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2020: A Look Back

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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Episode 19 The Whole Truth Podcast

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

Kurt Dupuis:
And here in Atlanta, Georgia, I'm Kurt Dupuis.

Steve Seid:
So clip show.

Kurt Dupuis:
I call it greatest hits. Is that presumptuous?

Steve Seid:
Greatest hits? Yeah, and we don't even want to say greatest as if some of the stuff we left off isn't great, but these are the things as we reflect back at the show and what we did last year, some of the clips that we want to reemphasize to you all. So if you missed any episodes, this is a pretty good one to listen to.

Kurt Dupuis:
So we're saying these are the golden nuggets, they just may not be all of the golden nuggets.

Steve Seid:
That's right. That's fair.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's fair. And the fact that we've been doing this for six months and we're already coming out with a golden nugget show is so preposterously arrogant that I love it.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Six months, and while we still got these heaters that we’re throwing out there.

Steve Seid:
Hey listen, I've enjoyed going back and relistening and pulling out the things, yep you know, it was fun.

Kurt Dupuis:
Same here man.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, it was a fun exercise. So I think we've got something in the range of probably six or seven clips. We'll set each one up. We'll kind of a quick reflection about each episode and then let it rip.

Kurt Dupuis:
I like it. And since we're just coming off the holiday season, looking into 2021, give us the gift of smashing that subscribe button. And more importantly, do two things for us. One is tell one person. If you are a financial professional and you are in the middle of the row of the office, the person next door, the person down the hall, the person in the corner somewhere in the office, if you actually are going into the office, tell them about the show. And the second thing is, send us an idea, or a comment, or a critique. We love to make fun of ourselves. So make fun of us and send that to the wholetruth@touchstonefunds.com. Let's keep the banter going. The interactions with you guys have been awesome in 2020. Let's continue that into 2021.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I think we're going to start with Jared Morris when we come back. So stay tuned, we'll be right back.

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

Steve Seid:
All right, so what we're going to do is start with a clip from Jerod Morris, which this is always the episode that Kurt makes fun of me about because I was a little bit of a kind of-

Kurt Dupuis:
Fan boy.

Steve Seid:
Star struck. Yeah, but I enjoyed this-

Kurt Dupuis:
He's really cool, man.

Steve Seid:
He was great. He was a big inspiration for the show when I was listening to some of the podcasts he does, I'm like, wow, this could be something that we can do. And the episode was interesting, because we basically were pitching what we were doing and why were we pitching this? Like why would we record this on a podcast? Because this show has always been about, hey, let's build this together. We want our audience to be part of those discussions in the brainstorming and the creation. And so I just got a ton out of this episode and there was this really interesting part where we were kind of going back and forth where it was like this aha moment where he described being the person that steps up and leads the conversation on behalf of a community, as opposed to this like super expert. And it's just like, bam, like the light switch-

Kurt Dupuis:
This omniscient power that knows everything.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. This is just exactly what we're trying to do, and so great episode.

Kurt Dupuis:
It was self-affirming too, because we had discussed a lot about our vision for this, but he's a podcasting expert, has a great physical presence, but also a media presence. And so to have someone like that corroborate the vast majority of the vision that we had was really self-affirming, and very cool to see.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, that was fantastic. So give this a, listen, this is Jerod Morris.

Jerod Morris:
I think the bigger part and the reason why we've succeeded is because it is a community. And because we take the time to connect with people, one-on-one, like with you and with other listeners, and we have things like live chats that people can participate in and we really care. And I think people can sense that. And I think nowadays, that's what people are really hungry for, is connection. We live in a disconnected society and people want to feel that connection. And so, whenever you're creating a podcast or any type of online content, like yes, the content that you create is very important. But you take it to the next level and you build something special when you actually focus on connection and focus on community.

And that's what can separate a show, because 10 years ago you could just start a podcast and build an audience because there weren't very many of them. Now there's a ton of them. So what's that extra thing that gets people to continue listening when they have so many other choices. It's the connection that they have with you, the connection that they build with other audience members through a community. It's where they don't want to miss because they don't want to miss an inside joke or they don't want to miss something that gets talked about. And you don't just develop that by accident. I think it's something that you have to be intentional about. But boy, when you do it, it really is a special thing. And it then not only creates a special connection for the audience, but I think as a content creator, it gives you a real feeling of purpose behind what you're doing.

Kurt Dupuis:
One of the things that we think about is, like Steve said, there's been so little change in so many aspects of the financial services industry, I think we're probably pretty early on this, which is good because I think we can screw up for a little while and no one will really notice. But because the problems are almost ubiquitous, I mean, we go around and talk to financial advisors all day, the same problems come up over and over again. So if we can, over time, put really actionable solutions around those and create that emotional connection with people out there, that's what we're hoping to build over time.

Jerod Morris:
I think you hit on a key part there. Whenever you're trying to build an audience, it's so important to be able to relate with that audience. And one of the best ways is just to be a member of the audience that you're trying to serve. I think for us, one of the fundamental reasons why the shows about Indiana basketball have worked is I've been a part of that audience for 35 years, like I get the context, I know the issues, like I know what makes people excited, the memories. There's that shared experience there. And same thing with Showrunner, like I've run different podcasts. And so I think when you come from the audience, but you just step up and you say, "Hey, I'm willing to lead the conversation, come with me," I think that gives you such a leg up in just being able to really connect with people in an authentic way. Because you're only going to be able to fake it for so long. And so when you're actually genuinely there and you care about the people you're serving and you've had similar experiences to them, that's going to come across, and that makes that connection so much stronger.

Steve Seid:
I'm so glad that he just said that. That is exactly what we're trying to do. What we're trying to do is yeah, okay, out of the gate, we're going to come up with topics that I think that we've spent some time on and we've worked on and we've got some expertise, but then what we're looking to do is for the audience, to feed us stuff and for us to do the work on behalf of this community. I was just so struck by what you just said, because that's exactly what we're doing.

Jerod Morris:
That's great. I mean, that's a good formula for it working.

Kurt Dupuis:
And up next we're going to play some of our conversation with Daniel Crosby. So as much as Steve was a fan boy of Jared, I might've been as much of a fan boy with Daniel Crosby. Really cool story about how that conversation even came about. It had to do with playing puzzles with his dad, but we discover and explore behavioral finance. What is it? How can financial professionals take some of those tidbits, make them practical, how to be weird and why being weird is actually important. And people are attracted to other people that are kind of weird. Not totally weird, just kind of weird. And then one of my favorite, I think this was what your favorite point was the principled contrarian. You really liked that idea.

