Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast with Steve Gordon.
Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast and the Advisor Inner Circle Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon. Today I’m here with my co-host, John H. Curry. Mr. Curry. Great to see you again.
John Curry: Good to see you, Steve.
Steve: Excited to be back, we are continuing our conversation on the inevitable growth scorecard, which is this crazy thing that I came up with on a plane ride back from a meeting you and I read in Atlanta a couple of months ago and for folks that want to check this out and kind of have it with them. And as we go through it, you can get your own copy at thegrowthscore.com.
John, I’m really enjoying these joint episodes that we’re doing at the two podcasts. Hopefully, it’ll kind of bring both of our communities together and I’m just having a good time doing it. So we have, we’ve done an overview of the entire scorecard. We have gone through the first two mindsets, we’ve talked about who is your who. In the last episode, we talked about the target 100 advantage. And today, we’re going to go through the third mindset out of the eight, and today we’re going to talk about clear value.
So you’re probably wondering the world is clear value, because I know you haven’t prepared for anything, you probably haven’t even read them all.
John: So is that clear value versus muddy value? Or unclear or what?
Steve: Most of the time it is and where this came from is the experience that we’ve had with cash, I would venture to guess almost every business that we’ve helped with their marketing. And that is that when they come to us, they don’t have a clear value. So if you look at their website, I like websites because that’s usually a pretty good indication of what someone Their messages to their marketplace to their clients or prospects. If you look at a typical website where, you know, somebody comes to us looking for help, a lot of times I’ll look at and I’ll scratch my head and I can’t figure out exactly what it is they do, I can usually figure out the industry. But generally, I have to have the foggiest idea of why I should hire them. And if I took the name off, I took the logo off. I could probably swap on over onto it any other name or logo in the industry? And no one would know the difference. Right?
John: And especially in the financial services, oh, and lawyers.
Steve: Yeah. Well, in financial services, it’s not, you know, it’s not all the advisor’s fault. The compliance departments and the home offices. I know why they’re doing it and they got to do it, but the things that they, you know, that they kind of force y’all to go through which you have to do so you know, go to jail. They kind of Please lend themselves to ending up with this sort of me too. We can’t use me too anymore. I’m sorry, there is a new context for that is this sameness in marketing.
John: You realize we’re in a world today where no matter what you say you’re going to offend, right?
Steve: Yeah, well, I try every day.
John: So one of our mentors used to say, clean it up. If you’re not offended someone by noon, you’re not doing your job. So here’s what I’ve come up with. And it comes down to clear bang. I tell people every day, I promise you every day, this comes out of my mouth in one context from remodeling a restaurant, it might be a client coming in little, they’ll whine about something and say, You know what? You should not pay for that. My feet $3,000-$5,000 we’re not gonna pay that. You shouldn’t go see you don’t see the value in it. Why would you give up an even $1 bill? If there’s an event, if you drop the dollar bill in the parking lot, your stop pick it up. $100 bill you stop to pick it up. True?
Steve: Oh, yes.
John: So let’s get clear. And this is a good segue get clear about clear, right? You’re not going to depart with your money, nor will anyone else until they see there’s something a bank. Now that is easier a conscious decision or a subconscious decision, but that decision will be made before you do any business. Now, if you know that, as we’re about to learn here if you know that and you know how to position your value properly, you will attract people to you who want that and you’ll repel the people who at least at the time know, if they change their mind later, if people follow the concepts we’ve been talking about on the marketing side, they will gravitate back to you. Even if they don’t like you. They’ll come back to you if you are the person that they see. brings the best value.
Steve: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, so it’s interesting is I was putting all of these thoughts together. I originally wrote this with a different word in front of it, I wrote compelling value a lot of people talk about, you know, having a compelling offer. And, and as I thought about it more and more, I thought, well, that’s, that’s not really the problem that most people have. And yes, you need a compelling offer. But more importantly than that, and more fundamental than that, and certainly easier to get to, yes, aspire to have a super compelling offer. But if you can get to a clear offer a clear demonstration of value, you’ll get 80% of the way there.
John: Well, they’ll come to you faster, right.
