In today’s conversation, I speak with Pat Quinn. Pat is a presentation coach and the head speaking trainer for Advance Your Reach, where he’s coached some of the best speakers in the world, including New York Times bestselling authors, 6 former Olympians, and pastors you see on TV every Sunday.
We first connected through Advance Your Reach founder Pete Vargas. Pete invited me to what I would call the American Idol of speaking, where I saw Pat coaching speakers and literally tweaking their presentations on demand. I instantly knew Pat could help many of you advisors out there giving live seminars better connect with your audience, which in turn means more appointments on the calendar. We then invited Pat to our largest event of the year where he preceded to crush at such a level that we decided to make him one of our trainers… so in this conversation you are not only going to get some incredible ideas to grow your business, but also a sneak peak inside one of Advisors Excel’s flagship trainings.
Our conversation today gets to the heart of the simple things you can do to make your presentations and speaking events more effective: the importance of storytelling, how to avoid drowning your audience in data, and what you need to do to get audience members excited about working with you before your final pitch. If you’re looking to up your conversions and schedule more appointments, you’re going to want to put this episode on repeat as many of our clients have doubled and even tripled their conversion ratios after a coaching session with Pat.
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- [04:46] First off, we dive right into what makes financial advisors so different from Pat’s other coaching clients, how Pat helps them overcome the unique hurdles they face when hosting an event, and the real goal you should be setting for your speaking events.
- [08:11] Next, we talk about the three things that need to happen in the first five minutes of your stage time in order to forge a meaningful connection with the audience – and how to quickly tell an authentic, effective, and episodic story that keeps them engaged.
- [22:13] We then dig into why Pat thinks you’re probably teaching too much during your presentations, and how to edit down to the bare essentials in order to answer the questions keeping your clients up at night.
- [37:32] Next, we talk about the hard line you have to walk as a financial advisor in terms of how many slides you should share with your audience, what data you need to communicate, and the two most important things you should convey in each section of your content.
- [46:08] Pat then talks about the importance of embedding throughout your presentation to overcome objections, rather than waiting for the end to make your pitch – and how one advisor upped his conversion rate from 30% to 80% despite implementing only half of what he learned.
- [01:01:27] Finally, Pat shares the story of how he chose his financial advisor and why he’s continued to work with him for over 20 years – even though he hears pitches from financial advisors at his workshops all the time.
“What makes financial advisors different from other speakers is that the area of finance is held a little closer to the chest. People don’t say, ‘Let’s go think about our future and our retirement all night.’ They don’t walk into the room super excited about the topic. They often have worries and concerns that make this not their favorite topic.” – Pat Quinn Click to tweet
“What makes financial advisors different from other speakers is that the area of finance is held a little closer to the chest. People don’t say, ‘Let’s go think about our future and our retirement all night.’ They don’t walk into the room super excited about the topic. They often have worries and concerns that make this not their favorite topic.” – Pat QuinnClick to tweet
- [06:40] Pat’s unique background that helped him become laser-focused on audiences, how adults learn, and how they receive information.
- [07:50] Why it’s never a good idea to jump directly into your content when hosting a speaking event – and what you can do to establish trust and make your prospects like you before you try to sell.
- [12:04] Why being predictable is far worse than being boring – and how to get your audience hooked from the very beginning of your presentation.
- [21:40] The reason you should film the audience instead of yourself to see how effective your presentation is.
- [25:00] How advisors miss what people are really thinking about when they come to your presentation – and the big questions your presentation needs to answer.
- [30:55] Pat’s philosophy when it comes to taking action and setting appointments.
- [34:30] Why people are open-minded when listening to content and skeptical when hearing a sales pitch – and how you can cleverly structure your presentation to solve this problem.
- [32:30] How to teach real urgency throughout your presentation.
- [46:57] Why you should name your multi-step, proprietary process.
- [55:25] Strategies to get over major objections through embedding – and how to double close your presentation to reach both technical and emotional decision makers at the same time.
- [1:07:23] Who comes to mind when Pat thinks of success.
- [1:08:35] Pat’s final piece of advice for financial advisors.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show, on to this week’s featured reviews!
This week’s first review comes to us from Fran@CatalystWealth who says:
Thanks Fran! My goal is to bring guests on and share content that can help those just starting out as well as the seasoned vets out there, so glad I’m hitting the mark! Really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and if there is anything myself or the team at Advisors Excel can do to help you out, don’t hesitate to connect.
The next review comes to us from user Whitlockj85 who says:
Whitlockj85, not sure there is a greater compliment out there for a podcast host than to have someone binge listen to your episodes! I’m also glad to hear that the guests are hitting home with you, I really try my best to bring an eclectic mix, but at the same time make sure their content and ideas can serve financial advisors out there. I’m thankful you took the time to share your thoughts and leave a review, appreciate you!
And the last featured review for the week comes to us from user Ltah2, who says:
Thanks for the review Ltah2! One of the aspects I do try to bring to the show is making sure you don’t just leave with tools that only apply to your business but also can cross over to other spectrums of your life. I laughed when I read your comment on running out to Amazon to buy a book after each episode as that’s my gift and my curse as well. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I have enough books to last me the rest of my life if I stopped buying them now. However if there is a common trait of the most successful people I’ve interacted with, they all read voraciously, so stay after it!
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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.
[00:00:23] 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 speak with Pat Quinn. Pat is a presentation coach and the head speaking trainer for Advance Your Reach. He’s coached some of the best speakers in the world, including New York Times best-selling authors, six former Olympians and pastors you see on TV each and every Sunday. We first connected through Advance Your Reach’s founder, Pete Vargas, who for those of you that haven’t caught his episode is a must listen. Pete invited me to what I would call the American idol of speaking where I saw Pat both coaching and watching speakers and literally tweaking their presentations on demand and instantly I knew the things he was teaching on that stage could help many of you advisors out there who happen to also be giving live events and seminars. He is a master at helping you connect with your audience.
We then believe in what Pat was doing so much, we invited him to our largest event to kick off 2019 where he proceeded to crush it at a level where we decided to make him one of our core trainers. So, in this conversation you’re not only going to get some incredible ideas to grow your business now, but you’re also going to get a sneak peek inside one of Advisors Excel’s flagship training events. In our conversation today gets to the heart of the simple things you can do to make your presentations and speaking events more effective, the importance of storytelling, how to avoid drowning your audience in data, and what you need to do to get audience members excited about working with you before they even come in. If you’re looking to up your conversions and schedule more appointments, you’re going to want to put this episode on repeat. As many of our clients have doubled and even tripled their conversion ratios after a coaching session with Pat.
[00:02:15] Brad: One opportunity before we get to this conversation, your very last opportunity for 2019 to attend the Catalyst Training Event at AE Headquarters is coming up in August. This is the last time we have Pat Quinn on the calendar to train this year. So, if you finish this episode and are wanting to dive deeper on some of Pat’s concepts, visit BradleyJohnson.com/TheCatalyst. That’s T-H-E C-A-T-A-L-Y-S-T and take five minutes to fill out our application to see if you qualify to attend on us. For those that qualify, we’ll cover the cost to fly in, your hotel, as well as your tuition for the event. As always, all the books mentioned, people discussed as well as a full transcript of the show can be found in the show notes at BradleyJohnson.com/57 or if you’re listening on your mobile app, just scroll down. Also, one last special gift to all of you Blueprint listeners. Pat has gifted you his free PDF download, 11 Presentation Requirements for Success. It outlines the essential ingredients for increasing conversions at your next event.
So that’s it. As always, thanks for listening in and without further delay my conversation with Pat Quinn.
[00:03:29] Brad: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. I have special guest here with us, Pat Quinn. Welcome to the show about, Pat.
[00:03:36] Pat: Thank you very much.
[00:03:38] Brad: So, Pat, you are a presentation coach, you are actually the head speaking trainer for my buddy, Pete Vargas’s Advance Your Reach event and how we first connected, actually, he invited me out to I like to call it the American Idol of speaking, that he holds out on Colorado Springs, but what was really incredible getting a chance to connect with you out there. I really saw you in the moment and we had, gosh, I don’t remember how many speakers, but there must’ve been 15 to 20 speakers out there, basically 8 to 10-minute short little speeches and I saw you break these things down live and give some of the best advice I’ve ever seen from speaking coach. So, I was talking to Pete I was like, “Can you get Pat? Can you twist his arm a little bit? Have him come on the show here because I think he’s got some things that could help some financial advisors out.” So, thanks for grabbing some time here with us this morning.
