“The Language Of Referrals” w/ Bill Cates

Today I’m joined by Bill Cates, “the original referral coach” and client acquisition expert, to talk about his new book “The Language of Referrals.” In addition to talking about client acquisition and the advisor of the future, we discuss the 6-part framework of the language of referrals…

  1. Developing your inner script
  2. Becoming super referrable
  3. Promoting introductions
  4. Asking for introductions
  5. Navigating concerns and objections
  6. Securing an effective introduction

If you’re interested in mastering the art of getting referrals, then this episode is for you.


Bill Cates: [00:00:00]  The biggest challenge that we face as advisors, is inertia. Clients are stuck in where they are either doing nothing or just in the path that they’re on. And they don’t know how to fire their advisor or they’re not sure how to do it if they want, so we’ve gotta be that. A person who can come in a gentle way, disrupt their thinking and their beliefs so that they’ll look at it differently and realize there’s another way to look at the way they’re approaching it, and then we stand the chance of winning their business.

Jordan Haines: Welcome to elementality. I’m Jordan Haynes, financial vitals expert, and your host for today’s show. Today, I’m joined by bill Cates. The original referral coach bill is an expert in all things, client referrals and new client acquisition. But I invited bill on today to talk about the release of his new book, the language of referrals. During this conversation, we talk about the general trends in client acquisition. A unique framework for getting comfortable and actually asking for referrals from clients [00:01:00] as outlined in his book. And we talk about the characteristics of the advisor of the future. If you’re an advisor looking to power up their referral game, then this conversation is for you. So now let’s get onto my conversation with bill Cates.. 

Bill Cates: I’d say my expertise is in client acquisition for financial professionals. It’s mostly around referrals, introductions, target marketing, creating reputation in a market. Client engagement becoming more referable. I’ve been doing it for 30 years, all in financial services. I’m a big believer in the work that financial advisors do, how important it is for individuals and families and businesses and our society in general.

So I know by helping advisors do their job better and reach more people. Then I know that I’m helping more people out there. Written several books on a topic. And my last one was Radical Relevance, which is all about target market and how to have a more relevant message.

And [00:02:00] then my newest one I know we’ll talk a little bit about today is called the Language of Referrals.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, so I love that. And this is an audio recording, but those of you, I can see Bill and I can see he’s got all these books behind him that he’s written. So you’ve been around and you’ve learned about a lot of things about client acquisition and things like that. What would you feel, before we jump into your book, what would you feel is like one of the biggest trends that you’re noticing right now with financial advisors as it relates to client acquisition?

That is just really top of mind for you.

Bill Cates: Yeah. Everyone’s enamored by all the social media and all that, and. The ones who are doing it mostly aren’t doing it right, so they’re not getting the results and they’re spinning their wheels, and there is a way to make social media work, and we can talk about that. It’s the bottom line and the overarching umbrella of what I do.

  1. Therefore the mistakes I see people making I is relationship marketing. It’s the relationships with our clients, with our centers of influence and using that as the path to meet [00:03:00] people. ’cause how would someone prefer to meet you? We know it’s through an introduction from someone else they trust, be it a client to friend, family member, colleague, other advisor in their life. And so the mistake is people getting enamored by all this other stuff out there. Yeah, I have met a few advisors that have done. Producing results with LinkedIn. But very few. And the ones who are using Facebook to generate leads, much more transactional type businesses and probably not the people that are listening to this podcast right now. And so that’s the mistake I see is that people aren’t meeting their prospects the way those prospects want to be met. Bottom line.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, I had we had Ken Anderson, he’s with advisor appointments on the show a couple weeks ago. He does LinkedIn marketing for people and I asked him the question who’s on LinkedIn? He said what’s interesting is a lot of advisors think people are on LinkedIn that are not on LinkedIn, right?

Your blue collar, your [00:04:00] nurses, people like that. They don’t care. That’s not where they want to be marketed to. I think it’s really interesting you bring up this point of relationship marketing, right? We’re advisors, most of the people that are listening to this show, they’re selling a relationship.

The ability to give advice is really just a relationship that we have with people, which I think dictates a little bit different of an approach. So talk to me a little bit about this book. You’ve written a lot of books and some of them about referrals.

