Welcome back to the 253rd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today's podcast is Robyn Crane. Robyn is the founder of her own eponymous consulting firm, which offers sales and marketing coaching services with a focus on female financial advisors.
What's unique about Robyn, though, is her well-defined approach for how any financial advisor can better identify the ideal type of client that they want to work with, and then implement a repeatable system to reach out to and book appointments with qualified leads that fit their ideal client profile.
In this episode, we talk in depth about why Robyn feels that, although advisors typically excel at fulfilling their promise to provide great service to their clients, the thing they need the most help with is generating new leads and then turning those leads into qualified prospects, how Robyn views the challenges that the financial advice industry faces around gender diversity not simply as a recruiting problem to solve, but more of a structural issue that prevents women from feeling fulfilled as advisors, and why Robyn feels that the key to making a foundational impact on gender diversity in the industry is in helping women learn to how to identify and replicate their ideal clients so they can build their practices the way they want.
We also talk about the specifics of Robyn’s system to start generating cold leads, dubbed the TAG Challenge, which advisors can use to book five quality appointments in five days even if they don’t have an existing book of business to generate referrals from, how Robyn teaches advisors to identify specific people to market to by “cloning” either an existing ideal client, someone in their network that wouldn’t normally work with them, or an ideal client persona that they can find online, and the simple strategy that Robyn recommends using when reaching out to cold leads on LinkedIn in order to actually get them to respond and connect with them.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Robyn shares the script she teaches advisors to use during the first meeting with a cold lead in order to learn about their aspirations and pain points, why the marketing and sales techniques that Robyn teaches her advisor clients are particularly suited for women advisors looking to grow and scale their practices, and how Robyn found that the simple act of “borrowing someone else’s belief” when she doubted herself helped her see better outcomes and enjoy more success for herself as a business owner.
So whether you're interested in learning how Robyn uses 'indirect messaging' to reach cold contacts through LinkedIn, why financial advisors should consider writing a book, or how to create 'instant expertise' and start getting noticed by prospects, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Robyn Crane.
Resources Featured In This Episode:
- Robyn Crane
- Robyn Crane Website
- Robyn Crane's "The Value Framework"
- Make More Money, Help More People by Robyn Crane
- FEMM Mentorship
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
- Self-Publishing Your Own Book As A Financial Advisor In 6 Months
- Kitces & Carl Ep 40: How To Turn Your Advisor Marketing Content Into A(n Entire) Book
- Write the Right Book with Trevor Crane
- Jeff Slater
Michael: Welcome, Robyn Crane to the "Financial Advisor Success" podcast.
Robyn: I'm so excited to be here, you have no idea. Okay, you have an idea, but I'm very excited. Thanks for having me, Michael.
Michael: Absolutely. I'm really looking forward to the discussion today as well. And just the work I think you're doing at a really interesting, I guess, intersection of challenges in our industry that we have what for many advisors is kind of the ever-present challenge of just prospecting and sales and business development and getting clients. The industry has always had an incredibly high attrition rate of advisors who join and don't even survive for the first 3 years or 2 years or sometimes even 12 months or 6 months before it doesn't work out. And that's almost always driven by just the challenge in actually attracting clients and getting them to pay you to do business with you. On top of that, we have an industry that is at least by measurement of CFP marks, 23% of CFP professionals are women.
We've spent the past, I think, decade in particular really trying to focus the industry on lifting gender diversity. And then if you look at the statistics on CFP professionals 20 years ago, it was 23% women. It literally hasn't moved a percentage point in two decades. And I know you spend your time in kind of the combination of these, of coaching women advisors in particular around business development and sales. So, I feel like you've put yourself at the intersection of these dual challenges. You've taken on two difficult paths at once and I'm trying to bring them together. And so, I'm just looking forward to the conversation today of what you've seen, what you've learned, what you found that works for how do we support women in the profession? How do we better support sales and business development in the profession? And how do we support women at sales and business development in the profession?
Why The Industry’s Struggle With Gender Diversity Isn’t A Recruiting Problem [04:35]
Robyn: I actually think of it as the same thing. I actually think a lot of the emphasis is put on to recruiting and that's where the industry thinks that this is how we're going to get more women in the industry, which makes sense, right? "Oh, we'll get more women in the industry." But just like you said, it's a revolving door. So, we're bringing women in and they're leaving as quickly as they're coming in, so the percentages aren't changing. And what's going to keep women in the industry is having financial success. How could you be a financial advisor and have imposter syndrome and completely feel like a fraud? You're out, you can't make it, you're not going to because women need to feel like...we need the validation.
And I think everybody does, but especially women, we need to feel like we deserve to be here and we have that success. So, my whole theory is that if I can help women grow their business and if they have the financial success...and not only just have the financial success, but also have the financial...or have the fulfillment, the life fulfillment, I always say to help them build their ideal business so they can have their ideal life. If I can help them do that, then they're staying in the industry. And then what's going to happen is not only will they stay in the industry, they'll inspire other women to be in the industry. And so, now the recruiting happens without even trying because they're happy, they're fulfilled, they're successful, they don't feel like a fraud, they're getting results, they're transforming lives, and then that's what's going to actually increase the footprint of women in the industry.
So, I think it goes completely hand in hand. Not that recruiting is bad, it's great, like let's go to colleges, let's tell girls about why it's so important to be in the industry. But oftentimes, I even think that emphasis is on like, "You could be good at math and you could come into the industry." It's like, "It has nothing to do with math skills, it's like all relationships." Women are already good at that, we're good, but we need to encourage women for sure to enter the field. But if they don't have a role model and they're not seeing women having the success and there's a whole model which is completely created...I'm going to sound, well, negative, but by men that's very male-dominated, and there's not a safe place for them to be and to succeed, then not only will they not want to stay in the industry, but other women won't want to get in the industry.
Michael: Well, it strikes me as well just kind of hearing you talk about this and making, I think, a great point that the industry really tends to treat this like a recruiting challenge and it's really not just a recruiting challenge. And the fact that we've pushed on this lever for more than a decade with a lot of really focused diversity efforts and basically haven't moved the needle, I think helps to make the point that this is not just a recruiting challenge. But the thing that actually saddens me even more to think about that is just the industry is so much more of an effort on recruiting gender and racial diversity, but the actual count of gender and racial diversity isn't moving much, which means if we're recruiting more and the numbers aren't improving, that actually means we're churning through more women and advisors of color now than we were before.
We're actually failing more of them than we used to because that's what happens if you recruit more and the net numbers don't go up. We have to actually be churning more of them through, which I think just speaks back to your point that certainly, if no one...if no diversity was recruiting, there won't certainly be any diversity. But recruiting alone without actually taking the next steps of how do we make people successful and what does it take and what does it take them might be different from the traditional models around training and development. If we don't change that part, then the recruiting stuff either doesn't help or actually hurts because we just create more people who have had negative experiences with the industry having joined, failed, and left and they don't come back and they tell their friends how awful it was.
Robyn: Yeah, recruiting has to happen. We have to bring people in, we can't just have people stay. Eventually, people are going to leave regardless and retire. But it's absolutely true that if they're not staying in the industry, then the numbers won't move. But it's going to be a compounding effect, right? It's just like getting clients. If you have clients who are in retirement, they're withdrawing, or unfortunately, they're dying, you have to replace that AUM, right? You can't just say, "Okay, I'm going to have...if I have $100 million under management, and then I just stay that way forever." And this is why it gets really scary because you have your business where you're used to $100 million under management, you have your staff and you have your team and all these things, and then you have people taking withdrawals and then they're dying and then you have to replace that.
And it's like this is kind of how the industry is acting just like, "Oh, quick, I don't have really a strategy for it but I'm just going to replace them because I know it's the right thing to do, we need more of these people and we need more clients." It's very, very similar to that. Whereas if we just said, "Okay, just like growing a business, we need to intentionally grow the business, if it's not growing, it's dying." I stole that one from Tony Robbins, I'm sure. But if it's not growing, it's dying some, so there's a strategic way to do that and I think the strategy in the industry right now as far as increasing the footprint of women in the industry is totally off. It's just, if these women are happy, just like when your clients are happy, it's very easy to get referrals.
It's very easy to recruit when you have women who are just so fulfilled in what they do and they've been growing their business and they're helping more people and they're making this huge impact. And then women like to talk, they're going to talk, they're going to talk a lot, and they're going to tell...not only are they going to tell their friends and then their family and people they know about how wonderful it is to be in this industry and how, maybe not easy, but how fulfilling it is, and it can be easy. And then it's just this compound effect and also telling their daughters and this can go generational. So, it's very aspirational for me to have this. My goal, our company's goal, is to increase the footprint to 50%. And I know...I think it was Sheryl Sandberg who said in her TED Talk that...it might have been someone else. But I think she said, "We're not going to be able to get to 50% in our lifetime to have women in these higher positions as executives and whatnot in the world."
But I actually think it's doable in our industry because it's actually pretty small. Comparatively, it's pretty small. And if we really focus on the success of the women, which is success in many areas, not just financial, but many areas that they have a real...like a life where they can still have kids and they don't have to just work on weekends and nights and a way that they're truly working with their ideal clients then we can do it in less time and be very, very fulfilled and still have all the other things that women strive to have. And I know that's a stereotype, but I know it's true for me and for a lot of the women I work with. So, I think that's setting women up for the success to build that ideal business so they can create what they want, and then it's just going to...it will compound because success breeds success and then we women like to talk, so that makes it easier.
What The Advice Industry Needs To Do To Train And Support In Order To Really Move The Gender Diversity Needle [11:02]
Michael: So, then help us understand. We've kind of set up this conversation as, "Yeah, we can recruit more, but when we don't actually fix the systems of training and support and the rest, then we recruit them in and they still fail out and the number doesn't move." So, the sort of implication is there's other things that we need to change about how we actually train and support women in the industry to make that number move. So, what do we need to do differently? What are you doing since you live this in coaching women? What do we actually need to do and start changing? Where are the gaps between what we've done historically and what it needs to look like to actually support a more diverse advisor base?
Robyn: The way I look at it is that we have to have...they have to be successful. And what does success mean? So, to me, if we take a business, I think there are really only three components. There's leads, sales, and fulfillment. And what most advisors are great at is the fulfillment side, which we call servicing, right? Servicing your clients. And the great thing about the industry is that you get assets under management, you keep getting paid, that's awesome. There aren't that many businesses where you get recurring revenue again and again and again, even wake up on January 1st knowing that you're going to be pretty much...you're kind of set if you've built a decent business.
Michael: Glorious thing, yep.