[00:04:28] Pat: Absolutely. Thanks for the invitation.
[00:04:30] Brad: So, I just want to dive right into it because there’s so much we can talk about but what’s been really cool, the partnership we’ve had with Pete and then in turn with you, you’ve coached a number of our top clients that have flown out to Milwaukee to your speaking, just the coaching, the two-day event that you do. I just want to dive in. You’ve coached a lot of different industries. What do you see as maybe the biggest hurdle different for financial advisors, then maybe some of the other speaking coaching that you’ve done?
[00:04:58] Pat: Absolutely. I’ve been fortunate enough over the last 10 years to coach some of the best speakers in the world, New York Times best-selling authors, six different Olympians, a number of pastors that you see on television every Sunday but most of the people that I coach are business owners, business owners who need to attract clients and grow their business through speaking. And when I work with financial advisors, that’s the exact situation. They’re trying to attract clients. What makes it different than coaching other speakers is that when somebody signs up to go see a speaker, they’re often excited about them like, “I’m going to a conference and the keynoter is going to be this,” or, “I signed up for this and I’m excited to learn about this.” The area of finances and talking about your finances seems to be more personal and seems to be a little closer, helmed closer to the best and so people don’t anxiously say, “Let’s go think about our retirement and our future for a full night. Let’s sign up and go to this.” They don’t walk into the room super excited about the topic.
Although they are excited about the results that they could get, excited about a happy future, they often have worries and concerns that make this not their favorite topic. So, the first barrier you kind of have to overcome is how you get people to listen to you and not kind of just sit there with their arms folded across their chest, saying, “I don’t want to be here. I don’t know why I got invited here, and I bet somebody’s going to try to sell me something.” That’s always a tough barrier to overcome right off the bat.
[00:06:25] Brad: So, how do you go about doing that?
[00:06:26] Pat: Well, I’ve always been a firm believer with all speakers and all presentations that diving into your content right off the bat is not the best approach. I’m hyper-focused on the audience. I have an advanced degree on how the adult brain works. I actually think it started as a professional speaker. I got started as a professional magician. I worked in magic for 10 years then I became a public-school teacher and taught high school math for 12 years and during that time I picked up this degree in how adults learn. So, I focused on the audience and how they receive your information. Our goal is not that the speaker gets a standing ovation, although I think you probably will if you work with us. Our goal isn’t that people will come up to you afterwards and say, “You’re a really great speaker.” I don’t think that’s your goal. I think the goal is that the audience will want to engage with you after the fact and if they fall in love with your content, that’s great, but that’s not what actually gets them to engage with you after the fact. You need them to fall in love with you.
And I think from the very beginning there are some things you need to do from the start of your presentation to get them to know you not just your content and sometimes that’s hard for financial advisors to do. You’re experts on your content, you don’t always want to tell stories about yourself and tell about your background, tell how you first thought about money and retirement. But those conversations and those about stories are so important because in the end, if they fall in love with you, that’s what’s going to make them want to engage with you after the fact.
[00:08:01] Brad: Well, I actually reviewed my notes from the Colorado Springs event before we hopped on here and I’ve got a couple pages worth of notes just from I don’t even think you’re on stage that long, but it was a lot of good stuff. You mentioned something that needs to happen in the first three minutes to really connect deeply with your audience and then you just mentioned some storytelling and it’s more about falling in love with you as a person versus your content. What are some ways? I know you’ve coached a lot of financial advisors, maybe even have some stories to share where kind of before-and-after like this guy or gal came in and here’s what it looked like and then we actually framed it up how I felt that they could better connect with the audience and here was the after.
[00:08:38] Pat: Yeah. It’s actually five minutes that the research shows. It’s kind of a clock ticking. From the first time the audience sees you in the first five minutes, there’s three things that you have to do. You have to be ordinary, you have to be extraordinary, and you have to show your why. Ordinary means I’m just like you. I worry about what you worry about. I’ve struggled with what you’ve struggled with. Extraordinary means I know some things you don’t know. I’ve done some things you haven’t done. I’ve learned some things you haven’t learned. Now, we all have probably heard at a conference or a seminar, a speaker who’s too extraordinary. They come out when everything’s going great for them. Everything they touch turns to gold. Everything is just perfect and the audience will often listen to that and be like, “Well, I don’t think I can learn from you or get help from you because I’m just getting started. I don’t know what all these words mean. I’m not in your situation.” They’re too extraordinary. We all probably also heard speakers who are too ordinary. They come out on stage and say, “I worry about what you worry about. I struggle with what you struggle with. Actually, my finances aren’t in great shape either.”
And at some point, the audience is like, “Well, then why are you on stage and I’m in the audience?” If you’ve ever been at a conference and you’ve heard a speaker and said, “I should be giving that presentation. I know more about this than the speaker does,” that’s a speaker who was too ordinary. It’s actually the speaker who does both, who walks the line between ordinary and extraordinary. I’ve been in your shoes. I’m worried about what you worry about, but I figured some things out and tonight I’m going to share some of those solutions with you. And then the third thing that you have to do is show your why, to show that this isn’t about money, that this isn’t about getting a sale, that I’m on a mission. I want to help people and I’m mission driven. I can help you convert at a higher rate if you want to. I can help you close more deals if that’s what you want to do, but what really gets me up in the morning are speakers who believe that when the audience hears them speak that they’ll leave better off for the experience. That’s what gets me up in the morning. Those are the speakers I love to work with.
[00:10:35] Pat: When a speaker can stand up and show their reason why, we believe that the fastest and easiest way to do this is through episodic storytelling. Now, a lot of advisors come into our workshops and they tell their story but they tell it as a third-party narrator. They tell it like they’re reading a biography or reading their resume. First, I got started when I worked for this company just selling products then I moved to this company and we realized that you’re selling products then they tell a butcher shop story and then they kind of go through this formula of telling us every step of their career. I always tell people the audience is much less concerned about your resume and your steppingstones to get to the current company that you’re with and the current situation that you’re in that you think. Instead, what we want you to do is to transition that opening and we want it to be an episodic story which means you’re going to take people into a room where they can see what you see, hear what you hear, feel what you feel.
One of my big keynote presentations that I’ve done 1,100 times, I opened the first words out of my mouth are, “It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’m driving through rural Kentucky and I’m asking myself, ‘What am I doing?’” And immediately the entire audience is in the car with me driving through rural Kentucky in the middle of the night wondering, “What is he doing here?” and you’ve got them right from the very beginning. See, Brad, there actually is something worse than being boring and what’s worse than being boring is being predictable. When you are predictable, the audience is trained from the very beginning that they don’t need to listen to much of your presentation. It’s like when I watch a Hallmark movie on the Hallmark Channel and two characters meet each other at the beginning of the movie who have nothing in common and don’t like each other, I know 90 minutes later they’re going to be getting married. That happens every time. I really don’t need to watch the middle 80 minutes of the presentation and if you start and you’re predictable and you’re like, “I work for this firm and we have these many million dollars under management, and we help people in this way.”
[00:12:37] Pat: It’s just like, “Oh, I’ve heard this presentation a dozen times before. I don’t need to hear it again.” On the other hand, if you walk into that room, you stand up and the first words out of your mouth are, “I was gripping the rope as hard as I can because I knew if I let go of that rope, I was going to fall to my death.” I mean, I’m going to tell you, you aren’t going to have to work the quiet down the audience, you aren’t going to have to quiet them down or have somebody say, “Oh, it’s time to get started.” They’re going to go, “Ooh,” and be in their seats and be glued to you from the very first words out of your mouth. There’s plenty of time to introduce yourself later. There’s plenty of time to give us your highlight reel and tell us how many families you’ve helped but in this opening moment, the most valuable real estate of your entire presentation, please don’t waste that real estate reading us your resume or telling us your life story as a biography. Instead, take us into a room. It’d be great if it’d be a room that told us some of the foundational things about how you view money and how your family view money.
