Opportunity in Crisis and Beyond

You probably don’t need as many clients as you think to have a steadily growing business. You just need the right clients.

There is opportunity out there, even in this time of crisis. You just need to get a little creative in how you promote yourself and run your business. And focusing on the right subset of your target marketing and serving the people you really want to serve… that makes your prospecting and marketing easier.

Learn how to switch your mindset to spot new opportunities and much more, including…

  • How to avoid becoming a commodity
  • #1 thing you can do to set yourself apart from the competition
  • Finding – and landing – “hidden” clients
  • Why you shouldn’t compete on price – and what to do instead
  • A great way to build relationships with people before you even meet them

Listen now…

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Transcript

Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast and the Advisor Inner Circle Podcast. This is another special joint episode. This is Steve Gordon. I’m here with my co-host on the Advisor Inner Circle Podcast, John H. Curry. Mr. Curry, good to see you.

John Curry: Good to see you, Steve.

Steve: Well, John, we’re still working our way through the Inevitable Growth Scorecard. We’ve kind of taken each mindset down one at a time we’ve talked about, who is your who, we’ve talked about the target 100 advantage, we’ve talked about clear value, ideas that sell and then I know while you were traveling, I did a single episode on collaboration advantage.

And that brings us to mindset number six, which is infinite opportunity. I think this is a really good time for us to be talking about it because we’re recording this in the midst of what seems to be a global shutting in as we all go shelter in place for the Coronavirus. But I think it’s more important that we talk about this than ever. I don’t know what you think, John.

John: Well, I’m looking forward to this because I think there’s opportunity around us. Yesterday, I stayed home. I’ve been home quite a bit lately because I flew out to Phoenix for a conference and got the flu out there. Came back, had a couple of interviews, two days in a row last week, and then I decided just to stay out because of the coughing.

But I’ve been watching some television. And yesterday I watched more television in one day that I’ve watched in the past two, three months. And I did it to see what the talking heads were saying about the financial markets and this virus. And what came out loud and clear, Steve, is yes, there is some chaos, disorder, there are also some companies making money. You and I are looking at each other over Zoom right now. Zoom stock is up.

And the CEO is talking about the opportunities they have. Don’t know how long it’s gonna last, of course, but, you know, for a while people gonna be staying at home working. And they’ll be doing what we’re doing. You know, you’re what, about 15 miles away from me. So we’re sitting here looking at each other. And I’ve done this with clients who were two miles away instead of coming in the office.

But there’s a lot of opportunity, but I think that anyone who owns a business or if you’re a financial advisor, whether you own that firm or your advisor in that firm, same thing applies. You got infinite opportunity, and what I like to do is you’re covering your mindsets, jump in a little bit about how that applies in light of what we’re dealing with now. And first, let me just say so that people know my background, I’ve been dealing with these things since 1975. In a podcast we did earlier, we talked about all of the financial ups and downs in the 70s 80s 90s, the 2000s now. I mean, so this is not my first rodeo.

And I have literally helped thousands of people over the years deal with this, both advisors, business owners, outside of the financial arena, and clients, of course. So I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about these infinite opportunities because I’m 67, I’m not dead. I’m still busy. And we’ve already agreed that I don’t want to retire, sit around watching those talking heads all day. So I would say let’s start with the first three there and under these mindsets. And educate us, my friend.

Service-Based Businesses Typically Don’t Need a Huge Number of Clients In Order to Thrive

Steve: Well, yeah, happy to. And John, really where this came from was the realization that I see a lot of business owners running around and, you know, when I’m talking to a business owner before they become a client, I usually ask them how many clients they’re looking to add over the next year. What would make, what number would make them really, really happy.

And what I see most often, John, is that that number is not a big number. You know, it’s often, you know, for some, it’s four or five. I was on a call with a potential client just yesterday, and he was looking to add five clients over the next year. You know, they’re big clients, but if you got five clients, that would totally change his world. Another sales call I was on yesterday, the gentleman needed 15 clients over the next year.