Robyn: Glorious thing, yes. Of course, I had to leave that all behind, which was an unglorious thing, may I say, a new word, but it was really hard because that's a great thing to have. But the challenge that comes along which everyone listening will absolutely be able to relate to is that you keep getting more and more clients and you've got to keep refilling the bucket and you've just got to keep busting your butt a little bit to make sure it happens. And then you have so many clients and then the whole thing is like, "Okay, now I've got to give my C clients away to an advisor." And it's a little...it kind of makes sense and it's a little bit broken, but that's the fulfillment...the emphasis is a lot on the fulfillment side. And I think the other two components are most important when growing a business and it's everything...when we're kind of looking at the digital marketing space, it's all about leads and sales.
Yes, you have to have fulfillment operations, you have to have all of those things and you have to fulfill on your promises and that's number one because you don't say you're going to provide value and not. That's, to me, a total given. But then what I think is really missing in the industry is how to get those leads, and not just leads, really how to get prospects. And not just prospects, but how to get quality prospects and turn them...and then this is the sales part, is convert them and turn them into ideal clients. And most advisors think that they're really good at converting clients, they think they're really good at sales because they get referrals. And then they get a referral and the referral comes in and the referral is basically ready to work with them and they just pitch them their stuff or tell them what they do.
And what they do best is providing value to their clients, servicing their clients, and they show some models and show some cool stuff, and boom, "I got an 80% closing ratio." You're like, "Well, what if you got a cold lead? How do you turn that cold prospect into an ideal client? And it didn't start with those quality ideal prospects, so you can't do that." So, that's a lot of what I focus on because I teach...actually, I have this five-day challenge. It's called The Appointment Generator Challenge, we call it TAG, T-A-G, The Appointment Generator Challenge. And I promise that you'll get five quality appointments on your calendar in five days. And I love it because I...and I say without having to...you don't have to already have an existing book of business, so without already having ideal clients.
And you don't have to have...you don't have to use any marketing dollars and you can do it all from your home online. So, that's a pretty big promise. I don't think a lot of people are teaching like how do you take a cold lead and turn that into a client. But if you rely on your...I'm going to say it, Michael, I'm going to say it, on your sad skills at selling, which most advisors have because they haven't been taught really how to transform...use conversion, use sales in a way to transform lives, so to me, it's more about pitching. So, if they really know how to convert, you can get a lead, you can convert someone to a free call. If you really know how to convert, if your sales ratio is so high, you should be able to get someone who you don't know to come to a free appointment.
And then, from that free appointment, get them to the next step and the next step and the next step. And so, that's where, I think, learning how to be able to do that, especially post-pandemic, if we can say 'post'. But with the pandemic, with everything going on with being home and having to figure out ways to grow your business where it's not just all in-person networking or even in-person seminars, then if you don't have those systems to get cold prospects or turn cold prospects into clients, then you're going to get to a point where you're in that...like I was referring to before where, yeah, you might start with $100 million under management, but it's just depleting and depleting and depleting because you got people withdrawing and dying. It sounds horrible. Did I just sound really sad? Did I make you cry?
Michael: It's a little morbid when we face our long-term practice mortality. But yeah, it does strike me, though, that this is a gap I feel like I've been watching play out in the industry for a long time that there's been so much discussion that the majority of advisors generate the majority of their clients from referrals and that's kind of been reframed into a, "Therefore, referrals are our best practice for growth." And I do think you have a good point in the alternate way that you frame it, which is, "Well, if you haven't really been trained in sales to convert cold strangers that you meet into people that you work with, you won't get very many of them. And if you won't get very many of them because you haven't learned effective sales techniques, of course, you're going to end out with most of your growth from referrals." It's pretty much all that's left at that point.
Robyn: You're so lucky, you have a financial business, you've got recurring revenue, you've got assets under management, you don't have to work that hard just to make the same numbers last year. I wake up January 1st and I'm like, "Dang, if I want to make $2 million this year, I got to make $2 million this year." I don't have a bunch of recurring revenue, I have some people and payment plans. Basically, I've got to do that all again. And I think financial advisors have gotten...they have the luxury, you have the luxury of not having to do that because you've built...and it's amazing, but the industry has handed it to you, you have this incredible model where you have recurring revenue. It's not easy. I'm not saying it's easy because you have to now service all those people, which is very difficult.
However, it's a very different type of business where you could just rely on referrals and do pretty darn well. And if you're really good at what you do, you will. But then something like the pandemic or if we have something where the market crashes after going up decade-plus straight, it's like, "Well, you're used to getting that AUM and now you might have just lost 10%." That's still significant when it hits your bank account. So, all those things, it's like I really want my clients to be proactive and to learn the strategies. Of course, in the ideal situation, they're going to get a ton of referrals. I teach it, I just teach it a little bit differently. But to get referrals is part of the process. It's part of the way, but I teach them how to get referrals even if they're not working with the person.
So, if they just have a conversation, they can...I call them introductions, but they can start getting introductions well before they're even working with the person for three to five years who they're happy with their portfolio performance, and so they refer them. And of course, the relationship as well. And I feel like I sound a little bit cynical, but I'm saying it because I think it's also extremely exciting. Because if you're in a position where you've been in business, let's just say, 3 to 5 years, or maybe you've been in business 35 years and you're like, "Wow, there are actually systems out there where I don't have to just rely on referrals that are unpredictable and not actually reliable, they just kind of come and go," I would say, I guess, come in as they come in, "And I can actually have a system where I can get someone who I want, I want to attract someone specific."
And I can tell you about my idea of cloning, but I can take one ideal client that maybe I already have in my book of business, I can clone that person even if I don't have clients or even if my clients have already exhausted all the referrals that they've given me supposedly, and it can use these systems to clone the ideal clients again and again. And that is the path to having an ideal business, which is the path to having an ideal life. But you've got ideal clients to give you the ideal business, give you the ideal life, and there's a way to do that.
And it doesn't have to be by...I love marketing dollars, I spent a lot of money on Facebook; I love seminars. I spend a lot of money doing those things. And first, if you could do those things organically and do it without spending money, oh, my gosh, the potential of being able to do this stuff if you add all these components...and I'm happy to explain what those components are. But add these components and to be able to attract the right person to you and if you can prove the concept doing it cold from zero, from nothing, it's kind of like Grant Cardone, he goes back to...he has whatever that show is called, it goes "From Zero to a Billion," is it? Do you know what I'm talking about?
Michael: I haven't seen it. I'm familiar with his Cardone TV stuff, but I don't think I've seen it.
Robyn: I think he has maybe...he has to make $1 million dollars in 90 days from zero and he has to start with zero and he wasn't the only one that did it. But it's kind of like that game. Even if you have a book of business that you've been relying on referrals, what if you could start with nothing and go create 10 more ideal clients this year? And now where would your revenue and your life be? It's just exciting.
What Robyn’s Lead-Generation Process Looks Like [20:09]
Michael: So, talk to us a little bit more about just, okay, so what is this process supposed to look like? Just what are we not all doing that we should be doing? What are we all not doing that we're not getting five quality appointments in five days without an existing book of business?
Robyn: Yeah, so that's a great question. That's the question of the hour. So, the way that I teach it is this. And I know you have a lot of listeners who have been in the industry for a long time and maybe there's some that are newer in the industry. But I like this idea, like I said, of cloning. So, first step is that you need to think of who you want to clone and I actually have three levels. So, level one is that you already have a book of business and you can say, "Okay, I got a book a business," and you do it as A, B, and C clients, right? So, we're looking at your A clients, so your very, very top clients, and you say, "Who is the person?" Not like the target market, not the niche, even though that's great and that's cool. I'm actually going to be super granular here, I'm going to say, "Who is the person in my book of business? I'm going to start with one that I really want to clone."
So, if I look at my book of business and I'm like, "Wow, Suzy, she's got $5 million," $10 million, whatever your number is, $1 million, whatever it is, "And I love working with Suzy." There's actually, I call it the ideal client tests. So, the ideal client test means that number one, you love working with the person. Number two, you provide tremendous transformational value, which I'm assuming is the case, but some of my newer clients, they'll say, "Well, I'm only selling insurance," maybe they don't do AUM yet or something. And so, I'm like, "Okay, well, who's the person that you could do long-term care, you could do an annuity, and you could do life and disability?" Because that person, if you did all four of those services for them, wouldn't they get more value?
If you just did a term policy for one person or if you did even just a whole life policy for one person, if you give them more services, they have more value because then you're really looking at the holistic approach, as everybody says, and you're giving them more. So, if we say, "Oh, I want to make sure to provide the most tremendous transformational value," it's usually going to also mean that they pass the third part of the test, which is that you get paid well for it. So, if I have an existing book of business, level one, I'm like, "Okay, I already have a book of business," I'm saying, "Suzy, she passes the ideal client test, I would love to clone Suzy."
Now, if you're thinking, "Well, I don't know. I have some clients, but I don't know if they're clients I really want to clone. I have some but they kind of take a lot of time and I'm not really making enough per client, I'd really like to have a client that is a bigger client than someone in my book of business," or maybe you don't have a book of business. So, level two would be you know someone in your warm market. So, I like to use this example, let's say, Uncle Phil. So, when I first became a financial adviser, my uncle was someone I was supposed to... He was in my list of my...my list of 100. I was supposed to go talk to my uncle and say, "Hey, Uncle Phil, I just became a financial advisor and I really am passionate about helping people and I thought maybe we could...we can get together."
They actually told me and say, "Practice at first," maybe I can practice, and then I'm supposed to convert him to becoming a client. So, that's awkward, that's weird, and some people...even if you've been in business for 30 years, don't want to try to convert their uncle or their best friend or their friend from college. People say, "Oh, no..." A lot of other coaches might say, "Well, it's not awkward, you just need to ask for referrals." I get it but like...or you need to talk to all your friends and family, I get it. But asking for referrals is awkward, trying to convert my friend or my uncle is awkward no matter how you slice it. So, let's say we have Uncle Phil. And by the way, I was a singer-songwriter before I was a financial advisor, so he knows my past, he knows that I don't have a ton of money. He probably knows...
Michael: I was going to say all the awkwardness of anytime you're trying to work with a friend or family who knew you when, who knew you before.
Robyn: Exactly, all of that. So, he's not going to work with me. I can tell you right now, I can use all the amazing sales strategies I got, but if I was a singer-songwriter last week, it ain't happening. But I could clone him. So, I can say, "Well, what do I know about my uncle? Okay, he's married, he has two kids, he has, whatever, five grandkids." I probably got that wrong, but maybe six. "What else do I know about him?" Let's say at the stage where I was an advisor at that point, he's retiring in five years, he loves to play golf, what else? He owned a tuxedo store, he's a business owner. So, I can go into all these things about him and I could say, "What are the distinguishable characteristics that I would like to clone?" Is it the fact that he's married? Is that important?
