What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • What can make your credibility slip away.
  • How to properly answer or follow up on a subject you’re not 100% clear on.
  • Why you don’t want to give a “hard stop” answer.
  • How to balance your experience vs. knowledge and communicate that clearly.
  • How to add to your relationship capital.
  • What you can do to deliver massive value when a situation is out of your specialty.
  • How outsourcing or bringing in an expert can be a great way to help your client.

Giving a back-of-the-napkin answer when a client throws out a question you’re unsure about can be a dangerous game to play. In this episode, Matt and Micah share how they tackle questions they’re not 100% sure about and offer some great insight into how you can maintain credibility—even when you’re unsure—so your answers don’t backfire on you.

Listen in as they explain why letting your client know where you stand in knowledge and experience is key. You’ll learn why giving that clarity will help you maintain relationship capital (and not lose clients over B.S. answers), as well as the dishwasher rule and how you can provide answers that your clients appreciate.

Resources In Today's Episode:

Read the Transcript Below:

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

Micah Shilanski: Welcome back to another amazing episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your co-founder, Micah Shilanski and with me, as usual, Matthew Jarvis. What’s going on Jarvis?

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, just living the dream one day at a time. I’m pretty excited. I’m heading up to Alaska tomorrow for uniting just great masterminding together. It’s funny, Micah. We had a TPR live a few weeks ago before this recorded. Several people asked me, they said, “Well, Matthew, what is the ideal frequency for masterminds, if you have a mastermind group?” and I said, “I don’t know. That’s kind of a good question. I haven’t decided yet.” He said well, “What’s your frequency with Micah for mastermind?” and I said, “I might be embarrassed to admit, it’s like 6 times a year that we get together in person to mastermind.”

Micah Shilanski: It’s one of those things about what works well, right?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: One of the things that our buddies often describe about. One of them in particular, he goes back and says, “Whoa, how do you even get permission from your wives to go hang out that frequently and travel that much?” and my wife, Kelly, she’s amazing. She looks at it and says, “You know what, you just can’t argue with the results.” And that’s really it, I mean, we have a core group of great guys that we go and hang out with focus on personal lives and becoming better husbands, better fathers, those things as well but also on the business aspect of it.

In that forcing mechanism is really nice to have that date just you know what, I need to unplug and I need to make sure I’m there in order to be committed. Being out of the office, out of your local state is so important because you don’t get tied up into all these other things that happen.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, I would say one other thing that we could really do several episodes we have on this. Another thing for making that key for your family is you need to come back from your mastermind charged up and excited. If you come back from your mastermind, hypothetically speaking, smelling like cigars and hungover, that’s not going to win points for more masterminds, right?

Because Micah, you and I come back and our other mastermind friends, and we’re excited and were charged up and we’re full of life. We have new personal goals and new professional goals and new family goals and so it’s not, “Hey, let’s escape the party.” It’s, let’s create a format where we come back even better than we were before.

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Now, speaking of that, a format so were not better. What happens in this has just come up a couple times, in a couple different ways, but when you’re asked a question and you don’t actually know the answer. Now, I think the answer is because this is what happens most of the time. Most of the time, if someone has asked a question they don’t know the answer. They just make up an answer and maybe it’s something they’ve heard, maybe something they read on social media, I don’t know. They just BS their way through it. Clearly, since so many people do that, that must be the best way to handle situations that you don’t know the right answer to, right?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, it does. It may not be the best way, but I will confess, early in my career, it is a mistake I have made in. Even to this day, Micah, I have to catch myself and say, “Wait a second, if I’m not a hundred percent confident in the answer that I’m giving, I need to take a step back and just acknowledge that.” It’s really easy to do. We have a lot of head trash around that, but I just say, “Mr., Mrs. Client, I would be glad to give you a back of a napkin answer on this, but I’d like to do some more research. Can I get back to you on Thursday with a very specific answer to that? Is that okay with you?” Guess what, Micah, that works every single time.

I have yet in my entire career to have a client say, “No, absolutely not.” Hot seat. If you can’t answer it, you lose the million dollars. It doesn’t work that way.

Micah Shilanski: No, no, this isn’t high school at a pop quiz, right? This is real life where people want real and correct information. Now, the reason that this podcast came up is, I was on a marketing call with a client. We are going through some stuff in a marketing company suggested, they were doing some other in-person venues, and the marketing company suggested, they said, “A lot of people do raffles, you should do a raffle at your event because that’ll work.” I said, “Interesting. Tell me about your experience with raffles and how they work.”

