What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • Why successful advisors are often doing the same things.
  • How to judge the success of your value-adds for specific clients.
  • The importance of having a checklist to ensure value is delivered consistently.
  • One small thing that makes a huge difference.
  • Why pain points are key to delivering value.
  • The reasons clients choose you—and why you should be in tune to that.

Matthew and Micah have each met with prospects and brought them on board in 2021 by delivering massive value. How? This episode will answer that question and cover the lessons they learned along the way, including the specific golden nuggets of truth and information that all top advisors use to find success.

Listen in as the guys share key insight and valuable tips on how to successfully find and bring on the right prospects this year. You’ll also get specific examples from their clients, including what got them to agree to come on board in the first place.

Resources In Today's Episode:

EP. 115 TRANSCRIPT

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 as usual, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you doing today, my friend?

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, it is another day in paradise. We are doing absolutely wonderful. Getting a little into simulated homelessness. Our place is up for sale. So because it’s being shown all the time, we’re just living in the RV, which really isn’t anything new for the summertime up in Alaska. But we’re doing great.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love those forcing mechanisms. We talk all the time about Parkinson’s Law, which is an activity we’ll take as much time is allocated to it, and this goes as well for moving onto the next stage of building your house. One stage is getting out of your current place, and boy, this forces that to happen.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah, yeah. Very much. So just it’s one of those things actually we put our place up for sale before we had the next place we were moving into, and everyone really just thought we were crazy. We just have to make a change, and all of a sudden when you make that change, things open up, and now we kind of know what’s happening. So it’ll be great.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I think this is the same as advisors, and correct me if I’m stretching this, advisors who need to graduate clients who aren’t a good fit. They’ll say, “I’ll graduate those clients when I have new clients.” But those new clients never come. Or, “You know what, I will delegate when I have more revenue,” and that revenue never comes. There’s always this myth that time will come, but the only way we get time is by making time.

Micah Shilanski:  That is correct. I love time because time is our great equalizer. I don’t care who you are in the world. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and what that means is we all have the same opportunity. The question is how are we allocating and using that time best, and how much energy are we putting towards what we want versus arguing for our limitations and complaining about where we’re currently at. Whether it’s graduating a team member because they’re not a good fit, graduating a client, making that hire you’ve been needing to make, changing your CRM setup. What thing do you actually need to do that you need to quit talking about and just go out and delivery massive value?

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I think that’s a great segue into our topic today. So we’re recording this, it’s the last day of May. So we’re not quite halfway through the year, but let’s call it about there. And you and I have each added $10 million, a little bit more than $10 million of new client assets to our respectful practices. So $20 million in whole. As a reminder for our new listeners, Micah and I have very separate and distinct practices. Important note, this might just be my pet peeve speaking. These are $10 million each that we brought in on our own, not like, “Hey, we have this network. And our 17 other advisors brought this in.” These are prospects we each met with, we each delivered massive value to, and they came onboard.

So today we want to talk about lessons that we’ve learned this year on real prospects that we’ve personally brought in, not things we’ve heard about, not things we’ve seen other advisors do, things that have actually worked for us.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, I want to talk about this a little bit and do a little show back to live because we had our live event a couple weeks ago. Oh, by the way, it was outstanding. We had people show up in Arizona. It was great. We’ll get you guys a lot of the testimonials that are out there and a lot of the key takeaways that were from that. But Jarvis, one of the things that I thought was really funny going through and talking to so many different people at live, they’d come up to me and say, “Micah, I don’t know if you or Jarvis said this,” and they would say something. So I think that they know there’s two of us. They have no idea who says what, but seeing people implement things…

And I was going around to the different tables and seeing what people were doing and having other advisors explaining value adds, having other advisors explaining deliver massive value, and being able to do these things. They were giving real life examples in their practices while taking something small like a beneficiary report and then saying, “Oh my gosh, this has been so amazing for my clients. They’ve absolutely loved getting A, B, and C done.” So it was really cool going to the live event and seeing hands-on, not just on our own practices but in so many other advisor’s practices it really transforming their lives.

