Joey Coleman is the founder and Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony – a customer experience branding firm that assists corporations, non-profits, small businesses, and associations in creating breath-taking interactions for their customers. In short, their team works to get all of the pieces of your business on the same sheet of music, playing in harmony – hence the name Design Symphony. Joey specializes in helping you to better understand your audience, determine what will get their attention, and develop strategies to wow them again and again – especially in the crucial, First 100 Days of the customer lifecycle. Company’s like Zappos and Hyatt Hotels call Joey when they need help!
You guys will love Joey, here’s just a tiny sample of what we cover:
- Want to know what it’s like to interview for a job w/ the CIA??? Joey tells us as he actually had “Top Secret” security clearance when he worked there under the Clinton administration
- The do’s and don’ts of public speaking… Joey shares how he preps for his big speeches, what most audience members DON’T do that they should, and common mistakes Joey’s seen others make from stage
- Then we get into The First 100 Days® which is Joey’s framework for “WOWING” your clients to such a level in their first 100 days that they’ll never leave! Great examples shared in our conversation, including a cool story involving how he personally pulled this off with Darren Hardy (with the help of his friend John Ruhlin)
- Then it’s on to some rapid fire questions which include Joey’s most gifted books, the advice he’d give his younger self…and much more!
- One last thing – Don’t miss the FREE TOOL above from Joey for all of our listeners, his The First 100 Days Starter Kit to help you implement this game changer into your own business!!!
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- Listen to it on iTunes.
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Scroll below for links and show notes… Enjoy!
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Joey Coleman
- Design Symphony
- Success Magazine
- Steal the Show by Michael Port
- Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
- Go the F**k to Sleep (Book) by Adam Mansbach
- Go the F**k to Sleep (Audiobook) by Samuel L. Jackson
- *Note: time stamps correlate for audio version of podcast, not YouTube
- 5:15 Brad introduces Joey onto the podcast
- 6:57 Brad asks Joey about his job interview with the CIA, and his time at the White House
- 10:00 Joey talks about his background check with the CIA, specifically the “jump from secret to top-secret”
- 11:45 What took you from that career, to the career you’re in now?
- 13:00 “If you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, look at the books that are next to your bed that you’re reading at night, that’s often a good indicator into the direction you probably want to move in.”
- 15:00 As a professional speaker, do you have any routines that you go through before you speak?
- 16:00 Joey strongly encourages audience members who like what the speaker has to say to go up to the speaker after, ask questions, tell them you liked it
- 16:20 Two things in preparing for speaking. 1) What happens the night before — make sure the presentation is customized to the audience; Joey’s never given the same talk twice. In addition, rehearse the material.
- 17:45 2) Day of is all about game time: being present in the moment and being open to what needs to be said. In other words, feel out the energy in the crowd and allowing yourself flexibility to best tune into your audience
- 19:00 Joey expounds upon the idea of working with your audience and how that impacts one’s talk
- 21:50 Marketing tactics, return on investment, and how that ties into giving talks.
- 24:00 The audience wants the speaker to succeed. The best way to reach people is to have the attitude of, “For the next hour, my goal is to teach these people things that will make their lives better. Whether or not they choose to work with me, I really don’t care.”
- 27:55 What are a few of the biggest mistakes you see people make on stage?
- 31:50 Knowing your audience, and if you’re potentially different from them, acknowledging it from the stage — but don’t get lost in it. Encouraging people to never tune out the message because of the messenger.
- 35:50 Brad asks Joey to introduce the “First 100 Days” … Essentially, 20-70% of people who say they want to be your client will cease to be your client within the first 100 days, statistically, if they get to Day 101 they’ll stay for a minimum of 5 years.
- 44:05 Brad talks about ways of communicating with a client during those first 100 days
- 48:00 Joey challenges advisors on newsletters and the idea of “checking the box” in the realm of communication with clients, Joey and Brad both expound upon the emotional nature of humanity — create opportunity to connect on a personal level, and this will help you succeed
- 53:30 It’s always the simple stuff — tied with the emotional connection — that seals the deal.
- 55:30 Joey shares a story with John Reuland and what John did to make an impact on him
- 58:30 Joey shares a story about how he was able to get to Darren Hardy by buying a gift for his wife instead of him; Joey shares why giving gift to the person’s loved ones can really be a powerful experience.
- 1:06:00 What is your favorite book, and what is your favorite book to give?
- 1:11:30 What advice would you give yourself if you were able to go back and talk to your 24 or 25 year old self?
- 1:13:30 What is one piece of advice you could give the listeners of this podcast?
- Seth Godin
- Tony Robbins
- Darren Hardy
- Stu McLaren
- John Ruhlin (also check out John Ruhlin on the podcast)
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[00:02:36] Brad: Welcome everyone. My name is Brad Johnson and I’m the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel. In each episode of The Elite Advisor Blueprint, 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. Essentially, I want to help you make more while working less. In this episode, I have some of the most fun I’ve ever had on this show. I have the pleasure of speaking with Joey Coleman. For those of you not familiar with Joey, when companies like Zappos and Hyatt hotels need to boost their client’s experience, they turn to him and his company, Design Symphony.
His First 100 days’ framework shows how if you get the First 100 days right with the new client. Studies actually show there will be a client from a minimum of five years. Joey shares multiple examples of how you can incorporate this methodology into your practice to create raving and loyal clients. You guys are going to love Joey’s energy. Here are just a few of the topics we cover…
We start with the fun question, “What’s it like interviewing for a job with the CIA?.” Joey actually worked for them during the Clinton years which included top secret security clearance and he shares what that process was like. I won’t spoil it but I can guarantee it’s a very different process than any job interview you’ve ever experience. Next we take a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts of public speaking. Joey shares a professional’s speakers view on how to prep to make sure you’re impacting your audience and also common mistakes he’s seen made from stage. Must listen stuff for your next seminar or client’s event. From there we get into a conversation that’s going to completely change your perspective on what a client experience can be, “The First 100 days.” As financial advisors we’re always looking for marketing and efficiency to capitalize on. Well imagine if you could focus on just the first 100 days for new clients with the payoff that they’ll still be clients five years later.
Joey does a deep dive into how some of your favorite companies accomplish this, as well as how you can apply it as an advisor. Get the notepad ready. This part of the call is some of the best content we’ve ever covered and it’s going to be a game changer for you.
One final note for those of you listening to this via podcast. This was originally a live video call with my client’s, Joey offered a free gift, “The First 100 Days starter kit”. He’s actually agreed to extend the offer to our podcast listeners as well. You can find it as well as show notes with links to all the resources discussed today at bradleyjohnson.com/joey. As always, thanks for listening and without further delay, my conversation with Joey Coleman.
[00:05:16] Brad: Alright Joey, welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast. I’m excited to have you buddy.
[00:05:23] Joey: I’m excited to be here.
[00:02:25] Brad: All the way from Scottsdale.
[00:05:27] Joey: Yes it has but I’m excited to get a chance to reconnect. Thanks for inviting me on.
[00:05:31] Brad: Well you crushed it out there so I have no doubt that you’ll do the same here on the show. So just a little bit of background on Joey as we get kicked off here, joeycoleman.com is where you can find him. His company is Design Symphony. So for those of you out there that aren’t familiar with Joey, we’re going to get into all the cool stuff that he does and that he consults on and we’re going to have a lot of fun here today. So beats being out in the snow, the three feet of snow you got last night, right?
[00:06:00] Joey: Yeah, a little bit of snow here in Colorado, I live about an hour west Denver up in the mountains and we definitely got dumped on which will probably be the last snow of the season.
[00:06:09] Brad: Cool. Well we actually… in Kansas it was like 75 yesterday and then it was snowing this morning when I woke up. So that’s how we do it down here.
[00:06:20] Joey: Don’t like the weather? Stay for a few hours, it will change.
[00:06:22] Brad: Exactly. So we’re just going to get this kicked off. I know you have a ton of content and I just want to get all of that stuff in your head out here for the listeners, the financial advisors that are going to be tuning in the show here. Before we do, I’m going to throw you a curveball.
[00:06:39] Joey: It works. Here we go.