What makes this one any different and why do you think it matters today?

Bill Cates: Yeah, so a couple things. What makes it different? I’d say it’s probably the most tactical book of all that I’ve written in the sense that, hence the title, the language of referrals. I’m giving very specific word tracks, scripts, ways to say things, and I. Why it’s important, I believe, is because a lot, everybody listening knows referrals important, right? I, you can’t go, they without reading

some marketing expert in this industry saying, get more referrals, right?

But very [00:05:00] few people actually teach you how to do it. And the

ones who teach you how to. 

Jordan Haines: being likable and

Bill Cates: Yeah, I was kinda alluding on that, the ones who teach you how they, and it’s important what they teach, so I don’t wanna discount what they’re teaching.

They teach about the relationship and being more referable and client experiences, having better client experiences. And those are important. Don’t get me wrong. Those are important. And you can. Everyone on this call, everyone listening, should be getting unsolicited referrals or introductions.

They should, by virtue of having good relationships and great client experiences, some of their clients will naturally tell others. It’s a barometer of good relationships and that will create incremental growth. And everyone should be having that organic incremental growth through great experiences. The challenge becomes if someone wants to grow a little faster, or if someone wants to grow in the right direction in a specific direction. ’cause sometimes their unsolicited referrals aren’t [00:06:00] necessarily in their wheelhouse of what they really want. Then they have to be. In some way appropriately, proactive, and while in the language of referrals, I talk about the mindset.

I talk about the language of being referable. So I cover a client experience a little bit, but then I get into the language of being appropriately proactive, which is promoting and asking without looking like the cheesy referral guy. When people come to me, they say, bill, can you help us be more proactive without looking like they either get the cheesy referral guy or the sleazy referral guy or the creepy referral guy, right?

And no one wants to look like that. So no one is appropriately proactive. So that’s what I give them. And what that does is, see the strategy of asking for referrals is not an accessible strategy to most people. ’cause they aren’t sure how to do it. And so telling them to ask, it’s almost wasted words. Show ’em how to ask [00:07:00] in a way that’s not gonna hurt relationships, and that’s what this book does.

Jordan Haines: Yeah. So if I’m hearing you I think one of the things that comes to mind when I hear you talking is the old adage, if they, if you build it, they will come. And it sounds to me like, like the advice of the past as it relates to the referrals has very much been like that. Hey, if you’re a good advisor and you just do all the right things, people will naturally bring it up.

And I think what you’re saying is. Yes. That should happen. That will naturally happen. If you’ve built a good service and you’re approachable, that’ll happen. But if you want to grow and you wanna be proactive how can you actually do that? And what are the steps to do that? And it sounds like with this book, you’ve built a framework to be able to do that.

Bill Cates: Exactly. And it’s, it want to grow and in some guys want grow in the right direction. But I would like to speak to that comment. If you

build it, they will come. So yes, in terms of great client experiences, great relationships, yes. That will create some natural activity. There is a way to build it and they will come, and that [00:08:00] is to create a reputation in a target market. I. And I don’t cover that in the book. That’s gonna be the next book. The language of, niche marketing, target marketing. I’m not sure of the title yet, but there are a number of ADVI advisors. We all know the concept. I’ve interviewed a lot for my podcast who have created such a reputation within a target market. That starts to draw people to them, so they actually have built something and people will come and referrals, introductions, all of that gets easier within a very tight target market. So yeah, you most advisors get taught how to prospect. I. They taught how to get, how to cold call. They taught, they get taught how to cold email.

They get taught how to cold LinkedIn now which is the new cold calling. And, but they, most advisors don’t get taught how to market. And so building a reputation within a target market, that’s marketing, that’s different and that will draw people to you. So [00:09:00] yeah, there is a way to build it and they will come.

Jordan Haines: Yeah. Yeah. One, one to me feels a very much like a broadcast, right? Like I, I’m broadcasting to the world, one to many. This is what I’m doing. Please come talk to me. I’m gonna build a reputation for myself. Whereas referral seems more personal, right? One-to-one, I’m having a conversation with someone that I know and I have an existing relationship with right now.

