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What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • The importance of ‘putting in the reps’ and what that looks like.
  • Why this is all about the long game.
  • How to avoid the wrong mindset.
  • The excuses you shouldn’t be making.
  • Why input is important FIRST before measuring output.
  • The role of mental focus and how to avoid playing office.
  • How to find your own words and style.
  • Why you need to understand how you work best.

Is the prospect stream pretty low? Or, even, completely dried up? This episode is all about the common mistakes made in marketing, creating content, delivering value, and more that really affect your prospect numbers. Matthew and Micah share specifically how they ‘put in reps’ and how that, along with not playing office and other important aspects, has allowed them to develop a solid flow of prospects.

Listen in to hear about how important it is to be diligent with your time and ensure you’re using it to build and not stagnate. Matthew and Micah give examples of pitfalls that trip us up when trying to make content or improve our outreach and discuss how important it is to play the long game, measure your input first, notice small things that make a big difference, and more.

  • We hear all of the time being in the RIA space is lonely. It is hard to find like-minded individuals who want to help you to achieve success.

    And most likely, you often ask yourself the same question (we all do)  – Where do I start?

    The TPR’s Starter Kit offers you access to the One Page Financial Plan, 5 Mistakes Keeping You From Getting More Clients & How to Stop Playing Office, our most popular power sessions of all time!

Podcast Article:

Why Your Prospect Process Is Broken (And How to Fix It)

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’ve tried everything—but are you really putting in the time?

Centers of influence, networking events, content creation—they’re all proven strategies for bringing in new business. But what if you’ve tried it all and your prospect process still isn’t converting? You may just not be putting in the reps. In this article, Matthew and Micah from The Perfect RIA podcast explain how to fix your faulty prospect process and build a system that actually converts.

Action Items in This Article

Choose just a few growth strategies—not all of them—and commit to spending the time needed to be effective.
Ask someone with proven success what strategy you should commit to and how they actually use it in their own business.
Visit to register for a special May 18 power session on doubling the effectiveness of your prospect process.

The Hard Way Is the Only Way

You can’t do a single sit-up and expect fantastic abs; that’s just not how it works. Serious bodybuilders know that any significant development requires time, commitment, and strategy. Anything less and you’re just playing office.

The same is true of growing your prospect process. New advisors seem to always be looking for that silver bullet, that single strategy they can rely on to bring in a steady stream of all the new business they’ll ever need—but in the real world, that, too, is just not how it works. From connecting with centers of influence to adding more value during your meetings, some strategies only work if you put in the time and commitment.

Marketing a business isn’t easy, and Matthew Jarvis understands what it’s like to wish for a simple solution. “As advisors, we’re often guilty of that: ‘Where can I do one sit-up and get perfect abs? Where can I write one email and suddenly get all of the clients? What no-rep activity can I do and magically have a multimillion-dollar practice that other advisors spend hundreds of thousands of reps building?’”

Of course, that unicorn doesn’t exist—and if you’re constantly hunting for it, you’re not spending that time on what actually works.

How to Embrace Your Discomfort and Fix Your Prospect Stream

Transforming your prospect stream may not be physically demanding, but you may find that your commitment to success requires you to place yourself in emotionally difficult situations.

Matthew knows this all too well—and he also knows pushing through discomfort is all part of the journey. “Practicing in front of your team: wildly uncomfortable. Practicing in front of your spouse, in front of your kids: all wildly uncomfortable. That’s what differentiates the top advisors from the advisors who just dream about having a great practice; we do the things that are incredibly uncomfortable to do.”

If you’re ready to embrace the challenge of transforming your business into the high-value machine you want it to be, these three tips will help you repair your broken prospect process and see more results than ever before.

Measure Your Input (Not Your Output)

As with any new effort, if you don’t measure your progress, you won’t know how effective you are. But even when advisors track their progress, they don’t always measure the right thing.