[00:06:40] Brad: So this will be fun. In your presentation, I caught out in Scottsdale, you said you used to work for the CIA.
[00:06:49] Joey: I did. Yes.
[00:06:51] Brad: So before we get into all the really cool marketing stuff, tell me about that job interview and how that went.
[00:06:57] Joey: Yeah, so the job interview for that was actually pretty interesting. At the time that I was interviewing for the job at the CIA, I was actually working at the White House. This is taking aback a few years during the Clinton Administration and I was working there as a young lawyer… law student and was helping on all sorts of legal issues and without putting to find a point on it as you might think back to that administration you remember there were some legal issues. So let’s just say, I kept busy and at the time I had a security level clearance because I was working at the White House so when I went to interview for the position at the CIA, it was a nice and easy transition for them because at that time, moving someone from one level of clearance to a higher clearance was easier than going from no clearance to a higher clearance. So the fact that I came in and was already a little bit up the ladder made that transition a lot easier for them and then I got to go work with them which was an absolutely incredible experience.
[00:08:01] Brad: Wow so I’m sure there’s all kinds of fun stories you can’t tell me about so…
[00:08:05] Joey: Absolutely. It’s one of those things where… it’s not really though what I usually get ask is the old, “Oh, you could tell us what you did but then you have to kill us” and it’s like no, not at all but I’m just not going to tell you what I did. Sufficed to say that I worked as part of their legal team supporting activities around the world that they were involved in.
[00:08:29] Brad: Very cool.
[00:08:31] Joey: Not trying to be coy, that’s just the reality but a really cool place lots of fascinating people. I think the interesting thing, not to get overly political to start of our podcast but the interesting thing about the CIA is most often we here about when things go wrong with the CIA which shows up in the news from time to time. You don’t hear about when things go right which is really a shame for the people that work there because there’s a lot of really dedicated folks who work long hard hours in conditions and in environments that none of us would wish our worst enemy into and yet that’s where they operate. It’s just that we don’t usually get to hear about when it works out but thankfully, it works out a lot more often than it doesn’t work out so that’s what I think for the folks that actually works there.
[00:09:21] Brad: No doubt. You don’t hear about the bombings that never happen because of them.
[00:09:27] Joey: Yeah. Absolutely.
[00:09:28] Brad: We’ll segway but I just had to… I had to throw that out there. It was too interesting of a topic not to…
[00:09:34] Joey: No, that’s no problem. It’s one of those things that having it on your those resume, I have yet to do a job interview at any point of my life after that where that wasn’t one of the first questions they ask so no, it’s no problem at all.
[00:09:46] Brad: It’s kind of like you can pass the background check there, you’re probably going to be okay on most other jobs.
[00:09:51] Joey: Yeah. Actually since you bring that up, I’ll tell you a funny little story about it, if it’s not too much of attention. Forgive me.
[00:09:57] Brad: Go for it.
[00:09:58] Joey: Well at the time when they started doing my background check, this was to elevate me from a secret level clearance to a top secret clearance and then we went beyond that later but in that first jump from secret to top secret they send out agents and interviewers to talk to people throughout your life so people you went to grade school with, high school, college, people you work with, family members, etcetera.
I knew this was going to happen and I was sitting in my apartment one night and I get a call from a buddy in college and he said, “hey, I just got a call from these guys and they want to interview me about what you were like in college, what should I tell them?” and I was like, “you need to tell them the truth” and he was like, “the whole truth?” and I was like, “absolutely the whole truth like there’s no secrets here because while you get to have this conversation over a cup of coffee at the Starbucks, I get to have this conversation in a little white room hooked up to a polygraph so you’re answers better match up with my answers and the best way to make that happen is just tell the truth then we’ll be fine.”
So it was pretty funny and that my parents feel that all kinds of calls because I grew up in a small farming community in North Western Iowa, calls about black cars with government license plates driving around the neighborhood asking questions about little Joey and what should they do and again I told my parents, “just answer the questions honestly. Don’t try to get cute, don’t try to get special, just tell them what you know and everything will work out fine”
[00:11:28] Brad: Love it.
[00:11:29] Joey: Oh yeah.
[00:11:30] Brad: Sounds like an experience everyone should go through.
[00:11:33] Joey: It was pretty fun to say the least.
[00:11:36] Brad: Alright. So as we segway… so what… I’m curious now, what took you from that career to the career you’re leading now which is really going to take us into the rest of this call but obviously you’re a professional speaker and then you also do consulting on the side with a number of companies, Zappos I know, you’ve mentioned a few others but that… Zappos maybe Amazon, I don’t remember all the ones you mentioned from stage. How did that segway work? What transitioned to there?
[00:12:08] Joey: So the… there’s a much longer version of this story but the shorter podcast friendly version is… so I went straight from undergrad where I was a government international studies major to law school where I specialize in national security law and international law and litigation and then I was a practicing criminal defense attorney for a few years and then I left there to actually go teach at a school in Massachusetts, executive education courses, then I was running a promotional products company in Washington DC and then I decided to start my own company doing marketing and design and branding.
The way that it kind of segwayed from the law and the government stuff to the marketing and the design and the branding really comes down to a couple things. Number 1, years ago I read something that said, “if you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, look at the books that are next to your bed that you’re reading at night and that’s often a good indicator as to the direction you really want to move in.”
At the time, I was in law school and I was reading a ton of books on marketing and design, it was early adapter of Seth Godin and his work and reading a lot of books about graphic design because I always had an interest in art and it dawned on me that one of the things that I really enjoyed about being a lawyer was building the exhibits for trials. The little models and the dioramas and kind of creating the big things to hide behind the screen and then reveal and it shows what actually happened in the case and I was having a lot of fun on the design side. I also enjoyed practicing law so I’m one of the few folks you’ll meet that is not practicing law anymore that didn’t leave because they hate it. I left because I found something that I enjoyed even better and so I always had these kinds of entrepreneurial beliefs and ideas which I know a lot of your listeners and viewers are kind of the same way, they’re entrepreneurs and independent advisors and folks that have decided that big corporate life isn’t for them. They want to build something of their own and that was my dream too and so I decided, “Well, maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and give it a try” and 10 plus years later I think this is probably… it’s like you’re 15 actually here we are.
[00:14:24] Brad: That’s cool. Well that’s a… I love that. Whatever books are on your nightstand is something you should check out.
[00:14:32] Joey: Yeah.
[00:14:33] Brad: Right now I’ve got a lot of Doctor Seuss.
[00:14:35] Joey: Okay
[00:14:37] Brad: I’ve got a five-year-old and four-year-old. I know you have young children.
[00:14:40] Joey: Alright. Yeah I’ve got a two-and-a-half-year-old and a four-month-old.
[00:14:45] Brad: There you go. We might get to your other favorite children’s book here in a bit.
[00:14:48] Joey: Okay. Sure. Yeah
[00:14:51] Brad: So… as a lot of my clients are doing and a lot of the financial advisors that are tuning in here do a lot of public speaking probably not quite as much as you. I asked this on the last conversation of Scott McCain, Hall of Fame public speaker and so I wanted to ask you the same question because I’d love to hear your viewpoint on it. As a professional speaker, do you have any rituals or routines that you go through prior to taking stage that just gets you… I guess ready for game time or for lack of a better term?
[00:15:25] Joey: Sure. I think there’s two answers to that. I appreciate the question because it’s something that people wonder a lot about right? They sit in the audience and they see the speaker come up and they either think, “Wow that person really knows their stuff or may be that person doesn’t know their stuff” or “Wow that guy seems really confident or that guy seems really anxious and nervous out there”, but yet it’s shocking to me how few audience members actually come up and talk to the speakers. So as inside before I answer your question, if you are ever sitting in the audience and you see a speaker and you like what they have to say, go up and tell them after the speech, go up and ask them questions. We’re a lot more willing to interact with the audience than it feels like when we’re standing up on a podium or up on a stage and you’re kind of down in the audience watching so definitely encourage folks to do that.
