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 cohost, Matthew Jarvis, and with me. as usual, Micah Shilanski. Micah, I see that you’re back in Alaska. How are you doing buddy?
Micah Shilanski: I am back in Alaska, having a good time up here. So a little bit of snow, so we’ve been able to play outside. It’s a balmy 25 degrees mainly, so that’s a nice weather for Alaska this time of year.
Matthew Jarvis: Is the ocean frozen in front of your house right now? This time of year?
Micah Shilanski: It’s not a solid sheet of ice, but we do have tons of ice inside of there, so boats don’t generally come in too often. But yeah, it’s not an ice-free harbor at all.
Matthew Jarvis: I remember the first time I went to your place, Micah. His condo sits right on the ocean there and it was in the winter at some point, which I guess is half the year in Alaska, and it was just totally this ice field of broken up ice and snow and everything. It took me a while to realize that that was in fact the ocean. I thought you just lived on the edge of the abyss and that was what the edge of town look like.
Micah Shilanski: That’s right. It’s the edge of town. Everything just drops off. The world is flat. It’s gone from there.
Matthew Jarvis: Speaking of what can sometimes be seen as a difficult area, we want to talk today, this is really part two of prospecting, of doing the prospect meeting. In our last episode we talked about the lead end process from when the prospect contacts your office, whether that’s electronically through your website, on a phone call, whatever the case is to when they get into your office door. And so, today, we really want to talk about that meeting itself when you’re sitting down eyeball to eyeball with a prospect. And I think, Micah, let’s start with what should be an advisor’s goals for that meeting because that would really steer the entire discussion.
Micah Shilanski: That’s a great question. That’s there, and this is something to really either set in your pregame as you’re getting ready for the meeting with yourself mentally. We talked about this a little bit last time, but what is your goal in your outcome? I’ll tell you one thing my goal is not. It’s not to get hired. My goal is not to sell something there. My goal is to deliver massive value to my prospects in that meeting, so I want to bring awareness to them about areas that are of concern. I want to help them identify their goals if they don’t know what they are.
Micah Shilanski: I want to help bring to light some ways that they could achieve those goals in a better manner than what they’re currently doing, so I’m looking for gaps. I’m looking for problems that are there. I’m looking for good discussion points. And the traditional pain points that are going to be there as someone who is making a transition, and of course I’m working with pre-retirees, so if someone’s making that transition into retirement, what are some of the traditional pain points that are there and bringing awareness to those for my clients.
Matthew Jarvis: Now, Micah, I want to make sure for our listeners, there’s this classic sales line like, “Hey, I’m not here to sell you,” but I want to make sure that everyone understands. In your heart of hearts, if you will, when you sit down in that meeting, are you legitimately not trying to sell them? I just want to get this distinction here because I know you’re not, but it’s easy to be like, well I’m not really trying to sell them, but then you’re still focused on selling them.
Micah Shilanski: Well, yeah, and I am going to if they’re an ideal client. I am going to ask for the business, right? I mean, I’m not scared of that to the end of the meeting, but we’re very much blessed that we come with an abundance mindset. I have a lot of really great clients that already take care of us really well, so I don’t come at it from a scarcity mindset. I’m coming at it from a pure abundance mindset, which is going to be there, so I don’t need this sale. I don’t need their money. What I need to do is deliver massive value, and if I’m doing that in my meeting by helping them, by asking the right questions, by engaging them to talk in the meetings that I’m going to improve their lives, for me, that’s a solid win. Maybe it’s my fear of rejection, so now I don’t have to get hired in order for that to be a win. But in my game, that’s the way it is. As long as I’m adding value to them, I win.
Matthew Jarvis: I think that’s critical to know. Like you said, you’ve got to have this abundance mentality. People can smell the blood in the water.
Micah Shilanski: Commission breath.
