THE BELLIS METHOD™ : BEING A MARKETER WHO ADVISES, NOT AN ADVISOR WHO MARKETS
The Bellis Method™ was born out of an expressed desire: Financial Advisors wanting to be in control of their businesses by having a continuous stream of new warm qualified prospects on a predictable and ongoing basis. This simple and effective method creates a culture of new warm qualified introductions for advisors. Its teaching approach is hands-on mentoring by the company’s principals.
Financial advisors have always been taught and trained to get facts, ask questions, educate, write proposals – to do all the good financial work that fits with a sales model. However, the standard sales model seems to work for only a small percentage of advisors. Most Advisors find that growth is slow and limited and are frustrated with the lack of qualified activity.
The Bellis Method™ is a focused marketing model that works to accelerate growth by gaining new warm qualified introductions from qualified clients advocates, not leads or sales. Matt teaches Financial Advisors how to be effective marketers and how to listen to, appreciate and respect their clients’ biases and worldview, not push to change them. He cautions, “it doesn’t matter how we see ourselves – what’s important is how our prospects and clients see us”.
In summary, The Bellis Method™ is built around the following basic components:
1. Developing The Marketing Story
The Marketing Story is the cornerstone of consistent new qualified activity, new warm qualified activity and new business growth. This carefully crafted story is entirely different from the generic type of story to which most Advisors have been exposed. It subtly focuses on the client worldview and, as such, becomes the energizing influence that changes the dynamic of Advisor/client communication.
2. The Concept of Raising Capital
These learned skills open the door for advisor introductions to clients’ qualified friends, coworkers, family. It begins with Raising Capital, identifying the top 20% of a client base. This identification is not at all routine or superficial. Matt teaches the nuances of finding deeper opportunity within a client base, which successfully opens new lines of connection with qualified prospects. He also teaches the principles of engaging, marketing and building networks within organizations and companies where Advisors’ clients work.
3. Permission Based Marketing and Reciprocity
Key to The Bellis Method™ is learning and practicing Permission Based Marketing, where nothing is ever done without prospect/client permission. Similarly, we believe in and practice the concept of Reciprocity.
4. The Five Minute Open and One Hour Close.
Here Advisors advance beyond their marketing story to create permission-based relationships, where clients advocate and champion for the advisor which includes offering new warm qualified introductions. The Five Minute Open and One Hour Close are accomplished by having a telephone call and an in-person meeting with a client the Advisor would like to duplicate. In these meetings the Advisor shares their Marketing Story, introduces The Retirement Resource Center (see below) and asks permission (see above) to have a discussion about the client becoming an advocate for the RRC.
5. The Retirement Resource Center*
The RRC is not bricks and mortar. It’s the aggregate of everything an Advisor has learned in all of their training combined. It becomes the free education and advocacy service offered to qualified prospects and qualified clients, who reciprocate with their loyalty, trust and, ultimately, warm qualified introductions.
*The Retirement Resource Center is the name used in teaching The Bellis Method™. Many Financial Advisors elect to choose a different name that best fits their practice.
What To Expect
Advisors can begin to create client advocates and increase new warm qualified activity within 30- 60 days.
MATTHEW BELLIS BIO
A consistent theme throughout Matthew Bellis’ business career has been the marketing approach he’s taken with small businesses: Matt has always grown businesses from the inside – out, working with his most valuable client to cultivate more valuable clients just like them.
In the late 1990’s Matthew began studying the Financial Industry. A financial advisor friend had hit a stumbling block in his business and asked Matt for help. As he started to learn more about the Financial Industry, Matt was intrigued by a rather stunning figure he’d read – that over 90% of financial advisors report they are new, qualified activity challenged. How could this be? He assumed that everyone needed a good financial advisor – one they trusted and respected. So why – with a potential market of about 80 million baby boomers plus millions of those already retired – aren’t advisors overwhelmed with new activity?
Matt began doing market research among this target, most of it hands-on, in the form of focus groups. He learned that:
- The target market was either financially under educated or uneducated. They were frightened about money and retirement. They needed and wanted help. They wanted advice and guidance;
- The Financial Services Industry suffers from a very negative reputation;
- Many in this market segment had a fixed bias or viewpoint, seeing the financial advisor industry as an “evil empire” – financial advisor Darth Vader’s, working for “their own self-interest”, “not to be trusted”, akin to a “used car salesman” or a “root canal specialist”;
- While individuals in this market were looking for help, they complained about what they encountered – financial advisors who are takers, always saying the same things, always selling, selling, selling.
Matt then began interviewing Financial Advisors. Here he learned that in spite of solid training and well-respected coaching programs, advisors still had difficulty getting in front of new qualified prospects and/ or new warm qualified prospects on a regular basis. While they may have known that their most important centers of influence were their best, happiest clients, most admitted that they did not know how to effectively utilize this currency.
At this point Bellis realized that his own marketing approach could well serve the financial advisor industry at large and that training financial advisors to be effective marketers, to be the Luke Skywalker’s to those dreaded Darth Vader’s, could grow an Advisor’s business exponentially.
Matt’s philosophy is that learning to be an effective marketer can be a simple learned skill. It just takes mentoring, training and time.
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