In terms of rituals and habits, I’d say these kind of fall into two categories. There’s the ‘What happens up until the night before’ and ‘What happens the day of’. So what happens until the night before, the primary thing I try to do as a speaker is to really make sure that the presentation is customized to the audience. I’ve never given the same talk twice, I never will. Not only does I keep it interesting for me but I think it really keeps it interesting for the audience. I’d had the chance to listen to your interview with Scott. He talked about working on slides up until the last minute, I’m the same way. If there’s something in the news, there something happens or have an experience on site at the event that I feel is relevant to the conversation, I’ll absolutely work again to the conversation and into the presentation.
If you had the chance to see my presentations are really visual in the typical hour long keynote, there’s north of 250 slides. So what that really does is that it almost creates kind of a movie running before me so being able to add more visuals on the fly is a lot of fun. The other thing that happens before I actually kind of leading up to the night before, it’s just to really rehearse the material and really be familiar with it. I mean this is my life’s work for over a decade now and even before that frankly. I was always really attuned to the experiences the customers were having and how some businesses was better at that than others and so not only do I keep my eyes open and my radar locked for those type of opportunities that I might come across in my own life but I’m constantly figuring out how to teach people and share with them how to do that.
So that’s kind of the leading up to the night before. Day of, it’s all about game time and so it’s really a matter of just trying to be present, be in the moment. I try to open myself up. Some people think it sounds a little hoochie poochie but I got this from some work I actually had the pleasure working with Tony Robbins, not only is a member of… one of his elite mastermind groups but also having some personal conversations with him and he talks about kind of being open to what needs to be said in the moment.
And so I don’t get really caught up in, “Oh I have to deliver this sentence exactly this way every single time.” I really tried to feel the energy of the crowd and when you can tell… this actually happened in Scottsdale. I told a story that wasn’t… that I actually have slides to support the story. The story about a Darren Hardy from Success Magazine.
[00:18:39] Brad: Yeah
[00:18:40] Joey: That was in the moment standing on stage looking at the audience, seeing some heads nodding but realizing that not everybody was connecting with the point I was making. I decided I wanted to tell one more story and that flexibility to be able to add that in, I think is really important. So day of leading up I just try to say, “I’m open to whatever is coming, whatever energies coming off the audience, I’m looking to pay attention to where they’re at and then hit the stage and go.
[00:19:00] Brad: Which by the way, the Darren Hardy story who I’ve gotten a chance to know…
[00:19:14] Joey: Really?
[00:19:15] Brad: Spoken at a few of our events. Cody was in his mastermind, we did some private masterminds with him. I’m so glad you had a bad end because that was one of the best pieces of the whole presentation so it’s cool how just… that’s cool to hear it, it was on the fly.
[00:19:29] Joey: Totally. Hundred percent and it was one of those things where hindsight being 20/20. I might have looked at it and I know that Cody knew Darren and so may be… that would’ve been a good story to tell but when I looked at an audience and they were almost a thousand financial advisors at the World Series of Sales. I always try to have stories that resonate with everyone but also that resonate with specific individuals and given Darren’s profile and knowing that he had been involved in the past with Advisors Excel I was like, “This is a story where they know the player in the story and so they might find the story even more interesting,” but like I said it was just being open in the moment to say, “Okay, this is what it’s going to be” and being familiar enough… And I don’t say this is from a place of ego, I think this is the difference between semi pro speakers and pro speakers. I think if you’re going to hold yourself out as a professional speaker and get paid to give talks. One of the things that at least for me, I tried to be really responsible about is event organizers have booked me for a set period of time and when I go on stage, my job is to end within 10 seconds of that time right?
Because I don’t want to go over, I don’t want to go way short and so that idea being open to sharing a story knowing that while I’m sharing the story, in the back of my mind I’m cutting things out because I need to make room for the story I just told.
[00:20:53] Brad: Sounds like you better be good at what you’re doing.
[00:20:57] Joey: I think you know…
[00:20:57] Brad: Which you are by the way..
[00:20:58] Joey: Well thank you. I appreciate that. I think it just.. it keeps it exciting. It’s a performance, it’s an opportunity to engage people and I don’t take the job lightly. I recognized that companies are paying to have me come to create an experience for their audience and it’s not just to like, “rah rah” let’s feel better or let’s get fired up to go back and do good things. It’s like no, what are the tactical things that you’re going to do starting on Monday to make the experience that your clients are having better because I know that if you do that it dramatically increases your bottom line, it dramatically increases your employee engagement and your employee level of satisfaction and as a result all both rise together.
[00:21:44] Brad: Okay so I’ve got about three ideas… I’m going to pick one here. So okay this will be fun. So there’s a lot of financial advisers that we work with and consult and the way that I really look at marketing is it’s kind of like I’ve got three slot machines sitting side by side.
This one, every time I put a hundred dollars in, it pays me out five hundred. This one, every time I put a hundred dollars in, it pays me out twelve hundred, but I can only pull that lever maybe once every or twice a year, right? So it’s just a matter of how frequently or how can I turn up the volume on each of these marketing funnels and then what’s my ROI.
And so what’s interesting is public seminars when you look and we’ve analyzed all the numbers, this is pretty consistent. Almost, always other than referrals are about the highest ROI in the business. I’ll tie this back to public speaking. However, guys that have never done them have stage fright, scared to get up on stage and it goes back to knowing your content, rehearsing it. Studies show that public speaking people fear that more than death….
[00:22:56] Joey : Definitely that’s the story. What’s fascinating is my buddy, Michael Port wrote a great book recently called “Steal the Show”, which anybody who’s interested in doing more speaking. Go buy that book. It is incredible. I think it’s the best resource on the topic that is currently available. It’s absolutely tremendous, but he actually talks about that fear, all they fear is speaking more than death.
He did a research, nobody knows where that came from. Nobody can find a study that refers to it. Here’s the interesting thing and a couple of my friends razzed me because… In conversations people will ask what do you do, frequently it will come up that I’m a professional speaker. And they’re like, “What’s professional mean?”. You’ve been speaking all your life. And the same holds true for all of your advisers. They actually know how to talk, they do it all day every day. And they don’t really get stage fright or nervous talking to their spouse or talking to their best friend from college or even to a group of friends at a dinner party.
The problem is we put this pressure on ourselves, we think well this rooms full of strangers and their judging me. Fact of the matter is, I would say 99% of the audiences that you will ever address. The people in the audience want you to succeed, they really do. Like genuinely at a very deep cellular human level, they want you to succeed. So we kind of go into it thinking, there’s obviously noted exceptions to that and we see it lot of times with a politician addressing a hostile crowd or a lawyer addressing a jury like that’s why we train for these things because we know how to handle the audience that doesn’t have our best interest in heart.
But in a financial adviser world, you know doing a seminar where you gonna tell people about the importance of compound interest or the importance of having a diversified investment plan or the importance of insurance being part of your mix of how you think about your financial security and stability. The people who have come to the room, want to hear from you, like they wanna hear what you have to say. And we often have a tendency as the expert or as the person giving the presentation to think, “Well, if I don’t fire on all cylinders and cover every single possible thing I could on this topic, they’re gonna know that I left something out.” They’re not. Their knowledge on this is a thimbleful.
You’ve thought more about financial advising than most of your clients, will ever even think of, let alone retain. I mean it’s just not even close, so the fact of the matter is we get in these environments were we feel anxious and nervous about it. If you come at it from the point of being an educator and a teacher instead of trying to put the pressure of coming at it from becoming a sales tool or worrying about what the ROI is, and I understand as a business owner you want to take any consideration ROI, but if you walk on stage and your thought is, “How many of these people are going to set up an appointment?”,”How many of those appointments will I be able to convert?’, “Who are the A1’s that I’m gonna take for the platinums and who are the B’s and the C’s that I’m gonna send to my junior advisors to build up their portfolio’s?”
If all of that is going in your head, we’ve got some problems. Instead if you just clear your mind and say for the next half hour, for the next hour, for the next however long your seminar is, my goal is to teach these people things that will make their lives better. And whether they choose to work with me or not, I actually don’t care. Because the reason I got into this business, was to help people find financial security. So if they can find that with another advisor, great. And if my questions or my advice that I give to them or the information I share helps them to have a better relationship with the advisor they are currently with, great! No problem. Because we never forget where we learned it from. We will never forget the teacher who took an interest in us and said, “I believe in you, let me share some of my knowledge with you.”
