takes over some of the tracking that you’re talking about in the advisor role with a small staff, would that be the marketing person that kind of takes on some of the tracking there?
[00:39:20] Erica: Yep.
[00:39:20] Brad: So, your team is basically working in conjunction with that person and were levering like a status update to the advisor each week or each month.
[00:39:27] Erica: Yeah. We work with the team. We do not work with the advisor. We love the advisors, but we work with your team because they’re the ones who need the advocates and they’re the ones who need the direction so that we can make sure that they’re providing accurate and integral data to the advisor.
[00:39:42] Brad: And what’s the cadence? I know your team checks in monthly, correct? What’s the cadence that their team is checking in with advisor?
[00:39:50] Erica: That is office dependent. So, we have offices that have it’s a weekly meeting so every Monday they’re providing staff so we have advisors who like the way our dashboard and sheets work, the advisor is allowed to view it but they’re not allowed to change it and so they have access and they can pop in there and look at their dashboard any day of the week. And I’ve got some advisors, this shouldn’t surprise you, I get an 11:00 email saying, “I looked at the dashboard and this number is freaking me out or whatever this is,” and that’s fine. It’s their company. They need to be able to get in there but there are some advisors who don’t want to know. They check in on the first of the month. How many did we have last month? What did last month looks like? And that’s fine but we make it available any day of the week for them to check in and, yeah, we work with the staff and the team. I mean, they can call us anytime so we usually talk to them several times a month, but we scrub the data and actually make sure it’s correct as to the best of our knowledge every single month.
[00:40:55] Brad: Okay. So, sorry, these questions are just popping up.
[00:40:58] Erica: I know. We’re going that route. That’s fine.
[00:41:00] Brad: I knew this was going to happen but let’s put a pause on the CEO conversation in a second. But what are the core tools that you all see that a lot of your call them for successful offices use as far as, “Hey, here’s the CRM, Redtail that feeds this?” So, how was the data delivered from their office to you all? What are the best practices there?
[00:41:21] Erica: Best practice is whatever is easiest for the team. I sat in their chair for a very long time and so the worst thing we could do is go into an office and say, “Cool. You’re going to double do all the work,” or we’re going to try to fix a wheel that’s already working just fine and so we try as hard as we can to integrate what they’re doing. So, we’ve got a lot of offices in Redtail, we got a lot of offices with Advisor Command, we’ve got offices with salesforce. We’ve got offices with SmartOffice, I mean, all these different CRMs but at the end of the day I know what data points I need and so if they can pull that from their CRM, they just do pulls.
So, we have an office. They do a big pull from Redtail, they throw it into our templates, and we’re generating all the reports that we need to from it. We do have some offices that have salesforce and salesforce can be very complex and very frustrating for some offices and so there are some offices say, “You know what, it’s not working where we want it to be right now so let’s also do your sheets and they’re just simple sheets that people are entering data on so completely office dependent on where it’s coming from. It’s basically the same data points that we’re getting from everybody but how they pull that and how they get to that, we work with their team because I’m not going to come in and create double the work for them.
[00:42:45] Brad: That’s refreshing. That’s why everybody loves you.
[00:42:48] Erica: I try.
[00:42:49] Brad: That’s why you get so many kind comments from stage.
[00:42:55] Erica: Yay.
[00:42:56] Brad: Okay. So, one other question on the advisor. So, once again, to kind of paint a picture, we talked about salesperson transitioning to advisor with a small team. So, we mentioned, okay, they’re obviously still tracking where their new business comes from. Their ROI is there. Now, they’re also adding in staffing and some cash flow. Anything else you see with a small team that you track that’s kind of core must-haves?
[00:43:19] Erica: The other thing would be when you make that hire with the marketing person because that’s generally the first hire is making sure that they are the stick ratios because that’s their role, to know if you have a good person in that chair because, again, they’re nervous about making this hire and bringing this person on, making sure that people who are sending appointments are keeping because that is that person’s role. Now, everything else in the sales process is on the advisor really but making sure that that metric is at a good spot is a reflection of how well your marketing person is doing in that chair.
[00:43:52] Brad: Okay. So, now we have to go here. Sorry. We’re going to get to the CEO eventually so sorry CEOs out there. We’ll get to you. Just keep sticking with us. Okay. Because I just ran into this example yesterday and we were talking before we went live and we’re talking about pay structures, compensations, and kind of the theory of what gets bonused gets done when it comes to your team and how you build pay structures. So, here’s a core issue I see often in that salesperson to advisor transition. They’re just making that first hire going back to cash flow and not having an excess of it. I see a lot of offices that first hire where they do a compensation structure for a salary type employee were they start payment pieces of commission because the way they look at it is, “Hey, I can’t afford to pay them a $30,000, $40,000 salary so I’ll just give them a small piece of what I make and that will work out great in the end.” Have you seen some of those issues as you’re starting to dig in and tracking numbers here?
[00:44:50] Erica: Yeah.
[00:44:51] Brad: Thoughts around that?
[00:44:53] Erica: I do. And we do. We work with so many offices that everyone does slice it differently and there are different recommendations coming from everywhere and I hear them all. And the biggest thing that I see or I guess feel like would be the best approach from just looking at tons and tons of data, the commission splits or percentage of commission, that works very, very well for associate advisors. That’s great. They’re part of that process. They’re part of the sale, they’re part of the planning. Now, we actually will touch on that when we go to the CEO portion. With the staff, yes, the staff is involved in the whole process. You can’t write a piece of business if your marketer didn’t get them to keep the appointment. However, because I sat on this chair, they’re motivated by the stuff they have control over and so it’s really hard and it’s really frustrating sometimes as a team member to feel like you are crushing it on the stick ratios but there’s something wrong farther down in the sales process that you have zero control over and so you are either rewarded or not rewarded based on something that’s completely out of your wheelhouse.