Kurt Dupuis:
So with no further ado, here's our conversation with Daniel Crosby.

Steve Seid:
Let's back up. What is behavioral finance?

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
Yeah, great question. Behavioral finance is just finance that accounts for the messiness of human behavior. Like, if you look at traditional financial and econometric models, they assume that people always make decisions that are in their best interests. They refer to people as utility maximizers. So, people are going to always do the thing that gets them the most benefit. As anyone who's lived very long can attest, that's not true of you or I, and that's not true of the people we sit next to at the DMV either. So, the study of behavioral finances. How do people make financial and economic decisions under conditions of emotional strain, under conditions of uncertainty, and in an imperfect world. So, I like to think of it as finance that's a little messier than the models, but a little bit more truthful to how things really are.

Kurt Dupuis:
I used to work with a portfolio manager who was highly critical of modern portfolio theory, because the first, one of the first tenets of that is that investors are rational. I'm sure you've seen plenty of evidence that that's not really the case.

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
Yeah, absolutely. If you even look at assumptions that are made about markets, we hear things from efficient market theorists, like asset prices always reflect all available information. Well, that's kind of true. Asset prices reflect all available information, as that information is viewed through the cloudy lenses of that each of us possess. All of that information is filtered through a lifetime of bias and experience, and none of us apprehends the world the way that it truly is. Yeah, there's a big difference between these impartial econs, that's how they're referred to in the literature, econs or homo economic, as this perfectly rational economic person, and then the way that you and I do dumb things with our money. So, that's where I live in that messy middle.

Steve Seid:
So, when you're talking to financial professionals, so we talked about what behavioral finance is, and why it's important, but when you're in front of, we're going to call them financial professionals now, what's your message to them? why is this important for them to know or consider?

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
It's important for them because, it's really sort of the last bastion of both what we'll call financial professionals on the advice giving side, as well as financial professionals on the asset management side. If you just look at the advice side, there've been a couple of eras of advice provision. So, for a long time, we were the gatekeepers. You couldn't make a trade without Wall Street. So, you had to come to my office because I had to do the trade for you. Well, technology dis-intermediates that, and so now you can do it for free, or in your underwear. So now we say, "Okay, well you don't need me to make the trade, but now you need me to pick good funds for you, or now you need me to manage your money."

So, what we're finding though is, what is enduring is that, people who get financial advice, people who work with financial professionals tend to do much better than those who don't. But, it's not necessarily because they got consistently put in the hottest funds, it's because they were saved from a handful of poor decisions over an investment lifetime. They kept them from making that greedy decision, that fearful decision, from capitulating a couple of months ago, when it felt like the world was going to end. You add up two or three of those decisions over an investment lifetime, and if you can get someone to help you stay out of your own way, it's enormously, enormously powerful.

So, all the research suggests that people who work with financial professionals do 2% to 3% better per year, which in aggregate ends up being about two to three times as much in total wealth over a lifetime. And, they're more prepared, they're happier. They have greater peace of mind. So, what I tell the financial professionals is that, it's time to start telling a new story about the value that we add, because the value that we add is tremendous. It's just not the value that most people think we add. So, I try and help them to tell a different story.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's the behavior gap, right? That's the definition of the behavior gap. That's what we're talking about, what we're solving for.

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
Right. The behavior gap is this chasm between market returns if you had sort of just taken the ride, and the actual returns that accrue to you and I. There is a pretty sizable gap, if we look. The thing is, that gap widens in periods of great volatility. I know that looking back over the last few months, we're going to see that there was a huge gap, because the more volatile the market, the bigger the gap tends to be, and consequently, the more value you get from your advisor, or from your financial professional that you're working with. You find this again and again - that real talk, there's years where a financial professional may not add a ton of value. It may just be 1%, 1.5%, but there's years where they're adding 5%, 6%, 7%. I think that we're in one of those times right now, where financial professionals are earning their fee and a whole lot more.
...
Kurt Dupuis:
I have noticed that some, I will say very few financial professionals, have built client centric benchmarks, or kind of custom benchmarks that are more pertinent to long-term goals and not what the S&P is doing. So, you wrote a book on this, “The Personal Benchmark”. So, kind of a twofold question. Why is it so hard for financial professionals to develop these personal benchmarks for their clients? But maybe more importantly, why is it difficult for them to implement them with their clients?

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
I think we want to have it both ways as an industry. When the market's underperforming or when our allocations for our clients are underperforming the S&P, we want to say, "Oh, hey, hey, wait a minute. Keep your eyes on the prize. Be a goals-based investor. Think about what matters, goals-based investing, personal benchmarking." But, then I often see at the same turn, when we have a good year or when our allocation has outperformed the S&P we want to be able to go to that person and go, "Ha ha! Look what I did for you? The S&P got 5% and I got you 12%. Look at me making you money." So, you have to play both sides of that, and it's difficult. I find this again and again, this is one of the hardest reasons, one of the hardest things about embracing this goals-based philosophy is that, you have to give it up when it's beneficial to you. Because if it doesn't matter what the S&P is doing, it doesn't matter what the S&P is doing when you're beating the S&P either. That's not an easy conversation for anyone to have.

But, there's so much behavioral power in goals-based investing. One of the things you find about behavioral finance is that, the interventions are not always dramatic, but they're often very powerful. So, something like naming buckets of money, naming this the Daniel's College Fund, and this is the Daniel's Dream Retirement Fund and whatever, that increases people's propensity to save dramatically, it reduces their tendency to go to cash, like to liquidate by two thirds, just by naming these portfolios.

So, it's the simplest thing in the world, but what it does is, it re-grounds them in their goals, because people watch the market like it's a video game or something, like it's disconnected from real life. When you can bring it back, people start to reconnect and make decisions that are better for their life when it gets remorged to what matters to them. So, that's what I think we've got to do. It's not hard. It's easy as can be. But the truth is... The concept in psychology is called mental accounting. It's that, people tend to spend and save money differently depending on how it's labeled. Like, if people get a paycheck, they tend to save it. If people get a bonus, if it's framed as a bonus, they tend to spend it.
...
Dr. Daniel Crosby:
One of the things that I think we don't embrace sufficiently, is flying our freak flag a bit, and just embracing our weirdness a bit. One of the things is that, it's a bit of a power move. It's a bit of a power move. There's really interesting research that shows that the people who are most successful in organizations, are like 10% weird. You don't want to be the person that's off in the corner, and everyone's talking about them. But, if you're the person that has like a slightly edgy haircut or the person who has a slightly edgy look, or a beard, or wears the pink shirt, whatever it is, people really like that because they see it as a form of power. So, you want a level of conformity, right? Like you want to fit in enough that you're not ostracized from the group, but you want to be different enough that you stand out.