Not a big number. And I find that for the vast majority of businesses, the numbers are like that. It’s a dozen or a few dozen, you know? Maybe 50 at the outset. Now, that’s not every business and I know, a lot of times advisors need to see more than that, depending on the size case that they’re dealing with. But most of the time, you don’t need to see 10,000 or even 1000 or 500. When you begin to think of it like that, if you’re looking for that small but highly valuable group of clients, and there’s 7.5 or more billion people on the planet, and you need 15.

And heck, if you’re just in a reasonable sized town, we’re not in a big city here, John, but you have infinite opportunity, even though you’ve really niched down your market to people in the Florida Retirement System and further focused on university professors. And I know that’s not everybody that you work with but that’s a big focus of yours. But even with that, you’ll never serve all of those people that are in this market,

John: It would be impossible.

Steve: Right. So if it’s impossible to serve them all, in other words, they’re more than you could ever get to, you might as well look at it as if you have infinite opportunity. Because for all practical purposes, you do. So that’s where this came from.

John: So let me clarify, let me clarify. So what you’re saying with this is that the universe of what’s available to the average business person is so much greater than they have the time, energy or resources to even tackle anyway. So instead of trying to be all things to all people zoom in, and really serve the ones that you really want to serve. That will get you where you want to get. That’s why I got loud and clear from that.

Steve: Yes, and flip your mindset. Don’t look at your market as one of scarcity even in the times that we’re in right now. You’ve got to look at it as if there are more people out there then you can serve. And there will be even as things change. Now you’re going to have to get creative. The opportunity is going to shift and move.

You’re going to have to get creative in figuring out where it went to. You’re gonna have to get creative about how you add value in new and different ways. But there is still infinite opportunity. You just need to know that it might not be where you looked for it before. So with that as kind of a backdrop, let’s go through these mindsets. And then because you’ve been

John: One more thing, something you mentioned earlier today, you and I were talking, I think we tell people on this call, you made a comment about the opportunity is not going away, it simply moved. Expand on that for a minute before you jump into these.

The Moving Giant

Steve: Yeah, I believe that. The opportunity doesn’t, I think when we go through these times, the opportunity doesn’t disappear completely. It really just gets up and moves. I like to think of it as like a giant, you know? And it’s a giant, we’re sitting on the giant’s lap, and the giant decides to get up and move and we all fall off. And that creates some chaos for a while and it turns things upside down for a bit. But all we got to do is figure out where all that giant opportunity went and sat down again and get back to where we were.

Often when all of this happens wherever the opportunity moves to is a better place than we were in anyway. That there’s more abundance coming out of it. Now does that, you know, does that mean people aren’t going to suffer through this? No, I’m not approaching this from, you know, the perspective being kind of Pollyannaish about it. But, you know, certainly, things are going to be turned upside down. People’s lives are going to be different.

There’s going to be some suffering through this. But you can’t control an awful lot of that. You know, there’s a lot happening in the world right now that try as you might, you have no impact on it whatsoever. All you can do is wake up in the morning and use the number one resource you have, which is your ability to think creatively and figure out what you can do today that is going to move you forward, it’s going to make things better. It’s going to create value somewhere, both for you and for others.

And that’s the only way forward in this. So no sense in worrying about where it’s moved to or what’s happening around you. You got to deal with, obviously, the realities of the situation, there’s going to be some messes created in some people’s lives. Maybe in your life. You got to deal with that. But you can’t only deal with that. You have to also get out and find that new opportunity and get creative about it. So

John: Thanks for sharing that, because I thought that was very impactful when you and I were talking earlier this morning. Because it is true opportunity is all around us. We just have to go find it. Sometimes it looks a little bit different. Maybe it’s wearing a different type of clothes today, right?

Steve: That’s right. You know, people still need things. And the things that they need changed over time. Sometimes it happens slowly and a little more predictably and right now it’s happening very unpredictably and very rapidly. So let’s talk about these mindsets. So there’s four mindsets on the scorecard.

