Key Elements for Financial Advisors to Grow their Practice Dramatically

September 13, 2021 by

Advisor Wealth Mastery Team

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:00:02):

Hey there, Stephen Oliver again, with Financial Wealth Mastery, I’m joined by Jeff Smith. And Jeff, you’ve got an interesting and eclectic background here. And well, we’ve been working together now, God I hate to date both of ourselves, probably 1975-ish going back, and formerly here in our coaching consulting role with various businesses, at least for 15, 20 years now, but let’s tell them a little bit about your background.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:00:39):

You were the first world light heavyweight and then heavyweight kickboxing champion. You actually have the fight that was the most watched martial arts bout ever in history, because you were on the Ali Frazier undercard promoted by Don King, and have a long background in that and in martial arts school operations, but then you’ve owned your own businesses, multi-unit, lots of stuff, big stuff, one thing or another, over the years. And now, we got to do three or four things. But we do coaching and consulting with financial advisors and people in that area of business, and with martial arts schools and people in that area, as well as a variety of other businesses that all have similar problems and similar opportunities. Well, what should I have added to that?

Jeff Smith (00:01:29):

Well, you don’t have to go through my whole resume. I mean, it does incorporate quite a few years-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:01:36):

It’s pretty eclectic. Yes.

Jeff Smith (00:01:37):

And I received my 10th Degree black belt about four years ago, which is the highest you can go. That took me 57 years to get to that point, but that’s it. You know, I was-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:01:51):

By the way, and from some people that pretty much anybody would recognize. You had Chuck Norris in that mix, you had Pat Johnson, who is a choreographer of all the Karate Kid movies and the Ninja Turtle movies, and so forth in that mix, you had the Professional Karate Association, Joe Corley, who he did color commentary for probably 1000 fights over the years, I don’t know how many. He was the Joe Rogan before Joe Rogan of kickboxing back then. So I mean, some pretty credible human beings there, as well as their mutual instructor [crosstalk 00:02:24]-

Jeff Smith (00:02:23):

Yes. I’ve done a little of all of it, because I was also color commentator on ESPN for 10 years, commentating all these professional sports. And then I was coach of our US team that won 10 consecutive World Championships. I did that part of it, and I trained world champions and national champions. So I not only did it myself, but I trained other people to do it and took it to that level too. But yeah, I’ve been very active in the sport and continue for many years.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:02:59):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But let’s pick up with… And we can for a change kind of make this a general conversation rather than one specific topic, but… And you just got off of what? Two or three or four one-on-one coaching sessions with business owners who are ranging from half a million to 2 million, right?

Jeff Smith (00:03:21):


STEPHEN OLIVER (00:03:22):

And they all have commonalities. And let’s talk a little bit about the commonalities. One commonality is, as soon as they start building staff, they’re kind of trusting the staff or are following the systems they built for them, which almost never is actually happening, right? That was the one conversation you had. The second is, I’m the “marketing genius,” but oftentimes, my suggestion and your suggestion both is, “My God, dude, you’re just not doing enough stuff,” right? Because they’re relying on one-on-one referrals, or they’re relying on one type of live event, or in this case, dinner meetings, or lunch meetings, or something. They’re just relying on one or two things for all their feeder traffic, right? The third commonality I think is they just have very limited thinking. And oftentimes, and we see sometimes they get into a cash crunch, and they’re busy trying to cut out all their bills, rather than say, “Oh, well, if I landed this deal, this deal, and this deal, the world would open up and everything would be just fine.”

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:04:30):

My language has been, there’s no problem in the world that can’t be solved with 100 new clients, right? And oftentimes, it’s maybe 40 or 50 that are just better, better, more highly qualified clients. So a lot of times they’re just fishing in the wrong pond. Let’s talk about that, based on however many one-on-one coaching sessions that you’ve had today and-

Jeff Smith (00:04:52):

Well, some of the calls I was doing today though, the biggest problem I saw is they were all doing too few of things expecting… And I had one of them who said last month, “That thing worked great, and I had a record month, but then I came back this month, and it was a bad month. And now I need to fix that.” And I said, “Okay, well, tell me about your marketing.” And they went through that. And then I said, “Okay, what did you do this month?” And they said, “The same thing.” And I said, “What else did you do?” And I said, “No, no, remember, it has to be a multi-tiered level of marketing, you have to have marketing coming from all sources, and sometimes this one will flow stronger, sometimes this one. So we’ve got to incorporate all of these systems of marketing.”

Jeff Smith (00:05:40):

And then I look at it the other way, when I was talking to one of my schools, who were saying that they just had a record month, all time record last month, and they said, they were going to ellipse that one to be a million dollar month next month. You know, annual-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:05:57):

Will be a contract for a million dollar a year for the first [crosstalk 00:05:59]-

Jeff Smith (00:06:00):

Yeah. And they said the main difference was that they started putting all of these marketing things down to a calendar. I had one of them who said, “Well, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, and it was all going to do, and none of it were… We’ve got a date set that we’re doing it.” So everything has to be put down to a calendar when it comes to marketing, and that’s from talking and setting it up to printing, if you’re doing a direct mail piece, or any of those. All the steps of the marketing, to have it all on a calendar so it’s all going to be up on time. And the schools and the businesses that we work with, the clients, all the ones that have committed to that calendar with their marketing, those are all the ones that have the system’s working full speed.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:06:54):

Yeah. One of the marketing guys that you and I both like, I’ve done a lot of deeper dive on that probably, but Jay Abraham, he calls it episodic versus systematic. And so, somebody will go two or three months and they don’t have enough new client traffic coming in, and then they have a bright idea and they go do something, and it works. And it carries on for a month or two, and then all of a sudden they realize a month or two later, they don’t have enough traffic, and then they go do something else, right? I mean, that’s the standard thing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:07:27):

And the other thing, of course, I stole from him is the idea of the Parthenon, is you got to have 20 things going on all the time. And some may be a home run, in fact, somebody may feed you more traffic than you need. Others in any given month may not, but you will eliminate that boom and bust cycle. Because what worked in June doesn’t necessarily work in July, doesn’t necessarily work in August. What was a bust in May or June may be hit in July. There’s all these different variables that people don’t account for. I mean, I know that’s what you’re talking about there.