Well, if he became my client and his wife also became my client, then I would probably make more money and it would be more transformational results, so maybe I do want to clone that characteristic. The fact that he plays golf, excuse me, that he plays golf. Is that something I want to clone? Maybe, maybe I do, maybe I don't. Probably maybe I'd say, "No, I don't need to clone that part." That's not that important and also, it's really hard to find...no one's on LinkedIn going, "And they play golf." Maybe some people, but it's not going to be a huge thing that I can search as a keyword to find. So, I might take some certain characteristics like he's a business owner, and I could take an industry, I could say retail, okay? And let's say he's been in the business for...he's had a business for 20-30 years, right? So, I can take those distinguishable characteristics.
So, I'll talk more about that in a sec. But level two, you know someone and you know enough...like you could probably go have a conversation with Uncle Phil and talk to him and learn a lot about him and how he thinks and what's important to him and what's holding him back. And you can learn a ton about what makes him tick and what concerns he has even if you're not trying to convert him, but now you have insight into what's important to him and that you're going to use, later I'll talk about, with actually generating leads. But now we can clone Uncle Phil, okay? That's second level. Third level, let's say you just started or maybe you've been in the business forever, but the people you surround yourself with aren't necessarily ideal.
And so, you've got to pick someone like...everyone you know is not necessarily a clone. So, when I first started, I did have my Uncle Phil and people like this, but I was living in Silicon Valley so I could find people of people, right? Or my parents' friends. But if I didn't, and I was just in my circle, basically, one of my first clients was my best friend, who was a teacher. I was 29 years old, so she was 29, a teacher, and she was a climber. Okay, so not necessarily my ideal client, like I did a Roth for $300 a month, right? That ain't it, it was a good start, but that wasn't it. So, if that's me, if I was doing this again, now level three, I could just pick someone. Again, I want to pick something that's distinguishable that I can find online, ideally, LinkedIn, because that's going to be the easiest place to find people. And usually, you can use a job title that will get you someone that will likely have some money and we can say, based on job title. So, I'll give you an example of these. Do you need to interrupt because I've been going on?
Michael: No, no, you're good, you're good. Keep going.
Robyn: Cool, cool, cool. So, let me give you an example of the third one. So, level three was someone...my client, Tracy, she's at Guardian. She had a pretty good business. She was okay. She hit six figures, so it was like...she's in her first eight years, maybe it was six, seven years. And then she...but she didn't really have clients that she wanted to clone because she was working with people who took a lot of her time and took a lot of energy and she had to have a lot of clients to reach her goals. So, she was kind of newer in the industry, but she's doing okay. And she was like, "Okay, well, I don't have anyone in my existing book of business. Level one is not going to work. Level two, in my world, my warm market that's an ideal client? No, there's not really anyone I want to clone in my warm market."
And so she said, "But level three, I could do that, so how about..." Out of the blue, right? "How about a female attorney?" Not completely out of the blue because she believes that female attorneys with a certain level of experience in their firm will likely have the need for her services where she could do AUM or she could do financial planning, she could do long-term care, all the insurances, basically, right? And she's at Guardian, so, of course, they want to do insurance as well. So, she just started to clone that person. And so, that's level three where you don't know, but you just have to pick, right? You just have to pick someone, but you don't necessarily know someone. So, level one, you have someone in your book of business, level two, anyone in your warm market, and level three is someone who you can clone from the worldwide web.
Robyn’s Strategies For Picking Whom To Clone [28:00]
Michael: So, how do you pick who to clone, though? Just the challenge I still see for so many advisors, whether it's picking your niche, defining your ideal client, we get stuck in the, "But if I'm going to choose one, I don't want to choose the wrong one, so which one do I choose?" Which then usually leads to no choice at all because it's easier to not choose than just choosing the wrong one.
Robyn: Right, right. And that's very, very common. And this is why I say clone instead of target marketing or set of niche because it's very scary. I don't want to pigeonhole myself. And the belief is if I pick one person to clone or if I pick a target market or a niche, then I get to have to say no to all these other people. And the truth is, you're going to actually position yourself as an expert by having a specific person...or even it's going to seem like a target market, this is who you typically work with, and that will actually attract people outside of that market that you have every right to and you can say yes to. But the way you pick, and it sounds so trivial, is you just pick. We can choose based on certain criteria that we think will make an ideal client, which is how Tracy came about the female attorney.
She liked to work with women, and she thought attorneys would have the need, and so she just picked, and then we got to test it to see if that's going to work. But in her case, even just since she started doing this, she has eight new clients and they're...eight new female attorneys, this is not like all her others. But we say we'd go on this quest, this clone quest, where we're like, "We want to get 10 ideal clients and on the path to getting those 10 ideal clones, we'll get other clients and other business." So, she's gotten eight. She's already done $52,000 in revenue just from that, a lot of it was initial planning fees. And then there's still a bunch of back-end ones like premium financing that might be a $50,000 premium financing commission and then there's more in the hopper. I think there's another like 8 or 10 in the hopper, people that she's still talking to that are in the sales process.
So, I've been on my challenge and just said, "Okay, let's just look up who's...let's say the highest paid jobs right now in 2021 or something like that, and we can start there." If I want to go for doctors, I could say...or I want to say chiropractors or I want to say, "Let me pick business owners," but I'm going to be more specific because so many people call themselves business owners and don't really have a business, so I'm going to say, "Maybe they have a certain number of employees or they have their certain keywords they have in their description." If I have an idea, and I say, "Business owner," and let's say, again, if I knew it was my uncle and if he had a LinkedIn profile, and I'm sure he doesn't because he's a bit older, but I want to find someone I can find online, so I'm going to say, "Okay, well, my uncle, he was a business owner and it was in retail, I'm going to look for people like that."
And once I look at a few profiles, I'm like, "Okay, let me test this, I'm going to try to clone this guy." I'm not planting my flag, I'm not going to say, "Forever, I'm only working with retail business owners," but I'm going to play this game and I'm going to try to get 10 of these clients or maybe 3 and see, "Do I like this? Do I want to get three more? Do I want to get 7 more and try to get 10 of these?" But let me just test this out. Because you don't need to change your whole profile and say, "Now I work with attorneys," although I will tell you, it works quite well because when you use the system and you're friending...or not friending, but connecting with all these attorneys and they see, "Oh, typically, I work with attorneys."
If you go to Tracy's profile, you're going to see that she says, "Typically, I work with female attorneys," and then all the language...and this is what I was alluding to earlier when I said, "I'll tell you that when it comes to lead generation," is that we have messaging, which is an unfamiliar word in the financial industry. But messaging is what drives beliefs and beliefs are what drive behaviors and the behavior is what you want to drive. You want people to talk to you and then meet with you and then work with you.
How To Connect With “Level Three” Ideal Clients [31:28]
Michael: So, I understand the dynamic of “pick the person you want to clone,” and I hear you have a little bit lower stakes of like, "You're not picking a niche and although there are people who you're going to say no to, you're just picking one you're going to clone and spend a little bit more of your time and focus trying to get more of that person." And if it goes well enough, you might decide to go all out on them later, but that'll be an easy choice by then because you only do that when it's working. But that still just raises the question like, "Okay, so I picked my clone, it's high-quality female attorneys of whom I don't have any or know any because I'm at the level three cloning stage because I didn't have the right fit in my existing book or clients or my existing network." So, okay, I've kind of plucked out that this is the kind of person I want to go after and clone, so what am I supposed to do next to actually find them and get to them? Because we just said like, "I don't have any in my client base and I don't know any."
Robyn: Yes, absolutely. So, now we want to capture some of those characteristics that are findable or searchable on, I would suggest, LinkedIn. You could totally do Facebook as well. So, let's say if we weren't going to go with a job title, we could use Facebook. Let's say you wanted divorced women, right? So, there are Facebook groups with divorced women, so we just got to find them. So, it has to be something that someone we can find online that's going to be online, or this won't work online, obviously.
But if you're using the cold marketing strategy, then you would really want it to be someone online. So, we want to take those characteristics and we think, "Well, where are they?" And I would suggest starting with LinkedIn if you can think of a job title that will work and you can start at Facebook if it's more...if there's something else where they hang out in groups. And then what we need is we actually need...we need to hook them, okay? We actually need to hook them. So, what I said earlier is that...around messaging is actually a very, very important concept. I'm going to back up on that because this is really huge. So, the only reason anyone here is listening to this podcast is because of their beliefs.
So, someone listening right now, they believe it's going to be valuable. You believe that it's worth your time. You believe you'll get some insight that will help you grow your business or have more financial advisors success, as the podcast suggests, right? You believe that it's going to help you in some way or you wouldn't invest the time and maybe you came here and now you're about to jump and if you come back, it's because you believe that it's going to be valuable to you. So, your beliefs are influencing your behaviors, that behavior of you listening to the podcast and actually listening to the whole thing or listening to part of it, it's all influenced by your beliefs.
And so, getting someone to an appointment, which is the first...let's just say this, let me back up even more. Getting someone to respond to a message on LinkedIn. Getting someone to respond to a message on LinkedIn is a behavior. We need them to respond. So now, it's like, okay, we need to instill a belief that gets them to respond, so they have to believe that, "They're not trying to sell me," they have to believe that this isn't just...they believe that they might need the help, right? They have to...or they have to believe that it's going to be worth their time if they were to respond and then meet with me. So, if we crafted the most amazing message, then we can get them to believe that it's going to be worth their time because messaging is what drives beliefs.
Michael: Sorry, let me just pause there for a minute, though. What am I looking for on LinkedIn? If I type "Small business owner" into LinkedIn, I don't know that I'm necessarily going to get a lot of helpful stuff.
Robyn: You will get a ton of business owners, like a ton, like millions of business owners if you just put "Small business owner," but it will be...this is why I'm saying we need to add those distinguishable characteristics. Because what makes someone who's a small business owner more qualified for you than someone who says, "I'm a small business owner and I'm making $10,000 a year," that's not going to be very qualified.
Michael: Right, so again, what do I...what am I actually searching for on LinkedIn that's going to let me narrow that down?
Robyn: So, I would say, so first of all, if you don't know anybody, if you don't know anybody, so we're level three here. It's a lot easier if we can pick someone at least to think about, right? So, we say, "Oh, we want Joe Smith," it's like, "Okay, let's look at his profile and see what he says." We can steal and cheat, right, by learning some keywords that are on his profile. But in the case of a business owner, there's so many business owners, right? So, we would have to say, "Well, we have to find something more distinguishable." So I would say, "Can we pick a certain industry?" So, let's try to narrow it down within a certain industry. So, let's play the game, let's just do it. So let's just say you want small business owners. Can you tell me about a small business owner who you think would be...what do you think about that person would make them qualified to work with you?