Steve: So let’s, let’s go through the four mindsets. These are the four different expressions of thinking that I’ve observed in business owners and John the first one is that you feel that you should offer services in line with the standards of your industry and this is the exact description of the website we just talked about where you could take the logo off. And you can’t tell any difference. So I hear this all the time from folks who say, well, we just sort of do the industry standard thing. We’re not any different than anybody else. Do you ever see them in advisors?
John: All the time. I get criticized a lot, as you know because you’ve talked with people that we both know. They’ll say, well, why is Curry always pushing on with this marketing stuff and how does he get so much stuff for free?
And the answer is, Well, number one, I don’t want to be like everybody else. Now. I’m not dumb. Sometimes I’ll take something the company’s already done and why reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to, but at the same time, I want my personality and my, my energy in that thing. So I don’t mind pushing on with someone, but I don’t want to be just like everybody else in the industry, because then why would you need me? If there are 100 people just like me, how the hell do you determine which one you are?
Steve: Well, I think I think that’s a perfect stepping off point to talk about the idea of value. Because you sell investments, annuities, life insurance, disability insurance, Long Term Care Insurance still a thing?
So there are websites where I can go and get life insurance. I mean, there’s a correct on popular, you know, radio programs. There’s a commercial for one particular website every three minutes, it seems like for life insurance, so I can get that anywhere. Correct. I can get a new lease probably anywhere just as easily. I can go and invest at any number of services on my own, where all I got to do is sit on my couch, you know, in my jammies and log in. So where I see a lot of people get tripped up with this is that they think somehow the product or the service is the only thing that they have to differentiate. And you don’t have you can’t differentiate your product or service, you actually have no control over your product or service.
John: No, I even tell people. So it was begin, you don’t need me. You can do this all by yourself. And they’ll say no I can’t, and I’ll say yes you can. And if you were with me the planning process we go through, we get down to planning, I’ll give you a document, there are only four things you can do it, ignore it. Totally ignore everything. Do it all by yourself, go to a competitor or work with my team. It’s up to you. But you can do it yourself. Now to be faster working with a coach that knows how to do it. But you could do it all by yourself.
You could be your own attorney. You could probably be your own surgeon which is not your brain in your heart, I guess but I’m not so sure that work. But most people in my world, they are afraid to say that hope if I say that they might go somewhere else. They might, they might, but the majority can say no, no, no, you don’t understand. I don’t understand this stuff. I don’t like this stuff. Please help me. Now instead of me grabbing you by the throat snatching you in the door, you’re pulling me you’re saying please take me as a time. Please, please.
Steve: You know, John, that that fear that people express about, you know, their clients going somewhere else that comes out of, I think, a deeper understanding that they are they’re not offering anything of value beyond the commoditized product that can be bought anywhere.
John: It’s that and the scarcity mentality. They do not how as we talked about the last episode, they did not have their target 100 lists and expanding it. Therefore, I’ve got to make a sale, got to make a sale, gotta make a sale. I haven’t been in that environment where I got to make a sale in so many years. I can even say how it’s like, Yes, I would like to do business with you. But if I do not get your business, I’m going to be just fine.
Steve: You know, one of our mentors in common, Dan Sullivan, I think I like the way he articulates it. He says, you know, really, the thing that your clients are coming for, can be described, kind of three ways. They’re coming for leadership. They’re coming for a relationship, and they’re coming for creativity. And if you begin to think about it in those terms, that’s where you add value. You know, and that’s how you’re able to charge a fee, a flat fee. Plus, you make commissions, when you sell something, you’re able to charge a fee to folks, for them to come in and then find out from you which of these commodity products they should buy, and they don’t get there. The thing that they’re missing isn’t the product. It’s the leadership it’s the relationship and creativity.
John: I was gonna ask you to repeat those, I don’t think people understand the time and expand on this one because I think that’s part of it.
Steve: That’s leadership… We all know this, our clients will come to us. I mean, people that work with us are successful business owners. And they’re not stupid people by any stretch of the imagination, but in the area of their life and business that relates to attracting clients, they feel like they need a leader, somebody who has traveled the ground before and knows the lay of the land and can get them from where they are to where they want to be. Because it saves them time and energy. Yes. And gives them the confidence to Absolutely. And so the second piece of that is a relationship we all want to be in the relationship makes us feel good. And again, I think it gives confidence. And so I think that’s a key piece of it, and so people will be attracted to you for who you are.
