How To Tell A Great Story… That Clients Retell To Friends And Colleagues

Great stories succeed and spread because they are able to capture the imagination of your audience.**

^ A great story is true.
Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. People are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a you to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.

^ Great stories make a promise.
The promise needs to be bold and audacious. It’s either exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.

^ Great stories are trusted and you must have earned credibility to tell it.
No one trusts anyone. People don’t trust the spokespeople on commercials. And they certainly don’t trust the companies that make pharmaceuticals.

^ Great stories are subtle.
Surprisingly, the fewer details a marketer spells out, the more powerful the story becomes. Allowing people to draw their own conclusions is far more effective than announcing the punch line.

^ Great stories happen fast.
First impressions are far more powerful than we think.

^ Great stories don’t always need eight-page color brochures…
Or a face-to-face meeting. Either people are ready to listen or they aren’t.

^ Great stories don’t appeal to logic….
But they often appeal to our senses. People decide if they like someone after just a sniff.

^ Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone.
The most effective stories match the world view of a tiny audience (your best clients)—and then that tiny audience spreads the story to people like them.

^ Great stories don’t contradict themselves.
People are clever and they’ll see through your deceit at once.

^ Most of all, great stories agree with the worldview of your audience…
The people who are open to listening to you.

The best stories agree with what your audience already believes. It makes the members of the audience feel smart.


(**edited from Seth Godin: World-renowned author, Hall of Fame Marketer)
 Client Centric Marketing
 Creating Great Stories that clients repeat

Ignoring This Worldview Is A Mistake: People Don’t Trust You

It’s not specifically you. The problem is that you’re a Financial Advisor and most consumers have a distrust of the industry. (Darth Vader post)

It is an established “worldview”, a belief or bias, and it’s not something you can change, no matter how many facts and figures you present to clients and prospects.

You don’t have to believe me – take it from Hall of Fame marketing guru Seth Godin, “Don’t try to change someone’s worldview… Don’t try to use facts to prove your case and to insist that people change their biases. You don’t have enough time and you don’t have enough money. If your message is framed in a way that conflicts with their worldview, you’re invisible.”

But speaking respectfully to someone’s worldview is the price of entry to get their attention and is the most incredible growth multiplier.

You address this worldview by understanding the position that people have and creating a marketing story that subtly addresses this worldview (if it’s too obvious, it won’t move them – they’ll think you’re telling them what they want to hear in order to sell them).

Of course, creating this story isn’t easy. For starters some Advisors have been trained to sell and always be closing. Other Advisors are more service oriented but are thinking about “the close.” You need to lose that muscle memory.

Also, don’t barrage clients and prospects with facts and figures about your performance history. They either won’t care, or they won’t believe you. But a passionate, carefully crafted marketing story that subtlety addresses their worldview will help give them a reason to believe in you.

When the focus is on what they really want and need from you, many of your most qualified clients and qualified prospects will become your best and most productive centers of influence. Your quality activity will dramatically increase and as will revenue.


** (edited from 11/24/15 blog post)

Client Centric Marketing
 Worldview Centric

The Game Changer – The way to quickly and consistently develop new warm high quality appointments is …*

Tell a Great Marketing Story.**

A Great Marketing Story separates you from your competitors.

It makes a promise – the more audacious, the better.

It agrees with what the audience already believes. It validates them.

A Great Marketing Story matches your market’s worldview. For example: most people don’t trust Financial Advisors and the Industry.

It is framed around your Clients’ worldview, so they are more likely to be open to it believe it, and listen.

*Coming Soon


A simple solution to consistently create warm, highly qualified and personally endorsed introductions and first appointments with the quality friends and colleagues of your best clients.

Client Centric Marketing
 The 60 Day Blueprint


A ‘referral’ is like a lead. It’s a name. It is typically bare, impersonal, and unqualified. Referrals rarely convert to clients – even more rarely, quality clients. Not just because of the lack of relationship with the referred but also because a cold situation feels like sales, the very thing you never want to do again.