[00:27:05] Brad: Awesome advice. I’ve got one other piece on that just because we could have a whole podcast in public speaking and how to do it right. But I know we’ve got some really cool stuff to get to but one last question on that topic. I know we’ve got a mutual friend, Stu McLaren, who believed that you helped coach a victory at a mastermind talks.
[00:27:30] Joey: I got to give a lot of credit to Stu. He and I did have conversations leading up to his victory, whether I deserve title as the coach who coached him to victory we’ll leave that to Stu to decide but we definitely had some conversations.
[00:27:46] Brad: Cool. So, as you’ve coached a few people that speak and speak on big stages, let’s go with what are the three biggest mistakes you see people make when speaking from stage? Maybe it’s not three but a couple of the biggest mistakes.
[00:28:08] Joey: Couple of thoughts on that. Number 1: I think that sometimes speakers are too much in their heads and not enough in their hearts. What I mean by that is they’re so focused on, “I’ve got to give the information. I’ve got four points I need to cover and each one lasts five minutes and boom, boom, boom, boom”, instead of actually opening their eyes and watching what’s happening in the audience. If the audience isn’t with you, continuing to pound your head against a wall, it’s not fun for anyone. It’s not fun for the speaker, it’s not fun for the audience, it’s not fun for anybody involved. There are definitely been times where in speeches I have had a plan to go down one path and because of the reaction of the audience, I’ve taken it a completely different direction. And when that’s happened, it’s been magical.
I think the secret is knowing your material cold and then being comfortable to take the conversation where it needs to go. Especially if you’re a financial advisor and you’re doing a seminar and there’s 20 people in the room. If you’re speaking before 10,000, probably want to stay on message. We see plenty of examples, particularly in the world of politicians and athletes where they kind of deviate from message a little bit and then they end up paying the price. But in a setting that most of the people listening to this podcast would be involved with, I think that’s a big piece. Be aware of the room and be conscious of the room.
Other mistakes, I think speakers have a tendency in those that are on the stage to be really hyper-critical of themselves. They’re doing a performance and they’re looking at all sorts of things. I’ll give you an example. I try to be honest in all of my interactions or at least as honest as I can. I was watching the video from the speech I gave at Advisors Excel with my wife at the World Series of Sales. We were watching this earlier this week, actually. And I said to her, “You know, I’m not really sure I like the shirt I’m wearing.” And she started laughing. And as a speaker, I know the content and I’m watching how the jokes are landing and the audience is paying attention to things. And I’m seeing how it goes but we get hyper-critical about every aspect of the performance. Relax. Let that go. You shared earlier that you had watched it recently. I’d be willing to bet, I could be wrong, we’ll see. But you might not even be able to describe the shirt I was wearing even though you just watched it.
[00:30:52] Brad: Well, what’s funny, and I do appreciate a good shirt. Actually, a shout out on this shirt. For those of you out there that have not checked out Mizzen + Main, it will change your life. Shout out to Jeff Rose. I know he’s a fellow shirt connoisseur. Anyway, you actually had two or three jokes in that presentation, where you’re like, “Hey, don’t worry about the jacket.” What was funny is you brought that back and kind of made fun of yourself in the actual presentation.
[00:31:25] Joey: The jacket I stand by but the shirt… But the funny thing is, that’s another technique that if you do it right can really help you build rapport with the audience. Now, here’s what we know about me, folks watching this, they see a lot of colorful things going on in the background. I was joking with Brad earlier. Brad looks like he got a haircut five seconds before this call. I look like I haven’t had a haircut this month. I knew, speaking to a room full of financial advisors that as a general premise, it would skew more conservative. More conservative in dress, more conservative in beliefs, more conservative in overall life philosophy. And that’s fine. No problem with that.
You might be able to tell that I’m a little bit further towards the liberal side of that spectrum. And so, two things. Number 1, I just acknowledge that from the stage. I’ll make fun of my hair. I’ll make fun of my jacket. I’ll make fun of my shoes. Because I know they are a jacket, and shoes and a hair-do that the average person in the audience would never even consider let alone support. But it also allows me to kind of acknowledge “Hey, there’s some differences but don’t get lost in the package.” One of the best things I ever heard from the speaker, there was a guy who has had an event and the guy came up and he did kind of…
We’ve probably all been to these events that was a real sales pitch. It was like, “Oh, we’ll have 10 of these available in the back of the room for the first 10 people! Now, run to the back!” I mean the people in the room were like, “Are you serious? This is horrible. It’s pathetic.” Those days, they’re just gone. That selling from the stage is just makes you want to have to take a shower. The emcee came on after the speech and by the way, when this guy started his speech, the room was full. By the time he was done, no kidding, 90% of the audience have left the room. Ninety percent had gone up and left the room not like pulled out their phones or started doing other stuff. Physically removed themselves.
The guy came up afterward and he said, “Do yourself a favor. Never tune out the message because of the messenger.” The information the guy was sharing was really valuable. The way he packaged it, the way he presented it, not so much. But in every engagement, try to look for what is the thing I can learn from this. I try to do that, not only as a speaker but as an audience member. Every speaker I have ever seen, the good, the bad and the ugly, I’ve taken away dozens of learning points from. I think that’s definitely a good way to approach making every opportunity in your life a growth and learning moment.
[00:34:24] Brad: One of their add on, and I think this was a Tim Ferriss podcast. But his guest, and I forget who it was. He was referencing when he sits on an airplane, and he says, “I go through life and I picture as if I’m the movie, I’m the protagonist in the movie.” And he said, “What a boring movie this would be if I just sat there with my headphones on the whole flight.” And so he approaches it that way so he’ll interact and he’ll see what he can take from each person that he comes across and I always thought that was a really cool way to kind of approach life and see what you can take out of it.
[00:35:03] Joey: I love it. And as you know, my whole business, my whole speaking is built around experience. Like, what is the experience you are having in your life? What are the experiences you are having as a consumer? What are the experiences you are giving as a business owner or as a financial advisor? What are the experiences that you are having just in your day-to-day life socially? All of those things combine to make a pretty fantastic life if you’re willing to pay attention to the experiences happening around you.
[00:35:34] Brad: Well, let’s get into the really good stuff. This has been awesome, but I know you have a ton of stuff speaking of the client experience. Let’s just kick it into, I believe you term it The First 100 Days. Let’s do this because not everybody has that had the experience or the opportunity to listen to you in Scottsdale. Can you just give us a quick overview, 30,000 foot view, what is The First 100 Days and then let’s dig in and talk about some different examples of how you can actually incorporate that as a financial advisor.
[00:36:11] Joey: Absolutely. So, here’s the basic 35,000 foot view of The First 100 Days. First 100 days is a philosophy, a methodology and a plan that is built around the following research and observation and facts. When someone becomes a customer, a clock start ticking that decides what kind of experience they’re going to have. And around the world, in all industries, somewhere between 20% and 70% of your customers who are newly acquired who become new clients or become new customers, will stop doing business with you before they reach the 100 day anniversary. I wanna let that sink in. 20% to 70% of the people who have raised their hand and said, “I want to be a customer”, will stop being a customer before you reach the 100 day anniversary.
Now, what’s interesting in the world of financial advising, and I made a reference to this in the presentation in Scottsdale, a lot of advisors go, “Joey, we can barely get the paperwork done in the First 100 days. Don’t worry there are still customers.” Fair enough, as far as looking at the specific calendar time. But if your focus is all about getting the paperwork done for the first three months and kind of working through the minutia, that client is never going to be a referer and they are probably already looking for other options. Now, they may not take those options or maybe a ways before but if you don’t get the experience right in the first 100 days, you’re in trouble. Now, if you do get the experience ride in the first 100 days, statistically, if we get to Day 101 in the typical business, they’ll stay for a minimum of five years. So what does that tell us? It tells us that this period of time in the customer life cycle, is disproportionately valuable and important.
