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46 House Call With Dr. Rick Jensen

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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46 House Call with Dr. Rick Jensen


Kurt Dupuis:
Welcome to The Whole Truth, where two wholesalers help financial professionals build great practices and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. We'll bring you the stories and voices from those on the front lines of this change and we'll have some fun along the way.

Steve Seid:
This is more than a podcast. We're building a community of financial professionals who are growing, forward thinking and want to get better. Thanks for listening and contributing to the discussion.

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

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.

Steve Seid:
Okay. So we have a doctor on the show today. Sports psychologist, author, his name's Dr. Rick Jensen. And the first thing you should know about him is that he works with a lot of top golfers. So his clients include more than 50 touring pros in the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. And he takes some of those practices and best practices of sports psychology, and basically then uses those as rules, as suggestions, as strategies for financial professionals. He's got a book called “Driving to the Top”. And it was just a really, really cool conversation.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And if anyone wants to read the book, reach out, we're happy to send it. This was the crossover of his background, all being based in psychology but the fact with like golf players, like elite golf players and then coaching financial professionals and just the corollaries between the two, it was really interesting.

So, one of my big takeaways stay tuned towards about halfway through that conversation. He drew a corollary between Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the hierarchy of needs for really any professional. So it's kind of pertained to us and our coaching conversations, but I can see it applicable for financial professionals as they talk to their clients. It's all about knowing kind of where you are in those hierarchy of needs. That the base being like just security and typically that's not what we're dealing with, because our clients and our clients' clients tend to be pretty financially secure. But then it gets into like relationships, lifestyles and values, legacy, like things that psychologically are very different conversations. You're really tapping into very profound, but very different parts of the brain when you're not just talking dollars and cents and market stuff. So kind of knowing where you are in the conversation and then targeting your questions to those different areas. I thought that was fascinating.

Steve Seid:
When I was reading his book, a lot of his book is what did the champions do? Like if you want to be your absolute best at something, what do you learn from Jack Nicholas and these types of players? And so there was a lot of cool discussion in the episode about that. Like how do you be the best? But here's the reality there's only going to be a couple of those people in our industry and sports. And so what we-

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, he made the point that these people are manic.

Steve Seid:
Oh, they are.

Kurt Dupuis:
They are machines. Who would actually want this life? Which I very much resonated with because these are the people that they go play around and they hit another 1,000 golf balls. It's their whole life.

Steve Seid:
I mean, that's one of the edges is you have to just decide like I want to be better than everybody else. Like what does that take? And it takes a different level of commitment. So, we wanted to learn about that, but we also wanted to learn about like, that's not going to be everybody. So people that maybe want to be, their goal is to be top 10 in your office or your complex.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. How do you maintain your place as 50th best golfer in the world?

Steve Seid:
That was part of it, yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
That was an actual client story he brought up. Is like, look, I can go to restaurants with my family and I make a really good living and I want to just stay 50th. I don't want to be 150th, but I don't need to be number one either. I love that conversation.

Steve Seid:
I know.

Kurt Dupuis:
So as always make sure you were subscribe to the podcast, reach out to us with questions, comments or criticisms, Seid reads those every Friday night after a long week of work at TheWholeTruth@TouchstoneFunds.com. Without further ado, here's our conversation with Dr. Rick.

All right. We are pleased to welcome to the show today, Dr. Rick Jensen. How are you today?

Rick Jensen:
I'm great. Thanks for having me.

Kurt Dupuis:
Could you tell the folks a little bit about your career and background?

Rick Jensen:
Certainly. I am a… I may be the first shrink you've had on, so I'm a psychologist by training. So I consider myself a performance psychologist different than people may think about in terms of a counseling or a clinical psychologist. So my expertise is really in the area of taking people from good to great, not really working with ill populations. So, I'm a licensed psychologist. I work within two industries in the world of business I work within financial services and then in the world of sports, I work in professional golf and tennis. I have a background, I've done basically both those areas. I've worked with business leaders for 30 years and then worked with professional athletes for 30 years.

I have a background working in organizational development with large industry. And 30 plus years ago was working with executive teams across bigger companies, Hewlett Packard, Ford, Lucent, Nike, and then Merrill Lynch became a client of mine years ago, 20 plus years ago. I was working with the Management Assessment Center in Merrill, and then that led to working with branch and complex management within Merrill, but then that extended to the other wirehouses, the banks. Early on, I was the sports psychologist at the University of Florida, at Stanford. I worked with a number of players there that ended up turning professional, both on the men's and women's side of the game, both in golf and tennis. So, that gave me access to the pro tours. And so I've been able to kind of concurrently work within professional sports in those arenas for the same time period.

