Our Family of Companies
western & southern financial group
western & southern life
columbus life insurance company
eagle realty group
fort washington investment advisors
gerber life insurance
integrity life insurance company
lafayette life insurance company
national integrity life insurance company
touchstone investments
western & southern financial group distributors

16 How Many Great Ideas Can We Fit Into One Episode?

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
Share:
The Whole Truth Podcast Episode 16

Steve Seid:
And welcome everybody to The Whole Truth from the Bay Area California, I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from Atlanta, Georgia, I'm Kurt Dupuis. Seid, you might be able to tell a particular timbre in my voice right now because I am elated to get it started today.

Steve Seid:
You look excited.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, I am. So most people might have put together by now, you might as well, that I grew up in south Louisianan, very proud of that. You had a materially different type of upbringing, growing up on the East Coast, now living on the West Coast, so I thought given the cultural wasteland that you are unfortunately not able to experience by living in the South, I thought I'd educate you a little bit on a segment that I think I'm going to call teaching Seid Cajun.

Steve Seid:
Wow, okay, I'm into this, let's do it.

Kurt Dupuis:
You ready?

Steve Seid:
I'm ready, yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay, so the exercise goes like this. I'm going to say a word, you have to try to spell it-

Steve Seid:
Oh, get out of here.

Kurt Dupuis:
... and then try to use it in a sentence.

Steve Seid:
You know what, Kurt, I'm bad at spelling. I think everyone's bad at spelling now, let me ask you this though, is everyone bad at spelling because we all rely on spell correct in our emails-

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes, absolutely.

Steve Seid:
So I just want to know, if my-

Kurt Dupuis:
I studied English in college and I still feel like I have to default back to spell check every now and again, yeah.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, I feel like my fifth grade self could be better at spelling than where I am now, but let's try this anyways, I'm open to it.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, first let me establish a base of knowledge. So, when you think of south Louisiana, one of the first things many people think about is the food. So have you ever had any food from south Louisiana?

Steve Seid:
Oh New Orleans…Well, I've been to Louisiana one other time when I was really young but since then the only other time I've been there was to New Orleans and yeah. I love that city by the way. Let me just say that. I don't think I've had a bad meal in New Orleans. I really, don't think I have.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm not sure they exist. Okay. Well, we'll start easy. Okay. What are the crustacean bottom dwelling river creatures that are commonly eaten in dishes in South Louisiana.

Steve Seid:
Crawfish, I think.

Kurt Dupuis:
Crawfish, very good. See, that's not that hard. You know how to spell that, so I'm not going to test you on that. So let's get a little bit more complicated still in the food theme though. Spell it and maybe use it in a sentence. Roux.

Steve Seid:
Oh, God. I don't even know what that is. I'm going to say R-U-I.

Kurt Dupuis:
Not bad. Yeah, and some funky vowels in there, that's A for effort. R-O-U-X. Roux is the base of any kind of stew, a gumbo, a sauce piquant. It's a Cajun gravy kind of mix. Half flour, half fat. So you mix them together, you stir them together for a long time, my mom has always called it a three beer roux. If you ever had three beers while you're sitting there stirring, it's not a real roux. It's the base of most South Louisiana cuisine, yeah.

Steve Seid:
And that's on a lot of different dishes, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
A lot of dishes, yeah.

Steve Seid:
As I was thinking about it, you asked me about, best meals. I had some kind of breakfast that had this gravy on top of it. It was an egg dish but it had some kind of gravy on. Yeah, I guess that's the basis for much of the food down there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Roux is a big deal in French and south Louisiana cuisine, I believe.

Steve Seid:
Okay, good. I'm getting educated. This is good, let's keep rolling.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. Boudin.

Steve Seid:
Oh, God.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's heavy food theme on these words.

Steve Seid:
Can I ask if there's an X in the word?

Kurt Dupuis:
No X. No X in this one.

Steve Seid:
No X. Wow. I don't even know. Say that word again.

Kurt Dupuis:
Boudin.

Steve Seid:
I mean, I don't even know B-U-D-A-H.

Kurt Dupuis:
B-O-U-D-I-N.

Steve Seid:
Oh, wow.

Kurt Dupuis:
Now, if you've never had this, let me just do me a favor.

Steve Seid:
I spelled Budah.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's like a dirty rice, which is rice, some meat, spices wrapped in a casing, right? Like a sausage. But it's rice inside not like a pure fat and meat that you'd find in sausage but I love this one because, I've a really good buddy from Pittsburgh who now lives in Houston so he gets exposed to this stuff a lot more for the life of him can not say the word boudin. He thinks of every other concoction, every other way to say it, but he cannot say the word boudin.

Steve Seid:
I think I'm with him. I don't really know what it is. The sounds that are coming out of your mouth right now, so I'm kind of with him.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'll quit torturing you and maybe I will just drip in a little bit more South Louisiana education for you-

Steve Seid:
I love that.

Kurt Dupuis:
... in the future.

Steve Seid:
And I got to tell you, clearly it's an area that I need improvement because I'm not sure I got anything even remotely right in this whole thing.

Kurt Dupuis:
Say boudin for me.

Steve Seid:
Boudin.

Kurt Dupuis:
Boudin, there you go. Yeah.

Steve Seid:
Is that right?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's not hard.