Many of the advisors we work with go back to a moment where their dad said something to them or they witnessed something at the kitchen table with their parents talking or trying to pay the bills, or they witness something happen where a business failed. We love these stories to be personal, not about a client, not about someone else. We want them to be about you because remember the goal. The goal is that the audience starts to warm up and like you, not really overcomes the initial barrier of, “I don’t want to be here.” You got them hooked from the very beginning.
[00:14:12] Brad: Yeah. It’s so powerful. I mean, I’ve probably seen 100 plus financial advisor seminars, presentations at this point in my career, and the common one, please, everybody listening, don’t do this one because I’ve seen it, probably 80% of the presentations I see start like this, “Who here has been to an event like this before? Show of hands? Well, tonight’s going to be different,” and everyone says that. It sure isn’t going to be different because they’ve heard that opening about 50 times already. So, here’s one thing that I see as a common it’s a psychology thing with financial advisors out there. They feel like I can’t tell this story because they try to condense it like you said versus an episodic story where they’re actually going in and telling some details and painting a picture. I think they’re concerned, “Well, if I spend all this time on my story, I’m not going to have the time to get to what I actually need to educate them on.” So, how do you unpack that and help advisors start to realize it is actually about the story to connect?
[00:15:12] Pat: Well, the first thing I want to tell every financial advisor who is watching this is you’re teaching too much. Most advisors that I work with should cut the content, the amount that they teach about in half and you might have the right amount for about an hour presentation. We like to give the presentations at 60 minutes or less. Here’s the rule that you need to know. The person who teaches the most does not win the sale. It is not a contest to see who can educate the audience the best. And so, the first thing you have to think about is it’s not a race to teach us much as I possibly can to the audience. There’s only certain things that I need to teach to the audience. I need to teach them what I’m saying that other people aren’t saying. I need to teach them why there’s an urgency. I need to teach them why what I talk about answers the really big questions that you have when you came in here tonight.
If I can just teach those three things, I can throw away the rest of my content and save that for my initial get-to-know-me meeting, save that for another day when we’re in my office having that initial meeting. And so, don’t think that the person who teaches the most wins the sale. They don’t. The person who they like the most at the end will probably win the sale. There are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of that. You can share things about yourself, the ordinary, extraordinary, and show your why. You can take them into a room into an emotional moment where I know one financial advisor that I work with talks about the day that their parents move their toys out of the front yard to sell them because they weren’t going to be able to pay the mortgage and they have the choice to give up their home or sell their kids’ toys. And as a nine-year-old girl, she tells the story of watching her parents move their toys out to the front yard to sell them. I’m telling you, at that moment you can see what she sees, you can hear her crying, you can smell the grass that was freshly cut when they put those toys out on the front yard.
[00:17:13] Pat: And at that moment I’ve watched again this presentation live, you could hear a pin drop in the room and at that moment, that audience will go anywhere with her. They will follow her through the rest of that 45-minute presentation, but more importantly, they want to do business with her because she has walked in their shoes, but she’s figured it out. She has struggled with the areas where they’ve struggled. But now she has a solution. That’s the type of person that people want to work with. And by the way, these don’t have to be epic hero journey stories. These don’t have to be I climbed Mount Everest and I was cured from the rarest cancer in the world. Actually, I believe the best stories to open and close your presentation aren’t extraordinary stories. I don’t think their stories of paddling down the Amazon River in a kayak or winning the Super Bowl or anything like that. I think the very best stories are ordinary stories.
Brad, what if we judge the stories in our presentation, especially the opening and closing ones not based on how many people came up to us afterwards and said, “That was an extraordinary story.” What if instead we judge the stories at the opening and closing of our presentation based on how many people came up to us afterwards and said, “That same thing happened to me.” That’s a great story because the audience can start to see themselves in that story. So, there’s two types of stories I don’t want to open with. I don’t want to open with a story that’s so extraordinary that nobody else in the audience can relate to it. So, if I ran with the bulls in Spain down in the streets of Pamplona, I could tell that story. It would be epic but no one else in the room has ever done that. Instead, if I tell a story about choosing between Kraft macaroni and cheese or the store brand, I know Kraft is better but the store brand is 10 for a dollar. Come on. I got to buy that one. It’s a little watery, but I think I can thicken that up with some flour.
[00:19:11] Pat: Like, when I tell that macaroni and cheese story about my mom making that decision, we would complain if she didn’t buy Kraft and she’d buy the store brand, but she had to buy the store brand. I never told that story without having a half-dozen people come up to me afterwards and say, “Oh man, have you ever tried this brand? What are you eating Kraft for? Kraft’s not the best. You got to try Annie’s.” I mean, it just opens up a dozen conversations from Paula Deen’s recipe to what store brand they had compared to what store brand I had. If you have a Piggly Wiggly near your house or you don’t know what Piggly Wiggly is. I mean, it just opens up all these conversations. After all, isn’t that the goal of the presentation to start conversations with the audience? Isn’t that the goal of presentation that people would up to you afterward and say, “I want to talk to you more.” Maybe it’s around macaroni and cheese right now and when I get safe and comfortable with that, it’s going to be about my retirement, it’s going to be about the management of my assets, but right now we just talk about macaroni and cheese. That’s why ordinary stories are better than extraordinary stories.
And so, the two things I would say to somebody who doesn’t feel as comfortable starting their presentation this way is the first thing is it doesn’t have to be an epic story. You don’t have to have cured cancer or climbed Mount Everest. Ordinary stories are actually better. The second thing I would say is it doesn’t have to be long. If you go to conferences and we all go to different types of conferences but conference speakers might spend the first 25% of their presentation telling this personal story in the beginning. I don’t think a financial advising presentation especially like the dinner seminar where people are a little grumbly about being there in the first place, almost half of them are dragged in by their spouses. I don’t think you should spend anywhere near 25%. I think in two to three minutes, maybe five minutes at the outside edge, you can tell an episodic story that draws the audience in, shows us a little bit about you, helps us connect with you, and helps us listen to the rest of your presentation.
[00:21:10] Pat: I don’t think it has to be a 10 to 20-minute story. I don’t think you need that much. As a matter of fact, if you look at a dinner seminar, I think that would be inappropriate and you start to lose people. More people would lean back. No. I always tell people when they video their presentations, turn the camera around and film the audience instead. And any financial advisor who’s doing dinner seminars or any other type of presentation will learn so much more if they would just film the audience instead of themselves. You’ll learn the best parts of your presentation. You’ll learn the worst parts of your presentation. You’ll learn the boring parts and the engaging parts. And when you see people lean back and pull their arms across their chest, that’s not a good part of your presentation. Trust me. And you should change that part of your presentation. If your opening story takes 20 minutes, you’re going to see people lean back and be like, “Who’s going to talk to us about our money?” They’re not going to like that. Keep it short, five minutes at the outset. Most of the stories we design at the start of presentation for financial advisor is at three minutes, two minutes, four minutes, and it has to be an ordinary story. Not an extraordinary story.
[00:22:13] Brad: Okay. So, let’s say we nailed the opening story three to five minutes. As you said, most advisors have way too much content in the middle. I’ve seen hundreds of slides on PowerPoints before for a 60-minute presentation. I think my record was like a 200-slide slide deck that…
[00:22:28] Pat: Oh, nice. Very good.
[00:22:29] Brad: Okay. So, if you’re now condensing this thing down to the three to five core things in the middle, is there a key to the transition from the why of the story into now the content that they’re going to cover the next three to five things? I guess a two-part question. So, that’s number one and then, number two, how do you know what the three to five things are if you’ve got 20 that you’re picking from?
[00:22:51] Pat: Great question. So, the first part is the transition and what you want to do to transition from your opening segment into your content is to roadmap a presentation. Roadmapping simply means I’m going to tell you what I’m going to talk to you about. So, the next 30 minutes I’m going to talk to you about this, this, and this. And then as you go through your presentation, we want you to benchmark. Benchmark means you tell them where you are on the presentations. We start by saying the first thing. I’m going to talk to you about is this. When you finish talking about that say, “That’s all I have to say about that. Now, I’d like to talk you about this.” I’m going to finish that and say, “That’s about all I can say about that. Now, I’d like to start the third and final section of my presentation,” so that everybody in the audience knows that we’re in the beginning, the middle or the end. There’s two reasons that we want to do this. The first is that it makes your presentation seem 20% shorter. Robert Cialdini’s research shows that roadmapping will make your presentation seem shorter.