What’s fascinating is most organizations and respectfully financial advisors are a little guilty of this too, spend so much time on the sales and marketing. “Oh, how are we gonna fill the funnel? How are we gonna bring ‘em in? What are we gonna do? How are we gonna convince them that they want to work with us?” And we get them to sign on the dotted line and what happens? In most businesses and in most financial advising firms, the next steps get handed off to some of the lowest paid people in the firm. Does that really show that we care? I understand there’s a reasoning and a rationale and I understand some advisors may be sitting saying, “Joey, I’m leading this company. I can’t be doing the paperwork.” Fair enough. But what I’m saying is, is the experience they’re having from the moment they become a client until that 100 day anniversary, remarkable? Because if it is, that’s where the magic lies.
[00:39:00] Brad: You made a great analogy in Scottsdale at our event. It was a marriage analogy. You went on all these dates with your future partner and asks, talk to her parents and they said yes and had a beautiful wedding and the next thing you know you’re like, “Oh. What about this girl over here?” And that’s unfortunately it is a lot of financial advisory practices. As soon as you land them, on to the next one.
[00:39:27] Joey: On to the next one. Exactly. And there’s a couple of things financial advisors could do to avoid that, that are actually pretty simple. What about having whoever’s going to be the account manager or receptionist just sit in the meeting for 10 minutes. You don’t have to sit in the hour long pitch but bring him into the meeting for 10 minutes. Introduce them, let them get to know each other. When you go to lunch with the client, bring the receptionist who’s going to answer the phone instead of having the receptionist eat at their desk or eat in the break room. Bring them on the client dinner or the client engagement.
Because then the client feels, “Oh, this person has a similar status and a similar level of importance and I can feel comfortable with them answering my calls or handling my situation in the same way that I hope to feel comfortable with the senior advisor handling the situation.” I’m not saying they have to sit in for the whole meeting because a couple of advisors came up to me after the event, they’re like, “There’s no way we could do this. We have too much work. We barely have enough time.” And it’s like, “I get it. But just give them a little taste.”
You can also do it using technology. What if early on in the process you said, “Hey, by the way you had your first meeting and they were going to go home and think about it and you said, ‘Look, I’m going to send you a link to a webpage that has five four-minute videos. It’s a four-minute video from each of the five people on our team that will be dealing with your account in the next year. Now, we’ll introduce them to you as they come, don’t worry. But I want you to get a feel for who they are early on in the process.’”
And you send them a link to a video that you’ve already shot which costs nothing, by the way. And then they’re watching these videos and they feel like they get to know the person. And the video shouldn’t be, “Hi, my name is Joey. I’ll be handling the filing of your forms to transfer your accounts from fidelity over to our firm. Blah blah blah.” It should be, “Hey, I’m Joey! I’m super excited to be working with you. Bob told me fantastic things about you. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I went to Notre Dame for undergrad; I went to GW for Law School. I’m married with two kids, so like you, as a fellow parent, I’m really concerned about what their future’s going to be. I’ve been working in this financial advising firm for 10 years. I absolutely love it. You’re in good hands and I’m super psyched that we are going to have the chance to get to know each other in the weeks, months, and years to come.”
[00:41:48] Brad: Love it.
[00:41:53] Joey: It would blow their minds! No one is doing this!
[00:42:00] Brad: So while we’re on the subject, there’s a really cool service. Have you ever heard of Bombbomb?
[00:42:04] Joey: I have. Yeah.
[00:42:06] Brad: Makes it really easy. In fact, I think might have been Darren Hardy’s Mastermind group that originally came out.
[00:42:13] Joey: Because I heard about it from a guy who is in Darren’s group as well.
[00:42:17] Brad: Yeah. I think Cody brought it back from there or Chris or somebody. Interesting. So that whole concept, that’s the software a lot of our team uses.
[00:42:30] Joey: And while we’re presenting individual videos but did you notice the video of the roleplay that I just did, could apply to many of your clients. That can be pre-recorded and still be true and accurate but not require a lot of drain on time or resources for the firm because I record that. When the one biggest takeaways for me in the conversations that I’ve had with your advisors before the event, during the event and since the event, is how many of them are completely overwhelmed when it comes to their calendars. Completely overwhelmed.
I’ve tried to schedule calls with some of the advisors, where the advisors have said, “Joey, it’s a priority for me to talk to you.” And I’m like, “Great. When do we want to get that on the calendar?” And they’re like, “I’m six weeks out.” I’m like, “Should I take this personally?” And it’s like, “No. Literally. I’m running from 8 o’clock in the morning until 7 o’clock at night. Five days a week plus the weekends for the next six weeks.” If you focus on making your entire team part of the customer experience, instead of just you, not only are your clients going to be more excited, but it’s actually gonna free up some time in your calendar. And there are very few people that I know in 2016 that don’t wish they had a few spare minutes in their calendar. I don’t know what their profession is.
[00:43:54] Brad: You can always make more money, you can’t make more time that’s the same, right? So, I wanna get into a few more examples here. One thing that you mentioned at our event, I just call it a “communication audit.” Essentially, here are the six ways you can communicate with a client or a prospect in those first 100 days. And I’ll just name them off real quick. In person, email, traditional mail, phone, video, gift. So, let’s go with other companies before we get to the how financial advisory or a financial advisor can do some of the stuff, what are some companies you’ve seen that do incredible jobs with different pieces of those communication? Just some examples.
[00:44:47] Joey: Sure, I’m happy to give some fine examples. But before I do that, let me just say, it’s not that it even has to be incredible. If you even use it at all, you’ve stand out from the rest. So let’s lower the bar on the pressure we have to put on ourselves like, “This needs to be the greatest phone call in the history of the world!” No. Sometimes just a phone call that shows you care or paying attention is enough. Real life example: yesterday I got a phone call from Go Daddy, so I own a bunch of domain names I’ve had for years, I keep renewing them. Someday there’s going to be things there, some of them are built out businesses but I’m an ideas guy so I’ve got 50 domain names that are just kind of sitting, waiting for different ventures and different ideas.
And I got a call from Go Daddy; it was a 35-second call. And this is how the call went: “Hello, is this Mr. Coleman?” “Ah yes, it is.” “Mr Coleman, do you mind if I call you Joey?” Ding Ding Ding! Automatically excited because Joey is not my full legal name, it’s the name I go by, but it’s not the name on my credit card which means that it’s’ not the name on the account that they’re reading up, which means somebody paid attention in a previous conversation and put it into their CRM. I said, “No, I’d actually prefer it if you call me Joey.”, which I do.
He said, “Hey, we just wanted to call and let you know how much we enjoy you being a Go Daddy customer. Thank you so much for your business.” And I said, “You’re welcome.” He said, “You know, I know you’ve been with us for over a decade! You probably have this pretty well worked out, but just out of curiosity; do you have any pressing questions or concerns?” And I said, “No, I don’t at all.” He said, “Great! No problem. I won’t take any more of your time. Have a fantastic day and thanks again for being a customer.”
I hung up the call. I was in my kitchen with my kids and my wife. And I turned to my wife and I said, “And that’s why I like Go Daddy.” There wasn’t an upsell; there wasn’t a “Hey, we need to schedule this or we need to try to get you involved in this.” The guy recognized, “Wait, he probably knows where things are. You don’t need to do anything.” Irony of all ironies, this morning, because it refresh in my mind, I went in and got two new domains and purchased another one of their upsell services on my own because I realized I had been needing it and I had forgotten that I wanted it, needed it until I got the call.
So, moral of the story is, you don’t have to do anything above and beyond crazy. Let’s do some examples that may apply to financial advisors because I think that’d be most relevant to the folks listening. Even a phone call to congratulate them on their kid making the state basketball tournament or a call to congratulate them on their five-year-wedding anniversary. Or better yet, a video that you shoot in the office, on your iPhone in all of four minutes where you walk around and you have everybody sing a Happy Birthday, and that’s what gets sent to them. It’s using these tools we talk about: in person, physical mail, email, phone, video and presents, to create personal and emotional connections. Not just to check a box and say, “We did it.” A lot of advisors will say, “Well, we have a newsletter and that goes out via e-mail so check that box. We’re doing great communications with them using email.”