Matthew Jarvis: They can smell fear, desperation, commission, breath, whatever it is. So if you’re going in saying, boy, I’ve really got to get this sale or land them as a client or I’m going to have big problems, they’re going to know that and you’re going to know that and it’s not going to work. But if you go in, I think, Micah, as you pointed out, saying, my goal for this meeting is to deliver massive value to really wow them with how good I am as an adviser, that’s a no lose scenario. Everyone’s going to come out a winner whether they decide to work with you or not.
Micah Shilanski: And it’s not just about the aspect of saying, well, I need this sale or I don’t need this sale, et cetera. Maybe it’s a really big client that’s coming in. Maybe it’s someone that you wanted for a long time and you’re nervous about it, that it’s going to go through because you want everything to go right. When we get in those kinds of, I’m going to still say it’s a lack mentality, when we get in that type of mindset, that’s going to be there and we don’t follow our systems, we don’t follow our systems, we don’t follow our processes because this is different and we need to do something special for these people, you can create mistakes. That’s there.
Micah Shilanski: A lot of this, and we’re going to go through a little bit more about how we run this meeting, but a lot of is about following a process. We’ve said this before. The reason we follow processes is because it works. If I have my prospects go through this process, it works. It delivers value to them, plus it ends up in them becoming clients. That’s there. So this is a good system to have in place. So just a quick note on that. Even if you’re in abundance mindset, when you have a large prospect coming in, do it as normal because it works for other clients. These are people too.
Matthew Jarvis: I totally agree. I totally agree. So let’s kick off this meeting. So the prospect comes in, they’re seated already in your conference room or they’re seated in your waiting room, depending on how you do it.
Matthew Jarvis: This is a small thing, but I don’t want to skip over the small things. My very first thing is to greet them by name. Mr. so-and-so, Mrs. so-and-so, shake their hand, make solid eye contact with each one and really thank them for coming. I really say, boy, Mr. so-and-so, I really appreciate you coming in. I’m excited for our discussion today. That’s how I kick that off. Micah, how about you? You give him a high five?
Micah Shilanski: We have a secret Alaska handshake to make sure you’re a local, right, not a tourist. One question. Do you greet them by Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith or do you greet them by Dave and Jane? First name or last name? How do you greet them?
Matthew Jarvis: Unless I know them personally already, maybe it’s someone I knew in the community, I do Mr. and Mrs.
Micah Shilanski: Oh wow. Interesting.
Matthew Jarvis: Just for the first one. I like to be really formal there. I don’t know, maybe it’s from when I was a lot younger and I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do. Then they always go to, you can call me Dave, or you can call me Jane. Perfect. We talked about this earlier on another episode about knowing their name pronunciation. Gives me a chance to cue them, say their name, but just that initial greeting I will do Mr. and Mrs.
Micah Shilanski: Okay, great. So slight difference. I will greet them by their first name. But again, taking that pause we talked about a little bit last time, but always greeting them by their name is really important. Greet them by their name. I’ll invite them, we kind of covered this last time too, but invite them into my conference room so we can have a chat and then we’ll just have a light conversation. A little bit of just shooting the breeze. That’s there. Really my goal with having a casual conversation is sometimes prospects are nervous coming into this meeting and so I want them to feel more relaxed. I want them to feel at home.
Micah Shilanski: We’re going to have a chat. This is not an interrogation. This isn’t a dental exam, right? This is a calming thing, so that’s the reason I like the first name element of it. I’m trying to make it slightly less formal. Even though I’m in a suit, I’m trying to make it a little bit more disarming, if you will, a natural flowing conversation. So we’ll shoot the breeze for a couple minutes before we move to an agenda.
Matthew Jarvis: Can you give us, and this might seem trivial, can you just give us a couple of examples of shooting the breeze. Are you asking about the weather or their drive over?