“You have to measure input, not output,” Matthew clarifies. “How many times are you actually calling centers of influence? How many videos are you actually creating and posting? How many events are you actually going to?” The first step in determining if a particular strategy is working is holding yourself accountable for doing it.

Of course, Matthew agrees that measuring your results is an important next step. “The output will come, and there will be a time to analyze that. Later, you can ask yourself those questions: Are these videos effective? Is the podcast effective? Is there a click-through action?” But until you know what you’re putting into a strategy, you can’t accurately assess what you’re getting out of it.

Be Intentional About Your Efforts

Before you create a complicated spreadsheet to track all of your various marketing activities, take a deep breath and ask yourself where your efforts will be best spent. Do you really have the time to commit to multiple different strategies? Will you really be able to keep up with the reps over time?

When it comes to marketing, a few well-implemented strategies are always better than ten great ideas you’ll never follow through on. Put all your eggs in one basket and you’ll be at risk of losing them all—but try to juggle too many baskets, and you’re sure to drop a few along the way.

So what’s the magic number? According to Micah Shilanski, the number of marketing strategies to adopt should be more than one but not more than three. Any more and you’ll leave yourself too scattered to be effective in any one area. “But,” he warns, “your effort has to be consistent, and you’ve got to commit to putting those reps in.”

Practice What Works

One of Micah’s top tips is to practice meetings in advance—as long as you really commit to doing it. When Micah practices, he doesn’t just think about his meetings; he talks through them out loud. He physically goes through all of the motions, from putting on a suit and walking into the conference room to opening Zoom and rehearsing what he’ll say to a COI, prospect, or client. Because of this work, Micah is prepared to conduct polished, well-rehearsed meetings, every time.

But what if you don’t know what to practice because you haven’t developed a winning strategy yet? Do what Micah did and find someone else to feed you the lines.

When Micah first started out, he was lucky enough to have a trusted advisor he could look to for support: his father. But what his father wanted him to say to prospects didn’t feel natural to Micah, and he struggled to find his own words.

That’s when Micah’s dad gave him the ticket to success. He said, “Stop figuring out your own words. Say it exactly the way I say it until you know it, until you live it, until you breathe it in a practice session. Then morph it into your words.” With this new mindset, Micah was able to push his discomfort aside and embrace a winning strategy. Then, once he mastered the process, he could slowly develop his own style.

Commit to pushing through your own discomfort and putting in the time, and you’ll find a whole new world of potential waiting for your business. It may feel strange to learn from someone whose style is different from yours—but repeating a successful advisor’s proven process gives you a starting point for transforming your own broken process into one that converts.

Read the Transcript Below:

This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…

Matthew Jarvis:   Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA Podcast. I’m your co-host Matthew Jarvis, and with me, is Micah Shilanski. And for those of you watching us on YouTube (hopefully, not while you’re driving), you can see that we’re actually in Micah’s office in his recording studio. So, Micah, it’s fun to be doing this in person.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, what a pleasure it is, right? Most of the time, we don’t get a podcast done when we’re together-

Matthew Jarvis:   No, we don’t.

Micah Shilanski:  … even though we get together frequently. It’s more of a distance thing, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.

And just really talking about not only our upcoming power session that we have, but something as we both come out of surge, we’re reviewing other advisors because our INVICTUS members have a great benefit. They can send us a recording of one of their meetings and we’re going to go through it.

Now, not very many want to take us up on that offer and there’s a lot of ego involved in that. I got to say just for myself, I don’t like it when my coach reviews my video.

Matthew Jarvis:   Sure.

Micah Shilanski:  So, I totally get that. But the ones that we see, it’s amazing because we can talk with advisors and we can really start seeing a transformation take place from when we review that meeting and video, to the coaching that we have happen afterwards and going through like the little things that has to be there, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   It is. And in the opening quote for this episode, we said, “The reason you don’t have prospects is because your marketing sucks.” And while that’s sort of fun and that may or may it not be true, I’m going to argue Micah, extraneously, that the reason you don’t have more prospects is you’re not putting in the reps.