Steve Seid:
But I don't know like the tail end, I just kind of trailed off. I don't know what the sound is at the end of that.

Kurt Dupuis:
When in doubt trail off, that works.

Steve Seid:
I just trailed off. Like really that's how I sounded reasonable there. Well, that's great. Thank you, Kurt. We're a little bit more educated on the South, we'll continue doing that. We're going to transition to a conversation with our internals, which we are excited to introduce you to. It's going to be a fun segment. These are great guys, we wouldn't have them on if we didn't wholeheartedly believe in them and their talent. And we're going to continue down our path of client service and we asked them to come up with 10 client touch ideas. So we're going to grade them on how good those ideas are, you're ready for that part?

Kurt Dupuis:
A great part about this is we gave them the chance to roast us because they see like the good, bad and ugly of everything that externals do. I think we ended up just kind of roasting them because they started off strong and tapered off at the end.

Steve Seid:
This is going to be great. So as always, you can reach out to us at thewholetruth@touchstonefunds.com. Check out the website for old at episodes touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. We'll be right back with our internals.

Disclosure:
... The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Kurt Dupuis:
... And welcome back to the Whole Truth. Well, we've got a really fun one for us today. This, might be titled like “How to Roast a Wholesaler”, I don't know. We'll see which direction it goes. Steve and I have both invited our internal partners. They're going to talk about what their life looks like on the desk. We're going to throw some oddball questions at them see if we can fluster them a little bit because it's what we do on our day-to-day jobs.

And most importantly, we're going to talk about client service ideas. So touchpoints that are not simply reactive but ways to really elevate your game with clients, to really integrate yourself more with those clients. So they've each brought a few ideas, we're going to talk about those, rate them, what are we going to do Seid? We're going to do like the up or down we're going to do like diving scores?

Steve Seid:
I think we'll do up down or sideways. So “Up” meaning, wow, that's really cool. The financial professionals that are listening to this should think about it for their service model. “Down” being, go back to the drawing board. What are you doing? And “Sideways” means, Eh, not terrible. I'm not going to tell you that you did a horrible job, but it's ah? But listen, this is about service matrix where you're thinking about, what are the types of client contact you're going to do with your tiers of clients. And these two gentlemen we say, "Hey, go run off, go research some stuff, come up with some ideas that the community should consider." Is that fair?

Chris Fangmann:
Seems fair

Jason Zawalich:
Works for me.

Steve Seid:
So lets intro them.

Kurt Dupuis:
So the monolith known as Chris Fangmann, my partner in crime, we've worked together for over three years, we took the dead last territory to first, last year and he has won “Internal of the Year”, I don't know how many years in a row now. He's a force to be reckoned with and the only bad thing about him is he's a Notre Dame fan, Mr. Fangmann. So Chris, tell us a little bit about you.

Chris Fangmann:
Yeah. So I've recently just got married a little bit over a year ago. I've been working in financial services pretty much my entire life.

Steve Seid:
Starts with marriage.

Chris Fangmann:
Yeah, love and marriage.

Kurt Dupuis:
She's going to be listening.

Chris Fangmann:
Oh, at some point she will, for sure. Been in financial services my entire life working for a large investment manager first and then coming to a Western Southern and Touchstone so coming up a little bit over 10 years now. Working with Kurt really coming on four years now I mean, I would say every day, I probably talk to him if not the same, maybe even more, more than my wife so we're definitely really close, definitely enjoy working together.

Kurt Dupuis:
Super odd yet completely normal in this relationship.

Steve Seid:
Who drives that communication? Is it Kurt calling you all day long or is it you calling him or what's the ratio?

Chris Fangmann:
I'd say for us, it's pretty even. We try to talk at least in the morning for a while and then usually in the afternoon.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, one of his signature marks was the 8:00 AM on the button call. Like, "Hey, I'm in the office. Let's get after it, let's go every single day."

Chris Fangmann:
I'm working, you need to be as well.

Steve Seid:
That's good. I like that. That's pretty good. So let me talk about my man Jason Zawalich, so I'll give you a background. I've worked with a bunch of different internals and they all ended up getting promoted just because, I don't know, you guys can do the math on that….

Kurt Dupuis:
A little humble brag.

Steve Seid:
I was searching for an internal, search I'm meaning interviewing different ones within the firm and outside. For whatever reason, we just had to hire a bunch of internals. And I talked to a few of them and the moment that I talked to Jason, I said, "This is the dude.".

Kurt Dupuis:
Love at first sight, huh?

Steve Seid:
This is the guy. And he's come on and he's crushed it, but with that intro Jason, intro yourself?

Jason Zawalich:
Yeah. So I started about almost two years ago now working with Steve at Touchstone. I'm also married, so shout out to the wife. And I have a 15 month old son that's been keeping us busy during quarantine but I've enjoyed my time at Touchstone. I've enjoyed working with Fangmann and everybody and I'm excited to be on the pod today.

Steve Seid:
You know Kurt, that's two more shout outs to the wife than I think you or I have given.

Kurt Dupuis:
We've ever given. Yeah.

Chris Fangmann:
We’re smart!

Steve Seid:
Are they better than us? Is that what's happening with this?

Kurt Dupuis:
Luckily, my wife is not a listener, so I think I'll be okay.

