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How to Fill Your Pipeline: A Lesson on Net Worth

Your marketing efforts bring prospects into the top of your sales funnel. You’re then anxious to nurture those prospects through the sales process to become clients. But to guide them completely through the process, it’s crucial you engage with them when they show increased interest in your services.

On this episode of Elementality, Reese and Matt illustrate how Elements assessments can keep prospects involved and interested in your offering. By using Elements, you can demonstrate your value as prospects experience your advice. Don’t let your potential clients languish in the middle of your sales funnel. Hear how Elements creates more opportunities for you to move prospects further along their sales journey.

 


Podcast Transcript

Reese Harper:
Most people don’t have awareness of what they should be asking about, and they don’t have awareness of where their own pain is, and what you have to do is you have to expose that to more people, and if you as an individual can expose the pain to more people, then they hire you, it’s no different from a financial advisor or a wellness coach, or a doctor, or a lawyer, the more they can expose their knowledge in simple terms, the bigger their funnel gets and the more clients they have.

Jordan Haines:
Welcome to Elementality, I’m Jordan Hanes, Financial Planning Specialist at Elements. Each episode, Reese and Matt will discuss major challenges faced by financial advisors and the things they can do to navigate the complexities of delivering quality financial advice to clients. We hope you enjoy this episode. Welcome to elementality, everybody. Stoked to be here for another conversation with Dr. Matt Glaser, America’s financial advisor.

Matt Glaser:
We talked about this.

[chuckle]

Matt Glazer:
That episode’s probably aired by now, we’re the first instance of that.

Reese Harper:
So now we have… He’s a doctor and he’s America’s financial advisor. What does America’s financial advisor wanna talk about today?

Matt Glazer:
What does it even mean? [chuckle]

Reese Harper:
Talk to me about this.

Matt Glazer:
Yeah, so we’ve been talking about a lot of clarity and communication as we’re developing this feature in Elements now that involves us teeing up communication for advisors to deliver to clients, and so we’re talking a lot about clarity in that communication. And I think a lot of the times as advisors, we feel like we are actually clearly breaking down complicated subjects in clear terms, and that the client as they shake their head as understanding, and we feel like we’re writing these things and they’re understanding them, and we feel like that we’re showing them charts and they are understanding them, so we think we’re doing a really good job, but I think… And there is plenty of us that are, but I think on the whole, as a generalization about the industry is we’re probably not doing a really good job at getting clients to really understand, and internalize, and use these concepts to help improve their own financial situation. So my question today, Reese, is how would you approach that problem? I know we have talked about in the past, taking net worth as a concept, or wealth as a concept, something that seems like so remedial and so basic and architecting communication around that, or a course around that, or a marketing campaign around that, using this really basic concept and saying in really basic terms to create some source of much better understanding and like a better foundation for a long-term relationship.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, it’s a great question, and one that I’m in the middle of working on right now, so I’m excited to chat a little bit about it. I’ve got this group that I’m doing financial literacy and coaching with, and I’ve been surprised to kind of hear both from… Anyway, the group’s Keller Williams Real Estate, and I’m doing this test on how to teach their realtors about finances using this framework, and it’s cool for me ’cause I’m trying to like test as a financial advisor, how other advisors could come in and sort of offer a model where… Everyone wants the rising stars, everyone wants the clients that are gonna be the rising star clients, but you don’t really know out of this group, and out of any group of clients who’s gonna be the rising star. So before I jump into the topic, I prepared an example today that I think will be little bit helpful, but do you have any questions about that general reasoning behind like, why literacy? ‘Cause you could say, “We’re just trying to educate the world.” but as a financial advisor, you’re trying to get more clients, you’re trying to grow your influence, your trying to get your book to get bigger and you wanna help people, but usually there’s some reason that’s deeper than just you like educating.

Matt Glazer:
I think let’s stay in this context of candidly marketing, and prospecting, but know that these concepts are applicable in relationship, in discovery, in any part of the client life cycle, in so much as that they have not been served before, I think these are… These strengthen the foundation at any point in time, but let’s hone in on that marketing use case.

Reese Harper:
So let’s say, in this particular case you could assume… When I was first meeting with this group, I heard from their CEO, he said, “I’m just really concerned that these real estate agents they get pops in income every once in a while, they have a… They’d sell a commercial building or…

Matt Glazer:
It’s uneven, it’s un-predictable.