I think people don't embrace that. In markets - forget about it. Markets are all about being weird. I mean, if you want to be a great investor, it's a total exercise in contrarianism and loneliness and divergent thinking. I could go on all day about how that's the case, but just elsewhere in life, I think people are so hungry to conform that you kind of get lost in the shuffle. So, having an opinion, making a statement, being 10% weird, is powerful.

There's also something, sort of a related concept called the Pratfall Effect. The original research on the Pratfall Effect, was done with politicians. They were pretend politicians. So, they had three conditions for these politicians. One was just a bumbling idiot. Like they're going to go give a speech. So, one is just an idiot, just falling all over himself. Nobody likes that guy. The other one is smooth as can be, goes up there, polished delivery, nails every line, totally rehearsed, kills it. The people like him, but not a ton. Then, the third politician goes up there, trips a little bit walking up the stairs, spills a little bit of coffee on his shirt, makes a joke about it and then delivers a competent speech. That's the person that the people like.

People like people who are competent, but human. So, weirdness has a humanizing effect on us. It doesn't mean you can be a joke or a clown, but it just means if you're competent at your job, don't be scared to let your individuality show a little bit, because that's going to endear you to people in a big way.
...
Steve Seid:
Talk about the idea of being a principled contrarian.

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
So, we live in a world in which at least in the US and probably the West, contrarianism is valued. People like individuality in a way that is not the case, I think in some Eastern and other cultures that are more collectivist in nature. So, because we already value a form of contrarianism, contrarianism can lose its bite. Like being a rebel, being different can become as lame and as uniform as being the same. If you look at a group of punk rockers, I used to be in a punk band when I was in high school.

Steve Seid:
Is that right?

Dr. Daniel Crosby:
Yeah, yeah. We dyed our hair and had Mohawks and whatever. So, the way that I looked as a kid in a punk rock band, was no less a uniform. Me wearing a black shirt every day and having red hair, was no less a uniform than the kids that were wearing Brooks Brothers and whatever every day. So, principled contrarianism is where you are different for a reason. It's not the lame like, I'm going to give you the middle finger and be different just to be different. It's being different for a reason that moves society forward, helps you make money, whatever. So, that's my take on principled contrarianism, because so many people think they're contrarians when what they're doing is putting on a new kind of uniform.

Kurt Dupuis:
And our next guest on the Price is Right show is Mr. Ben Alge. So Ben, we had a great conversation with Ben about this book called the Challenger Sale. It's been very influential in how we approach our roles as sales folks, and had some really cool tidbits like constructive tension. Something that almost no one is good at intentionally or naturally, but a really powerful tool in kind of challenging people along the way. And we talk about what the Challenger Sale actually is. There are six steps, it can get convoluted. So we narrowed it down into three. And so something that my lizard brain can comprehend. So stay tuned, here's our chat with Ben Alge about the Challenger Sale.

Ben Alge:
If you ask the average salesperson who the best salesperson in their organization is, they'll give you a name and they'll almost always say, because they've got the best relationships. That's why they're the best. And so they go through the relationship builder as the one that kind of sticks out in my mind as the person who can get to know anybody and has a lot of friends in the industry. What they found is that's actually one of the least successful models. And we'll talk about why in just a moment. The others were the problem solver, the hard worker, the lone wolf, all of them pretty self explanatory about what that individual looks like.

Then there was a challenger. And the biggest difference I see between the relationship builder and the challenger is the relationship builder is out there and doing their job to make people happy and build relationships. They don't want to create any tension, they don't want to disrupt the status quo, they want people to like them. The challenger has relationships and has incredible relationships, but they're a result of how they sell, not the purpose of why they're trying to sell. So because as a challenger they come in and they add value, they bring new ideas and solve problems that the client didn't know existed, that builds a relationship in the backend that leads to a stronger relationship long-term.

Steve Seid:
So we're getting down the path a little bit in these relationship types. And what we should have set up front is the foundation of The Challenger Sale was this study, was a very broad study. So talk a little bit about the study itself and what these people actually did.

Ben Alge:
Yes. They went out and studied top performers across a number of industries. And what they found was that 40% of top sales performers primarily use the challenger style. And so that was the highest. But what I take from that is there's a lot of different ways to do this job successfully. I talk to my wholesalers and say, "There's 100 ways to do this job right. There's 1,000 ways to do it wrong. There's 100 ways to do it right." But the most successful was that of the challenger. Only 7% of those top performers were those relationship builders. And so when you see that discrepancy, you've got to ask yourself, what's causing that big of a rift, and what are challengers doing that the relationship builders aren't that's making them so successful?

Steve Seid:
It's not just what you're selling, it's how you sell. And that was really interesting to me because if you go to a company and you'd say, "Why do clients buy your product or your service?" They'll say, "Well, it's because our reputation is so wonderful and our pricing is on point. 
...
Ben Alge:
And you look at the industry, we operate in selling actively-managed mutual funds and SMAs. Having a good product is, to your point, table stakes. How many good large cap growth funds are there out there? And so in the absence of some other value add in the client experience, you're left competing just on price. And that's a dangerous place to play. We're seeing margin compression both on our side of the business and the financial professional side of the business. It can't always be it just gets cheaper. And so The Challenger Sale allows you to come in and add value to the client experience in a much different way and differentiate yourself as a value add partner, as opposed to just a vendor of products.

Steve Seid:
Relationship is the result of not the cause of successful selling. So, that gets to the point that these relationship builders that we thought are the best salespeople in the world, that's why they're not necessarily the tops because those deep relationships come from the sales experience that you're delivering. 

Ben Alge:
And think about the impact this should have on how we think about hiring. We look at hiring salespeople, and what's the first thing we ask? Who do you know? Who are your relationships? When all the research now is telling us that's not necessarily the driver, the question should be, how are you building relationships? How do you build those relationships and add value?

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
We actually had a conversation with a behavioral psychologist as well, and he said that about the financial professionals that we serve as well, that he sees hiring really changing for that role in the coming years as an analytics, a strong financial background as someone who's empathetic, an emotional thinker, a problem solver, a complete 180 of the characteristics that historically, some of the big shops have looked for when they're hiring. And I don't think that's exactly the case on our side as well.

Ben Alge:
I completely agree.

Kurt Dupuis:
I also like to think that coming from a non-traditional background.

Ben Alge:
That's right.

Kurt Dupuis:
I have to think that.