Steve Seid:
Your wife hasn't listened to the show?

Kurt Dupuis:
Maybe once.

Jason Zawalich:
I would hope she's a subscriber though, right? She at least hits the follow, right? On the podcast?

Kurt Dupuis:
No, we don't fudge the numbers on this podcast.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Becky listens but she just doesn't understand a lot of it but she still gives it a listen from time to time. She loves Costanza Corner. Actually, that's a good transition point. Are you guys regular listeners and don't lie because we'll quiz you.

Jason Zawalich:
I have listened. I usually try to listen to some in the morning while I'm doing emails or whatever, since we are on the West Coast.

Steve Seid:
Do you hear this answer? This is the most hedged answer I've ever seen. Are you a listener or not Jason? Answer the question.

Jason Zawalich:
Absolutely. I'm also a subscriber on my podcast app.

Steve Seid:
Fangmann?

Kurt Dupuis:
Truth corner.

Chris Fangmann:
Same thing. I'd listen, I'm a subscriber. I will say I haven't listened to every single one religiously.

Steve Seid:
When did you first gain an understanding that we were doing a podcast? And what was your honest feeling and thought when you heard it.

Chris Fangmann:
Honestly at first I was like, "Okay, this is cool but can we use this time to just reach out to advisors more and sell mutual funds?"

Steve Seid:
Oh, interesting. Yeah. So you thought this was just a gigantic, potentially waste of time?

Chris Fangmann:
I mean, has it affected a sale yet? We'll see.

Steve Seid:
Oh, it definitely has but it's about more than that. I think Kurt needs to educate you, man. What are you doing with this guy Kurt? 

Kurt Dupuis:
Because it sounds like my grandpa talking about podcasts.

Steve Seid:
What about you, Jason? I don't want to speak for you, you tell me. I think we listened to a very rough version early on.

Jason Zawalich:
Yeah.

Steve Seid:
Was that the first time you heard about it?

Jason Zawalich:
So same thing. I saw some some things on your calendar where it seemed like you were doing something but then I was educated on it by Steve. As Steve's internal, you're educated on a lot of things. And this one I was educated on. Actually on our way to Bloomington, we went to a basketball game at IU.

Steve Seid:
Ah Hoosiers.

Jason Zawalich:
And we listened to the very first Whole Truth podcast before it came out.

Steve Seid:
That was before we had a support on the back end, Kurt, you remember that first couple of rough recordings

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, that was the first one that we did?

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Steve Seid:
That we did, yeah. Where we were just trying to figure it out and the audio volume was all over the place. I was snipping music out of everywhere and-

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, it was all you. Your volume was plenty high, mine was the soft one. You were trying to mute me out even back then.

Steve Seid:
That was true. That was the one where I was super loud and we could barely hear you at all.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, very subliminal there, Seid.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, I'm sure that was my fault. No, it was hard figuring out all that technology. Well, thanks for coming on gentlemen. 

Kurt Dupuis:
I just want to open with setting the scene because I don't know how many financial professionals actually know what the day to day of an internal sales person looks like. They probably get calls and emails from internals, they may or may not take them or receive them. But I wonder if you could give not only a sense of what the job entails but like what's the culture and the camaraderie like on an internal sales desk?

Jason Zawalich:
Well, I can speak to culture and camaraderie is great especially on our desk. I think a lot of it is just trying to stay organized because there's always two competing versions of what you're supposed to be doing with on the desk, you have certain metrics you have to hit, calls you have to make, emails you have to send but then also your main client is the external partner that you worked with.

So you're really have to do what they're asking you to do to help drive sales or continue to grow the territory. So it's always trying to find the right balance between both those things to help maximize our efficiency as well as yours.

Chris Fangmann:
Yeah, and I would just pretty much echo that I mean, I think a big thing that we kind of struggle with or something that we need to usually work through is, what's the difference between activity versus productivity? And you got to find a really good balance between that because the firm's going to want us to make sure that updates are being sent, things are being done which is really really important from a top-down level. But you always got to make sure that you're dripping on, you're either prospective clients or you're current asset holders of the right type of information, the right type of messaging.

Jason Zawalich:
Yeah and having two bosses is never easy or serving two masters is not easy and at least for Fangmann's side, he is the eternal optimist, never complains it but it is a delicate balancing act I'm sure. And Seid, were you ever an internal?

Steve Seid:
No. I came from the product/investment side of our house, so I never was. When I was in my old role, I had training responsibilities so I did a lot of interaction with the sales desk so I kind of know what it's about, but no, I've never had to do that job but have ultimate respect for the folks that do it for sure. You say Fangmann never complains, I don't know. Do you give him the opportunity to complain? If Jason just complained, I probably just hang up on him, you know what I mean?

Kurt Dupuis:
And that's how we're going to keep it.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, that’s right. You make the point about being optimistic and positivity. This dude is like, he's one of these guys that like even if he gets pushed back down, he'll just get up and do it again like they're much more resilient than we are as externals, there's just no doubt about it. And it's admirable, it really is, it is.

Kurt Dupuis:
I believe that and I know that to be a hundred percent true. Fangmann, have you worked with several different externals? We've been working together for a while but I'm curious what horror stories you guys have working with yahoos like us.