Reese Harper:
It’s uneven, it’s un-predictable, when they get it then they tend to not know what to do with it, and they find ways to spend it really quickly and the next thing you know, they’re struggling, and yet they’ve still made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. And so this comment to me was like, “I just don’t think they really understand the concept of wealth or what it means to build wealth.” and I asked him some questions about wealth, [chuckle] and it was interesting ’cause he kind of talked about spending a little bit more, and income a little bit more, and I was like, “Man, okay, we’ve got some conflation here.” even with people that think they know what wealth is, they’re conflating income with wealth, and wealth is really more correlated to net worth, and income and spending are kind of in their own camp, and I’m sure people listening to us are like, “Oh yeah, I see that all the time.” but if I went in and said, “We just kinda teach everyone what net worth is.” I think that’s also closer to jargon than the word wealth, they use wealth all the time generically, but they don’t really realize when they talk about wealth, they’re talking about net worth from a financial perspective.

Reese Harper:
And we have to start by getting them to understand the difference between these two things. So I’ve got a friend that I’ve met who I’ve really appreciated. Those of you who’d caught maybe an episode a month or two ago, I don’t know when it’s been, Paco De Leon. Paco has a personal bookkeeping business, and she’s a personal finance author. So me and her, went the rounds on this for a while trying to figure out how do we develop this content, and to her credit, without her help I probably couldn’t break it down this simply because it’s too hard for me. I’m in the industry, I’m jargon guy.

Matt Glazer:
It’s a communication challenge.

Reese Harper:
Yeah. I’m just like, “Oh, how do I break this down so much simpler than it was?” And she came up with these two polls. She was like, “Start it with two polls and the first poll that we’re gonna start the first presentation with. The first presentation is just about understanding wealth. It’s just understanding wealth 101”, and we start with a poll. And the poll is, “I know what my income was… ” Is true or false. You just say true or false. “I know what my income was last year, but not my net worth.” So you either say yes or no to that. It doesn’t make someone feel dumb, this type of question the reason you ask this type of question is it doesn’t make people feel stupid. You wanna avoid things they don’t know the answer to. You want them to actually have an answer to a polling question, even if the answer is exposing something they don’t know.

Matt Glazer:
Right, again we talk about it all the time but even in this… Especially in this space your goals is… If you’re not gonna be engaging in your marketing, it’s probably time to rethink the marketing, right?

[laughter]

Reese Harper:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. After we hit them with that first poll, we hit them with the second poll though which is, “I know what my income is, but I’m not totally clear on what wealth is.” So, we’re basically… We know that they already know what income is, ’cause most of them will. They’ll have a general idea. In my case, as a financial advisor for dentists, we had a problem with both things. They didn’t know what income was, and they didn’t know what wealth was.

Matt Glazer:
Right, ’cause business owner conflation between… It’s just everything is one part of stuff.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, it’s one part and I don’t know what I make and I can’t calculate my income. And so it made it particularly complicated. In this particular audience, I’m assuming they kind of know what their income is a little bit more, but I’m asking questions, two questions at the beginning of the poll. They’re just gonna answer yes or no to them, and then I’m gonna move on from there. Now, that might sound like painfully stupid and painfully boring and painfully basic but I promise, this is the level that 75%, 80%, maybe even 95% of people, they’re at this level. They’re at seventh grade, eighth grade reading level when it comes to financial stuff, and you gotta start from what they know and then add what they don’t know.

Reese Harper:
You don’t ever start with something they don’t know. If you start in a sentence, especially, if you’re writing a sentence the first part of your sentence should not be new information that they have to learn. It’s familiar information, then some kind of a verb, and then new information at the end to help them make sense of the information that they don’t know. And then when you start the next sentence, you start with the same information that was at the end of the last sentence, and then you add new information again at the end of the second sentence. It sounds stupid, painfully, simple, but that’s the level that you have to train yourself at, and it will feel a little uncomfortable, and when you write it down, you’ll be like, “This is stupid. No one’s gonna think I’m smart, and everyone’s gonna think I’m an idiot.”

[laughter]

Reese Harper:
But the truth is you’re not trying… No one’s thinking that, they just are confused and when they’re not confused that’s when they hire you. So when they’re confused, they don’t hire you, but if they feel like they can make sense of what you’re saying they say yes. Any questions before I go to the next three slides? I only got three more slides in my deck. My deck is five slides long for this whole entire lesson, it’s an hour Preso on five slides.