Steve Seid:
I know you're working with some of the most prominent, the most well known names in golf historically. And I was thinking of asking, how'd you get there, but I think you just described it. It was, you basically moved your way up the ranks by coaching these people along the way. Is that a fair assessment?

Rick Jensen:
Yeah, completely. You're really riding their coattails. Their success. I always say I'm one of their, what we would call, player support team member. And then early in your career you really don't have access, just kind of like advisors that you serve don't have access to the higher net worth individuals, but they work their way into gaining access through centers of influence in various contexts. Same thing in professional sport. I'm building advocates along the way and you're gaining greater access and then certainly once you have a couple players that play the tour, now it really opens up. Once I had a coaching card and I was able to access the tour, now I'm out at a tournament I'm inside the ropes and it can really accelerate from there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Is it socially acceptable to ask you what your handicap is?

Rick Jensen:
Oh, certainly. It's been anywhere from a 3 to a 10. I think like you, it depends on how much I'm working and how much I'm raising families. I would say when I first got out of school and I didn't have kids I was playing all the time. I was part of a men's league. Back then my handicap was probably a two or three. I've always said if you want to play a lot of golf, don't get into the golf industry, those of us that are in the industry we see it as work. Not in a bad way, the work is tremendous. But we spend our time coaching players and working in the field so the last thing you tend to do is go back to the golf course when you're not at the golf course.

Steve Seid:
So, you mentioned it before you talked about-

Kurt Dupuis:
Would not have expected that.

Steve Seid:
Merrill Lynch coming calling and getting into our side of the industry. How did that meeting happen and what did you guys talk about and what were they looking for?

Rick Jensen:
I worked with their management assessment center, believe it or not, they were having managers who they thought were highly qualified to go into the field of management but they were, quote, “choking” going through the assessment center. In other words, as they were going through the interview process and the screening process to be able to assume a role in branch management, they weren't doing well through the assessment center. So, they were actually leveraging my sport background or my performing psychology background to actually coach candidates in management to be able to navigate the assessment center itself. So these people would graduate, get through the assessment center, get placed into a branch or a complex. And then frankly they would, would call me and say, hey, you worked with us there. Could you work with my advisors in helping them run their business better?

It was an industry where advisors and management were trained in terms of how to manage money but not how to manage a business. And I had a business management background in terms of leadership development, organizational development, what we call practice management. So fast forward to today, I don't work with any companies outside of financial services.

Steve Seid:
That's terrific. And you do a lot of that coaching, as you mentioned, but also a lot of speaking. I've seen some of your keynotes. So maybe introduce us to some of the key topics like when you're getting in there and talking and coaching about how to run a business. What are you focusing on? And the same thing with your keynotes, what are some of those key messages?

Rick Jensen:
Steve, initially it was around the area... I wrote a book years ago called “Drive to the Top of Financial Services”. It basically is a strategic planning book, teaching people strategic planning but I teach it through the lens of professional golf. So it's basically, how do you become the Tiger Woods of your industry? If you are trying to run a business and you're doing business planning, let me share with you how we would do that with the world's top athletes and how those same principles apply to the world of financial services. So, initially it started with purely right at the top of the house talking about business planning, strategic planning in the financial world.

Over time as I did that and started coaching teams and working with in the field quite a bit, I built out much more robust materials. I would say more in the weeds on how to do business development, actually run your team, drive referrals and have focus even more narrowly on the business development side of the business that way. So I'd say early in the first quarter, end of the final quarter, but quite a bit to do that Drive to the Top, because people are in business planning mindset. And then the rest of the year it's actually, I'd say, more pertinent to the changes that are going on in the industry. So advisors are learning how to team and learn how to use partners and strategic resources as they move from more transactional to more advisory based businesses.

I always say, I'm basically the first point of contact for the athletes I work with. Through me they can access coaches, fitness people, club fitters, that all of the above should be able to come right through me. And I many times in explaining that to advisors, that they in the same way are access to someone to gain, access to investment professionals, lending professionals, again succession planning professionals, tax professionals, et cetera.

Steve Seid:
We're going to get into the book, “Drive to the Top”. And if anybody wants a copy, reach out to us, we'll get you a copy of Dr. Rick's book. That book is just as you described as, hey, here's what some of the best in golf do, right? Here's how they became the best. I wonder over the years how that message applies to the broad swath of financial professionals. There's some elite advisors. It's a bell curve, right? Do you find that those message of how to be Tiger Woods resonates even with the people that may not be on that end of the spectrum?