Micah Shilanski: It depends on where they are. If it’s someone from the lower 48 guess what comes up a lot? Alaska. Same thing as here, right? Everybody loves Alaska, so there’ll be something about Alaska that’s going to come up in that conversation. Generally I don’t have to bring it up. The prospect is going to lead with that. That’s going to happen. Or we’ll talk about something relative. If they’re in office, I’ll talk about something relative that’s happening inside of the community. You know, we have this new high rise that’s going to be built. Wow. That’s kind of neat. I wonder how that’s going to change things. Some type of local event that’s going to be there, not politics.
Micah Shilanski: So just to be abundantly clear man, do you see that last election? Glad he lost. Right? No. So something of that nature. We’ll talk about that for a quick minute, and I will do a quick little pivot to when I’m ready for the meeting to really begin. And what I say is “How can I help you today?”
Matthew Jarvis: Interesting. I don’t do the small talk going in. I guess I probably should think about including that. I do with clients, but with a prospect, when I sit down, and I’ve already talked to him on the phone once, so I start off with, I say, “Just like we talked about on the phone last week when we spoke, the purpose of this meeting is for us to get information about each other. There is nothing to buy here. There’s no paperwork to sign. There’s no check to write. The only ask, if you will, will be at the end if you want me to do an analysis of your financial plan. Is that still okay with you?”
Matthew Jarvis: And they say, “Yup, that’s … of course.” And I can visually see kind of the strain where they were, kind of arms folded and back and defensive, I can see it relaxing. Sometimes I’ll make a joke. This isn’t a time-share presentation. We’re not going to lock the door on you, and then there’s just this relaxation, and then I start with what topics of concern, what items are top on your list today? How can I be of most assistance to you today? That’s where I start. I don’t start with tell me your date of birth. Tell me your investment account. How can I be of most assistance to you today? And then I let them jump into whatever’s on their mind.
Micah Shilanski: Perfect. Yeah, so kind of the same thing. We have a slightly different question that’s going to be there. What I like about this, and we’ve talked about this before, even if the prospect has given me a list of questions in advance that’s going to be there, I still ask this question for a couple of reasons.
Micah Shilanski: One, when did they send this? Did Bob send it and Sue didn’t see it? Did Sue send it and Bob never saw it? That happens a lot by the way, that the husband and wife are not communicating with what questions they have. So I like to open that engagement that’s there and if they say, “Well Micah, I sent you a list,” I say, you know what? Absolutely you send it, and I have that list of questions right in front of me. I’m going to make sure we address every single one of those. But is there anything else in addition to this list that you want to make sure that we chat about today?
Micah Shilanski: I always want to open that up and, if you will, ask that question twice to make sure we’re flushing out those questions. Because, as we talked about before, if there’s a burning question in a client’s mind and it’s not addressed, they’re not going to listen to anything you say. So we’ll start off with that, and then I’m going to pivot kind of like you. Once I have that, then I’m going to outline the agenda in the timeframe of our meeting from there.
Micah Shilanski: So I’m going to say, “Okay, well, based on this I want to make sure we go through your questions. Is it okay if we do them slightly out of order? I think there might be a better way to walk through this that’s more on a good timeline for you versus kind of jumping around. Is that going to be okay?” I’m getting their permission. Absolutely. We can address them out of order. Okay, wonderful. That’s there. Then I talk about, well this is your agenda. Now I’m going to make sure that we cover this, but in addition to that I’d like to make sure we cover … and I outline some things that I want to talk about in today’s meeting. Is that okay? I’m getting their permission to talk about it. Great.
Micah Shilanski: So really what we’re going to do, don’t worry about the time. That’s kind of a little bit more in my job. I really want to make sure we’re kind of focused on this for the next about 45 minutes or so. Generally what I found out, yup, we have an hour to chat so don’t worry about that.
Micah Shilanski: About 45 minutes is a good time that we kind of move into wrap up mode. I want to make sure we’re getting good action items out of this because instead of just a discussion, I want to make sure you know what you can do to improve your situation. Is that going to be okay?
