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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 am your cohost and cofounder, Matthew Jarvis and with me, as always, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you, my friend?
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, I am doing really well. How are you doing, Bud?
Matthew Jarvis: I’m good. I’m good. I have to confess, Micah, the other day I was talking to an advisor and he says, “Matthew, I love your podcast. We always listen to it on 2X speed, though. So, he was talking to me in person and he says, “Well, you speak so slowly,” which I’ve never been told that, right? Everyone says, “You speak too quick, slow down.” But he says, “I’m always listening to on 2X on 1X, could you step it up just a little bit?”
Micah Shilanski: You know, I think that’s great. I think really what that is is that is license for us to talk faster, because we generally do try to slow it down because that is the feedback that we’ve gotten from our podcast editing crew, from our team members, et cetera. Hey, you guys need to slow this thing down. I think both Jarvis and I were like, Eh, we’ll kind of slow down a little bit, then we’ll kind of get more to our natural pace, right? We’d rather deliver good content, and you have an iPhone you can control the speed. That’s just kind of the way it works.
Matthew Jarvis: We have 30 minutes to deliver massive value, and so here it goes. So, speaking of massive value, a common question concerned feedback that we get from advisors, both in the nation at large, our podcast listeners, but especially from our Backstage Pass members. They say, Matthew, Micah, guess what? I tried your CPA strategy, I tried your email strategy, I tried your niche strategy, and it didn’t work, it didn’t work.” We say, “Oh, interesting. Tell us a little bit about it.” They say, “Well, I sent one request, one, and nothing happened.” Really one and nothing happened?
Micah Shilanski: Wow, I’m shocked.
Matthew Jarvis: Extreme ownership, Micah. I really, I sincerely want to own this. I don’t think we’ve been very clear on saying how many nos we hear before we get yes, how many failures we made before we got to the success? It’s easy to listen to the podcast and think, “Geez, these guys have it figured out.” Or, I guess contrarily, “Like these guys are really full of themselves. They have nothing figured out.” I think that’s for you to decide-
Micah Shilanski: After you leave us five stars on iTunes. You can make any decision you’d like.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, for example, your Federal benefits website that’s been a very successful lead generator, that wasn’t day one?
Micah Shilanski: Oh no, it was day two and a half, I think.
Matthew Jarvis: Day two and a half?
Micah Shilanski: It was instant. No, that was a huge discussion, though. I remember we had it as a team because we launched this, and I’ll get my dates slightly off here, but it was 2008 is really when we launched. I think in 2009 is when it went public. So, we were really starting to build it kind of backend beginning of ’09. Great time period, by the way. Let’s remember when that was.
Matthew Jarvis: Cash flow, yeah.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, tons of free money floating around when we launched the website, and it was not fruitful. I mean, we were not popping up in search engine results, people were not contacting us, and we put all this time, money, and energy into this thing. We knew eventually this is going to work. We knew the strategy that was there, and we were playing a long-game strategy. For SEO we were going after what’s called long-tail marketing, or really the in-depth questions people type into Google is what we wanted to rank on. That takes a while for that to produce fruit.
So, this is one thing that we’ve committed to, and we committed and say, “Hey, we’re going to do it for a long period in time, but here’s the dollar amount, here’s the time, here’s the things that it needs to do.” Now it’s been phenomenal. It adds so much value out there to people that don’t even contact us. They get phenomenal information about their benefits that can change their lives. Plus, the people that want help it gives them an outlet for them to contact us and we can help them personally. I mean, it’s a great tool, but it took years before that thing was profitable by itself.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, you mentioned a minute ago, we’ll dive into this deeper, you said, “I knew it was going to work longterm.” You knew it because you saw it in a book, or there was like an email you got from somebody who said, “Click here and give me $10,000 and I’ll generate leads.” How did you know? I mean, there’s a lot of facetiousness and sarcasm in here, but …
Micah Shilanski: Yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: … how did you know?