Micah Shilanski:  Yes.

Matthew Jarvis:   And I was going to say, you’re not putting in the right reps, but you’re probably just not putting any reps in generals once we back up playing office.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. Once you back up playing office, you’re not putting any in to begin with. In addition to how easy it is to get set up where we want to do a video, we want to do content. We want to be able to do something, but we’re going to wait for the perfect question. Because once I get the perfect question, I’ll be able to do that.

And then you know what, the lighting is slightly off. You know what, the sound quality, the mics, it took too long to get set up, I’m going to worry about that later. The audio is not there — we come up with all of these reasons why not to take a step forward?

Matthew Jarvis:   Funny story on that, Micah, my son Calvin, who’s 11 came up to me one day and he says, “Dad, I want you to listen to a podcast.” And he put on the Joe Rogan Podcast or something and the sound quality was perfect, perfect sound quality. He said, “Dad, I want you to listen to your podcast with you and Micah, and the sound quality’s not quite as good.”

And he says, “Dad, you really need up the sound quality.” And it was a great time to teach him and myself and all the advisors that sure, we could improve the podcast by 1%, maybe 2% by having these things in place, but if we don’t record the podcast, none of that actually matters.

Same with prospecting. I talk to advisors that say “Jarvis, I talk to my centers of influence, I talk to my CPAs, I’m not getting any referrals.”

“Cool, how many times did you talk to them?”

“Well, I emailed them one time.”

Micah Shilanski:  Okay. That doesn’t even count as talking just to be clear.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, news flash, that’s not putting in the reps. I talk to my centers of influence every quarter, all of the ones in the area for quarter after quarter, year after year. And then I was able to develop a very solid stream of referrals. It wasn’t a one and done type of thing.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. Just like any type of marketing, any type of activity, any type of reps like working out-

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes, working out, yeah.

Micah Shilanski:  I did one sit-up, I don’t know why I don’t have a six pack. And once the six pack comes, then I’m going to start doing more sit-ups to make sure I keep it. How’s that going to work out for me?

The same thing with marketing, which is right here, and this is a long-term game and we’re always focused on that silver bullet. We want that silver bullet, we want a solution that’s going to fix the problem today, but we’re really not playing the long game. And as financial advisors, this is all about the long game.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes, it is.

Micah Shilanski:  It’s about creating that system, creating that process in place to continue to get things. So, Jarvis, let’s talk about … let’s call out some of those playing office things. I’m going to say one of my pet peeves-

Matthew Jarvis:   Please …

Micah Shilanski:  … that’s out there: website redesign. Just irritates the crap out of me.

Matthew Jarvis:   Now, you’ve never fallen guilty of that yourself, have you?

Micah Shilanski:  Oh yes, that’s another thing that irritates me.

Matthew Jarvis:   We’ve done it a few times.

Micah Shilanski:  Just guilty right here of doing it. But once I redesign my website, now, I can start marketing. Once I come up with the perfect OBA name, now I can start marketing. Once I leave my BD because they won’t let me do anything — I’m in an RA, now, I can start marketing. That’s all crap, just crap. And we’ve seen that proven wrong time and time again.

Matthew Jarvis:   Now, let’s turn this from a slightly different lens. Sometimes, it helps me to look at this from another angle. Imagine that a client comes to you, a prospect comes to you and they say, “Hey, listen, I haven’t saved any money yet, but if I could just have a million dollars by next week, that would be great. What were you going to tell me?”

You say “That’s impossible.” And they say, “But if I buy cryptocurrencies, if I do this, what can I do?”

And as advisors, that’s what we’re often guilty of: “What no rep activity can I do and magically have a multimillion-dollar practice that other advisors spend hundreds of thousands of reps building?”

So, watch for that language yourself; where can I do one sit up and get perfect abs? Where can I make one email and suddenly, get all of the clients? It doesn’t exist. The hard way is the only way.