Micah Shilanski: What I like about rolling through that way is I’ve already gotten permission to keep them on task. I’ve got them permission to stick to this agenda. I’ve got permission to wrap things up at that 45 minute marker. Now I don’t go into, there’s no sales pitch going to be there because my prospects paid for the appointment. That’s there. And this has been a big shift for me. Before I really had to do that talking about a sales pitch, but now that they’re paying $500, soon to be $1,000, for the initial meeting, it’s not a problem. They’ve paid for it. They expect me to answer their questions and that’s it.
Matthew Jarvis: I really like that, Micah. There’s so many similarities in there. I want to make sure that our listeners heard. Micah used this line again and again. This isn’t a nervous gesture or something. Is that okay with you? This is probably one of the most important things you can use in not just a prospect meeting, but really in any immediate and really in any relationship.
Matthew Jarvis: So, Micah, can you give the example of they would list off what their concerns are and you said, hey, is it okay if we go through them in a little bit out of order. By doing that, and again, it’s easy for advisors to think that’s a trivial thing, but what if item number two was the most important thing in their world, and Micah goes out of order and they think that he forgot item number two.
Matthew Jarvis: Then, their whole time, whatever Micah is saying, no matter how brilliant it is, and it is brilliant, they’re thinking he’s going to miss number two. He’s going to miss number two. This is what I came here for, but you told them, hey, I’m going to get to number two. We’re just going to do it in an order that makes sense to me. Is that okay with you? And they say, yeah it is. Or they’ll say, no, that’s not okay with me. Really, I have to talk about this one issue. Perfect. Because until we got to that issue, they’re ignoring everything else.
Micah Shilanski: And let’s say they do that. Let’s say, Micah, I sent you 12 things, but the number one thing is that number six. Number two, right. Can we talk about that first, which is can I retire? You know, Bob, I would love to talk with that. I’m going to make sure we address that question that’s there, but unfortunately I can’t jump right to it because there’s some other questions we need to answer first that determine that answer. I’m absolutely going to address it. I want to make sure. We’re going to leave today without us talking about that, but I need to get some good background information so I can answer that properly. Is that going to be okay?
Matthew Jarvis: I asked them a very similar question. As soon as I start asking them questions, I pull out my intake sheet, which for our backstage pass members will have that on the backstage pass. It’s just a little questionnaire that that helps me remember things to ask. As soon as I pull that out and I pull my pen out, I say, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to take a few notes as we go along to make sure that I get all of the important details. And so again, I threw in that, is that okay with you? That way they know what I’m writing down, and I write it down real visibly. They can see what I’m writing if they can decipher my chicken scratch. As they say, boy, you know what’s really important to me is figuring out which pension option to take. And so I write that down, which pension option to take.
Matthew Jarvis: After they go through their couple, I repeat them back. Let me make sure I got your goals really clearly. I’m sure we’ll come across the other ones. I read them back and now I’m watching and, Micah, I know you do the same thing. I’m watching very carefully. Typically, if it’s a couple, there’s one person taking the lead in the discussion. Usually it’s the person that’s managing the monies. We’re playing on gender stereotypes. It’s often the man.
Matthew Jarvis: Whichever one it is, I’m making sure I draw questions out of the other person. So I’m saying if it was a man who gave all the things, I say, well, ma’am, tell me your concerns about retirement. Sometimes I’ll throw a quick joke in there. I say, have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says retirement is half the money and twice the husband? You know, try to get some engagement and laugh about it a little bit, but I want to pull both people in so that I’m getting full engagement.
Micah Shilanski: I love it. That’s going to be there. And again, the goal with this is to be asking thought-provoking questions. You’re asking open-ended questions. So yes, at the beginning, is that okay with you, that’s a closed question. It’s a yes, no, but as we move through this process, it’s really about asking open ended questions. Getting engagement from the prospects that are there. Getting engagement from them is the most important thing because you will hear things that are completely different than they wrote down and told you, right?