In contrast, a warm personal introduction from a best client is an endorsement wherein your client is explicitly standing behind the value, authenticity and character of the person being introduced… you. It’s an entirely different dynamic. A personal introduction grants you ease and entry. It is based on the established trusting relationship that not only already exists between you and your client but also your client and your client’s friend.

A personal introduction is at its inception a relationship – comfortable and easy – because you are endorsed and trusted.

Referrals don’t even come close to these introductions.


Client Centric Marketing
 Simple and effective


* “Selling” is giving.

* Giving time, giving attention, giving counsel and education, giving empathy and value and understanding that it is impossible to “make a sale.”

* The concept of giving is very good news, because it means that anyone can be great in sales. You might think to be great at sales you must have a great personality or understand closing tactics really well. These ideas miss the point.

* Because it’s not about you, it’s about them.

* You can define your job description in three words: I create value. You don’t create value in order to create a sale or “in order to” anything. The idea is to create value, period.

* So we must willingly suspend our self interest and not act generously in order to create a strategic result. It’s to act generously period. The concept of giving is very good news, because it means that anyone can be great in sales.

* It’s a paradox. If you go about creating value for others with the ulterior motive of receiving more value yourself, it tends to show through on some level and sabotage the result.

* So, our focus shifts from getting to giving.

( *edited from the writings of Seth Godin, preeminent member of the World Marketing Hall Of Fame)


Client Centric Marketing
 It's about them

Want More Quality Appointments?

If you are an Advisor you undoubtedly have a group of best clients. Clients who are friendly, appreciative and cooperative. And they generate great revenue.

Wouldn’t business be easier, more profitable and more fun if these clients regularly and personally introduced you to their qualified friends and colleagues?

Advisors come to us wondering why these best clients will sometimes give a referral name but are not making quality personal introductions. When we ask how many first appointments they’ve had with quality friends of the best clients over the last year or two, the answer generally is “very few”.

The very first thing we look at is their story. Because for starters, if their story isn’t “remarkable”, it really isn’t worth talking about.

A remarkable story is about who you are, not what you do. It’s not about your facts and figures. That’s just the same old talk and it doesn’t stick.

We’ve spoken with countless Financial Advisors whose stories are basically all the same; how their firm is different, where they went to school, the degrees they’ve earned, how great their numbers are, their charitable work, their families. There is nothing about their story that clients feel in their gut.

When you have the right marketing story your clients will respond to you far differently. We have found that as soon as an Advisor moves away from their old (read: tedious) marketing story to an effective client centric story – one that has meaning to the listener – everything begins to shift. Their qualified activity goes way up, their confidence goes up, and their revenue upticks.

Developing an effective story is a deliberate process that shows you understand your market and how to address their predominant worldview… a well documented general distrust of the entire industry, including advisors. (See Darth Vader Post) That’s why puffery works against you.

If your story is not authentic (and you don’t live it every day), your clients and prospects will not be fooled. But when it’s done well, it’s what will make your clients dedicated advocates who want to tell everyone about you. Because they see you as remarkable.

So, ask yourself this question. Do you have a lot of quality warm prospect meetings and first appointments warmly introduced to you by your best clients? If not, take a good, hard look at your story.


Client Centric Marketing
Great Marketing Stories


Almost all of your best clients will give you permission.

These clients have made you their Financial Advisor – they have taken a leap of faith with you. At the same time you feel privileged and grateful because over time you have earned their trust. You protect and nurture it.

When you have your clients’ trust they will give you permission to talk about warm personal introductions, their most important asset. Different from referrals, open permission removes the discomfort and fear of asking – it’s the key to a personal introduction and endorsement. It’s the reward for earning their trust.

Client Centric Marketing
 Innovative, Simple, Cost Effective

What Would Your Ideal Strategy For New Business Development Need To Look Like?

Have you thought about what your ideal strategy for new business development would need to look like? I’ve asked countless Advisors this question over the years.

Listening to the consistent themes Advisors shared, it was clear that an innovative, straightforward, common sense “approach” to new business development and business growth was needed.