Micah Shilanski: So, take it back, and how do we do seminars? How do we do presentations? We did a lot of seminars at the time. We still do some that’s going to be there. The biggest thing that we were focused on, we didn’t have this terminology at the time, but now we would call it delivering massive value. We would give away the recipe, and so many people, other people say, “Well, don’t tell them everything. If you tell them everything they’re never going to hire you,” and that wasn’t our methodology in doing these classes. It was a big thing with my dad when he was really teaching me how to public speak, and how to do presentations and whatnot, it’s give them that information, because if they’re do-it-yourselfers, great you’ve improved their lives, let them move on. If they’re people that are seeking an expert they’re going to see you as an expert and want to move forward with you.
So, we knew that worked on an in-person setting. Why wouldn’t it work on a larger setting that’s going to be there? So, that’s the big … I have to say, Jarvis just left the room. He just got up and was like, “Micah, I’m out. I don’t want to hear this anymore,” got up and left. You guys can’t see that, so I just had to call it out.
Matthew Jarvis: I just went to my window, the landscaping crew is here.
Micah Shilanski: I’m just teasing you. So, we knew that delivering massive value would work in person and so, again, it was a gut feeling, and I absolutely could have been wrong, but it was this feeling that says, “You know what, I know that if we just deliver massive value on a continual basis in an online format it’s going to work,” and look at our website. It’s one of the things we say again and again. I get picked on all the time and now I don’t want to change it, but I get picked on all the time because of the way our website looks, and it’s outdated and blah, blah, blah. But you know what, we get some of the best rankings and reviews out there for Federal employees wanting to find information, and it’s not because just the way it looks, clearly that’s not it. It’s the value that we deliver. So, we were focused on that delivering massive value, and if you focus on that it just has to work.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, and not only are you saying it’s ranked really high, it’s generating a ton of leads for your practice, and it’s generally leads that are turning into clients. So, want to make sure that we’re not getting hung up just on SEO ranking, or number of likes, or followers. At the end of the day it’s got to convert into revenue.
Micah Shilanski: And on KPIs. This is something that we look at. KPIs or KRs, depending on what we’re doing. We look at, great, what was the time, energy, and money that we put into the website, and then what did it produce? How many clients did we bring on? How many people were we able to help? It’s still a numbers game. Yes, we want to help people, but if we are not profitable at the end of the day we’re not going to help people very long.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, and so I want to tie in and related to this, whether it’s a website strategy, I’ll talk in just a minute about my CPA strategy, you’ve got to commit into advance what is my timeline? So, how much time am I willing to invest in this, how much money am I willing to invest in this and, this one can be harder to qualify, how many times am I willing to hear no, or worse, perhaps crickets, before I’m going to reevaluate?
So, let me tie this to the CPA strategy. I get a ton of referrals from Centers of Influence, and while every expert in the industry says, “Hey, you should get referrals from CPAs, and for Centers of Influence,” none of them are actually getting referrals from Centers of Influence. But, I had at one point met an advisor, this is my favorite way to learn things, who was actually getting referrals from CPAs who were not his brother. So, I asked him, I said, “Ray, what is your strategy for this?” He goes through it, and we’ve done recordings on this so I won’t belabor it.
So, I knew, Hey, if this strategy works for Ray it’s got to work for me, and I’m going to meet with CPAs. I’m going to pay them for their time until it starts generating the leads, until it starts generating referrals. It took me over, I think I was at about 30 meetings before I started getting referrals from Centers of Influence. So, I had about 10. I was meeting with them every few months, paying them for their time. It took me about 30 of those meetings. So, when I hear an advisor that says, “Matthew, I met with one CPA and I asked for referrals and they didn’t give me one.” Number one, you did the strategy wrong, but, number two, one time is not enough. They’re not going to trust you with their most valuable asset, their client, because you one time stopped by their office, and you were the 400th advisor that week.
Micah Shilanski: This is a Plato’s law thing. This is one of those things that you talk to a hundred different CPAs that are going to be out there. Only 20 are actually going to give you any business. Out of that 20 only 20% of that 20, so four, are really going to be a primary source of revenue, clients that’s going to come. So, you really got to be working that. Jarvis, what I liked about diving into this, so please correct me if I’m wrong.