Ben Alge:
It's all those emotional intelligence pieces that are so hard to teach. I mean, I can teach people how to do The Challenge Sale. I can't teach you to have empathy. So it's a lot more difficult, but when you get it right, all the more impactful.

Kurt Dupuis:
What are the characteristics of that person that can be learned that are involved with that approach?

Ben Alge:
So three big ones I would point out. One, they're comfortable debating and pushing their client. So they don't have a problem creating that kind of constructive tension that takes place in a meeting. They're comfortable saying, I think you're wrong in a respectful way, obviously, but having that conversation. They come prepared with a different worldview. So with The Challenger Sale, you've got to be exponentially more educated than having a consultative approach because if you think about what we're talking about and identifying problems that someone doesn't know exist, you're not going to have the same experience as going in and solving a problem they already know of.

So an advisor says to me, "I don't like EM," and I say, "I hate EM too," there's no pushback in there. If they come and say, "I don't like EM," and I tell them, "Well, I think it's the biggest growth opportunity that we're going to see for the next five to 10 years, and here's why," I better be able to defend that. So come up with a different worldview that is backed up by some data and evidence. And the last piece and the one that gets overlooked sometimes is they've got to understand the client's business and understand it to an extent even more so than the client does sometimes because we got to solve the problem that the client has, not the problem we think the client has.

And so you've really got to wrestle with, what are the true barricades or roadblocks that your client's facing? And not necessarily just the ones that they're going to tell you they have, but what is your research and data to show you that are true problems that they aren't aware of yet that we can help them with?

Steve Seid:
I watched the video, one of the two guys that did The Challenger Sale study, and he presented a little bit on this. And just echoing what you just said, he said, "Salespeople have been trained to come in there and ask open-ended questions and how ineffective that, that actually is nowadays." So someone comes in your office and says, "Ben, what keeps you up at night?" And the guy was like, "Well, what keeps me up at night is another sales guy coming in and asking what keeps me up at night?"

It's what should be keeping me up at night that I don't know. So if I can come in there, and this is the foundations of what we're doing with practice management, with PAR, with the podcast, is understanding these businesses well enough to know what their challenges are because we see the same thing over and over, and helping with those. And bringing a perspective that they're not getting elsewhere. And that's the basis of this whole thing, right?

Ben Alge:
You're exactly right. And so we've got the benefit. We've worked with over 2,000 teams across the country on practice management. We know what the problems are better than our clients do a lot of times because our clients have worked in one practice. And so bringing that sort of client data into these interactions completely changed the conversation. If I can sit across from an advisor and tell them the average advisor I work with has 325 different investments, and guess what, you're probably right in there with them, and talk about the amount of time and cost and risk associated with that, that is an eye-opening experience, and now I'm competing as one person who knows that information.

If I go into that same meeting and say, "What are your problems?" And they say, "I need a large cap growth fund." I'm the 20th person that's asked that question, I'm the 20th funder they're going to look at, and I better be the cheapest because there's a lot of other good strategies out there. So it completely changed the conversation and changed the power in that conversation from the client back to you because you control where that conversation goes, because you control where you're going to challenge.

Kurt Dupuis:
So if you're bringing solid nuggets like that out the gate, it's only going to intrigue the other person like, well, what other little nuggets are they going to be able to drop on me along the way?

Ben Alge:
You're right. And you better have something else behind that too because if that's all you got, you're going to fall flat pretty quick. So it takes a deeper level of knowledge. It can be a narrower level of knowledge because you're not asking, where do you want to take this conversation? There aren't 100 responses to that. You're saying, here's what's important. Let me educate you on this. And so it can be narrow and deeper, but it needs to be a deep level of knowledge.

Steve Seid:
You introduced the concept of constructive tension. And I want you to talk about that yet again because I think that's a really integral part of The Challenger Sale.

Ben Alge:
It is. And it's actually one of my favorite concepts in the entire book. I don't know if you ever had this experience where you know something exists before you have a name for it, and then you learn what it is and then you look back and say, that's what I was experiencing for all those years. That happened to me with this. It's one of the biggest pitfalls I see with new salespeople and where you see these relationship builders go, is they hate discomfort. They immediately want to get discomfort out of the meeting. And the problem is tension creates a catalyst for change. Without tension, there is no catalyst.

Clients don't sit there thinking, I need to be sold something. You need to create that tension, there's a problem that exists, in order to create that catalyst for movement. So when we talk about the concept of productive tension, we want to highlight an issue, we want to highlight the impact it's going to have, whether it be financially, emotionally, whatever it is on the advisor, and then we want to be quiet and let it sit. And let the advisor or the client work out for themselves what the solution needs to be, because our natural response is oftentimes where at the end of a sale, you'll say, "When do you think you'll make a decision?" And you feel that productive tension.

And the younger salesperson says, "You don't need to decide today, just let me know what you think." And that eases the tension. But what you've done is ease the catalyst. And so creating that tension that a decision needs to be made, that there is discomfort, and letting the client resolve that discomfort is how we create these catalysts.

Steve Seid:
It's easy to see how productive tension could be useful for financial professionals as well. It's the same dynamic. You've got a client you're going after, they can have the same level of ... where they lack a catalyst to change?

Ben Alge:
Exactly. And it could be the catalyst to change advisors or just the catalyst to have a financial advisor. The same element works, and especially as you go further upstream. The small clients will be amazed that you can cite the S&P 500 returns. But those aren't the prospective clients we're all trying to go after. We're trying to go after multi-million dollar clients here. Those are the ones that you've got to come with problems that they aren't aware they have. And it gets back to the concept, and I know you guys have talked about this a lot with practice management of niche marketing, of knowing the niche you work in better than the people in that niche know themselves.

Knowing what problems they face, whether it be within their careers, their families, their organizations, all of those different things. If you can bring those elements up and say, you have this problem, how are you going to solve this problem without me? And then just wait, the answer is going to be the solution that you're providing them because it's not a problem they came to you and asked, they didn't know the problem existed. You're competing against yourself one-on-one, and that whatever solution you present is going to be the best solution they've heard.

Steve Seid:
So let's think of a specific example of that. So let's say I'm going after a biotech niche. I'm throwing it out there. And you go to someone who's an executive or whomever at the firm, someone of importance. And you can go up to them and they treat it as a typical financial professional meeting, but you could say, "Listen, I've worked with 25 other biotech executives.

Here is what their challenges are." So you're telling them more about them, the stuff they don't know, the challenges that they may ... And so think about how powerful that is, as opposed to just the run of the mill meeting where you're like, "I work for firm X, Y, and Z, and we build equity portfolios." I mean, think about the difference between those two experiences.

