The Biggest Prospecting Frustration is Easily Avoidable

The Biggest Prospecting Frustration is Easily Avoidable

Written by: Tyler Hoffman | www.tylerhoffman.ca

The lack of emotional connection and personal story-branding is keeping potential clients from connecting with their would-be Advisor or Broker.
 

Over the last 2 months, I have been on a quest to find the #1 frustration Advisors experience when it comes to prospecting.

Some said they hated cold-calling, while other’s wouldn’t prospect if it rained out. Interesting. A few stated that they loved prospecting because they realised it was a numbers game, and some didn’t even know where to start, which is concerning considering most Advisors I talk to come from “career shops” where they training is recognised as being some fo the best. It was when I went through it years ago.

But from the 500 or so that I personally connected with, the biggest frustration for them was getting people interested in sitting down for a first time meeting.

“Getting people interested in sitting down and then taking action stood out as being the #1 challenge for Advisors.”

You Are The Source
 

Know this to be true. Whatever we are experiencing prospecting-wise, we are the source of it. Trust begins with us. We have to give it to get it, and it’s earned incrementally over time. There was a general tone with most of the folks that had identified this as being their #1 frustration, and the tone was: people suck, people are lazy, people aren’t intelligent. While I have often felt this at times, the reality is it begins with us. If people aren’t into us or our message, it’s pretty egocentric to put the blame on them. We need to accept ownership.

Get a Better Message
 

Instead, we need to look at what we’re saying, how we’re saying it and be clear on if our message is mutually serving or is it putting the focus back on us, our company or the product. This flow chart helps to uncover why or where your approach may have gone sideways. We call it the “interest breakdown” flowchart.

Granny Had a Gun
 

My Grandmother, a Re/Max Hall of Fame Realtor; built an empire through emotional connecting, supporting the community and being there for others. She never sought out the listing or sale. They always came to her as a result of being empathetic, interested in people and listening to what interested them.

She was also a master at highly targeted guerilla marketing to stay top of mind (indirectly). Her personal interactions were always about who she was with, whereas her “own the neighbourhood” approach to local guerrilla marketing allowed her to remind people that she just so happened to be in the Real Estate business. Brilliant.

So what can Advisors take away from Gerry Adair?

Have a Personal Story
 

Having a personal story connects our prospects to our soul, our passion, our vision and what we’re taking a stand for. It also uncovers our motives for being in the industry and what we see possible for our clients. A personal story is not an elevator pitch, it has substance over sizzle. Why are we in the business we’re in? How did we get here? What obstacles did we have to overcome, and how will this benefit our clients?

Ditch the Pitch
 

Unless our firm is entirely unique or has a social enterprise component, let’s agree to ditch the idea of “selling” our company. Nobody cares. If we belong to a nationally recognised firm, the brand is well established, and consumers already have confidence in it, so there is no need to resell something that doesn’t need to be sold. This just distracts people from getting to know you, and you, them.

Focus on the Outcome
 

The outcome is the tangible benefits of what the plan, product or strategy will produce. It’s the emotion. This is what interests consumers. A very very small and obscure group of the population will be interested in getting a financial plan or having a financial review done. So take a page out of Gerry’s book and focus on life events, community involvement and leverage what interests your soon to be a client.

Know That You are Percieved The Same
 

Financial Services is highly commoditised, so it doesn’t matter what firm or brokerage you’re with, differentiation comes from 3 places: the initial approach/contact, the discovery conversation, the service that follows. Innovation wins hands down all the time. So look for creative ways to introduce the tangible befits of what you provide.

Being Different Showcases Your Strengths
 

Be unique in the discovery process (ask more then we answer, listen and learn), over-deliver on service, adopt a high-touch white glove approach to showing we have both the resources and capabilities to serve them. 54% of clients feel that their Advisor doesn’t have time for them according to a recent report.

Detox Your Brand & Ignite Your Story
 

In as little as 3 days Advisors inside our Story Selling Club reposition their personal brand, develop a compelling personal story and design 4 attractive invitations (that match each of the 4 types of buyers) to turn their prospecting around. Want in the club? Knock on the door at www.storyselling.club

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Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

What a week it was.

First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history. On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I extend my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.

The memory of the shooting was still fresh in people’s minds during last Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of Blade Runner 2049, which nixed the usual red carpet and other glitz in light of the tragedy. Before the film, producers shared poignant words, saying that in times such as these, the arts are crucial now more than ever.

I had the distinct privilege to attend the premiere. My good friend Frank Giustra, whose production company Thunderbird Entertainment owns a stake in the Blade Runner franchise, was kind enough to invite me along. Despite the somber mood—a pivotal scene in the film even takes place in an irradiated Las Vegas—I thought Blade Runner 2049 was spectacular. Even if you’re not a fan of the original 1982 film, it’s still worth experiencing in theaters. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s synth-heavy score is especially haunting.