Matthew Jarvis:   Another interesting takeaway, Micah, that I had from live is that we had a couple of advisors come up to us. Well, I don’t know if they came up to you. They came up to me and they said, “Matthew, is Micah a carbon copy of you? You seem like you do the exact same things in your practices. You guys must’ve known each other since childhood.” And the reality is Micah, we only met… I mean literally only knew of each other’s existence three years ago. So people say, “Well, how are your practices so similar?” It’s because what works works consistently. It’s not a surprise that we’ve achieved similar levels of success by doing the same things. That’s what we find when Micah, you and I meet with advisors all around the country. The top level advisors are all doing the exact same thing, and newsflash, it’s not what the experts are talking about.

Micah Shilanski:  It’s the simple stuff that’s there. We were there with a guy who’s $1.2 billion shop. Wonderful guy. Chitchatting with him, and guess what, the things that helped him get successful are the same things we’re doing, are the same things other advisors are doing across the board. It’s these little golden nuggets that they actually implement. They don’t talk about it. They actually do it and get it done.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, that’s great. Micah, let’s jump in to some specific clients that we’ve brought on this year. Now of course, we’ll anon some of that information because we want to keep it confidential. But let’s talk about two or three clients each that we’ve brought on, how we demonstrated massive value, and what from our perspective ultimately got them to agree to become clients. Do you want to go ahead and go first, Micah?

Micah Shilanski:  Well, sure. But before that, I want to see this with some questions. As we’re going through this, one of the things that… Here’s what’s going to happen to our listeners or at least in my mind. When I hear someone else say something from a podcast or from a presentation, I will immediately step back, cross my arms, “Well, I do that. Okay, well that’s not hard. I knew that. I can do that.” I’ll start checking off and putting out everything that they’re saying instead of taking real ownership in it and saying, “Well, am I doing it the same way? Am I really adding that much value, et cetera.”

So as we go through these examples, I’m going to encourage your listeners, don’t dismiss these things as trivial, as small, and you’re going to find some of them is really small. But the size doesn’t matter. It all matters in how much value is there. So a couple things to think about.

Number one, when you’re going through your prospect process, how intentional are you in adding value to your prospects? So what I mean by that, Jarvis, is not are we just going through the motions, but are we intentionally looking at their situation and saying, “Awesome. How do I pull value out of here?” From something as simple as do you know where your money goes when you die? I mean, the could be a very simple question that could be life changing for clients because they didn’t really realize how their money was split up or that they don’t have beneficiary designation.

It could be more complex in tax strategies. Saying, “Great. Do you know you have a $400,000 tax bill when you die, but good news, we can solve that.” I mean, where are you going through in your process to intentionally go through? So that’s the first question.

Second question is if you said, “Great, your intentionally doing it,” awesome. What checklist do you have in place to add value? I’m going to throw this out here. As you guys might know I’m a pilot. As a pilot, we don’t do a lot of things from memory. Now I’ve doe a preflight checklist on my airplane every single time that I go to my airplane, and it’s not something I’m just pulling from memory. Yes, I know the motions, but guess what, I got a checklist in my hand and I’m going through and making sure I’m doing everything. Because if I forget to do something and I take off and there’s a problem in the aircraft, it becomes a very serious problem. So what checklist do you have to make sure your team is delivering value and you are delivering value in every client and prospect meeting?

Matthew Jarvis:   I love that, Micah. It’s so easy to sit back, and I spent so many of my early years in my career sitting back, just like you said, “Oh, I already do that.” But it’s the smallest thing. Like here’s a really simple example I saw the other day. An expert to the industry, he says, “Boy, when you meet with a client or a prospect, you should ask them, ‘Hey, did you have any questions since we last met?’” Now, on its face, that’s kind of an okay way to start, but that’s an easy yes/no question. They’re going to answer that nine times out of 10 with no. A professional advisor, one that’s intentional that has checklists, like Micah said, is going to say, “Tell me what questions you had since we last met. Tell me what thoughts you’ve had since we last met,” because that’s open ended. And they’re going to ask that several times. So again, the smallest things makes all the difference.