Bill Cates: That’s true. And the beautiful thing is you can you meld them together and the referral thing, the introduction thing is easier when you are in a target market ’cause they see that you’re focusing on people like themselves. If you’re nesting in a large company, I. They see that, their benefits package strengths and weaknesses better than some generic advisor may.

They know people who are going through similar situations, whether it’s stock option or merger or getting ready to retire, right? They know the money in motion life event things within the target market. So that activity, building that reputation in the market makes all this other relationship stuff work even [00:10:00] better and easier.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, tell me, so something comes to mind. I talked to a lot of advisors and for a while there we talked to a lot of advisors about, how could they use these financial vitals that we have at elements to, help them have better conversations with people. What I’ve found talking to financial advisors about marketing and prospecting is that sometimes it’s not as scary to go on social media and post something than it is to go to someone and ask for a referral.

Why is that? Why do you get that same you’ve talked to a lot of advisors about that. Do you get that same concern that a lot of advisors have?

Bill Cates: Oh yeah. It’s a more intimate thing where someone could say no. So if you do broadcast email, if you put a lot of stuff out on LinkedIn and you don’t know who they are and they don’t react and. Whatever, it’s it’s not a big deal, right? There’s no relationship there really. But when you have a prospect or a client and there’s a developing relationship, then there’s a perceived risk.

Now I say perceived risk because if you do it right, there really is no [00:11:00] risk. But the matter, that’s why I wrote the book. So you do it right, and so you don’t hurt a relationship or damage anything and the look. The fear, it comes down to a couple things, why advisors don’t ask and why it’s a perceived risk. They’re afraid that it’s gonna put the client on the spot. They’re gonna feel uncomfortable, and somehow I. Damage in some way. The relationship now it’s almost never fatal, but I get that you don’t wanna do that.

And the other is they don’t wanna look weak or needy or, I, I’ve been in business 25 years, I’ve never asked referrals.

Aren’t my clients gonna think what’s going on is business bad or something Now that he’s. See, or she’s asking, and it’s all in a matter of the right way to ask. So what I found is that when you give people the right language, and I’m not expecting people to necessarily use what I give them verbatim, they might, and if you like it that way, fine, but it’ll certainly give you a sample of what’s possible. But once you use the [00:12:00] right language, then all that other stuff goes away. ’cause you realize there is a way to do it. So lemme give you a specific advance. I

just got off the phone with a guy yesterday. Al Fox, I’ve known Al for over 15 years. Al’s got over a billion under management and he told me that I changed his life and his business.

Now look, Al did all the work. So I’m but here’s what happened. When I met Al, he had about 300 million under management already doing pretty well. But he couldn’t ask for referrals. He couldn’t go there. ’cause of all these fears we talked about. And I said, Al, the problem is you’ve been taught the wrong way.

The problem is, you see the whole thing is all about you and something you gotta push other people into. And it’s what you, how you get paid and how you’re building your business’s all you centered, that’s the way you were taught. And I don’t blame you for not wanting to do that. And once I showed him that it doesn’t have to be that way, that it could actually be client centered and value centered and having people pay the value forward to others, that was that little [00:13:00] switch inside his brain that needed to flip. And once he got that little aha, I mean it’s pretty basic, aha, but it was a big one for him. Now he is up to over a billion. So

all through referrals, introductions. Sometimes it’s that shift in mindset. What I found is it’s easy to say make the shift, but when I show people the actual words to use and the concepts to use, and they see how that shift would play out, then it becomes accessible to them.

They say, oh, I never thought a saying it that way. I never thought of it approaching it that

way, and now all of a sudden that strategy that wasn’t accessible to them becomes accessible.

Jordan Haines: Gotta love a good framework. I think what you’re starting to introduce and I have a summary of these the structure of your book and the things that you’re going over. And I think what you’re talking about is that part one, developing the right inner script. So why don’t we why don’t we talk a little bit more about how the book is structured, these kind of, these six summaries that, that you have.

Why don’t you just walk the [00:14:00] listeners through that and what they can expect if they go and grab this book.