In the marketing company’s person was, “Well, we’ve never done one,” and I was like, “I’m sorry, what? You just recommended my clients spend money in an event that you have no idea how they work. You have no idea of their level of success, but you told them to go and do it anyways because why?”

Now, for me, Jarvis, this marketing company lost all credibility. Everything else they said, I called BS on. That was there, and it really took a turn in the relationship capital. I mean, they blew all the relation capital in my opinion. I don’t believe anything they say now because they’re going to recommend things they have no experience in. Now, a very easy way they could have avoided this and let me know your thoughts on this, because you know what, at a lot of live events, there are people that do raffles, we don’t have any experience in that, but if that’s something you’re interested, you should go contact Bob. He’s done a lot of raffles and events and find out how that’s worked for him.

Matthew Jarvis: Spot on, Micah. I was just reminiscing how many early years of my career, I wish I could say it was just the early years, how many years in my career I spent following advice in our industry because of their, based on their level of conviction in the advice. I had sort of thought, “If people have a lot of conviction about their advice, therefore, it must be what works? I would try it, it would fail. I would go back and I’d say, “Well, what did I do wrong? When you did this, how did it work?” They would say, “Oh, I’ve never done it. I just thought it was a good idea.” Oh, oh, oh.

Now, I am over diligent, Micah, to your point with the raffle of saying, “Hey, when you had this situation, what did you do?” If they say, “Well, da, da, da, da,” I say no, no, no. I mean, sure, I’m really clear when you had the situation because the answer is either I had this situation and I did X or I’ve never had this situation and you’re certainly welcome to offer ideas after that disclaimer. I have never had that, but if I did, here’s what I would do. You got to make that clarity.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. It’s okay, right? There’s a fine line that it’s going to be here. It’s okay not to know things, and there’s two ways that we can experience the not to know things. Either direction, you have to be very clear that I have no experience in this, right? Now, I could have some theoretical knowledge, but I have no experience and knowledge inside of this.

A couple of things have become like with the TSP, when they had some rule changes that were going through, I said great with the TSP, the first savings plan, here’s the rule changes. In theory, this is how it’s going to work. In reality, I don’t know because we’ve never processed it because of the rule change. Now, 2 years later, after the rule changes, we have in theory what supposed to work than I have in reality, actually how things get done with the TSP. Because now, we have experience with it, right.

So in those times that you don’t know, you just need to be clear and say, “This is how it should work. I don’t really have any expertise, and there’s two ways that we can go about this. Number 1, we can find someone that has some expertise in that of which I’m delighted to do and we’re going to learn something together or we can experiment and here’s the risk, right”. But this is about letting that client no prospect whomever you’re dealing with to be very clear about what your level of expertise is because I kid you not, you are risking your entire relationship capital when you BS because they will find out versus you add so much relationship capital.

Jarvis, to your point, I did the same thing first. I didn’t want to say I didn’t know anything because I felt that I was showing my youth, showing my inexperience. Now, I’m delighted to say, “Well, I don’t know that, I’m going to have to find it out. I love learning new things. This is phenomenal. Now, I identify myself and my person as wanting to learn new things. I think this is great and I have never ever had a client get frustrated me whatsoever because I was not sure on their answer and I told them, “I need to follow up.” Sometimes, I need to follow up with 1 or 2 other experts to make sure I’m getting the right advice, and they are delighted dishwasher rule, I make sure I communicate that they are delighted with that information.

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, tell me your thoughts on this. But I think that as I reflect back, you and I talked to hundreds of advisors, thousands of advisors a year, I think that’s one of the follies of youth, if you will which I hate to use that expression because it makes me feel old. A lot of times, especially young advisors-

Micah Shilanski: I know.

Matthew Jarvis: We think that, “Hey, we have to show that we know everything. People that have more experience in life, they sniff that out, Micah, to your point. Right away, they say, “Wait a second. If you think you know everything, you clearly are just arrogant or ignorant.” When you say, “Hey, here’s what I know and here’s how I can get answers for the things that I don’t know,” that proves experience.