Jeff Smith (00:08:01):

And they don’t commit it to a… We tell them, don’t just do a monthly marketing plan, you’ve got to have your quarterly market, you’ve got to have the next 90 days. And that’ll eventually build into what we call our annual marketing plan. And we’ll update those as the year goes along, but you have to have a foundation for it based on what you did last year. Well, you’ve got people that hadn’t been doing anything last year, so now they’re building their marketing plan, but they’ve got to get it into a cycle of doing it at least on a quarterly basis, staying ahead of the game. And that way, they can, if this month it worked great, I’ll add some more things to next month. If this didn’t work, I’m either going to change it around or drop it off of next month’s marketing plan and add something else. So it’s always that constant tweaking, but having a quarterly plan is a big step in being successful.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:08:59):

Yeah. And in fact, right here you can’t see it on camera, but I have the 2021 year at a glance, the 2022 year at a glance, and then I have my five year at a glance that has each month at a glance, right? And without that, and again, what happens is people keep reinventing the wheel. I had a conversation with a client who’s very successful, financial planner, 250 million assets under management, personal income over a million a year. And you talk about like a referral system and the conversation will be, “Oh, yeah, I did this great thing and everybody brought a friend, I got 10 new clients out of it.” Well, great. How long would you do that? Well, six years ago. Well, okay, well, see that’s the idea, that should be the annual event at the art gallery, and then the annual event at the restaurant, and then the annual event at the polo games or whatever it is.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:10:01):

And then you start just building, you open it up and you know this live event happens in June, this one happens in August, this thing happens we know in the fall, we do this marketing program. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time, because it becomes systematic, rather than, as Jay would say, episodic, and you create this steady stream of new traffic coming in. Is that a fair way to say it?

Jeff Smith (00:10:28):

And that’s how you build that annual marketing plan is you just keep track of all… If I have a calendar with everything that I did, and when I did it this month, well, now that will become part of my marketing plan, how much of that can I do next month and the month after? And like you said, some of them are just for an annual event, some are annual, some are weekly, and some are during the summer and some are during the winter, because during the winter a lot of states go indoors and during the summer pretty much everybody’s outdoors. So kids aren’t in school, so parents are out more with kids and doing things, and you can run into people a lot easier.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:11:09):

Oh, yeah. Yeah. And if you take a look at, like the very successful clients that we’re working with right now, coaching on marketing, one thing or another, the one thing I’ve been whining about to all of them is that during COVID they got lazy. And what we mean by that is we’re knocking it out of the ballpark on Google. And Google has multiple components, but let’s say for a general term search and pay per click, we’re knocking it out of the park with social media marketing, dominantly Facebook, but secondarily LinkedIn. And they’re having more traffic than they’ve ever had. Oftentimes, not doing as good a job as they could converting it, but then what they’ve dropped is the five referral systems they should be running at all times, they’ve dropped the live meetings they should be hosting, they’ve dropped going to live events where they can either network or they can have a table where they can be a keynote or a secondary speaker.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:12:14):

All of these other things that they could be doing, they get complacent because, “Oh, wow! We’re getting 100 leads a month from Facebook, and we’re getting 10 leads a month, 15 leads a month from LinkedIn, and we’re getting 50 or 40 leads a month from Google. Why do we care about that other stuff?” And of course, that’s the kiss of death, right? We know that social media is under a lot of legal pressure. Five years ago I hated Facebook, today I love Facebook. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about it next year. But all of these things have this weird ebb and flow. Is that a fair way to say it, Jeff?

Jeff Smith (00:12:48):

It is. And the other thing you know about our clients is that they become very marketing savvy. In other words, we don’t want to just give them a fish and feed them for a day, we want to teach them how to do it, so they can feed themselves for life. So they learn how to do a cost analysis on their spending of their marketing, how much is each lead costing me? That requires them to keep accurate stats. So they’re very up to tune, we teach them how to analyze those stats and see where they’re losing these prospects and future clients, from step one all the way down to when you’re going to put them into a discovery meeting or something.

Jeff Smith (00:13:29):

So you’ve got to learn those systems, then do a cost analysis. And if you’re getting a good return on it, then double down in that marketing field. And if you’ve got one that isn’t giving you a good return, then analyze it, is it not giving you the return because you did something incorrectly? Or was it because it wasn’t a good investment? So now our guys don’t just go do a lot of marketing, they do things that cost… With a cost analysis, they are confident to know that it doesn’t matter if I spend more on it because I know my return on that investment is going to pay me back tenfold.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:14:09):

Yeah. Now, you just hit up on my pet peeve. We recorded another one of these podcasts with Travis Lee. You were on that yesterday. And he’s a great marketer, a great direct mail, a great multi-dimensional mail, interesting stuff. But we were having this conversation of, a financial advisor, if they get 10, 12% return year over year for their investment, they’re dancing around in their office and they think their clients should give them a gold medal, right?

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:14:42):

In our case, marketing leverage dollars, we could take $1,000 and turn it into $5,000. We can take $10,000 and turn it into $100,000. We can literally get a 300%, 500%, 1,000%. Sometimes even 15,000% return. And then advisors, as you say, here’s what we’re going to spend 10,000 and we’re going to get back 100,000, they completely freak out about that. They can’t understand return on investment. And maybe if I said, here you’re going to put in $1,000 and you’re going to get back $100 every year, maybe that would be more in their realm of understanding.

Jeff Smith (00:15:29):

You always said that accurately with them, you’d say to them, if you could spend $1,000 to get back $10,000, how many thousand dollars would you spend? And they say the same thing, well, a lot, right?