Bill Cates: Yep. Real quick part one is the, remember we’re talking language or referrals. So part one is your inner language. The mindset, the thinking, the mistaken assumptions all kinds of head trash that keeps people from going there. I understand it, I get it. We all have mistaken assumptions, but they don’t need to be there. And then the right techniques sometimes can make a difference. Part two is the language of being, being super referable. So that is about. Building the relationship. It is about client experiences and making sure expectations match. That’s a big part of what we talk about in that section, is making sure that expectations are always where they should be and not being unspoken. ’cause that can ha hurt relationships. The next is the language of promoting introductions. This is, we’re now stepping into being proactive, but it’s a very soft way. We’re encouraging clients. To not keep us a secret. We’re encouraging clients that we’re never too busy to see if we can be a resource for others they [00:15:00] care about. And there’s a, I think I give about 10 or 11 different ways to do that. And then the next is the language of asking. All right, so how do we do it without looking like a creepy referral guy and

without hurting relationship? If you do it right, the worst thing that happens is you plant the seed for the future. I bet you everybody on listening now has had a time when they actually asked the client for referrals. The client, for whatever reason, couldn’t think of someone wasn’t ready, whatever, but later. 3, 4, 5 weeks later they go, Hey, I think I got somebody for you. They’re ready to do it. So the worst thing that happens when we ask, ’cause we plant that seed. Part five is the language of concerns and objections. Not everyone will do this, not everyone will do this, especially ’cause it’s money related. People start to get a little more private and that’s fine and it’s not an aggressive approach. It’s in most cases you’re probably gonna back off gracefully. At least don’t be afraid of that conversation and know how to go there and talk to them a little bit about it. And if you have to back off, you back off. [00:16:00] And then the last one is the language of introductions where we start to make the distinction between a referral and an introduction. Because in my mind, you want to get introduced.

It’s so hard to reach people. Hey, call George, use my name. George doesn’t pick up the phone. He doesn’t know who you are. You gotta get connected, you gotta get introduced. And so in my mind, I. The conversation is not done and this is whether they volunteer someone to you or you asked the conversation is not complete until you’ve worked on together.

You’ve collaborated, negotiated a connection. How are you gonna introduce me to George? Let’s talk about that. My guess is Laura would like to hear from you before she hears from me. Let’s talk about that. So it’s all about bringing it home to the introduction.

Jordan Haines: W why? Okay. This question comes to mind. I think introductions is, that’s the ideal goal, right? And I think you’re right with that, right? I’ve had many times where someone gives me a referral, Hey, here’s an email or a phone number. Go ahead and give this person a call. I’ll let ’em know that you let me know.

And I’ve certainly given people [00:17:00] referrals because I didn’t wanna be involved. And I know it’s less optimal and I love a good introduction. ’cause almost every time I have an actual good conversation with someone, why not name the book The language of introductions? Why? Why referrals?

Bill Cates: Yeah, it’s a great question and it’s a relevant question, and so one of the first rules of marketing is use words and concepts that are already in the head of your

audience. I. This, that goes back to my book, radical Relevance and how you message your Value. And if you introduce a term or a concept that isn’t as clear or isn’t in their head the way you want it to be, then they’re gonna, they’re gonna balk and you’re gonna make them think, and you can lose them in that thinking sometimes.

So if I called it the language of introductions for people who don’t know me and don’t know my reputation around referral, they go what is that?

Jordan Haines: What is that? 

Bill Cates: Now, it might not hurt me, but it’s not hitting them on the head and saying, this is what this is. [00:18:00] And yeah, we wanna use the word introductions when with our clients and centers of influence. But I also know that when I say the language of referrals, people instantly get what I’m talking about. And that’s important in our messaging that they instantly get it. And then I. Talk to them about the difference of the words. Also another reason we why we want to use the word introductions with prospects and clients and centers of influence is for some, the word referrals has taken on a bad connotation. Didn’t need to, but it did. And so just, we found that. Matt Oxley, I think, did some research where he took high level advisory clients and where they said they didn’t like to be asked for referrals. They actually liked to make introductions, and I think it’s more than pure semantics. I think the word means something to them differently, and yeah hence the

language of referrals.

