Financial advisors convert more prospects with a 2 step onboarding process

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Let me ask you a question.

Do you know EXACTLY what to say to a prospect to make them say: “We not only need to do this, we want to do this…here’s our money for the planning fee, when can we get started?”

Even if you said, “Of course I do!” you might be surprised after reading this.

We all know that gone are the days of one and done meetings, grabbing signed applications and making a sale.

A quick note, though: If your focus is first on AUM or generating sales, then this article probably isn’t for you.

I still see many advisors that want to get ACAT forms signed in the first or second meetings, typically prior to delivering any true value.I’m guilty of this – it’s how I started out.

But don’t get me wrong – I LOVE growing AUM and revenues (who wouldn’t) but those are not the metrics I find...

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First Client Meetings & The “R” Factor

When it comes to your first client meeting with a prospect, it can feel a bit like a first date. You’re trying to elicit more information without scaring them off or overwhelming them. And at the same time, they’re feeling you out, too.

While some of your success can boil down to personal rapport with the person, there also are some key steps to take that can increase the likelihood of the first meeting leading to an advisor-client relationship. For starters, it’s important to not be in a rush to know everything about the would-be client the very first time you’re sitting across from each other. You don’t need to know every single one of their objectives, for instance. You just need to know the most important ones.

There are lots of ways to try finding out those objectives, but I think business coach Dan Sullivan uses one of the best ways: the R factor question.

R stands for relationship.

To find out the R factor, you pose this...

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Why Planning Language Matters

John always says that the difference between six figure advisors and seven figure advisors are powerful words.  A single word has the power to change the course of a discussion.  It can change the mood of a conversation and influence the motivation of those you are engaging in dialogue.

Take the word because for example.  Social psychologist Ellen Langer found that when the word because followed a request that over 90% of people would comply as opposed to just making a request.  People would even comply with the request if the reason given didn’t really make sense.

For instance when an actor tried to cut in line to make copies and said, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages.  May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?” was nearly as effective as when they said, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages.  May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”

In other words, it was the...

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Of The Essence: The Best Time To Contact A Prospect

How quickly do you contact a prospect? Do you do any web-based prospecting for your practice? Do you have contact forms available on your firm’s website or are you part of an advisor directory like ours or a professional association where consumers can find you? Did you attend a community event and put out contact forms? Do you have a solid referral process in place?

If so, you probably have a database of leads coming in regularly…and how quickly you respond to them will either greatly increase or diminish your chance of success with them. While it may seem reasonable to just keep calling new introductions over and over until they meet with you, common sense (and our own experiences) would tell us otherwise. No one wants to be harassed and have their phones blowing up all day from someone they haven’t even met … even if they came looking for you to begin with.

The key is balance and the strategic use of data.

Though John’s developed an...

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Finding the Difference Between Fee-Only vs. Fee-Based Services

Exploring the fee-only vs. fee-based debate

A quick search of “financial planners” will result in a growing number of fee-only planners. But what exactly is fee-only? And how does that influence a potential customer when selecting a financial planner?

Another quick search of “fee-only planners” will result in definitions from places like and Yahoo Finance, who provide a short definition that works on the surface but doesn’t provide nearly enough information to make an informed decision. Forbes defines fee only financial planners as a “registered investment advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest” (1). Which leads us the burning question…shouldn’t all advisors being working in their client’s best interest?

Simply put fee-only agents operate through one mechanism: they work with a client. All payment received is compensation for...

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The Three Types of Financial Advisors

So many articles talk about the “different kind of financial advisors” and they generally focus on fee-structure. That’s all fine and dandy … but our passion within the CWA Network is that we’re focused on helping you create a great client experience. Fee type is really only a small part of it.

Right now, helping you create a great client experience first means shining the light on yourself!

Let’s get right to it & identify your “advisor persona”.


Advisor Type #1: The Implementer

Do you focus a lot on getting new applications? While this isn’t inherently a terrible plan, if left on it’s own, relying solely on building new clientele without following through on their objectives or creating unique strategies for them might not be the best platform for growing your business.


Advisors who start with implementation, and spend the most time on it, just want to get paid and often think...

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