Do you even read the newsletters you send? Stop and ask yourself that advisors. Do you even read the newsletters that come out of your office? I’m not bagging on newsletters. Newsletters can be really valuable. But this implication that while we’re checking the boxes so therefore, it must be good, that’s where the problem lies. What if it was a newsletter that had nothing to do with financial advising? What if one time your weekly or your monthly newsletter, you did a whole issue on the people in your office and you said, “Hey, we don’t need to be self-serving but it dawns on us that you may not know all the employees on our team. We’d love to take a few paragraphs here and introduce them.” And you write about them personally. What lights them up, what interests them, what excites them, instead of what role they’re playing in your business. Sure, mention that, but that should be a sentence at most. These are the type of things you can do to create these interactions with your client where your clients would go, “Huh, didn’t see that coming. That was interesting. That was different.”
[00:49:10] Brad: Spot on. How are humans, how are we wired? We are wired to have emotional connections with others.
[00:49:22] Joey: 100%.
[00:49:23] Brad: So we call that creating a gossip column in your newsletter. In fact, I would even take that a step further. One thing that we realized on ours is nobody wants to read the current rate updates or anything like that. But what they do wanna know, is what did Brad do this weekend with his kids. So, pictures and a quick little blurb, kind of like a Facebook update really. Here’s what’s going on in my life. And so we’ve incorporated that in the things we do, a lot of our clients have too. I’d even encourage them to include that in almost every communication or newsletter if possible.
[00:49:58] Joey: I agree and I’d encourage them because I’ve seen some of those newsletters where it’s at the bottom but I’m never gonna get there. Lead with that. Because if you were to pull your clients aside, how often do you think your clients go out with their friends for dinner and talk about you, their financial advisor? Or talk about how their investments are doing in the market. You think those are usually the opening questions when they say, “Oh Bob, Linda, it’s great to see you. We haven’t had dinner in six months. How’s your portfolio doing?”
With all due respect, I want to be really clear here, I’m not at all trying to minimize the important work that your advisors do. What I am saying is create opportunities for them to connect with you on a personal level, not just on a business level. The more you do that, the more they become a friend. Which, at the end of the day, most advisors I know, they got in this business to help people. And when they first started out, they were friends with their clients because they maybe only had 8 or 10 clients, so you knew them, you knew what their hobbies were, you knew what their interests were, you’d see them in the grocery store, “Oh hey Sue! How are you? How are the kids?” Because you didn’t have to remember that much.
It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the advisors watching this are in a scenario that when it comes time to do the annual review and check-in, that they have to go to the folder or the file to refresh their memories to who this person even is. I’m not being critical, again, I get that that is part and parcel with growing a business. But what are you doing to build those connections, that you remembering what actually matters to them and the really fine details of the things that are going on in their day-to-day life instead of this big picture, where’s my long-term financial planning?
[00:52:00] Brad: So one other quick fun tool I’ll throw out there, we created this for one of our clients and I love it. Prior to all of his public speaking events, seminars, different things like that, he has a little one page handout and it’s basically 10 random facts to know about him. It’s formatted up, has a picture of him and his family, he has some young kids so basically, him outside of the office. It’s just completely non-business related tips like one of them was, “Hey, I worked out an In-n-Out Burger in high school so any of the secret menu stuff you wanna know, I’m your guy.” It’s funny because I read his, and I’m like “Wow, I learned three things that I didn’t even know and I’ve worked with this gentleman for four or five years.” Just the fun, interactive, get to know me as a real person type stuff goes so far.
[00:52:48] Joey: Absolutely. First of all, I think that’s a great idea. So you go to the public seminar, if I’m understanding correctly, and you get handed this little form that tells you some interesting things about the guy who’s about to speak. Correct?
[00:53:00] Brad: Correct.
[00:52:48] Joey: Awesome. So then, some of those people actually become clients, or at least that’s our hope. When they show up for the first meeting and we’re getting all their particulars, I’d ask them to answer the same 10 questions. Throw the ball back into their court and say, “Let’s build the same rapport. Craziest job I ever had as a kid was working it in an In-n-Out burger. What about you? What’s the craziest job you ever had?” “You know my best advice for raising kids is it’s okay if they have sharp objects but don’t let them run with them. What’s your best tip for raising kids?” And suddenly, you’re having fun. And I’m making this up off the top of my head and what’s great is because I know Brad has kids that are at the “that’s sharp, don’t run with it” age. Did you see his reaction, folks? Watch on the podcast; watch his reaction when I said that. Partially because it was funny but more likely was because he thought of his own kids in that moment. Now, we’re making personal and emotional connections.
[00:54:07] Brad: It’s amazing. Sometimes it’s the simple stuff, right.
[00:54:11] Joey: You know that it’s always the simple stuff. It’s not just sometimes. It’s always the simple stuff. And what is often disheartening and shocking for us to learn as business owners, that it’s not the radio show, or the TV Show or the shock and awe kit or the amazing binder that really sealed the deal. It’s part of it, I’m not saying those things aren’t important. Ninety nine times out of 100, what seals the deal is they feel like, “You know what, this guy’s going to take care of me. This woman’s going to be in my corner.” And that is a gut feeling that can be augmented by your branding and your marketing materials absolutely. But it’s accelerated even more by who you are as a person and how much you’re willing to share that with them.
[00:55:00] Brad: Spot on. So, we’ve got about 10 minutes here, and I feel like this conversation could go another two hours, so maybe we’d have to do part 2 of this someday.
[00:55:10] Joey: I’d be happy to come back and do a part 2.
[00:55:13] Brad: Cool. Alright. So, I wanted to capture this story. I was scribbling notes like crazy during your presentation out in Scottsdale, but this one was one I was like, “This is a no-brainer. Why does everybody not do this?” And it was kind of the two-part story. Do you have a buddy, his name is John Ruhlin. Am I pronouncing that right?
[00:55:39] Joey: Absolutely.
[00:55:42] Brad: I think you called him an expert in strategic client appreciation.
[00:55:45] Joey: Correct.
[00:55:46] Brad: So he has a story and I wrote down a quote, “A gift with your logo on it is not really a gift for them, it’s a gift for you.” As a business owner, if I gave you an Advisor’s Excel logoed something. So, first off, can you hit on that concept and really what John does that is really unique and then segue into your Darren Hardy story, if you don’t mind sharing that as well because I thought that was really cool.
[00:56:12] Joey: Happy to. So, John and I have known each other for a while now. Great guy, as Brad said is an expert in strategic appreciation. Now what that means is what are you doing to acknowledge, appreciate and gift your clients that will help deepen and build and further the relationship. In working with him, one of the things that I said is… we were talking about logos and client logos and he agrees with this. I’d actually said, “A gift with your logo on it isn’t a gift for your client, it’s a gift for you,” because it’s more marketing material. What John does is really special, early on when I first met him, not long after that, he sent me a gift and it was a knife and on the knife (like a really nice high-end kitchen cutting knife ) and it said, “For the family of Joey and Barrett Coleman”, my wife’s name, and then underneath it had the Design Symphony logo, the logo of my company. What’s really cool about that is a couple of things. Number 1, that knife gets two touches in our house every night. My wife makes dinner, she uses the knife to prepare dinner. I do dishes, I clean the knife. Every night, we see that knife, at least twice, if not more.
What’s fascinating is nowhere on that knife does it say John Ruhlin’s name. Nowhere on that knife does it have his logo. He doesn’t have to because it was a thoughtful gift that also has a really practical use and I remember every time I use it, my relationship with John. So John is really brilliant at this stuff.
I had the opportunity to be on a podcast with Darren Hardy, the founder and editor of Success Magazine, and we were talking about customer experiences and how to create remarkable experiences in the First 100 days and at the end of the podcast, I wanted to send him a gift. So I talked to John and I said, “Look, I wanted to send Darren a gift, but what do you get for the guy who has everything? Darren’s super successful, very well off financially, everything’s good. What am I going to buy that is really going to move the dial for him?” And John said, “You know we should do is we should do a gift for his wife. That would be even more interesting.” And for all of you listening that are married, I’m sure you’ve had the experience where your spouse received the gift and they were delighted by it and that delighted you. Whether that gift came from you or from someone else, fact of the matter is we love to see our loved ones light up. So I thought, “Great. This sounds good.” And so we sent her a leather tote bag with her initials on it. Fast forward a few weeks, I get an email forwarded from Darren to me that says, “Joey, I thought you’d want to see this.” It’s an email from Darren’s wife to him that he sent on to me. That says, “Darren, who is Joey Coleman? This guy is unbelievable! I just got the most beautiful bag in the mail, it has my initials on it, it’s gonna be so lovely to use at the beach this summer. Please send me his email and phone number so I can thank him personally. I love the fact that you did the work of having him on the podcast and I get the benefit.”