And if you want to convert at the highest rate, you want to make sure that the presentation doesn’t go too long because people are grouchy or hungry in a dinner presentation at the end that they’re like, “This has gone on too long.” That’s going to hurt your conversion rate. Second reason we do this is because the human mind is like a filing cabinet. We have to store every piece of information somewhere. We have drawers that we have to label and files that we have to label and you have two choices as the speaker. You can make the audience label those drawers and files on their own and if you do that, they will, but it will use up a lot of bandwidth, their processing power that they could be using actually engaging with you and thinking about having an appointment with you. On the other hand, you could label these drawers for them and free up all of that bandwidth so that they can think about scheduling an appointment and what that might look like working with you. And so, it’s always my advice to help the audience by labeling the doors for them then when you finish one section say, “Okay, we’re going to close that drawer and now we’re going to open another one for the next.”
[00:24:48] Pat: For the second part of your question is about what topics are most important and I think a lot of times, financial advisors walk in with their own agenda of things that they want to teach that they think are important. Now, we’re experts. We live in a world of experts. We talk the language of experts all the time and so we use these words and we know what’s important. I think what a lot of advisors miss is what is the audience really worried about. The night before they heard you speak, the night before they came to your presentation, watched your radio show, watched your television show, what were they worried about? What were they laying awake for? In the end, I think it comes down to what I call some big question. One question, “Will I have enough money? Do I have enough money? One question, when can I retire? If I’ve already retired, big question. Will it last?” And then, of course, the final question, “Will they be okay if something happens to me? If something happens to me, will my spouse the okay? Will my children be okay?” I think in whatever three topics you choose and I think different advisors choose different topics,
I think some are better than others because they are more relevant in answering these three questions. Do I have enough? Will it last? And what will happen if something happens to me? Will they be okay? I think some topics are better at answering those questions than others. I think many times as experts who think about this stuff every single day and worry about this stuff every single day, we get so deep in the weeds explaining the numbers, explaining the percentages. What if it went up by one more percent? What if we had it there for five more years? I think in each section so let’s pick three and you pick those three, I think in each of the three sections, there are specific things that you should do. Let’s say your first section is going to be about income that you need income for the rest of your life. The first thing you should do when you introduce that topic is relate it back to one of the big questions. I know one of the reasons you’re here tonight is that you want to know will my money last? I don’t want to outlive my money. Will my money last the rest of my life?
[00:26:48] Pat: Well, let’s talk about a lifetime income or the income that we’re going to talk about relates back to that question because this is actually the answer to that question. Maybe I know another question that you have is if something would happen to me tomorrow, will my spouse be okay? Would my children be okay? Let me tell you how the income, things that I’m going to talk to you about relate back to that and answer that question because it’s one thing to have a guaranteed income. But if you die, does that income go away and your spouse is now left without that part of their income? So, let’s talk about that. That’s an important thing that we’re going to talk about today. So, the first thing you want to do, in any topic that you introduce whether you’re going to talk about taxes or you’re going to talk about income, whether you’re going to talk about protection, whatever you’re going to talk about relate it back to their big question and there really are only a few questions. I’ve heard advisors walk in and say, “I know one of the things that you’re really worried about is the efficient transfer of assets from you to another person.”
Nobody was sitting there last night thinking, “I just wish I had an efficient transfer.” Nobody. The big questions at most presentations, the less you advertise the very specific tax topic or very specific business transfer topic or something like that, the big questions are when can I retire? Do I have enough? Will it last? And will she be okay? Those are the questions that people are worried about that if something happens to me, will my family be okay and will my kids be okay? If you can’t relate any topic that you talk about back to them and that’s really all they want to know about that, question about that topic. If you’re going to talk about taxes and you get so deep in the weeds that you’re talking about these intricate ways you can avoid having taxes on money that was supposedly pretax money and now you want to change it to tax-free money instead of tax-deferred money like I’m just pulling my hair out listening to this because they weren’t worried about it. What they were worried about is do I have enough? When can I retire? Will it last? And will they be okay?
[00:28:52] Pat: And if you can’t relate your tax information to those questions, you’re just like ships passing in the night. You’re just missing it completely. And so, I think you always want to teach less. I think you always want to focus back to the big questions and I think if you do that, you’ll trim your topic and you’re going to walk out of there saying, “But I knew so much more than that.” But remember, the person who teaches the most doesn’t get the sale. The person who teaches the most has the audience walk away saying, “Wow. He was really smart. I’m going to go find an advisor that speaks my language. I’m going to find an advisor who I actually understand half the stuff they’re saying or I’m going to find an advisor who understands my concerns. Because when you came in with your agenda, those weren’t my concern. My concerns were very simple. Will I outlive my money and will they be okay after I die?” And if you don’t answer those questions, I don’t care how smart you are about taxes or protection or lifetime income. It really doesn’t matter.
[00:29:53] Brad: We call that talking like a spreadsheet.
[00:29:55] Pat: I love that.
[00:29:57] Brad: We try to untrain that a lot. So, let’s dive into I remember you said something around how, one, the focus is in your coaching is you want to make sure that you build presentations to make sure that people aren’t just telling you that you’re a good presenter, but they’re actually taking action and for a financial advisor that’s setting a first appointment typically. So, I’ve seen multiple schools of thought over the decade plus I’ve been doing this. I see some coaches that will basically so say you’ve got those three core messages in the middle and after each message, they’ll say, “Hey, if you’re sitting out there wondering if I’m covered here, that might be a reason that you want to come in and take us up for a visit.” So, it’s kind of like three dominoes that you’re tipping over, that each one might be a reason that you set an appointment. I’ve seen others where they go through the entire presentation and then at the end is really here’s how to take action, and here’s how to sign up for what we have to offer. So, what’s your philosophy when it comes to taking action and setting an appointment?
[00:30:54] Pat: Well, I know a few things and this is not my opinion. This is based on research. I know that people don’t do things that they haven’t rehearsed in their mind ahead of time. And so, that goes for signing up for something. It goes for setting an appointment. And so, one of the things that you have to do during your presentation is to make sure that they are rehearsing it ahead of time. So, one simple tip that any advisor watching this can do is during the content portion of your presentation, that middle portion of your presentation, refer to yourself by your first name a couple of times during the presentation. And so, people come to me all the time and say, “Pat, what’s the best time to refer to yourself by your first name in your presentation?” I say, “The best time to do it is in the middle content portion of your presentation.” See, I just did it right there. I referred to myself by my first name in conversation. I was taking my garbage cans down to the end of the street the other day and the guy next door to me was taking his garbage cans down too. He yelled across. He yelled, “Pat, is today recycling day?” I said, “No, recycling’s next week.”
There I did it again. I referred to myself by my first name in conversation. The reason you do this is because the moment you do this, the audience starts rehearsing having a conversation with you after the fact. If they don’t rehearse it, they won’t do it. Everything we want them to do, we have to get them to rehearse. And so, make sure two times during the middle of your presentation you refer to yourself by your first name in conversation. Then you want to make sure that they can picture what the appointment would look like, so they can start rehearsing it in their head. And so, you’re going to tell stories, you’re going to do in a compliant way some case studies of sort. You’re going to give some examples although these are all going to be run through compliance of course, but you’re going to give some example.
[00:32:41] Brad: Hey, you are conditioned to work with financial advisors.
[00:32:44] Pat: When you give your examples as generic as they may be, not promising any result what you want to do is get people picturing what the appointments look like. And so, here’s a real generic example that I was meeting with a couple the other day in my office and we were sitting around my conference table and after they had a cup of coffee and we were talking, they asked this question. They said, yes, but we have a child who has special needs. We want to make sure that that child is protected for their whole life, not just in college or in 18. So, what do I do there? I told a story, but the story had a secondary purpose. I was going to answer a question about income protection or about protecting our kids or something like that and teach some content. But in the middle of the story, I spent five seconds setting a scene. I set a scene so that the audience can start picturing, “Hey, if we do sign up for one of these appointments, what’s that going to look like? Does it happen at our home? Because I don’t want people coming into our home. Does it happen at your office? Like, if it happens at the offices, is it across a desk like we sit in chairs across the desk?