The dishwasher rule right is about always demonstrating your value. There’s not shame, in fact, there’s actually power in saying, “Hey, that’s outside of my expertise, but great news, I can get you the answer to that.”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. I think the aspect is sometimes, we’re worried about we’re going to say that all the times in a meeting and you’re just not, right. If you know your stuff and you know what you’re going through, there’s always going to be other areas that come up. One of them that came up, maybe you shared with us was Ash Murphy, right. You had a client yourself that you were working with and you just did not know the answers for and so you brought another expert.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’s correct. Actually referred this client to our friend, Ashley Murphy, who specializes in Australian Expat. We’ve talked about Ash before I say this back in Australia now, and interesting story Micah. This guy says, I’m Australian Expat, dada dada and I said, well I would love to work with you, I think we can deliver a lot of value but this is outside of my expertise now Micah, like you I love to learn. I could have dove into all these books and I could have started doing research but I thought this is outside of my way.

How I said, “Hey, we’re going to call him Dave. Dave, you’ve got to talk to this guy. Ashley Murphy, he knows what’s going on. A few weeks later, I followed up with Ash and he says, “Oh, it’s been great news, We work with Dave, we actually found him five million dollars in current year tax saving because of some nuance on how International Tax Law work that I had no idea on so had I decided to BS through this. There’s a very real possibility. I would have missed that five million dollars of tax savings and Micah, I don’t know the limits on your Eno policy that’s above my limits.

Micah Shilanski: Just think about that disservice to the client, right. When we try to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. What are we really doing? This is about niche marketing. Again, if we’re marketing to everybody, we’re marketing to nobody, how do we DMV deliver massive value in a some people come in and that an international situation and I geek out on taxes and part of me wants to say, oh boy I’d love to learn that and conquer that that’s not my niche, right. We have two areas that we specialize in and if you’re not in those areas, man, I don’t know if I can deliver massive value. In your situation, I can point you in the right direction, but I don’t know if I can deliver massive value and that’s what I’m going for now.

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, I think the same thing applies or possibly applies when we’re talking to our centers of influence, has right. Our accounts are suffering is right. There’s a delicate balance and a gray line. If you will stand in your own lane versus working. This is my chance to say, mister client my understanding is, this that or the other as we’ve worked with clients this that either, but we’re going to bring in your attorney just to make sure that everything is done correctly and again.

It’s so I’m leveraging other experts. I’m not pretending like I’m the center of all knowledge and wisdom in the universe.

Micah Shilanski: Is were going through as we’re going through our state planning process with clients. It’s exactly what we do. We say look in the state planning meeting, we just myself in the clients are going to chat about their concept of estate planning. They know, I’m not an attorney. The next meeting that comes in, we bring in the attorney, and the first thing I do after the introductions, that’s there. Christina, is they turn it we normally use? I said, you know what, Christina, we already had a conversation with the client about a lot of things. We’re going to go through that Mr. and Mrs. Client if I have misspoken about anything, this is why Christina sits at, sits next to me. She’s going to kick me and then look at me with some stern eyes. Then she’s going to correct anything that I’ve misspoken about, right. It will use a little bit of humor inside of there. Everybody always laughs and it’s a great way to highlight her expertise and it’s a great way to make sure we’re putting her as the expert as we’re going through things. Now we have a great working relationship. I generally don’t overstep my bounds anymore but any more about estate planning because I’ve learned a lot over time, but it’s one of those things about having a great partner and setting it up to say.

Hey, look, this is not my area of expertise. If I’ve made a mistake, good news. They’re going to correct it. Guess what, if I have made a mistake and the attorney, corrects it. Now that I’ve set this stage this way, does it look bad at me? No, no, it really doesn’t right, because I’ve already said, hey, I’m not an expert, these are things I was concerned about, we brought an expert in done. By the way people are used to this especially if their retirees, right. They’re used to having their general care practitioner and their or orthopedic surgeon and their oncologist.

All these different people are used to this. Now, Micah, I want to make sure people don’t take this to the opposite extreme. One extremist pretending like you know everything, the other extreme is just saying, I don’t know that heart stopped and making the client, then figure out where we see this, right? Like, I’m sorry, that’s a question for your attorney. It’s hard stop. Well, that’s that’s an incredible disservice, right? It may well be a question for their attorney, but the correct answer is, we, we are going to work together and we’re going to contact you turn fact. If you don’t mind, I’ll go ahead and email the attorney. I’ll include you in this and we’ll get an answer this.