Michael: Well, they've got a business at a good enough size that they're driving some healthy level of business enterprise value, there has to be enough money at stake in the business to have complex problems that I can solve and get paid for.
Robyn: Okay, cool. So, let's just use that to start. So, we can go and you can use...if you get Sales Navigator, it's basically like $79 a month, you can add some characteristics or some...excuse me, I mean criteria. So, we can look...I'm tempted to look, but then we're going to really get in the weeds. But if I go there, I can say, "Okay, I want to look at..." If I just use LinkedIn without Sales Navigator, I can put keywords, I can put...actually, there are some filters, but it only will allow me to go so deep. So, the nice thing about Sales Navigator is that you can actually put other criteria in there. So, I can go to all filters and then I can see...well, I can put geography, so if I put business owner. So, I'd say "Business owner." I'm going to try it now because to talk about it without doing it, it's going to be really hard.
And then I go to...I live in Florida, so I'm going to say I'm just going to narrow it down to Florida. Okay, cool, so now I have that. If I do that search, I'm just curious, how many have we got here? It's probably many, many...94,000 it's telling me, okay? So, there's 94,000, so that's going to be way too much. And anyway, we don't know who's a good business owner based on this. So then, I could scroll down and I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to go for an industry." So, help me out here, Michael, what do you think, an industry? It's already telling me some options, construction, real estate, retail, health, wellness and fitness, so let's just pick, let's dare to suck and pick an industry.
Michael: Let's go to something like construction. It seems like there's a lot of booming business in construction these days. Industry, I think, is underappreciated in our world.
Robyn: Okay, perfect. So then I can go to Construction now. It narrows it down to 8,000. So, it took us from 94,000 to 8,000. All right, so now I could go to seniority level, so I can go to Owner. Okay? Now I go to Owner on the...this is under Role and Tenure filters. Then I can go to Years in Position and if I choose Less Than a Year, that would not probably be great. If I go to More Than 10 years, that's the most I can do, I'm going to put More Than 10 years.
Michael: Yep, we want someone who's had enough time to build a good-sized business.
Robyn: Yeah, so now that's 1,500. And I can even go to...I can go to title, like job title, basically. And I can say CEO because if they're not even calling themselves a CEO, they're maybe an owner of a small company. Now, that got me down to nine, okay? So, I'm like, "Oh, okay, that's too few." Right? So, we have some...we have to work with it, right? So, I can take that out and I can say, "Okay, I'm not going to do that job title, but maybe years of experience, I'm going to also hit More Than 10, and let's see where I'm at." I'm still at 1,500. So, now I could test it before I add any more criteria and what I can do is I'm just going to hit Search...it'd be great if I was sharing my screen. I'm going to hit Search and now I'm just going to play around for a little bit, okay? Now if I'm really daring to suck, I could start sending messages to these people and we'll talk about the messaging and the hook later...
Michael: I was going to say, like, how do I blatantly message a cold person on LinkedIn because I...
Robyn: I'm going to tell you, I'm going to give it away. I'm going to tell you, it's going to be awesome.
Michael: In the advisor world, I know we've gotten this inbound usually as something like, "How would you like to get five to seven leads every month from our system?" That's at least the one that we're getting a lot cold on LinkedIn these days.
Robyn: Yeah, that's what I call direct messaging or I sometimes call it direct approach messaging because then I can say, "Damn, but that's direct messaging." We use something that I call indirect messaging. So, I'll tell you what that is, it's kind of...it's a super hack, it really is a super hack that I actually stole from my husband and I'll tell you why in a minute. But to answer your question, do you want me to go back and give you an idea of the "how" to find them?
Michael: Yes, yeah, so just how are we continuing to narrow down and just figure out 1,500 names of people I don't know in an industry and business size that I kind of plucked out of thin air. I get it, if we're going after level three, almost by definition, I don't know about...I don't know the person or a lot about them yet. But that still feels, at least to me, very intimidating of like, "Okay, so 1,500 random names of people I don't know and don't even know how to winnow down further, how am I supposed to contact cold?"
Robyn: Right, absolutely. And this is why I have a five-day challenge, I mean it's...so I actually do this with them, so I'm really giving away the tips and the steps in the five-day challenge, but we do it in real-time so they can get those five appointments. So, let's say I have the 1,500, which actually is not too big, so I wouldn't necessarily try to narrow that down. But at this stage, because we might get business owners who aren't really ideal...if I want to make sure that they're more ideal, I could do a little bit more digging. Now if I was in my challenge right now, I would say, "Dare to suck, just do it, just pick," because I want them to pick and just get appointments so they can prove that they got the appointments and they're going to be better quality because they can choose who they want to pick versus just defaulting with who they know or what referrals they get.
But now if I'm going to say, "Okay, just dare to suck," we can go with that 1,500 and I can...LinkedIn right now is allowing you to do 100 connections a week, so I can make those connections and I'm going to tell you what to do with the connection requests. But I can do that, take that 1,500 in Sales Navigator, I can actually save that search. So, I can save those 1,500 and I can chip away at it 100 a week, so that's going to take 15 weeks to go through all of those. That's not bad, okay? We want to have consistent marketing. But let's just say I'm concerned that they're not going to be worth my time or ideal enough. So, if I wanted to get a smaller list and try to make them more qualified, I can spend a little bit more time.
So, I can click on the first person that says "Business owner at..." I'm not going to say what the name is just in case, but handyman services, okay? And I might say, "Do I want a business owner of handyman services?" I might skip that one because I'm going to judge it as quickly as I can to decide if that's going to be someone that I think...it might be a multimillion-dollar business, but I'm saying, "Handyman? I'm going to judge that one." Okay? So, I'm going to skip that one instead of spending two, three minutes looking at the profile because I'm thinking based on that already, it's maybe not the most qualified and I could be wrong, but I'm going to go with my gut. The next one says, "Business owner at Blabbity Blah property management and construction services." So, I'm like, "Huh, that sounds to me a little bit better."
Michael: It sounds a little more sizeable. There's some stuff going on there, maybe.
Robyn: And then it says, "Business owner at blank-blank whatever, 1990 to 1998," so it looks like they've had a past business till 1998. So, that's showing me...already without even clicking on this person, I'm already like, "Wow, so they've been in this business for quite some time and before they had a previous business, so that's kind of cool." So, one thing I just learned that I might do in the filter...so what I'm doing, by the way, is I'm trying to see if there are other distinguishable characteristics that I could put in the filters to get more qualified people. So, let's say I can go into the filters and I can go to a keyword and I can put Not Handyman, so now they're going to take out that keyword Handyman and I just got rid of 500 people just to say Not Handyman.
Michael: Okay, yep, so what do we do with them because these are still random cold strangers on LinkedIn?
How To Write To A Cold Lead On LinkedIn [42:52]
Robyn: Yes. Okay, this is good, this is good, I'm giving it all. So now, we need messaging, right? And so, we need to hook them so that they respond, okay? Now, if I said this...again, about messaging, if I just told you...I can tell you the direct messaging approach, but it's going to be hard. And I can tell you the indirect messaging approach, which will be easier, which some people might be skeptical of and some people might say, "I wouldn't do that." But I'm telling you, if you can own it, it'll be awesome. So, let me start with the direct approach, okay? The direct approach would need you to use mission-based language to get someone to react, to respond, to pay attention. Okay? So, mission-based language. That means that any messaging, really, has to be derived from what do they want that they don't already have, which is the promise.
What is it that they want that they're striving for? Okay, that's the promise, or that's the result, or that's what I like to call a magic wand. If they can wave a magic wand, what would they want? If anyone has taken sales, you know in a sales conversation, you've got to get to the pain and the pleasure or you've got to get to the results and the problems, right? And sometimes in the opposite order. So, what drives people are those two things, "I want something and I want it without something else, or I don't want the pain or the problem or whatever." So, to give you an example, I have a webinar right now, it’s called "The super-simple, five-step system to an endless supply of quality prospects without marketing dollars, cold calling, or weird conversations on LinkedIn." So, I'm actually teaching basically what I'm teaching you now and I'm actually giving you a lot more detail because I have more time, but I'm giving them the result that they want. You as an advisor, you want a five-step system that's super simple and you want an endless supply of quality prospects.
But if you have a system where you can get five in five days to prove the system, you can do five in a month, you can do five in a year, I don't care, but if they're quality and you can turn those into ideal clients, you want it, right? But this system is showing that you just have a system that gets an endless supply of quality prospects, okay? But what I want you to notice is without, that's the problem, that's the concern, "Well, I want to be able to do this but I don't want those other things." Right? So, without marketing dollars, cold calling, or weird conversations on LinkedIn. And then I have some bullets and this bullet says, I'll give you one more example, "Why making your list of 100 or even running costly seminars is completely inefficient and the simple system our most successful financial advisor clients use to fill their calendars with quality prospects like clockwork." Okay?
So, I'm saying like, "There's a problem, basically, the industry is telling you to make your list of 100 or run these costly seminars," or oftentimes I talk about just asking for referrals, which are not reliable and predictable. So, all of this is messaging. And if you look at a lot of my stuff and my pages and all this stuff, when a woman sees this, my ideal client, they're like, "Oh, my gosh, she gets me." Why? Because I'm talking about what they want and I'm talking about the problems, the problems that they are experiencing and also problems that maybe are coming up in their environment.
Let's say, "The industry is teaching you this," and I'm saying, "I'm teaching you that." Okay? So, this is how you create compelling messaging, which drives that belief that you need. They need to believe that it's worth their time to even respond to you and it's worth their time to definitely show up to a call and they need to believe that it's going to be valuable, right? So, I'm instilling those beliefs through messaging, through my mission-based language. And what makes it mission-based is using problems and results. Does that make sense?
Robyn: I want to give you one more piece before I give you the indirect stuff. So, have you ever heard of Chet Holmes?
Robyn: Okay. So, Chet Holmes, unfortunately, had passed away, but he partnered with Tony Robbins, but he has a book called "The Ultimate Sales Machine." He has this pyramid in this book and he talks about...I talk about it all the time on every webinar, I can't stop talking about this and I think this is crucial to understanding the messaging point. So, if you imagine a pyramid and you look at the top, 3% of the pyramid are buying now. What he would say is...it's called buying now, which really means that they're looking for a financial advisor. So, those of you, if we're looking in this market, we would say, "Okay, if I want to find a financial advisor," I'm thinking, "I need a financial advisor, I'm looking to buy now." That's me, I'm 3%.
Seven percent are open to it. So, the 7% are like, "Well, I guess maybe I should have a financial advisor? I don't know, I'm not sure if I should, but I'm open to having a financial advisor." Okay, that 7%. Thirty percent are not thinking about it, 30% don't think they're interested, and 30% know they're not interested. So, the 3% is what the industry is focusing on. Referrals, 3%. How do you get a referral? Someone says to your client, "Hey, do you know a financial advisor?" And your client says, "Of course, Michael's the bomb, you should work with him." Done, sold, 80% closing rate, if not more.