And now just by taking five seconds to introduce the story that way, I know that it happens in your office. I know that it happens in a conference room, not in a desk-like office and there’s coffee and it’s like a little casual like we were sitting around and we were looking outside and it was raining that day I remember so there’s a window in the room. And the more they can picture it, the better chance there is that it will happen. You got to get them rehearsing it. So, I want you to do these things, referring yourself by your first name, painting this picture early like in your first section of content, I want you to be doing this because if they can’t picture it, they won’t be able at the end. In the end, you’re going to tell them the specifics of how you would take that appointment like we’re going to have my assistants going to come around your table with some possible times for you to schedule this appointment. But if that’s the first time they’ve heard about is at the end, that’s way too late. My mom would say that cake is already baked. You’ve gone way too far into the presentation.
[00:34:49] Pat: You should throughout the whole content portion of your presentation be embedding examples of what this looks like, and I think you should do the same things if you have testimonials. Now, a lot of advisors that I work with have maybe some examples or some people who said nice things about them. I think you should build those into the middle, not save them for the end. The human mind is really good at one thing. It’s really good at categorizing. We can tell the difference between a story and content. We don’t listen to the details of the story. We often take notes on the content while listening. Well, it can also identify sales. When you get to the end of your presentation, the human mind is going to categorize that and say, “Hey, that’s sales,” and they listen with a completely different mind. They listen by raising their own objections. They listen skeptically. They don’t always trust the speaker. When they’re listening to content, they believe everything you say. They listen with an open mind and they often take notes.
I often get people to take notes on my offer because I’ve explained the offer during the content portion of my presentation in my examples where they’re listening with an open believing mind listening to all the details as compared to other people who save the offer for the end when the human mind immediately says, “Oh, wait a minute. I’m being sold here. This isn’t at all believable.” You can change a placement of where certain things are in your presentation to make all the difference in the world. Take stories for instance. I have advisors who come to Milwaukee and they have stories that are great but they’re in the wrong place. The stories in the first third of your presentation should teach the audience about you. The stories in the middle third of your presentation should teach the audience about your content and the stories in the last third of your presentation should teach the audience a specific emotion that you want them to have so they make a decision at the end.
[00:36:42] Pat: Oftentimes advisors come in and we work with them and they have the right story in the wrong place. They opened with a story about a client that teaches some of their content. That should be in the middle of your presentation. They close with a story that teaches us something about them. That story should be in the beginning of the presentation where they opened with a really emotional start. Oftentimes, stories that lead to a specific emotion intentionally should be at the end of your presentation. You got to have the right stories in the right place because placement makes all the difference. And placing examples of what the appointment looks like, how casual it is, how long it lasts, what you need to bring, placing that in the middle of your presentation will get people listening with a completely different mind.
[00:37:31] Brad: All right. A couple of thoughts here. So, there’s this whole concept and I mean you have a degree in brain research. So, this is probably the right question for you. So, there’s the whole logical emotional debate. The two sides of the brain, right?
[00:37:44] Pat: Yeah.
[00:37:44] Brad: So, what’s your thought process because in our industry, obviously, the content can be very technical, very unemotional like you just get down in the weeds on it. Do you think that there is an aspect call it those two, three, four things in the middle that you’re kind of trying to make your core points on, can that all be done with story or is there a piece where you do need to get a little bit logical at times? If for say you’re getting into Social Security planning and there’s technical rules that go along with it, can that all be accomplished in a great story or do you have to spreadsheet out sometimes for lack of a better term?
[00:38:18] Pat: I think a mix of both is usually the best approach. But again, I think most presenters get too deep into the weeds. I think if you’re going to go spreadsheet on us, you got to go spreadsheet to show us how it answers one of the big questions. Don’t walk in with your agenda. Answer my big questions. And so, if you want to go spreadsheet on me, go spreadsheet on me but it better be showing me how this shows me that my money will last, how it shows me when I know the date that I can retire based on how much money I have, how it shows me how my children and my spouse are protected if something would happen to me. If your spreadsheets aren’t answering those questions then you’re doing it to satisfy yourself or to teach more than the next guy. You’re not doing it for the right reasons. I think there’s two really important things that you should do in each section of your content if possible. One of the things that you should do is to say this, “Everybody else is saying this, but I’m saying this.”
I want you especially to do this in the first section of your content because if the first section of your content you’re saying what everybody else is saying, once again, you’re training the audience. There is something worse than being boring and it is to be predictable and if you say in the first section of your content, “You know, the earlier that you start saving, the more that you’ll have at the end.” It’s like, “Okay. I’ve been reading that for the last 50 years. You don’t need to tell me that again.” On the other hand, if you walk in and say, “Everybody else is telling you that you should put money away in a 401(k) and that it should be because it’s a great deal because it’s going to be tax-deferred. You don’t have to pay taxes on it. Of course, you’ll make less after you retire and the tax rates will be lower for some reason. I’m telling you something just the opposite.” Two things happen. You make a listen, not just to this section but to the whole thing because you’re telling me something different than everybody else is telling me.
[00:40:12] Pat: Here’s the second thing that it does that’s positively brilliant that is one of the hardest hurdles for anybody to overcome in the financial world. It gets me doubting my own advice because, “Why hasn’t my advisor been telling me this? Why is my advisor and everybody else is telling me this, but I am saying this? Everybody else is telling you that interest rates are the most important thing. I’m telling you that tax rates are much more important than interest rates so pay attention to this instead.” And immediately two things happen, you separate yourself and of course, we’ve heard the word wedge and creating a wedge. This is almost more clever than that. This is more sneaky than that. Not in a tricky way, but in a way that those two things that makes the audience listen to you because you’re not saying the same thing everybody else is saying but in the backend what it also does is make me say, “Huh, I’ve been with my advisor for 15 years,” and everybody watching this knows that getting somebody to leave a long-term advisor is one of the hardest things you do.
Getting people to get a second opinion even is so difficult because it feels like cheating and it feels like it’s being disloyal. The biggest barrier that you have could be that somebody already has the advisor and you can sneak your way right in there simply by saying everybody else is telling you this, I’m telling you this. If you do that in your first section, they’re going to perk up and listen to your whole presentation more carefully because they’re going to constantly be listening for other things that you’re saying that their advisor hasn’t told them and it’s not going to be the predictable presentation that we worry about. So, that’s the first thing. Everybody else is telling you this, I’m telling you this. The second thing that I want you to try to do as many times as possible, three if you can, two or one if you can is to give us urgency. Not that false urgency in as much as, “I only have six appointments in my lifetime left.” Not false urgency in, “I’ll give you a copy of my book that you don’t really want if you sign up tonight.” Urgency that is related to – and both those things that you do at the end of your presentation are fine but make no mistake, they’re false urgency.
[00:42:19] Pat: What you want to do is teach through content real urgency and the three words that I love for you to use in this part of your presentation are window of opportunity. For example, right now, as we film this, there is a limited window of opportunity. All taxes are on sale 33% off. We don’t know how long that’s going to last. There’s an election as we record this. There’s an election coming up that could put those tax cuts in jeopardy. We have a limited window of opportunity right now where we know the taxes this year are lower and so if you could meet with us early on there are some things we could do before the end of the year that could make a huge difference now when taxes are on sale. Now, that’s not artificial urgency. That’s urgency related to content and that’s completely different. When you use your artificial urgency of we really want you to schedule the next two weeks. “I’m going to give you a copy of my book if you schedule in the next two weeks and we’re going to throw this other bone.” I’m fine with all that. We use bonuses on our offer. We create urgency in our offer, but those will never hold a candle.
They won’t be anywhere close to urgency that is real and talk with content for two reasons. First, when you do it the end, it feels like sales. And so, we listen with a different mind. When you do it in the content area, it’s content, so we believe it. So, if you say it’s important that you do, there are certain things that you have to do by a certain age so there are certain things you got to withdraw and start withdrawing at a certain time or certain moves that we could make where if you make them earlier, it’s a lot easier. There are certain protections that we can put in place for your income and for your surviving family members that the earlier we put them into place, the less expensive that they are. And with certain health conditions if we don’t get them in place in time, we won’t be able to use that as a way to get protection for your family and your children and so it’s very important that we put these in place as soon as possible.