[00:46:11] Brad: So, for example there, I’m the marketer. There were 10 appointments scheduled, all 10 of them stuck this week so I batted a thousand. I crushed it. And then that advisor went, oh, for 10.
[00:46:21] Erica: Yes.
[00:46:22] Brad: And my compensation is tied to them closing business. That’s not a happy scenario.
[00:46:26] Erica: Right. And you’re part of the team so they’re going to support you. If you have a good team, you probably will never say that and you as the advisor is like, “Oh, it’s great. If I win they win.” In your mind, I get that from a bottom-line standpoint but from a motivation standpoint, allow them to thrive in their role. Allow them to knock it out of the park in their role because they will keep doing that very, very well because where you lose motivation is when it doesn’t matter if they did the 10 out of 10 because it’s out of their hands after the second appointment. So, yeah, basically what you said that’s what we see a lot and it’s my recommendation is bonus them on their wheelhouse, on their niche of what they’re doing for your company.
[00:47:13] Brad: Yeah. And I’ve seen that backfire the other way too. I’ve seen it always happens in this early transition and it’s, “Oh, I didn’t have the cash flow to pay them a salary that I knew they needed,” because they were salaried employee. They’re not a salesperson. As you said, a salesperson should be paid like a salesperson so an associate advisor, yes, they get a percentage of what they bring in. Administrative staff that’s more support should not be paid like a salesperson, but I’ve seen people, “Yeah. I don’t have the $40,000, $50,000 cash flow to pay them the salary I should, therefore, I just pay them a piece of what the company brings in,” and I’ve had, I can think right now I had a new business person in one of my offices making well over $100,000 a year because they started out with a piece of the pie and the firm grew like crazy which is awesome. That’s what you want but the pay structure was not set up in a way on the front-end where it made sense long-term. And so, you get yourself into other problems there if you don’t do it the right way.
[00:48:08] Erica: Right. Absolutely.
[00:48:09] Brad: Okay. So, one question on the marketer just because this is in that advisor role, really core, have you seen offices where it’s a combination of salary-based, primarily salary-based but going back to the 10 for 10, they’re bonused on their job which is appointments kept because, “Hey, I can own that, I can go 10 for 10 and get a small bonus on each one of those kept,” and if they don’t keep then I don’t get that bonus? Have you seen plans like that that have worked or not worked?
[00:48:38] Erica: Yeah. So, there’s a couple of different ways that we break out. So, one is just strictly kept. So, how many set? How many kept? The other one and again it’s totally dependent on the office but some offices prequalify so they don’t want them coming in the door if they’re not qualified and again that goes into a whole idea of a lot of people in the industry say, “Well, every lead is qualified.” You can go into a big conversation about that. However, smaller offices do need to have qualified leads coming in because they’re smaller. So, I’ve seen it where there is bonuses on what I call an FKQ, so they set the appointment, they kept the appointment, and they will qualify the lead because that is what the advisor wants to be seeing and that is what the advisor needs to be writing. So, they also do it based on that of did you pre qualify them correctly? Did we ask the right questions? Do we get enough data before they even came in and didn’t waste our time to potentially move on to a second appointment? So, that’d be the other metric that isn’t kind of bonused on.
[00:49:40] Brad: Very cool. Okay. I think we can finally do it. Are we good to move on to the CEO?
[00:49:45] Erica: I think so.
[00:49:46] Brad: Awesome. Okay. So, paint us a picture of like maybe some of your highest performing offices, what that structure looks like, how many associate advisors maybe staffed and then we’ll kind of let the conversation go where it goes from there.
[00:49:58] Erica: Yeah. So, when you get to those large offices and we’ve got a bunch of associate advisors, you really are – your sales process is ironed out and you’ve got five subadvisors. Everyone’s writing business. The sales process is what they…
[00:50:13] Brad: Hopefully, the sales process is…
[00:50:15] Erica: Hopefully. If I’m involved in your life, we’re making sure that the sales process is working before you have five associate advisors.
[00:50:21] Brad: Okay.
[00:50:22] Erica: So, at that point, it’s moving even farther above of saying, “Okay. We’re looking at just straight math here,” of saying, “Okay. Each of these subadvisors needs to be producing X amount. If we know that this is our average case size, therefore we need to have this many.” You work your way back to, we need to have this many set appointments every month, so it is very much a math game at that point to say, “Are we generating enough leads for this person to feel busy and for them to be closing and bringing in the revenue that we need as a company to make it work?” Because at this point, you’re a machine. I mean you’re at that CEO level and you just need those bottom-line numbers. It should be working. The machine should be following. Everyone knows their role and so what I see there is it’s a math game. It’s a math and averages and for the people that I worked with for a long time, we know what their office is doing, we know what their averages are, and we can say, “Great, you’re averaging this new set. 80% of those are keeping. That advisor, the new one that you’re going to hire or everyone that you have we know they’re going to be seeing this many first appointments each week and we know the probability of what they’re going to close.” And so, at that point, it’s kind of just this rolling effect that it’s making sure the numbers are there before you can make those sorts of moves.