Okay, that's where all the referrals are coming from in that 3%. The problem is most people are actually asking people who are in a better financial situation than them. So, if I say to...I'm going to ask my coach who's making more money than me and has more money than me and say, "Hey, do you know a financial advisor?" And he's going to say, "Oh, yeah, I used to work with Michael," and then Michael gets a downgraded referral. That's me, because I don't have as much money as Jeff and he's rolling in it and I'm looking for someone that's going to be great for him.
So, you're like, "Oh, man, I got a referral. She's really easy to close, but she doesn't have as many millions as this guy, not quite as great." Right? So, the 3%, not only are they just...they're basically a very small percentage, of course, but it's also if you're getting those referrals, often they're a downgrade in referrals because the people asking are basically asking up, right? Upper echelon. The other problem...or the other thing that's happening in the industry is that...let's say seminars, the same thing, tracking the 3% people who are already looking or they're just going there for free dinner, right? What do you call them?
Michael: Plate lickers.
Robyn: Plate lickers, that's what that is, I forgot. Plate lickers. Yes, so the plate licker problem, right? And sometimes you can turn those people if you do a really good job and obviously, it works, so you should do seminars but you're only attracting the 3%. You're missing the 7%, you're missing the next 30%, the next 30%. So, I talked about the sweet spot is the 67%, the people who are open to it, the people who are not thinking about it, and the people who don't think they're interested. That's 67% of the pyramid. How do you attract those people? Messaging. Because they still want the result, they still want their problem solved, and there's only like 29% of people out there who have a financial advisor. And it was just a study, I just heard...who did this study? I'm not sure if you heard about it. I forget who it was.
But they said 29% of people out there have a financial advisor and something like 75% feel like they need help improving their financial situation or they want to improve their financial situation. I'm sure I butchered it a little bit. But that means that there's all these people that don't want a financial advisor, "I'm going to do it myself," or, "I'm good with my financial advisor who hasn't talked to me in two years." But really, they want the result and they still, of course, have problems they want to solve. So when you use mission-based language, talking about what they want and what's holding them back, then you can drive them to a call with you even if they're not necessarily looking for an advisor. So, that's why messaging is so powerful.
How Robyn Utilizes “Indirect Messaging” For Cold Leads [49:36]
Michael: So, how am I reaching the indirect...or if I'm going for the next 67%...I mean I get it, but I feel like now the stakes are higher. So, just to be clear, right? We're reaching out to an industry I don't know as much about, with a bunch of people we filtered on LinkedIn who I have no connection to, who we have now confirmed are not actually looking to buy anything, and number one, what is the message?
Robyn: Maybe. I mean, we don't know, they're definitely in the 3%, right? There's some people in the 3%.
Michael: Sure, I may stumble on the 3%, but as you're saying, the opportunity is the next 67%. So, I'm taking people I don't know and don't have a connection to and trying to reach out to them cold when they're not even necessarily looking to buy. So, what exactly am I doing in this outreach? What are you saying to them at this point?
Robyn: So, let me give the indirect approach so you guys aren't at the edge of your seat going, "Just tell me already," okay? I just want to make sure you have the messaging component because that's so important. Okay, so here's the hack. All right? So, basically, what I would invite you to do...I'm going to walk you through it, okay? Now, Michael, you have a book, right? Do you have a book?
Michael: Of clients or that I've written?
Robyn: No, I'm sorry, do you have an actual...have you written a book before?
Michael: Yes, yes.
Robyn: Okay, I thought so but I'm sorry, I haven't read it and I don't know, so I do embarrass myself. But okay, so you have a book, okay? Do you think having the book has made you more credible?
Robyn: Okay, absolutely. Right? So, we have this belief that if someone has a book, that, of course, they have more authority and more credibility, so there's an instant credibility component. Now, what I want you to do...not you, Michael, because you have a book, but everyone else listening who doesn't have a book, I want you to consider writing a book. Just consider writing a book. Because here's the thing, you are...the one thing besides messaging, I mean of the many problems that we have in the industry around marketing, one is messaging. But the other thing is many advisors don't have a personal brand. It's like how do you stand out amongst somebody else? What is it that you have and they don't?
Well, one thing if you use my system, you work with a specific person and that makes you an instant expert because, hey, if you work with female attorneys, it's like now you're an expert for those attorneys especially if you have a good messaging around it, okay? If you had a book, you would definitely have more expertise, perceived expertise just by having a book. So, what I would invite you to do is to consider writing a book. Now, if you borrow my belief...I use this in my system. I talked about borrowing my belief. So, even if you don't believe it, just borrow it for a second. Let's play the game and you're considering writing a book. And so, here's what you would do. Okay, the first guy on my list, his name is Kevin, and you would send a message.
So, here's how you actually do it. I'll tell you exactly how to do it. You go and you're going to...now that you're on Sales Navigator, you actually want to go back to LinkedIn so you can copy and paste his name to find him on LinkedIn. This is just how we do it. And you're going to send a Connection Request to him. And in the Connection Request, you're going to add a note. So, don't send it without adding a note. You want to add a note because if people are actually looking at this, they'll definitely see the note. And you want to say something like, "Hi, Kevin," and you can give them a compliment. Now, what I tell my clients to do is I was like, "Do not go look at his profile." I know this is crazy, but now I have 120 results here. I'm going to send them all a message. I have to go a little bit over a week if this is still the LinkedIn rules with only 100.
But basically, I'm going to send every one of 100 of those a Connection Request, okay, this week. A hundred of those a Connection Requests, let's say. And so, what I'm going to do is since they all have something in common, they're owners of construction companies...and I got to make sure that's true. I don't want to say that. But let's just say business owners, we can give them a generic compliment. We can say something like, "Hi, Kevin, I noticed that you're a business owner and you own a business in the past." Okay? "That's awesome." So, we can just say something specific and that, if we're using these filters, can be true for all of them and I don't have to actually click on the profile to look and see a specific compliment.
And there's a reason to do that because I'm going to tell you, out of the 100 that you request to actually connect, you should be able to get about 15% to 20% to connect just because, just because that's the rule of numbers. So, if you connect with 100, let's say 15 of them. Let's just be conservative so no one comes back and bashes me. But if we say 15 of them are going to connect, it doesn't matter what you say, 85 of them aren't going to connect no matter how cool you are. Okay, if you totally did everyone individually, yes, but then we can't scale this, okay? So, I'm going to create a somewhat generic message, but that's at least specific enough that Kevin will feel like I'm talking to him, okay? And if you're not congruent with that, do it differently, but this is how we do it.
So, let's say, "Hey, Kevin." All my ladies are going to be like, "I can't believe everyone knows this strategy," "Oh, my gosh, we're giving away the whole thing." But you're going to go to Kevin, "Hey, Kevin," I give him a compliment that's generic enough that I can do the same thing when I go to Collin and I can do the same thing when I go to Mark, okay? And I would say, "Hey, Collin, I noticed that you're owner blah-blah-blah," compliment, "Nice profile, impressive profile," or, "That's awesome," something that makes you feel like this is still you. And then you say, "I'm considering writing a book and I was wondering if I can interview for the book." Okay, and then you can just say, "Are you willing to jump on Zoom with me for 15 minutes?" Or, "Do you have 15 minutes this week?" Okay, "I'm considering writing a book," you don't even have to say what it's about.
Now, if you're going after construction owners...or construction businesses and they might go, "Why would he want to interview me?" If you think you're going to get that objection...because if you go to an executive, they'll be like, "Of course! No one ever wants to interview me." Or if you go to someone who's super high-end, they're going to be like, "Of course, they're going to want to." So, if you're going to go to people you think they're going to be skeptical, then you could give them a little messaging and you could just say, "I'm considering writing a book about construction service owners or construction services business owners and building wealth, are you open...and I noticed you..." Something like a compliment and then, "I noticed you on LinkedIn," or...you don't say, "I noticed you," but you could say, "Are you open to a quick interview? Open to a 15-minute interview?" Okay?
I'm trying to get it, but it's basically those three components. You're going to say...you're going to give them a compliment, you're going to basically say, "I'm considering writing a book," if you want to do that part, you do that, and then the call to action, which is, "Hey, can I interview you for the book?" All right? And now you're going to get, let's say 15 people connect. You might get 6 to 8 of those to say yes to the interview. Now you got people on your calendar. Now you're going to say, "Oh, how do I convert those people from an interview?" But at least we got to step three, quality appointments on your calendar. Does that make sense so far?
Michael: Okay, yep. So now at least I've got some appointments on my calendar from people who have some reasonable qualifications.
Robyn: Yeah, absolutely. And so, now this is...now we're in this position where we can say, "I actually have a cold lead on my calendar." And this goes back to the beginning where I said, "Look, if you're that good at sales, you can get a cold lead to meet with you but also to go to the next step," right? So if I can get someone on the calendar, now the biggest...I was going to say, "Oh, my gosh, oh, yeah, I can convert anyone, I get 80% closing ratio, okay, unless it's someone I've never talked to and I'm talking about a book that I have no idea what the heck the book is about," right? So now, they're like, "Okay, I don't necessarily know how to convert this person." Okay, so now we're in a book interview, they come to a book interview.
And truly, you could be so congruent with this because I just told you that you need to learn how they think, what's important to them, what's holding them back to be able to write compelling messaging, but it's not just so you can write compelling messaging. Do you think the chances of you being able to help someone when you understand their problems and you understand what they really want is higher or lower? Of course, it's higher, right? So, if we really understand them and we understand what they're going through, we understand what they want, we understand what's holding them back, then we can truly help them. So it's not just for the sake of learning the messaging, but that's how we can truly serve them at the highest level.
The Two Main Questions To Ask In The Interview Meeting [56:40]
So, in the interview, there are only two main questions. The two main questions are, "What do they want that they don't already have?" and "What's holding them back from getting there?" That's all you need to find out. What do they want that they don't already have? And what's holding them back from getting there? Now, the key is it has to be in your subject. If you're going to write a book...and I encourage you to do that, this is why I say I stole this hack from my husband, because he actually helps business owners use their book as their most powerful marketing tool. But instead of teaching them to do the book first, he teaches them to market for the book and get clients for the book, and get a profit from the book, and promote the book well before the book comes out.
And there's a whole pre-launch thing...his name is Trevor Crane, if you want to check him out, you should have him back on this podcast. But he has a strategy and my clients would work with me...they work with me in FEMM and then they'd go work with Trevor and then they get their book done, but they wouldn't get it done for the first six months. And instead, they'd be making more money because now they have a book and they're doing all this research. And in the meantime, all these people want to become their clients because of the credibility, right? So, it's instant credibility. It's an amazing hack and I've been telling my clients a little bit of this, but that was our main strategy until the pandemic because then we're like, "Oh, man, we got to..."