Rick Jensen:
I tell a lot of stories in that book about the Tiger Woods of the world, the Greg Normans of the world, the people who have been number one, but I don't think that everyone's striving to be that. So the first part of that, I talk about five essentials and the first essential in that is define your goal. I'll share a story with you that is kind of humorous. As I worked with a professional golfer years ago. I work out of a place called PJ National in south Florida. I just moved to California, but for years I've worked out of this location. So this golfer flew in there. I met with him, I start right away. I gather all their stats and I kind of do my due diligence in terms of who am I going to meet with. But once I meet with them, I would do what advisors would do with a prospect is sit down and do a discovery interview about where you're at.

Well, the first part of that is what are you trying to do? I asked this player at the time, I can remember sitting there and going, so what is it that you're trying to do now? I think he was ranked 50, 51st in the world at the time. So I asked him the question. I said, what's our goal here? Are we trying to get into the top 20? And he looks at me and he goes, no. And I said, top 10? And he goes, no. And I went, oh, okay. So you're looking to be number one, you really feel like that's doable? And he goes, no, certainly no. And he went a completely different direction. I went, no? And he goes, no. I said, you don't want to be top 20, top 10 or number one? He goes, not really. And I said, what's your goal? And he goes, I kind of like 50. I said, but you're already 50. And he said, he goes, yeah, I like it here. I said, what do you mean? And he went on to explain like, hey, if I take off my sunglasses and my hat, I can go in an airport, I can fly with my family. I can eat at a restaurant.

He goes, I have no interest in being one of these top players. He goes, they have no life. He goes, I make a couple million dollars a year playing a game I love, don't disrupt that. And I said, well, what are you seeing me for? He goes, I can't become 150.

Steve Seid:
I love it.

Rick Jensen:
Not every advisor wants to be the corner office person doing 5 million in production. Some advisors literally, hey, they're doing 700,000 in production living in a certain place in the United States, they're doing exactly…

Steve Seid:
Happy.

Rick Hensen:
…what they want to do. They have more of a lifestyle practice. So that's kind of the starting point.

Steve Seid:
One of the first things that jumped out at me about your book is you talk about two ways that the true elite, the champions differ, and I'll read them out to you. And I wonder if you can comment on these two points. The first one is, they've made a deliberate choice to be the best at what they do and the second is they continuously act on that choice. So maybe comment on those.

Rick Jensen:
I can remember Greg Norman saying the reason why he thought he dominated the game was he wanted to be number one. Billy Jean King on the tennis side said almost those exact same words to me. So this idea of the drive to be at the top of the game is incredible for those who are there, that want to be there. Now, I wouldn't argue that they would say that it's only their want, but it starts with that. So I've always said for me their fuel that underlies kind of their behavior is a desire to basically dominate their sport. That's there.

The second piece of that is they then engage in what we, as sports scientists, call deliberate practice, meaning they put in hours, meaning productive hours, in a way that other people just don't understand. They do work from sun up to sun down. And then the piece that I think I try to contribute to and I participate in is that in each hour that they work, they're not wasting time. That's what I mean by intentional or the word deliberate is kind of what we use in our research. If any of the people listening to your podcasts have read like “Talent Code”, any of the business books, “Outliers”, they'll refer to this 10,000 hour rule or the 10 year rule. It's really 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is what allows someone to get to the top of an industry. Too often the reader interprets the 10,000 hours is the most important part. The most important part is the deliberateness of the hours.

Plenty of advisors go to work every day and spend a lot of hours in the office. Does it really mean that each hour in the office is highly productive? I would argue not.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, that’s such a good word.

Rick Jensen:
And that's true among golfers as well. The mini tours are full of golfers who are at the golf course all day, but they're hitting some balls, they're playing some betting games with their buddies and they're casually kind of going through the process. That's not how Tiger Woods's practices, that's not how Annika Sorenstam practiced it as well.

When I'm working with advisors, I want them to understand like I can reduce the amount of time you're in the office and increase the amount of time you're with your family or playing golf or doing the other things that you love if you were more productive with the time that you spent in the office. Or you were more efficient in the way that you prospect or close business or work on the game. So for me, it's really about productivity.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's very, very well put. Very well put. And so Steve and I are certified in Kolbe, so we talk about three parts of the mind and you talk about motivation a lot, kind of the effective part of the mind in some of your books. So, let's dive in a little bit more with exploring motives and how you use it as a tool in your coaching.

Rick Jensen:
I do a seminar for advisors, I call it “Motivate Clients to Act”. I think of it more through the lens of, as a psychologist you're really trained to influence people. If we're going to build a financial plan for a client, that plan is only as good as the client will allow you to act upon it. So I oftentimes is just spending time coaching advisors I do in this seminar in terms of, do you really understand what it takes to motivate a client to act? And what you learn as a psychologist is the word motivation is actually probably incorrectly applied too often. We tend to think of motivation as motivating a third party. I'm doing something to the two of you to get you to do something that you would not do on your own. We think of it more through the lens of motives.