Micah Shilanski:  Amen. All right, thank you. I just wanted to set that seed. So now we can dive into real life examples.

Matthew Jarvis:   I like that. Well, I’ll go on one. Had a prospect. When she came in, she said, “Hey Matthew, I have to let you know I am meeting with other advisors.” I said, “Great news.” By the way, I’m sincere with that. I want them to know what else is out there. I want them to find the advisor that’s the best fit for them. So I’m not threatened by that at all. I say, “Great news. You really need to find an advisor who brings the kind of value you need.” She says, “Matthew, I pulled your 80V,” which is rare, but it does happen. By the way, karma sort of attracts those people to me. She says, “I see that you charge 1.5% and these other advisors charge 1%.” I said, “That’s correct. Yeah, we do charge a premium fee to offer a premium value.” She said, “Well, what could possibly be worth half again as much fee?”

I said, “Well Jane,” we’re going to call her Jane, “I noticed that you live in Washington State where I’m from, and your state single individual. You’re worth about $4 million. Congratulations for that, by the way. That took a lot of hard work. Just so you know, when you pass away, your kids will owe let’s call it $400,000 to the state of Washington in taxes.” She says, “What?” I said, “Yeah, there’s a state tax.” I kind of go into detail. She says, “Hey, no one else has told me about this.” I said, “Exactly. That’s why we charge a premium fee because we’re bringing $400,000 of value.” By the way, this was just our first meeting.

Micah Shilanski:  Right, right. So when we do the quick math on that, let’s say it was $4 million in assets, just to make my math kind of easy here. You’re going to charge $20,000 more a year than another potential advisor, which by the way, that potential advisor would discount their fee more than 1%. But that’s a different discussion. So let’s just say you’re going to charge $20,000 more. But you will have the opportunity to save her $400,000 in proper estate tax planning. That just wasn’t even brought up in the conversation.

So when we get into this worthy conversation, am I worthy about the fee that I’m charging? Look at the value that we add and put that in dollar amounts to the client. Not how long it took you to do. This is something, Jarvis, I think a trap advisors fall into. We look at it and says, “You know what, that was super easy because I was able to find that value.” Well yeah, it was super easy. I’ve been doing this for 21 years. I’ve dedicated my life to learning these laws and applying them effectively. That’s not the size of value. The value is what can we deliver to the clients, not how much time did it take.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Let me point out one other just small thing on that. I was going through my one page financial plan, as I always do with this prospect. So I didn’t have a big Monte Carlo illustration projecting what her estate value’s going to be in 27 years. We’re just saying, “Hey, right now.” But I noticed that she latched onto that. That became a real pain point. So I said, “Great. Let’s focus the rest of our time discussing this.” So we went on some high level, some strategies here. But a rookie advisor would say, “Well, we’ll talk about that later. I’ve got 15 bullet points we have to talk about all of them. The pro advisor is always listening for what’s that thing, what’s the big thing here? There’s some reason they came in here today. It wasn’t for fun. There’s one thing they really want to get solve, and as soon as I find that, that’s where I need to spend my attention because that’s what they want to talk about.

Micah Shilanski:  I love it, 200%. So I want to give another example. I’m going to stick to the estate planning theme if I can.

Matthew Jarvis:   Please.

Micah Shilanski:  This is with a client. We’ll call him Aaron, and Aaron was becoming a trustee and a power of attorney for his parents estate. So as soon as I hear about that, there’s a whole spiel and a checklist that we go through with our clients about becoming a trustee. And one of the things because I know he has a couple siblings that are out there, et cetera, I said, “Hey, one of the most challenging things about becoming a trustee or a power of attorney is really making sure there’s family unity in the end because while mom and dad are alive, everyone is going to say, ‘You know what, it’s mom and dad’s money. Spend the money on them. Make sure they’re taken care of.’ And as soon as mom and dad are dead, someone’s going to step up and say, ‘Where’s my half?’ And they’re going to want a very clear explanation on where all the money went.” That’s when a lot of families can be divided.