[00:51:46] Brad: Well, so here’s what I’m hearing you say. You’re reverse engineering. It’s almost like, “Hey, we did say we were a million-dollar revenue business this year and we want to go 1.5 next year. We want to go 2 the year after. We want to go 3 the year after that.” So, now we know based on how many clients I brought on, here was my revenue, here were my marketing funnels on the front-end so now going back to that slot machine analogy, it’s like, “Okay. Well, here was our 7:1 ROI on our public events. Those were crushing it. Here was our 3:1 on our radio show.” So, it looks like if we need to drive this many leads to support another advisor on the team, we need to pour this much more money in the slot machine that we call to public seminars at, “Hey, guess what, the beauty of it is we’ve got this new guy so he’s going to, he or she is going to ride shotgun with me at events,” so now they can start to learn the process and eventually start doing their own events. I mean, basically, it sounds almost too simple at that. You actually know your numbers.
[00:52:49] Erica: I know.
[00:52:50] Brad: Have you seen that? Have you seen advisors like the lightbulb go off it’s like, “Wow, this just got really simple and I thought it was all like super complicated but because I’ve got this flow,” does that happen?
[00:53:00] Erica: Yeah. I think the biggest problem that happens with especially with the bigger offices is when you have all these teams, you have all these other data that will come into play and it is simple. I have to remind advisors constantly because of their drive to be better and their drive to be excellent they want to overcomplicate it sometimes and for me just to say, “No. It’s just a matter of are they setting? Are they keeping? How many are closing? This is your average case size.” Really at the end of the day, that’s what matters but I’m also taking into consideration things like, and this is a good example, last year or the year before we did a review. We had an office who had an associate advisor and I think they had two or three at the time and we break it down by advisor and we break it down by total production and then brand-new assets brought in because for me we want to make sure they’re not just meeting with existing clients.
Well, in our review, it came up one of their subadvisors was meeting. They were busy. They saw them in meetings. They thought that they were doing a great job. And when I came in and said, “No. 90% of their business last year was existing clients. They didn’t make you any money on new leads and you were spending $900 on each lead from seminars. They didn’t close one.” And for us again looking at the story of what’s happening to say, “This advisor is great with existing clients,” that was one of the changes they’ve made. They said, “Okay. He’s not bringing in. It’s for our marketing dollars. He’s not bringing in anything or compensating for that,” so now he just does reviews and they’re not feeding him any leads and they’ve hired other people to take on new leads because they’re great in that role. But again, that’s making sure you’re looking at the right data that and it is simple as long as you know what to look for and what’s important and what’s not important if that makes sense.
[00:55:01] Brad: Oh, 100%. Basically, the analogy that I’m thinking of right now they had the worst batter on the team hitting cleanup for them. I knew he was striking out every time, so you probably want to move them further down the lineup or take them out of the lineup which is what they did, and my gut tells me probably a great service advisor. He was just on the wrong seat in the bus. So, that’s very cool. Okay. So, on the CEO front because you’ve hit a couple of things that I think are awesome here, I look at our biggest offices and how like one of the biggest fears I hear from a lot of advisors when I’m coaching them on my side is, “I’m scared to hire an advisor because I’ll train them, I’ll give them all the knowledge in my head, I’ll show them out proprietary planning process and all of that and then what happens if they quit and they become my competition two blocks down the street?” And you hit on a point that I think is key. If you are going to hire an associate advisor, first of, your calendar better be full because otherwise, you’re just giving away revenue. No associate advisor is going to work for free. So, if you have a half full calendar and you’re hiring associates to grow your business, what you’re actually doing is stunting your growth because you’re just giving away revenue for free.
So, get a full calendar first before you get to that point but secondarily, how do you retain associate advisor? You do the math. You back into here’s the marketing I need to fill their calendar as well. And that’s the biggest way we’ve seen. I’m just picturing many of our top performing offices. That’s how they do this and that’s how they actually get great talent in that associate advisor role because they can come in and they could say, “Hey, as long as I sit down, I do the process. I’ve got a calendar full of potential people that I can help and guess what? I have no business on a risk because I have no overhead. I have no marketing budget. I literally just sit down and help people and I make this much of the pie.” So, what are some key takeaways there just like kind of going down that path like your top performing offices that they do really well, maybe it’s in telling that story to the advisor, tracking those numbers, just being ultra-clear?
[00:57:11] Erica: Yeah. So, with the CEO offices, another thing that tends to happen because they’re so big is you have a lot of staff and so the staff speaks into, are we going to hire this person? Are we not going to hire this person? Is our calendar full enough? So, these conversations are happening and another example of one of our clients, so they were considering hiring another subadvisor and they weren’t sure if the numbers looked right so they had me pull up a report. Okay. Do we have enough? If we’re averaging this much, how many sets do we have? And I came back and said, “You’re good to go. It looks fine. Calendar is full.” Then their team came back. They have a great team. Everyone does look out for one another which is very cool, and the team came back and said, “Well, I’m not seeing that. I don’t think we have that many. I see like the calendar is light. I feel like we may not be able to do that.”
And so, here they are about to put the kibosh on hiring somebody and I said, “Okay. Let’s go look at this again. What’s happening? Why is there a disconnect in these stories?” Well, I’m going off of first appointments set and I know 80% of those are going to keep. Well, the office was counting the number of appointments that were kept. And so, they’re not taking in all the math or the whole story and so they’re saying, “Well, we don’t really have that many appointments coming in.” And I said, “That’s not what we’re going off of. We’re going off of set then kept then out of those how many are becoming a client.” And so, things like that as small as that can make a huge difference and they’re about to not even hire somebody because of that but when we go back through and I can say, “No, no, no. You’re in this part of the story and I’m talking about this part of the story.” So, they’re fine here. The number that is showing up is exactly what we want to be showing up that they’ll close this many. And so, sometimes that’s a little bit hard when you have such a big company is everyone is trying to be helpful and everyone is trying to make sure it’s the right fit.