What we have to do is identify an individual's motives and then align behaviors with those particular motives. So if we're trying to get a client to do something, if that client is highly motivated themselves to feel secure, to protect their wealth, to make sure that they don't deal well with threat, risk tolerance, types of things, it's going to be really hard for me to motivate that person to take on risk. What I really need to do is show them how the plan that I put together for them and the allocations within that plan, basically provide for them access to what they have motive around. Protection, security, et cetera, if that makes sense.

Steve Seid:
It does.

Rick Jensen:
I think through discovery it's teaching the advisor to spend less time about the money and the allocations in the portfolio, and more time interviewing and doing discovery with that client around how do you really uncover a client's true motives and then presenting your solution through that lens.

Kurt Dupuis:
In your discovery process, uncovering these motives. What's the framework that you use? Is it specific questions? Do you have work through a checklist?

Rick Jensen:
100%, yeah. They're used to using MoneyGuidePro or eMoney to walk through needs, wishes, and wants. If anyone who on this call that's taken like “Psych 101” would've taken like Maslow's hierarchy of needs when they went through “Psych 101” and learned about there's a hierarchy of those needs. Do you start to explore people's work values and what they value most as well? So, when you take kind of values and needs and put them together, I actually build a hierarchy for advisors. I'm like, look, the first thing you have to do when you work with clients is you start in that kind of let's call it just the security, I think of it as a pyramid. Again, the base is security. So, if you work with retirees that don't have a lot of money. What keeps them up at night are things like longevity risk and will you outlive your money in securing a paycheck in income? That's part of it.
Now, if you work with ultra high net worth people, they get right out of that security bucket right away. They haven't had security issues forever, right? They've been able to take care of all those needs and you'd migrate away from that. You work with a business owner through COVID, now they might not have income needs or they haven't for years, but they might have business security needs because when COVID happened, was it going to shut down their small business? At first, you're looking at a level of just security, the base needs that someone would have either in their personal life or their business.

From there, if that's okay, you would move to more relationships. So I teach advisors, hey, if that doesn't seem to be any early pain points in security, now start talking about relationships. Do they have kids preparing for a college? Do they have a spouse that they're going to retire with? Do they have family members that they care for? Are they in that sandwich generation that they have elderly parents that they're dealing with healthcare concerns? So you're looking at relationship issues, and then there's a number of discovery questions you would ask there.

From there, you kind of move to the next level, which is kind of like business goals, personal goals. What are your goals? When you ask about goals in retirement. What are you looking to do in retirement, where you tend to go with that? What are you doing with your business? Are you on the way out, or you looking to grow? Do you need lending and finance? So you kind of could kind of go to that achievement area, the goal area, and then kind of the last bucket as more, again, Maslow always refer to that as like self-actualization, I think in our world in financial services, it's more like legacy planning…

Kurt Dupuis:
Legacy

Rick Jensen:
…philanthropy. So I teach advisors like you should be thinking through there's a hierarchy in which you do discovery. To start asking legacy questions of someone who's fearful that their business may not make it through the year is kind of silly.

Steve Seid:
Make it more about them, no matter what you think you are just like continue to make it more and more about the client and their needs.

Kurt Dupuis:
And meet them where they are. Yeah.

Rick Jensen:
Yeah. Now when they say, hey, transition to advisory. Too often that's discussed like move a comp plan from one where you're paid on commission to you're paid a recurring revenue. They just talk about it in terms of the compensation structure changing. I think it's missing the entire message. The whole message is no it's moving from transactions to relationships. It's not a fee discussion. I think the industry though hired a bunch of people years ago, rightfully they hired money people, people who were analytical, people who put together portfolios, who didn't need to have really good interpersonal skills because that wasn't what they did. They managed money. And now those same peoples are still in the industry, but they're being asked to do planning. Well, these might be people that are like, I'm not really that comfortable sitting across the desk doing discovery, interviewing with someone. So there's a disconnect going on in the industry as the people who frankly have more interpersonal skills and frankly sales skills and trust building skills, those people are benefiting from the transition that's going on.

Steve Seid:
I'm so glad you said that. You made that so simple. Because we do a value add piece, which is an analysis of financial professionals' books. And part of that is the transition of fee based and where's that opportunity lie. And it's very often comes up that they go, okay, well now we've got this list of clients that we think could benefit from this type of relationship. How do I actually have that conversation? And you made it so simple, what you just said. You're just like, it allows us to have a very different type of relationship. And now let me explain what that relationship actually is and why it's beneficial to you. You just made that so simple. So thank you for that.