He stepped back and he goes, “Micah, that’s exactly what happened to my uncle.” He goes into this family story of something that was the exact same thing is that when the uncle died, all the kids stepped up and were fighting over the money. So I led with that emotional appeal that we all want. We all want the family unity. But most people, the attorneys that he met with, the CPA he met with and the financial advisor he met with on his parent’s estate didn’t talk about best practices for being a trustee. And it’s super simple stuff. We spent time going through this.

Then the second part is that you’re going to be a co trustee. I’m happy to jump on the phone with you and your sister and really go through this as a value. Well, we go through this process with him. I get his sister on the line. We start going through everything, and a couple things come up. One, they have a multi-million dollar tax bill that they didn’t know about that no other advisor has talked about, that no other attorney has talked about. Their CPA hasn’t talked about that’s going to be there that we found. It says, “Good news, we can fix this now that we’re looking at it.”

So now we’re going to pick up the parents as clients, potentially the sister as clients as well all because I went through simple things. I wasn’t going for a multi-million dollar tax strategy, Jarvis. I was saying, “Hey, we need to solve for family unity when this is end. And how do we be transparent as a trustee?” That is a solid value play, even though there’s not a direct dollar that’s associated with it.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, what comes to mind when you share this example is this is something that both of these things that we talked about are things that are not going to come out of a piece of software, at least not yet. Maybe at some point it will, but if you’re sitting down in front of Money Guide Pro or whatever the carrier software is, it’s not going to spit that out. Holistiplan’s not going to tell you, “Hey, listen, you should be talking about family unity.” That’s not to disrespect these softwares and to say they don’t have value. They certainly do. But if you want to be a top level advisor, if you want to deliver massive value, the core 10 of The Perfect RIA, you’ve got to be able to do more than just what the software can spit out.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s the reason I’m not worried about robo advisors. That’s the reason I’m not worried about the software. I think it’s great. The better the software becomes, that’s the less work I have to do or more of a check-up on me to make sure I’m doing things. I think it’s outstanding. There’s so many other ways that I deliver value that computers aren’t there.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. I love it. That’s great, Micah. Then like you said, to highlight in, “Oh wait, I found a pain point here.” I want to be careful here. It’s not like we’re looking for a pain points to exploit. This is nothing manipulative. We’re really trying to say what is the most important thing to the client and that’s where I want to focus my energy. To use a doctor analogy, if you come into the doctor and your elbow hurts like a son of a gun, the doctors says, “Hey. We better check out your feet,” I don’t really care about my feet right now. I really want to talk about my elbow hurts. “Well, let’s check your ears.” The elbow is the issue, my friend. And as advisors, we spend so much time saying, “Well, let’s check your blood pressure. Let’s check this. Let’s check this. Let’s do this.” Really all I care about is my broken elbow. Let’s talk about that.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, one of the ways I like to do it, I’m sure you do it the same way. When I’m talking with a client and they have that pain point or that red flag, I want to make sure we’re addressing that first. I’m going to make sure I communicate with the client all the other things that we’re also going to do from a high level perspective. That says, “You know what, we need to get into your taxes. We need to get retirement planning. We need to get in these things. But today, you have a much bigger issue that I want to make sure that we’re tackling. Is it okay if we spend time focused on A, B, and C?”

Matthew Jarvis:   I love that.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah, that’s a great way. You’re getting the client’s permission to focus on it. You’re addressing some other things. They’re saying, “Hey, we need to have future meetings about this. But we need to table that because this is more important.” So it’s a great way that you can communicate there’s other things that we have to do with focusing on what that priority for today’s meeting needs to be.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, an example of that, a prospect that we brought onboard just last week. I mean, literally last week. She became the trustee of her parents’ estate. So her parents are both alive, but they’re starting to have dementia and whatnot. As is typically the fashion, they have accounts spread all over the place. Several million dollars. And I could tell from our initial meeting, her number one concern is this worry about how do I be an effective trustee? How do I handle all of this mess?