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:15:43):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Smith (00:15:44):

You have to keep track of it, because there comes a time when you keep doubling down that now you’ve got to back off on it maybe, or hold at that point. So that just keeps you on your toes and keeps you looking at what… Don’t just spend blindly and say, “Well, I’m going to throw all this and it’s going to come back,” break down each marketing. And I got to keep separate stats on each marketing thing I do. I don’t [crosstalk 00:16:12]-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:16:11):

Each funnel and each source. Yeah. No, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but yeah.

Jeff Smith (00:16:18):

Yeah. That was it.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:16:20):

Okay. In going back to return on investment, the first thing it’s shocking to me that most people who are running a business, who are working either on commission or fee-based, that they don’t understand this, but you got to sit down and know how much is the average new client going to pay day one? And if you’re on a commission basis, how much of that do you get as your commission? And how much are they going to end up paying in the first year? And how long are they likely to be with you and therefore, what’s the lifetime value of that client?

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:16:59):

And I tend to work off marketing from a standpoint of, if we can get the money back with the first transaction and if we can be at a 10:1 in the first year, I’m happy. If we can be at a 20 or 30:1, I’m tickled to death, right? And we can do that all day long. I was talking to a, if you will, another marketing guru to financial advisors, really nice guy, Dan Cuprill. And we were having a conversation off record and I was lamenting the same thing. He said, “Well, I just try to get them take 10% off the top, they understand if they say to a client, “Just take 10% of your income off the top and put it away and don’t touch it,” I just try to get them to say, “Okay, we’re going to spend 10% of your revenue on marketing, don’t even think about it, take it off the top, because it’s going to return a much higher investment.””

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:17:47):

And maybe that’s the way they have to think about it, the old way we used to think about things where 10% of the gross goes to marketing, or 15, 20% of the gross goes to marketing, we used to just think in those terms, rather than thinking in terms of return on investment, is we’re just going to take 10% off the top and spend it every month. How do you rationalize that with the way that people think about this strangely?

Jeff Smith (00:18:10):

Well, and I think the reason they think that way is because they don’t keep good stats, they don’t know they cannot… If they look back on what they’ve spent and how much that’s made their gross grow. And a lot of businesses, and I had a conversation with a client today whose business was a record month, that was in June, and then July, he was on a low month. And I said, “Well, let me tell you, first of all, every time you have a record month, you better be on your toes, because that’s when people tend to take their foot off the pedal, they think they got it figured out. No, you’re only as good as your last movie.”

Jeff Smith (00:18:50):

In business, you’re only as good as your last month, so you got to have goals, you got to be working towards those. And if you don’t have good statistics to know that you’re spending the right amount and what percentage of that is, and if we take a number like 10% of your total, well, if I did a record month, now my marketing for next month can be higher. And what that usually does is gives me an even bigger return on it. And so by getting those numbers down, that little 10%, it pays you back so much that you’re excited that it’s going to be even more when… Because when you do it in dollar amounts, you say you’re going to spend 10,000 in marketing this month, and now I had a record month, so now next month I got to spend 15, they go “What! I can’t spend 15, or what do you mean? You just did 150,000, or whatever your numbers are, right? So [inaudible 00:19:47] that percentage the same, because it’s still 10%. So whatever it is.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:19:54):

You bet. You bet. And again, you’re right. I think… And most of, I’ll be fair, the people we work with tend to be in the top 10%, and oftentimes, in the top 1% of the industry. So we’re already dealing with very, very sharp people, and they’re very good at numbers on everything else in their business and in many cases, it’s just when it comes to marketing dollars and marketing logic, they don’t understand because they haven’t been taught that way.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:20:22):

You know, there’s all these… It’s just like martial arts, right? I mean, we know how many people who were, they were the national champion and they’re a seventh degree black belt, and they know nothing about how to go get students, right? They don’t know anything about marketing, or about running the business side of it. In fact, that’s our, I won’t say joke, but our conversation behind the scenes, is the most highly qualified people tend to be the brokest. And the ones who focus on the marketing and the sales tend to be the ones that are financially viable.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:20:54):

And same thing as financial advisors. You know, there’s all these designations, you can be a CFP, and you can be a ChFC, and all this other alphabet soup, but none of those things have a single course on how to go get a new client, right? There’s not a single course in client retention, there’s not a single course in online marketing, offline marketing, grassroots marketing, referral systems, that’s just you’re on your own on that point. That should be the first thing. To me, if you’re going to be in business for yourself, the first year of the certification should be, here’s how you go get clients, and then here’s how you keep clients, and here’s how you have clients be thrilled with you. And by the way, here’s all the technical crap you’re going to do for them, and you got to be good at that, as well. Is that a fair way to say it?

Jeff Smith (00:21:42):

It used to be the number one issue with most. And I’ll tell you, people that are really good at what they do, and they’ll usually say the same thing, “Well, just get me somebody in here, and they’ll be my customer for life.” Well, yeah, okay, what’s the secret? Go get them.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:22:03):


Jeff Smith (00:22:03):

Who’s going to… Not just going to walk in, because you put an ad somewhere, you’ve got to know how to do that ad, you’ve got to know where to put that ad, you’ve got to know what market you’re going for, what demographic. So there’s just so many things that go into making that marketing work that most of these professional business people aren’t savvy to that and don’t know how to do that. And we’ve seen it with the lawyer, great lawyers, or great doctor, but he doesn’t know how to do the business side of it to get that person in there to save their life, or that lawyer to help them with whatever their legal issues are.

Jeff Smith (00:22:46):

So that’s the same thing of, if you want to have clients, you got to learn how to go out there, don’t rely on… The biggest mistake you can make is, when you call one of these companies that does a certain type of marketing only, because they’re going to make you spend all your marketing money on them which you know we’ve got to have that Parthenon, that multi-level streams of marketing out there, not just in any one person, any one place.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:23:18):

Yeah. And that’s another topic is, is how to think about that. You mentioned the lawyers, we have a good mutual friend, our John. And what’s he working with now? 550 small law firms, something like that? You know, and it’s just amazing, it’s the exact same thing.