So let's continue down more topics on your book. You had something else that jumped out to us was this idea of SPERTS, S-P-E-R-T-S

Rick Jensen:
Just a simple - one of the primary concepts in that first book that I wrote was “Define the Drivers of Your Outcomes”. In other words, the first step in strategic planning is obviously you could define your outcome, like I want to increase my AUM or my revenue from X to Y. The real issue is you have to do a cause and effect analysis to determine, well, what's keeping you from doing that. So what drives that outcome? So in professional golf, for instance, if someone needs to have a 68.5 scoring average to be competitive at the top of the game and they have a 69.5 or a 70 score on average, I have to find a shot and a half and get that out of their game.

So what is driving that shot and a half? Well, me having knowledge about the most important aspects of the game is what we call “total driving” or “strokes gained driving”. So how well you drive the golf ball? How well you hit irons into a green – so you can hit greens in regulation, you're putting in your short game and dividing those things up. And then I actually have the ability to then do a strokes gained analysis. Like how much do each one of those aspects of the game impact your ultimate scoring average. I mean, we see advisors struggling with net new assets all the time. But when I break that out and go, okay, let's break that out. There is that kind of market driven lift, but let me also look at new assets from new prospects, new assets from new referrals, new assets from existing clients. And then be able to break that out even further into, all right, let's just look at prospecting. How many qualified prospects are you actually in front of each month? What's the close ratio on each one of those?

So by SPERTS it's the next level of that. So once I do my, I call it kind of a gap analysis or my benchmark of numbers. If I find out, you know what it is, I just don't have enough at bats. I don't get in front of enough qualified prospects. SPERTS is my way of saying, okay, so what are the skills you need to do that? What are the processes that need to be in place to do that? What experience do you have to have to get in front of those kind of people? What resources do you deploy? What tools? So its just simply skills, processes, experiences, resources, tools, and strategies. So it's a simple way. In my book I'm like, you've got to look at the things that truly drive that outcome. You can't just put a business plan together and go, I plan to bring in $30 million of new assets this year. And I go, but how? What's the actual plan to do that?

Kurt Dupuis:
I had this conversation like three weeks ago. The client threw out a number because that number they got a certain number of like reward trips with their firm. That's how they got to the number. I was like, okay, well, next time we're going to have a conversation that goes a little bit beyond that of how we're going to break that down.

Rick Jensen:
It's unreal. Isn't it? I've called it monkey math for years. I'm like a monkey could do that math. A monkey can add 10% to their production of last year. A monkey could add 10% to their AUM. Top producers are engaged in behaviors. They're engaged in best practices that are frankly more about what drives outcomes and then oftentimes they're even surprised. You watch Scheffler who just won the Masters. I thought his interview afterwards, they were kind of like, oh, did you ever set this goal? And it was amazing to me to listen to that guy, I never even got that far in my goal setting. I just kind of thought put in the work and I never got to seeing myself sitting here. Because why? He was too busy doing the work and he's too busy engaged in what should I be working on in my swing? How do I gain more speed control in my putting? How do I get up and down more often and what do I have to do to get my chips closer to the hole? When you engage in all those activities, the outcomes kind of take care of themselves.

It doesn't mean numbers don't matter. Like I could benchmark against that. Like when someone says me, oh, I've brought in $3 million last year. I'm like, well, I work with a lot of teams that have brought in $30 million or $80 million. So those numbers matter. To be able to say, hey, your goal could be higher than that. Or given the size of your team, let me benchmark you against other teams who have similar resources available to them. You guys do it in sales all the time, I work with a lot of wholesalers over the years and again, you guys get in a situation where managers set goals, but sometimes they set goals because their manager set goals and they just have to distribute the numbers to you…

Kurt Dupuis:
No…

Rick Jensen:
I'm like, does anyone ever sit down and look-

Steve Seid:
No. Wait, so you're trying to tell me that they just pull those numbers out of the air, Doctor? Is what you were really trying to tell me right now?

Kurt Dupuis:
Monkey Math.

Rick Jensen:
That's another podcast for another day. We'll have that podcast another time.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So, I want to stay with this theme of growth. You have a presentation on, it’s “Disciples”?

Rick Jensen:
“The Disciplines of Growth”, or I refer to them as disciplines of growth or what masters of business growth do.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. Can we unpack that a little bit? Can you give us some teasers on what that presentation looks like?

Rick Jensen:
Again, it's having spent 20 plus years working with advisors, just like when you're around golf long enough, you can start to tease out what truly drives new business versus what doesn't. And so for me over time, I've just built what I would refer to as the “Six Disciplines”. I use the word disciplines because they are best practices in the sense of, they require you to implement something. You have to do something in a disciplined fashion, meaning repeatable behaviors that are part of your business process.

Kurt Dupuis:
Not monkey math. Okay.