Matthew Jarvis: Please.
Micah Shilanski: You committed to doing this again and again, but you also committed to something else, you needed to find something that was like kind what you were looking at. So, what I’m talking about, your brother that owns a CPA firm, right? We all know advisors that own CPA firms they get a lot of referral links. Well, I don’t own a CPA firm. I don’t own a tax practice. That strategy isn’t going to work for me. I mean, amen, I know this one advisor down in Texas and it works really well for him, and it does a great job. I am not going to implement that strategy because I don’t wish to own a tax practice. However, you went and found an advisor that didn’t own a tax practice, that went and had sit-down meetings with CPAs. You’re like, “Well, that’s something I could do.” So, here’s a successful advisor doing something that fits inside of your wheelhouse, not completely different, then you worked the process, and the more you worked the process the more successful that was.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’s completely right. That speaks to this podcast, as well, right? If you’re saying, “Hey, my strategy is to serve 700 clients with incentive stock options.” You’re listening to the wrong podcast. You can still get value from this but we’re not speaking to that approach. So, again, sometimes you can adapt it. I think that comes later in your career, Micah. As you get higher levels of success you have more leeway to say, “Oh, I can stretch this strategy in an unrelated market to mine.” Until your practice is north of a, I would say a million dollars, you just really need to find things that you know are working, similar demographics, Micah, to your situation, similar scenarios, and just follow those knowing that they’re a proven model of success.
Micah Shilanski: Knowing that it works. If you’re consistently delivering massive value, if you’re following a process of someone else who’s successful doing the same things, then it’s going to lead to success, or you’re doing it wrong. Let’s talk about that, Jarvis. We need a ripcord moment, right? We need an out, because when it’s not working at first and, by the way, we have been there, I have been there. I know Jarvis has as well. You’re doing a process, you’re spending a lot of time and a lot of money, Aunt Visa, Uncle MasterCard, is really helping you out, but payments are a little challenging. We’ve been in those particular situations where you’re working through that. So, what’s the ripcord moment where, you know what this isn’t working, I got to pull the ripcord, I’m out. How do you frame that from the beginning?
Matthew Jarvis: Well, I’ve got an example that I wish I would have framed from the beginning, but it was a real obvious pullout moment. I had heard of an adviser who was targeting retirees in a local company, a very common strategy. I had, … The Backstage Pass didn’t exist at that point, and he wouldn’t give me a lot of time, which I don’t blame him. So I thought, great, I will follow this strategy. Well, long story short I get a Cease and Desist letter from the company saying that I’m doing trademark infringement and that they’re going to refer me to their legal team if this doesn’t end immediately. I had … Micah, this is—I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this story—I had purchased thousands of coffee mugs, thousands of coffee mugs, and my thought was, I’m going to send these to all the employees. They say retire from company name, which I’m not going to mention the company name because they might still be able to sue me. So, it says retire from company name.com. It turns out that’s borderline trademark infringement. By borderline, I mean it is.
So, I get a Cease and Desist letter. I have thousands of these coffee mugs …
Micah Shilanski: That’s awesome.
Matthew Jarvis: … that all ended up in the dumpster. So, that was a pullout moment. Man, I should’ve thought this strategy through ahead of time. It’s an example of like, Let me play this strategy all the way through. This, in fact, how it works, or did I hear what I wanted to hear which is, if I try this one quick thing suddenly I’ll get a million clients, run for it?
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Micah Shilanski: So let’s set that up a little bit. I’m going to pull a little bit this from Tim Ferriss. I believe I stole this from him, so I want to give him a credit for it. One of the things that as you’re going around and finding what strategy you’re going to do, and you’re going to follow someone’s strategy, right? So, you’re going to follow Jarvis’s strategy on COIs or, Jarvis, when you were going to follow that other guy’s, because you just got it from somebody else, which is kind of the great way that it works. So, you’re going to follow this strategy. If you’re talking to an advisor that has this great marketing program that’s working the same way, you should reach out and ask him say, “Hey, I’d love to do this. Is it okay? I’m not going to bombard you with any questions or tons of emails, but if I run into a roadblock, or I have a problem, is it okay if I call and check in?”