And if you haven’t gotten the scorecard, it’s worth your time going, I think now more than ever, going and kind of checking in seeing where your head’s at right now. So if you go to thegrowthscore.com, thegrowthscore.com you can go through the scorecard, get your score, it will identify for you the areas where you feel like maybe you need to improve and it’ll identify the areas where you feel like you’re doing really well.

And that’ll help you focus on the right places to improve upon. And so, under infinite opportunities, the first mindset is that you often lose clients to competitors and you have to match or beat competitors’ pricing to win the business. And I hear that from business owners, John, that they feel that pressure, you know, they often we’ll say, you know, our business is commoditized. And so everybody’s just concerned with the lowest price.

And I believe that that’s a choice. But if you’re in that situation, I empathize with you. It’s challenging to get out of that, particularly when you look around and everyone in your industry is doing the exact same thing you are the same way that you are. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how you can differentiate and add more value. And we can talk about how to approach that but that’s really where it comes from. People are feeling that pressure, John, that price is the only thing that matters and that is never the case in any kind of market.

John: I agree with you and I think in my world, especially, I see people that are fearful of charging fees. You know, they’re doing all the work hoping they get paid via product sale with a commission or finders fee, however, they’re compensated. And I struggled with that. Back in 1973 when I decided to increase the security time I met them charge fees for it, I struggled with it.

I did it for a while and because of compliance, I’ve quit doing it and then later I decided, you know, I’m going to charge fees, just work through it and do whatever I had to do in my world of compliance. But I’m going to share something happened just three, four weeks ago. I asked the guy to do something for my business more locally. The first words out of his mouth were, oh, I’ll give you a 25% discount because of the club we’re in. I said do you always do that? He says what? I said offer that discount.

He’s not always, is why do you feel like you need to do it now. And he was baffled. I said if you keep doing that, one of two things will happen. Either you go out of business, or you’re going to lose some people because they’re thinking okay, he was already overpriced anyway, why is he so quick to lower the price? He said, do you have time for a cup of coffee? He said I do. So we sit down, have a cup of coffee and talked about it. And he said I shouldn’t be doing those discounts.

I don’t think you should do that. I said if you need to discount it, every time, ask yourself why. And it’s right back into what you’re saying, he felt the need, he felt like that he needed to, quote, offer me a discount right upfront. I never asked for a discount. I’d be, I was gonna pay him whatever he said the service was worth because I trusted him and his stability. And that is right in sync with what you just shared right there. Because other people in his business are doing discounting, he felt like he had to. Is that what you’re getting at?

Steve: Well, it is. And I think it’s the mindset is that you feel that that’s required. And, you know, for business owners who are there, they’re often stuck. And, you know, I don’t want you to be stuck, if that’s what you’re feeling. And frankly, there are going to be people feeling that more and more over the coming months as we work through whatever situation we have with the economy. You’re going to get a lot of pressure to do that.

And the response has got to be how do I get creative and add so much more value to this customer that they don’t want to discount that they’re willing to pay more for what I’m offering because it’s worth more to them. And you’d be surprised at the ways that you can come up with that may not be exactly in line with what you do, it may be some ancillary thing, but when paired with what you do all of a sudden creates a great deal of value for your ideal clients. And the way that you find that out is you just have conversations with them.

Now, they might not be able to tell you specifically what it is, but if you engage them in conversation and listen, then you can often find out what they’re worried about, where they see threats around them, where they see opportunities, where they can really kind of, you know, you get inside their head a bit, John, and I think, now more than ever, that’s the thing to do. So one of the big things we’ve been advising our clients to do is to really lean into your relationships right now because the information that they’re giving you about what they need next is the fuel you need for that creativity. You’re going to figure out where to add the value.