Steve Seid:
And include us in these stories if you think that we deserve it.

Kurt Dupuis:
By name or not, it's your call.

Chris Fangmann:
I mean, I would just say the biggest, I guess not even point of contention but just-

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, look, he's mincing his words already.

Chris Fangmann:
...a frustrating part can usually be on like the technology side usually. I've worked with a couple of different people where it's like, "Come on, man. What do you mean it's not working, I gave you the exact steps to do, it should be working."

Steve Seid:
I think with Fangmann, we got to hook him up to a lie detector test on this thing.

Jason Zawalich:
He’s a politician.

Steve Seid:
Because he's hedging so much. Jason, I'm curious from your perspective, and you worked in the annuity side for a long time-

Jason Zawalich:
I did.

Steve Seid:
... which is a whole other thing.

Jason Zawalich:
I've worked with some great people. I think sometimes the biggest challenge or thing that could be frustrating is just a lack of communication because you are getting pulled in a lot of different directions. So that constant communication is very important and if you don't have it, you can kind of lose your way a little bit.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. That's fair. What's some annoying things that I do that you don't like that you want to tell our audience about?

Jason Zawalich:
I value our relationship and my job so I'm not going to say anything too annoying.

Steve Seid:
Are you listening to this?

Kurt Dupuis:
You wusses.

Steve Seid:
C'mon.

Jason Zawalich:
It's nothing that's annoying but people that work with you know you're very focused on process and preparation so much more hands-on than maybe some people are which is not a bad thing, I think it's worked great for us. Not to say annoying, I think you've been different that way than some of the other people I've worked with in the past.

Steve Seid:
Who have just said like, "Hey, just do this and tell me about the outcome." Is that what you mean?

Jason Zawalich:
There can be a lot of people that would just turn you loose which sometimes is just because of that lack of communication, there's really no clear cut plan on, how are we working together to achieve our goals. It's really just, "You go do that, I'll go do this and we'll see if it shows up in the sales report."

Steve Seid:
So last question before we get into the ideas around client service and touch points. You guys have all called on, worked with different areas of the country. Do you find it to be very different in different areas of the country or is it all ultimately the same? Jason, you could kind of lead the way here.

Jason Zawalich:
Very different. I've had territories in the South, I've had New York, New Jersey. People in the South, very talkative, much nicer, I would say at most times and they'll talk to you a little bit longer.

Kurt Dupuis:
Hell yeah!

Jason Zawalich:
If you call people in New York, New Jersey, you get a lot of people say talk fast which is fortunately something that I'm good at but it's very more direct in that area of the country.

Steve Seid:
How do you find San Francisco?

Jason Zawalich:
San Francisco is definitely very different. I want to say it's more closed off than most. I think people are harder to get ahold of but I would say is more general. It's nothing that really stands out one way or the other.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well in the West the time change hurts too.

Jason Zawalich:
Absolutely. Starting at 11:30, it's time to start making some calls because you only have so many hours in the day.

Steve Seid:
Morning he’s just getting over his hangover anyway.

Kurt Dupuis:
After a market update.

Steve Seid:
It actually works out well for him.

Jason Zawalich:
There's pros and cons.

Steve Seid:
All right. So should we transition Kurt and get some client service ideas flowing?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, let's jump in and listen to what the boys brought for us today.

Jason Zawalich:
Perfect.

Steve Seid:
You guys are going to share an idea and Kurt and I are going to kind of aggressively judge it. Is that okay with you guys?

Chris Fangmann:
That's perfectly fine.

Jason Zawalich:
Yeah, we're good.

Kurt Dupuis:
Ok so Seid, are you going to be Simon Cowell or am I Simon Cowell? The good cop and you're bad cop or how are we doing this?

Steve Seid:
Can we both be bad cops?

Kurt Dupuis:
In. I'm in.

Steve Seid:
... or just do it that way?

Kurt Dupuis:
Done. Yeah.

Steve Seid:
Okay, cool. So Fangmann, why don't you go first? We'll have you lead the way on this.

Chris Fangmann:
Yeah, sure thing. So for clients when they come in for one of their quarterly investment reviews with you, when they park, have your buildings' carwash take care of their car, detail it up really nice for those type of premier clients.

Kurt Dupuis:
I like that.

Steve Seid:
Is it almost like an opt in or how do you think about that?

Chris Fangmann:
It would definitely have to be a smaller group of clients but yeah, you would just opt them in to it I mean, like for instance, in our garage, there's like certain spots that you can park into which are carwash spots. So you would just have them park in those spots while you're having your investment meeting with them and catch up or get lunch with them. When they come back their car is completely clean.

Jason Zawalich:
Wait a minute, we have carwash spots in our parking garage?

Chris Fangmann:
We do.

Jason Zawalich:
That's incredible. I didn't even know that.

Steve Seid:
You didn't know that? Fangmann's got a whole side of garage for that. That's where they let the good internals park on the other side with the car washes and all that stuff.

Jason Zawalich:
Yeah, I'm down in the basement unlike the-

Steve Seid:
We got to park down the street, that's Jason's spot.

Kurt Dupuis:
So this is coming from a guy who might be a little obsessive about a clean car but I'm giving that a thumbs up for sure. I mean, I subscribe to a service where I can do unlimited car washes a month and I use it once or twice a week so I love a clean car. So I think that's a nice little touch. It's probably costly, so you're right, it's not for everybody but that's a nice little touch for premier clients.