[00:59:13] Erica: But what I like to call them, and I haven’t all the time, not just in the CEO offices but I call them political percentages of no one knows where we really got this data and no one really knows what it’s supposed to be. No one really knows how Jamie came up with that number, but everyone is going off of it to make a decision. And again, that’s when I come in to say, “I see, I know you’re reading that, but this is what that means. This is actually what that is talking about and that’s not what I’m talking about.” And so, that’s huge for these big offices and as simple as it is, it can come down to something as minuscule as that too to make decisions, so it is important to make sure that they’re right and make sure that the data is integral.
[00:59:53] Brad: Okay. Are we ready for my McDonald’s analogy?
[00:59:56] Erica: Yes. I’m curious.
[00:59:58] Brad: Okay. So, I want to get your take here because this is something we saw a lot of last year and so I’m even going to backtrack to something you said earlier where you said the ROIs were down last year for seminars kind of across the board and we saw this trend. And this is something so here’s my McDonald’s analogy and I’ll kind of tie this all together. So, there’s a movie called The Founder. Have you seen it by chance?
[01:00:20] Erica: No.
[01:00:21] Brad: Michael Keaton? Watch it. It’ll give you all kinds of ammo for what you do. And so, great movie just from an entertainment perspective but it’s the story of McDonald’s and basically, Ray Kroc was the guy that worked with the McDonald’s brothers to franchise McDonald’s. So, anyway, when he joined the team that McDonald’s brothers had already tried to franchise two McDonald’s and both of them were a fail, so it started in California. I think the first franchise was in Arizona. So, Ray Kroc goes out and visits. It’s not even McDonald’s. They’ve got a completely different menu. They’ve got like different hamburgers. They aren’t even made like the real McDonald’s hamburgers and so he’s the guy that comes in and systematize the whole thing and it’s like the hamburger you get in California is the same hamburger you get in Arizona. So, how does this apply to financial services? What we see a lot and I think what also hurt a lot of offices ROIs last year, as you transition to the CEO, well, now it’s not just you making the hamburger. There are five advisors making the hamburger and is the hamburger recipe the same every time?
So, going back to like an investment policy statement like here’s the core firm, how we build a portfolio and maybe that’s 50% goes annuity for income-producing assets, 50% goes AUM for growth, and this percentage goes life insurance but what we’ve seen multiple times and then I’ll shut up because I’d love to hear your feedback here because I know you in like in the trenches with people here, we saw offices where their cash flow literally in like six months gone. And the crazy thing was they doubled the assets they were bringing in. And so, now as you’re unpacking the story, what was happening was the CEO, the founder of the firm, they were making the hamburger the same way. So, maybe their allocation model was 50-50, obviously, serving the clients based on their risk profile and all that but at the same time, McDonald’s doesn’t make hamburgers for free. They make them for a profit, no different than your financial services firm, build plans for profit and so their plan was profitable but then they had associate advisors.
[01:02:22] Brad: We saw a lot of this last year with the market going straight up. All the 50-50 allocations were now 80-20 or 90-10 for retirees that are like 60, 70 years old like fully exposed to the market. And so, what a lot of those of offices did to get it back on track was go back to what is the recipe, here’s the investment policy statement, here’s the pie chart. Based on risk tolerance, here’s our three or four different models and in any time it was outside of that, then you’ve got to meet with our investment team on Monday because we have to prove if it’s anything outside of company allocations. So, I wanted to paint a picture there because I’ve seen that like literally almost bankrupt super successful firms overnight because they didn’t know the math. Do you have some stories that parallel that or any thoughts or comments just on like here’s how to make sure you absolutely avoid that as you grow your team and the associate advisors?
[01:03:15] Erica: Yeah. I mean, I think you kind of already touched on it, but I think just the idea of if you’re going to hire more advisors in particular for your company, they’ve got to be following your recipe. That’s the only way you’ve gotten to that place is because everything is locked and loaded, and you have a good process in place and basically, it’s pursuant to what you’re saying of you hire one more person in and then they don’t follow that line, well, we’re back to square one then. We’re clear back to that being a salesperson and saying, “Okay. What’s happening in the sales process? What is going on here?” And to me, you’re taking so many steps backward at that point. And so, keeping an eye on the subadvisors, making sure that they are trained so well they know the process and then the follow-up obviously is tracking them. So, what is happening? What happens with a lot of the offices is the CEO is so happy to have people going and seeing them and they can finally take a break and step back.
And when they step back, stuff happens, and sales processes aren’t followed and they’re not paying attention because they’re just so relieved to have somebody just taking some of that off of them. And so, my biggest thing is that’s great, hire associate advisors. One, make sure they are trained in your sales process because you’ve got into that place for a reason and it’s working and, two, track them like see what they’re doing, see what is happening. And if you aren’t tracking their performance, it sounds blunt but that is on you. I mean, you are so concerned with tracking it for yourself to get to this point that it’s such a disservice to your own company to let it go once we get somebody else on board there. And a bit of a side note on that, but it’s kind of returning to the commissions structure when you’re at that level. Make it simple.