CNET recently published an interesting piece examining the accuracy of future tech as depicted in the original Blade Runner, from androids to flying cars to off-world travel read the article here.

Still in the Early Innings of Cryptocurrencies
 

Speaking of the future, I spoke on the topic of the blockchain last week at the Subscriber Investment Summit in Vancouver. My presentation focused on the future of mining—not just of gold and precious metals but also cryptocurrencies.

Believe it or not, there are upwards of 2,100 digital currencies being traded in the world right now, with a combined market cap of nearly $150 billion, according to Coinranking.com.

Obviously not all of these cryptos will survive. We’re still in the early innings. Last month I compared this exciting new digital world to the earliest days of the dotcom era, and just as there were winners and losers then, so too will there be winners and losers today. Although bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be the frontrunners right now, recall that only 20 years ago AOL and Yahoo! were poised to dominate the internet. How times have changed!

It will be interesting to see which coins emerge as the “Amazon” and “Google” of cryptocurrencies.

For now, Ethereum has some huge backers. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), according to its website, seeks to “learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production—Ethereum.” The EEA includes several big-name financial and tech firms such as Credit Suisse, Intel, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, whose own CEO, Jamie Dimon, knocked cryptos a couple of weeks ago.

To learn more about the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, watch this engaging two-minute video.

Understanding blockchain in two minutes

Will Bitcoin Replace Gold?
 

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more headlines asking whether cryptos are “killing” gold. Would the gold price be higher today if massive amounts of money weren’t flowing into bitcoin? Both assets, after all, are sometimes favored as safe havens. They’re decentralized and accepted all over the world, 24 hours a day. Transactions are anonymous. Supply is limited.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

But I don’t think for a second that cryptocurrencies will ever replace gold, for a number of reasons. For one, cryptos are strictly forms of currency, whereas gold has many other time-tested applications, from jewelry to dentistry to electronics.

Unlike cryptos, gold doesn’t require electricity to trade. This makes it especially useful in situations such as hurricane-ravished Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of people are reportedly still without power. Right now the island’s economy is cash-only. If you have gold jewelry or coins, they can be converted into cash—all without electricity or WiFi.

Finally, gold remains one of the most liquid assets, traded daily in well-established exchanges all around the globe. Every day, some £13.8 billion, or $18 billion, worth of physical gold are traded in London alone, according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The cryptocurrency market, although expanding rapidly, is not quite there yet.

I will admit, though, that bitcoin is energizing some investors, especially millennials, in ways that gold might have a hard time doing. The proof is all over the internet. You can find a number of TED Talks on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, but to my knowledge, none is available on gold investing. YouTube is likewise bursting at the seams with videos on cryptos.

Bitcoin is up 350 percent for the year, Ethereum an unbelievable 3,600 percent. Gold, meanwhile, is up around 10 percent. Producers, as measured by the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, have gained 11.5 percent in 2017, 23 percent since its 52-week low in December 2016.

Related: Gold and Bitcoin Surge on North Korea Fears

Look Past the Negativity to Find the Good News
 

The news is filled with negative headlines, and sometimes it’s challenging to stay positive. Take Friday’s jobs report. It showed that the U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September, the first month in seven years that this happened. A weak report was expected because of Hurricane Irma, but no one could have guessed the losses would be this deep.

The jobs report wasn’t all bad news, however. For one, the decline is very likely temporary. Beyond that, a record 4.88 million Americans who were previously sitting out of the labor force found work last month. This helped the unemployment rate fall to 4.2 percent, a 16-year low.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

There’s more that supports a stronger U.S. economy. As I shared with you last week, the Manufacturing ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 13-year high in September, indicating rapid expansion in the manufacturing industry. Factory orders were up during the month. Auto sales were up. Oil has stayed in the relatively low $50-a-barrel range, which is good for transportation and industrials, especially airlines. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, continue to climb above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages as excitement over tax reform intensifies.

These are among the reasons why I remain bullish.

One final note: Speaking on tax reform, Warren Buffett told CNBC last week that he’s waiting to sell assets until he knows the plan will go through. “I would feel kind of silly if I realized $1 billion worth of gains and paid $350 million in tax on it if I just waited a few months and would have paid $250 million,” he said.

It’s a fair comment, and I imagine other like-minded, forward-thinking investors, buyers and sellers will also wait to make huge transactions if they can help it. Tax reform isn’t a done deal, but I think it has a much better chance of being signed into law than a health care overhaul.

Frank Holmes
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Frank Holmes is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes purchased a controlling interest in U.S. Global Investors in 1989 and became the firm ... Click for full bio