So when we presented the one page financial plan, we’ll call her Jill, I said, “Jill, you’ll notice I got several bullet points here. Today I want to go to very high level because our goal is to make your job easier, not harder. So I just want to make you aware of all the things that we can take care of for you. Or Jill, after you’ve slept on it, you can decide you want to take care of these things on your own. But we’re not going to drill into each strategy unless that’s what you want to do. Is that okay with you?” She said, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want. When I talked to other financial advisors, they go through page after page after page and I can’t figure out what’s going on. Really all I want to know is how much money should I keep in CDs at the bank?” “Oh, perfect. Let’s set all this aside and just talk about how much you should keep in CDs at the bank.” And then she became a client right away.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, I love it. So in our financial planning process that we go through, we bring people on as a financial planning client first before we even transfer their assets. So we charge a fee. We start going through financial planning. It’s a good engagement period to find out if we really want them as a long term client to build solid value before any transfers. Also, I’m working with pre-retirees. So a lot of times we can’t. In this time, I was actually talking to a client and went through the financial planning process, came time where it was time to transfer his assets in order to implement his financial plan. And he had some pretty sizable assets, about $1.8 million in the household.

So he’s like, “You know what, I think I need to get a second opinion because I like everything you’re saying. I like everything you’re going through, but everyone tells me I should get a second opinion.” So I was like, “Great. I highly encourage you to.” So he lets me know. I said, “If this other advisor finds anything that I’ve missed, please let me know. I’m always looking to learn. I would love to be able there. I’m happy to communicate with the other advisor as well so we can make sure you’re taken care of.”

Now all of this is 100% genuine because if I’m failing to deliver value to a client, I don’t deserve that client. That client should go somewhere else where someone can deliver more value. I firmly believe that. And if I have missed something, I want to learn. I look forward to the times where someone brings something up that I don’t know. This is awesome. Now I get to learn something. So all of this is 100% genuine.

So he gets another one done. It was a Money Guide Pro, and again, not ragging on Money Guide Pro software. But this is a difference in running software versus adding value. Money Guide Pro software, the guy went through everything, went through a presentation. The client ended up giving it to me and going through. I chatted with the client afterwards and he says, “You know my guy we met with the other client, and I think we’re going to move forward with you.” I said, “Great. That’s wonderful news. Can I ask what one of the deciding factor is?” And there was two things that came up.

Number one, he brought up the fact that he went through this 50 page document, and it really didn’t tell him how much money he could have in retirement versus our one pager showed exactly how much retirement income he was going to have right from the simplicity. I mean, he had a lot more charts and graphs on things, which was there.

The other thing that she brought up was, “You know what, he never asked us for copies of our federal benefits information. And you asked us for copies of all of these documents. So I think that means you’re looking at things he’s not.” So just by the implied asking for documents, that planted a seed, which is exactly what we’re doing with their federal benefits, making sure things were set up correctly. And all of that was that seed foundation for when they went and got a second opinion.

That other advisor that didn’t ask for these things, they didn’t ask for tax returns. They didn’t ask for financial planning information. They didn’t ask for estate planning documents. Now all of a sudden they know they’re not getting a full picture. So that’s really important about asking for these documents, little bit of dishwasher roll, right? Why do we need these things? How do we need to add value? Because if there’s a second opinion that’s out there, this shows you such as a clear advisor.

Matthew Jarvis:   Boy, Micah, I love that. I keep going back to this rule that you said at the beginning of the podcast, which is it’s easy to say, “Oh well, yeah, Micah, you asked for these things. I ask for those things too.” Okay, great. Then let’s just look at results. So if Micah’s able to close all these clients and deliver massive value, he’s able to charge a premium fee. It’s because he’s delivering massive value. So it’s easy to fall back and say, “Well, I’m doing the same thing and I’m getting different results.” No, if you’re doing the same thing, you will get the same results. So step back, take some extreme ownership and say, “Great. Where am I not doing it?” Micah’s wearing a suit and tie to work every day. You’re wearing an unbuttoned shirt. Maybe that’s the issue.