The Opportunity is There if You Pay Attention

John: I agree with you totally and I think, just making myself a note here, there’s a couple of key points that I got out of this. Keep in mind that opportunity is around you and that you won’t know what it is if you don’t ask questions, and then pay attention and listen. And you might find that what is on the client’s mind today is a much bigger opportunity than what you thought you wanted to present.

I mean, I know I’ve been guilty of walking into an apartment with one thing on my mind and something was said or done that made me realize, whoops, you don’t need to abandon what you wanted to talk about and talked about what they want to talk about. And if you’ve been in sales or business of any kind, you’ve experienced that.

Steve: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, let’s move into the second of the four mindsets, John, and the second mindset under infinite opportunity is that you sense that there are a lot of people who need the results that you deliver but you aren’t sure how to reach them or what to say. And I see a lot of folks who know that they’ve got a great service but they get confused about how to reach the right people.

In fact, I was talking with a woman yesterday about this very problem. She’s got a great service, she’s got great results. She’s just having a heck of a time trying to reach the right people. And so we were brainstorming, you know, some ways that she could do that. And, you know, can really frustrate people, you know? Because they know they’re doing good work. They work with their clients, our clients love them, you know, the clients they have and they just can’t figure out how to kind of break the bonds of gravity and get out to a bigger market.

John: Well, I think if you’re in a business of any kind, you have that since every now and then because you’re like, Hey, I’m good at what I do. I know provide great service. I’m honest. I’m ethical. I want to take care of my clients, and I want more like them. But if you don’t know where to go, it can be overwhelming. And you get kind of paralyzed. You know, of course, if we’re doing a good job of asking for and getting introductions, referrals to other people, that will help. But you can’t rely just on that.

You’ve got to find a way to create a demand, if you will, for your market. And that’s what you’ve done so well over the years, and coaching your clients, including me, full disclosure, I’m a client of Steve’s. And, you know, you have to have multiple paths to get there. But it does take some thinking and it takes some getting off your butt and taking action too.

Steve: Well, you know, there are a couple of places that I see people get stuck when they’re in this mindset. They, you know, they’ve got some good things happening but they get stuck on messaging and so they struggle with how do I describe what I do in a way that is going to be attractive to people. And oftentimes the messaging that they have ends up being too focused on the business and not focused on the result and on the particular result the client wants. And that can trip them up. And the other place that they tend to get tripped up is they aren’t focused on an ideal client. So we talked about that back in mindset number one, who is your who.

And if you don’t get it squared away at that stage, it trickles down into this idea of infinite opportunity because you end up looking at the world, John, from a position of scarcity. In other words, you see all of these people but you don’t know who’s right for you. You don’t know where the prospects are. And so there might as well not be any. They’re invisible to you. When you get real clear on who your who is, now you can begin to look at where the pockets of those people exist in the world, you know? And you can quickly see, well, there’s more of them than I can get to, and I can see clearly how to get to them.

John: I think it’s bigger than that. I think it’s, you know I’ve been studying a lot of our conscious mind the subconscious mind. I believe that once you have clarity, all of a sudden people will be visible that were already there in your world but you didn’t see them. And then the analogy is, you’re thinking about buying a certain car. All of a sudden, you see everyone that’s on the interstate 80 miles an hour, you still see the car. Why? Because your subconscious is pulling it out to you. So once you get a clear picture of what it is you want, and now you’ve got the conscious mind and the subconscious mind working together, all of a sudden they come out of nowhere.

Now you’re thinking, wow, how do they find me? Well, because you sent the message out there somehow some way, and, you know, they were looking for that message, and voila. There you are. But if you can find a way to harness that and understand these mindsets and start thinking differently, next thing you know, you’re attracting people to you. But again, it takes action. You can’t just sit there and say, Okay, I’m looking for I’m wishing I’m attracting my ideal clients but you don’t do nothing. Maybe you gotta send out a postcard or an email or make a phone call, you know?