Steve Seid:
I think that's a thumbs up too, I concur. That's pretty good touch. You might get people coming in just to get their car washed but it’s a great contact point.

Kurt Dupuis:
But I have to limit it to once a quarter.

Steve Seid:
We just reviewed your portfolio like last month-

Kurt Dupuis:
On Tuesday.

Steve Seid:
... but I went off roading, so it's time to review. All right. Thumbs up. Good start out of the gate for you Fangmann. All right, Jason, let's go. What do you have my friend?

Jason Zawalich:
What about a podcast or a blog? Keep it relatively short but something that you could send out to your clients, they can access on their own time, whether it's market updates or tips on retirement planning or saving for retirement, whatever the topic is.

Steve Seid:
So I'm going to give it a thumbs up. And I think the point about just figuring out now the same thing that we're doing here, other ways of communication that aren't just email and in-person, that's the direction this industry has got to go so I'm giving that a thumbs up.

Kurt Dupuis:
Really it's just medium, right? The medium doesn't really matter, it's passing knowledge to that client. So I think whatever medium you use to do that is good and that's the kind of stuff that should be, especially in a supernova type model, that's the stuff that should be scheduled. I'm giving you a thumb sideways though because I don't think that really elevates the human experience with clients.

Steve Seid:
Let me challenge that a little bit Kurt because what I'm seeing a lot of teams do as email communication, they'll take whatever the firm puts out and they sort of blast that email out to all their clients. Very minimal effectiveness, whereas I think if you do something a little bit more personal as opposed to an email blast, the chances are your clients will probably appreciate that more than the email.

Kurt Dupuis:
So let me clarify. Are we talking about sending someone like someone else's blog or someone else's podcast or an article written by someone else? Or is the FA driving the content creation here?

Jason Zawalich:
FA would be driving that content creation.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, then two thumbs up my bad. I misunderstood. So I have a client that is getting into this as well and he just talks about market updates, how he doesn't have to do this with a hundred clients now. He makes a video, sends it out, that's the market update for clients. If you think about the multiplicitous benefits of technology, that's a huge time-saver for a quick three to five minute update.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, I think there's real leverage there. Okay. Fangmann you're up?

Chris Fangmann:
Okay. So very single client has a birthday, but you can do for your lower level tier clients, a call which of course is great but what you can do for your higher tier clients is then either you or your CSA utilize like Uber eats, Grubhub and send them some type of like birthday treat. Kurt and I actually did this with a prospective client in Nashville and the guy wrote us an email back and said it was one of the nicest things anyone's done for him from a wholesaling standpoint. 

Steve Seid:
I don't know how you argue against that one. That's a thumbs up too. I get happy when I get the card on my birthday but stepping it up even more, that's a thumbs up, Fangmann. 

Chris Fangmann:
If you try to do this for every single person, it's going to be too much but that's where the fair but not equal kind of stands in.

Steve Seid:
Kurt, what do you think?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm a big bundt cake guy. I love the bundt cake. Fangmann and I together actually in Arkansas we've had a couple of big bundt cake runs. Who's not going to smile when you give them a bundt cake?

Jason Zawalich:
There's almost value too if you send them the same thing over and over again though because then every year they're like, "Oh, my financial advisor sends me this. I love it every year." And that kind of sticks with them.

Steve Seid:
There's two ways to go about it is, have some variety but if you have a place that just works and everyone loves that makes some sense. Okay, Jason, you're up?

Jason Zawalich:
So I have client appreciation events but things you can do that aren't in person since we are living in this COVID world, you could do online yoga, online cooking classes, a virtual wine tasting.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think that's great. I don't know how some of those go off, like an online cooking class, for example, I think it's a great idea. I'd be interested to see how that works in reality. But those are the things you have to think about right now to stay in front of folks and stay relevant.

Steve Seid:
I give it a thumbs up but I've been getting a little bit of feedback. Kurt, I wonder if you are as well, that people have been surprised, maybe how much better the zoom client events have been to the in-person. They cost less, the clients don't have to travel, more people participate than they do in person. I mean, I know you're giving something up, what do you think Kurt about that?

Kurt Dupuis:
I think virtual engagements are just here to stay and I just say that because I've talked to so many non-tech advisors and financial professionals that never adopted technology that are now and once that hamster gets out, it never goes back in. I think it's actually genies not hamsters but you mean what I know.

Steve Seid:
We'll go with hamsters, yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, yeah. Because you can get critical mass at a cheaper price point, I think those are going to be part of everyone's world going forward to some extent.

Steve Seid:
I just think you've got to learn from them a little bit like learn what does and doesn't work over zoom calls. How many zoom calls have you guys been on where they do the Q and A at the end, when there's 85 people on the call and they try to get a Q and A and say, "Stop with the Q and A not necessary." And there're certain things that are just not going to do well over zoom but that's okay. Focus on things that do well with this type of media. Yeah, but that's a great idea Jason, all thumbs up. Kurt, I think even if we like some of these at the end, we're going to have to give some thumbs down because you can't just give everything.

Jason Zawalich:
Got to be very critical.