But really we’re talking about introductions.

Jordan Haines: Yeah I knew you’d give a really interesting answer and I think that’s [00:19:00] fascinating because words matter, right? And I think this comes to referrals, it comes to any, anytime I’m just asking for business in general or servicing clients. Our clients have these words that mean something to them. And I think oftentimes we get in our own heads as advisors ’cause we have these words that we’ve learned in the CFP class and this is what it is and this is what I need to say because that’s the word that we use.

But it comes with an interesting set of naturally like a domino effect. I hear referral and I think X, Y, and Z and it might not be positive every time, right? So when you are making a book for advisors, I hear referral and I’m like more of those. I want more. But if I’m making a conversation with a client, I’m not gonna ask for a referral because that sometimes connotes a lot of the things that you brought up.

So I, I think 

Bill Cates: Oh yeah. So the,


their reaction might be, oh, I’ve been asked for this before, this life insurance agent, and nothing wrong with life insurance. It’s

important, but he’s, he asked for names and numbers and he called all my friends and they, and he, and it wasn’t good experience, right?

So in the client’s head, they ref to them referrals means give numbers. He’s gonna call [00:20:00] my friends and bug my friends. That’s what could be in their head. We don’t know, but that could be right. So if we talk about introductions, by the way, one of the, one of the things you wanna do before you actually ask is you wanna plant the seed.

You wanna promote a little bit beforehand. So when you do ask, it’s not a surprise. And so one of the best ways to do it is to teach your clients, should you think of someone. Here’s how I’d handle it. Here’s what it would look like. I’m not just gonna call people from out of the blue and make them wonder why they may, you gave their number out to them. You and I will talk and we’ll make sure we come up with an introduction, a process that feels comfortable for you, comfortable for them. And we’re lucky. We’ll at least spark their interest in hearing from me. So one of the ways I. Promote, encourage the possibility. Introductions is actually teaching them what it will look like, that it’s gonna be a comfortable, safe introduction so that when I do ask, they [00:21:00] that’s already playing, they know that and they’re not gonna go off on in some direction that I didn’t intend. So I let ’em know it’s gonna be an introduction. Then I talk about introductions and all that. That noise goes away.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, so I, setting expectations I think is wildly undervalued in our industry. In every way. Hey, I’m just gonna.

I’m gonna ask you some questions. At some point, here’s what those questions are gonna look like. Here’s the things that I’m gonna do, and then also making it a predictable process.

I suffer from this. I’m a classic financial advisor who is just flying by the seat of his pants half the time. I. I say, gimme an introduction and I’m just gonna guess half, halfway through and I’m just gonna do what feels right in the moment. But I think what you’re creating in this book is follow these four parts.

’cause it’s predictable. People can understand it, and it becomes a little bit easier and more palatable for a normal human being to offer an introduction. So you’ve given us an overview of the six parts.

I wonder if you could give an example of that, even if it’s just a hypothetical. How would these process [00:22:00] look together if I had, let’s say my favorite client, who I want more, I just wanna duplicate that client over and over.

How might I apply your process to look there?

Bill Cates: So, for instance, the language of being super referable, one of the things that you want to talk about is why you believe in your value, why you’re

on a mission to bring this important work to other people. And it could be an experience that you had, it could be an experience you observed, a family member, friend, another client, or early in your career, whatever it is, but you’re communicating your emotional connection to your value. And it’s your mission. It’s your job to make sure that whatever happens to that guy, never happens to you.

Whatever happened to me, never happens to you. I’m on a mission. All right.

So that’s a way to build rapport. That’s a way to build likability, trustability early on in new relationship. All right, so now we’re in the next phase of the language of promoting. So I [00:23:00] may talk to you, say, tell me about today’s meeting.

What stands out as the most important thing? I like the way you got me focused on this, and you explained to me what an annuity was. I never really understood what it was. Thank you.