Matthew Jarvis: Yes.
Micah Shilanski: In either their body language and their voice between the spouses, and those are the key points where we can add a lot of value is getting them congruent with what their goals are. I do a lot of marital counseling. Really getting spouses on the same page, I consider that a bit of marital counseling. Getting them on the same page with their goals is really, really important. That’s there.
Matthew Jarvis: Well, let’s get a couple examples of those thought provoking ones. Just a couple of quick ones that I like to use. I like to say, what is going to be your strategy for claiming social security? And they’ll say, well, a strategy? I just thought I would turn it on at, and they throw out a number, usually a wrong number. I’m going to turn it on it 84. It’s not really an option, but okay, but what is your strategy for not overpaying the IRS? What is your strategy for taking money because everybody wants to have a strategy. Most people haven’t even thought about it that way. Micah, how about some of yours? What are some of those thought provoking questions that you throw out there?
Micah Shilanski: I love that. I want to pick on this one real fast before we switch over, Jarvis, right?
Matthew Jarvis: Please, please.
Micah Shilanski: This wasn’t like a gimmicky question. When you asked that question it says, what is your strategy for X K? And yes, you’re going to ask that to all the prospects, but you’re not asking it to be cheeky of saying, I bet you didn’t think about this. It’s a genuine question because one, what if they had a strategy?
Micah Shilanski: Let’s figure out what their thought process was in that strategy because it’s not just enough, and let me know if I’m reading too much into this, it’s not just enough. If they had a strategy, what were they thinking about when they had that strategy? What’s their mindset? That’s so important to me because these are just details we can finesse in the actual strategy, but what was the concept of why they want to do it?
Micah Shilanski: I want to turn social security on at 67. Great. Why? What’s the benefit behind that. That’s a lot of the stuff that I ask. If clients want to do something a particular way, I’m like, oh, that’s interesting. Can you tell me more about that? I definitely like to ask those questions in the prospect meeting when they come out with something of what’s their thought process behind something, or maybe there’s an outside factor that they haven’t told you about just yet. Those can come up as well.
Micah Shilanski: My grandma’s dying or my mother’s dying and I want to make sure we do dah, dah, dah, dah, dah before. Or my dad died at 67, and I want to get that social security out before I die. What’s that thought process that’s there? So that’s what we’re going. Sorry, I had to pick on, just dive into that a little bit. I love that question. What’s your strategy for? I love it so much. I don’t use it.
Matthew Jarvis: It’s just so critical. I was using this in a prospect meeting one time, because I use it every prospect meeting. It was towards the end of the meeting and the prospect says, well I want to do this, that or the other because I’m terminally ill. My first thought was, why didn’t you mention that? Is that not a key planning component that you’re terminally ill? Of course that’s not how I reacted. But had I just said, when are you going to turn on social security, and he says I’m 62, well, that’s a dumb idea. You’re going to leave a lot of money on the table.
Matthew Jarvis: If he hadn’t told me that he was terminally ill or didn’t feel like we had that connection, because that’s a big thing to mention, so yeah, I want to draw that out. I also want to be very careful that they never feel like I’m criticizing or picking apart what they’ve done.
Matthew Jarvis: So whenever we’re looking, a lot of people will say, oh, I kind of have a mess here. And I say, you know what? I just want to congratulate you for all the money you saved up here. I want to congratulate you for being in here, for taking such a proactive role. Lots of my clients come to me in a situation just like yours and we take it to the next level. You’ve done a lot of things really well. I want to create awareness of where improvements can be made without letting them think. I’m nitpicking.