Moral of the story is: For your clients, when you’re thinking about how do we create these remarkable experiences, don’t forget to look to their spouse or their children. Some of the greatest ways people have connected with me in the last three years is by doing really thoughtful gifts for my kids. Not even for me. I’m more excited about my son getting a thoughtful gift than I am about me getting a thoughtful gift. So expand your horizon, look beyond who’s my direct client and look to some of the people that are in their life that they love and care about and think, “Well, what gift could I give to them?”
For example, I know a lot of financial advisors do like sports appreciation outings where they’ll invite, everybody comes and we’ll go see the local baseball team play in the summer. That’s fun and everybody goes and they enjoy. What might be even more interesting would be to go to all your clients and say, “Bring your kids. We’re gonna go not to the big stadium. We’re gonna go to the local ballpark where they play T-ball or junior little league or whatever and we’re gonna bring a celebrity baseball player there. Bring the pitcher from the home team and see if any of the kids can hit off him”, that kind of thing. Those are the memories. And then have a photographer there that takes a picture of the kid with the pro athlete and send them a poster of that for the kid to hang in their room later. That’s how you create a remarkable experience. I guarantee that client will be more excited about that little exchange than any gift that you could send them. Not to mention we get to work within compliance and still create a lovely event.
[01:01:16] Brad: I’m glad you threw that disclaimer on there. We get a deal with that out on a daily basis.
[01:01:21] Joey: And I get that. The funny thing about compliance and we talked a little bit about this. A lot of the folks that work in compliance are lawyers or report to lawyers and as a former lawyer, let me just say this, they actually don’t like saying no to you. You think that that’s their job. You think that in their interview, the person interviewing them said, “Would you like to be a compliance officer?” they said, “Oh, I’d love to.” “Can you say no to me fifty times? Because I need you to get used to saying no to any idea that comes out from the financial advisors we’re working with.” They actually want to say yes, so just befriend them. Try to make a personal and emotional connection with them and say, “Look, we want to put together this fun event…” and by the way, I know from my own research, the rules around compliance around events are a little bit different than the rules around the gift. An event can be a gift as well and then a small memento of that gift like a poster, which by the way would cost all of $20 to print can be a huge reminder of this incredible day we had at the ballpark. So, work with compliance. They’ll be willing to work with you.
[01:02:25] Brad: That’s coming from a former lawyer, it holds merit. And one thing I don’t want to miss on that because I think the key thing here is genuineness and I know the gift to Darren Hardy’s wife had a very thoughtful note and it was, “Hey, you made a huge sacrifice. Darren’s time away from you and so, “Hey, I just want to say thank you.” I think that’s the other piece of that, it’s powerful. It’s not just the gift. It’s the thoughtful note that goes with it that you actually put thought into the whole thing.
[01:03:00] Joey: Absolutely and forgive me, I left that part out of the story. Often, a handwritten thank-you note or a handwritten little message is exponentially better than anything that you would purchase and give to them. Stop and ask yourself this question, “Tell me the last three handwritten notes you got.” My gut instinct is for the average person watching this you have to go back at least a year to get all three in. This is something we don’t do anymore. We send emails, we fire them off. All I’m saying is, spend 10 minutes, remind yourself that you learned cursive when you were a kid and write a note. It’s that simple. You were taught this for a reason.
I find it ironic that we don’t teach handwriting in schools anymore. I think this is going to make the idea of a handwritten note even that much more special because the generation that’s coming up right now isn’t even learning that. Ok, so now we have this kind of artifact that’s a reminder of the yesteryear and when times were simpler and when people cared more and now you can trigger those type of emotions. Are you kidding me, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
[01:04:13] Brad: So, fun fact, they actually have a way now to turn your handwriting into a font. Yourfonts.com
[01:04:26] Joey: Totally yourfonts.com or myfonts.com and all those work. I think those are a great solution. Nothing beats you handwriting it. By the way, when I get one of those letters that’s your font printed out, I can tell that it was printed out which is fine and you may say, “Joey, I have sloppy handwriting. I need to use that.” Okay, that’s fine. But I’m just saying, at least do a personalized PS with one sentence on the bottom so that they know you care.
[01:04:50] Brad: It’s like the newspaper, it’s going extinct. Everything is going electronic so if you go do what everybody else isn’t doing, you’re just gonna stand out that much more.
[01:05:04] Joey: Zig when everybody else zags. At the end of the day, and I know Scott talked about this on your show, this whole idea of creating distinction and being distinct. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we wanna be? We wanna stand out and we wanna be thought of as special. Well, so do your clients. What more to make them feel like they’re special than these little personal touches. Whether it’s a handwritten note or just remembering what their favorite ball team was, remembering what type of coffee they like to drink or whatever it maybe. Those are the things that reinforce that you actually do care about your clients.
[01:05:42] Brad: Well, Joey we’re very close to the end here but if it’s cool with you, I wanna sneak in some rapid fire questions. You get on your feet, are you ready to roll?
[01:05:51] Joey: I’m ready for it. Let’s make it happen.
[01:05:53] Brad: Alright. So this is one of my favorite questions. I know you’re a big reader. What’s the the favorite book you’ve ever read and how it impacted your life or your favorite book to gift or that you gift the most. Or both.
[01:06:19] Joey: Interesting. That’s as you might know, that’s an extremely difficult question especially for someone who loves to read books and I definitely love to read books. Let me take them in reverse order. I’ll come back to my favorite books, but we’ll go in reverse order with the books I like to gift. There are two books that I probably gift the most. One is Tim Ferriss’s’ 4-Hour Workweek. I gift that to especially young person I meet or budding entrepreneur or just-starting out entrepreneur because I think there’s are a lot of great information in there and a lot of great suggestions throughout how to structure your business and build it. That is probably one of the books I have gifted the most. It’s been out for awhile now but it’s still a classic. And don’t be caught up in the title, it’s not about creating only working four hours a week. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Tim and speaking on the same stages and getting to know him over the last few years and he works definitely more than four hours a week. But it’s about automation and systemizing and things like that.
The other thing I love to give is… and we talked about it in the presentation in Scottsdale. I love to gift new parents a book, and I am drawing a blank on the author’s name, but just go on Amazon and Google it. It is called Go the F to Sleep. It’s basically a children’s book that it’s been written which..it’s a little off color in terms of the title, and by the way when you get into the book, it is definitely a not safe for work, a not safe for little kids book. It’s such a powerful message especially for new parents that are dealing with sleep deprivation and trying to put kids to sleep. It’s definitely a classic.
[01:08:19] Brad: Especially when read by Samuel L. Jackson.
[01:08:21] Joey: Exactly. I was gonna say that. The audio books is even better because the audiobook is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson which is even better. But even the written book is fantastic. And I’ve heard that Jennifer Garner just did a reading of it. I’ve not seen this yet. A couple of people have told me that they’ve heard about this so I’m gonna have to seek that out. It’s pretty fun and entertaining.
In terms of the book that has impacted me the most, this is gonna feel a little bit like a cop-out, hear me through. It’s the next one. The reason I say that is because this thing that has served me best in my entire life is being a lifetime student and constantly looking for opportunities to grow and learn. I read across an unbelievably wide spectrum of books. I have my business books, obviously. I have my marketing books, my sales book, my customer experience books. I read a lot of design books. Probably now, I’m at the place where I’m reading about 40% of what I read is fiction. And I’m reading fiction from a lot of different writers. Old stuff, new stuff. I read stoics, old school Roman and Greek literature.