Rick Jensen:
Yeah. So if I had to kind of out load those really fast. They are…the first one is that you actually have become more of a, I call it, “business specialization”. Just as I speak to you I'm a psychologist by training, but I work specifically with financial advisors, pro golf and tennis, that's my market. Being more specialized allows my advice to be so much higher level than if I just was a life coach, coaching everybody about being better at life. When you're that you come across as like, well, I'll help you with any pain point that you have. What do you got going on? And teaching advisors, like just going after anyone with a dollar and a pulse is what you did when you started. But if you're going to truly be a valued advisor moving forward, you've got to become more specialized. And those that are, frankly, I always say they attract gold and they don't have to pan for gold anymore because they've built a brand and a reputation that attracts business to them that way. So that's discipline number one.

Number two for me would be I call it “exceptional service”, you have to be able to deliver on that value prop. So if I say, hey, I'm an incredible advisor for business owners. I better be able to have exceptional services in lending and financing and cash flow management, in succession planning and tax planning. I better be able to do those things that an advisor within that space could do. If I can’t, I can say it on a website, but it doesn't mean that people experience it.

Third, “capacity management”. Like you have to have capacity to grow. So advisors who have 600 households and not enough staff and no simple processes to organize that and don't know how to do client segmentation and book management. They're frankly so busy servicing they stop growing because they're not able to continue to manage their client acquisition systems well.

That leads into the fourth area for me is “referral or prospect generation”. Meaning, do you have very clear processes on how to build advocacy among clients and among centers of influence so that you are generating a pipeline of qualified unsolicited referrals? I've always said I do a seminar called “Go Beyond Buying a Burger and Asking for a Referral”. This idea of like, I'm going to bring an accountant to lunch and then try to hit them up for me to get into their book, that's not what I see top teams doing at all.

I then look at “Marketing” in terms of what do you do in terms of marketing to, I call it, let's say spray fuel on your referral and generation processes that way. I see too many advisors kind of be trained by social media people to do social media stuff before they've gotten all those other ducks in a row. And now all of a sudden they do social media and they get a bunch of referrals of people with no money that way.

I made that mistake early in my career, I had access to the Golf Channel. I started writing for Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Channel. I remember the first time I did the Golf Channel I thought it was phenomenal. Like, wow, this is great media, great marketing, great exposure. But I only work with touring pros. Well, Tiger Woods isn’t sitting and watching the Golf Channel, looking for a tip. I didn't think through it enough, I just thought great exposure, great for my brand. Well at the end of the show, Peter Kessler was the host at the time, Peter goes at the end of the show and he closes the show by going, hey, if you want to improve your golf game, you got to call Dr. Rick as well. Here's his phone number, here's his email, give him a call tomorrow. And I'm like, oh my God, I didn't even think through it, I didn't know they were going to close the show that way. My office blew up, now we're a referral center for people who shoot a billion on the weekends in their golf game. That was not my target market whatsoever.

And then the last piece of that, I call it “relationship development”. The bottom line is top advisors are spending their time building relationships with people with money. If I do an audit of their schedule, they're spending 80% of their time in front of clients, prospects or centers of influence. They've frankly built teams that do all the rest of the tasks that way.
Steve Seid:
Can I ask you, you don't have to give all your secret sauce away, but on the referral side, what are some of the things that you're recommending there that people do that they're not doing?

Rick Jensen:
Probably the primary differentiator is I use the word “referral vehicle” or “advocacy vehicle”. That you put something in place that puts you in front of advocates who can then put you in front of prospects. Meaning, a tangible structure to do that. I'll give a concrete example. In my world, for instance, gaining access to touring golf professionals is not easy. Once I have touring golf professionals it's fairly easy because I'm out there. But still even if you're out there and you're at an event, if you're at the Masters and you're working with three of the players, you work with you can't just walk up unsolicited to someone else and go... I mean you could, I guess, but it's pretty tacky to walk up, hey, I saw you missed the cut. Don't have any plans for the weekend, maybe you should talk to me. I mean, who does that kind of ambulance chasing in a tactful way, right? So you wouldn't do that.

So in my world, advocacy is built by knowing the coaches. So me networking with the coaches or the caddies through an organized way. So I have what's called the Certified Golf Coaches Association, which is an association that I created, I don't know, 10, 12 years ago. I do training and development of golf coaches across the world who want to train elite golfers, not just their local club players. They don't have doctorates in sports science, I do. So I can bring all that information to them and say, I'll train you to do it so you don't even have to refer them to me. Don't refer them to me do it yourself but if you're not trained you can't. I can train them how to do the types of things that I do as well as elite coaches who travel the tour do. Well they're interested in that. They want to know what top performers are doing, so they join the association.