If we need to have a call together, I’ll be glad to jump on that call. Is that okay with you? Nothing frustrates a client more or any of us more than just being told. I can’t answer that you’re on your own. Well, what do you for then, right? Like now you’ve, you’ve done the opposite the dishwasher while you’re like, I will not do the dishes, Ha!

Matthew Jarvis: Don’t think it’s going to go over too well.

Micah Shilanski: Not my day to do the dishes not my day. That’s right. I do it on days that end in s. So, yeah that’s not going to go over really well. One of the things that you can also apply this for is employer 401K accounts. Now again I specialize in federal employees but federal employees are married and their spouses generally aren’t federal employees. Sometimes, they are most of the time they’re not, that means I got to know how these other 401K plans worker to find benefit plans worker, wherever the other employers are. What do we do on those calls is I don’t ask the client to tell me how it works. If it’s a plan, I’m not familiar with, guess what? I said. Great. Let’s login together.

Why do I say that? I don’t want the clients login credentials, number one, and I don’t want the client to tell the client to login. That’s going to be painful if they don’t have it. Then we set up a meeting with myself or my ops person. They do a zoom meeting, we do a screen share, we go through the client’s account with them. We get all the information direct from the custodian direct from the 401K provider. We get all the investment allocations recommendations, right from them then we go to the client with exactly what they need to do in the terms. I don’t say go buy a growth fund inside of the 401K because they’re 72 million different growth funds with fidelity, right?

I want to go back and look and say great which is the growth fund, the client needs to be in and we will be precise in that allocation exactly what it’s called because as we all know, 401K plans are notorious for changing the names on the exact same thing. It’s yeah. How are you adding value in that? It could be as simple as I don’t know. Go talk to an estate planning attorney. That’s a way to communicate but not a way to add value or it’s I don’t know. Let me get an answer for you with ABC attorney and this is when I’m going to follow up or that’s a great question.

Let’s log in together to XYZ program and let’s find the answer. I’ve done joint calls with HR reps before with some of our executives that get hired because I’m not familiar with them, the H highly compensated employees plans that they offer. I want to know how they work, and it makes it really good for me asking the question because it doesn’t make the client feel stupid, because sometimes, when the client calls the custodian, the 401K provider, the HR provider on a highly Deferred Compensation Plan, sometimes, they’re really weird rules

The client doesn’t know what to ask that make feel stupid about it. If I’m running that call for the client, the client feels great about it because we’re getting all the information and the client doesn’t feel stupid just then that emotional experience.

Matthew Jarvis: Totally.

Micah Shilanski: I love do each, we’ve talked about this before in other podcasts. I love to preface those calls with. Hey, listen a lot of these groups speak Greek. right their financial jargon is so thick. It might as well be Greek. Great news. I speak that same language will be on the call together and I’ll interpret for you what it is. They say in Micah will find the solution together, right. We’re looking for, as always, tell my kids were looking for opportunities, not problems. This is making you a partner in success, not a roadblock, right? This is really, really important saying, I don’t know, hard stop. Now you’ve become a roadblock and success. If you say boy, I don’t know, but we can do a call together. I don’t know, but I can reach out to ABC and get you an answer. Now, you’re a partner in success, which is what we want when a client’s run into a challenge in their financial lives. We want them to call us because nine times out of ten we have been there before.

Now if you’re thinking in your mind. Oh my gosh. What if a client asks question, I have no idea. I have no experience and will then perfect. That’s what forms are for. That’s what membership in, in the backstage pass and Invictus is all about is having a community of people that you can be around. This is great. I ran into this roadblock. What do I do? Having other people come in and guide you.

Matthew Jarvis: Now let’s put some criteria for success around this one as well, Micah. And I’m going to pick on you just because you are here are very tempting advisors to say, oh, I have a client with federal employee question.

I hear Micah talking all the time about this niche. I’m sure I can just email him and ask him all of the questions that I want. Now, you may catch might well, number one, my cousin, check his email, you reckon. Let me catch you on a good day at a conference. He might say, well great. I’ll answer that for you but you’re going to have more success just like with centers of influence if you reach out from a position of respect of the authority and respect to the experience. If I reach out to Micah and say Micah I’ve got this thing I kind of pay for an hour of your time and pick your brain has, or can I join the Invictus program and pick your brain outright.