Steve Seid:
All right Fangmann go up, I'm going to tell you right now, thumbs down but go ahead.

Chris Fangmann:
Okay. So this would be something for only your, lets call it your Top 10% of your client base because of the associated costs in it but it's a great way to really supernova your practice.

Steve Seid:
Pause for a second.

Chris Fangmann:
Sure.

Steve Seid:
I noticed something about Fangmann. Fangmann only likes the A clients and likes to spend a lot of money. Do you get that out of his client ideas? He's like the D clients forget it. Go ahead. Sorry, I just wanted to interject and screw you up for a minute. Sorry Fangmann.

Chris Fangmann:
Fair but not equal.

Steve Seid:
He told you the beginning.

Chris Fangmann:
So this would be one where as an FAs client base is generally older and what's something that's going to happen to all of them? They're going to move. Well when they move to their new house what you could do is, you can actually have an artist commission just like a small portrait of their old house, where they were able to create all those great memories, have them hang it in their new house. All their friends are coming over and they see, "Wow, where'd you get that?" You could be like, "Well actually my advisor was able to do this." 

Kurt Dupuis:
Well go ahead Seid, you already giving him a thumbs down. I think it must be tough for you to give him a thumbs down on that one.

Steve Seid:
Let me throw some questions out there. One, how much do you think that something like that runs? That's question one.

Chris Fangmann:
Yeah. So there's varying amounts. I mean, you can do app based ones because I've looked into it already since I just sold my old house and bought a new house. So you can do an app based one for about $50 which those that can be a great touch point for your Cs and Ds.

Kurt Dupuis:
He's coming at you with research.

Chris Fangmann:
It depends on how high you want to go.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, there's clearly a price point where anything would make sense but to know that it's reachable for 50 bucks makes it pretty attainable.

Steve Seid:
Let's say a book that has a 120, 150 households, do you think each year you're going to get probably at least a few moving? Is that the assumption because the idea is filling out a service model with touch points that you can rely on. Can you rely on this? And is it something that fits in a service model?

Kurt Dupuis:
My agent here in Atlanta told me that in Atlanta, folks on average turnover their house just about every five years, I was surprised. I mean but I've also moved two times in five years, so I see how the numbers get there. 

Steve Seid:
So you go first Kurt as I think this over in terms of where I want to score this. What's your grade?

Kurt Dupuis:
I think it's a very creative idea. Seid's question is relevant but also if people are moving every five years, they may not also have that strong emotional attachment to the house. But I don't know if it's a thing that you can do each and every year like I said, the house I moved from two years ago, I've got some nostalgia. I brought one kid home there but I brought a couple of kids home here, so it means something differently.

Steve Seid:
So what's your ultimate score?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's an idea that I think people can use today and I like it. So I'm giving it a thumbs up.

Steve Seid:
I'm going to give my first sideways. I love the idea. I think it's a good one.

Kurt Dupuis:
“Seid” ways? Did you just come up with that?

Chris Fangmann:
He was determined. There's no way that thumb was going up.

Steve Seid:
The only reason I ding it is just because of the repeatability. If I'm trying to figure out a given year, I want to do 12 touch points with this client. How do you rely on something like this as being a consistent part of the model? I guess you could design it, that you do it. If that happens, it replaces another one. But just with regards to the repeatability and the consistency, I'm going to give it a sideways.

Kurt Dupuis:
I don't disagree with anything that you said because of the numbers, you're not going to have the opportunity to do this regularly. But I think when you keep your ears open and yes, Seid, your heart, these are the kinds of ideas that can get in there. And I think like be really meaningful engagements with clients. And that's I think at the core of what we're trying to get to.

Steve Seid:
You know what I'm going to revise it. I'm going thumbs up, I'll tell you why, because of what you just said. Remember I talked in the episode about actionable personal where you listen to these things and then you find ways to take action, clearly “Move” could be a part of that. So you won me over Fangmann, thumbs up. So now Jason you're about to get my thumbs down so go ahead.

Jason Zawalich:
So you could host like a weekly, monthly video chat either to discuss market updates, financial planning tips. Maybe you bring on other professionals like a CPA or a lawyer and then you can encourage your clients to bring maybe friends or family maybe they know that they have a question they'd been talking to them about, problems with a financial advisor or they're interested in a lawyer you have on for your weekly chat and that's a good way you could maybe bring on new people through this weekly, monthly chat that you would have.

Kurt Dupuis:
It would have to be done really well I mean, I'm already thinking of caveats. So I think it had to be of high quality. You'd have to really stay on top of who was attending because those types of things if you had the same people attending them over and over again which you tend to do, like people just want something to do sometimes, it loses its efficacy. So it had to be really well thought out. It could work though so I'm going to give that a Kurt way, a sideway, Kurt wayside thumbs situation.

Steve Seid:
I see what you did there. I see what you did there. I think I'll give you a good idea but you're going to get the first sideway finger.

Kurt Dupuis:
There it is, with authority.

Steve Seid:
Alright. Fangmann.

Chris Fangmann:
So this one would be pretty easy. In the South, one thing that people really care about as well as in the Midwest are their sports teams. You could give them one piece of memorabilia that's maybe signed or just like a t-shirt or like a polo of a college or professional team that they're big fans of.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay, this is my first sideways. Fangmann, you're getting too fancy. I've been to the LSU alumni events where they hawk this memorabilia that's signed. This junk’s pricey. Even as an Avid LSU fan, I think you'd really price yourself out for this. So I think it's a good idea but implementing that, I'm giving you the sideways thumb.