Matt Glazer:
I guess my better judgment, I’m gonna talk about the 20%. You said that the 5% that might be on the higher end of the spectrum. Do you think it’s still detrimental to you in a marketing context to pursue this pretty remedial route of explaining wealth and net worth even to the person who’s like… Let’s take the example of you advising a financial advisor, let’s take an example of someone who’s incredibly proficient at finances. It’s their profession in this case, maybe that’s a bad example in this case.

Reese Harper:
No. Go with it. I’ll go with that.

Matt Glazer:
Okay have a look at that you’re advising a financial advisor, which is by the way a fantastic idea, it’s really hard to pay attention your own finances when you’re thinking about other people’s the whole time. You’re advising a financial advisor and your marketing campaign rests on this idea of explaining really basic concepts in finance and really, really simple and basic kind of ways that are well below… Below or above? Well em-baked into their understanding of these concepts already. Does that hurt your marketing, your prospect in anyway in that case? And if they are at that point where they’re like, “Yeah, dude this is like 10 years ago for me”, where do you go from there to keep this relevant and to keep pulling on that thread?

Reese Harper:
If you have enough experience to pull back and again your deck is simple, it’s very precise, it’s very organized, it looks like you know what you’re doing, you’re not burdening anyone with jargon. Most people’s first reaction when they can understand what you’re saying is, “Okay this person is competent. This person is capable.” There are some people when they are confused and don’t know what you’re talking about, they worship you for a little while. They say, “Oh wow, he’s too smart for me, I probably should hire him.” But that doesn’t last for a long time. If they’re consistently confused in their interaction with you because you’re smarter than they are, eventually, they start assuming you don’t know what you’re doing because they can’t make sense of it anymore. And so it’s kind of one of the… In my experience, at least, very clear, very simple communication doesn’t make you look bad. It doesn’t make you look off-market. If someone already knows, like in your example, that they know what net worth is, you can go through that pretty quickly, but just show that, “Hey, I think it’s a foundational concept.”

Reese Harper:
And again, what I’m doing here with this preso, I wouldn’t be giving this presentation quite the same way if I didn’t have Elements right there, ’cause what I’m doing is I’m teaching people a concept and I’m giving them the app, and then I’m gonna do a live like build. So I’m teaching them what wealth is, I gave them the poll to kind of make them feel good that they’re not the only one confused about what income and net worth is, or income and wealth. And I gave them two polling questions and I introduced the word wealth first, then I introduced net worth, then I just teach them a short concept, the concept that I’m gonna teach them now that we’ve done this poll, is that I first start with wealth. I’m like, wealth is something you can’t really see. It’s what you keep. It’s what you’re not spending. It’s what you’re worth, and I kind of end with that. And then I said, next slide. Wealth has many names. Wealth is net worth. Some people call it a balance sheet. I actually say some people call it balance sheet, we call it net worth. I just end with net worth.

Reese Harper:
So wealth is net worth, and then I’m like, “There’s a formula for it, assets, and here’s what assets are, debts, and then net worth now, download the app and let’s build yours”. Now, if I wasn’t gonna have them build theirs right then, I probably… I may not do it quite this way, I might have a PDF, that’s what I used to do is I would have PDFs for my audience. I would hand all the PDFs out and I would say write down your assets, write down your liabilities, let’s calculate your net worth. Once we have that, and once they have put their information in and put it into the system and they have this net worth and they understand this concept for the first time emotionally, it’s like going to college and being in a class and having an aha moment in college when you write down some notes and something just triggered in your brain, you’re like, “Oh yes”. It’s the piece of paper that you hold on forever at that moment, that’s why Matt in his room, when I look at how many textbooks you still have laying around, they’re still there, ’cause there’s been a lot of experiences with these books.

Reese Harper:
They date back for a freaking 20 years, who knows, but you’re in the library, you’re reading you’re underlining, you’re highlighting, and something emotionally happened with that text, and it’s hard to throw it away now. I’ve watched my wife do that for… Maybe it’s just ’cause she is a Health and Wellness major. We have 100 books in our house from notes and highlighters and we’ve never looked at them.

Matt Glazer:
Never opened them again.