Plant the seed for future communication. Get that yes that’s going to be there. So, you’re going to get that communication, you’re going to get that contact. Then go back and create your battle plan for how are you going to implement this. Let’s say that advisor said, “Oh, it only takes three to five months to do it.” Here’s the problem with successful advisors, we don’t have an accurate memory of exactly how long it really took us to be profitable on these things. So, if I go back and say, “Hey, my website probably took me, I don’t know, 18 months, two years to be profitable,” I would double it because I am probably remembering the rosier side of that picture, because it worked. So, if you’re doing his strategy and they say it’s going to take three to four months, I would automatically say six to eight months. You need to work this strategy for six to eight months, then develop your KPIs based on that.
Great, how many clients do you need? I like to start with the end in mind. How many clients do I need to get from this? What type of revenue do I need to generate? What do I need to do, A, B and C? Then, from that back into all the numbers, how many COIs do I need to talk to? How many times do I need to have these meetings, et cetera? Break down those KPIs. Now, if you’re following all of the things you’re supposed to be doing, and eight months down the road it doesn’t work. Okay sweep, pull the ripcord, you’re done. It just doesn’t work for you for those reasons. But so often we’ll set up with a plan of we’re going to have a hundred clients, and we start going down the path we call to COIs, in your case, right? Then, you do no follow up whatsoever. You meet with two people, then you say it doesn’t work two days later. That’s not the way you need to design this.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, 100%. I think related to that, lots of things related to that. You definitely need to have your no budget set into place. If you’re going to do COIs, or if you’re going to do whatever, I know that the first 20 meetings are going to result in nothing other than me learning, right? Our opening quote, “I never lose, I either win or I learn.” You should go in like, Hey listen, the first 20 COIs I talk to they’re not going to give me any, no business. They’re not even going to smile. They’re going to say, “Get the heck out of my office, but leave the check.” Okay, great, I’m going to learn from that.
Again, I’m going to learn from that. I’m going to say, “Boy, where were they engaged and where did I see them withdraw? What questions did they think, Oh, that’s really interesting, and what questions were throwaways? How was I dressed when I walked in? When did I set down to check? All of these things are critically important, and they are things that you just get through practice. You really just have to put in the time.
Micah Shilanski: Also, that aspect of the experience of setting the meeting, was it good or bad? Take that back. When you walked into their office, how was their receptionist dressed? How was their layout set up? How was it like? Did you feel warm, and inviting, and welcoming, to this? Did you feel nervous and anxious? Take all of those things in and you can learn so much from good experiences, also from bad ones, right? You can learn a ton from bad experiences on how to avoid those same things with your clients.
Matthew Jarvis: It also helps get over just … Rejection wears on us. Maybe there’s some guys out there I’ll meet that just doesn’t phase them at all. I haven’t met that person, and so I always try to play the game such that I always win. So, Micah, it made me think of, to your point. Great, even if none of these Centers of Influence ever refer me to someone, or ever refer someone to me, well, at least now I know who the best CPAs are in Town so when my client needs a good CPA, I know the best ones. So, no matter what happens I win. Now, my real win will be when they send me clients, right. That’s really what I’m aiming for, but I want to always have a consolation prize lined up.
Micah Shilanski: Is this a millennial thing that everybody—
Matthew Jarvis: I wish, I wish.
Micah Shilanski: No, but you do need to set this up with those multiple bars of success that are going to be there, because it is so easy, Jarvis, just as you said, to wrap ourselves up in this aspect of failure. We didn’t get that ultimate goal, we didn’t get that top thing, we didn’t get 50 clients out of that one phone call, therefore it sucks, and that’s not it. So, this kind of brings us to our other point. We talked about ripcord moments. How do we know if it’s … The opposite of ripcord moments is you’re going to know in advance if it’s a success. We’re saying a ripcord is in it failed you need to bail, but it’s also the opposite which is true, right? You could go through and say, Hey, look, I called this many, I’m getting these clients, we’re having these great relationships, things are building. It could be a huge success, and it’s a way to quantify that success.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.