And Dan Kennedy, somebody you and I both have invested a lot of time with always talks about the importance of personality as an attractive force for clients, it’s if people ask me all the time why we’ll do a joint webinar with someone who appears to be a competitor, or why I’ll have somebody who appears to be a competitor on the podcast. And that’s because number one, my mindset is that I don’t have any competitors. And one of the reasons I don’t have the editors is because the clients who are going to be attracted to me and want to work with our firm are going to be attracted to me in large part because they want to be in a relationship with me for they want the result. Yes, they want leadership. They want that relationship as well. The and, and so I know that there are people who are listening to this here in our audience are never going to become a client because they don’t have that same relationship. So if I can bring somebody else in, who does what I do, and I can actually serve those people through this other person that they might connect with and prefer a relationship with and I’m totally fine.
Getting Information Out There & Helping People
John: Wow, this is off the track a wee bit, but not that much. So someone might be skeptical. So okay, so if you know that there are people out there who are not going to do business with you are not likely to why would you continue doing something you’re doing? And the answer is you’d have discussed this many times. We enjoy doing it because we know that we’re getting information out there. We’re helping people. We’re creating value right now, for people who we may never ever talk with. And that’s why I keep doing my podcast, I do my webinars, because I know I’m creating a relationship with a certain number of people and some of them out there. While they don’t sense the relationship now a comeback. We’ve talked about as many tasks related to coming inside. been following you for all these years now ready? That’s because you didn’t give up on number one. But number two, if you’re doing something you enjoy doing, and you know in your heart that you’re helping people. I’ve helped tens of thousands of people I’ll never meet and I know that. It makes me feel good. It gives me energy and confidence.
Steve: The key to the leap that you and I’ve made in that and other businesses have made as well. Sure is, and that I think prevents the bigger majority of businesses from ever doing some of the things that we’re talking about is we began to put in place marketing systems and particularly what I call media platforms. Yeah, so this podcast is one of them. You know, I’ve in the past, I’ve produced email newsletters, I still do you produce email newsletters, I do a print newsletter. You do print newsletters, and postcards and things. And, and so we’ve, we’ve adopted some of these tools, like this podcast, I mean, yes, it’s going to resonate with the people that will become a client of ours over the next, let’s say year, or obviously more than that, but it’s going to impact An awful lot more people who listened to it and never become a client. And I don’t know which is which until they show up for it with a check, right? So rather than try and make that determination somehow now I’m going to use tools that allow me to do this in a scalable way. It doesn’t cost us I mean, our cost in creating today’s episode is you and I carving out the time to do it, which isn’t a hard thing to do because we like to get together and talk about these solutions.
John: Which by the way, you need to get out your checkbook and write a check for my time.
Steve: Yeah, it’s in the mail, mailed it before you got here. I don’t say value that there’s probably not a lot of value for you. But you know, it takes us our time. Yeah, we’ve got a team that produces it. So there’s a little bit of cost in that, but once that’s paid it, there are no additional costs, no matter how many millions or billions of people ever listened to this. I don’t know that that’ll ever happen. But you know, But it doesn’t matter. And so we’ve created a situation for ourselves, where we can provide leadership, we can give the opportunity for relationship because as we know, as people listen to something like the podcast, the repetition of them, you know, being involved with us, as a listener, you’re actively involved in this. I mean, you’re not here in the conversation with us. That’d be great if we could do that, but you’re involved still just in the listening process. And, and so we’re able to create some relationship that way and we’re able to share our creativity. So it’s a way to demonstrate value.
John: I’m listening to what you’re saying. And you’ve already gotten into the second thing here. From the standpoint you want to read it you want me to once you read it, your clients rave about your good work, you struggle to create a clear and compelling message that communicates your unique value. That’s what you’ve been talking about last few minutes, to the standpoint of, Okay, we got all this stuff. We know that If you’re in business, you know you’re good at what you do. Okay?