Ben Alge:
You're absolutely right.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, the inverse of that is the person that enters the meeting and says, "We work with businesses, wealthy families, and entrepreneurs to help them reach their financial goals." And that says nothing.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. What did I learn from that?

Kurt Dupuis:
Exactly.

Ben Alge:
And if you take it a step farther, if you know the company well enough, you can say, "This is the way that your benefits company invests your pension." Or, "This is the way your benefits company handles retirement. How is your current financial advisor incorporating that into the investment plan they have for you and your long-term financial plan?"

Steve Seid:
They aren't.

Ben Alge:
I am. I raised that problem for you, created that tension. The solution is you need an advisor who knows this plan inside and out, and that is us, and for whatever reason that may be.

Kurt Dupuis:
So let's get into the meat of it and what this framework for The Challenger Sale actually is. What's the original framework and how can we simplify it, and how can our audience actually take these concepts and incorporate it into the conversations that they're going to have tomorrow?

Ben Alge:
So the original framework is six steps. And to be honest with you, that caused some challenges for us in implementation initially because people got hung up in the steps. We salespeople, six is a big number for us.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, it is.

Ben Alge:
But if we go through the six initial steps, there's the warmer, which is basically just setting up the conversation. The reframe, which is the challenge, so reframing an issue in a way we hadn't thought of. Rational drowning is supporting that then with data to show that it truly is the problem. Tying into the emotional impact, how's that going to make you feel? Providing a new way, not necessarily your way, but a new way to solve that problem. And then finally, our own personal solutions. So those are the six steps.

Now, when I implement this myself with my team, I narrow that down to just three steps. Challenge, inform, and solve. Challenge them with a problem they don't know they have, inform them why it's a problem and how it's going to make them feel, and solve that problem with the solution.

Kurt Dupuis:
How do financial professionals implement this with their clients?

Ben Alge:
What are the issues those clients aren't aware that they have, whether it be related to their job, their family, the organizations they work with? They all know that they need retirement income. They all know they need an investment plan. That's not differentiating. But everybody's coming to them with those elements. And so at that point, you're negotiating on price. If everybody brings me a financial plan, everybody's brings me retirement income, how much are you going to charge me to do it? If you're the cheapest, I'll probably go with you.

If we get away from that and say, I know you need all these things, but based on where you work, you have this problem associated with your retirement, or based on the structure of your family or the challenges your family has, you have these needs in retirement that you weren't aware of, now I can educate you on what those needs are, why they're relevant, and let you know what solution solves that, and nobody else is bringing those elements to the table. Now, as I mentioned before, you're competing against one of one. You're no longer one of many competing on price and things like that, you're the only solution to the problem that you've raised, and you've upped your chances of closing that business exponentially.

Steve Seid:
So next up, we have Ms. Mary Mock, who was wonderful as always. And we should probably say, Mary just got a promotion at our company.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, she'll be on the show again soon.

Steve Seid:
She's like a head honcho, leader of the world.

Kurt Dupuis:
Czar, was czar in the title? I don't remember.

Steve Seid:
Mary's phenomenal. Congratulations, Mary, if you're listening. She covered supernova and this idea of supernova, which is a client service approach. And you could just hear throughout the conversation, just someone who has been in the trenches coaching teams for a decade.

Kurt Dupuis:
Long time.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, and you could just hear that throughout our interview. So without further ado, here's the conversation on supernova with Mary Mock.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So, you've got all these advisors that what they've done over the past few decades was just add more and more and more and more and more clients. So what you were left with was a situation where advisors had way too many households to give really exceptional service. Is that fair?

Mary Mock:
Absolutely, and what they were doing was spending time running the entire practice as opposed to being the expert on wealth management, and bringing in new clients. They were doing and touching every little piece.

Steve Seid:
So he's observing this situation. He's seeing an industry that's watching client service deteriorate. He's seeing a lot of households, and then what does he do?

Mary Mock:
They did these client surveys in the late 80s, early 90s, and clients said, meh, we're okay. It's not a great experience. It's okay. We don't dislike our advisor. We don't dislike the firm, but his advisors who were really top producers scored really low on client service, and overall happiness, and so he decided there's no way that he's going to end up at the bottom of the rankings, I mean he's a former Navy pilot, he's super competitive, and so he devised a way for advisors to give their clients exceptional service and it was 12, four, two. 12 contacts, so 12 monthly contacts, four quarterly reviews, and two of those are going to be in person 60-minute meetings, and so the advisors deployed that.

I mean, and to run financial plans for each client, and advisors worked really hard to deploy that. Their numbers skyrocketed, and then over time, the number started to decline again, and what they found was, it's because the advisors were exhausted, you can't give such an in depth experience to 400 clients. You can't give it to 200 clients. They didn't know what the right number was. But they knew it wasn't 400, they knew it wasn't 200, and they set out on a quest to determine what the right size of a practice might be, to be able to be manageable and to give clients an exceptional experience, and that's where it all started. It was about segmenting and servicing clients.

Steve Seid:
So, that's interesting. So, it started with the experience that they wanted to get to, and then figuring out how many clients they could actually do that for - that was rational?

Mary Mock:
Right and then there was an advisor named George Kemp, and this is all from the original Supernova book. And so this was maybe early 90s at this point. George Kemp went back and said, Look, I'm killing myself trying to do all of this, but I believe in it, and I want to do what's right by clients. And so he went back and he created, what were those 11 screeners, and he screened his book of, I think 450 plus clients, and of those, let's say 400 plus clients, the number of clients who actually hit all 11 screens, and they were quantitative and qualitative, were 33.

So of his entire book of business, he looked at basically 33 clients who were these really amazing, optimal clients. Now, it's not fair to say to that a person should pare out 300 odd clients in order to net down to 33, and of course, Rob didn't suggest that he do that. But what began was a process by which, in rank order, George pared out those relationships that were both demanding, didn't take his advice, were unprofitable and created a liability to his practice and in this Reg BI fiduciary DOL world, that's something now more than ever that advisors need to pay attention to. And so that's where it started, and it's evolved into many different things, which I'm happy to go into with you. But the main impetus was how do you give clients an exceptional experience to help them reach their goals, who were enthusiastically enamoured with the work that you do, and who will lead you to other people who then will fill your book of business with that similar kind of person? And the approach is: do what's right by clients. Always. Do what's right by clients.

Don't be afraid to let go of people who aren't the right fit. The rest will right itself over time, and that's exactly what has happened. It's simple, but it's really not easy.