Micah Shilanski:  You know what is so funny, when we say like the hard way — not to pick on-

Matthew Jarvis:   Please, please …

Micah Shilanski:  But the hard way really isn’t hard, it’s getting uncomfortable. That’s the hard way. So, mentally, it’s going to be taxing. These aren’t very big physical things. Let’s give a quick example of content creation video.

So, during surge, I made a commitment on the TPR, I was going to do a content video every single day of surge. And so, we did that which was great. And then I was like, you know what? I’m in the habit of doing these videos, I’m going to start doing them for retirement tax services, I’m also going to do videos for PY Firm, I’m also going to do videos for Shilanski. And so, we produced a ton of video content in that period in time.

I was talking to another advisor and I said, “Hey, same thing, you’re in surge, and you have clients. You have the energy at high because you’re meeting with clients, you’re having great experiences. You’re getting their questions just coming right out of their mouth, so when you get a question, go in and just pick up your iPhone and do a video.”

By the time his time got all done and he got seven videos done in his surge, which is great.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, better than zero.

Micah Shilanski:  Better than zero. But I got 60 done in that same time period and our surge was the same because … now, I went back and chatted with him — “Oh, the lighting was off. Oh, this was off. It wasn’t the right question.”

I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, if the client asked it, it was the right question if that’s your niche.”

Matthew Jarvis:   Totally.

Micah Shilanski:  So, we often make so much … sorry, I’m on a rant on-

Matthew Jarvis:   No, no, I’m with you.

Micah Shilanski:  But we often make so many excuses why not to start.

Matthew Jarvis:   By the way, you can see those videos if you go to The Perfect RIA LinkedIn’s page and follow that. You can see those videos. And you’ll notice that it’s Micah with his iPhone in selfie mode, walking through the office.

And you just got to get those reps and you can’t shortcut it, there’s just not. And every time I see an advisor saying they shortcut it or some industry expert saying, “Boy, if you charge a flat fee instead of an AUM fee, you’ll magically shortcut all that hard work.”

That just doesn’t exist. The best practice is take reps, content creation, crank out those reps day after day, week after week.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. Content creation, COIs, networking events, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah.

Micah Shilanski:  Whatever you’re going to do, and I think it should be more than one. More than one, not more than three, that’s kind of where I would put that parameter.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes, yeah.

Micah Shilanski:  Because otherwise, you’re too sprinkled in this. But it has to be consistent and you’ve got to make the commitment to put those reps in.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I’d also say that you have to measure it, whatever it is — and you have to measure input, not output. The output will come and there is a time to analyze are these videos effective, is the podcast effective, is there a clickthrough? But you need to measure your input.

How many times are you actually calling centers of influence? How many videos are you actually creating and posting? How many events are you actually going to?

Micah, I remember for a long time on my career, I would sit at my desk and I would wheel. I would just think, well, there’s got to be a way. And I would spend all my day trying to wheel clients into existence.

But then if you ever looked at my numbers, there was just no reps being put in. And then magically, once I started doing reps, then the output came.

Micah Shilanski:  It’s so magic. Like don’t think it’s correlated at all.

Matthew Jarvis:   It couldn’t be, yeah.

Micah Shilanski:  Getting work and getting progress is definitely not correlated, but magic, we’ll go to that.

Jarvis, let’s talk about another angle of this, which is our mental focus.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  So, putting reps in, there’s got to be a couple of categories and we have to be careful on this because this can easily fall into playing office standpoint. But before I have a COI meeting, before I go into surge-

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  … because it could have been a couple months or even a month before I’ve been in a surge, for a mini surge, I’m going to practice my meetings in advance. Even after doing this for 22 years now, I am still going to practice things in advance.

Now, what I define practice is, isn’t thinking about my meeting. It’s saying it out loud. It’s going into client mode. It’s putting on a suit, it’s walking into my conference room, it’s bringing up Zoom, whatever that environment is, and actually going through what I’m going to say to a COI, to a prospect, to a client.