[01:05:12] Erica: That is one thing I see consistently that also kind of gets in the way of sales processes with the associate advisors is if it’s complex and you can’t totally describe it and your associate advisor doesn’t fully understand it, miscommunications happen and then sales processes go out the window because at that point they’re just running and trying to make money and it’s not really a team effort any longer. And so, that is one thing that I recommend or see or the places that I see it working well are the companies that have it so simple that everyone knows what’s going on, they know what cut they’re going to get, they know from this sale what’s going to happen. It’s the offices that start straying from the sales process or that people consider leaving when they don’t know if they’re getting paid properly, they don’t know if they’re going to get paid, they don’t know, the advisor doesn’t know. And so, that is one other area that I wanted to touch on quickly on just the associate advisor part as well.
[01:06:10] Brad: Thank you for saying that. I mean, it’s really not that complicated when you think about it. I mean, why do people play sports and watch basketball? Because they know how to win like go score the hoop. It’s right up there. Go put this ball through it. No different for an associate advisor. Let them clearly understand here’s how I won the game and the game is this and this and this is how you get paid. So, yeah, thank you for sharing that. The other thing I think just on the IPS and going back to I love that you said you’re basically going back to square one as a salesperson if you haven’t said here’s the recipe and here’s how to follow it and here’s what the firm believes in philosophically. The other thing which as we all know in financial services there’s suitability, there’s regulation. So, now you, the CEO, you’ve been making the recipe one-way and let’s just say your allocation model is 50-50 just to keep it simple here. And now a regulator comes in two years later and you’ve had three associate advisors running and now, okay, so here pull this section of your clients that all have a risk, a moderate risk profile. Okay. Well, why this one has this allocation and this one has this completely different allocation and this one has this third completely different allocation and they all came in at the same risk tolerance? Now, you’re setting your firm up for some serious potential issues because how do you even explain that? So, I think not just is it about growing a firm and revenue and all of that but it’s also about long-term protection of your firm, and if you aren’t checking your numbers, you’re setting yourself up for some scary situations down the road. And we don’t need to get down too far down the regulatory path, but have you seen any examples of like, hey, not tracking numbers actually led to some regulatory issues that we’ve seen at firms before?
[01:07:55] Erica: Not too many. I mean, truthfully, Advisors Excel does such a great job of making sure the advisors are doing best practices and doing the fiduciary and all of that and so I don’t see it very often. The only thing that will happen is, I mean, and it generally lies at night and that whole between the application to getting issued process of stuff is just not, I mean, you guys exampled outright if you get accounts wrong. Even like that, we don’t have a paper trail. That’s when I’ve seen issues go into it because it’s then he said, she said, and something happened wrong and no one has any thread to tie it to. So, tracking, I mean just making sure that it’s written down, making sure that it is being tracked and everything that’s happening but luckily, no, I have not really run across anything too major. I mean I’ve heard stories and I’ve talked to offices that have had some issues, but it’s always been an accident or an issue and it’s never been anything that was intentional.
[01:08:57] Brad: Well, good to hear. Yeah. We have a saying on my team, speed equals trust, and I think it applies in all things business-related and just going back to, “Hey, you were supposed to bring on his client’s account, this million dollars,” and something got messed up along the way. It’s now been two months and they haven’t heard anything. That’s where we see cases get canceled or, “Never mind. I decided not to move forward,” because there wasn’t a systematic process going on. There was no tracking going on. So, yeah, this stuff can absolutely cost your business for sure.
[01:09:31] Erica: For sure.
[01:09:31] Brad: Okay. Thank you so much for like just going with this too, Erica. I know I’m like all over the place here, but I just love this conversation.
[01:09:37] Erica: No, we’re good.
[01:09:39] Brad: Anything else on the kind of the CEO front? Any additional? It sounds like really what I’m hearing from my side is it’s not necessarily tracking different numbers. It’s just more of them because there are multiple advisors to keep track of. Is there any other big things that come out as you move into that CEO type office, different numbers you track, different team members that should be tracking them?
[01:10:02] Erica: Yeah. Well, you know, I said, yeah, it moves to just simple math and big numbers, but it also moves to looking at every single advisor and what they’re doing. So, we do a review of every single associate advisor and what types of sources they’re writing better or where in the sales process they are having red flags. And so, again, it’s more taking the focus off of the founders and putting it back on the team. Are they following your process? We have had offices where a couple of the guys has been closing on the first appointment which was not okay and that we’re being able to sit there and say, “Yeah. They closed on the first,” and they didn’t close those people and they lost that lead. So, those sorts of things or there are some advisors who are scared to close on the second and that’s the office policy. That’s the recipe so to speak and they’re scared and so they’re moving to a third, they’re moving to a fourth.
Well, I’ve been able to come in and say, “Your closing percentage does not grow when you’re moving them to a third or a fourth. It’s not higher. Actually, you’re still closing on a second. The people you’re closing on a second are more likely to close and the people that are moving to or third or fourth are actually less likely to close and there are people who are just kind of stuck.” And so, for us, one, to show the founders that’s what this person is doing. They’re afraid but for me to also come back to that person and say, “Don’t be afraid. It’s not working any better for you to be extending the sales process and wasting your time.” You just close them on a second and get some training there and if you’re afraid, that’s up to the founders and CEOs to say, “Cool. Let’s guide you in the right direction to train you in that specific spot,” because again once a machine, you just need to know which tiny pieces aren’t necessarily lining up.
