An 8 Step Guide To Create An Effective Marketing Story

An effective marketing story provides new 1st appointments with qualified people personally introduced by your best clients … within 60 days and for the rest of your career.

Make your client the hero of your story!

The Marketing Story Guide

1. Make your clients and prospective clients the hero of your story. Ultimately, your story is not about you, it’s about your clients, your clients’ friends and family. No one wants to hear you sell yourself.

2. Respect and speak to the worldview of your clients/ prospects. [Post-December 9, 2015]

3. Tell smaller stories within your story that work to build empathy, create curiosity, evoke emotions and establish a sense of community.

4. Share with your clients/prospects how you or someone close to you overcame challenges/struggles similar to theirs.

5. Stay relevant. A story that resonates with your client/prospects lives will very quickly gain traction.

6. Be remarkable by being easy. Effective stories allow your clients/prospects to draw their own conclusions. No convincing, cajoling or telling them what to do. No facts or figures. No Resume!

7. Above all, be sincere. It’s the only way to establish trust. Anything less will be completely transparent.

8. Great stories are effective because they inspire action. Inspire your clients/prospects with your humility.

The Bellis Method™
Simple & Effective Marketing Stories


Tom Stanley and William D. Danko spent more than 20 years interviewing thousands of millionaires concerning their lifestyle habits and wrote the book titled, “The Millionaire Next Door”. They dispelled the myth that the typical millionaire drives a Rolls-Royce automobile, lives in a multi-million dollar mansion, owns a Rolex watch, and wears tailor made suits.

step forward into growth or step back into safety

How many clients do you have who fit most or all of the profile they created (below)?

Have you considered that these clients may be your best centers of influence and that you could build a career and an amazing business working with them and the people they know who are just like them?

It can happen if they believe in who you are…not just what you do.

Profile of The Millionaire Next Door
The typical millionaire is more likely to drive a second-hand General Motors car, live in a house with an average property value of $320,000, wear a watch costing less than $100, and buy their suits off the rack for between $200-$300—the suit was probably on sale.

The single biggest characteristic typical millionaires exhibit is living within their means. They are prodigious savers, not prodigious spenders. The typical millionaire is frugal and saves or invests much of their income.

On average, the typical millionaire saves and invests 20 percent of their income, versus the average American savings of less than five percent. They are debt-free and have no mortgage or automobile notes.

Most millionaires did not win the lottery, win money on a TV game show, or picked the next Microsoft on the stock market. Many are self-employed in small businesses working in “dull-normal” areas like pest control, paving contract work, or welding. Most millionaires work 45 to 55 hours per week.

Most marry once and are still married. Most typical millionaires did not score well on their SATs for college and were not voted most likely to succeed while in high school. Most millionaires are self-made, receiving no inheritance and little financial aid from relatives.

The typical millionaire does spend generously on services that can help them plan their finances better like estate planners, accountants, and lawyers who specialize in guarding property and wealth.

They invest in education. They typically have a broker, but they make their own investment decisions. The typical millionaire achieved their results over time through discipline, hard work, and focus on their goals. The typical millionaire lives in a neighborhood where 75 percent of the residents are non-millionaires. They generally do not stand out.

(Edited from post)
The Bellis Method™
A simple and effective path to extraordinary growth


In an ideal world, your book would consist entirely of clients who are similar to your favorite clients — those who are both a pleasure to work with and profitable.

We all know that ideal way to duplicate your best clients is to be personally introduced by them to their friends or colleagues who are just like your best clients.

We know many of your best clients

  • are far more likely to personally introduce you to their friends and colleagues in order to help their friends and colleagues – if you are all about service.
  • are less inclined to make these introductions to help you increase your bottom line – if you are all about sales.
  • are more likely to truly listen to your story (not a sales pitch) if it is one about service, if the story is about who you are rather than what you do.
  • will agree to become your advocate if you have a great story, one of service.

Customer Centric Marketing for Financial Advisors

Characteristics of a simple and effective client centric marketing process.

1. Permission Based –  Practicing Permission Based Interaction with clients.

2. Determine the clients you’d like to duplicate – Consider looking at a number factors to determine your top clients including: assets under management; quality of the relationship; rate of repeat business; are they grateful people; are they cooperative.

3. The Five Minute Open – A very brief permission-based call, to a client you want to duplicate, telling them about your prospective client advocacy program and asking for an in-person meeting (1 hour close) to discuss the your program … once you’re ready to announce it. Most, if not all, will agree to the meeting.

4. Developing A Great Marketing Story – It’s surprising that so many Advisors, of all income levels, don’t realize the value of a carefully crafted marketing story and are blown away by its impact on the listener…and on revenue, growth and business valuation.

A great marketing story subtly focuses on the client’s “worldview”… that most people don’t fully trust the financial industry or Financial Advisors. ( “People Don’t Trust You” post) This is their worldview, their bias.