Steve: Absolutely. Well, I tell you, you said that perfectly. In fact, that’s the experience that our clients have. We take them through the, you know, what we call the ideal client focus process. And it is, it’s like taking blinders off. It’s amazing because they’ll all of a sudden say, Oh, yeah, now I know who I’m going after here. There’s a group over there that I can connect with. There’s somebody over here that’s an influencer, that has the audience of the people that I need. The roadmap sort of reveals itself.

And the, as you get clarity, particularly at this time right now, as things are moving, you’re going to see that there are opportunities for you to serve people in new and different ways. If you can get clear on who they are, you’re going to begin to see how you can connect with them and how you can get in front of them.

So, let’s jump ahead to mindset three, John. Mindset three is that you’ve built up your clientele in the early years of your business, and now you’re able to focus on servicing your existing clients and reaping the rewards. And, you know, there are a lot of folks in mature businesses who have, you know, they busted their tails early on, they built a book of business, and now they’re just sort of milking the cash cow, so to speak. And nothing wrong with that at all. What I find with folks like this is they’re not usually in a growth mode, you know?

And that’s fine. Everybody gets to make that choice. You know, but I do think it limits often their opportunity. They tend to see that there’s more competition around, then folks in the fourth mindset that we’re going to get to in a moment. But, and I think that can be something that leads to some really scary thinking at times. I mean, if you have sort of your herd and you’re trying to protect that and you’re not working on growing it very much, when you begin to lose a little bit there, it can become very scary.

Keeping The Engine of Your Business Oiled

John: Let’s talk about me for a minute, in the sense of what I went through. I went through a period of where you had discussed it at breakfast one time, probably three, four years ago, where my mindset was kind of leveling off. I wasn’t ready to retire, but I didn’t want to be working, you know, 10, 12 hour days like I did in the past. But for me, the answer was not to stop doing what I was doing. Don’t get complacent. Keep growing but also revamped my time where instead of working five days a week, maybe I only saw clients three days a week.

And for me, it gave me time to pursue things I want to do so I wouldn’t be as bored or burned out. That became a big issue after my heart surgery in 2008, as you know. I really changed how I did business then. But I think part of it is, I think anyone in business, you reach a point of well, okay, I’m there. I finally built this thing where I’m not busting my butt as much. And that’s a critical point. Because if we’re not careful, we get lax. Next thing, you know, everything’s leveled out on us, and it takes a while to get that motor running again.

Steve: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s very difficult to get it started again. You know, you lose the habits that you need to make growth happen. You lose the relationships that you need that really can drive growth for you. And, you know, technology and strategies change and you get unplugged with whatever is working at the time. And so it can be a real challenge to get it going again.

John: Well, one thing that’s helped me with that is surround myself with younger people who push me and challenged me on the technology side and the technical side and the operational side. So that there’s this little bit of push and pull between us where I’m pushing them, some things are pushing me and pulling me. I found that’s good, too. So have you experienced that in dealing with your clients that maybe they gotta shake things up and surround themselves with different people?

Steve: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Now, most of the time with our clients, we end up not working with people who have this mindset. And it’s been really interesting. You know, we, our clients tend to fall into one of two categories, they tend to fall somewhere in mindset number two. You know, they might score themselves right now as a four or five or six on infinite opportunity, or they fall into the fourth mindset, which we’re going to cover here in a second where they might score themselves as a 10 or 11 or 12.

And I think that’s just because the folks that are in this third mindset where they might score themselves as a seven, eight or nine on infinite opportunity are at a place where they’re not really looking to grow. And so often, they’re just not a fit. And that’s okay. But again, these are the sort of different ways of thinking that we’ve observed in business owners.

John: I’ve got a question for you, since you talk to a lot of business owners. If they’re not intending to grow, what are they thinking? Because you certainly can’t stop it and just keep it level because by definition, if you stop, it will start going down. You’ll lose customers, you’ll lose clients, patients, whatever your profession is. So what are they thinking?