Micah Shilanski: I think it brings us to our next, it’s a smart- What’s that?
Matthew Jarvis: Well, it made me think of like, what’s like the most common quote we hear from successful people. You ask them, Why did you stop doing that? They’d be like, it worked so well I quit doing it. That’s like—
Micah Shilanski: I’ve said it.
Matthew Jarvis: When was the last time you said it? I just haven’t had time for it, and what we end up with, especially with younger practices, you get this flood of new business, which a flood can be two or three new clients. Like, Oh hurray, I’ve got two or three new clients, and I’ll quit meeting with my CPAs, or I’ll quit updating my website. This one I see all the time, I’ll quit updating my website. Then, your pipeline chokes back off. So, don’t let something work so well that you quit doing it. If it’s working and, Micah, this goes to the point of I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this for a year, I’m going to do this for five years, I’m going to do this however many times no matter how well it works.
Micah Shilanski: This is one of the things that we talk about on a continual basis in our firm, we are not stopping prospecting. Now, we’re running into a little bit of an issue because we’re kind of full on clients. Well, I could take less time off, but let’s be realistic. So, because of that constraint that we have in place we’re kind of full. So, we need to bring on other advisors. So, the conversation came to us, should we stop prospecting? Guess what the resounding answer was? No, because once we stop we’re going to lose an edge, we’re going to forget what we’re doing, we’re not going to be in the process, we’re going to do something wrong. So, we’re still going to keep that engine going while we’re working, looking for a great advisor to come in.
So, Jarvis, let’s also talk about forcing mechanisms. I know we talk about this a lot, but I think this is a huge one right here.
Matthew Jarvis: It really is, especially rejection-facing things. Anything that involves head trash, rejection is head trash, right, because it’s all in your head, my head. Anything that involves head trash has got to have a forcing mechanism. I remember, Nick Murray would use this forcing mechanism. “Hey, I can’t get coffee in the morning until I’ve made 10 phone calls.” They can be really simple things like, “Hey, every time I do the Center of Influence I can go out and take myself out to lunch, but if I don’t then I don’t get to go out to lunch. Whatever, it can be very small things. They can also, Micah, you and I have talked about very extreme forcing mechanisms like large sums of money, donations to our least favorite political candidate.
Micah Shilanski: Cars.
Matthew Jarvis: Our target clients cars, lots of things. So yeah, you’ve got to have them in. Micah, what are some of the forcing mechanisms you used early on in regards to your website, or prospecting, things like that?
Micah Shilanski: So, one of the things I love to do, my buckets of money strategy. We talked about so many ways it’s superior, but one of the things that the buckets of money, from a cashflow perspective we actually create separate accounts. So, I have a separate like PD, Personal Development, account, separate team account, separate all these different accounts that are there. These are spending accounts, not saving accounts. So, what I would do on the website is we’d actually earmark and put X amount of money to be spent on the website, and if it wasn’t spent, if it wasn’t used, et cetera, it had to go to places that I was not happy with it. So, it was a percentage of income goes into this account and it is a use or lose by X amount of time that we have to use that money.
That was a great forcing mechanism for me because, again, when I started this back out in 2008, cash flow wasn’t phenomenal during that time, all of the other things that were going on, and so throwing money to waste was really not a good thing. It never is, right? Sometimes it’s more painful than not. So, forcing myself of where it’s going to be there.
Now, I failed in having an accountability buddy outside of the family. So that is one area I probably should have been better at because it creates fun family dynamics when your family is being accountable for yourself. So, you want someone else to help out with that?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, ideally someone who’s as driven as you are in either the same or different areas? I would also, so anything that’s content related, whether you’re creating blog posts, or your website, or your client newsletter, or your value ad, I will often create a forcing mechanism of I’m going to sit here until I get X number of words on a page. Now, I totally accept that they can be complete garbage, absolute junk, The rain in Spain falls mainly on the Plains. It can be whatever, but I’m going to sit here until I fill up that blank page. So, like when I do my quarterly client newsletter I’ll let Colleen know, don’t use any of this. It’s just me filling the page, but it gets those wheels going.