I read all kinds of things because it’s my personal belief that the more inputs that you give your brain, the more it can make connections between those different inputs. And so I’m constantly looking for what is the next thing. That being said, I don’t get overly caught up in, I only need to read the classics. I only need to read something that’s going to be life changing. I’m reading a James Patterson book right now. You probably do know James Patterson. He’s the most published author in the history of the world. I think he has now over 300 books. He jointly writes them with other writers but I mean the guy is just prolific in the amount of books he creates. I’m reading a book of his that is never going to win any prizes, and I say that respectfully to James and his work. It’s never going to stand out but it’s a little bit of a… it’s candy for the brain. It’s nothing that’s going to change my life. It’s nothing earth-shattering but it allows me after a long day of work to put something into my head that isn’t work related and what’s fascinating is, it’s already making other connections that are showing up in my life just because I’m allowing my brain to rest and not worry that everything I read has to have a purpose. So that was a long answer to a rapid fire question.
[01:11:03] Brad: I love it. It was good stuff. This is always fun. Let’s go with two more. When did you graduate from Law School? How old were you?
[01:11:26] Joey: I graduated from law school when I was about 24, 25-ish. I went straight to law school from undergrad.
[01:11:36] Brad: So let’s go to that time in your life. Just hopped out of law school, big accomplishment. If you could go back and give your 24, 25-year-old self, younger Joey, some advice, what would it be?
[01:11:50] Joey: “This is all gonna work out even better than you think.” We spend so much time, I think when we’re young, worrying about where is the future headed. And as a result, we often miss the present moment we’re in. I had some absolutely incredible experiences in law school and post-law school and one of the most frequent questions I get asked when people find out that I used to be a lawyer, “Oh well then, was law school a waste of time?” Absolutely not. It was hard, it was a challenge, there were plenty of sleepless nights. It was in many ways, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever worked myself through.
And I think when you’re that age, and you’re kind of done with your formal education and you’re stepping out to the world, there’s this question of, “I gotta get the right job. I gotta get on the right path; I gotta start climbing the ladder.” Here I am, give or take 20 years later, I realized that it’s less about getting on a single ladder and climbing, and more about just continuing to take a step forward. It ends up feeling a lot more like chutes and ladders than just a ladder. There are times where it’s gonna be a set back and there are times when you’re gonna bounce from one ladder to another ladder and it’s a lateral or maybe even you go back down. But just trust that it is all working out exactly the way it’s supposed to and the more open you are to the possibilities in front of you, the more fun this adventure of life will be. So that’s what I’d remind myself at 24.
[01:13:31] Brad: I love it. All right, last one. What is the one piece of advice you can give the listeners or the viewers on the podcast here that has led to your success?
[01:13:53] Joey: Don’t be afraid to be different. We live in a society where conforming is the norm. Stop and think about this just for a second. Most of us came through an education system that is designed to have us all think the same way, give the same answers to the same questions, sit in a constricted desk, move when the bell goes off. It’s an education system that was designed to create factory workers. The problem is, there are no more factories, and at the risk of getting into a big discussion about economics and politics, they’re not coming back. They’re just not.
And so now, we’re in a place where as professionals, the thing we were taught: Follow the rules, do what you’re supposed to do, check off these boxes, and you will succeed, go to college, get an education, start your business, do this, do that. The path is never linear. The path is all over the place, it’s chaos. The sooner you embrace the chaos and say, “I’m willing to be a little different”, the the better things will work out for you. When we think about our best friends, the people that we love the most in our lives, chances are, they’re a little quirky. They’re a little weird, they’re a little different. And part of what we love about them is that we kind of don’t exactly know what’s going to happen next.
I’m not saying live in chaos all the time. You wanna have some consistency but be willing to try something different. Be willing to go a little bit further. I just rewrote the About section of my website. There’s actually gonna be a bonus for the listeners. If you guys to to joeycoleman.com/brad, you can download this First 100 Days starter kit that we’re gonna give you. But then if you get the chance, click over to the About Us page. I share stories in there, yes my wife knows and my close friends know but here’s a bunch of stuff in there that is just completely random. And part of the reason I do that is to show that the path has been really eclectic.
We started this entire conversation with a guy who’s an expert about customer experience asking what it was like to work at the CIA. There’s actually method to the madness and it wasn’t as much of a conscious choice when I was growing up to try to do the thing that was a little different or a little odd or distinct. But what I found is throughout my life, those are the pieces that folks are most interested in and those are the pieces that have had the biggest impact. Doing the same thing day after day, that really hasn’t impacted my life. It’s the rare exception, the leaning far out, the taking the leap and hoping the net will appear and then when the net doesn’t appear, trying to grab like crazy as you’re falling on the way down. Do something distinct. Do something different and don’t be afraid to kind of break out of the mold you’ve been in and try something new.
[01:17:15] Brad: Wow! It’s funny timing for that advice because on my 20-minute commute to and from work here, I’d listen to a lot of audible books. I’m right now on Einstein by Walter Isaacson.
[01:17:29] Joey: Interesting.
[01:17:32] Brad: And that’s a guy… it’s interesting because he was in that mold of education where, “Hey, everybody think like this” and there was a quote by one of his teachers, I’ll probably butcher this, but it’s something to the effect of “Einstein, you’re a very bright boy, but you can’t be told anything.” And look where that got him right?
[01:17:52] Joey: I think it worked out okay. Look at the people that stand out, in whatever industry it is. Politics, sports, business. The names that stand out and the people that kind of get our attention, are the freaks, the weirdos. I mean, Apple did an incredible commercial years and years ago, that was all about this, the rule breakers, the people that see things differently. It’s actually a lot more fun there too. Not only does it have benefits to your personal life, but it’s more enjoyable than worrying so much about, “Well, am I gonna look different? Am I gonna stand out? Is this haircut too wild? Are these shoes too bold?”, whatever it may be. Just do mini experiments. Just give it a try. Try to approach something a little bit differently than you have in the past. I think you’ll be surprised with the results.
[01:18:57] Brad: Awesome advice. That’s good. As we wrap here, once again, Joey has been incredibly kind. He is gifting everyone that’s watching, listening, however else you’re taking this content in. It’s a starter kit for The First 100 Days concept he has talked about. There’s gonna be a ton of tools in there where you can distill down a lot of what we’ve covered here today and actually build it into your practice. Joeycoleman.com/brad I even have my own special page so I feel good about that. Anyway, go check that out and I just want to say on my end, Joey, thank you so much. This has been an incredible hour or so that we’ve spent together. And my guess is we’ll probably get a few requests for you to come back and hop on here again. So, thank you.
[01:19:49] Joey: That’d be great. I’d love to. Thanks, Brad. I really appreciate the time and thanks to everybody that who listened all the way to the end. You gave us a valuable gift of your time. I appreciate that. Hopefully, you got some ideas of things you can implement in your business right away to make that better and if you ever have any questions, anybody who’s listening, whoever has any questions, things they wanna know about, do not hesitate to reach out to me. It’s real simple, email@example.com. We make this really straightforward so you can find me. Send me an email, happy to chat, happy to help in any way I can.
[01:20:21] Brad: Thanks, Joey and stay warm out there in Colorado.
[01:20:25] Joey: Will do. Thanks so much.
[01:20:26] Brad: All right. See you, buddy.
[01:20:28] Joey: Bye
[01:20:30] Brad: Hey guys, this is Brad again. Just a few more things before you take off. Number one, seven technology hacks that financial professionals can use to reclaim unproductive hours every day. This is a free tool, I’m gifting you on my website bradleyjohnson.com, it’s available right on the homepage and includes seven tools, apps or other technology hacks. I’ve uncovered in the last decade or so of consulting the top financial practices in the country to allow you to put hours back on your calendar. There’s only one way to get it, subscribe to my free updates and it’s delivered to your inboxes as soon as you do. Once again it’s available at bradleyjohnson.com. My gift to you for checking out the podcast.
Number two, if you’ve listen to a few of my shows now and enjoy it, I’d appreciate you heading out to iTunes or Stitcher to rate the podcast and just let me know what you think, if you have ideas for future guests, please share them there as well. Thanks again for listening, I’ll catch you on the next show.
The information and opinions contained herein are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Advisors Excel. Joey Coleman is not affiliated with or sponsored by Advisors Excel. For financial professional use only. Not to be used with the general public or in a sales situation.
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