These different steps, they seem so small, but for the client experience, they are everything in the world. So this is where I’d say hey listen, if you haven’t brought in $10 million of your new money this year on your own, you need to look and say, “Hey, what are Matt and Micah doing that I’m not doing?” By the way, there’s other examples of this.

We had at our conference a guy named Sten Morgan who was on Kitces podcast. Sten, brilliant advisor. Gives his presentation, one of the guys in the audience, long time friends of ours, says, “I can’t believe that Sten can charge so much for what I think is basic stuff.” And we turned it back to him, we said, “Hey, we can’t believe that you’re delivering so little value that you have to charge one third the price that Sten charges.” Don’t push it on somebody else. Pull it back to yourself and say, “Hey, where can I deliver more value?”

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, I want to bring this up in a client example of a client that hired us this year.

Matthew Jarvis:   Please.

Micah Shilanski:  We’ll just call him Bob. So when I was looking at his and Sue’s situation and going through it, one of the things that I found when he contacted us, Bob had been on our newsletter list for years. He opens up almost every single email we’ve sent. He has gone through our online courses. He’s gone through bootcamp that we’ve done. He’s gone through three critical concepts in retirement. He’s gone through all of these online courses. He’s been on several of our webinars that I’ve been there. So he’s done a lot of different stuff. So when I’m getting ready for this appointment, I was like, “Holy crap, this guy knows everything I’m going to say. So it’d be really easy for me to step back and allow head trash to come in. What am I going to say to him in this one hour meeting that I haven’t said to him over years of delivering content and value and information that’s out there?”

But that’s not why he contacted us. He contacted us for a particular reason. So definitely coming into that and saying, “Great. How do I help? How do I add value?” While I’m in the meeting with him, he’s almost finishing my sentences because he knows what I’m going to say. He knows about the bucket strategy. He knows about the federal retirement. He knows about the certified summary of federal service. He knows about these things because he’s actually done the stuff we talked about on the webinar.

So when we get talking about it, so one of the things that can easily come up at head trash, “Well, great. He’s already done all these things. He’s already gone through it. Am I actually adding value?” Well for him and his wife, he was done wanting to stay on top of this, and he wants to move to the next chapter of his life. And he wants to bring in a team member in order to take charge of this where he doesn’t have to focus on this the entire time. The value that we provided was not filling information. There was a couple of things that we kind of brought out that he didn’t know, but for the most part, he’s fully on top of it. But just by us being there and taking charge of it was the piece of mind that he wanted and that he was happy to pay for so he could move onto the next chapter.

So the value that we add isn’t always saying $400,000 in taxes. Sometimes the value we add is simply being there and being a leader in these cases.

Matthew Jarvis:   Oh, it really does. Boy, Micah, that’s really fun. I’m just kind of noodling on all of the lessons that are drawn out of that. But that’s exciting stuff, and it’s always fun to… One of my favorite things about doing masterminds or lives or this podcast is to hear from other advisors who are really doing it and saying, “Boy, when you had this situation, what did you do?” So when you had this situation where the guy came in, he can complete your sentences, what did you do? There was no value left to add. But in fact, there was always value left to add. People want that second opinion. They want to have somebody who can point them in the right direction. It’s why you still go to the doctor, by the way. There’s nothing the doctor knows that’s not on Google.

It also speaks I think, Micah, to when you come to those prospect meetings not holding anything back. There’s sort of this, “I have to hold back my cards until they agree to become a client.” No, I’m not going to spend a lot of time until I’m being paid. But I’m not going to hold back strategies. I’m going to say, “Hey listen, here’s everything we’re going to do for you. By the way,” this is something I learned from Sten Morgan, “this is low hanging fruit. This is what we saw on our first pass through. Imagine what we’re going to do if we work together month after month.”