The challenge then becomes Okay, finding other people out there who believe in you. They’re looking for that, would you call leadership, relationship and creativity and they want you. And that’s where the challenge comes in having the compelling messages that communicate this. Now, some people think I hang up my shingle, I’m in business, that the whole world’s gonna come rushing over… doesn’t happen.
Steve: I wish it were that easy. No, you wouldn’t get paid much and everybody’s…
John: So talk to us what was going through your mind, which is a dangerous question. What was going through your mind specifically when you worked on this?
What Inspired The Growth Scorecard
Steve: So I talked with business owners all the time, who are I mean, they’re such good people. They do amazing work. They helped clients, their clients get good results. And you know, and yet, they have a really hard time taking all of that great stuff that they do behind closed doors with their clients and figuring out how do I package that up and communicate it to the world, so that more people like that will come to me so that I can help them. And, and so that’s really what this is about is that because I just see it over and over again, that and really these are each of these mindsets is a reflection of something that I’ve seen in, in a business owner. I’ve been doing this now, john, you know, this business is a decade old. And do this with a lot of people, you know, you begin to see patterns of things. And I think it’s really useful. You know, these mindsets, kind of articulate the different patterns that I’ve seen. And then as you get to as we get to the fourth mindset, that really describes the pattern that I see In our most successful clients, and so the reason I wanted to put this down is I wanted to give people a roadmap where they could kind of score themselves where they felt like they were today.
Like if they read this, because this is a really qualitative thing, and it’s hard to maybe assess where you are sometimes. But you, you might recognize yourself in one of these mindsets and say, yeah, I’m more like that, or more like this. And you kind of gets a sense of where you are now. But you can also see the mindset that we’ve observed in the most successful of our clients, and so you kind of get a picture now of where you’re trying to go. And, and I think if you can get clear on that you now have a plan. what frustrates me is when I see business owners who maybe are sitting in this mindset that we’re talking about where they they’re doing this great work, and they’re struggling to kind of get it organized and communicate clearly. And then they’re just stuck. Because they don’t know the path, they don’t know what direction to go. And so I’m hoping the scorecard will help to kind of let them see what that direction so, but that’s the second one. And I know advisors struggle with this. I’ve talked to dozens and dozens of advisors who are exactly in this spot. I know it across the board, every business, every industry, and every size business. Frankly, I’ve talked to business owners of some fairly large businesses, that you’d be surprised what could be that large without really understanding.
John: You know, what surprises me about businesses of all types with the restaurant lawyer, Doctor, dentist… many people, they don’t have the ability to even articulate their unique values. Well, we’ll just have they introduce themselves, you go to a chamber function. Just realize I’ve been to chamber club in 10 years.
Steve: Me either.
John: Just went to people who spent introduce themselves by what they do for a living. Not one person talking about the value that I was only one and when that was asked me to so as I help people prepare for a secure time It says, Now you may have a different view than the business owner my boom I gotta get this business I’m selling 100 million dollars what do I do? When a schoolteacher gets this pension what do I do? But they all that that that statement means something that somebody and everybody but when I’m coaching people I’m saying tell me what it is you really do. What is it that your client says to you on a regular basis… Wow, thank you for that. That’s how you should be seeing yourself not like I sell life insurance or I sell annuities are so this for sale that is so real estate. Well, hello, everybody can do that.
Steve: You’re describing the result.
Steve: And yes, it can mean different things to different people.
John: And it does. Depends on where you are in your life.
Steve: That’s actually an advantage because you describe the general result. And they get to then interpret it and apply it to their own situation.
John: Well, how many times have you heard me relate something or somebody? Oh, John, for you, the retirement guy as you got it, almost. I am THE secure retirement guy. Not the risky retirement guy. Now, maybe I’m mincing words here. But to me, that is the unique value I bring to the table.
Steve: No, it is. It is so and it’s, I think that’s a great demonstration of sometimes it and frankly, often it is just getting that simple and clear.
John: And you’re going to destroy me, folks. I spend less time and less money and less shoe leather going to different things hoping I found the right person because I know what to do, any and everything I do stays on that message. Everything.