Steve: Well, I’ve yet to find somebody who would admit that they’re not interested in taking on new clients. But I have talked to a number of businesses, more than you might imagine who they’re at a certain point and they are content where they are or maybe complacent where they are and they aren’t willing to do the things required to continue to grow.

And so they usually have a small number of existing relationships with kind of allied professionals and maybe they’re cross-referring back and forth a little bit. And they’re getting some very mild growth. But they’re not growing aggressively and their focus isn’t growth, their focus is mostly on serving their existing book of business and kind of reaping the rewards of the work that they put in earlier in their career.

John: I want both. I want to take care of existing clients and have those rewards but I want introductions to new people into my marketing where more people come in the door, but they are the people that we choose to work with. Is that where you’re headed with the last number four.

Steve: Well, that’s part of it for sure. That’s part of it. And, you know, it’s, so it’s interesting because a lot of the folks that kind of get to that point where they just want to milk the cash cow, they’re, you know, they’re at the stage of their career where they’ve been doing it for a while, you know? They’re probably somewhere in the ballpark of your age, in their 60s, and they may be feeling like, well, if I can just hold on to this until the end, I’ll be okay. It’s been really interesting to watch you in contrast to that.

Because as I watch you, you’re having record-breaking years. It’s not like you’re coasting. You’re setting new records for performance and production in your business every year, which is, you know, to me, as I not only watch you do that, you’re doing it while you work probably fewer hours than you used to work. So you’re not only setting records in how much you make, you’re working less. And so it’s just been really interesting to watch that. And that to me, is, at least for me, that’s the way to approach it. So I think you’re doing it well.

John: Well, thank you. And I appreciate those kind words. But I also have to give credit where credit’s due. You’ve helped me with that in a lot of ways. One of those was convinced me to do the podcast.

Steve: So John, let’s move on to the fourth mindset. And the fourth mindset is that you recognize that there are more potential clients than you could ever serve and that you have a system to continually replenish your list of new prospects. And this actually came out of a conversation you and I had on the way to a workshop I guess about three or four months ago and you were describing to me the list of prospects that you’re able to get, you know, in your market that you can go and purchase and that it was, I think you use the word replenish.

I think you called it a self-replenishing list and I thought, that’s brilliant. I got to create one of those. And I started thinking about well, we have it in a certain way. And then I thought, well, when you pair it up with this idea of infinite opportunity that there’s more prospects than you could ever handle, then all you need is a system to go create that list. Put, you know, put 100 people on it and then as you work through those people, put in another 20 or 30 or 100, and keep working through it and it’ll never end. And how powerful is that?

John: It’s very powerful. And it’s also energizing in the sense that you realize, okay, once I know who I want, if I can identify clearly and go back to who’s your who, if I can clearly identify who I want to work with, who to serve, then I can find a way to identify those people and on an ongoing self-replenishing basis, then the rest is up to me. Now they may choose not to work with me, you know, and some will because they have other relationships, but it’s my job to make sure they know who I am, that I’m available.

And if they gravitate to me, great. If they don’t, then they don’t. And this is not to talk about what I use in marketing is my model. I pretend that any given time 40% of the people love me, 40% don’t love me at all, and 20% don’t know if they love me or not. So I’m gonna spend my time with the ones that love me and the ones that are not sure. The ones who hate me or think they hate me, because they can’t hate me, I am a nice guy once you get to know me.

So I just take the mindset that I’m going to spend time on the ones that like me, trust me, and then the ones not sure go after them. And I don’t know how that fits in with your mindset thinking here, but it works for me. But I will tell you folks, I remember that conversation clearly because Steve and I were talking about it. His eyes got real big, he goes, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, back up. Let’s talk about this. And I think that’s what we talked about most of the time on the way to Atlanta because I don’t think we’ve gotten more than 30 minutes out of town when we started on it.