Micah Shilanski:  I love it. And this is something I’ve talked about with my junior advisor Christian as well a bunch. That different in mentality from where he came from to where we are. I says, “No, give it away. We’re not holding anything back in that initial call.” I will give out as much value because guess what, if I give all the value and they want it and they don’t want to work with us, perfect. Then they get to walk away from the meeting saying, “Guess what, Micah’s a great guy. He gave me ton of information. Nope, I didn’t want to work with him. But it was a solid meeting,” versus it’s not a timeshare sales pitch where I’m locked in this room where they’re not going to deliver value. I want to give as much out as I possible can in that hour, and the value’s going to stand where the value stands. If the client deems it as valuable as I think it is, then they’re going to hire us. If the client doesn’t think it’s valuable, rock on, then we don’t work with them.

Guess what, I have prospect meetings that we are not a good fit. We’re talking about all the wins. I could also talk about the other ones that says, “You know what, here’s what you need to do. We’re not a great fit to work together. Maybe it’s a personality. Maybe it’s a productive. Maybe it’s a profitability.” Those are my three P’s going through these. But it’s just not a good fit. Those are okay meetings to have as well because I want to be selective in who I’m working with.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, on that note, I’m going to be transparent. I had two prospects this year that I thought were going to be a good fit. We went all the way through the one page financial plan process, step-by-step-by-step, and we get through the end of it. We do some Q&A, and then they just disappear. They quit calling us back. They quit responding to our things. Quit responding to email, any of that. On the one hand, I always like to step back and dissect and say, “Great. Where did our system breakdown? Where can we deliver massive value?” On the other, I have to make sure that I’m mentally in the right place. That my head trash doesn’t crop. That I say, “Great. They weren’t a good fit for us. Whatever we offered was not what they were looking for. Next.” I’ve got to move on. I can’t get hung up. I want to dissect and learn. I can’t get hung up and beat myself up and say, “Oh man, if I didn’t close that prospect, I’ll never close another one every again.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, then for me on that head trash side of it, this is really important about a solid prospect funnel. Because I can look at my dashboard right now, and I could pull it up and say, “Great, I got X amount of prospects in the queue.” Now, you could say this is selfish or you could play whatever head games you want, but I’m going to say for my head game when a client tells me no and it’s not a good fit because we want to close all of our clients. We want to work with all of these clients and add value. So it’s really easy for us to get rejected.

So I can step back really quickly and say, “You know what, it didn’t work out working with Matt. But I got 17 other people that are in the calendar that are excited to see me. I am excited to be able to work to them, and I can come at it from an abundance mentality.” Because I render that same thing, and my mental hack, that’s how I have to hack it so I can keep in that super positive attitude.

Matthew Jarvis:   You’ve got to have that, Micah, that head hack. Like you said, you can call that whatever you want, but you’ve got to just figure out what works for you. It’s the jocko, like, “Good. Now I have more time to prospect.” Perfect. If it’s Micah’s, “Hey, I’ve got 17 more people in the pipeline.” If it’s simply like, “Hey, you know what, all I need in the entire world is 100 great clients and that guy wasn’t a fit,” perfect. I only have 100 spots to fill. It’s not a big deal. I don’t need 10,000 clients a day. I’m not McDonald’s where I got to sell a million meals a day or it doesn’t work.

Micah Shilanski:  Absolutely love it. Well, Jarvis, of course this podcast is all about action items as much as we love to rant and to go into this stuff. What do you say we make a little pivot right now to some action items that our listeners can implement this week to dramatically improve their practice.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. I love it. Well, for members of The Perfect RIA Programs, Backstage Pass, and Invictas, there will now be a vault online that will let you see all of the one page financial plans and financial plans that we’ve created for prospects this last year. That way you can see exactly what works. So that’s going to be a really excited one. Also it’s a spot for other members of the program to post what has worked and what has not worked so that we can learn together.