Jeff Smith (00:23:37):

You had me go to one of his training sessions. And these lawyers that were there were so lost when it came to marketing, and I was just shocked at how little they knew about it to keep their practice growing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:23:55):

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, remember his big thing on the cover of the workbook is, to have an offer or not to have an offer, right? It is just super basic stuff. And maybe we should address that is Earl Nightingale, I actually looked up the quotes so I could attribute to the right person. His comment was, “If you go into business and you don’t have a successful business system to follow, look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite.” Right? And what Dan Kennedy, who as you know I’ve worked with for 20 years now very closely, his comment is that almost all industries, and we were talking specifically about financial advisors recently, and it’s worse than… I mean, it’s pretty bad, but almost all industries suffer from, he calls it marketing incest.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:24:51):

They just look around at what everybody else is doing and do the same thing everybody else is doing. And in this case, with this industry, it kind of boils down to, they ask all their clients when they meet with them for who they know, and so they get referrals, but they don’t have what you and I would call much of a referral system, or if they do have a systemized way of doing that even, they are doing at onesie-twosies rather than having multiple events, multiple different ways of doing it.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:25:22):

But what I have always found, and this goes back to, I was listening to Jay Abraham, again, this morning, is he talks about what his genius was, is he worked across a whole bunch of industries and figured out that it seemed like every different industry was getting new clients in different ways. And if you could cross-pollinate the way other people were doing it, it was successful. And I think that’s exactly right, the advantage that we have, coming from, one, a completely different industry to get our start, martial arts and martial arts school operations, but then seen everything from lawyers, to doctors, to consultants, to pro-sports, to financial advisors, and so forth, seeing what everybody in different businesses do, almost everything that I have done really successfully for any client has been say, “Well, that industry does it this way, this way, this way, and this way.” And in the advisor niche, you can do it all kinds of different things and still be compliant, not have legal issues, not have any problems.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:26:28):

You and I dealt with that a lot when we were in the franchise side, right? Is they have more legal red tape than anybody in the fricking world. You know, we can’t even sit down and have a conversation with them about what the average unit is grossing or netting, but let’s talk about that, why all breakthroughs come from somewhere else, and how to think about that.

Jeff Smith (00:26:52):

Well, I think the problem that most businesses have is that they either think their only problem is the marketing, or if you could just get me some new clients then I’ll be successful. And there’s others who have people, a lot of clients, but they’re not keeping them, they’re not making the return. When we have clients, it’s not just how successful we’re making them, it’s what is our business? How much are we grossing? How much is the business growing?

Jeff Smith (00:27:35):

And so, we have to go through all the steps of the business. So, that first step of just having a new client, or what we call a lead, coming in, how to follow up with that lead, how to get that appointment, how to get them to a discovery meeting, how to get them closed in and sign up for your business. So it’s learning the whole thing, and how to keep these clients longer. A lot of them they’re coming in the door, but then they’re going out, they’re dropping on and going to something else. So, you got to learn how to take care of your business and get new people coming in, because you’re either green and growing, or you’re ripe and rotting. So the business is constantly going up because we’re getting more clients, but what some do is they’re coming in so slow that they leave at the same rate. So then their business tends to flatline and stay the same.

Jeff Smith (00:28:33):

Well, some people are happy because they just got their nose above water, and they don’t realize that above that point is where all the profit is. So, you really got to learn the whole business, not just how to get them, but how to keep them.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:28:48):

Yeah, and let’s go back a couple of minutes. You were talking about somebody talking to a marketing consultant or guru or one thing or another. And oftentimes, it falls in the range of this person is pitching you that they can drive plenty of traffic from LinkedIn, or this person’s pitching you that they’re great at Facebook, or this person is a circle of influence marketing with CPAs, pick a topic. And I did one, you found it funny at least, is I did one with exploding bozos, I stole the term from Steve Jobs. He said, “The problem with all tech companies is they start out with A players and they end up hiring B and C players, and they have a bozo explosion.” And he talks about when he turned around Apple, he had to go find all the bozos and fire all the bozos and just keep the A players.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:29:39):

But I think in the coaching and consulting realm, you have two problems, or more than that, but one problem is everybody and their brother has popped up to provide advice. Most of those people haven’t been in the arena, haven’t run a business of their own for years. I mean, I don’t know how many sales you’ve closed and I’ve closed, but individually, is probably, I’ll take my number is 5000, right? Is you’ve got to be more than that, because you’ve been more of a frontlines than I have, but what would you say? 7, 8000, over the years?

Jeff Smith (00:30:14):

No, no, no, no, much more than that.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:30:17):


Jeff Smith (00:30:18):

But you got to think in terms of, I was doing this face-to-face stuff for almost 45 to 50 years.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:30:27):

And I was floating in and out, running it more through staff than you were, so-

Jeff Smith (00:30:32):

If I was there I was closing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:30:34):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Smith (00:30:35):

[inaudible 00:30:35] doing that.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:30:37):

Yeah, and never take advice from a marketing person who haven’t stood face-to-face, belly-to-belly, and closed sales, and gotten people to write them a check for 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, whatever it might be. So that’s number one, is there’s all these, especially the young guys who are… they’re a whiz at SEO, and they’re going to do SEO for you, but they really don’t know the message that creates the lead, that creates the appointment, they’ve never had the ability to, or the necessity to close sales face-to-face. So, that’s one problem is, I’ll call that the bozo explosion. And many of them are really nice people and they’re very sharp at one little piece, but they don’t understand how the sale works, right? And oftentimes, they don’t understand the numbers behind the business and how that works.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:31:25):

The other thing is, what has become pretty common now is a lot of companies that are selling leads, right? ThinkAdvisor is one, and there’s [inaudible 00:31:34], Suze Orman has a deal, and the other financial guru on TV has a deal, a bunch of them have deals, but I was talking to, again, a very sharp guy, 400 million assets under management, but he’s only traffic right now is buying leads from ThinkAdvisor. And it’s really interesting, because what you and I know is, as soon as you start getting something to work, you get Facebook to work, you get LinkedIn to work, you get buying leads, as soon as you start getting traffic, the number one thing that happens at the client end is they say, “Oh, those were flaky leads. That wasn’t working for me because they were flaky leads.”