Come to the person showing some respect for the knowledge that you want. You’re asking them a favor. You’re saying basically like, hey, I know you spent years, possibly decades, learning this. Could you just give me the short cut? That’s not a key to winning friends.

Micah Shilanski: You know, which is actually funny because we had somebody reach out. I used to know and Biddy, and he reached out and says, hey, I’m doing this really weird federal employee situation. It actually was just a standard retirement, but whatever and said, would you tell me what are their pensions going to be? He gave me all the numbers and I’m like, “No, how about you jump on my website and it’s super easy to figure out, right, but coming to me to do your work for you. I am in no way designed but had he had come to me and said, hey my God, happy to pay for an hour of time. I’m new to Federal benefits. I need to learn A, B and C. Is there a way that we can work this out? That would be a completely different relationship than, hey, would you do all my homework for me?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, yeah. not to, not to beat up on this one as well but we kind of said I got this illusion in our mind that somehow people that are experts in the field sort of magically came upon that like they were gifted they were born taller or something like that.

They invested hundreds, thousands of hours to gain this research. Again, you need to come to the table, respect that you also need to appreciate on your own point. This 10,000-hour rule, that if I’m going to become an expert in any area, I’ve got a commit over years to invest 10,000 of my own hours to become an expert. It’s not a short path which speaks again, to niches, right Micah? You said, hey, I want to be expert in federal employees. And this, and this. There’s some path on your knowledge at which point there’s this diminishing return

Micah Shilanski: You know in just real-life example, it came to me this last year is I had a client that had a couple of Canadian RSP plans and I don’t really know what’s going on with the Canadian RSP plan and I’m sure I could figure it out. Well, through our community, we have someone who’s an advisor in Canada so I reached out to him says, hey, I have a client with a situation. I would love to pay for an hour of your time so we could sit down and you could explain to me how this works or if that’s not okay if you get at least point me in the right direction. I would really appreciate it and he came back as is no, this is super simple for me. I’m happy to answer your questions. He answered them and it was great.

Now, two things I did right there. Number one, I communicate with the client in advance. I was going to. I didn’t know what was going on. I was going to reach out to an expert that knew about it. I got a lot of brownie points from the clients for going above and beyond by going to a third party and getting them. I built great relationship capital. Hopefully, with this other advisor because I was like, look, I am delighted to pay for your time and he came back. This is Micah, other there’s no cost for it. I push back, I said no seriously, I am happy to pay for this because I would have to pay for an education either through the School of Hard Knocks, which can be really expensive or anywhere else and I’m delighted but he said “Nope, we’re good to go.”

So, it’s a really easy way that there’s a win-win all the way across the board. Oh, by the way, if he would have came back and said it was 500 bucks. I paid in a heartbeat because I learned so much in that time, and that’s where so much more than a credit hour or a CE hour that’s going to be there. That doesn’t actually help move our practice because this is a real-life situation.

Matthew Jarvis: That’s really exciting. Micah, I want to go back just a couple of points. We talked about delivering massive value to clients. This is something that we talked about perhaps in every episode, right? It’s the whole reason we created the perfect RA is to help advisors deliver massive value to clients.

And I actually had a near miss on this Micah. I was talking to a client last week. He’s getting ready, are he’s retired? He’s getting ready to buy a vacation property and I warned him. I said Dave again, all of our fictitious clients are Dave. I said Dave, just so when you go to apply for your mortgage they’re going to have some issues because you’re retired and you’re going to need a letter from us talking about your retirement income. And, I walk through this and he says “All great Matthew” that was really a lot of help when I get off the phone and I realized wait a second that was valued, that wasn’t massive value. I

Put it on him to get the answer. I put it on him to remember, what had to be done. I put it on him to ask us. Instead, I immediately went to my team and said, hey, do you have this letter right away? Give him these five bullet points of reminders when you’re applying for a mortgage as retiree send that out to him. The team sent it right out, he emailed back, he said he’s one of our top clients. He said, Matthew, this is why I work with Jarvis Financial because you’re always one step ahead on what I need. It was a reminder for me, even me after all these years of focusing on massive value to keep watching for NASA value.