[00:44:17] Pat: That’s real urgency. That’s honest urgency. And because it’s being taught early in your presentation in the content portion of your presentation, the human mind listens to it with a believing mind. The human mind listens to it not skeptically and learns the information. So, when you get to the end, you won’t have to say we want this appointment to be within two weeks. We need this appointment to be now and I know why because taxes are on sale right now or I don’t want to get a health condition that would stop me from having some of these protections in place or there are certain things we need to start withdrawing or moving now or it’s going to limit our decisions in the future. You teach that as part of your content and you say I’m telling you this and other people are telling you this, you’re not going to have to battle the second opinion thing. I’m already doubting my person and you’re not going to have to convince me to schedule in the next two weeks. I’m wondering if you’d like to meet with you tonight after your presentation because I’m going to get some of the stuff in place. That’s the better way to do it during the content portion of your presentation.
[00:45:18] Brad: Awesome. All right, Pat, so you said something a couple times. You said sound like everyone else and I want to get your opinion here because one thing we’ve coached on a lot is how powerful a proprietary process is. In fact, a lot of times, not only do we help our advisors name it, we sometimes even send them down the direction of trademarking it and some of the legal stuff to actually, technically, make it their own proprietary process. So, my question, is it possible? Because financial services is very commoditized and no financial advisor likes to admit it, but they all have access to the same products, the same asset managers, the same ETFs, but everybody likes to think, “Well, I do it differently. I do it better,” but they sound the same. You know, we do retirement income planning. We do tax analysis. We do risk and fee analysis and all of the same jargon type words that just sound the same as everyone else. So, in your opinion, how important is it to have a proprietary process to differentiate or does a proper presentation done the right way overcome that hurdle and you don’t really need one?
[00:46:19] Pat: Well, I think there’s two different types of audience members. Of course, there’s audience members who this is the first time they have heard of any of this stuff that you’re talking about then there’s other audience members who’ve been doing a half-dozen of these. I think for the first audience member, you being there and answering their big questions in a great presentation might be enough to get them to schedule that appointment and become clients if you handle that apartment correctly. I think for the second customer, I think some differentiators and your proprietary process is one of those things. The reason I want you to name your proprietary process is because it’s a real opportunity to name that process and the steps of that process to name that as something that will create feelings in people that they desire. And so, we really look for a results-based name both to that first appointment and to your entire process.
I got to tell you, Brad, I meet with a lot of financial advisors who have that first appointment or somewhere in their process they try to get me to be all excited about a stress test that they’re going to do. Now, I have had a stress test. It’s not fun. Let’s just be honest. Why don’t you just offer me a free colonoscopy in your office and you’d probably get just as many people to sign up. You know, I think there’s a better name for it than stress test. I think there’s a name for it that would make people be drawn to it like a safe and secure retirement assessment or a freedom in retirement assessment, which is what we call a results-based title, a title that when I go through it, that’s the result that I actually want to have. I think that’s better than a stress test because stress test brings up a bunch of emotions with me. I just had a stress test and of course of many of the people who I work with who are advisors, their client age and their client age let’s just say, many of them already had a stress test. And so, that’s not a fun a thing. You don’t want that. On the other hand, if you had freedom in retirement or a safe and secure retirement or a protect your family assessment, something that they actually want, they’d be drawn to it more.
[00:48:24] Pat: I think it’s a great separator because a lot of the proprietary process is a great separator because it allows you to say we’re the only ones that do it this way. You know there’s other people that do what you do but we’re the only ones that do it this way but don’t fall so in love with your proprietary process that you forget to explain to people how that process answers their big question like the stress test. Let’s say you have a stress test or you rename it like I would and call it a Freedom in Retirement Assessment or Protection in a Down Economy Assessment, whatever you want. I don’t want the stress test on its own. I want the stress test because it answers a big question that I have. Do I have enough money to retire? Well, we don’t know that. We have to run this assessment on it. Can I retire now or when can I retire? Well, we don’t know that. We have to run the stress test. Or will my money last my entire life? Well, here’s one of the ways we can figure that out. We can stress test it.
And so, even if you’re going to call it a stress test or whatever name you put on it, make sure you tell people how this answers their big questions. In the end, if you walk in with your agenda, just like if you walk in with your proprietary process perfectly named, perfectly unique, all trademarked and protected, it’s not going to help you unless you show people that this is a better way to answer your big question. People aren’t going to fall in love with it just because you’re in love with it. They’re going to fall in love with it because it is the best way to answer those questions that you came in here tonight with. That’s the best proprietary process is one that answers the big question.
[00:50:03] Brad: All right. So, your buddy, Pete, I sent him a little text this morning and I was like, “Okay. I’m having Pat on today. If there’s one thing I need to dive into, what is it?” And he said make sure and I’m sure we probably touched on it already but he said to dive into what you call embedding throughout the presentation and it might apply to this question because you mentioned objections before and what’s going through kind of the audience’s head like, “Oh, this advisor, he had me out for this dinner because he wants to sell me something or she wants to sell me something.” So, I’ve seen some embedding from some of our other offices of kind of telling that story of the guy in the audience leaned back in his chair with the arms crossed, so it surprised me when he set an appointment and then didn’t bring a spouse in and like because he was the only one that handles the finances in the house. So, is that a version of embedding like certain things in the presentation and stories to overcome objections or am I off-based on what you mean by embedding?
[00:50:58] Pat: Mostly embedding that we do with advisors is simply getting the audience to picture having that appointment. So, you ask the question earlier, should you do it throughout your presentation or should you do it at the end of your presentation? And the answer is you should embed it throughout your presentation. And so, on the first section of your presentation, you should tell a story about a couple who came to your office for the safe and secure retirement assessment. That’s the initial meeting that we do with people. It usually lasts about 45 minutes. During the second section of your presentation, you should tell a story about somebody who came in, a widow right after their spouse have died and came in to one of your safe and secure retirement planning session. That’s an appointment that we hold at the conference room of our office. We’re sitting there and we got her a cup of coffee and that’s when she told me that they didn’t have any life insurance. And then later in your presentation, you should tell a story about a couple who came into your office and they just had a shoebox full of paperwork that wasn’t organized at all. And in the next 45 minutes, you got to know each other and came up with a plan.
And so, by the time you get to the end of your presentation, it does two things. As we talked about before, this isn’t the first time they’ve heard about what you do and how you help people. It’s not the first time they’ve heard about it so it doesn’t shock them. The second thing that it does and this is where your advisors are going to get a huge win, it shortens the close at the end. It shortens the sales thing at the end that makes them all uncomfortable anyway. If you think the audience is uncomfortable when you’re trying to talk them into an appointment, yet I know most of the advisors are too. They don’t want to feel salesy. They don’t want to feel high pressure. I’m telling you, if you embed examples of what this looks like during your presentation and each time you give an example, you drop one more detail. The first time you talk about it, you say it’s about 45 minutes. The second time you talk about it, you say it’s around a conference table. Third there time you talk about it, you mention that there’s coffee involved or that you don’t have to bring any paperwork or if their paperwork is disorganized, we’re not going to judge you.
[00:53:03] Pat: Then by the time you get to the end, you’re going to shorten that, “Hey, I want you to come in for this appointment. Here’s what it is. Here’s how long it lasts. Here’s where it takes place.” You’re going to shorten that from about 10 minutes down to about three minutes because they already know all these things about it and so you could even start that section by saying, “By now many of you know that we meet with people in our office.” I love a grassroots transition out of your content in your offer. Grassroots transition says, “One of the most common questions we get is, ‘Pat, you work with individual families to help them look at their individual situations?’ and the answer is yes. Those appointments happened in our office. It usually starts with one of our initial safe and secure retirement appointments, 45 minutes around our conference table.” That’s not new information to them. They’ve already heard that and more importantly, they’ve already been rehearsing it in their minds. They’ve already been thinking about it.