I appreciate that. I’m getting a little clearer on things now. Great. I’m glad you’re seeing the value and. As I mentioned, I’m on a mission to bring this important work to other folks. Please don’t keep me a secret out there. Or if you ever identify someone you think should know about the work I do, lemme tell you how we’d handle it. So I’m pulling these together, right? And then let’s say it’s a review meeting and I’ll say, first of all, any place we’re not living up to your expectations, anything that we need to know about that isn’t reaching its mark. Oh no, you guys are great. Or every now and then there’ll be a little something. And then you shift to what is working well. We like this. We like that. Great. I mentioned this a couple of times that we’re always trying to bring this important work to other folks. I’ve got a, I’ve thought of a few people that I know, people you’ve mentioned in last meeting, in the last appointment. I was wondering if we could explore to see if you might be open to introducing me to them. Making sure it, it feels [00:24:00] comfortable for everybody. Oh, who do you have in mind? Who did I mention? So you can bring it all the way through. And if someone says I, I don’t wanna do that.

I don’t feel com. I’ve had a bad experience. We teach you how to explore that. How to learn, how to listen, how sometimes you can reframe someone’s thinking. Most of the time you’re probably gonna end up backing off, but you’re not. What we don’t want is we don’t want people not to ask ’cause they’re afraid they’re gonna get a concern or objection. If you know how to converse with your clients around the concerns and objections, then you won’t fear them. And so that, I hope that pulls it through a little bit. That’s that mission to serve. Bringing it to other people, not hitting ’em over the head. It’s not something we push them to do. It’s something if they’re willing, we do together.

Jordan Haines: Yeah. So a couple threads I wanna pull in there. That first, right? So we’ve talked about the first, like the removing this, these inner conflicts that we have, right? Like just, I can do this, right? It’s [00:25:00] something that we can do. And then one of the things that you just mentioned was I think that we are was your second step, which is just becoming more referable.

But I think the third one, promoting one of the things that you maybe didn’t explicitly call out. Is a trade, I’m just gonna call curiosity. And in the example that you gave, the advisor would say, Hey, what are the things that you’ve really enjoyed? What are the things that may, are there anything that we could have done better?

It starts with having this natural curiosity. And the reason I wanted to call this out is ’cause I think it’s really valuable for advisors to do that because of what we talked about earlier. It helps you learn what their language is. How are they going to articulate to you, what are the things that they actually like so that you can capitalize on that.

Do you wanna respond to that a little bit more?

Bill Cates: Yeah, curiosity may have killed a cat, but it’s gonna help the advisor. It’s, I’m

telling you, this is a muscle that we can all learn to exercise better. Curiosity makes you a better listener

because instead of just sitting there waiting for you to add your experience on that you’re [00:26:00] saying, tell me more. What happened then, right? So you’re a better listener, so you’re a better conversationalist. And guess what? You’re also learning things about them that you might not learn otherwise. There, there’s a lot of places that curiosity shows up. It can help you. Early on in a brand new relationship, you wanna be curious about who are the people in their life who are gonna be affected by the financial decisions they make.

That’s just good financial planning anyway.

You also wanna be curious about who are some people in their life who will be impacted by the fin I’m sorry, who are making financial decisions? Who impact them, right? So their siblings, children, parents, whatever. There are people out there making decisions. You wanna be curious about their activity in the community. Charity, philanthropic. You wanna be curious about their their activity and maybe their industry trade association being curious. Just trying to get to know someone better. Guess what? It makes you a better advisor. ’cause money intersects [00:27:00] every aspects of one’s life.

And then the more you know about them and the more you’re curious about them, then. The better relationship, the better you can serve them. And you’re building a little bit of an inventory or roster of opportunities for introductions later. You don’t pounce on those things, but later you can do that’s one place.

Another place curiosity helps you is in objections, what you wanna do, any kind of objection. This is, by the way, this is true for any objection you ever get anywhere in your life, period, except for teenagers. When it comes to objections and teenagers, there’s nothing in good solid reasoning won’t aggravate further. But otherwise, you wanna understand the objection. You want to understand the nature of the resistance or the concern that they’re having. So that’s where the magic words tell me more come to play. And so by. Being curious. It’s soft. It’s not aggressive. People feel more comfortable [00:28:00] when you’re curious to know a little bit more, and then they tell you and everything gets better and easier.