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:32:13):

I was doing the diagnostic of how quickly did you get the lead, how soon do you have the data, what’s your follow up mechanism, and he kept saying, “Oh, no, those are flaky. I don’t want to do that anymore.” I said, “Well, maybe they are, but why don’t we reverse-engineer your conversion process and let’s go back to how did they generate the lead and what was the process there?” And I see your brother, you’re having a hard life there, Jeff, you’re in Palm Springs. Oh, like he tried to tell you, you go to Palm Springs in the winter, not in the summer. Hey [Diddy 00:32:45]. But you’re supposed to go to Palm Springs in the winter, not when it’s 115 degrees out. I’m sitting here on my… I should be on my deck, but it’s about 75 and cooler here at 8000-foot elevation in Evergreen.

Jeff Smith (00:33:03):

Well, I was in Vegas last weekend, and that was fun-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:33:09):

One my least favorite places on earth. I like Vegas better than Atlantic City, but-

Jeff Smith (00:33:14):

Oh, yeah. But I was there for a few days and then stopped by here in Palm Springs for a week to catch up with my brother. And then I’ll be back to Virginia this weekend. And then I’ll take off to Chicago, and then I got Florida to go to, and then I got to go back to California. And then we’re going to be in Annapolis, and then I’ve got a cruise. So I’ve got quite a few things going in the next couple of months.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:33:39):

Yeah. Well, as an aside, our next, and I don’t know how to call it, live or not live, we’re doing work with our current clients every week. Some of it individually, some of it in small group. So, we’ve become experts at Zoom over the last four or five, six, I forget how long it was released, but I think we adopted-

Jeff Smith (00:34:03):

[crosstalk 00:34:03].

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:34:04):

Yeah. Yeah. We were user number 110 or something like that. But it works like a charm. We’ve been having great results with it, but our first, like everybody gets on a plane and meets in a physical location, not non-virtual meeting, or our next one anyway, our last one was in… What was it? Keystone, Colorado?

Jeff Smith (00:34:26):

Disney. Well, we had Colorado then we were in Disney. As a matter of fact, we closed Disney down. When our group was there, we were the last people to go in that weekend, they closed it on Monday after we left.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:34:39):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And we did a great behind the scenes at Disney. And what do we have? 50, 55, 60 people there. And probably about the same at Annapolis. But Annapolis, you might tell Diddy’s on camera, he’s walking around naked now. So-

Jeff Smith (00:34:56):

Who is?

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:34:59):

Your brother.

Jeff Smith (00:35:01):

Oh, he’s going in the pool.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:35:04):

Okay. He has swimsuit. I couldn’t see to the waist down, and I wasn’t sure if I had been spared or if I was happy that…

Speaker 3 (00:35:13):

[inaudible 00:35:13].

Jeff Smith (00:35:13):

Well, it’s only 117 years, so he’s going to go jump in the pool to cool down a little bit, so-

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:35:22):

I’m going to stick with Evergreen, Colorado in the summer. Thank you very much.

Jeff Smith (00:35:27):

Yeah. We catch 60 degree weather up there in the summer.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:35:31):

Yeah. I did sometime in Scottsdale in the spring, and it was about perfect, but it was before it hit 120. Back on-

Speaker 3 (00:35:40):

[crosstalk 00:35:40] 9% humidity.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:35:42):

Yes, we have dry here too. I like dry. Humidity is good. But I don’t like 120 degrees. That’s not good. That’s hot no matter what you’re doing. Yeah. Back to it though, is you were talking about them taking the wrong approach to their market. And I think it’s absolutely the wrong approach to think that you’re going to solve your business by hiring ThinkAdvisor, or hiring a Facebook guy, or hiring a LinkedIn thing, and not having a holistic approach to what you’re doing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:36:24):

And again, that doesn’t mean that each of those sources they can be very productive. You know, I don’t want to ever buy a lead where three people are getting the lead at once. You’d probably be shocked to know that in my show we’ve talked about that. A lot of the advisors are buying leads, where they give them three different people. And now they’re all fighting each other to see who gets to him first. Do you like that? Do you like that plan?

Jeff Smith (00:36:53):

Well, the problem that happens is that these guys don’t know your business. Our clients during this pandemic, I would say 80 to 90% of our clients, had record years during pandemic, that is unheard of. But the only reason they did is because we jumped them on Zoom right away, we switched 180 on the marketing that we were doing, because we weren’t locked into one marketing, because that was our marketing company, and we’re going to make you spend your dollars there, whether it’s productive or not, we’re able to utilize the ones that are working. And because we have such a big base of clients, we know what’s working, because we have clients that are doing it successful. So we can really use that synergy among each other and really to develop into a higher level of productivity.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:37:51):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And the Zoom thing, let’s talk about that for a second. Because for some reason, it feels to me an awful lot of advisors think that if they draw… I got my office, I’m in Evergreen, Colorado, so let’s say I have my office in Golden, Colorado. They think they draw like a five mile radius around their office, and somehow they’re geographically limited, or I’ve got my insurance and my securities license registered in Colorado, and somehow I can only work with people in Colorado. And they get fixated on they’ve got to meet people face-to-face, and they get fixated on geography for some reason.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:38:38):

And as you know, one of the first things I like to do is, what do you have an affinity with? Oh, you’re a Porsche guy. Let’s go get the local regional national Porsche guys and build that, or you have a lot of dentists, let’s go market the dentists, or we have a gentleman who’s a professional contractor, he had a background in building homes and decks and so forth and he did business coaching for that. So now it’s, well, let’s join all the associations, let’s just go to their live meetings, let’s convert that. It’s much better to find a narrow group of people you’re going to hit, and then hit them statewide and regionally and then nationally. And it’s so much easier to stack up.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:39:22):

I’ve got one guy, and I keep trying to break him of this habit. He’s got the beautiful 911 Turbo Porsche, but he’s driving all over the place. He’s got a meeting in Boulder, Colorado, and then he’s got a meeting in Aurora, and he’s driving all over the place meeting people. I say, “Peter, just sit your ass in your office and plug them on Zoom and have the meeting that way.” The guy who’s got 100 million with you, go take him out to lunch quarterly, but other than that, you shouldn’t be wasting time with that. And by the way, we just fed him… What was it, Jeff? 35 new clients who were, he can’t do Canada, but they were all over the United States, everywhere from tip of Florida to Seattle, Washington, New York City, to San Diego, and all points in between.