And you’ve created if you’ve done your job correctly, a reason to come because you’re telling me something my advisor isn’t and a reason to come now because we have a limited window of opportunity. All of this is embedded into the content portion of your presentation so you can picture what it looks like. You know what you would call me. You’d call me Pat. You know where it takes place, what I have to bring, how long it’s going to last, why I need to do it right away and why I need to go even though I already have a financial advisor. You’ll know all of that which shrinks that uncomfortable endpoint where the audience is hungry and grouchy from 10 minutes down to about three minutes which greatly increases the number of people. And we had an advisor from Texas come up to Milwaukee implement only about half of the things that we taught him because he didn’t want to do it all at once, and he turned his conversion rate from 30% up over 80% the next five dinner presentations he gave. And the stick rate went up too so these people are actually showing up for the appointments.
[00:54:58] Pat: And so, the small changes of including these things, embedding as we call it, embedding these things earlier in your presentation instead of waiting for the offer to do it can hugely affect the number of people who sign up for appointments and who show up for those appointments.
[00:55:14] Brad: Very cool. So, to go back to objections, are there key ways to embed? So, you already hit one of them. I already have an advisor so common objections to not setting an appointment. I already have an advisor. I’m a do-it-yourselfer. You know, this person is like a dear family member and friend, which kind of goes back to, “I have an advisor.” Are those stories embedded throughout the presentation? Are there certain best ways you’ve seen to kind of break that attachment where, “Hey, there’s not much risk to come in and have a first appointment?”
[00:55:42] Pat: I do think at the end so hopefully, by the time you get to your offer you’ve already addressed why you should come even if you have an advisor. I think it’s okay to mention at the end you might be thinking right now I already have an advisor. What I would say about that is that it’s okay to get a second opinion. If this was a medical problem, you know you’d get a second opinion, while this might be just as important. I think there’s a time objection and the way I do the time objection is with time juxtaposition, 45 minutes that could affect the next 45 years of your life. And I think there might be a sales objection. If you’re worried that this is going to be a sales meeting or a sales presentation, I can assure you it’s not. This isn’t lifetime check. As a matter of fact, if it ever turns into a sales presentation, you can get up and walk out and it won’t hurt my feelings. But if you do, you’ll be the first person who’s ever done that. I can assure you it’s not a sales presentation.
I think you can overcome some of those quick objections and then the last thing that you need to do is a double close. Double close means that half the people in your room are tactical decision-makers and half the people in the room are emotional decision-makers. As a matter of fact, most couples who attend your presentations are the tactical decision-maker married to an emotional decision maker. And so, you need to close both of them. Most people and everybody watching this is one or the other. You’re either a tactical decision-maker or an emotional decision-maker. Most speakers close the audience the way that they make decisions. And so, if you’re a tactical decision-maker and I’m watching you speak, that can identify it away. If you spend about 10 minutes telling me the tactic. The appointment is at our office. You get to their office by going to the stoplight turning right and turning just past McDonald’s into the office. Park at any of the three spots right up in front our office, come in the front door, turn right, and knock on the door. The tactics, tactic, tactics. It last between 48 minutes and 65 minutes here’s the paperwork that you have to bring. Tactics, tactics.
[00:57:42] Pat: And the emotional people are just like, “I got nothing.” If I’m watching you and you’re an emotional decision-maker, you’re just going to go for the emotional clause. You’re just going to be like, “It will feel good when this was taken care of. It feels good. Just trust me, it’s going to feel good.” At some point, the audience is like, “What is it?” and you’re like, “Doesn’t matter. It feels good,” because that’s how you make decisions. It is the speaker who can do both, who can both tactically, tell me what it is and why I would do it, and emotionally, close the audience so it’s going to get the most appointment set because, remember, most couples are a tactical decision-maker and an emotional decision-maker and either one of them at a dinner seminar can veto this and say, “No, we’re not signing up,” and so you’ve got to get them both. So, do the tactical close, which we just talked about and then finish with an emotional story.
That’s why we say the stories to the final third of your presentation should be an emotional story that teaches an intentional emotion. This is where I would go after your biggest objection or an objection that you haven’t addressed yet. So, for example, you mentioned do-it-yourself. I don’t really need help with this. I got my Vanguard 2025 I’m devoted on. I’m good to go. I don’t think I need any of your help. And so, what I want to do there is tell a personal story that has nothing to do with money that teaches why do-it-yourself isn’t always the best. And so, we have a beehive out by our swimming pool and my wife’s been bugging me for a few months now to go get an exterminator to get rid of that beehive and I’m like, “Exterminator? I don’t need an exterminator. I got spray.” So, I went out there not with one can of spray but two cans of spray and I sprayed those beehives. Well, six bee stings later I come into the house and I’m trying to dial the phone but I can’t because my hands are so swollen from the bee stings and my wife says, “I told you, you should’ve called an exterminator.”
[00:59:38] Pat: You tell that story and you finish with 1 foot, just a little bit further back than the other one foot and then sling that foot up even so you’re square up on the audience, look them in the eye and say, “I think in all of our lives there are times when there are things we think we could do on our own, but we be better off going to an expert. There are things that we don’t do very often like retire or plan for retirement, but there’s other people who do it every single day. We help families just like yours every single day to plan for the once-in-a-lifetime retirement that you only get one chance to do right. Now is the time to say, ‘I’m not going to do it by myself. I’m going to reach out and get help.’” That’s an ordinary story. That’s personal. It’s my story. I’m not telling you about a client. I’m not telling you something I read in Chicken Soup For The Soul. It’s a personal story that has nothing to do with finances that teaches a universal emotion. I want to do this myself and that could help, but it teaches why that’s not the right choice to make right now.
You get a story like that at the end of your presentation but overcomes that last objection and you’re going to see your rates of appointments skyrocket. You’re going to see them go up and up and up. The stick rate will go up too because the moment they say, “Hey, maybe we should just skip that appointment and do something else instead,” they’ll say, “No, now you’re just like him and the bees.” They’ll anchor back to it because it’s an angry image in their mind of that ordinary story. So, that double close at the end will take care of your last objection. The tactical and the emotional paired together is the way to get the highest conversion rate in the end.
[01:01:12] Brad: Great. All right. So, we’ve covered a ton of ground in a short amount of time here. So, as we wrap here, Pat, are you good for a couple of just more philosophical questions?
[01:01:21] Pat: Sure.
[01:01:22] Brad: Okay. And the first one before we went live, you said you’re happy to dive into this so this will be fun from a guy that study psychology to actually hear your own psychology when you selected your financial advisor and I think you said more importantly, why you continue to stay with him. So, do you mind just kind of diving into your decision-making there?
[01:01:41] Pat: Yeah. When I chose my financial advisor, which was over 20 years ago, I was looking for someone who shared values with me and we sat down and had our initial meeting, and we didn’t talk that much about money and he didn’t teach me much content at all. Instead, we talk about kids. We talked about the fact that his wife stayed home and raised their kids and we knew in our family that my wife was staying home raising our kids. We talked about a number of things. It was more about finding alignment for me with shared values, somebody that won’t think it was crazy if I wanted to make a donation of my church, somebody that would understand how important college was in our family and how important saving for college was, and somebody who understood that I probably was going to have to help out my parents at the end of their life instead of inheriting from my parents. I was probably going to have to help them out and really to find somebody who understood that and didn’t look at me askew when I said that and had some shared experiences in some of those areas with me.
In the end, his knowledge of finances was really one of my least concerns. I figured anybody who was a financial advisor advised me on my money. I wasn’t looking for the smartest guy. I was looking for the person who can alignment with my goals and my vision for the rest of my life. The best and shared experiences was what brought us that. That was 20 years ago. Now, I see some of the best financial advisors in the world because every couple weeks a bunch of AE advisors and other advisors from around the country come to Milwaukee for my workshop and I hear a lot of stories and I hear a lot of philosophies and I hear a lot of people make their pitch for me to become my financial advisor. Even though they’re not talking directly to me, I get to go through the thought process every time and so I’m very familiar with the loyalty trap and even though I don’t talk to my advisor very often, I actually haven’t had a face-to-face conversation with him in four years and we haven’t talked on the phone in three years, I still send him checks.