Steve: Yeah, and you’re right, it was what we talked about most of the way there. And I, for me, it was just, it brought the instant clarity to a number of things that we were doing anyway. And so let’s talk about how, you know, how we kind of go about creating that infinite opportunity because it’s one thing to talk about it as an abstract concept and particularly with whatever, you know, with everything that’s going on in the world right now and all the, you know, the potential challenges we might see over the coming weeks and months, I think it’s important for people to have some ideas about how you go about creating that, you know?

Because it’s nice to have the idea but, you know, if you can’t make it real, what’s the point? And so, when you begin to really look around, John, the easiest way to create infinite opportunity is to look at your relationships. If you’re building relationships and creating a network strategically, where the people that are coming into your network have a network of their own, or an audience of their own that consists of the type of people you want to do business with, that’s a shortcut for you.

And I would imagine you could look around and connect with an endless number of people who have those networks and those audiences. Now you need a way to connect with them. And that’s one of the things that I talked about in my new book, Podcast Prospecting, is how to use a podcast as the way to make those connections and start those relationships.

And then show up with something valuable for that person’s network so that they’re excited to share you and so that it’s easy to share you. But that’s the first and easiest way. It doesn’t require a lot of money. It just requires some resourcefulness and some time and some energy to put into it. And so, I mean to me, John, that’s the first way to do it. And I’m happy to touch on some others but I want to pause for a second and give you an opportunity to share your thoughts.

John: I just think you’re correct. And one of the things that happened when I started doing the podcast is not only do you have the person in front of you that you’re interviewing, as most amount of face to face, some of them are over the telephone, but I’m giving them the opportunity to share their story. And at first, they’re reluctant. Nobody wants to hear what I’ve been through. But yes, they do because you can bring a lot of value. So you have that going on. And then when they share that with their friends and contacts, next thing you know, your field of influence, if you will, has increased with no additional effort.

And I think that’s important and you talked about the podcast prospecting and It’s helped us and, you know, sometimes they’ll look at it and go, Well, you know, is it bringing a lot of direct business? And sometimes the podcast doesn’t. Half the times there are some direct business. But what’s happening is from the cumulative impact of it is big, it’s huge. Because what’s happening is people recognize my name, they recognize what we’re doing. I’ll hear people say things like, man, I love your podcast. Which one? Well, I’ve been listening to all of them.

Or I’ll have somebody, they’ll single one or two out specifically, they enjoyed. But when they do that, that’s even better. Because now you know they’ve gone in and listened to them and they start telling you stories. So that just deepens the relationship, which is what you just focused on. How do you find a way to connect at a level that’s different than what the average financial advisor or business owner is doing? And the best way to do that is bring people to the table that are sharing stories about their lives and how you’re influence has helped them, you know?

Building Relationships With People Before You Meet

Steve: Yeah. And, you know, it’s interesting. I see a lot of people get confused when I talk about podcasts and they think that it’s a lead generation tool. And it is indirectly. By itself, the podcast usually isn’t going to drive a lot of new leads, but it is a fantastic conversion tool for all the reasons that you just talked about, John, that people listen to it, they feel like they know you after they’ve listened for a little while.

And if you think about it, if you’ve listened to the podcast, you’re listening to this one, you probably feel like you’ve, that you know John and I, that you, you know, have a little bit of a relationship with us even though we’ve never met. And that’s the power of the medium. It gives you the ability to create those kind of connections and create them at a scale that would be otherwise impossible. The way that you generate leads through it is you build relationships with people that have, within their network, the types of prospects you want to connect with.

And then you come back with something of value to give to those people. And so, you know, we talked about this in the book, you know, come back with a great short book that you’ve written that outlines a solution to people with a particular problem. Come back with a really valuable presentation that this new relationship, this new partner of yours, can confidently go out to their network and say, Here’s something that’s really valuable and I want to share it with you. We’re all wired to share those sorts of things.

And so that that’s why, John, I think the first place to turn to create that infinite opportunity is look to relationships because those don’t change over time. I mean, this approach has worked, pre podcast, it’ll work after podcasts are not the thing. And why will it work? Because it’s based on that fundamental human behavior. We all want to find valuable resources and meet people that can help us. And so you plug into that, but you don’t necessarily stop there, you know?