Steve: Well, and all of these different mindsets tie together, they build on each other. They’re in this order for a reason. The one we’re going to talk about next John in the next episode is ideas that sell and I don’t want to get into it all now but once you understand the clear value that you’re delivering, and really the clear value is more about what is the what is that client buying in their mind. That’s what they value, then that that tees you up now to be able to create ideas that will then sell for you.
John: And I just realized that number three are you getting into that even more? Because full disclosure, I looked at this and said you got to give me another copy of today for the podcast because I got busy in my own world. This is pretty cool. Do you want to read that one?
Steve: Yeah, so the third and third mindset is that you’re offering and marketing a message that’s focused on the work that you do for your clients. And your marketing message is similar to other firms in your industry. And that’s exactly what you described, showing up and saying, whether it’s on your website, or you know, your elevator pitch on business cards, or whatever. I mean, I had somebody requested an appointment with me yesterday and John, and I got the notification, I went and looked at the information they send, and I went looked at their website. And when I looked at their website, it said the city they were in, and the thing that the profession that they were in, it didn’t say, who they serve, and the result that they deliver, right. And I thought, well, this is you know, there’s a there’s something that needs to get an address with that business right there.
So, but I see this a lot, particularly in fairly mature businesses where they’ve been around a while, maybe they’ve been around predating the internet and, and they could get away with without, you know, being really clear on this. Because, you know, back before the internet and before worldwide, commoditization hit us off. We all got a little bit insulated by geography and so the relationships that you may maybe your local area could Trump someone’s ability to go search for solutions because it just wasn’t there. Not anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore. Yes. Tell my wife the other night and we have. I did an interview earlier this week. I was interviewed on someone’s podcast in the UK. We have a client in Portugal. We’ve had clients throughout Europe, you know it, and I was thinking back to when I first got in the business, and this was the mid-90s. We did not have an internet connection at our company for at least a year. When I got out of college I didn’t have email already. We got faxes. I mean this all the ways that we’re doing business now. I mean, you couldn’t even comprehend them even 20 years ago.
John: Okay, you young whippersnapper, let me ask you to think back to 1975
Steve: Do you really want to go there?
John: 1975, there were personal computers on your desk. There were no cell phones. That’s when I started a business… September 13, 1975.
Steve: I was probably whacking some other little four years old with a wooden truck or something. preschool. All right. So. that’s the third one. I see a lot of businesses that are kind of in this trap where they’re, you know, their marketing messages really focused on the industry they’re in and what they do.
John: Let’s talk about, just give us a tidbit or two. What to do for those who are stuck in this one, to stop doing everything that looks like everybody else. Because in my world, we got compliance, people are worried about it. Okay, I’ve got it. I’ve got to deal with the financial regulators from Washington State, I got to deal with my compliance officers locally, going to deal with compliance folks in New York City. So they’re all thinking this, so I can’t do things differently. Now, you and I both know that you can do things differently. You just have to follow the rules and not be saying something that’s not correct. But spend a moment talking about that, because I think that’s a big stumbling block for pretty much everyone in the business. Everybody’s regulated by somebody it seems, so touch on that.
Steve: Well, I mean, you obviously want to do things that are within compliance. But if you look at the way so we talked about you know, Sullivan’s model of leadership relationship and creativity. Okay. And so if you begin to bring that to bear two parts of the business, you start to see opportunities to create that differentiation. And I think you’re a really good example of this, you’re in maybe the most heavily regulated industry, maybe only second to medicine. And you’re in an industry that I think the last stat I saw, you’ve got 350,000 competitors in the United States?
John: Probably that is more.
Steve: I don’t know, it was in that ballpark last time.
John: I know, but I don’t care.
Steve: Right. But a lot of competition, right. And there are, as we’ve already discussed, websites people can go to without even talking to a person to buy the products that you sell. I would call that a pretty heavily commoditized business and you have no influence over of the products that you sell, created by the insurance companies, investment companies and all that. So what you have done very effectively, and I think everybody can kind of go to school on this a little bit. Is that you? You first focused on what’s the result I’m delivering, and how can I describe it differently and the way you if I might paraphrase the way you’ve shared that story with me, as you said, at some point, that you’re probably going to tell us the date because you remember exact dates for everything, but you’re probably gonna tell us the date I’m gonna guess was 1982. Just wild guess, that in 1982, you made the decision to get out of the life insurance business and be in your career in the retirement planning business, because you’re in the life insurance business focused on the commoditize tool. And in the retirement planning business, you are now moving into a leadership position.