[01:03:45] Pat: He hasn’t adjusted anything in the last five years. The idea of making the phone call to leave him, he was with me when I didn’t have a lot of money and I don’t have a huge amount of money now but I have more money than I had back then. He was with me when we were struggling to get our first market. He was with me when we’re trying to figure out if we could afford to have my wife stay home and he’s still with me now. And to pull my money from him now it seems like such a betrayal, and honestly, I don’t know if I could ever make that phone call, even though now that I hear other advisors speaking, I know he’s not serving me probably as well as other advisors could. And so, just from a straight personal philosophical point of view, that loyalty thing and teaching people around that not being a betrayal, around that not being cheating, I think is going to be one of the key things.
Now. I was coaching one advisor and one advisor started with everybody else is telling you this, and I’m telling you this, and this advisor actually went to start to say and we actually built a great story into this presentation where he went up into his closet one day and he’s about 50 years old and he went up into his closet and found a suit that he wore when he was 20 years old, a suit coat and he put it on. And it still fit. Amazingly, it still fit and so he wore it downstairs. Now, his kids looked at it and they were like, “Dad, no. Like no. It may still fit but that is not what suits look like today like take that off. Don’t go out of the house. We won’t go with you if you go out of the house in that suit.” And he turned to the audience and said, “You know, one thing that I learned is that the suit that was right for me when I was 20 years old isn’t probably the suit that’s right for me when I’m 50 years old and the same is true with your financial advisor.” The person who was serving you well and serving you in your best interest when you were 20 years old may not be the right person to serve you when you’re 50 years old.
[01:05:48] Pat: You don’t see a pediatrician anymore and there’s a reason for that because some doctors specialize and others specialize with the older people. Same is true of financial advisors. Our firm specializes with people your age right before the 10 years before they’re going to retire and the 10 years after they retire. We specialize in helping people at that very stage of their life. So, it’s very possible that the financial advisor that served you well when you were 20 isn’t the right one for you now. And I got to tell you, that was the most compelling argument of all. I hadn’t made the call yet because I still can’t picture making the call. My wife and I talked and we’re pretty sure we’re going to switch to that financial advisor if we can get up the guts to make the call. So, now you’re up to date on where my messed-up mind is.
[01:06:33] Brad: And I appreciate that honesty because that’s what I love about this show is getting successful people like yourself to actually walk through that because most advisors never actually get the opportunity to hear it. They’re just imagining what is going through this person’s head sitting across the table from me. So, thank you for sharing that and I think it’s very common. There’s two stages of life if you really come out high-level and simplified. There’s the accumulation stage which is where you’re building the nest egg and then there’s the distribution phase, which you now have the nest egg, you reached the height of Mount Everest, but guess what? Now, you’ve got to get back down to the ground. And so, it is interesting as you unpack it because sometimes that suit coat from 20 years ago wasn’t necessarily the one you need to rest the way so thank you for that, Pat. All right. Two quick questions and then we’ll wrap this because I know we’re right at the end here. I just want to hear this one because I just love how you think and I can tell you’re a deep thinker. When you hear the word successful, who’s the first person you think of and why?
[01:07:32] Brad: The first person I probably think of is my parents. I have a different measure of success. I don’t think the person who has the most toys at the end is the most successful one. I think it’s the one that leaves a lasting legacy through the next generation who’s probably the most successful. Both my parents are gone now but my brother, my sister, and I have navigated the waters of that and the rest of our lives without arguments, without conflict, and I see some of the other families that tear each other apart after their parents are gone and throughout this conflict, they don’t talk to each other and greet Thanksgiving. Our family is just the opposite and I think that’s a legacy of a successful set of parents who raised their kids in a way where they aren’t going after the most toys but they’re going after healthy relationships both with each other and with others so I probably think my dad and my mom.
[01:08:22] Brad: That’s awesome. That actually kind of leads right into my final question here. Like, when you look at yourself personally and if you could share one piece of advice to the listeners, obviously, a bunch of financial advisors out there that’s led to your personal success, maybe in business, maybe just life in general and relationships, what would that piece of advice be to them?
[01:08:41] Pat: My personal advice to them would be to use the gift that you’ve been given not just to help people who can help you back, but to use the gifts that you’ve been given to help everybody and especially those that can’t give you anything back. I think I meet with a lot of advisors who have this ideal client 50 plus, 500,000, a million more under assets and I think that’s great. They’ll pay the bills, they’ll help you put your kids through college, but you have a set of gifts and talents and skills that could also help somebody who’s struggling to pay off some debt that would help somebody who’s struggling to get their first mortgage and those clients aren’t your high net worth clients. They are the clients that are going to pay for your office and your associates. You need high net worth clients to get those to do all that but don’t stop using those gifts and talents that you have to help a group of people who may never be able to pay you with all or who wouldn’t pay you much less.
I think we’ve all been given these gifts in certain areas and I know a portion of my speaking is done for speaking fees and a portion of my speaking is done to sell some of the products that I sell but a portion of the speaking that I do is speaking to groups that could never pay me, a portion of the speaking that I do is to help people who just need help and they can’t pay my speaking fee and they can’t find it in my products but that’s not going stop me from spending some of my time doing that because I’ve been gifted in certain ways and I hope everybody watching this recognizes what their unique gifts and talents are. Yes, they will help people with high net worth and yes, they’ll help people who can pay you for those services, but they’ll also help a group of people who are much more vulnerable and much more needy who will never be able to pay you but your life will be richer and fuller if you’ll help them just as well.
[01:10:31] Brad: That’s a great way to end a conversation, Pat, so thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed the conversation, ton of knowledge, and just over an hour of conversation here. So, thank you and I will begin to see you right around the corner because I know we’ve got you booked to speak at our World Series event here to kick off 2019 so excited to see that in person.
[01:10:51] Pat: Looking forward to it. Thanks for the invitation and thanks for the opportunity.
[01:10:55] Brad: All right. Until next time, Pat. Take care.
[01:11:00] Brad: Thanks for checking out the latest show. On to this week’s featured reviews. This week’s first review comes to us from Fran@CatalystWealth who says, “One of the Best Podcasts for Advisors. Five stars. Elite Advisor Blueprint is a fantastic resource for new advisors building their business and experienced advisors that aim to stay relevant in a fast-changing environment. Thank you Brad for bringing in the best guests and helping us give our clients the service and experience they deserve.” Thanks Fran! My goal is to bring guests on and share content that can help those just starting out as well as the seasoned vets out there, so I’m really glad I’m hitting the mark! I also really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and if there’s anything myself or the team at Advisors Excel can do to help you out, please don’t hesitate to connect with us via the website.
The next review comes to us from user Whitlockj85 who says, “Absolute Game Changer!!!! Five stars. I’ve never been a binge listener of any podcast until this one. I find the topics to be fascinating and structured really well. The guests are not your average podcast guest. They bring valuable insights to anyone in the advisory field. Thanks for the show and keep it up.” Whitlockj85, I’m not sure there’s a greater compliment out there for a podcast host than to have someone binge listen to your episodes. So, thank you. I’m also glad to hear that the guests are hitting home with you. I really try my best to bring an eclectic mix but at the same time make sure their content and ideas can serve financial advisors out there. I’m thankful you took the time to share your thoughts and leave a review. I appreciate you.
And the last featured review for the week comes to us from user Ltah2 who says, “Great shows, very useful for all advisors! Brad’s interviews cover the spectrum from business to personal development. Each show provides the listener with practical implementable advice. I’m always amazed that after listening to a podcast, I go to Amazon next to order a recommended book. Keep the great guests coming!” Thanks for the review. One of the aspects I do try to bring to the show is making sure you don’t just lead with tools that only apply to your business but also can cross over to other spectrums of your life.
[01:13:05] Brad: I laughed when I read your comment on running out to Amazon to buy a book after each episode as that’s my gift and my curse as well. If you asked my wife, she’ll tell you that I have enough books to last me the rest of my life if I stop buying them right now. However, if there is a common trait of the most successful people I’ve interacted with over the years, they all read voraciously, so stay after it.
Okay. As we wrap this show, thanks again for those of you who have taken the time to write a quick review. I love reading each and every one and 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, I promise, to grow your business and work less. This is a model we’ve replicated over and over in markets all over the country.
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[01:14:30] 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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