Otherwise I’m like, Well, let me check on LinkedIn, let me Google this, let me, blah, blah, blah, let me play office while nothing actually gets done. So, something as simple as I’m going to sit in this chair until this activity is done. Great, I don’t like sitting in a chair very long so I’m going to get it done.
Micah Shilanski: I do the same thing as what I’m doing with video recording content. We talked about that, right? Jarvis, you do a lot of written content, you prefer that. I do not prefer to write content, so I like a lot of video and audio, which works out well. When I have videos to record I need to record X amount of high-quality videos that are going to be there, not C roll, because I have to get them done. So, I need X amount of A quality videos in a period in time or I don’t get to go home. That’s my rule. So, if it’s 11 o’clock at night and I’m sucking, then I’m going to be there. I have gotten much better at this, but I have spent 12 hours in the office trying to get those videos done and recorded, et cetera, trying to get these things done, but it’s a forcing mechanism for me that works.
Matthew Jarvis: You know a great resource on that, probably one of my favorite resources is the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, not to be confused with the Art of War, also a good book. The War of Art, and he talks about writing for the wastebasket, or making videos that you’re going to delete. You’ve got to just get that content. Say, I’m going to meet with CPAs strictly to practice. Great, and hopefully … By the way, I want great content to come out of it, I want referrals to come out of. I’m going to do this just to practice. I’m going to meet with a COI every week. Otherwise, I’m not going to drink on the weekend. Whatever incentive you need, put it there.
Micah Shilanski: I’m just going to throw in the head space inside of this, how are you gearing yourselves up for those positive conversations? Jarvis, you and I talk about we both visualize how we want our client meetings to go. We visualize how we want our prospect meetings to go. We visualize how we want our COI meetings to go. That’s not just because we’re bored and we don’t have anything to do five minutes before the meeting, this is because we want the best level of success. Take this to performance athletes. The top performing athletes in the world will visualize, Olympic athletes will visualize their runs. They will visualize the success, the gold medal, the whole nine yards, and they’re really going to put everything into it.
So, if you’re not doing everything you can to be successful, if you’re only going to do 95%, are you really doing everything? The answer’s no. Do this extra 5%. Visualize how you want those meetings to go, visualize them going successful, write them down. At first when you’re doing this your brain is not going to believe it. You’re going to say, “It’s going to go well and all these great things are going to happen,” and your brain’s going to say, “No, it’s not. You suck, this is going to be horrible. You’re going to bomb.” You got to push past those things and really get to some good visualization, because then it gives you an air of confidence, not arrogance, but confidence going into the meeting to be able to communicate well, to be able to share your ideas, to be able to move your relationship to the next level.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. I want to tie back to something that we talked about in this episode, but it’s just, again, really critical. Micah, you mentioned, Hey, find an advisor, demographics similar to yours, something similar to yours that you can follow. There’s just kind of like, there’s two caveats I want to put there. One, and this comes from Bob Dunwoody, who’s like this classic sales trainer guy. You really ought to look at his stuff. He cautions, he says, when you ask successful people how they got successful a lot of times they can’t articulate that. I’m guilty of that. Matthew, how do you get referrals from CPAs? I just pay them for their time. It’s way more than that, it’s all of these meetings, it’s practice, it’s delivering massive value. It’s knowing what to say, it’s having the questions, all these things. It’s easy to think, Oh, he just meets with CPAs. If I just meet with the CPAs …
I know a friend, he posted online that he’d started a new company and in 12 months it was doing more than a million dollars of revenue, which is accurate, but it’s also terribly misleading because you say, Well, your decades of reputation, of relationships, of all these things. It wasn’t like you just woke up out of bed, rolled out of your jam, put your jammies on, and then, boom suddenly you had a million dollar business. So, don’t let successful people, trick is not quite the right word, but don’t let them paint over all of the tough stuff and think that, Oh, I just snapped my fingers. This is some kind of silver bullet. Those just don’t exist.