Steve Seid:
Well, when I was first understanding this concept, I'm thinking to myself, okay, trimming down the book, that's got to be hard for a lot of FAs. But when you see the results of what actually happened when they did it, it was pretty profound. So, it wasn't just okay, we're going to give better experience to our clients, and that's going to be great, and that's fun, and everyone's enjoyable, and I have a manageable life and I can go play golf. Some pretty profound results happened, right?

Mary Mock:
Right, and ultimately how it became Supernova is, it's that theory that in order to expand, you have to shrink and contract and so advisors grew up on this philosophy that you throw spaghetti on the wall and it sticks and that anybody who came into the practice, they couldn't afford not to asset gather, right? And so what ends up happening is you put together a book of clients, some of whom represent the ideal client and those with whom you can actually help the most, and some of those clients aren't that. They might not even be clients, they might be customers, they might be a liability, they might be someone who has a one off-stock position, et cetera.

So by doing right by the clients, and providing exceptional customer service, what they found was it helped advisors frame, really the way they should deliberately run their practice. And so, if you are brave enough to shrink, and it doesn't mean paring people that are relevant out of the book or taking a huge revenue hit, but being brave enough to know that getting rid of those clients that don't represent those who resonate with you or with whom you resonate, or who are as you define your true client minimum, potential. - all those good things, by paring those out of the book, one has a true opportunity to grow deliberately, and that's what happened.

Kurt Dupuis:
Up next, another conversation of nuggets with Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski. So Seid and I have both worked with her as a marketing and business development subject matter expert coaching individual teams, and some really great conversations about what a Buc-ee's bathroom can teach you about client service.

Steve Seid:
You love Buc-ee's. That's your thing.

Kurt Dupuis:
I love the Buc-ee's story, man. There's so many great analogies in there. Some of the big don'ts of marketing, a template for setting yourself apart from the competition, some general ideas of how to use LinkedIn, and something I really put her on the spot for, I asked her to tell us what her value proposition is. It's a really big part of what she does, what we do talking with clients. And I put her on the spot and she's got a great value proposition and something we can all learn a little bit from. So here's our conversation with Maribeth.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I'm going to throw a curveball at you right here at the beginning. And so I did some digging on you and I understand there's a story that you might have an affinity of this place called Buc-ee's and particularly the bathroom.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Well, it's interesting. I was writing a book called And The Clients Went Wild and was published by Wiley several years ago. And they in part of writing the book, I was interviewing a bunch of people and finding out as much as I could about how people create this cult following. And I heard about this place Buc-ee's, which I had never been to. And so I get on the phone, start conducting some interviews, and I said, "How do you guys have a cult following around a chain of gas stations?" Because I've heard a lot of things.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's gas station, right?

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
It's a gas station. I mean, a gas station is a station. Who remembers the last gas station you went to. They're not memorable and he said, well the owner said, well, a few years ago we asked our customers what they liked least about gas stations, and guess what we found out? And I don't know, I mean, what do you think they found out? The restrooms. So you'd think they would say, "Oh yeah, if you just had lower price of gasoline, then we would just flock there." But they said, "No, if you cleaned up your restrooms. We'd come there all the time."

And so they renovated their locations across the State of Texas and put in these beautiful, wonderful restrooms. They're the four seasons in the Ritz Carlton combined and just amazing, right? And the first time I went to a Buc-ee's, I remember walking through the big location because everything's big in Texas. And I get to the back, I opened the door to the restroom when I take one step in and I literally stopped cold because in front of me there are couches and women sitting around reading and I'm thinking, "Have I just opened ... " If you're older-

Steve Seid:
What is this place?

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
... just opened the door to the Twilight Zone? Like, "What the heck is going on in here?" People, women we do not read in the gas station bathroom. We hold our breath. We breathe out of our mouth, but we certainly don't hang out in there. And so I'm thinking, "This place is different." And what Buc-ee's said was, "Listening, we did not want to let word get around slowly. Just kind of let people start talking about it." He said, "We need to exploit this uniqueness. We knew we had something that people wanted." And so they started putting up billboards all across the State of Texas to this day that say things like "Only 262 miles to Buc-ee's. You can hold it." And if you think about that, and if you're driving along the roads of Texas and you glance up and you see that billboard and you're like, "What?" And then you get it because it's actually what you want, not what you need.

And I always make the analogy to financial services with this because in financial services, a lot of financial advisors go, "Listen, people need a financial plan." And there is no question that people need a financial plan. There's also no question that they don't want it. There's very few people that want to go, "Yeah, you know what I'd like to do is spend months divulging all of the financial mistakes I've ever made in my life to a person that I barely know. And I'm not even sure that I want to do business with yet. And I'm going to divulge everything in my entire life to him. And I'm going to spend all of this time doing it and I don't really want to do that."

So what people need and what people want is a real key with marketing. And I think that a lot of financial advisors market on what people need, because it makes sense. It's clear, it's present, it's black and white, but we have to market on what they actually want, or they're not going to come.
...
Kurt Dupuis:
So I'm curious since you've been doing this awhile and particularly with financial professionals, instead of focusing on the dos right now because I think we'll get to some dos, can we talk about some don'ts? What are some awful strategies that you've seen people implement that don't work, not fruitful and let's build that list of don'ts.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah. I think doing anything that allows someone to believe in the disconnect, right? So what I said before about the client loves you, but the prospect thinks you're going to try to sell them something, the moment you become salesy when you do that. Well, you ask for referrals even to your own client. You're asking for referrals in a very strong way. Now, Steve and I spent a lot of time talking about referrals. There's a lot of ways to acquire and take control over the acquisition of referrals, but it doesn't include, "Hey, do you know anyone who has interest in doing business with a firm like mine?" I mean, not really palatable, especially today in this time of just sort of crisis.

Any kind of salesy things right now do not work. LinkedIn, so you go on LinkedIn, you connect with the person, they connect back with you and you go, "Okay, I'm going to see if he wants to set up an appointment with me." Not good because any very salesy approaches right now, not only do they mostly not work but they really don't work right now because it's almost like you don't want to seem you're trying to take advantage of people or take advantage of a situation.

So salesy doesn't work but marketing is designed to get people to want to do business with you. So anything besides having them come to their own conclusion is probably not a great strategy.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And talk about the language that you used around referrals and you don't have to be exact, but you were talking about this with one of the teams the other day and you used some language that was really good on how to talk about referrals.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah. It's the second opinion language. And every financial advisor has heard of second opinions, “Ask for a second opinion”. And the problem is, is that when you ask for a second opinion, when you ask your client, "Hey, if you know anyone who might be struggling with their financial strategy right now, or not sure if they have the right financial advisor, send them our way. I'd love to do a second opinion with them." And just tell them, "Listen, you're on the right track or here's some things you could do differently."