And just, boy, if people could just be more curious, we’d have better conversationalists and we’d know a little bit more about each other and we’d serve each other a little bit better because of it.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, man, I love this, that curiosity. And I love how you’re tying it in with promoting introductions. I’m really liking that word as I hear you talk. ’cause in order for me to ask for an introduction, you promote it. And the best way to promote. Is to be curious and try to actually understand what’s interesting to this person.

What do they want? What are they concerned with? And then on the other side of that, after you’ve made that ask, what are the concerns that come up? And how can I be curious and show them that I actually care? And drawing this all back to that mission, right? This is why it matters to me. And it shows the authenticity there where I can imagine myself going to someone and saying, Hey, you know what, here’s, here’s what I do and I’m really passionate about it, and.

I’d love to talk to some more people that are like you or however we stage this [00:29:00] up in what your book tells me to do. But I can find myself going into that moment where even if they are super concerned and they say, no, Jordan, I don’t wanna do that, there’s still a lot of authenticity there.

They know that I’m coming at it from a really good place of just pure curiosity. So I, anyway, that was just the thing that really stood out to me as you went through those.

Bill Cates: And,

it’s not natural for some people.

Jordan Haines: no. Yeah.

Bill Cates: it’s just for some people it’s natural and some people it isn’t. So if it’s not natural, we have to find a way to trick ourselves into it a little bit. So one little thing I’d say is the next time you’re in a conversation with someone and you’re just chopping at the bit to tell your perspective or share your experience, just instead of doing that, just say, tell me more. Or something similar and just watch how that person opens up a little bit more and they tell you more, and you can see they appreciate you asking, and then you can share your stuff. There’ll always be a chance for you to impress people with your knowledge or

tell about your story. But [00:30:00] just, just,

be patient. It takes patience.

Jordan Haines: It does. Yeah. I’ll say one more thing about this, because I think it’s really important for advisors. We, I, we talk to a lot of advisors that are new or they’re trying something new, right? EL elements, what we’ve created is a very new thing for a lot of people. And so naturally, a lot of people we talk to are trying new things and I talk to a lot of advisors that want to have all the answers right now, and then they wanna scale it and then they wanna automate it, and then they wanna have a workflow and a process because they’re told they need to be need, they need to do that, right?

I’m sure you’ve heard this. What you’ve created is a fantastic framework. Where with a little bit of curiosity, we have a lot of flexibility to create the right thing for my target market, for the type of people that I work with. Because at the beginning, I can imagine myself, I read this book, I implement a lot of the things.

I try it out and maybe I fail in one area, but if I’m curious, I can find and identify that and change it and make it work for the person that I’m working for. So curiosity, being flexible I think is really important in this. 

Bill Cates: Yeah.


Jordan Haines: Let’s close out here. I would love to get your thoughts.

 Found with the advisors that we talked to [00:31:00] here at Elements that there’s a lot of shifting demands in both people who want to receive advice and the people, financial advisors who want to give advice. What have you from where you’ve said you, you’ve known advisors for a long time, you’ve been around advisors, you’ve talked to them about marketing and acquiring new clients.

What would you say is. The characteristics of the advisor of the future where this, there’s definitely shifts in demand, new technology, new ways that people are getting advice. What would you feel like is the advisor of the future? How would you describe them?

Bill Cates: Yeah, so a couple of things. First of all, the advisor of the future, the advisor of today, the one that’s gonna have the most successful is the one who’s going to be the most adaptable and flexible to the situation, people misread Darwin’s survival of the fittest. It’s not the strongest, fastest. In any, a biologist will tell you in any ecosystem, [00:32:00] the organism with the widest range of responses

thrives. It really is the most adaptable and the most flexible. And so what, why I bring that up here is that the first thing is we’ve gotta be able to quote unquote, read the room, read the situation, read the client. And the only way we can do that is to be, is to ask questions. A lot of advisors, not all of them of course, but a lot of ’em that I’ve run into, they’re enamored by what they know and they wanna teach and they they come from a good place. They wanna help, they want to teach their clients, but they haven’t gotten to know the client well enough to be teaching yet. You know there’s a lot of the term holistic advisors being thrown all around a lot now, which I think is a good thing. I think we can see from the studies that the trends and more and more clients want that. They want someone who’s gonna get to know them more deeply. They’ll all probably always be a place. [00:33:00] For the numbers folks, there’ll always be a place for someone who’s just, that, that wants to get into the analytics as much as you might want to. There are clients out there that are like it, but most clients aren’t like that. Most clients just wanna know that they’re making educated decisions that are in their best interest that they wouldn’t make without that advisor.