I can't teach people in a snap to be able to write messaging, but I can teach people to do this in five days, right? So, that's how we develop this and that's why it's been working so well because we can get people on an interview. And so, in that interview, basically, there is...I mean, those are the main components. I'll give you the main things, you just build a little rapport, and then essentially, you're like, "What is it..." The big question is, "What's most important to you?" This is very much Bill Bachrach, right? "What's most important to you when it comes to building wealth?" Okay, so you can give a little pre-frame on it like, "Hey..." We call it the VALUE Script. Do you want me to give you the whole script?
Michael: Sure, if you're willing to share it, I think it helps to visualize how exactly this conversation works?
Robyn: Okay, cool. So, we call it VALUE, okay? So, if you write VALUE on your page vertically, right? Everything, of course, stands for something. So, VALUE, so we're going to...the value framework, so I have to tell my women because we all have self-doubt and we all are concerned that we're going to do this interview, and it's all going to be self-serving when really, it's actually going to be extremely valuable for the person. So, that's why I called it VALUE so we remember that it's actually valuable to them. And even if they don't work with us, even if they do move forward, no matter what, it's a valuable conversation because we're really helping them get clarity and clarity is extremely powerful. So, VALUE, so the first thing is you value their time.
So, you would say like, "Hey, Kevin, are you..." "Oh, hey, Kevin, nice to meet you. Are you still good for 15-20 minutes? I just want to make sure to value your time. Does that still work for you?" "Yes." "Okay, cool." That's it, we're getting a yes, we value their time. Okay, then A is for acknowledge. Now that you have Kevin on your calendar, you want to look at his profile, okay? So, I can go to his profile and I can find a genuine compliment. Just for the sake of time, I won't do that but I would find out what is something about Kevin that I actually think is pretty cool and I can compliment him. And I can say, "So, Kevin, I noticed from your profile that you are blankety-blank-blank, you've been in business for 12 years, and you owned a business prior back in the '90s and that's really amazing, most people can't even have one business, let alone two."
So, there it is, without even looking at his profile, I can come up with something, and I can say...so by acknowledging him, I'm actually building rapport and that makes him feel good, okay? And so, I'm acknowledging that, and then I say, "And that's exactly why I want to interview you." Okay? So, that's basically a compliment, acknowledge him is the A. And now we go to L. L stands for Love. And so, now you say...by the way, I'm not having him talk much, okay? So, right now, people think they got to build rapport for three to six minutes. You're telling them you're going to do a 15-minute interview, and so there's no time to chitchat about his kids at this stage, but you're going to get into that, "What's most important to you," question so quickly within 90 seconds that it's okay.
So then, in the love part, you say, "The reason I'm doing this research," or this project or the book. "The reason I'm considering writing this book is because I love working with business owners and I think it's really interesting, especially in the construction business and people who are serial entrepreneurs, and I'm very curious about, well, what is it that they really want that they don't have when it comes to building their wealth and what's holding them back from getting there? So, tell me, Kevin, what's most important to you about having financial freedom or creating wealth or building wealth?" Something along those lines in your subject. Okay? I always have to remind my clients that because they start talking about their background and all these things.
You haven't asked me anything about my background. Nobody cares, it's not that important. So many podcasts are like...I'm not saying we don't want to know, it's kind of interesting, but it's like right now, you're like, "Give me the juice, baby. I want to know the good stuff." How do I bring the most value? It's mostly in the future. So then they'll tell you, now they can talk till the cows come home, and he's going to say, "Here's what's most valuable, here's what's most important," and now you go on and on and on. And then he might talk for five minutes and you keep digging and keep digging and asking. You're super curious because you need to figure out what does he really want that he doesn't have so you'll have good messaging and provide more value.
And so, you try to figure it out. And then you're like, "Well, what would you say is holding you back or slowing you down from getting there?" And he says, "Oh, well, I don't really know how, I don't really have a plan," or, "I left my old advisor and I've just been too busy," whatever it is, but there might be a little opener there, right? And then you say, "Well, I don't know if I can help you or not, but since you did this interview and you help me, I'd love to repay the favor. Would you like to jump on another call and I can go over a couple of ideas that might be helpful for you that really might help you get," blank result they told you they wanted. Do you see it now, Michael?
Robyn: Do you see the vision now?
How To Frame The Conversation To Identify A “Gap” [1:01:55]
Michael: Yeah. And now, suddenly, I get to turn this conversation around on a follow-up and now we get to actually start talking a little bit about what we do and how we can help and I love to share some ideas and I can probably make them relatively targeted and specific since I just spent 15 or 20 minutes hearing from you all of your deepest goals and pain points that are holding you back.
Robyn: Yeah, I don't even do much pain in the interview because we only have 15 minutes. I just need a little bit of a gap. I have something called the gap hacks so I can get to a gap easier. But basically, there's some gap and if there's a gap, then there's a high chance that they might do another call and it's just a small step. I don't do like another 45 minutes or an hour and a half, it's just 20-30 minutes to share some ideas and get clear on what's holding you back and what you really want. Because you didn't get into what's holding them back enough, right? So, what challenges you're facing. And then I can only share ideas if I know those challenges and then how can I promise I can help him if I don't know what his challenges are and what he really wants, so that's what the conversation is.
And then by the end of the discovery call, then I split it up to another conversation. We call it a strategy session, and that's where we do a full deep dive. And that might be 45 minutes to an hour, maybe to an hour and a half, and by the end of that session, he's signing on the dotted line, baby. And one of my clients, for example, she's actually at Edward Jones. And she was saying that...she's like, "I'm getting some of my superiors or supervisors, basically are saying, "Oh, my gosh, you're doing three meetings? Why are you doing so many meetings? You don't need to do those many meetings." But the way I break it up is psychologically, they're not ready for that step. And so, psychologically, they'll come to an interview because they're curious. I always have them at...in their heads, my clients, they're asking these questions like, "Are they curious?"
So, they would come to an interview based on curiosity like, "Oh, it's a book," or, "Oh, this is someone who is actually doing something different," or, "Someone who works with construction services business owners, I'm curious." Then they'll come to a discovery call if they're indicating they want help, but they're not necessarily indicating they want your help. So, I drive them into a discovery call and then my goal for the discovery call is to get them to a point where they're indicating they want my help. And that's why it would be a strategy session. So, it's just a deeper dive into what they want, but then in the strategy session, it's really figuring out some of those strategies and what you would do with them and how it would solve their problems. And that's where you can fact-find and do all that stuff, and by the end of that meeting, you've now met with them two other times and now they absolutely can be ready to work with you and you can be rolling over 401k or doing long-term care or whatever it is.
What If An Advisor Doesn’t Want To Write A Book [1:04:17]
Michael: So then, I've got to ask, if I'm not necessarily so writing-inclined, I was not about to actually go write a book. Is this awkward? Am I being disingenuous if I'm having this conversation or trying to open up opportunities this way and I'm not really a writer-type and probably wasn't going to be writing a book?
Robyn: That's a great question. And that's what comes up with so many of the women I work with, they're like, "I don't want to lie." And I don't think you should lie, which is why I said consider it and if you're considering it, and you should seriously consider it and I think one day everyone can write a book. And you don't have to write a book anymore, you could write it by saying it, you could do a webinar, everyone could do a webinar and you could take that and that could be the skeleton of your book. Or guess what? You could use all these interviews and the interviews can become the book.
That's what the book is for, you're researching, and you can say, "Oh, all these problems, these are the 5 or the 10 top problems that keep coming up and I'm just going to document this." In fact, I can record all these interviews, I can give it to a writer and say, "Here's how I would solve this problem and those could be the chapters." So, that's what my husband does, but he helps clients like ours too. But it's actually really easy to write a book these days because so much of it...one, you can always get help, but so much of it can be taken from the interviews. There are plenty of books that are just based on interviews and they're just transcriptions that are basically edited. But the thing is...this is actually something I joke about in my challenge is that we...you know that game, what is it, three lies and a truth? It's like a drinking game?
Robyn: Okay, so you're like, "There's four things," and you'll say, "Okay, one of these is true and the rest are..." Well, no, one of them is a lie. Three truths and a lie.
Michael: Three truths and a lie. Well, you could do three lies and a truth.
Robyn: Well, that's what I do. I got it mixed up because we joke about it. But it's three truths and a lie, so I'm going to tell you three things that are true and one thing that's a lie, not in that order, and you've got to figure out which one is false, right? So, I joke about this because I say, "Well, what about three lies and a truth?" And I say, "This is what people usually say on LinkedIn or at networking, they're like, "Oh, I'd love to help you get referrals." That's your outreach to an attorney to tell them, "I'd love to help you get referrals." You liar. You'd love to get referrals from that attorney or that CPA or that estate planning attorney, right? The truth is, your intention is, "Actually, I'm reaching out to them to get referrals, but I'm trying to build a relationship so they'll give me referrals."
If you met with a CPA who just wanted you to give them referrals and they wouldn't give you one, you'd be pissed, right? So, your intention is not just, "Hey, I want to give you referrals." "Oh, hey, I just want to get to know you better and learn more about your business." Lie! You want to get them as a client, right? Or what was the other one? There's one more that I talked about that I can't think of right now. But there's another one that we typically say is a typical thing that you would say to get someone to a cup of coffee type of meeting, but you know the intention is that you want to just get them as a client.
So, the truth is if you could be congruent with the intention and say, "Hey, I'm going to be different from everyone else and one day, if it's in 2 years or 3 years or 5 years or 10 years, I'm going to write a freaking book because if I don't, I'm going to drown here because I'm not going to stand out." Even if it's a 20-page book, I mean I would love to read a 20-page book. I don't have time for a 285-page book like mine, I don't have time for that, I want to just read something fast. So, you can write a short book, but you're going to get instant credibility. And regardless, you could say an article if you want, you could say a blog if you want, so do what you're congruent with. But even saying, "I'm going to write a blog and I want to...I'm in the research phase and I'd love to interview you," is actually better than, "Hey, can we talk and let me help you grow your business," or, "Let me help you get referrals."
Why Robyn’s Strategies Are Uniquely Suited For Women [1:07:40]
Michael: So then I've got to ask relative to just where this whole conversation started, a lot of this just feels like marketing and sales techniques that are helpful for any advisor to use, and a lot of us aren't ever taught around this. What makes this specific to working with women?