Steve Seid:
Agreed. And I take a personal offense to saying that the South and the Midwest are bigger sports fans than the Northeast or the West Coast.

Kurt Dupuis:
I was wondering if you're going to take exception to that.

Steve Seid:
The Bay Area like their sports teams, they really do.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, have you ever seen people at an Oakland Raiders game or pre-departing Oakland Raiders?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, I did. Yeah, but they're leaving.

Kurt Dupuis:
They're gone, but yeah, those guys are nuts.

Steve Seid:
But even the Warriors for all those years when they weren't good, those are those fan bases were good even during the bad years.

Kurt Dupuis:
And that's what he takes exception to.

Steve Seid:
What was the idea again? I forget the rest of the idea.

Kurt Dupuis:
A Steph Curry signed jersey that he wore in game six in the 2018 finals, that's what it was.

Steve Seid:
But having said that Fangmann, the same thing I feel about the sideways we gave to Jason, I think there's something definitely usable there, you hear in the client conversation. You write those sports teams down because those are easy things to follow up on. Someone sends me a New Jersey Devils or an Indiana Hoosiers, I care about that stuff so I think there's some real value there. But signed stuff I mean, you could sign them yourself maybe you just fake it. Just have your assistant do it and just kind of feel like, "Jerry Rice, okay, here you go."

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, something I've seen around here because the Georgia/Florida games always played in a neutral site. And so a lot of people in the Atlanta area are not flocking to Athens. They do like big tailgating house parties for those events. And they use them as networking where you get something that people do love, to your point Fangmann, sports. Get a bunch of people together but the food and the drink flow and use it as a marketing event just as a social event. So I think that's definitely in play but the sign Steph Curry, Oh, that's tougher.

Steve Seid:
All right, Jason, you're up?

Jason Zawalich:
Okay. So you can allow clients to pick a complimentary book off of the New York times bestseller list or something like that or if you do have some bookworm clients, maybe you send out a quarterly book, everybody reads it and then you start a little book club maybe have an in-person meeting to talk about it.

Steve Seid:
So here's how I know Jason doesn't listen to the podcast because in our initial episode that is my idea that I gave out. So big thumbs down Jason because I already gave you that idea.

Jason Zawalich:
That’s full circle…That's professional, that’s bringing it back full circle on the podcast because they're great ideas.

Steve Seid:
Although the book club is a little bit of a different spin to it but because I now know that he's not listening to it. Do you take offense to that Kurt that our internals are not listening to our show? I just want to see if my offense is justified, are you offended?

Kurt Dupuis:
You know, often times visionaries are not appreciated in their time. Sometimes it takes years or decades later for other people to see the wisdom in that view. So I just think we're ahead of the curve, that's all.

Steve Seid:
What's your score of that? Do you disagree with the thumbs down?

Kurt Dupuis:
Considering he plagiarized one of your ideas? Yeah. I'm going to give him the double thumbs down.

Steve Seid:
All right. You want to do one more piece from these guys Kurt?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. Let's roll with one more.

Steve Seid:
Okay. All right. Fangmann, let's go.

Chris Fangmann:
Okay. So this would also fall into that, you know, life event, when they do have a child, you get them a piggy bank with their child's name on it. I mean, it can be one off of Etsy, I've looked them up, $12.50 at the lower end where then you can go all the way up to like a Tiffany version of it which would be very expensive.

And again it's one of those things where if you do spend up, people are going to be coming in into that kid's room and they're going to see it. And they're going to wonder where you got it from.

Kurt Dupuis:
Now, The only thing I'm going to give you points for there is how eloquently you explained it. And also the fact that you brought up that it's in people's house and they will associate that with you when others are in their house because I don't think I made that point when I made that same example on a previous podcast.

Steve Seid:
What is going on with the plagiarism here? What is happening? I think we need to quiz them on the show. Like they need to listen, I was joking before.

Kurt Dupuis:
No they don't. We know they don't listen. They're showing their stripes right now.

Steve Seid:
Now we know.

Chris Fangmann:
So is this a repeat episode just with us on it?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, what was funny is I think you even said Tiffany's during that, didn't you? Didn't you bring up Tiffany like it was almost word for word.

Jason Zawalich:
Chris got that idea off this great podcast he listens to. I just forgot which one it was. It was this one. 

Steve Seid:
Well at least we know when we're looking at our numbers -- and they've been pretty good, we've been pretty happy with them -- that they're not just people in our home office listening, Kurt.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, inflating the numbers at least. I mean, this is like, if your mom didn't even listen to your podcasts, which I know Mrs Seid is a big, big fan so I would never presume that, but like our own internal partners don't even listen to this thing man. That's wow. Y'all cut me deep Trek, you cut me real deep.

Chris Fangmann:
Who would've thought these are layups for thumbs up because they were your ideas. Now your thumbs downing your own ideas-

Steve Seid:
Is that what it is?

Jason Zawalich:
... we thought these were no brainers.

Kurt Dupuis:
Sloppy seconds.