Reese Harper:
Never use them. I mean you have Google now, you have Google, it’s bigger than the books, but the fact that you had that kind of moment where you tactilely with your hands, wrote something down, typed it in, underlined it. You hold on to it forever. And so I think that’s the best way to secure a client, because in financial services, we don’t have a freemium model right now, we just have like “Cold turkey, hire me, give me all your money and sign up”, and you’re not giving people a chance to try you out, you’re not giving them a chance to hear your philosophy. And the reason I like Elements and the way that we’re doing things is we’re going into the market we’re teaching a concept, we’re letting them experience it, them start to kind of build a mental model and then we’re saying, and look what I do. Now, I can give you insights and I can give you comparisons, I can give you health assessments, I can give you score assessments, I can give you recommendations and advice and pieces of information that you don’t even know about, but you can do part of it too. Mr. Client, you can get involved and you can learn and you can experience my advice for free, and then I’ll ask you if you wanna be a client once you’ve experienced the power of my advice.

Jordan Haines:
Hi, there, it’s Jordan. Are you on the hunt for ways to grow your book, speed up your planning process and better serve your rising star clients and prospects, then it’s time to find out how Elements is helping advisors like you all across the country, modernize their approach to financial planning. To chat with us, go to getelements.com/demo, and we’ll show you how Elements can help future-proof your business.

Matt Glazer:
You talked about getting to this… Getting them to the point… Getting a person or a prospect to the point of clarity through non-jargon, super, super simple, basic concepts. And this is really simple narrative and you got them to this aha moment, supposedly, of clarity, they’re like the momentum has built and it’s like at this crest, where do you… Let’s assume you’re doing… In this case, you’re doing it in a one-to-many context could be like a synchronous thing in a webinar, in a recorded webinar, It could be an event where you’re in person live with these folks, you’re not actually converting these into real one-on-one individual relationships or opportunities at that moment in time. How do you carry that momentum and convert that into a prospect, even actually having a pipeline where you’ve had a one-on-one… You started a one-on-one relationship.

Reese Harper:
Well, the way we’ve built our tech, luckily this is kind of… We built this tech for grow in the top of the funnel and doing better planning, but they were both there. The problem right now is traditional financial planning software and prospecting and marketing and lead gen and nurturing and education, they live in two different houses, and so it’s really hard to efficiently kind of move… Even if you have a bunch of like… Like, O’Ryan just bought RedTail, and now there’s gonna be a sink. But these systems weren’t architected for solving this problem, there wasn’t… You have to start by, what problem are you solving? And that’s why single unified systems with good APIs like do well, but my argument I’m making here is even if you say, “Well, I’ve got Zapier and I can bolt on all the stuff”, it’s like, if the client themselves, from the point of sale, from the prospecting, from the webinar, from the event where you nurtured them, experiences something new on the other side, it’s just there’s a lot of friction there.

Reese Harper:
So with Elements, if I go out and get these people on, Teach them, get them to build their net worth, start to understand wealth, talk to them about some of these basic concepts, I’ve got a lot of next calls to action for them. My next call to action is inviting them all to… Well, I’m gonna have three calls to action, I’m gonna have a the top, a middle and a bottom Call to Action, and I got all these people in my… We’ll call it database now, they’ve all had a great experience listening to me, I can see all of them, and I know their data, ’cause they’ve shared it with me, they’ve opted in coming to my seminar, they’ve opted in to share this information. Now, I’m going to pick between three different things to do, I can keep them at this top-of-funnel education level, or I can say, “Hey, do you wanna come to my debt seminar, do you wanna come to my lesson on insurance? You wanna come to my real estate conversation every month. I have a conversation, would you like to come to these?” “Yeah, that first one where I learned about wealth was great”. Okay, they’re still up there coming to your… You’re gonna always have a top funnel thing, then you gonna have a middle of funnel thing, and the middle of funnel thing is gonna be a little bit deeper like learning thing.

Reese Harper:
It’s gonna be like, let’s give you a score assessment, you want me to… Would you like me to take your information and provide you with some comparisons of how you stand? Tell you if you’re a typically high on debt or a typically low here, or if your savings is too low, you wanna do it. You want an assessment, I can give you an assessment on your debt. I’ll start with that. Just one thing, and Elements has already prepared that you could just send them out an assessment say, you’re normal, you’re high, and here you use some language you just push send and send out that report. Don’t do it for free. I mean, do that for free, but you don’t do it forever for free, that’s just… They know that they’re not a client yet, they haven’t signed up, you’re just showing them how you work, and then you got your bottom of funnel stuff, which is like, “Do you wanna sign up with me? I’ll be your Private Wealth Advisor for the rest of your life and I’ll do score assessments and set up plans, and I’ve got all this cool stuff and here’s my offering”. That’s a big jump though, right now, financial advisors are only offering that bottom thing like, “Come sign up with me”, but the client never gets to experience your advice, which is what happens in the middle of the funnel, is a piece of dead advice. It’s a piece of liquidity advice, piece of savings advice.