So that second opinion conversation is really important. But the conversation when the market is going straight up does not work. The conversation works when there's volatile markets, when people have uncertainty. It's working right now for top advisors, we just did a study of what top advisors are doing in terms of marketing right now.

I mean, literally the middle of June, what are they doing? And second opinion campaigns are working. So it's things like that, that is based in purpose. So I'm not saying, "Send all the people that you know my way." Or, "I'm going to call and badger them or something like that." It's about, "Hey, listen I'm here as a financial advisor to help people and people have never needed help as much as they need right now with making sure they have a good strategy. If anyone you know who needs a second opinion, I'm here." That's why I became a financial advisor. It's that kind of purposeful talk that is not salesy and that really helps to allow the client to feel comfortable, allows, and even if you're having that conversation with a prospect in a different way, it still works. It just feels better than, "Do you know anyone who might have interest in doing business with a firm like mine?"
...
Kurt Dupuis:
Well, and that's part of what in your communication shows us where you talk about, "Look, plenty of other people can do this, but this is what I do and this is why we're differentiated." Right? And that language, that small thing and language and how you express something, I think is a big part of what's helping people clean up for those that are cleaning up right now.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah, absolutely.

Steve Seid:
Say that language again, Maribeth because I think that's one of the big things I took away and I really liked that from working with you.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah. So it's a template that we've used that is sort of a three-part template for having a quick conversation and it could even be in an email where you are separating yourself from others. Now it's not an elevator statement necessarily, it's just sort of a differentiating statement. So it goes like this and I'll give you the template first and then I'll go through and share with you an example of that, but it's any financial advisor can blank, but I blank for example. And so I'll give you an example of that and this is a pretty simple example, but advisors can put in their own sort of fill in the blanks, but any financial advisor can help you invest in the stock market. But I also protect what you have.

For example, we help our clients invest so they can experience gains when the stock market is up without losing it all when the stock market goes down. And so it's something simple like that, but we've seen advisors do this any financial advisor can help you invest in the stock market, but we help you with tax efficiency. For example ... And then you give some number that you helped someone save this much in taxes by just reorganizing their investments. And that is powerful, but it's got to be things that are really interesting to the other person. So follows the markets, protection, taxes, those things are always hot buttons for people that have money.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And you also get into specifics with examples too, because how many financial professional websites say, "Oh, yeah, we service small business owners, the affluent, families ... " Whatever it is, it's very generic and it's pretty wide, right? It doesn't speak to a specific audience? It doesn't develop that rapport with a particular niche.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah. My favorite “quote” value proposition from financial advisors is we work with individuals and families and businesses, helping them with financial planning and investment management. And the advisor goes, "Wait, I need to write that down. That's exactly what I do." But the problem is it is exactly what you do, but the problem is it doesn't connect with anyone. And it just goes in one ear and out the other. But that's why when you add the but, you're okay, you're going to say something, if you say but you're going to say something that's going to differentiate you. And then when you give the for example, that's what makes it real. Because you could say, "I work with a lot of doctors. Great, for example ... " And that's what's different about it.
...
Kurt Dupuis:
I want to ask about LinkedIn. I guess, ideas around how to use it successfully, is that kind of a top of the funnel? Is that the middle of the funnel? Where does that fit in into someone's marketing plan and how do you see people using LinkedIn as a medium successfully?

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah, it depends. There's a lot of people who use it as their only marketing strategy. And so it is the top of the funnel and it becomes how you fill your funnel up. But most advisors use that along with something else. But LinkedIn prospecting has been ... That's also something else that I think right now, how are we prospecting? We can't get out and meet with people. So maybe I'll try that LinkedIn thing. And we've seen a lot more advisors, kind of dip their toe into the pond of LinkedIn and find that it can be successful. The thing about LinkedIn is that it's not like somebody comes to your seminar and then you invite them in for a meeting and you close them next week. Linkedin is a longer process, but it's a process, it's networking.

It's a virtual networking site. So when you meet somebody at a chamber of commerce meeting, you're not going to try to close them that night. I mean, some people might, but you're not going to try to close them that night. It's the same thing with LinkedIn. You're building up a group of connections of people that you're building your own exposure and hopefully they'll want to do business with you. But LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been the key. It's a paid version of LinkedIn, has been the key to success with LinkedIn prospecting for advisors, because it allows you to really mine the data really deeply.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I've heard you talked about that as it pertains to LinkedIn. So talk a little bit more about Sales Navigator. What are you actually doing with that tool?

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
So in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you have more options to be able to, I mean you can create a prospect list. You can connect with a lot more people that aren't because if you're in regular LinkedIn, you can only do so many searches. You can only connect with so many people that haven't accepted your connection back. They limit you. They want you to be in the paid version, but the paid version allows you to do as much searching as you want, and really come up with detailed lists of people that you can put on your own prospect list inside of LinkedIn. So let's say that I'm a financial advisor and I'm searching for executives that are in a particular area. I mean, it could be all across the country now, but in a particular area, because I know some clients that work in those companies.

And so I can search specifically for that. I can create a prospect list and then when I open up LinkedIn Sales Navigator in the morning, I'm going to see what happened with the people on my prospect list. Did they change jobs? Do they have a birthday? Did they post something that I could like or comment on? Now you've got a closer view of those people that you're interested in doing business with. You can connect with them. You can start to have conversations with them, but the process takes a little longer because you're not going to immediately ask them for business, but after they start to engage after some time, because you've got to give them some valuable things and connect in a way that's meaningful. It actually turns out that people do say yes to scheduling a call and taking the next step into doing that. So it works.
...
Kurt Dupuis:
We've talked about the importance of your value proposition. What's yours? What's the Red Zone Marketing value-

Steve Seid:
Put her on the spot.

Kurt Dupuis:
... proposition?

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
Yeah. So I think that a value proposition needs to be precisely for the person you're talking to. If it's a real value proposition. So our value proposition is not, we work with financial advisors helping them build their businesses. Our value proposition is we work with million dollar plus producing financial advisors and teams to help them get to their next level of success. So we categorize who we work with and the cool thing about that is that when I use that, when somebody is not a million dollar producer, guess what they want? They want to be a million-dollar producer.

Kurt Dupuis:
They want to be one.

Maribeth Kuzmeski:
But that's primarily who we work with is the higher level of advisors who are not looking to break into the business but are looking to get to the next level and getting to the next level, frankly, is a lot harder than getting to the first step. We've a lot of advisors that will say, "Hey, I'm at 500 million. I want to be at a billion." "Oh, that's easy. Sure." That's a lot harder to do almost than getting to the first 500 million and you think that it would be incremental and it shouldn't be as hard, but it is really hard. And so that's where we focus our time, but that's sort of my little value proposition.