Jeff Smith (00:40:13):

Yeah, and the thing, even we have clients that we’re working with from the UK, from Canada, so it’s amazing how the same marketing systems work no matter where you are if you’re pulling the right demographic. And that’s what happens sometimes is people are doing the marketing, but they’re not marketing to the right people. And that’s what becomes so important, that whole Zoom thing.

Jeff Smith (00:40:41):

We had some clients who said, “Oh, no, no, nobody wants to do Zoom, they don’t know how to do that, they can’t figure it out.” Well, it’s so simple now, because you just send them the link, and all they need is to download the Zoom app, and you send them the link and they push their finger on the button, and they’re right in talking face-to-face like we’re doing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:41:01):


Jeff Smith (00:41:01):

You’re in [inaudible 00:41:02] right now, I’m in Palm Springs, and we’re conducting this meeting on a Zoom lake. So simple.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:41:12):

Well, and this week we’ll conduct… What? 35 or 40 meetings?

Jeff Smith (00:41:16):


STEPHEN OLIVER (00:41:16):

Yesterday we did two different small group meetings. One with… I don’t know what it was, four or five people, another one with 25 or 30 people. And then you did a couple of individual one-on-ones, I did a couple. It’s kind of like traveling. I’d rather you talk to them individually than me, but-

Jeff Smith (00:41:35):

I had four or five yesterday, and four or five today, but that’s what you need to do. Because as you have these group meetings, what’s so good about having… And I know there’s some of our clients say, “Oh, no, you have to do everything one-on-one,” no, you can bring a group together that have very similar things going on, that you can learn from what they’re doing, and pick up other things.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:42:06):

Well, and it’s a great referral mechanism as well, right? Is I can pick 10 topics, what keeps business owners up at night, college planning. You’re approaching retirement, how to make sure you never run out of money and what the strategy is for living [crosstalk 00:42:28]-

Jeff Smith (00:42:28):

For your kids, help your parents with their retirement.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:42:32):


Jeff Smith (00:42:32):

A lot of our parents, back in their childhood, they weren’t really all planning for this type of thing. There’s so many more advanced technology and things that we can help them understand what’s going on. It’s a new day.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:42:52):

Yeah, well, and it’s one of our key approaches to referrals, is every business owner thinks, I do a great job for my clients, they like me personally, therefore, they’re going to bring all their friends. Well, that, of course, just doesn’t happen. Every now and then they bring somebody to you, but it really don’t happen. Chet Holmes used to call it the stadium pitch, the more common term is elevator pitch. Most of your clients aren’t, in fact, most of your staff, aren’t very good at cold pitching your service, much less somebody you’ve just brought in as a new client. And that’s when they’re most enthusiastic, by the way. I mean, the time to get referrals is when they’re new, not when they’ve been with you for five years.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:43:42):

But the live event is one of the things that we have found is, it’s easy to invite my friend to come to the live event about whether it’s a webinar, or it’s a lunch meeting, or it’s in your office, or wherever it might be, is it’s easy to get them to invite their friend to a topic they know would be relevant. And then if you do a bunch of those different topics, again, it could be a webinar, it could be an interactive Zoom meeting, it could be a live in-person meeting, the more your clientele gets far-flung, the more it’s going to revert to virtual and be less face-to-face.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:44:19):

But it’s easy to have your clients invite them. Referral systems that we’ve been seeing work great, Jeff, are any kind of live meeting that they have a willingness and enthusiasm about bringing their friends to, right? Creating a special pass along things for them. That’s what the advantage is of the books. I can give each of my client five of my books and they can pass them along to their friends and they feel like it’s a gift. We tend to give them gift certificates and packages at Christmas holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, that they can pass along.

Jeff Smith (00:44:57):

Why do we like to send them those things? Because now they’re going to give us their address, so now we can send them stuff in the mail, we’re catching their email, we’re getting their cell number. So we can text now, we can send… So utilizing those mechanisms, we call our drip systems, where once we catch a lead, we catch that lead information, which is name, address, and phone number, and email. Now we can put our automated systems to drip on them with information that we can help them in this area or that area. So the clients that we work with have a whole operating system 24/7, when they’re sleeping they’ve got marketing systems that cost them next to nothing, because our drip systems are always very low, low cost systems, that just [inaudible 00:45:53], and then you get a few people from that each month on top of all the other things you’re doing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:45:59):

Well, and that’s probably a good way to close up, because we’re at our 45-minute mark here. I actually, was paying attention to the time, for a change, although you’re worse than I am. But that’s something that there’s a lot of misinformation about is I think that new prospect follow up system, but also staying in touch with a prospect forever, as opposed to thinking that they’re all going to convert to a sale in a week, two weeks, three weeks. Because what you and I find number one is, we have leads that come in in January, that end up buying 18 months later, right? And we have people who raise their hand in the spring, who are ready in the fall. And there’s all kinds of reasons why they may not be ready yet, including that they just don’t know you well enough, they don’t trust you well enough.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:46:55):

The second element is, and this is, I mean, I just beat my head against the wall, let’s talk about what we do. And anybody watching this you’re welcome to go see it for yourself, just go to and opt in on the thing. But what we do is when a new lead comes in, doesn’t matter whether it’s from Facebook, the website, online, offline, anything short of they picked up the phone and called in directly, so an online lead, let’s say, they immediately get a text message, an automated voicemail, and an autoresponder email that happens all within a fraction of a second.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:47:39):