John: You’re close, it was 1983.
Steve: Do you remember the exact day?
John: No, but I can tell you that option was because our son was not born yet. I can tell you between May and June.
Steve: So, so that’s the first. So the first thing you did as you began to focus on, on providing leadership that led to a specific result. And the way that you’ve articulated that is that you do secure retirement planning, which is a result that people as it turns out, want.
John: And it allows me to do what I can create. So I can create a planning process and no one else can duplicate. Why? Because it’s me.
Steve: You’re jumping ahead– that’s the second area that you can innovate and make yourself different. It’s your process, how you go about things. Okay. And so, we do that with the way that we approach marketing. I mean, there These days, that you can’t open up a web browser without hearing from somebody that’s trying to teach you something about marketing. But we have a very specific process. And that process makes what we do unique. You know, you have your secure retirement plan process planning process that makes what you do you need nobody else has that. And so that’s a differentiator. So that’s the second one. And then the third is personality. And this is the relationship piece. So you’ve applied creativity to how you’re offering leadership and the how your offering relationship and so the personality piece of it and your master this you know, I learned from you in this, you know, started with your speaking but the place that I really saw it take off was with your book. So you wrote your book, and it’s called the secure retirement method which describes your process. So you’ve encapsulated your process into a book. We’re going to talk more about that in the next episode with ideas that sell. But you got it in this book. And then when you went to conferences after you had that book where you were just prowess, little book Papa there ever was because that book, that book flew all over the country went all kinds of conferences anywhere there, folks. anywhere there was a conference with another author who was speaking, John would either very gently or very forcefully tackle that author to the ground. Say I have a book. Do you have a book? Do you have a copy of your book? They go, yeah, I have a copy of my book. Why don’t you hold my book I’ll hold your book will take a photo of us both smiling. And you’ve got pictures with Robert Kiyosaki with Dan Kennedy with Dan George Foreman, David Walker, David Walker, who was a former financial controller of the United States, all of these people. Well, so what does that do in John’s market? So those pictures now go on John’s website, I know cuz we did a lot of that for you. They go into the newsletter. They’re used in your office, they’re these pictures up. So when prospects come in, and so you have engineered this very different personality.
John: It’s time to get some new ones.
Steve: Yeah, you need some new ones. And, and what that does then is now people come in, and they see that, wow, this guy’s different. He’s like a celebrity, you know, and all you did was you had a book and you had the guts to go up and ask an author and I will tell you as the author of a book, I’ve gone and given speeches. It’s the most flattering thing in the world, to have somebody come up and wonderful I mean, you know, even big-time authors always you talk to, they haven’t been bothered by that how they? No. So you can engineer some differentiation and some value there. And again, if you can innovate your product, great. Do you know I mean, Apple innovated with the iPhone and totally changed their industry, right? But for most of us, we can’t do that. We’re constricted by the regulations of our industry, the practical considerations of how we deliver value. But you certainly have pretty free reign over applying creativity to how you deliver leadership and how you deliver a relationship. Absolutely. All right, we’re going to move on because we’re going on the fourth mindset here, John is that the value you offer aligns with what your ideal clients really want. You have a clear, compelling marketing message that communicates your value.
John: Talk about why that works so well. So one You get to that level. Why is it so powerful?
Steve: It’s frankly, it’s all in one little four-letter word. And you know, want want, okay? I mean, it’s what your clients want Aspire motor. So yes. You know, if you’re offering something if the value that you’re articulating that you’re communicating is in line with what your clients want, then you’ve made your job easier. And I, again, if we use you as a kind of the live case study here, what do people want, they want to know that they’re going to have a secure retirement, they never have to worry about running out of money. They’re all of their needs are going to be taken care of their legacy is going to be taken care of health care, health care, all nine yards. Do they want that or they want to buy some stinking life insurance?