Jason Zawalich:
All right, Jason. Let's go out strong here. Come on. Let's leave on a high note.

Leave on a high note, okay. So one I have is to share non-financial tips. So some examples they have is like recipes or we talked about books, an article about a favorite vacation destination, this would definitely be more customized to the individual client stuff that they're interested in. Maybe you share something once every six months or once every quarter but something that doesn't have to do with their finances and financial planning.

Steve Seid:
That was like one I gave but not exactly so I'm not going to crush.

Kurt Dupuis:
Google alerts. Google alerts.

Steve Seid:
Is this in individual or is this on the all client level?

Jason Zawalich:
This would be individual.

Steve Seid:
It would be individual.

Jason Zawalich:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steve Seid:
So walk me through that scenario like a legit hypothetical scenario.

Jason Zawalich:
Let's say for something like you, we could send you something about IU basketball or something about the New Jersey devils whatever it is, something that is off topic of financial planning to kind of share an article with you or like, "Hey, did you see this?" That's just off the top in my head. Like I said, the examples they gave were like, if you have somebody that cooks, you could send a recipe or somebody that's going on vacation to Italy, you send them something you'd looked up about Italy or maybe a place that you've been to something they could check out. Just something that's definitely customized more to the individual client not something you're going to blast out to the whole book.

Kurt Dupuis:
Is the they you're referring to when we talked about this, about setting up Google alerts on the things that your clients are interested in? Is that the they you're talking about?

Jason Zawalich:
No, this has nothing to do with Google alerts, even though that's a great idea. It's something that I learned out of a podcast that I was listening to but I didn't want to go word for word on it.

Steve Seid:
So definite thumbs down because that's another plagiarized item.

Kurt Dupuis:
They started with so much hope too.

Steve Seid:
This was something that we talked about in the early podcast called, that actionable personal, which we recommend that everyone do. But yes, we have to give a thumbs down because we've done this already. What's our conclusion here Kurt, after we had three plagiarisms in a row or four?

Kurt Dupuis:
We got off to such a strong start man that.

Steve Seid:
I thought we're going to have to find.

Jason Zawalich:
I should have saved some of my virtual client appreciation ideas. I went too many at one time, I should have just gone one at a time. Boom, boom, boom.

Steve Seid:
Let that be a lesson to you, Jason.

Jason Zawalich:
I learned it. I learned it today.

Steve Seid:
Well, I thought we were going to have trouble finding thumbs sideways and thumbs down but then we went to the plagiarism section of the recommendations which made it really easy. Well, let's sum up. Let's figure out what we learned here. Now the truth is, we wanted to introduce you all to our internals for those who don't know them, they are really, really great guys. We can objectively say that these are some of the best internals that you will talk to, we are as comfortable with anyone in our audience interacting with them as we are to either Kurt or I so wanted to bring them on, have a little bit of fun with them.

Despite the plagiarism, they had some good ideas up front and the takeaway is always to think about your client service matrix and up the game consistently and define those contact points and create those processes and we'll continue to share ideas like this. Kurt, anything from you?

Kurt Dupuis:
That's it. As always you can reach out to us at touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth or citizen email, thewholetruth@touchstonefunds.com and share some of the ideas that you have or roast our internals for plagiarizing us.

Steve Seid:
Constanza Corner is coming up next, stick with us. 

And welcome back everyone. We are in our Constanza Corner, Kurt, I think you're leading the way.

Kurt Dupuis:
I am. So it was going to play off that first segment of the show about Cajun words and by the way those were kind of cupcakes as it comes so you could have to study up on your Cajun because we've got some fastballs heading your way next time. But it made me think a lot about my MawMaw which was my dad's mom growing up because she would make the best gumbo. She made like four dishes in the world but they were all phenomenal.

And thinking about Constanza Corner, I ran across this story about a 10 year old kid who lives in Sicily who couldn't visit his 77 year old grandmother in the UK just because there're no flights, there're kind of clamped down over there during COVID. And so it took him weeks to convince his dad but he ended up convincing his dad to do the 1700 mile hike and hike all the way to the UK just so the kid could hug his grandma.

Steve Seid:
Wait, wait say that again? Where was he coming from?

Kurt Dupuis:
Sicily.

Steve Seid:
So how did he cross the ocean? He took boats?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm sure he took a ferry or something but yeah, there were no flights to take him from Sicily to the UK to visit his grandmother. So in this time where maybe everyone can't see their family like they'd like to, this inspirational story of a 10 year old kid that just wanted to give his grandmother a hug. I found very uplifting.

Steve Seid:
I love it. Let me ask you this. How are you not a million pounds from growing up eating the Louisiana cooking? And I feel like when I leave New Orleans, I am just 10 pounds heavier than I was before I got there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Good genes man. It's just good genes.

Steve Seid:
That’s it…you guys know how to eat it and not gain weight. I dig it. Thanks everyone for listening. We'll see you next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find the Whole Truth and subscribe for free on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple podcasts, it helps others find the show. And for more episodes of the Whole Truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth, that's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth all one word.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES
Please note that this content was created as of the specific date indicated and reflects views as of that date. It will be kept solely for historical purposes, and opinions may change, without notice, in reacting to shifting economic, market, business and other conditions.  

Touchstone Funds are distributed by Touchstone Securities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.