Micah Shilanski: I love it and massive value. In this case, you could look at. It says all you did was send them a form two months earlier, but that’s a massive value because you made it easy for him to be successful. This could also be. If a client is going to buy a property, are you communicating with the real estate agent? That’s there. I’ve got a fun, real estate agent story I can tell you about in a second, but one really good way to do it is to communicate with the real estate agent. Get with a title company, set up all the wiring instructions. Why make that complicated for the client? If a client is going to buy a home and you’re going to send the money from Schwab Fidelity Custodians.

Your team should be running point on that transfer that needs to take place, get a copy of the contract. Contact the broker, contact the title company, get all that information outline so the client can just sign off on it. Why make them the middleman in this communication? Where things can just get screwed up. Works the same when we have clients selling as well, we’re communicating and the title companies wiring the money directly to Schwab and we are the point of that communication. We’re not handing them Schwab letters is great. Here’s your bank account wiring, number wiring instructions, we’re going to the title company and confirming that.

And again, it’s one step just to make that client experience easier.

Matthew Jarvis: I like that, Micah. I was thinking as you’re telling that story, I always try to find are corley’s in other industries. I was just thinking, imagine if I was staying at a fancy hotel and I called down to the front desk because I want new towels, and they say, well, you’ll have to call housekeeping. Here’s the number where like, they absolutely would not do but then we do that as advisers all the time. Hey, Matthew, I’m going to have to wire money. Well, they’ll have to call me, you’ll have to call them to call me. Like I’m doing no service of that is not massive is that like barely skating by.

Micah Shilanski: Perfect and this is also a great way that you can help avoid scams by the way because we’ve had several clients with properties in the lower 48 that are trying to sell them and what not and specially in Mexico are not lower 48 and down to Mexico and they’re trying to sell them on there’s a scam going on and because we run all the wires, we don’t give any instructions to clients whose great. We had a client call in Bob music. Hey, I’m selling this property. We need to send this broker. $25,000 boy, that’s a red flag right. Why are we sending the broker money in advance but he was really convinced. Sure, enough, it was a total scam.

And we’re able to discover that for him, right there, save him, $25,000. Now, how do we adjust given him the wire instructions and say, go to town. He would have wired out, $25,000 from his bank account, but we’re able to put a little bit more scrutiny on that. It’s a very easy story about why we ask clients for a little bit more information because we want to make sure their money stays theirs.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, and this goes back to where we started right, if you’ve never dealt with that as an advisor and maybe I’m just always reflected on my younger self, if you’ve never dealt with.

You can say, mister, missus clients, some advisors that mentor me, some advisors that I work with have run into this and I want to make sure that we never run into this, right. Micah and I and those of us that have done this for a few years can rely on our own experience. When you’re a new advisor rely on other people’s experience and don’t take it as your own right. Always have integrity. An advisor I work with has run into this and I want to make sure we never run into this.

Micah Shilanski: That’s perfect, Jarvis. On another thing that we delivered. Some has a value on with clients was it. Of course, we’re not real estate agents or brokers in any way.

But we generally like to get a copy of the MS, the contract before client signs it just to chat with them anytime the clients making a six-figure decision. We like to be involved in that decision, right? I mean, that’s kind of the way we explain it to clients, anytime, you’re going to make a big money decision, big money’s, whatever you define as big money, we would like to be involved in that decision just to make sure everything’s on the up-and-up. Well, buying or selling real estate is generally a large financial decision. As looking at a real estate contract and a client actually had was selling it without an agent, but they had found the buyer, they were doing all the selling the property was a decker million dollar house.

Well, the buyers had brought in their own real estate agent and the real estate agent one of the three percent commission in all they were doing was filling out an MLS form. It was a $65,000 commission that was on the table. Well, as soon as I saw this, I brought out to clients like, oh, I think we’re overpaying. He gave me permission, I had a very awkward conversation with that real estate agent. She was not happy to take my phone call and to go through this. All in short, we got that whittled down to the third.

I’d still a little over-the-top in my opinion, but saved them over $45,000 in excess fees. Because we were looking at these things and had I had not looked, had I not ask for these things in advance, then we there’s nothing we could have done once he signed the document that because we’re helping clients review large financial transactions. Were going to see things like that.

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, let’s have a moment of silence for fee compression. Be able to charge $65,000 for filling out a one-page form. That you only filled up because you had to fill out mister realtor, not because it added value. Just a moment of silence for fee, compression.