Whoever our person is, who is following up on every lead that comes in, and it shouldn’t be the primary advisor, right? I mean, you should have at least [crosstalk 00:47:49]-

Jeff Smith (00:47:50):

That’s why you have assistants, you don’t have to do everything yourself.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:47:53):

Yeah, and most of our top level people have two or three people working for them, some more, but that person gets an immediate text, not an email, but an immediate text with the person’s name, the qualification questions they filled out, and a live phone number. So they can just pick up their iPhone or whatever, and dial it right then. And while we have seen the stats been, is if somebody gets the lead while they’re looking at the page. And the difference between 20 seconds and two hours, is dramatic. And of course, as you know, Jeff, that’s not what most people do. What they do is their marketing assistant comes in and looks at their email at 9AM on Tuesday morning, figures out what else has to be done, and then they start calling people the next day, or maybe they look at their email at 9AM and 3PM, and they call them. Well, it’s too late. While we’re trying to do-

Jeff Smith (00:48:53):

Just had a client who said that exact same words. They said, “We were getting a lot of leads, but we weren’t getting the appointments from it. And all we changed was we started getting back to them as soon as they opted in, we got to text, we called them immediately, and it wasn’t that it doubled their productivity, it went from almost no productivity to getting the normal 50% of those people who make an appointment become a client.”

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:49:25):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, like a Facebook lead, somewhere between 50 and 80% depending upon the quality of the pool and one thing or another, but we’ll convert usually 60, 70% to an appointment right away. But then the follow up system becomes… And this is all automated, we kick off where they get a postcard immediately, then they get another postcard in the same week, they get a series of… I forget what it is now, but basically you get your postcard a week for three months. And then they get a box with popcorn, like Karma corn and so forth. We used to do chocolates. We used to send them… What is it? The chocolate with a soft center, whatever you call it, but Florida and Texas they were arriving melted, so we changed it to popcorn. And then they… In fact, I have it here somewhere. Oh, here we go.

Jeff Smith (00:50:19):

That’s why that 3D mail, they open these things. When you send them these kind of things, they get opened, it’s not like regular mail.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:50:28):

Yeah. And this is, what we’ll send you guys if you opt into it, is we send them a big box, right? And so that’s got a cartoon caricature of me and on the back it’s got the full team. And there you are in the middle with a nice suit, which you wear more than I do. And then there’s a ton of material in here, including a book by me. And you’re on the cover there, I think, with me. Yeah, you’re on the cover there with Joe Piscopo and [Bernie Carrie 00:50:56] Carrie. And a book by Lee Milteer, who’s on our team. And then another book by me standing next to my 911 Turbo Porsche. And then this I think is very cool, the golden key, which actually is a USB drive that has I think it’s about an hour or two of video content on it.

Jeff Smith (00:51:17):

When I first got it, you sent that even to my house and I got that key and I said, “Oh, he got me a new Porsche. I got a key to…”

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:51:26):

No, no, but I did talk you into a Jaguar XKR, so you can’t whine too much.

Jeff Smith (00:51:34):

I’m loving that one.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:51:35):

500 and what? 25 horsepower or something?

Jeff Smith (00:51:38):

Yeah, 530 horsepower convertible.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:51:41):

  1. I was just out looking at the CA Corvette, and whatever they call it, the new Lexus convertible. They’re like-

Jeff Smith (00:51:50):

Sure, they are nice looking.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:51:52):

Yeah. Yeah. The Lexus has 465 horsepower, I think.

Jeff Smith (00:51:55):


STEPHEN OLIVER (00:51:56):

130 or something like that. But I don’t know, I’m more or less loyal to Porsche, although I’ve got a 650ix. That just became the eighth series convertible.

Jeff Smith (00:52:09):

I like your convertible, your sixth series convertible BMW series.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:52:15):

Well, it’s got a twin turbo, V8, so it’s not to like, right? 455 horsepower.

Jeff Smith (00:52:19):

That’s why [crosstalk 00:52:20] to your place I get to drive that. It’s almost like in my Jag.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:52:24):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, your Jag is a little lighter and mine’s all wheel drive. So yours probably on good roads is better, and mine is on bad roads is better.

Jeff Smith (00:52:32):


STEPHEN OLIVER (00:52:33):

Yeah. But to finish up on that, and we’ll call it a day, that follow up system is integrating sure email, but also text messaging, automated voicemail, live person outbound call immediately, and sequential autoresponder, direct mail, sequential autoresponder gifting, and the big box, different people call it different things. The Kennedy term was Shock and Awe Box, but the big box that builds tremendous credibility. And then it’s hard for somebody to ignore you.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:53:11):

Now, you got to know the value of the initial sale, the value of the first year sale, and the value of the lifetime sale, because I wouldn’t spend $100 on somebody who’s worth 90, or worth 110, for that matter, but I would spend $100 for somebody who’s worth 50,000, right? And that’s, again, something… We have funnels where they come to the funnel, they give us a little bit of information, they go the next page, they give us more information. Based upon what they get, they go to this video with a pretty spokesperson, talking to them about what the gig is, or they go to this one with a pretty spokesperson, tell them what the deal is. And then they go down the… Maybe they give us more information and then we split off from there. So we’re only talking to the ones that are highly qualified, and maybe sending the ones who aren’t off to the permanent email list, and the ones that are highly qualified are getting Mrs. Fields cookies and they’re getting popcorn and they’re getting Shock and Awe Boxes and everything else. And the-

Jeff Smith (00:54:14):

We’re getting clients that they go, “Well, I’m not techno savvy, I can’t figure out how to do all that stuff. It sounds great, but that’s why we have our marketing people.” Because once they opt in on something, all these automated systems are set up, they don’t have to learn how to do it, they just have to know us or somebody who knows how to set that up, because that’s what we do for them. And that’s why they know that their business is being marketed 24/7 even when they’re not doing it like on the phone all day.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:54:50):