Steve Seid:
So up next, we had my uncle join us on the show. My uncle is a venture capitalist, he owned a business for a long time, and we had him on cause he was kind of a double threat, if you will. He's kind of in that target market for a lot of financial professionals that you'd want to run money for, but he also ran his business for a long time. And obviously as financial professionals, your practice is your own business. And I just got to kick of listening to him kind of reflect on just decades of running the business. I mean, we asked him about a lot, but-

Kurt Dupuis:
We did.

Steve Seid:
That's what kind of stuck out to me was when he was reflecting back on that time running a business and what-

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, and it was kind of a conversation you'd have like just sitting in front of a fireplace, like with a little dark liquor or a coffee or something. Just a very relatable, approachable conversation.

Steve Seid:
That's good. Your slippers up, pipe on, little wisdom coming through. That's what you got from that? Well, that's a good vibe. And so without further ado, here's our conversation with Paul Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
What are some of the really important lessons that you learned along the way?

Paul Seid:
The single most important lesson I learned is I'm not the smartest guy on earth, and there are a lot of people around that are very good at things that I'm not very good at. So, I looked to hire people that were really, really good in the things they could do, whether it be finance or marketing or in the manufacturing side, things of that nature. And technology was very important to me always. I was always a believer that you had to reinvest 1 to 2% of your sales into advancing your technology. Which was great because when Dentsply bought us out, they actually, even though they were 40 times larger than us, when they bought us out, they ultimately went to a variant of the technology that we were using…

Kurt Dupuis:
No kidding?

Paul Seid:
…in our distribution and our business running and manufacturing areas. So, I thought it was a nice feather in our cap.

Paul Seid:
But the other thing is I'm a big believer in personal relationships. Knowing the people you're doing business with, to me, is a big advantage as opposed to just running your business by emails and things of that nature. So I traveled all over the world to see my customers and/or suppliers or regulatory people, governmental people in the various countries to see what their regs were. And that was very important to me. Really important is you have to be unafraid of losing. Some things you do just don't work out and will cost your money and anguish and things like that. But the important thing is when you lose, you need to learn from what caused it, what caused you to lose. Then you just get up, keep going. You pretend you're Rocky. You just shake it off, brush the dirt off and keep going forward.

Paul Seid:
The last thing is I think your instincts. Instinct carries me a long way. Goal orientation is important. You have to know where you're going, what you want to do, how you want to get there. So planning is uber important. I guess those are the important things I learned over the course of time. And that's nothing, I didn't say anything original there. It's just that's what it takes.

Steve Seid:
All right, up next, we have a clip from our conversation with Daxs Stadjuhar. Dax is owner of an organization called The Network, which long story short, just deals with hundreds of financial professionals. He specifically is involved in the practice management elements. So we brought him on to kind of cover some topics that he's talking about. And the clip that we have here was him talking about business development. What does he do to advise his people on how to grow their business? So here's that clip from Daxs Stadjuhar.

Kurt Dupuis:
Almost unanimously when we ask for questions from the audience, growth always comes up and everyone has questions about it. You look at the numbers of how quickly financial professionals are growing their books. It's an anemic number. So how do you think about that? 

Daxs Stadjuhar:
I think the first thing I ask is, just treat me like a client. Give me your pitch.

Steve Seid:
Nice.

Daxs Stadjuhar:
I do tell a lot of folks, the first thing is don't tell people what you do, show them what you do. I mean, in my opinion, you need a good graphic representation of what you do. I mean, back 10 years ago, 20 years ago, people were teaching classes on, Hey, give me your elevator pitch. You know what? Elevator pitch to me is more or less, tell me about yourself. I mean, it's the old Dale Carnegie, how to win friends and influence people stuff. And I literally just tell advisors, we need to get down on a piece of paper, very succinctly, some sort of graphic that clearly articulates what you do.

Kurt Dupuis:
And is the goal there Daxs, is it more to go through the thought exercise of how you communicate your value proposition or is it to have a marketing piece that you can then go and distribute?

Daxs Stadjuhar:
It is absolutely a one-page marketing piece because at the end of the day, and this is boring and this is why people don't do it, is you have to tell the same story over and over and over to three groups, 24/7 for the rest of your life, if you're going to be successful. And that is your current clients, your prospective clients and your centers of influence who feed you clients. And it is massively boring. But if you tell them and remind them over and over what you do, they will remember you when they need that service, that center. I don't know how many times I would go into a center of influence that I knew really well and I'd remind them of something. And they would say, Oh my gosh, I just had a client do a buy/sell agreement. And they went off to Joe and he funded it with a $2 million life insurance policy.

And I realized I wasn't getting in front of that center of influence enough. And I didn't clearly put a piece of paper in front of them to say, please put this on the corner of your desk and the same thing with a prospect and the same thing with a client. You can't get referrals, if a client doesn't remember what you do. That to me, if you don't have that down, a really good graphic and a really simple explanation of what you do and you don't tell people over and over and over and over, you're not going to grow. It just isn't going to happen.

Steve Seid:
All right. So those are just a few of some of our salient and favorite clips from 2020. We're going to finish off with Costanza's Corner. That's coming up next. This is the Whole Truth. Stick with us.

Steve Seid:
And welcome back. We are in our George Costanza Corner, our uplifting segment. Mr. Dupuis, you are up.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, at the expense of trying to manage when this comes out and the timing of it. I'm just throwing all that caution to the wind.

Steve Seid:
That's fair.

Kurt Dupuis:
Because we got a vaccine folks.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
And not only do we have a vaccine, but my wife got the vaccine this week.

Steve Seid:
That's a round of applause.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm so excited. So excited. She works in a hospital here in Atlanta and was able to get it, and she's doing great. And I mean, we know several doctor friends, and medical professional friends who have just given so much this last year. It's so great to see some medical relief finally coming to those folks and obviously on a micro level, on a personal level, really happy that my wife's got more protection doing what she does on a day-to-day basis. So given 2020, I don't know that there is a better Costanza Corner than being able to say that out loud.

Steve Seid:
So no issues with the vaccine at all? Like she took it and she feels great, and it's probably a big relief.

Kurt Dupuis:
She was fine. Yeah.

Steve Seid:
That's wonderful.

Kurt Dupuis:
It is. Yeah. So put a bow on 2020. Here's to look forward to better things in 2021. This is Costanza Corner at the Whole Truth. Thanks for listening.

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.

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