Robyn: That's a great question. And I always say like, "Look, if I was teaching this to men, they would, of course, benefit and everyone could use this and the archaic strategies being taught in the industry is a problem in itself." Right? These strategies will work for men and women, of course. What differs is...I mean what differs with women and men is that women need other components of it that I haven't talked about because I know I'm not talking to just a female audience here, but most of it is a mindset thing. It's a mindset thing. And my whole thing is I'm very passionate about increasing the footprint of women in the industry because I think the world needs it, I think the clients, the consumers need that, and I think we're actually really missing that and we're not...a lot of women want to talk to other women or they feel like they're not necessarily heard or listened to.
And so, we need that component. But the truth is the strategies I teach, for the most part, the strategies themselves...and we all know, right? Strategy is 20% and mindset is 80%, right? So, the strategies themselves, of course, work for men and women. What I am good at is helping women get out of their own way so they get what they want. So, you're only...if I can give you the strategy, now I've got to get you to do the strategy. And this is why I mentioned borrowing my belief, I have this thing called the belief loan phenomenon. And the belief loan phenomenon idea...I'll tell you the story, I still got time for the story?
Michael: Sure, sure.
Robyn: Okay, we got time. That's why we've got lots of time here. So, when I was struggling as a financial advisor, I really, of course, wanted to grow my business, but I was kind of feeling like I was just stuck. And I was at my financial firm, whatever the company, and this guy came in to talk about this Tony Robbins event. And so, I went to this Tony Robbins event just strictly to grow my business. So, I go to this Tony Robbins event and I'm there and there's a ton of things. You've got to jump up and down, jump up and down. Have you ever been to a Tony Robbins event?
Michael: I haven't. I've only heard some of the stories.
Robyn: Okay, so there's a lot of jumping up and down. And he says, "How fast can you change your state?" And he goes, "In a heartbeat, in a heartbeat," snaps his fingers. So, he's talking about how...his main thing, one of the big things is this triad, how your physiology, your language, and your focus really determines your success because if you're...that determines your behaviors, which determines your success. So, similarly, I kind of took that idea. But what he does is, he says, "Now think of a limiting belief." This is probably like the last day or the second to last day after you've been jumping up and down and you're in this crazy state the whole time. But he says, "Think of a limiting belief," and he wants to change your state with that limiting belief.
So, for me, I had this limiting belief that I was stupid, and I had all these references to that, that were true because in fifth grade, I wanted to be in the gifted program; I was not asked to be in the gifted program. But I basically went to audition...if I can say “the audition” for it, I basically went to do this test that was in person and I had to sit in front of these three people who were asking me these questions, and they basically said, "What's a tripod?" And I froze, and I didn't know what a tripod was. In fifth grade, like you should know what a tripod was. And so, I went home to my mom, and she was like, "How did the test go?" And I said, "Well, not that great." And she said, "Why? How do you know?" And I said, "Well, they asked me a question that I know I should know the answer to but I didn't."
She said, "What was the question?" I said, "What's a tripod?" She said, "You don't know what a tripod is? Come on, Robyn. Tripod, three," using this like tripod symbol on her hand with three fingers. And I'm like, "Oh, my God, I'm so stupid, I'm so stupid." And so, I had these references, and I thought I was dumb. And it wasn't my mom's fault. She's a lovely person, but she actually has kind of insecurities about being smart as well, so it's like, "Oh, no wonder they were projected on me." But I got straight A's my whole life, I proved I was...I had to kind of show people I was smart and magna cum laude, all these things because I'm like, "Oh, no, no, I don't let anyone know the truth that I'm totally stupid."
Michael: That you got stumped on tripod.
Robyn: I got stumped on tripod, and among other things. Do not ask me to play Trivial Pursuit. You've got it in the bag. I won't get any pies, I don't even pay attention to pop culture. But anyway, so there was a Tony Robbins event, I'm like, "Oh, that's easy, I'm stupid," so I'm thinking of my limiting belief. And so he says, "Okay, now that you have your limiting belief, I want you to..." He's like, "Stand up," everybody standing up, and he was like, "I want you to take your finger," and you take your finger and he's like, "I want you to go around, one, two, three, and after I say three, you're going to stick your finger up your nose and you're going to go around in the circle with a Mickey Mouse voice and you're going to say that limiting belief."
And I'm sticking my finger up my nose going, "I'm so stupid, I'm so stupid, I'm so stupid." And he's like, "Now, we're going to scramble it, and then I want you to stop and celebrate, what's the truth?" And then you're like, "The truth is..." You go, "That's BS," and then the truth...because it's also a belief system, he said, "The truth is," and now you start...everyone's screaming, thousands of people screaming and screaming, "The truth is I'm smart because I would never have gotten straight A's if I wasn't smart, the truth is I passed my CFP, I'm a CFP, I wouldn't have been a CFP if I wasn't smart." Right?
So, I'm going on and on about all these things that make me think that I'm smart. And he's like, "Now celebrate," and you're celebrating, you're standing up and jumping up and down and all these amazing things. And then at the end of the event, you're like, "Oh, my God, I will never have that limiting belief again, I am smart, I can rule the world, I can do anything, I can make as much money as I want, I'm amazing." Right? You think you're just...you're on drugs, basically, but you're not. And then you get back and Monday morning comes along, you get to your computer...
Michael: You come off that high pretty quick.
Robyn: Yeah, I look at my list of 100 and I'm looking at my phone, looking at my computer, and I'm like, "I don't want to call these people, I don't know what to say." Before you know it, "I'm so stupid." Yeah, it lasted about 8 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours, something like that, and that was back to, “I'm so stupid.” Okay? So, because of that, I got a lot out of the event. I love Tony Robbins. It was just that scrambling thing did not work. It just kept bouncing back and I think that happens for a lot of women that we have these doubts. And you can have the best day and you can get a client and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, I just rolled over a $5 million IRA," or something like that and you're like, "I am the best, this is awesome, I feel so good because I'm helping people and making this difference."
And then someone calls you and says they're pissed because their account, something happened, or whatever. And then it's just like 1 person...and you can have 10 people say you're amazing and 1 person says you suck, and we women think we suck based on that one person. It's like it's very easy for us to feel judged and just take that to our heart and be very, very discouraged. So, when I started working with a coach and I was like running these patterns, I'm like, "I'm stuck," and a lot of it was, "I'm stuck, I don't know what to do." And he said this to me, I remember, he said, "Robyn, be stuck, but just take the action anyway." And he gave me a system and I'm like, "Okay, I got the system," and every time I felt stuck, I just got into action and I followed his system because the system worked.
And what I realized about 8-10 years later was that what I was doing was I borrowed his belief and I took the...just long enough to take the action. I took the action and because it was a system that worked, I got a result. And once I got a result, a positive result instead of a negative result, then I started to adopt a new belief like, "Wait, hey, maybe I'm not..." It wasn't even necessarily, "I'm not stupid," it was like, "I'm helping people." It didn't matter if I was stupid. Or if I thought I was bad at sales, it didn't matter if I was bad at sales. In fact, I was helping someone, I was transforming someone's life that it wasn't about selling someone, it was about transforming their life. And I had a new belief and I adopted a new belief and then that perpetuated itself and then I would have better behaviors and more success and better results.
And then I would keep adopting new and new beliefs that would support me instead of discouraging me and go downward spiral. So, I'm constantly working with women on that around, "Okay, borrow my belief." That's one of our kind of core principles, borrow the belief, this is the belief loan phenomenon, take a loan, you just borrow it, you never have to pay it back just long enough to take the action, okay? And then you could get the result. And that's the belief loan phenomenon, and that's one of the principles that I'm using also constantly talking to these women about judgment. I'm like, "Your number one fear is judgment, the only reason that you're not taking action is because someone is going to say..." Someone is going to say that, Michael, someone's going to say, "Are you really writing a book?"
I've had people in my challenge said, "Are you fishing for clients?" And then they're all discouraged and I'm like, "Yes, I am. I'm looking for dream clients and I know I'm going to change their life, so I'm okay." But we have to be willing to bypass that criticism when we want to make a huge impact and I have to deal with it every day. I'm willing to put myself out there. I could totally get bashed for this idea and I'm giving my best stuff, right? But I'm like, "Someone's going to say this is incongruent." This happens almost in every challenge, someone says, "How could you say that? That's a lie." I'm like, "Don't say it if it's a lie, write a blog, write an article, do a project, do a podcast." Anything could work, but the book just works best because people see value immediately. There’s instant credibility by saying you're writing a book.
And then, ultimately, you should write a book and you should be congruent with it and it's not as hard as you think. You can get writers to do that. But that's a lot of the things with the women is it's mostly mindset stuff. And it's also helping them stop giving everything to everyone all the time, right? There's so much there of women putting everyone else first. I have a money type called Overgenerous Olivia, always putting everyone else first, and they think, "Oh, if I meet with everyone, work with everyone, I'm helping people." But you'll make a much bigger contribution and a much bigger transformation in the world if you help the best people that...or the people that you're best at helping, and you work with fewer people and you go deeper than working with everybody, right? So, I can build a case on so many of these beliefs, but it all goes down to...really it comes down to most of it is just...it really has to do with the mindset stuff.
What Robyn Does For Her Clients [1:16:47]
Michael: So then, give us a little bit more context of just what do you do? What does Robyn Crane do? What is your business?
Robyn: I help female advisors grow their businesses. So, basically, I'm going to help them do exactly...this is one strategy, it's one of many, this is one of our best strategies we like to give because people can get such fast results. But I'm helping a lot in the leads and sales side of the business less than the operations side. But I would say on the operations side, it's more about freeing up their time so they can do more of what they love and helping them recognize, "Well, what is it they really want?" And to design their ideal business so they can have their ideal life, as I've said. But I'll be on calls in my FEMM Mentorship helping them with copy, let's say, for what's the title of the seminar, or really understanding who that person is. And even if I don't know construction business owners, I could actually write decent copy for it if I maybe had a few minutes. I can get in their heads and help.
So, there's so much around the...how do you generate leads, not just using this one hack, but it's being able to write...not just write compelling messaging, but understanding how to extract it from these conversations and to be able to, like I said, regurgitate it and to attract the right people. So, I'm helping them attract more quality prospects. I always say the money is in the tweaks, so we're looking at what are the little tweaks they need to make when it comes to...it's going to be one of those three areas, lead, sales, or fulfillment. What are those tweaks in those areas? There are going to be a ton of things, thousands of things in those areas, but we're usually focusing on just a few because it's what pushes the needle. Like I said, at the very beginning, it's like I'm trying to push the needle, right, to have more women in the industry.
I think what's really pushing the needle is going to be the success that women have because they stay in the industry and inspire other women to be in the industry, right? I think it's actually the success, not the recruiting that's going to really move the dial and push the needle. So, similar to your business, we're looking at what are those KPIs? What are your key performance indicators? What's going to drive the result? And we're going to tweak and optimize and tweak and optimize. I can take a client who's doing seminars and they're paying all this money, and I can help them on the front end where the messaging to get the right people into the seminar instead of everybody who's just a retiree, let's say. And I can help them on the conversion side. What do you say during the seminar? Then help them on the sales side around...as far as converting from the front of the room, let's say, or from a webinar.