Yeah, and almost regardless of what backbone software they’re using internal, most of this stuff has… What do they call it? The AP bridge? API, I think, bridge, or middleware, or you can use something like Zapier. Most of this stuff is, it’s easy to plug in. And advisors are hypersensitive about text messaging, but I got to tell you, there’s a big difference between you’re trying to get a prospect on the telephone versus you’re communicating with clients about trades and about sensitive information. And there are secure text messaging systems too, I don’t have it in front of me, but I could give you the software, but that’s what we do with our clients, we set all that stuff up for them and show them how to do it and make sure that their compliance officers and all of that stuff are cool with everything we do.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:55:38):

But you know, we probably should leave it at that the… Oh, the one other mistake that I heard somebody make recently is that they had started looking at internet marketing. Scale of one to 10, they were about a one or two, but they were open and learning. And they had set up where every new lead that comes in got 29 emails in sequence, all of them written by them, all of them very personal, all of them very engaging. That’s a great thing. At the end of 29 days, they dropped them from the list, figured they weren’t interested at that point.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:56:15):

Yeah, and you know me, Jeff, we were meeting live, it was very beautiful out by his pool, and [inaudible 00:56:20].

Jeff Smith (00:56:22):

We never know what’s going on in somebody’s life, and this just might not be the right time, but it is something that they want to do. And if we reach out to them when they’re ready, and that’s why you just got to keep… that’s why we call it a drip system.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:56:36):

Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Smith (00:56:36):

Because when they’re ready, we’ll keep hitting on it until they opt out. And when they opt out, then we know they’re not in shape, but if they don’t opt out, we’ll keep dripping it forever.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:56:46):

Yeah. And as you know, the first thing I say is, “What are you doing with direct mail?” “Oh, nothing.” “What are you doing with text messaging?” “Nothing.” “What are you doing automated voicemail?” “Nothing.” “What are you doing with outbound calls?” And in this case, he has somebody who would try to call him a time or two. So, it wasn’t nothing, but it wasn’t great. And then the second thing is what you said is 29 days, well, hell, they might have been out looking just before they went on like your excursion, just before they went on to Vegas, Palm Springs, Annapolis, and then somewhere else, and they’re going to get to it when things settle down. You never know. Or it may have been they were exploring and their mom went into hospital, and they’ve been focused on that and they’re not responding, not because they’re not interested because other things in their life are going on.

Jeff Smith (00:57:41):

We know there’s been a lot of that with this Coronavirus here that people got sidetracked. And you were talking about people might have some people that are making calls, but what we find now, unless they know who’s calling them, they’re not even going to answer the phone most of the time.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:58:02):

Oh, yeah, that’s something else. We always try to get that contact right.

Jeff Smith (00:58:08):


STEPHEN OLIVER (00:58:08):

VCard. VCard into their phone right away. So at least if they ignore you, it’s because they know you [crosstalk 00:58:15]. Exactly, exactly. But that’s, again, financial advisors are stuck on email. I keep saying the average person gets four pieces of direct mail in their mailbox a day, and they get over 200 emails a day. And the higher they are on the hierarchy of ones that you would want to do, the C-suite guys, are getting more than that. They’re overwhelmed and ignoring most of it.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:58:38):

I know with me, you laugh at me, but my autoresponder on my email is that picture of me pulling my hair out. Where is it? Let’s see. My autoresponder is that picture that says, “Screw it, I don’t use email.” And it gives them options. You know, if you have this problem call this person, if you have this problem call this person, if you have this problem call this person, but that’s my email autoresponder. I was getting 300 emails a day and then clients were saying, “Well, why didn’t you respond to my email?” Well, hell, I never saw your email. I don’t-

Jeff Smith (00:59:17):

You got to text me to let me know that you sent an email.

STEPHEN OLIVER (00:59:20):

Oh, yeah. Well, that’s what I do with you and Bob and Mindi and Merrick and Lee’s, on the drill now, and so forth. But somebody who wants to send me something, something by email, they text me and say, “Go look for it.” So, I’ll see it. But everybody else… It’s like LinkedIn. You’re not as involved on LinkedIn. I probably get 50 cold solicitations a day, I read none of them. And by the way, might be one or two of them are possible clients, but who knows? Anyway, on that note, let’s call it a day. Anything to wrap up on there, Jeff?

Jeff Smith (01:00:04):

No, I just think everybody, you’ve spent a long time becoming an expert in your field, but when you’re running your own business, you’ve got to be an expert in a lot of fields. And most people haven’t had that training or someone to show them or a mentor. And I tell you, it makes all the difference in the world. I don’t care how good you are at your business, if you don’t know all of the operating systems and how to be effective in all areas, from getting the client to keeping the client, then you need our help.

STEPHEN OLIVER (01:00:43):

Absolutely. And again, I invite you to go to Advisor Wealth Mastery, I probably got inundated already on that, but Advisor Wealth Mastery, and we’ll put you in our follow-ups so you can see what it’s all about, but we’ll give you some very valuable free information. And if it seems like you’re a good fit and if you’re in the top 10% of advisors, and you’ve got an open mind, we have a no assholes policy, that’s very important one, but you got to be open-minded, willing to learn, and frankly, not at the point that you’re winding down, but you really want to run hard and grow.

STEPHEN OLIVER (01:01:18):

And by the way, Jeff, nothing that we do with people makes them work another 20 hours a week, in fact, we make their life easier. That’s something I hear that people worry about, how many hours a week do I have to work on this stuff? Well, actually, we’re going to systematize, automate, slim down, and probably get rid of some of the stuff you’re doing that’s not working. Is that a fair way to say it?

Jeff Smith (01:01:39):

I would say one other thing, not everybody we work with is in the top 10%, when they started, but they are now, so if you want to be in that 10% and you haven’t figured out how to get there yet, then we could be that piece that you’re missing.

STEPHEN OLIVER (01:01:57):

You bet. You bet. On that note, we’ll call it a day. And we targeted 45 minutes and ended up right at an hour, and given our track record that’s not too bad,

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