John: They don’t want the drill bit they want the whole drill.
Steve: And in fact, where the is really powerful folks is. So you sell a new lease. Okay, can I brag on you for a minute? Sure. So at the moment we’re recording this john is the number one annuity producer in at least one, possibly two, you always correct me on this, I can never quite get it. Right. I think it’s two companies in the United States. This means of all of the people who sell annuities in the country with these companies, and there’s a lot of them John sells more.
John: And as you’re finished one in one and then a few notches below.
Steve: Well, still, my point is pretty darn good. Okay. And, and at the same time, there is a company that runs large ads in major newspapers and sends out a ton of direct mail and even buys billboards because I’ve seen the billboards that say various Simply what is an African line? It’s basically a new these are evil. I hate and I hate the new ones. That’s it. And, and so you’ll get people who will come in who have seen that. Or maybe they’ve listened to one of the financial radio talk show hosts, they’re going there with them. Yeah, they bring the ads, it was him and they come in and say I am absolutely positively never going to buy an annuity and they sell those but you just forget about so I’m going to be much. Right. Okay, and they come in there and then you take them through your planning process. And it turns out that they want all of the value that comes from the annuity, all of the features, the benefits of the annuity, and they end up buying a damn annuity.
John: Correct. Okay.
Steve: And the point of all of that is, if you will just start with the value that they want, they’ll buy the things that you’re selling that delivers.
John: Let’s just think about something, the last time that happened. I actually have a picture of the gentleman that owns that company. The bookcase you’re talking to this gentleman right here.
Steve: I don’t think he owns it anymore. I think they’ve asked him to leave to the side door.
John: You know him? I pretended to… had coffee with him one time didn’t have an option to get a picture I would just again, but anyway, had to say, look, you’re telling where you don’t. You don’t want an annuity. That’s great. But your subconscious mind can work with that to tell me what you want. Do you even it? Nine times out in this world? Why don’t we explore that? Why don’t we explore that path? And then if the annuity is the thing that gives you what you really want, what will you do that? Because of the negative challenge, because so you’re putting yourself in a box, you’re saying I do not want that. So you’re excluding a possible solution that could be the solution for you. So wouldn’t it be better let’s just start with a clean slate. You tell me what you’re doing. Won’t unless exploring that they’re less identify the tools because it’s not just the newbies. It’s probably gonna be annuity investments, life insurance, long term care, health insurance, I don’t want it and neither do you. So let’s explore what you want first.
I find that if you do that and you’re not defensive, what do you mean you’re not going to do this? You got no, I don’t got to do nothing. I have the right to go broke, I have the right not to pay my taxes to go to prison. Thank you very much. I don’t have to do it. I choose to. So I find that it’s in sync with what you’re showing here at the higher level is that if you truly take the time to explore what the person across the table from the wants nine times out of 10 the very thing they did not want or they said they hated, they now realize that is but if you box in that corner, I can get you out of the corner and get you thinking differently. Now we have changed Absolutely. And the issue really is whose problem is it? It’s the client’s problem, not our problem, we are too quick to take on their problems. We’re the solution. We’re not the problem.
Steve: Yeah, they’ve gotten themselves into the problem, and they don’t. So, again, I think it comes down to this idea of understanding what your clients really want. When you can do that now gives you the raw material to go and and create clear value where it is clearly articulated. And it is true value to the client, that is what they want to buy. And if you will just do that your life will become easier.
John: Totally. It also takes let’s talk about the sale side. So we all know if you’re in business you’re in sales, I’ve discovered that once I got real comfortable with just having a blank piece of paper in front of me, just like Tell me what you want. What are your concerns? What are your issues, let me just listen. First of all most people, I listen to, And they go, Well, where’s the sales pitch? You have to tell me what you need, why you’re here. You had to get in your car drive to my office, you’re sitting here. So tell me what your concerns or issues or what I’ll tell you. The first ones really listen. Thank you, but I love my clients, if you’re going to be my client, there’s going to be a great relationship or you can’t be my client. Because when I want to take on the hit, and that and that’s just when I talk to people, and I figured that’s my personality. If you don’t like my personality, you probably gonna like me any better than YouTube. So let’s just find out upfront. What are you shaking your head about?