This is super important, because I don’t want to practice on a client. And I know this … but it happens all the time.

Matthew Jarvis:   It does constantly. Now, if you don’t know what to practice — Micah, I remember you saying “What am I going to say to …” I didn’t even know, I didn’t know what to practice. This is where … and we stress all the time: you need to find someone who has the practice that you want.

I remember when I first met Tom Galan, and now, he’s doing things for us with The Perfect RIA, speaking at one of our events, he’s recording content for us, it’s phenomenal. Then I would say, “Great. What would Tom Galan say in this meeting? What would Micah say in this meeting? What would Jarvis say in the meeting?”

Find that video, rehearse it and practice that and be ready. Put it in your own words. Micah, you say things in your way, I say them in mine — put them in your own words, but practice that. And again, if you don’t know what that is, practice somebody else’s.

Micah Shilanski:  So, one of the things my dad taught me years ago when I was building this out, because I couldn’t figure out what were my own words, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  And he said, “Stop figuring out your own words. Say it exactly the way I say it …”

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  “… until you know it, until you live it, until you breathe it in a practice session, then morph it into your words.” If you’re having an issue with that, because that’s an issue that I had … great, no, I just had it the exact same way. Felt weird, felt off because it was his language versus mine. But I had to start somewhere, and then once I got really good at that, then I could start pivoting out to my style.

Matthew Jarvis:   The other advantage of doing that is when you’re learning these things, there’s so many nuanced things that you don’t pick up on.

Micah, you and I were in a meeting yesterday with an advisor on the call and he wasn’t reading our body language of, “Hey, we already know what you’re talking about, stop talking.”

And this happens all the time with clients. Hey, the client has now folded their arms. They’re leaning back, they’re fidgety and they’re looking around. They have stopped listening. And so, while you’re committed to your script-

Micah Shilanski:  Pull out their phone.

Matthew Jarvis:   … yeah, they pull out their phone-

Micah Shilanski:  They start doing this, yeah.

Matthew Jarvis:   While you’re committed to your script, you’re missing all of these things. So, there’s things that Micah and I do, that top advisors do. How we hold our body, how our hands move, how we gesture, who we’re looking at, where my head is at — all of these little things make such a difference.

And they’re things that the “experts” miss when they write an article and say, “Here’s what you should say.” Maybe that script works, but it doesn’t work better if you lean in or lean out. Does it work better if you proceed it by a joke or follow it by a serious comment? These things matter.

Micah Shilanski:  Super. We can go on so many tangents on this. Your Zoom meeting, do you know your frames, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  Which is super important. When I’m telling a story, I stay inside my frames and if I accidentally go outside of a frame, I’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry. Apparently, I didn’t pay attention where my frame was” and I’ll re-explain it.

But I’m going to make a joke about that, showing I’m very deliberate about staying inside of this to deliver that great experience to a client. Because hands communicate a lot. We can a whole session on this, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Oh, totally.

Micah Shilanski:  Hands communicate a lot in body language. And if all of a sudden, my hands are hidden from view, it just now looks suspicious, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   It looks suspicious, yeah.

Micah Shilanski:  It looks really weird. So, hands being visible, even on Zoom calls are so important, but are you practicing that?

Voiceover:  Hey TPR Nation, it’s no secret that Matthew Jarvis and Micah Shilanski have some of the industry’s top registered investment advisory firm practices. And each year, they have a waiting list of prospects waiting to come in and meet with them.

And the reason? They deliver massive value at each and every meeting, including their prospect meeting.

Want to know how the boys do it? Then make sure that you’ve signed up to join us at our next power session where we’ll unpack the five mistakes that most financial advisors make in prospect appointments. And guess what? I bet you’re guilty of at least one.

Go online today to and make sure that you’re signed up for this power session and everyone thereafter.