[01:11:54] Brad: Such a good point. Thank you for bringing that up. I was just talking with one of our offices that actually hosted a journey for us, so they were literally one of our top offices. I think they’ll gather 200 million this year. And this is one of the founders who actually wrote the recipe, so he’s been doing this for the last decade. Here’s our proprietary process. Here’s our three-appointment process. They [inaudible] at the end of the second. And anyway, so we were talking and he’s like, “Yeah. I got a referral the other day.” He’s like, “Those are like 99% they get every single one,” and he’s like, “I swung and missed.” And he had gone on like a trip with his family and had been out of the office, hadn’t done an appointment for three or four weeks. He literally went back and watched his own journey videos on their sales process. And I’m like, “That is hilarious,” first of all but going back to this point like if you know what’s broken, you can go back and address it. And one of the things this office does is they have one of their associate advisors that they noticed his stuff was dropping off, his closing ratio.
And because they were tracking the numbers like you said, they brought him back in for training and he had, as we all do, I think a lot of times going back to what’s a common theme in our industry your type A personalities, you get bored easily. A lot of people say, “Hey, everybody that’s good in this business has at least a small form of ADD,” and you get bored with your own process and so you then you start making new things up. And this associate advisor for them was trying to close on his first appointment wasn’t following the recipe. They sat down. They identified this is a training issue. They have recurring weekly trainings with all of their sales team and now they can see, “Hey, this is how we do it,” and now obviously revenue follows that. So, what you’re bringing up here is not only is it revenue stuff but you’re identifying training opportunities within your team by following this all the way through start to finish.
[01:13:52] Erica: Well, there’s one other point, I am sidetracking just a touch, but there is one thing that I do want to kind of make as an overarching disclaimer to advisors out there and it’s something I see all the time. And as we were talking, there’s been a couple of times, I’m like I just seem to bring it up but one thing to just watch out for in the industry is there are so many phenomenal trainings that AE does or that advisors are doing or the journey or Rainmaker events or all these different events with these focus groups, and what I see consistently is going back to that the small form of ADD which I would agree with. I love them for it, but they will hear these new sets of data. They’ll hear that so and so is tracking this over there and they will come back to their office and say, “Okay. We have to track this.” You do that over five years and you do that over eight events a year and before you know it, your staff is going to be tracking so many different sets of data that may not make any sense and some may negate the other ones.
And I liken it to my husband and son and I who loves sitting outside and looking at stars. And so, my son was talking about this certain star and we have this app on our phone that you can put it on there and shows you what constellation it’s part of. And I use that as an example because advisors so many times are just picking out these stars that they want their teams to track and it’s all over the place. And really what needs to be happening is for us to pick out the set of stars that are in that constellation to say, “Okay. This is the whole, this is the story, this is the piece that we need to look at,” rather than, “So and so said I need to track this. I don’t really know what that means but it’s something, some sort of piece of data,” but that’s not helpful and it’s a waste of your team’s time. And so, that is one thing I do want to make really clear and make important for you to know as an advisor, as the founder of your company, as a CEO, salesperson, whatever your role is. Make sure you’re looking at the whole picture and not just seven sets of data that somebody at some point told you to look at. So, that’s huge and it’s important because they’re not going to get any good information from it.
[01:16:15] Brad: Well, that’s what I love about your team. You, like you said, you’ve grown up in this business. You sat in that chair as a marketing director. I’m like what in the world are we doing here when they come back from these events and now we’re doing a quick 180. One of the phrases we’ll use in coaching is, “We’re steering like a luxury liner here. We’re not steering a speedboat.” So, we’re not flipping quick 180s and running another direction. We’re making incremental tweaks. And I just love the fact that you’ve lived in that role and the approach you’re taking to the business is what’s the stuff that actually matters, how do we clearly put that in an easily digestible format so, we can, the bottom line is make smart business decisions? And it’s so refreshing. Where were you 11 years ago first of all? I mean, where was this company?
[01:17:04] Erica: Right. Yeah. I know. It’s not even a thought.
[01:17:08] Brad: Well, my guess is this conversation is going to lead to some additional request for your services. So, I know you’ve got a baby on the way but let’s make sure you’re already because…
[01:17:19] Erica: We’re ready. We are ready for the masses. We love it. At the end of the day, we just want to help advisors and I know that sounds lame but it’s where all of it came from and initially was to help them make decisions that are going to help their company. So, however we can help anybody have them give us a call.
[01:17:37] Brad: Okay. You want to wrap with a couple of philosophical questions here, Erica?
[01:17:41] Erica: Love it.
[01:17:41] Brad: Okay. Cool. Let’s do it. This is fun. I haven’t asked this for a while. If you could look back and give your 20-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
[01:17:51] Erica: It would be to know that life doesn’t have to have a plan. Things never go according to plan ever and that’s okay and you work around it and you make adjustments and life is even better when you don’t have one.
[01:18:08] Brad: Wow. I did not expect that answer coming from somebody that tracks things.
[01:18:12] Erica: I know. Professionally, I wouldn’t necessarily say that but personally, I would.
[01:18:19] Brad: Cool. When you hear the word successful, who’s the first person you think of and why?
[01:18:23] Erica: Probably my dad. My dad has worked hard his whole life and is loved by a lot of people and his family and respected by all of us. Him and my mom had been together for I think almost 40 years now and, yeah, I think professionally he’s loved, he’s well known but also just by our family. He’s one of those guys that he’s real whether he’s in front of a bunch of people or just one-on-one with my family so my dad is probably one of the most cool success stories in my life.
[01:18:57] Brad: What does your dad do for a living, out of curiosity?