Micah Shilanski: You know, and self-serving plug, I mean, this is the benefit of the Backstage Pass, because we really go in depth and really think about breaking down all of these processes, like the COI process, like guardrails, like buckets, like all of these other things that we talk about. We break them down into detail and then we do it on a live webinar so we get questions, and feedback, to make sure we’re going over all of these points, because there’s so much more than just meeting with a CPA. There’s so much more than just meeting with a prospect.
Matthew Jarvis: Yep. My second caveat I’ll offer. This one will be a little bit less self serving but, again, the Backstage Pass delivers on this. When I first, I talked about this on my podcast. When I first met Tom Gowan and Ken Unger I thought, Well, Tom Gowan he’s really doing this similar demographic. I’m going to do exactly what Tom does. I’m not going to question it, and I always joke if Tom had said to wear pink underwear and purple suits I would have done that, and I literally would have. At the end of my first year in the program my practice was exploding with success, and I met with other advisors who had joined the program the same year as I did, and their practice had gone nowhere. I was dumbfounded. I’m like, why did this work for me and it didn’t work for you? I would ask them questions, and it turned out they hadn’t actually done it. “Well, you know, I saw Tom’s investment, so I thought I’d do some analysis on that.” I didn’t do any analysis.
Micah Shilanski: Playing office.
Matthew Jarvis: I said, remove his logo, put my logo on there, boom, I’m going to run with this. Once it’s successful then I can fine tune it. I’m ranting in there, but I’ve just seen that so many times where he said, “I paid a great program, but I didn’t implement it. Therefore the program doesn’t work.”
Micah Shilanski: I want to pick on you a little bit on that one right there. You didn’t do analysis into a lot of the stuff that he did. Do you think you did your clients a disservice because you looked at a highly successful advisor that was helping deliver massive value to hundreds and hundreds of clients and you chose not to overanalyze what he was doing and to take it to roll it out? Do you think that was a disservice to your client?
Matthew Jarvis: No, I don’t think so, which is why …
Micah Shilanski: No?
Matthew Jarvis: … I was modeling somebody who I thought was delivering massive value to his clients. I can see they’re delivering massive value. Are they perfect? No. Is Tom Gowan perfect? No, he’s, an interesting guy. He’s a brilliant advisor. Is Micah perfect? Probably.
Micah Shilanski: Probably.
Matthew Jarvis: Practically perfect in every way.
Micah Shilanski: There you go. In every RIA, yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: In every RIA, that’s even better.
Micah Shilanski: No, but I wanted to point out on that, and thank you for allowing me to put you on the spot, Jarvis, because so often we get into this aspect that we need to recreate the wheel, right? Okay, someone else recommended A, B and C … We did an investment webinar recently and we said at the very beginning says, “Look, I’m not going to talk about funds, expenses, betas, alphas, and trainers, and all of that stuff, because I don’t care.”
Now, is it because I don’t care what it delivers to the client? No, we’ve already done that analysis. We’ve made our decisions. I’m not going to open this up to debate between a couple hundred other people, or other advisors, because it’s a diminishing returns conversation. This is where advisors lose it. They want to go for the max peak ultimate performance, and you’re going to spend so much time and energy going for that you never do anything. That is not success that’s going to be there. You got to get off X. You got to move down this process.
So, Jarvis, taking your example of saying, “Hey, here’s a very successful advisor. He’s delivering massive value to his clients. I may not understand everything yet but I don’t have red flags saying he’s screwing people.” So, okay, it’s path and ethics test, he’s a good advisor. We’re going to implement this system till we better understand it. There’s no harm in that whatsoever. That’s a very good thing that allows you to help so many people.
Matthew Jarvis: Totally, totally, 100%.
Micah Shilanski: I—my step stool, sorry.