Micah Shilanski: I like to ask permission before I make a suggestion and a change that’s going to be there, right? So let’s take their asset allocation strategy or whatever thing they’re doing, whatever their investment plan is. Same thing. I say, “You guys have done a really good job growing this and getting ready for retirement. You’ve got a lot of stuff covered. Is it okay if I make one or two suggestions that might tweak a little bit, maybe get you a little closer to your goals? Is that going to be okay?” I like that because we’re tweaking. We’re not totally changing, and it’s illustrating the “why am I doing this?” What’s the why behind it? Because I want to get them closer to their goals. It helps them become less defensive, and I ran into this a lot, especially younger in my career where I would just tell people what they needed to do versus having a guided discovery. Big mistake.
Micah Shilanski: You really need to have guided discoveries walking through these conversations, so that’s a big thing. That was a really big thing for me is learning these. Asking for permission in the meetings, asking those thought-provoking questions. One thing that I spend a decent amount of time on is cashflow, cashflow and estate planning. In my first meetings, I will absolutely spend a little bit of time on because I find commonly those are two big mistakes. I like to say cashflow is the heartbeat of retirement. We’ve said this before, but talking about the importance of cashflow, because cashflow ties into every single decision we’re going to make in your financial plan.
Micah Shilanski: It ties into our investment strategy. How much money are we going to spend? It ties into the insurance questions that are going to be out there, ties into the social security questions, pensions, all of those things. So cashflow is a common one, talking a little bit about that. And it also brings to light, they have no idea where their money goes. I really like to bring awareness to that. They don’t need a budget for it but we need, if our budget’s, $10,000 a month, we need to know how much we spend. I find a lot of people don’t actually know how much a month they spent.
Matthew Jarvis: No, they really don’t. Micah, you alluded to it very briefly. You said you started with cashflow and that ties to investments. When, in that roughly hour meeting, do you talk about their investments specifically? Is it you lead right out of the gate with that? Hey, show me your investment statements right away. Let’s see how you did relative to the S&P.
Micah Shilanski: What else do you lead with? I mean, come on. I mean that trumps all of their questions. No. So I will not give individual investment advice at all inside of that particular meeting. My rationale behind this is saying, look, the investments are a tool and basically what you’re doing is you’re putting the cart before the horse. The first thing we need to figure out is where do you want to go? Then how do you need to get there, and the investments are part of that.
Micah Shilanski: We need to figure out cash flow first. Once we figure out cash flow, we get a good plan for that, we figure out your retirement income, where’s your fixed retirement income going to come from? Then we’re going to figure out your variable retirement income, which is your investments. I have this little chart that I draw and I walk with my clients through this about where their investments come in.
Micah Shilanski: I say most people, and quite frankly most financial advisors, do investing wrong. They hand you a questionnaire that says, hey, if the stock market dropped 50% how would you feel? Let me answer that for you. You’re going to feel like crap. Right?
Matthew Jarvis: Terrible.
Micah Shilanski: Right. And I was like, so this one area that’s so important in your retirement that should not be based on emotional decisions, what do we do? We give you an emotional questionnaire to answer. I said, I disagree with our financial industry on this. I think these risk profile questions are a bunch of crap because we are training our clients, I say this in our meeting, I think they’re a bunch of BS. I think we are training our clients to have an emotional reaction to the stock market and that’s silly.
Micah Shilanski: This should be about the long-term, and we’re going to build a plan. If you don’t work with us, if you don’t work with another advisor, then you need to do this yourself. Build a plan that can help remove emotions from making these decisions. Build a plan that’s focused on the long-term because that’s how you’re going to win.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. I love that. Let’s focus on two last things before we run out of time. One, I want to talk about time management itself, and then let’s talk about the big ask. What do you do at the end of the meeting? So just a quick note on time management, we got a question from the member of the Nation saying, well, I’m having a hard time keeping prospects on the agenda, which we could have a whole discussion on that.
Matthew Jarvis: Really, the agenda is their agenda, not your agenda. You’re not there to preach or, heaven forbid, to give a pitch book or look through Morningstar Analysis or anything like that. You’re there to talk about whatever is top on their mind. In my conference room, which in the videos we have on the backstage pass, you can see there’s a clock on the wall behind their head so I can see what time we’re at, at all times, without checking my watch or looking awkwardly behind me.