Micah Shilanski:  Talk about something that’s going to be tremendously valuable but a little bit like getting naked in front of everybody. Advisors don’t want to share their financial plans for whatever reason, and I really think this is going to help change that culture that’s going to be there because we all need to learn. And it’s not about what did you miss. It’s about how you added value in different ways. We can always learn. So I’m super excited about this vault. Throwing a bunch of stuff up there. Of course, anonymize, having other people look at it. And for me, it actually makes me a little bit nervous. But I think it will be phenomenal because it’ll really help me learn and improve my game.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I’m with you. It does make me a little bit nervous as well, but I’m really trying these days. If something doesn’t make me just a little bit nervous, I’m probably not trying very hard. That’s a good Coach Joe Lucas, right? Comfort is the cancer of success. If you’re not a little bit uncomfortable, you’re probably not doing it right.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, I’m going to say your second action item that needs to be here is track your numbers. Measure what matters. This is really, really important. Now, we shouldn’t have 72 different numbers that you track. I got a one pager that I look at for the pulse of the firm. How are we doing? How are we accomplishing things? What are getting done I think is really important. But what is working; what’s not? I’m going to also add to that. It’s not just about tracking your numbers. It’s about what is your process that you go through, and this is really, really important. Again, this is like a preflight checklist. Really important that airline pilots, they go through a checklist every single time because they want a safe landing on the other end. If we want to add massive value to clients, we need to make sure we’re going through everything.

Here’s a really easy example, in one of our processes that we have is we check your retirement application for 33 things that we found that are often mistakes on a retirement application. Great dishwasher roll. The clients like, “Wow. There’s 33 items you need to check on retirement application.” Yup. And we’re going to go through each of those things. We have a checklist that we’re going to go through on each of those things. Now if all of a sudden someone goes, “I’m going to pick on Jarvis.” A federal employee goes to Jarvis and Jarvis says, “I’ll look at your retirement application.” Well, Micah’s going to look at it and check 33 things. What is Jarvis going to do? So what is your process and how are you communicating that process to your clients is really, really important.

Matthew Jarvis:   Oh, I love that. Action item number three, you have noticed in this episode and in almost every other episode that we talk that tax planning is a critical area to deliver massive value. If you haven’t checked it out already, go to your podcast app and look for the Retirement Tax Services Podcast with Steven Jarvis, CPA who is in fact my brother. But because so many advisors have asked for additional knowledge on tax planning, we’ve worked with Steven to speed up retirement tax services. So be sure to check out that podcast, and you know what to do, give it five stars as well. Really appreciate that support.

Micah Shilanski:  I love it. And last one I’m going to throw out here real quick, there was a great guy… We had a ton of great presenters that spoke at live quite frankly. We need to probably break down all of their presentations for future podcasts, but we talked a little bit about Sten Morgan. He has a phenomenal program for advisors on learning how to charge fees. I’ve been charging fees since day one. I hang out with Sten in Tennessee as well as in Arizona, brilliant guy. Wonderful the way he goes through it because it’s all about delivering value to the client. It’s not about charging a fee. It’s about delivering value to a client and you getting paid what’s worth. So it’s awesome. You should definitely check that out as well as his book. What is it? What’s his book title again?

Matthew Jarvis:   Wish I Knew That Sooner. Wish I Knew That Sooner. So while that’s a client facing book, you’ll again notice that Micah and I were actually dissecting it before this podcast. All of the things that he did in here that were pure genius, not necessarily from the strategies themselves. Those are also bright, but just how he’s articulated this book, pure genius. And why is it so good? Because Sten is meeting with clients every day. He’s not talking about what he thinks might work in a client meeting. He’s saying, “Hey, last week I met with a business owner, and I quoted them a $40,000 fee because I showed them $400,000 of value. Here it is and let me white board this out for you.”

Micah Shilanski:  Absolutely outstanding. Awesome. Well, the last action item, as usual, jump on iTunes, give us five stars. Those reviews help out a lot. Send this to a friend. The nation is growing, which we’re super excited about. We have some amazing things happening. If you heard the word Invictas and you don’t know what it is, you need to contact Shelby in our office. We have some amazing things that are coming out directly for advisors. Until next time, happy planning.

Matthew Jarvis:   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.

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