Advisors said they wanted an approach that:

  • Is simple, quickly learned and implemented.
  • Integrates seamlessly into their practice and provides measurable results.
  • Eliminates or reduces prospecting but somehow generates new high quality clients.
  • Allows them to control the pace of their activity while reducing stress and increasing business enjoyment.
  • Is easily budgeted and provides a very high ROI.
  • Is a business differentiator.

Our Client Centric approach was developed as a response to these specific Advisor needs. It creates for an Advisor an ever growing group of Client Advocates… clients whose advocacy consistently generates new 1st appointments as they personally introduce and endorse their Advisor to their high value, high quality, best friends and colleagues.

 Client Centric Marketing 
 Innovative, simple and cost effective

A Great Marketing Story Will Inspire Your Clients

If you’re not getting introduced to a lot of your best clients’ best friends and colleagues, it’s because your marketing story is not worth talking about. It’s not remarkable.
Being remarkable means two things.
One, it means it’s cool, it’s neat.
Two, it means it’s worth making a remark about.

If you or your service is worth making a remark about you are 99% of the way there.

However, we’ve talked with countless Financial Advisors and for the most part, their stories are the basically the same. They mention how their firm is different, where they went to school, the degrees they’ve earned, how great their numbers are, their charitable work, their families. 

There is nothing about their story that clients and prospects feel is remarkable.

As soon as an Advisor moves away from their old marketing story to a new client centric story, everything changes. They’re qualified activity goes way up. So does revenue. 

Because when you have a great marketing story, not only will your clients respond to you, they will also talk about you and your service to their friends.

Developing an effective story is a detailed process that shows you understand your market and their predominant worldview… distrust of Advisors and the Industry. (See Darth Vader Post) So, any form of puffery or selling razzle-dazzle will literally or figuratively slam the door.

An effective marketing story reveals your true authenticity. If your story is not authentic (and you don’t live your story every day), your clients and prospects will not be fooled. 

Done well, it’s what will make your clients dedicated advocates, trumpeters who want to tell the world about your service. In their eyes it’s remarkable and so are you.

So, think about it.  Have you completed a lot of warm, personally introduced meetings and first appointments with quality friends and colleagues of your best clients?  

Client Centric Marketing
Tell Us Your Marketing Story


The 5 Initial Steps To Consistent Quality Activity

Think for a moment about the steps an individual takes when he or she is ready to approach their financial situation… how do they go about it?

They begin with research, talking to valued friends and family about experiences and recommendations.

Then they engage with an Advisor or two to discuss their needs, hopes, and dreams. Finally, they look at the Advisor’s plan.

If it doesn’t feel right, they start the process over again. It happens everyday.

It’s the same for Advisors and business. Consider these simple steps as you focus on identifying your important goals and develop a solid plan to get there:

Ask yourself the same types of questions you typically ask your clients, just those related to your business.

A good place to begin is “what would the business of my dreams look like”?

Wouldn’t your dream business consistently develop, almost exclusively, new qualified activity and increase business growth?

Wouldn’t it focus on your existing best clients, the ones you’d like to duplicate, who would consistently, personally and warmly introduce you to their qualified friends and colleagues?

Wouldn’t it decrease or eliminate the need to prospect and cold call?

Look for an business consultant who will help you develop a your plan for success and who will keep you focused on achieving these results. One who will help you identify your specific issues and help develop a strategy for you that will address them.

Keep in mind that one size does not fit all.

Be sure to look outside your everyday financial bubble, i.e., look beyond the usual suspects, keeping in mind simplicity, effectiveness, and cost.

Don’t settle for broad sweeping programs. Keep a laser focus on your most important issue: consistently duplicating your existing best clients.

Remember to ask the question, “Will I achieve positive, measurable results within a set time frame – say 60 days or 75 days”?

If you don’t get the clear, straightforward answer you need, keep looking. Don’t settle.

But if you do get the answer you’re looking for, make sure you can give the approach a “test drive” before committing your time and dollars.

If after the test drive you don’t achieve positive measurable results, repeat steps 1-4.

Client Centric Marketing
Test drive is available