[01:18:59] Erica: My dad is a pastor actually of a church that was tiny when I was little and is now a 6,000-plus mega-church in Colorado and it changed a lot as I was growing up as a PK and my dad always stayed the most integral person that I’ve known so that’s another reason. Just in that type of a role, you have a lot of pressure.
[01:19:23] Brad: That’s so cool. I mean, I just look at the business you’ve built. I mean your dad served people his whole life in a role like that and now you’re running a business that’s doing the same sort of thing. I mean, I don’t say this like tongue-in-cheek like you are changing advisors lives and what I’ve seen is there’s this pressure for financial advisors and there’s this misconception that if I’m going to grow, it has to be harder. I’ve got to work more hours. I’ve got to do this and what your team and your services are allowing them to do is figure out, “Hey, if I make these adjustments, I bring these members to the team on, I can actually…” going back to the CEO story, those are my favorite stories inside of Advisors Excel of the people that were on the treadmill grinding 60, 70 hours a week and then we help them transition to a CEO where they actually built a team, they can take vacation, they can now have their cell phone blown up all the time and that’s what I see you doing is that’s the first step. They can’t do any of that if they don’t track their numbers. And so, it’s really cool to see that you’ve built a firm and in a certain way models what your dad’s done just in financial services.
[01:20:39] Erica: Yeah. Thank you.
[01:20:40] Brad: You should be proud of that. That’s really cool to see.
[01:20:41] Erica: Thank you. I will take that.
[01:20:43] Brad: Tell your dad you’re awesome from me.
[01:20:45] Erica: Deal.
[01:20:46] Brad: Cool. So, let’s go I’ve got two more questions.
[01:20:50] Erica: Ready.
[01:20:50] Brad: What is something you would like to see considered absurd 25 years from now?
[01:20:56] Erica: Something I would like to see considered absurd 25 years from now?
[01:20:59] Brad: Or put another way, 25 years from now we look back and we’re like, “Can you believe they used to do that?”
[01:21:08] Erica: Okay. There’s a couple of things in my mind but let me just…
[01:21:10] Brad: Hey, just throw them out there. Throw them out there. Just get them out. It’s cool.
[01:21:15] Erica: Yeah. I think that, you’re going to laugh because I know you have one because I saw it, but I think the Apple Watch is a ridiculous…
[01:21:25] Brad: Okay. Let’s hear more. It’s okay. I’m not going to judge you on that.
[01:21:27] Erica: I do. Everybody has one. I just think it’s funny that you can’t get your phone out. I think that they’re going to go away really soon and who knows? I’ll probably be around but they just make me laugh when people are like at lunch, checking, swiping their watch to like get a message or something. In my head, just pull your phone out. It’s not less rude. You’re still checking your phone on your watch. So, that’s one of them.
[01:21:54] Brad: Hey. Now, okay, now I have to – we have to get a little bit of a debate going on here now.
[01:21:58] Erica: That’s fine.
[01:21:59] Brad: So, coming from someone that tracks things, one of the benefits of an Apple Watch is you’re tracking your physical activity, your workout, things like that.
[01:22:09] Erica: Your steps.
[01:22:10] Brad: Or as my eight-year-old says, he says, “Dad,” he’s like, “All the other watches are boring. They just tell the time.” So, there you go.
[01:22:18] Erica: Okay. I will take your point and that’s fine.
[01:22:21] Brad: It’s okay. On this podcast, on this show, we can agree to disagree. It’s fine.
[01:22:26] Erica: Yeah. No, that’s good. I’m glad that you track your steps. I think that you probably find it very useful. I hope you’re doing something with that data and making life decisions on the steps that you take on a daily basis.
[01:22:39] Brad: Perfect. Okay. If I see you wearing an Apple Watch on one of the events coming up, I’m owning you out.
[01:22:44] Erica: I know. My husband has said that, “If you ever get an Apple Watch you’re going to be eating…”
[01:22:49] Brad: Wait until they stop making phones and they just show up as this is your phone from now on, you’re going to be in trouble.
[01:22:54] Erica: It’s going to be a sad day. I know.
[01:22:55] Brad: Okay. Thank you for that answer. That was fun. All right. So, what is the one piece of advice that you can give our listeners that’s led to your success to this point, Erica?
[01:23:05] Erica: I would say as I know most of the listeners are advisors, the biggest thing would be don’t make big decisions on a whim or on a gut feeling. I see it happen all the time and it’s why this company started and really was advisors have this amazing sense like they do have these gut feelings which are ironically right a lot of the time which is pretty cool but they’re not always right. And it’s a sad day when people come to me and they just want to make a brash decision because they feel a certain way or they’re emotional about two leads that dropped off that they thought they were going to get and just so happen they were both from radio and so now we’re going to scrap radio altogether. It’s such a disservice to yourself and to your team to just to make that decision. Sit with it, sink on it, look at data, get it back to how make sure it’s the right decision before you even have some sort of rash overall company change. I just see it happen too often. So, yeah, that would be what I say.
[01:24:13] Brad: Yeah. Going back to math over emotions, right? I mean, that’s another one of our offices since we’re just talking about math, his favorite saying is numbers never lie and that’s the beauty of it. You can make smart decisions. Great advice. Well, Erica, I just want to say thank you so much. This has been a fun conversation. You made numbers interesting.
[01:24:34] Erica: Yay. That’s the goal.
[01:24:34] Brad: So, well done. That’s not easy to do. So, on a serious note, thank you so much and thank you for all of our offices that you’ve served and literally have put them in a better place after working with you, freed up more time, allowed them to make smarter business decisions so you’re awesome. Your team is awesome. Thanks so much for joining today.