Well, now these are people that I have training and summits and I'm working with them over time. When they finally do get a touring pro or if they already have one who goes into a slump or is struggling, I'm their first phone call. I've been their professor in this association for years. One of the advisors I work with without a Cincinnati works with physicians and their qualified plans. So he does about 65 million in new business each year. So when I asked him, I'm like, how do you get that new business? That's really great that it's repeating. He says I get it from referrals. And when I said to him, is there anything you do to nurture those referrals? That's the setup question for, do they say, I take accountants out to lunch? Usually not. He says, certainly. I run an annual healthcare summit for my physicians.

Steve Seid:
Love that story.

Rick Jensen:
He said to me, he goes, you're a healthcare professional. Do you have to do CE credits? I went, every year. He goes, so do physicians. He goes, don't you go to professional conferences? I went exactly. He says, we bring the conference to Cincinnati. We hire all those speakers from those conferences, we run our own summit for our own clientele. We can say to our clients, anyone else within your group who would like to join our summit, tell them it's free of charge. No charge. Just tell us that they're affiliated with you. He said so now they come with their partners and they come with other people in the medical group. He said, and then we do marketing also of physicians within a certain mile radius to Cincinnati, and we invite them to come.

He said, but meanwhile, we're introducing every speaker. They cover everything from tort reform to Obamacare to paperless offices to building your 401k plan. We basically have now a prospecting list of all the people who came into that room, plus we've provided an incredible value for our existing clientele. He said, and then we just spend the last rest of the year with a drip campaign of providing value to all those people who have come to that event, and that drives about 60 plus million of new business a year.

Steve Seid:
It's an incredible…

Kurt Dupuis:
It's about making your own weather there.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, and the message is, if you feel like you're doing well with a niche market or you want to develop it's like, what can you be doing that goes above and beyond to create this... I don't even know what you would describe it, because I don't know that everyone would create a summit. But it's a pretty good example of something that you can do above and beyond that creates this sort of attraction for all these people to come together and see you as a value add provider.

Rick Jensen:
I can't imagine working pro golf and just running out there and asking someone, want to have a burger with me and hoping that I could sell them over lunch. I certainly couldn't ask my clients, hey, since you just won the US Open, do you have any other players that might want to win the US Open? You got any referrals? I mean, they're not going to refer any other players that way. So, it's almost tacky to ask existing clients to be your business development arm. That's what advisors tell me privately. They're told in conferences, ask your clients for referrals, but privately they say to me, I feel like that feels whether it's tacky or needy, almost like they're asking for business from a client that way.

Steve Seid:
Totally agree, I totally agree with that in terms of I've been on the asking side of that, not from financial professionals but other industries. I don't know, it does come off a little bit needy. I love the message that you're giving here.

One of the videos I saw was you were talking about maximizing partnerships specifically with your firm, but also the wholesalers and the firms that you partner with. Talk a little bit about that because I do think the typical financial professional feels bombarded by their firm, by external partners like us. So what's your advice for maximizing or getting value in the midst of this, what they feel is being bombarded.

Rick Jensen:
It's not as strategic as it should be. In other words if I know who I'm going after as a clientele and I know who I want to present my value to and how I want to build my team, I should be able to source those of you that are in the product side of it that do have value add resources. So whether it's a portfolio manager, asset management, strategist, or it's on the value add side with guys like me that are doing more business development or growth strategies, I need to kind of know what am I looking for? And then which of you certainly have the products that I would use with my clientele. But the product side of it's becoming more commoditized.

Steve Seid:
Agree.

Rick Jensen:
Many of you agree have the products that I could use, what are the other resources that I could use that I could build you in as a partner of mine? And then frankly now present that partnership as part of the value that I bring to the client.

So, I want advisors to kind of build a, on tour we call it a player support team. So when you look on tour and you see a Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson, they've got a coach and a fitness trainer and a biomechanist and a club fitter. These are the teams we operate within, advisors should be doing the same and, frankly, be presenting the two of you as, hey, let me show you what else I have for you when it comes to blank. As opposed to just looking at you as a blank check, right? Hey, can you give me a couple thousand dollars support for this event that I'm going to? I just think, that's again, low hanging fruit. To just kind of go, if you give me some support, I'll look at your funds.

I really want to say to the firms like, no, what value do you really have that would be beneficial to my clientele or to me running my business better, which is then beneficial to my clientele and build those partnerships? You don't need a ton of them. I don't need 20 different providers, right? Who are my four to six key providers that really fit within the service offerings that I want to bring to my clients.

Steve Seid:
Love it.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I wonder if we could be “futurists” for second kind of look around the corner. We don't have to get into great level of detail, but how do you think of the next evolution of your coaching engagements? Is there something you're researching now that's really interesting that we should be looking forward to?