So you talked a minute ago about postcards. And one of the other ways that you’re creating a system to create that self-replenishing list is you’re mailing postcards into your market, and you’re doing it consistently. And you’re sending emails to your market and you’re doing that consistently. So that as people are ready, you don’t care who’s ready when but you’re communicating often enough and with enough people to have those opportunities surface at a high enough number that it keeps your business growing.

John: Correct. And it goes back to something you said earlier. We don’t need that many people either. You know, the truth is we’re probably sending out more stuff than we need to. But I look at it this way, that it’s just a little billboard running through the postal system. If people pick it up, they throw it away, they still gotta touch it.

Steve: You’re having pretty good results right now. So whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.

John: Well, actually, I was telling April just yesterday that we need to, I think, increase our efforts. Because now, more people sitting at home, they got time to read more stuff. So maybe it’s time to redouble our efforts to get more stuff out there.

Steve: Yeah, absolutely. I think so.

John: Hey, do this before we wrap up. I want you to do this. I want you to go a little bit deeper from the standpoint when you say you have a system to continuously replenish your list of new prospects. What are some of the other things that people listening to this can be doing to constantly think about, okay, I’ve got these lists of people, I want more just like them, what else? You talk about the podcast, getting referrals.

Steve: There are a lot of ways you can do that. So we’ve talked about using relationships and the podcast is a great tool to facilitate that. You know, the reason I wanted to touch on your postcards is it’s a form of advertising. And so you can certainly use advertising if you’ve got an offer that you’ve proven and know that it’s something that people are interested in, you can certainly use advertising to do that. We just recommend that you start with relationships because it’s easier to find success with that, particularly if you’re just starting out. But advertising is a great way to do that. You can do it with research.

And so for many of our clients and for ourselves, we have researchers on our team that take, you know, an ideal client profile and they will go find the names and the contact information of people who meet that profile and we put them on to our target 100 list. We talked a few episodes ago, John, about the target 100 advantage. And then we’ll reach out to them and that’s a, you know, that’s an exercise that we have them doing all the time. So every month I have new people and that list is actually far more than 100 now.

And so, you know, as new people come on to that it just further, for me, reinforces the fact that out in front of our business is infinite opportunity because I can always find somebody new to talk to about the value that we might bring. And so those are some of the ways that it can be done. The key is that you create one way for yourself to start with. So we didn’t have all of those, you know? We started with relationships. And we started with those relationships in a way to offer value to their network.

Well, that got us access to their networks. And I could, you know, originally I was doing presentations so I could do 2, 3, 4 presentations a month to different networks of, you know, that were associated with people that I knew. And that started, to build out our list and grow our list of people that were, you know, likely to be ideal clients of ours. Then we began and added, you know, began to add some of these other methods. So you don’t have to do it all at once. The key is to have one way that you can continually replenish your list of opportunities.

John: Totally agree. In fact, I think if you try to do too much, you will get paralyzed because of indecision.

Steve: Absolutely. John, let’s bring this one to a close. Thank you for investing some time with me today and sharing these ideas. Any final thoughts or ideas you want to share?.nett

John: Just one, and that is that we’re living in some uncertain times right now. Don’t panic. Just take some time and get prepared. I’m telling people, be prepared, not scared. Just hunker down for a minute and go big old deep breath and reassess where you are, where you want to go. And I’d recommend that if you’ve not done it yet that you get the growth, go to thegrowthscore.com and get the scorecard and read it and study it.

And I’m biased, Steve, so I think that everybody that hears this ought to be talking with you and learning and growing. But I’ve enjoyed the time with you. I always do. And you and I have said this a dozen times, if no one ever listened to this, we loved it. I’m looking at you on the screen, big old smile. We’re laughing having a good time. I feel energized and just good to be with you, my friend.

Steve: Absolutely. Alright, I will see you soon.

John: Alright. Be good.