Steve: Well, I was just thinking about a call I had with a potential client, I guess on Thursday of last week, you know, gotta get on the call and my question that I start with which I learned from you I always open up with, you know, number one, how much time do we have right and confirm that. And then number two, why are we here today? How can I add value and I just stop? And this guy was, so I just really want to hear your pitch. And you know, why, you know, why should I do business with you? I don’t know. I don’t really have a pitch. I don’t, I don’t really have a sales pitch. I don’t do that. I work to find out what people want. And then if I can help you, I’ll tell you how I can help you. And then you can decide if you want my help. But I don’t have a pitch.
John: And also tell you where I can’t help you.
Steve: Yeah, I’ll tell you where I can’t help you. And I’ll even try and connect it with somebody who can if I know him, and I said so if you want to pitch we could probably both just go right now because I have a pitch you know, I said oh no, that’s okay. And so what do you want? Why are we here? You are a busy business owner. Why did you schedule this call to speak with what is it that you want that you think is missing? In your business, and let’s talk about that. And, and if I can help you out.
John: Well, isn’t that refreshing, so there’s no pressure. No, no, there’s no pressure on you no pressure on me the client, when I have that telephone, or face to face because people were expecting pressure, they’re expecting a pitch. And truthfully, I think anyone who has a quick pitch without discovering what the client’s problems are or their needs or won’t, I think that’s unethical.
Steve: Yeah. Because I mean, how can you possibly sell something to someone if you don’t understand what they want what they need?
John: Well, as a backup, if you’re just if I’m selling a phone, and I’m just selling him gadget, okay, I got no problem. You buy this man that this is what I sell. And in some cases, I could be accused of that because I do so a lot of the news people so is that all he said, No, I won’t sell that most people will ultimately what there was the understanding, now, I do investment work. We do a lot of it. And I want all I can get, obviously, but I’m very passionate about what I’m doing. Because if you do not have the annuity as part of your plan, you don’t have a secure retirement. You can’t unless you have a pension, Social Security, things like that. So what was going through my mind as you said, that is occasionally I don’t get it a lot, because the time they get in front of me, we’ve already had these discussions? We could be their mentor or seminar or webinar or something. But occasionally I’ll get that and it really is a called, what your pitch is used someone along the lines of what are you trying to sell me? And I tell them over to me. I want to sell you on the idea that I’m someone who should be part of your world. We’re done if you agree, listen, continue. If not, it’s okay.
Steve: Absolutely. Let’s end it on that note, my friend. I love that. I love that sentiment, folks. To get your own copy of the inevitable growth scorecard go to thegrowthscore.com you can actually take, take the scorecard to go through there online, have your score emailed to you. And the way that it works is you read these each of these mindsets, and see where you feel like you fall, what describes where you are now, and then look and see where which mindset might describe where you want to be. Let’s say you’re from now at some point in the future, and put down a score for that where you want to be next. And then that’ll give you a really clear, clear picture of where you’re doing really well. The areas where you feel like you need to improve and then give you a path to work towards improving. So go to the word score calm and get that there. John, I’m having a blast doing these thanks for spending all the time or investing some time with me and having these conversations. I’m having a great time dude. I hope everybody is having a great time listening to us. Same here, but I want you to do something you just corrected yourself. This was the people literally because they can get paid from that.
John: Spend versus invest time.
Steve: Yeah. And I and I, and so many of our podcasts this way, I learned this from you, I give you credit, or your score on saying I spent time. And you said, No, no, you don’t spend the time you choose to invest time and that shift in mindset. And I’m a big believer in having the right mindset. The shift in mindset is has been transformational because now I choose where do I want to invest my time and what will be the return on that time? And so we’ve invested time Well, this morning, yes, we
John: Thank you. I’m gonna just make a plugin on this thing, folks. If you have not done it yet, you get this thing in front of you because I’m pretty good at what I do. I’m pretty good at marketing. But I’ve got two pages of notes here. That’s gonna help me.
Steve: Awesome.Thank you.
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