I think the advisor of the future is the advisor who can. I’m gonna use another scientific thing here. The Newton’s first law of Motion, a body of motion tends to remain in motion, and body at rest tends to remain at rest unless what less acted upon by an outside force. The advisors of the future are gonna be good at being that outside force.

And I use the word force carefully here,

but it’s asking the right questions. It’s teaching the right things at the right moment that’re going to get their prospects and clients opening up to other ways to think [00:34:00] ’cause. ’cause 

I think that’s always been important, but I think it’s become more important. ’cause a lot of the clients that you want are someone else’s clients. And they may be stuck with them out of inertia. They may be stuck with them out of ignorance, we don’t know. But if we can’t get in there and ask some good questions and disrupt their thought process gently to get them to see there’s other ways to look at things, then we’ll never win that business over.

Jordan Haines: Yeah, man, I love that. I this theme of flexibility, adaptability, curiosity matters not only in the things that we are creating in our services or in our marketing programs. I. It matters in how we approach individuals because yes, to holistic and comprehensive, fantastic. But really we just wanna have focused focused conversations, not things that we think are important, things that they think, which requires us to be adaptable and flexible.

And I love this concept of inertia. I’ve often said, so I’ll just pull this thread for a [00:35:00] second and then I’ll get your thoughts. I’ve often said lately, activation energy is so high. When it comes to finances, meaning it’s a lot to get things started, it’s scary to move from advisor to advisor.

It’s hard to provide someone financial information for the first time. That’s a hard thing to get going, and if we can have some way that we interject and get them inspired, get them moving, I think those are the advisors that will win. I’ll let you respond to that, is the last word.

Bill Cates: Yeah, and I wanna actually touch on something you just said about

it’s not what we wanna say or we think is important. It’s what they think is important. I’d say it’s actually both. I think that it, we do need to know what’s important to them. Before we can talk about what we are gonna talk about so that we can then resonate and they can see the relevance. And then there does come a time where we need to say, I know you don’t think this is important, but let me tell you why it is. And that’s that outside force that comes in and shows them why they need to maybe look at it in a different way. So it, it [00:36:00] really is both. We I wanna end actually with this concept, if you don’t mind.


that is a, what I’ll call financial leadership. Everyone has their own definition. Mine is helping people make financial decisions. Edu sorry, educated financial decisions that are in their best interest that they wouldn’t make without us. That’s what financial leadership is. It takes courage to do that. It takes technique to do that, to get to know people and then earn the trust to be able to show them a different way, but that’s why we get paid the big bucks. We get paid the big bucks to, to break them from their pattern, to break them from their inertia that may not be serving them. And so that’s, that’s a leadership role, and it takes confidence and courage to, to take a leadership role in people’s lives.

Jordan Haines: Man. I love that. Tell us bill, as we’ve finished up here, tell us where more about the launch of this book and then how advisors can get in touch with you.

Bill Cates: Yeah. Language of referrals.com is [00:37:00] a little. Website page, it talks about the book’s. Got a little video there, you, I think you’ll find fun and interesting. And then from there you can make the clicks and purchase the book for you and your team. Audio, Kindle, paperback, et cetera. And look, if you just wanna chat with me and, bill it referral coach.com I’m always happy to take correspondence from folks and we’ve got a podcast by the way, top advisor podcast.com. This is where I learn a lot of things from other advisors and then bring it to everybody else through my book.

So thank you for asking.

Jordan Haines: I love it. Everyone go check out. Bill and what he’s done. He’s done some amazing things and he knows a lot about this industry. Thanks Bill for coming on and hope to talk to you soon.

Bill Cates: Thank you.

Show Notes

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