Reese Harper:
And they go, “Man, that was really smart. I’d like one more, you give me one more and I’ll decide, just that first one seemed so good. I don’t know if you could possibly do that again”, you just give them one more piece of advice, say, “Hey, yeah, usually I go for 30-60 days before I really have to decide. Figure out some free trial period, I don’t know”. But the point is the industry doesn’t have a way right now for people to learn and come into the top of the funnel and just keep learning and then drop down in to sort of personalized something and then eventually make a decision, all we’re doing is forcing them to make a decision, and we pay a real high cost of customer acquisition for that, so that… For that reality in our space, we’re paying three to five grand to get a customer that’s expensive. And all you have to do is just rearrange your nurture.

Matt Glazer:
To be clear, I think you’re mostly… You’re talking mostly about those prospects where there’s more of this latent demand for financial advice, meaning it’s not super present in their life, they don’t have this critical blaring pain where like, “I need to talk to Reese ’cause I think he can answer this really specific tax question for me right now, and I know he can answer it, and if he can answer it, I’m gonna work with him”, like that person is already well into your funnel effectively, you haven’t had to actually pay much to… I’m ignoring whatever relationship people already created with them, but this idea of this style of course and this style of learning.

Reese Harper:
Yes. But I would argue that even that prospect that comes in that has an acute pain. A lot of times that acute pain isn’t deep enough to be a comprehensive relationship right?

Matt Glazer:
Sure. Yeah.

Reese Harper:
They’re gonna get your acute pain answered transactionally, and then they’re gonna go, Well, that’s good enough. I got my answer.

Matt Glazer:
Wait, how do we ensure that’s not a transaction?

Reese Harper:
So you… Go ahead transact with that acute need, tell them it looks like you’re not ready for my comprehensive service right now, I’ll handle that acute need for you. Would you like to be a part of my newsletter, essentially.

Matt Glazer:
Whatever it is, yeah.

Reese Harper:
And you put them on your system, say, “Hey, I had a lot of acute need, I need to have you fill out your net worth, do you know what wealth is? Wanna make sure you just know that if not come to my monthly webinar”, you’re gonna cycle them back up and you’re gonna kind of help nurture them around what planning really is, ’cause you don’t want clients that are acute just acute need pain kind of transacting with you. But yeah, some people are gonna magically come in through that door, but I would say that’s literally less than a quarter of 1% of the population, like most people are not. Most people don’t have awareness of what they should be asking about, and they don’t have awareness of where their own pain is, and what you have to do is you have to expose that to more people, and if you as an individual can expose the pain to more people, then they hire you, it’s no different from a financial advisor or a wellness coach, or a doctor or a lawyer, the more they can expose their knowledge in simple terms, the bigger their funnel gets and the more clients they have.

Matt Glazer:
Yeah. Well, I think it’s great advice, and I think this was full of a lot of practical tips that help with people who can take and implement in their own marketing campaigns.

Reese Harper:
Well, we sure appreciate you audience, you’re good people out there sticking with us on this technical journey, we enjoy it. And thanks, Matt, for taking the time. It’s been fun chatting with you.

Matt Glazer:
Yep, see you.

Reese Harper:
Have a good week.

Jordan Haines:
Next time on Elementality.

Carl Richards:
To me, why financial advice, speaking broadly as an industry and maybe even more narrowly as a profession, I think that’s why it’s endlessly fascinating is because there’s a whole bunch of really interesting questions, and if we’re honest about it, and that’s the real challenge, is being honest about it leads us down this path. We literally have to say, I don’t know, a lot more than we’re saying, if we accept the reality of how complex all of these decisions and how many moving parts there are, and to me, that’s fascinating, which leads me all the way back to presence like it’s hard to be… Like all we have is now, we know that we don’t have tomorrow, and certainly we don’t have yesterday, all we have is now. And it’s really hard to be here now, if I’m constantly thinking about the future being better.

Abby Morton:
You can learn more about the Elements financial planning system at getelements.com/meet and schedule a time to speak with one of our friendly financial planning experts. Elementality’s executive creators are Reese Harper and Matt Glaser. Elementality is produced by Abby Morton and directed by Jordan Hanes. Have a good one.

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