[01:24:54] Erica: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it and we look forward to hearing from whoever wants to hear more about it or have questions or even just from an education standpoint, let us bring education to the room as well so thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
[01:25:09] Brad: Okay. See you, Erica.
[01:25:11] Erica: Bye.
[01:25:15] Brad: Thanks for checking out the latest show. On to this week’s featured reviews. Before we get to them, I just have to say that you all continue to blow me away with your kind words and all the positive feedback. I really appreciate the couple of minutes you all have taken to share your thoughts as the reviews help our show get found and rank on iTunes. Also, special thanks to those of you who took the time to leave a review since our last show as we are currently sitting one review away from number 125 as I record this audio.
Okay. Onto this week’s first featured review which comes to us from user Thrive55 who says, “Amazing insight from thought leaders. Five stars. Brad interviews thought leaders to bring valuable business insights to lead advisors. While this show is geared toward financial professionals, the business insight is valuable for any service-based business that wants to over deliver. I highly recommend this podcast.” Thanks for the review. My goal is to not just bring people in finance to the show but those who can bring outside concepts and ideas that can be applied to financial services as well. I’ve got an amazing feedback from the episodes with Michael Hyatt, Tucker Max, Cameron Herold, John Ruhlin, Joey Coleman, Hal Elrod, Pete Vargas, Chris Smith. These were all guys who are outside of our industry and it’s been fun seeing advisors take their ideas and concepts and apply them to financial planning. So, if you missed any of those episodes, go back, check them out. Thanks for listening. Appreciate the feedback.
The next review comes to us from Rob who might be the most highly credentialed reviewer yet as he’s also a CLU, ChFC, RICP, and he says, “Great podcast. Five stars. I’ve been developing advisors for 10+ years and loved hearing from industry leaders with practical ideas. Brad brings it by making the complex simple. A must-listen for new and veteran FAs.” Rob, thanks for the kind and the review. I love that someone with your knowledge base and experience in our industry is listening in. Also, one of the best compliments anyone who coaches others could ever receive is that they are good at simplifying the complex. So, thank you. I’ll do my best to keep our show in your must-listen list.
[01:27:27] Brad: Next up is user ajstoller who says, “Listened to them all. Five stars. This podcast is a must-listen. The interviews conducted are well-thought-out and powerful. Much of how I run my business now can be attributed to the nuggets of gold that I pull from this podcast. I’ve listened to every podcast at least once, some multiple times because every time I listen I pull something else out. If I had one complaint it would be that it does not come out frequently enough. I truly wish I could listen to a new episode every week but I’m sure Brad has other things he is doing.” Wow. Thanks for the epic review, AJ. These types of reviews really keep me doing this work to put the show out. I need to come up with some kind of award for those of you out there who have listened to every episode so if you think of something, AJ, hit me up out on Twitter. Let me know what you’re thinking. In the meantime, I’m glad the show is serving you and if I’m going to have someone complain about the show, I’ll take yours about wanting more episodes all day long. Coaching advisors does happen to be my full-time job so as it stands today that’s why you get an episode every other week. And for those of you out there who are loving the show and want to apply to see if one-on-one coaching with me make sense for the next step, you can do that at BradleyJohnson.com/Apply.
And the last featured review of the week comes to us from user jbisulca. Sorry. I wasn’t even going to try to butcher that’s who says, “Bravo! Five stars. Kudos to Brad for consistently interviewing excellent guests and covering both traditional and unconventional methods for financial advisors to improve their service to clients. Additionally, Brad is generous in offering valuable actionable resources stemming from his interviews.” Thanks. I appreciate the review. When I started up the podcast, I wanted to not only interview interesting people that I thought could bring value to all of you in the financial advisors out there but also do my very best to share some of the tools they may have to offer to help you take the next step to actually implementing what they had to share. It seems to be working as you all continue to bombard the website with downloads for all of the tools from each episode, so we’ll keep making them available.
[01:29:42] Brad: As we wrap the show, I just have to say that I love reading each and every review so thank you for taking the time you all keep sending the love via the Internet. For those of you that have interest in diving deeper or figuring out how you may be able to have our team help you implement many of the ideas shared on this episode or maybe on previous episodes, my day job does happen to be consulting financial advisors from all over the US on how to grow their business and design a practice that serves them versus them serving it. And, yes, it is actually possible to grow your business and work less. This is a model we’ve replicated over and over in markets all over the country. So, if you’d like to apply to see if it makes sense for us to have a one-on-one conversation on how to overcome what may be getting in your way, you can do that at BradleyJohnson.com/Apply.
It takes about five minutes to fill out the application, so we can understand what your business looks like, what challenges you may be facing, and how myself and my team may be able to help. We then dive into a discovery session where we ask a lot of questions based on your survey. We do a lot of listening and we take a lot of notes to build a rough draft of our proprietary Elite Advisor Blueprint 90-Day Plan. Taking the first step is as simple as applying at BradleyJohnson.com/Apply. So, that’s it for this week. Thanks for listening in. And I will catch you on the next show.
[01:31:02] Brad: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. For access to show notes, transcripts, and exclusive content from our show’s guests, visit BradleyJohnson.com. And before you go, I’ve got a quick favor to ask. If you’re liking the podcast, you can help support the show by leaving your rating and review on iTunes. Not only do we read every single comment, but this will help the show rank and get discovered by new listeners. It really does help. Thanks again for joining and be sure to tune in next week for another episode.
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