Micah Shilanski: Okay, enough of that. All right, whoa Jarvis. Yeah, it was so funny when I was talking to this real estate agent. She got, she got a little frustrated, I probably couldn’t handle the cold better but she had a little frustrated, the end and she goes, “You know what’s really irritating are? What’s really unusual is having someone who’s not related to the transaction at all, call in to negotiate my broker fees. I was like, that’s funny. You know what I find is really frequent but what shouldn’t be and she’s like, what I said taking a 3% commission on a leveraged asset. I just think that’s ridiculous personally but whatever, willing to have those awkward conversations is really important and again look at attorneys, look at doctors, look at real estate agents, commission salespeople, look at the fees in which they charge. I mean this your feet compressions not is not going away.

Like I bet it’s one of the point I want to pull out and we can jump into action items or anything else that you’ve got. That is sometimes I hear from advisors that say, well, man, my clients actually call me to talk about these kind of things like they limit their scope so much and I think nine times out of ten. The reason for that is you’ve set this expectation that client or allowed this expectation to be set. That your advice is very limited which could be when they call. They say “Micah, I’m really upset about this broker commission” so yeah that sucks. Well now the quite you said the expansion I’m not going to deliver value here. My value is very limited when you’re saying, Hey listen, any problem, you have of any nature we tell clients has all the time you have any problem of any kind financial or otherwise, reach out to us

Chances are we know the answer if we don’t we know who has the answer. Never hesitate. We want to same with referrals, right? You have any friends or family of any kind of money question, have them give us a call. We will always get them pointed in the right direction. I want to paint this as wide as I can doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon my niche. That doesn’t mean I’m going to travel outside of my lane but I’m going to make it as easy as possible. Amen, super important. Alright, this podcast is all about action items. Not just fun rants. Let’s go ahead and transition a little bit. Jarvis, what’s a great action item that our listeners can take away and implement this week to improve massive value to their clients?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. First one I would say is, have rehearsed your strategy for answering questions that you don’t know the answer to. I mentioned mine at the beginning. This episode, I can say that one as smoothly, as I can say, my name. Because I, and so, then I’m not caught off guard. I’m not saying well, maybe I could, maybe Tuesday. Could I? I just maybe that’s why. It was Matthew Jarvis. Hey, do you know the answer is? You know what? I don’t, but great news. I get you the answer by Thursday. Is that okay with you? It’s that easy. Yours needs to be as equally proficient, but in your words, right, Micah speaks, in his words, I speak in mind. You need to do this in your words, all right. Second action item when seeking advice from other people or when giving advice to other people, only look from experience not theory, this is not theoretical financial planning. This is realistic financial planning. When you’re getting advice from someone else, you should know how it works and their own personal situation and their own business situation. When giving advice to clients you need to speak from experience and if you do not have it. Great, get experience from the other advisors that are out there from the other networks and communities, etc.

So you can give advice from experienced know your lane. The more you know your lane, the more successful you will be in the more respected. You’re going to be by your clients.

Micah Shilanski: Total it.

Matthew Jarvis: Action item number three a bit of a shameless plug it is essential to belong to a community of like-minded advisors, we kicked off this episode by talking about our personal masterminds and we do we’ve done big masterminds for the industry.

You have to have a community of like-minded advisors with whom you can get answers and solutions, might get you. Even before this very call, this very podcast, we were bouncing back and forth an issue that one of us was facing and trying to find solutions. This community is essential if you don’t have that community, or if you want a better one, I highly recommend joining Invictus. Obviously, we’re biased on that, but it is an incredible program that we’ve built based on what really works for us. Now, Micah is hard to believe hundreds of advisors, have been able to help.

Micah Shilanski: Just absolutely amazing, you know what the funny part is when you’re dealing with your own problems, they seem so insurmountable. When you get to a mastermind, some other smart guys sitting around and you’re talking about your giant problem and they solve it in like three seconds. It is like it actually, is it actually is solvable. It wasn’t as big as I thought it was and it’s actually doable. It’s quite an amazing feeling.

Matthew Jarvis: You know, you have a good mastermind when you bring your insurmountable problem and they all get these big grins and they’re all so excited like cheetahs circling Frederick no no go on Matthew, tell us about how this problem can be solved and then just set the hook. But you know, we have fun with it. The value that comes out of that is staggering.

Micah Shilanski: Amen. Alright. This podcast all about action, so make sure you’re taking action this week, and until next time, 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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