Rick Jensen:
I do recruiting training for the leadership. When you talk about market leaders or branch or complex leaders, they're responsible for recruiting. It's me starting to train them, not just in terms of recruiting but how to recruit high achievers in today's world. The high achiever of today's advisory space is very different than it was before. I can't tell you how many times I've had a market leader want me to be the Keynoter at their conference. And I'll say, what are you looking to speak about? And he goes, I need you to kind of address this complacency issue. People just aren't bringing in new clients. They're not bringing in new add. And they see it as an issue of complacency. My response is you hired poorly. If you have a complacency issue… 

Steve Seid:
That’s right!

Rick Jensen:
…let's own that a little bit in terms of why did you hire...

Steve Seid:
Yeah!

Rick Jensen:
I don't have complacency issues among the top golfers I work with, they want to win. They have achievement motivation…

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah.

Rick Jensen:
…and we screened for that. Well, the tour - professional sports screens that out but we don't necessarily when we recruit into a broker dealer or into a bank, but we could, if we were better trained.

So, right from the top of the house, it's let's really identify who the true high achievers are in this world moving forward and let's land them. Let's recruit them. I try to partner more regularly with instead of just doing a 50 minute breakout or a keynote at a conference, there's no way the strategies that I talk about in terms of business development can happen from 50 minutes of me speaking to somebody at a conference with 500 people in the audience. There has to be more robust processes, put in place to walk those people through the repositioning of their practices and teaching them things like what we've talked about for the last hour, right? Teaching them how to build a referral vehicle. Teaching them how to build a virtual team and resources and partnering with the right partners. Teaching them how to build a prospecting pipeline and really nurture that pipeline and develop that over time. These are things that have to happen more systemically over time.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's so great. Well, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. So if we were to direct people to you and your content and your work, where would you have us do that?

Rick Jensen:
Well, my office line is 954-752-3333. And my website is www.drrickjensen.com So it just drrickjensen.com no periods in there. I think all the information's there that someone would need.

Kurt Dupuis:
Wonderful. We've referenced this a few times in the show, but Dr. Rick has a book called “Drive to the Top of Financial Services: 5 Timeless Business Lessons Learned from Golf's Greatest Champions”. If you reach out to us, Seid and I would be happy to get that out to you. So, thank you again for your time. This was a great chat. I'm sure we're going to have a great response from it and stay tuned, because we have the Costanza Corner up next, stick with us.

Steve Seid:
And welcome back to the Costanza Corner where we like to leave on a high note. Kurt, you are up for today.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm doing a two-fer today.

Steve Seid:
Are you?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, because one's really quick. You already know about this, but everyone else probably doesn't. I am buzzing right now because as I've expressed on the podcast, been trying to get back into music and play with more people. I had a show this weekend.

Steve Seid:
That amazes me. I do know about this.

Kurt Dupuis:
I got invited to - this guy that I've played with a couple times invited me to a gig that he was already part of. We played for four hours out in just like a little neighborhood party. It was awesome! So, um…

Steve Seid:
How'd you choose the songs to play? I'm curious about that.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, it was the most scatterbrained thing you've ever seen. I mean, we had like a 12 or 15 song set list, but for four hours you can imagine we just riffed a little bit. He led some, I led some, we just pinged back and forth. It flowed. It was not chiseled because we had not practiced. But I mean, look, we gave the people what they want. They were out dancing. There are kids out there. Blasting some Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift and playing some Grateful Dead. Like we had it all. It was awesome.

Steve Seid:
So did you have to know all these songs by memory or did you have?

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh no. No, no. I commit nothing to memory. My iPad died like three hours in and so the last hour I'm just like, hey, what's the chord progression again? And I just ran with it because I had no technology because I commit nothing to memory

Steve Seid:
That's awesome. And congratulations, I had a chance to play with you and you're very, very good as far as I'm concerned. I could play some, but you're rocking dude. So it's not surprising to me that you could deliver at that type of stage. Congrats.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, thanks man. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad to get back into it.

But this is my second one and this is going to be a recurring part of the Costanza Corner. Where we simply end with a Costanza quote.

Steve Seid:
Oh this is good. Okay. Costanza quote.

Kurt Dupuis:
It just struck me like we've been doing Costanza Corner for like two years, but we've never actually talked about George Costanza. So we're going to talk about some Costanza quotes.

Steve Seid:
Ok.

Kurt Dupuis:
And really when you compare your life to him, like you always feel better. So, that accomplishes the goal of the Costanza Corner. So here's my quote and we can end here.

Steve Seid:
Okay.

Kurt Dupuis:
You know, if you take everything I've accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into one day, it looks decent.

Steve Seid:
And we just end there, that's what it is? All right.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's our show. We'll see you guys next time.

Steve Seid:
See ya.

Kurt Dupuis:
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