Matthew Jarvis:   Okay. Micah, let’s get back into reps to count. So, let’s give some examples of these reps. Reps could be videos created every day, could be podcasts.

Micah Shilanski:  So, with reps to count, we want to measure success in something that we can control.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  So, if we say, “Well, my reps don’t count unless that client hires me …” and this is the camp I was in for a long time. But the problem is I have so much head trash around that because I don’t make that final decision.

Matthew Jarvis:   No.

Micah Shilanski:  Now, it sounds a little bit defeatist talk because if I add so much value, at some point, they should hire me. But we want to build these reps where it’s you are successful. It’s 100% in your control to get these done.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s a good reminder. So, hacks on that, when I used to do a lot of networking events, again, I tried to solve for a rep that I could win because there wasn’t this podcast by the way to listen to back then.

So, I would, Micah, solve for the number of people I said hello to. So, if you see me in a conference, you’ll see me working in the group and I’m talking to people and I’m telling jokes. That was always me.

So, I would keep a tally in my pocket of the number of people I just said hello to. Not even “Hello, Micah. How are you doing? Would you like a second opinion?” No, just how many people did I look at eye contact and said hello to, so that I knew I could control it. I knew I could leave with 10 hellos.

If I went and said I need three business cards, I can’t control that. I leave with one, I feel defeated, I quit, I don’t come back.

Micah Shilanski:  I love it. And that’s measurable.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  So, not only have you created something that’s inside your control but something you could measure that now, we could go back and say, “Great, when have I mastered this? And when can I move on to that next thing?”

Alright. So, what type of rep should we practice?

Matthew Jarvis:   Well, I got to say real quick on this measuring thing: Micah, you and I always, when we do masterminds with advisors, we’re doing extreme accountability, we go through this exercise where we look at your calendar and advisors tell us every time, “Oh, I have no time to do this.”

And then we do some quick math. How many clients do you have times how many hours? Cool, what are you doing with the other 1000 hours of the year? We’ve done episodes on this. This counts for your reps.

If I ask you how many COIs have you talked to? You’re going to say, “Oh, I’ve talked to 27.” “Cool, just write down their names for me really quick.” And you get three names. Three is not 27.

So, don’t let yourself into the trap of busy work of, “Yeah, I’ve done the reps, why isn’t working?” 99 times out of a hundred, the reason is you’re not doing the reps. The one time out of a hundred is you’re doing the reps, but somebody needs to fine tune it for you.

Micah Shilanski:  Now, one of the hacks that I need to do for myself even today is third party accountability, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  Now, if it’s light stuff, then Victoria is going to be kind of my accountability partner, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Sure.

Micah Shilanski:  I’m going to tell her I’m going to do these things and she’s going to follow up on these, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes.

Micah Shilanski:  Now, I know I have a meeting with her on Wednesday and if I don’t have these things done, she’s going to ask me about it. So, now, I’m not doing my job, which is delaying her from doing hers.

So, for me, that’s motivation. If that’s not enough, then I bring in extreme accountability over here.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right.

Micah Shilanski:  And we put some bigger dollars about it to make it move forward. But we also got to solve for what makes us work. And if I know if I can delay a task forever, I’m going to delay a task for a long time. I got to put another forcing mechanism in there.

Matthew Jarvis:   You’ve also got to know yourself, what’s going to keep you from doing reps. So, if content creation is your jam and you know that every time I turn my computer on, the first thing I do is read the Wall Street Journal and go to LinkedIn and make social media posts about being a flat fee advisor, you need to stop doing that.

So, you need to do content creation from … get a burner iPhone and record from that that has no internet access. Look for what’s distracting you. It’s so easy to be distracted from putting in those reps. You have to view those things like the plague.

Micah Shilanski:  Absolutely. So, reps are something that you can measure and something that you can control that you want to do. And then how many of these things do you need to do? And what are the different evolutions of this?