Matthew Jarvis: I’m doing subtle things. If we start running out of time, I’m doing subtle things like turning over my page to the next page or saying, hey, I’ve just got a couple of questions before our time wraps up today. Or I’ll say, hey, if we don’t get through everything today, we can always schedule another meeting, but there’s a couple more things we want to touch on before this gets done. So just subtle things that I’m steering that. I’m also being very careful, if I have a talker that I’m sitting with, I don’t want to also be a talker. They have a story for everything. I’m not going to respond with my own story because that’s going to burn a lot of time.
Micah Shilanski: And they don’t care. You don’t have to be too cheeky about it. That’s not why they came to talk to you, to hear about all your cool stories about your life. This is about them and listening to them. So I love that. Manage your time really good. And I know, speaking of managing time, we’re running on time. One of the things to really think about, don’t be scared to ask for the check. It’s okay to ask for the business. Now we do this as a preset up in the meeting. Jarvis talked about how he does it in the beginning of the meeting, which I absolutely love. I weave it in throughout the meeting that says, hey, if this is an area of concern in your financial plan, you need to address this. Whether you work with someone else, you work with us, or you decide to do it yourself, please make sure you tend to this.
Micah Shilanski: So, throughout the meeting, I’ll start finding those little nuggets if you will. That’s going to be there. And then when we get to that wrap up mode about the 45 minutes, because again, you’ve managed your time well. When we get into wrap up time 45 to 50 minutes in, I’m like, well, great. We have a few minutes left. I want to make sure we run through some homework items to make sure you guys get the most out of this meeting. Is that going to be okay?
Micah Shilanski: Again, getting their permission to make a subject change. If it’s, and this is the reason I give myself 15 minutes, if it’s not, I still have a time buffer to answer another question and then pivot into wrap up.
Matthew Jarvis: I really like that.
Micah Shilanski: Then we move into wrap up. I start giving them their homework assignments that they’re going to do, and I let them know, these are all things that we help our clients with. Is this something that you’d like our help with as well?
Matthew Jarvis: I really like that. So mine’s a tiny bit different, similar theme, but I’m segueing into a second meeting. I’m saying, hey, it looks like there are several areas where we could potentially add some value. What I’d like to do is, with your permission, again with your permission, do some additional analysis. What I would do is hang onto this information, do my analysis, and then in a week or two we’d meet back together and I’ll present you a one-page financial plan.
Matthew Jarvis: By the way, we’ll have a whole podcast episode on one-page financial plans. I won’t go in that right now. And during that meeting we’ll go over my recommendations that you can then look at, take home and decide, do I want to work with Matthew’s office to implement them? Do I want to find someone else to help me implement them or do I want to implement them on my own? But either way, that’s a decision that you make on your time after you’ve slept on it. Does that sound okay to you? And every single person says, yes, that sounds amazing. That’s exactly what I want.
Micah Shilanski: You’re not pressuring them into making a decision right there. I absolutely love it. I think it’s great.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’s perfect. Let’s jump into action because this podcast is about taking action. As much fun as it is to listen to Micah and I, and as much fun as we have, we want you to take action. And, really, this ties so tightly to our hundred K challenge. You have to make sure that you’re treating every prospect like gold. You get one chance with a prospect, and most advisors don’t get enough prospects that they can just burn through them, like maybe I’ll end this one. Maybe I won’t. Every qualified prospect you want to give your best effort to. So let’s talk about some action you can do.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, and I was going to say on that note, I’ve gotten some of my best clients as referrals from prospects that did not hire me. Because they were more do it yourself mindset. That’s there. But it was totally fine. We went through the entire process with them. They got tons of value inside of our meeting. They wanted to take everything and run it themselves, but they appreciated the time and the information, and they referred several great other people to us that ended up. So just because that’s a no, that’s another reason to leave them with great value. I want them leaving our office saying, wow, this was an amazing use of my time.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right.