Matthew Jarvis: You’re ranting today. That’s why people fast forward, like that’s a rant time warning. Maybe we should limit our rants to 30 seconds so they can just hit that skip button, 30 second rant, go.
Micah Shilanski: Go. That would be funny.
Matthew Jarvis: So, let’s high ball on this episode. So, we talked about a lot of good things and, of course, every episode is about taking action. The best strategy in the world will not work if you’re just sitting there looking at it. So, Micah, let’s jump into some action items here that we need to have for the nation.
Micah Shilanski: Amen. Number one, when you’re doing this I want you to set your go/no go process in place, whether it’s a ripcord, whatever you’re going to call it, inside of this. What are the milestones that you need to be hitting at certain points in order to say, “Hey, this is working or it’s not,” because we are so in the habit, Jarvis, as you said is, Well, it was working so well I stopped, and you’ve got to make sure you’re not doing that. So, what is your go/no go rules?
Now, this could be time, this could be money, this could be attempts. All of those things that are there, but they got to be realistic. Especially if we’re talking to another advisor off the cuff, and I’m guilty of this, Jarvis, just as you said. When people say, “How do you work with COIs?” I just pay them for their time? No, there’s so much more that goes into that. So, you really got to be realistic on this aspect. Double the time expectations, double the money expectations on what things will actually cost, set up your KPIs for what do you have to do to get there, and follow them
Matthew Jarvis: 100% agree. Action item number two, create forcing mechanisms for success. This is probably the most frequent action item given on our podcast. Put a forcing mechanism, large or small, whether it’s the ability to go home, have a cup of coffee, go out for lunch, whatever it is, set a forcing mechanism, large or small, that will keep you to your goals.
Micah Shilanski: I love it. Number three, post in the Backstage Pass or on LinkedIn. Post, hit us up. What are you going to be doing? I want to, we want to know from you, based on this episode what are the prospecting activities, what are the new things that you are going to do and commit to? Another good forcing mechanism, social shame. Put it out there to everybody that’s going to be supportive. This is the key, and that’s the beautiful part about the TPR Network is we are a supportive network that’s going to be there. So, we’re not going to say that’s a stupid idea, don’t do it. No, put it out there what you’re going to do. Have some public accountability for this for delivering massive value.
Matthew Jarvis: My last action item would be pay someone to learn from them. So this, again, you could say this is self serving, right? It’s a great plug for the Backstage Pass. This is something I waited far too long in my career to do. When I started finding great advisors … In fact, Micah, you and I did this just recently. We said, Hey, we want to dramatically increase the podcast, the value that we deliver on the podcast. Let’s find the top podcasters and instead of asking them for their time for free, we just called and said, “How much does it cost for two hours of your time?” They said it was thousands of dollars. Perfect, done. Now, admittedly, thousands of dollars for Micah and I really isn’t a huge deal right now. Don’t let our families hear that, but it would have been money …
If we had done this on day one of the podcast and, really let’s get extreme here, we really could have on day one called the top podcasters and it would’ve saved so much time, we could have delivered so much more value. So, find someone who has the success you want, pay them for their time. It is the best money you could ever spend.
Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Take action. That’s what this podcast is all about. Well, Jarvis, as always, this has been a blast.
Matthew Jarvis: It really has. I love doing this. Again, to the nation, please be sure to go onto iTunes, or wherever you’re listening to this, and give us five stars. We really appreciate those rankings. Give us a screenshot. We’re working on new swag, and so we’ll send you some new awesome TPR swag. Micah, you got a thought on that?
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, just one of our goals is to be the top ranked financial podcast out there for inside the industry. So, that’s going to be … We’re going to look at iTunes reviews for that, so we need your help in order to do that, in order to grow. So, let us know on creative ways that we can help you give us better ratings, and well, always give us five stars anyways but vote early, vote often, share this out with other advisors is a huge help to us. So, thank you.
Matthew Jarvis: Perfect. Well, thanks everybody for listening and until next time, happy planning.
Micah Shilanski: Happy planning.
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