So, I’m going to say, great, I’m going to practice my … if I’m doing a seminar, I’m going to practice it so many times I get to X level, before I’m going to present that seminar.

Now, I’m still going to market it beforehand, but now, I have a date on how many times that I need to practice this event. And when I practice it, I’m going to have the office there. They’re going to listen to the seminar. I’m going to have an audience that’s going to be there.

It’s going to start internally and it’s going to start with the script, then it’s going to have an audience, and then when we go live I’m going to show up in advance and I’m going to practice it again before any of the guests show up.

So, I got multiple reps of practice for one little event. And that’s for a seminar but I also want to do the same thing on my COIs.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And Micah, it’s wildly uncomfortable to do. We talked about how INVICTUS members can always send us in their videos and not many do, because it’s wildly uncomfortable.

Practicing in front of your team, wildly uncomfortable. Practicing in front of your spouse, in front of your kids — all wildly uncomfortable. That’s what differentiates the top advisors from the advisors that just dream about having a great practice. We do the things that are incredibly uncomfortable to do.

So, on centers of influence, how many centers of influence have I called out to? How many times am I calling them? Not emailing, not sending them letters — how many times a year am I calling them? My ideal is at least quarterly. How many of them are there? How wide is my radius? All of those things, I’m going to count those reps. I’m going to practice it again and again.

Micah Shilanski:  So, if I had to pick up and start calling COIs, because this isn’t something that I do really. I have a couple that I work with, but it’s not a niche I’m going to do. So, here’s the way I would think about it for my own hack-

Matthew Jarvis:   Please.

Micah Shilanski:  So, you give me some feedback here live.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes, yes.

Micah Shilanski:  Is I would want to put a process around it. Not a playing office process. Right now, I’m pointing my finger at you, sorry. But you’re not a playing office process, where I’m not going to do this. But about saying, okay, great, how many COIs do I need to call? What’s my follow … and for me it’s like, oh crap, why am I going to call them? Alright, I need to be able to add massive value to them, not to me. So, what’s a way that I could do that?

Okay, great. I could be interviewing them for potential referrals for my clients. Maybe I have a complex tax question that I want to get their opinion on. I learned about this new thing with Tom Galan on sprinkling provisions and now I’m interviewing CPAs because I want to get their insight on-

Matthew Jarvis:   Sure.

Micah Shilanski:  … how sprinkling provisions work inside of an IRA trust. Okay, great. Now, I can go to them with some integrity on my end and say, “No, I really have this question, what am I going to do?” And I’m going to get their value and I’m going to pay for their time.

Matthew Jarvis:   Totally.

Micah Shilanski:  So, I would feel like solid with integrity about that, and then showing a little bit what we do in our practice in that meeting.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, and what I have to do to make that work is then I put that list, very simple. I print it on a piece of paper: name, telephone number, a couple places for check boxes. I set it on my desk each night before I go home. And in the morning, I don’t turn my computer on until I’ve made however many of those calls.

Because I know I’m going to turn my computer on, I’m going to check an email, I’m going to call a client, I’m going to da-da-da, I’m going to play office. And then the day goes by, the week goes by, the month, the year goes by and I haven’t done the reps. So, figure it out when it is that you’re going to do those reps and make it happen.

Micah Shilanski:  I love it. Whether that’s cold calling. So, guys I cold call. Whether that is the COI aspect of it; whether it’s calling clients for the referral side, whether it’s content marketing, whether it’s booking venues or seminars or speaking gigs — all that same concept, it’s that eat that frog from Brian Tracy (I love that).

First thing in the morning, this is what I’m going to do and this is what I’m going to conquer and get it done.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, no again, if you’re not sure what reps … if you’re saying “Great, I need to do the reps, I need to do my sit-ups, I’m still just not sure what to do,” we are doing a power session next week on May 18th, where we’re going to talk about how advisors double the effectiveness of their prospect process, including the five mistakes that advisors are making in prospecting.