And then help them with the sales process to optimize that whole process and tweak all those things, every one of those little...those little steps, we're going to optimize those. And that's where the big leaps, my clients often are able to double or triple their revenue. I had one client at Wells Fargo. She went from $150,000 to she's on track for $1.3 million this year and this is...this will be their fifth year. So, it's pretty significant because we're making those shifts in all those areas. But I do that in my mentorship and what's great about that is that there's so much community. I always say even if it was just the community, it'd be worth the investment because the community itself, having women like them around them with similar challenges and giving them similar results and helping them go through it together, it's way better than anything I can do one on one because the community itself is extremely valuable.
The Low Point In Robyn’s Journey [1:20:00]
Michael: So, what was the low point in your own career journey through this?
Robyn: The low point? The beginning was tough. The low point was really I was about three years in and I remember specifically, I was at a wealth seminar. So, at this point, I had tried to...I did Tony Robbins stuff. I was trying to grow my business. And even after the Tony Robbins stuff, I was having a lot of challenges and I was kind of had a better mindset, but I didn't really have the strategies. And I went to this wealth seminar, it was just like an evening thing, to learn because I was like, "Okay, what else can I learn about my wealth?" I was broke, I was going into debt, and I had the challenges myself. And the guy in front of the room was actually a financial advisor, but he was talking negatively about financial advisors. He was saying, "They're not even wealthy themselves, they're just trying to sell you like insurance products, and they don't even know how to grow money."
And I just completely sank, I got totally red, I was all nervous, my palms were sweating, and I felt like I was going to cry because I'm like, "Oh, my God, that's me, I don't know how to grow people's money, I am broke myself." I don't feel like I've been trying to sell people things just to sell people things, but I'm taught product knowledge, I was taught to sell insurance, I was taught to do those things. And I had this fear that maybe I wasn't always giving them the best thing because maybe there's a part of me that wanted to, had to make money, right? It was the survival thing. And so, I was...in that chair, I just wanted to run out the door and scream but I stayed. And then by the end, I left and I burst out into tears in my car when I was driving home and I was just bawling and I'm like, "I can't do this."
And I was thinking of quitting. I thought about quitting multiple times already, but I was just so frustrated. I wasn't getting qualified leads, I was running around and working so hard, I wasn't making money, and I was going into debt and I totally felt like a fraud. And so, that's actually when, instead of quitting, I decided that I was going to find a way because I'm so passionate about helping people. Before, as a singer-songwriter, I didn't feel like I was doing much. I was having fun, but I didn't feel like I was changing people's lives. So, I felt like I got into the industry to change people's lives to make a difference, and I was trying to learn it myself to make a difference in my life and it wasn't working.
But I said, "You know what? I'm going to figure this out, I'm going to find a way." And so, even though I was already in debt, I started investing in coaches and investing in more seminars and trying to find different ways to figure it out and learn how to create the success myself. And then from all that, I don't know, a ton of money invested...I mean, at one point, I was $47,812 in debt. I always talk about that number because I remember it was devastating to be a financial advisor and to be telling people how to grow their money when I was going in the opposite direction. But all that education and, more important than education, was the coaching and learning and implementing and stepping outside my comfort zone to do things differently, I was able to start getting those things.
I got quality leads, I started filling my calendar, I actually was able to hit $100,000, my first benchmark, right, to be able to start getting out of debt. And then I felt more confident. I no longer felt like a fraud because I was actually helping people and then I started making money and now we got the seven-figure business and really making a bigger impact. But that was definitely a turning point for me.
Michael: So, what made all of this turnaround? What brought the turnaround?
Robyn: It really was...it was a combination of those things, but it was a combination of the mindset and the strategies. I did end up...I went through many different types of seminars, like Tony Robbins, I went to this guy, Keith Cunningham. I invest a lot of money in seminars and every time I took something away and I would apply things. And then I had a coach, and I had a community and the systems...I think as far as if I would say what systems, per se...because I learned a lot, right? But the actual thing that really changed for me was actually learning sales and I think it's really not taught in the industry much because I know for me, the sales process we were taught was, "Let me tell you about my company, let me tell you about me, let me educate you."
And we had a little graph thing that was upside down where we would draw a picture and they saw...do you know what I'm talking about? They could see from their perspective, and I'm like, "If you don't start saving now, you're screwed." And then we would do the factfinder, and then we would ask them what their goals are, and then we would drive them to something, let's just get one thing so we get some business and say, "Now, you're a client." So, that was the sales process, and it was very much like if I met with someone that I thought was a good client, I was trying to convince, convince, convince because I do the process and there's a lot of convincing.
So, when I learned the sales process that I...I'm now adapted it quite a bit, but it's still within the very similar component to an interview. It's like what I really understood is I've got to understand what...I've got to understand this person and I've got to understand what their challenges are and what's really holding them back and what they really want. And that's a sales process I learned from one of my coaches, it was great and I was obsessed with that. I saw him do that at the front of the room at one point and I'm like, "I need to learn how to do that." And I now have people coming to my seminars and they're like, "How do you do that? You probably were born with it." I'm like, "No, I wasn't."
Michael: And who was that breakthrough coach or sales training or program for you?
Robyn: His name is Jeff Slayter, and he was working with this guy, Kane Minkus, at the time. And this was back in the San Francisco area and they had something called Industry Rockstar. And I'm sure he learned it...he did a lot of NLP, if you're familiar with neurolinguistic programming, so he learned a lot of that type of stuff. And there's a guy, Carl Buchheit, I think, does NLP in the Bay Area and he learned a lot from him and so I kind of learned it through him. But he's amazing, and he does a lot of speaking, training-type stuff, but he's in Australia now.
Robyn’s Advice For Newer (Female) Financial Advisors [1:25:41]
Michael: Indeed. So, what advice would you give a newer woman still coming into the profession and trying to get started on the right foot?
Robyn: I would say do exactly what I told you to do. That's exactly what I do tell them to do is...well, I say, "Come to my TAG challenge, come to the challenge and walk through it with me and I'll show you and prove it." But if anyone's listening to this and they go try it, it will work. You might get someone that says, "Oh, is this a strategy because now you have a big following and now people start doing this?" There's going to be people saying, "Oh, so you better be congruent with writing a book." But I really do think everyone should write a book and I would tell a woman just starting, "That's exactly what I do." I've had women come to me and they're...I had this one woman, she was negative $300 a month, she was in the industry for three years.
And she was...of course, her expenses were higher than her income, and so that's how she was negative. And she came into my world, within three months, she made $10,000, and then she made $128,000 in the next 12 months. And that's because...and back then we weren't saying, "Do the book thing." There's a million different strategies, but it still had similar components that we need to know who the heck you want to talk to. So, you got to figure out who the person is and then you got to figure out how to compel them or get them to respond. How do you...I have something called the Instant Expert System.
And the Instant Expert System, I'll give it to you really fast, it's just, "Who is the person?" That's step one, which is the market. Number two, I use stair steps going up, but number two is, "Why do they care?" Which is the messaging, and that's problem-result, you have...ultimately, you're going to want messaging even if you use my hack. Eventually, you got you've got to know what they care about and why it's important to them. The third step is, "Well, where do you find them?" Which is basically like what money-making activities are you going to do consistently to get in front of this person or a clone of this person again and again? And then step four is, "What do you move them to next or what do you drive them to?"
So many people are...a cup of coffee, networking event, whatever, and they don't even know what they're driving them to. They don't know the purpose of the conversation or the script or the call to action. And so, that alone...even if you know nothing about the book, you being specific about who you target; you knowing why they care; you finding them and doing consistent marketing and then being able to drive them to where they need to be is going to create that instant expertise that will allow you to stop being invisible and start getting noticed by the people you want to attract.
What Success Means To Robyn [1:27:59]
Michael: So, as we wrap up, this is a podcast about success and just one of the themes is that success means very different things to different people. And so, you've been down this journey yourself of building a career as an advisor and now building a business in coaching and helping female advisors. But how do you define success for yourself at this point?
Robyn: It's a great question. So for me, success, one, is growing. I want to be growing myself, and that allows me to grow my business anyway because if I'm not growing, my business isn't growing. But my whole drive is transformation, which is why I have such a huge mission. And for me, I don't have to hit the goal. My goal this year is almost to double what I did last year and I don't actually care if I hit it. But my book is called "Make More Money, Help More People," so that tells you a little bit about what I believe to be true is that if I double my revenue, it's actually way more than double the impact because every person I touch, then they're touching millions of people, right?
So, I do believe that when I make more money, I help more people, so the success does show up in dollars. But my success is actually my client's success, so I see...I know I'm really good at what I do because I can transform people's lives and I can take them from making...like Marybeth making $150,000 and making $1 million or take someone who's making nothing to make $100 grand. And then this person I talked about, Lisa, has now been on CNBC multiple times, she's been on Oprah magazine, she's been on "Entrepreneur" magazine, "Fortune" Magazine, and she was having a conversation with HSBC. So, that's my true indicator of success is that I'm giving people that gift that they can create their ideal business and ideal life.
Michael: Well, very cool. I appreciate you joining us and sharing part of that journey with our listeners for the Financial Advisor Success podcast.
Robyn: Thank you. Can I give them something for free?
Michael: Sure, sure, we'll have links out to your website in the show notes, but absolutely, if there's something more for everyone who's listening to get to follow up.
Robyn: So, I might as well since it's basically on the...part of the conversation that we're talking about is that VALUE framework, so what I can do is just give that VALUE framework script so they have it for the interview. Because even if you never do an actual interview or you never say book or you don't use podcast, any of those little hacks, you understand...going through this framework and a 10-minute call even to understand what they want and what's holding them back is incredibly valuable. So, you can use it in different areas, but this is what we use for the interview, it's called the VALUE framework.
And even if you're a guy, you can still use this, but you can get it anyway. But it's femalefinancialadvisors.com/mk, so I'm going to use Michael Kitces but make it easy, MK. So, if you go to femalefinancialadvisors.com/mk, I'll give you the VALUE framework script, and then we'll put a link there if anyone wants to book a call. And those of you, if it's a guy and you're like, "Well, I want more female advisors and I want to..." You're looking to expand in that way, we might just have a conversation and see how we can help you. So, I know that typically I work with women and it's usually in my program, but if you have a lot of women or you want to bring a lot of women, there might be some way I can help you. For sure, women. For sure, women, that's easy.
Michael: Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Robyn, for joining us on the Financial Advisor Success podcast.