Micah Shilanski: And as long as they do that, they’re going to tell everybody it was an amazing use of their time. And guess what?
Matthew Jarvis: That helps. Totally does. Totally does. Okay. Our first action item, this is in fact the most difficult action item we perhaps have ever given out on the Perfect RIA podcast, and that is you need to record yourself doing a prospect meeting. Now, this doesn’t mean put a hidden camera in and record people illegally. That’s not what this is about.
Matthew Jarvis: Record yourself talking to a ghost. Record yourself talking to your office manager, to your spouse, to a friend. You need to video camera and watch yourself doing this to watch for nervous ticks to see how often you say, um, to look how often you’re talking versus listening, the questions that you’re asking. This is the single best thing you can do. It’s also the single most difficult.
Micah Shilanski: It’s painful. Yes, absolutely do that practice. That’s going to be there. I would say the other thing that you need to do is really dress for success inside of these meetings. That’s there, and what I’m going to say for this is you need to hire a consultant, an image consultant, a fashion consultant. You need a hire, not someone that that works at Nordstrom’s to do this for you that says you look great in everything. You need to hire someone to help pick out your wardrobe because that matters.
Micah Shilanski: And, one step further, you need to have someone help design your conference room, even if it’s just subtle things that are going to be there. What’s the layout of that meeting room with the client? How warm and inviting is it? Where’s your clock placed? This is a very simple thing. Where is your clock? Are you turning your head to see it? Are you flipping your hand over and looking at your watch? What is that? What does the client see when they are facing you? What do you say you see when you’re facing the client? These are all very critical things that you need to do. So for your dress, you need to have somebody go through and say what’s good, what’s bad and make changes in it. And in the conference room set up what’s good, what’s bad, and how do you make changes to it?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. That is so essential. And this, by the way, does not have to be a big money spend. I remember early in my career, a mentor of mine who I, to this day, hold very dear to my heart. She told me, he said, Matthew, you need one really good outfit and no one needs to know that it’s the only one you can afford. Just one, and you wear that any time you meet with a prospect. And so I did. She told me if you do that, eventually you’ll have a whole wardrobe of that, and now I do. But I had one really nice expensive suit because that was all I could afford. And then when you’re getting a designer for your office, it’s okay to tell them you want it to look nice but not expensive. I always give an example of I’m totally fine with laminate furniture. I don’t need a mahogany desk. I need a desk that looks like mahogany. That way you don’t get too far out of whack and blow too much money.
Micah Shilanski: And then I would say the only thing else is inside of this, get good at running an agenda. That’s going to be there. So if you’re not good at running the time and running the clock inside of there, on your agenda put time that you should be making transitions to other things. Put other things inside of there. So these are just really important stuff that you need to work on getting set up.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. I love that. Well, those are some great action items. If you do those, that would make a big dent on the hundred K challenge. Of course, backstage pass members, be sure to log in and look at the resources that we’ve thrown up available, including this recording and a transcript and all of those things. Micah, anything else you want to add on prospecting? I really enjoyed this discussion.
Micah Shilanski: The only thing I’m going to add is keep in mind we have that webinar coming up. I think by the time this airs, it’ll be the next week. On the 27th we are doing a prospecting webinar where we’re going to do an hour and a half. We’re going to talk about this and so much more, not just getting past the first client meeting, which we’ve only touched a little bit on. We haven’t done the other. This should have been a three-parter, but we’re going to be talking about the prospecting systems that you need to have in place.
Micah Shilanski: So if you haven’t registered for that, do that. Same thing as our previous webinar. You will be there or you will be square. This is not going to be re-broadcasted. It’s going to be live, so make sure you sign up. Unless of course you’re our backstage pass members, you always have priority. You always get this information on demand. So we will record it just for you, but for nobody else.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s awesome. And until next time, happy planning.
Micah Shilanski: Happy planning.
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