And that’s where we’ll go through, Micah, what you and I do in our practices, what we’ve seen successful advisors that we coach do in their practices, so that you know exactly what reps to do to get to the results that you’re trying for.

Micah Shilanski:  Absolutely. I love it. Alright. So, let’s do some action items. The most important part about this is not just hearing us going for monologue, but really diving into action items. It’s going to be there.

So, I’m going to say number one: create … and start with your reps on what are you going to do. Is it COIs? Is it seminars? Is it referrals? Is it content creation? There’s four off the top of my head.

Pick one of those, not all of them; and say, “Great, this is the one I’m going to do my reps on.” And then create measurable activities that you are going to do with each of those things.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, I used to do it … I don’t know if I told you this, Micah — I used to keep a stack of Reese’s peanut butter cups, the small ones on my desk. There’d be 15 of them and I would throughout the day, move them to the other side as I did my reps.

Whatever I was working on, I had 15 reps and I would visually move them. Then at the end of the day, I would slide them over and I would stack them again.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s perfect.

Matthew Jarvis:   So, I had that and it was the simplest thing. It would be again, how many people did I say hello to? How many centers of influence did I call? And that’s just what I would work on. And you might think to yourself, that’s silly, that can’t be what Jarvis does. He’s running this multimillion-dollar practice — it’s a hundred percent what I do. It’s a hundred percent what I do.

Micah Shilanski:  It’s so powerful to be able to see what you have completed at the end of the day, whether it’s moving Reese’s peanut butter, whether it’s one sticky note, which is your to-do list and you’re lining things off that’s going to be in there.

But it’s simple and it’s achievable. It’s not 5,000 Reese’s peanut butters that you’re just moving to count over. It’s no, I have 15 to do, this is very intentional. I love it.

Matthew Jarvis:   I would say actually, item number two, find someone who has proven success in whatever channel you’re going to, and just ask them, “Hey, if you were me starting from scratch down this channel, what reps would I start with?”

So, we mentioned about centers of influence, we mentioned about content, whatever that is; what rep could I start with today that I could do every single day? So, find someone who has the outcome that you want, ask them what reps would you do and start on those reps.

Micah Shilanski:  Perfect. And then accountability. This is something new, it’s uncomfortable. You need some type of accountability wrapped around that. Maybe it’s even extreme accountability to make sure you get these things done. Because whenever we go into an area of discomfort, we’re going to really want to naturally come back into this area of comfort. That’s just our natural thing.

So, what’s going to keep you there. We have to create something else that’s so uncomfortable that if I don’t do this, I’m going to be in a much more uncomfortable spot. That’s extreme accountability. So, where are you at with these things and make sure you get it done.

Matthew Jarvis:   The last action item on throw, as we mentioned, we have a power session next week on May 18th on how to double the effectiveness of your prospect process. Visit to register for that.

Micah, we’re bringing some of our best content as we always do on how we bring on tens of millions of dollars of new assets between our firms every single year.

Micah Shilanski:  Boy, and you better take a couple shots of espresso before that because we have a lot of stuff to cover and we are going to be flying through that. And we have a special surprise actually during that, that we will announce and you guys are going to love it.

We did it just for our members before and they absolutely loved it. So, we have something special coming out, which is going to be outstanding.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. Well, Micah, thank you so much, getting those reps in. Until next time, happy planning.

Micah Shilanski:  Happy planning.

Hold on before we go. Something that you need to know. This isn’t tax, legal, or investment advice. That isn’t our intent. Information designed to change lives. Financial planning can make you thrive. Start today. Don’t think twice. Be a better husband, father, mother, and wife. The Perfect RIA. The Perfect RIA.
Hold on before we go. Something that you need to know. This isn’t tax, legal, or investment advice. That isn’t our intent. Information designed to change lives. Financial planning can make you thrive. Start today. Don’t think twice. Be a better husband, father, mother, and wife. The Perfect RIA. The Perfect RIA.

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