5. One Hour Close – In this meeting the Advisor shares their Marketing Story and the client advocacy program and, if permission is given, has a discussion with the client about becoming an Advocate and warmly introducing qualified friends and colleagues to the Advisor…as a service to their friends and colleagues.

What is “The Free Five Minute Open Challenge”?

Arrange an appointment with us for one hour.

In preparation for the call have a list prepared of clients you’d like to duplicate.

We will discuss the list and pick out 5 to 10 names for “The Challenge”.

We will have a quick discussion about a client-centric marketing process.

We will spend a extra time on the “five minute open” outline which we will provide to you for “The Challenge”.

You will spend the next week conducting “five minute open” calls with the clients you selected from your list.

“The Challenge” ends with a call with us to discuss the your “5 minute open” results.

You will find that almost every client will agree to meet with you to discuss their advocacy once you announce the program.

The Bellis Method™
Growing from the inside, out


Rare indeed is a market where everyone is active. Almost no one buys the bestselling book, almost no one watches the Tonight Show.

We think we’re designing and selling to everyone, but that doesn’t match reality. It makes no sense at all to alter your best work to appeal to the longtime bystander, because the bystander isn’t interested. And it certainly makes no sense to try to convert your biggest critics, because they’ve got a lot at stake in their role of being your critic.

Growth comes from person-to-person communication. And from activating people who are ready to be activated.

The most recent Presidential election makes this clear: It’s the non-voting bystanders who are in the majority:

Growth comes from person-to-person communication

(Edited from blog post by Seth Godin)
The Bellis Method™
Build a community of true fans



It may sound familiar, but it’s not. However, it is easy. It creates consistent quality activity and it maximizes your productivity and revenue.

 Simple steps to increase your Financial Advisor Client Base

It requires 4 simple steps…

1. An Advisor with an open mind.

2. Some great quality clients who are friendly and cooperative.

3. You don’t interrupt your current business. You continue conduct business as usual.

4. A 60 day commitment.

The Bellis Method™
A Simple and Effective Client Advocacy Program

A “great” marketing story has “The Secret Sauce”. It increases productivity and revenue because it easily leverages your relationships with your best clients –

The best way to understand social capital is by thinking about your relationships with your best clients. They trust you with their financial assets. But do they trust you enough to bring you into their circle by personally and warmly introducing you to the qualified people they know, people who are just like them? That’s social capital. It leverages your relationship with one great client into a relationship with many new great clients.

Ask yourself, do you conduct 1-4 first appointments with new warm qualified prospects every month – prospects who are friends, colleagues or family members of your best qualified clients, the clients you want to duplicate?

Over the years we’ve asked this question to Advisors of every level, including MDRT and high income Advisors. The answer we usually get is “no” or “very few”.

So, Social Capital is the outcome of the strong, permission based relationships you can have with most of your best clients. It’s where you can ask and most of these clients agree to make introductions to their qualified friends, colleagues and family. Because they want to. Social capital introductions bear no resemblance to standard referrals. These qualified introductions are given because you’ve established a unique connection. They are warm and personally introduced.

But, how do you acquire social capital?  

Ingredients for a good story

With a marketing story that has the “Secret Sauce”. If you’re not consistently getting a lot of qualified introductions and 1st appointments from your best clients, then your story doesn’t have it.

The “Secret Sauce” in your marketing story differentiates you and makes you remarkable.  It’s what moves your qualified clients to share your story with their qualified circle – talking to them about who and what you are, not what you do. With it you will create a consistent stream of warm qualified introductions and quality growth month after month, year after year.

The Bellis Method™
Stories with "The Secret Sauce"

Is Your Business Suffering From This Silent Killer?

It’s out there right now. Hiding where you least expect to find it. It’s the silent business killer. It’s Complacency.

It happens every day to small and big businesses. And it cares only of the cold, hard reality that while you were satisfied somebody else was not.

So don’t wait for your if only. Avoid complacency always. Avoiding complacency is essential to any business’s long-term longevity. Here’s how you avoid it:

Complacency The Silent Business Killer

1. Listen for fresh ideas

Think you know it all? Wrong. Anyone who does will fall to the complacency bug. For in the end if you are too busy patting yourself on the back or resting, you can’t hear the next great idea which may not even come from you.

2. You can always do better

If you ever get to the point where you say it is 100% perfect the way that it is, you’re not looking hard enough. Be proud of what you provide to your clients. But staying out in front is about challenging yourself to find more qualified clients, to provide better service, and to always strive to do better.

3. Look in the rear view mirror

When you’re doing well, it is often difficult to see what’s been going on around you. Evaluate everything. Keep developing your “best practices”. Look at what the competition is doing.

4. Practice reasonable paranoia

Someone is always evaluating and grading you or coming for you. So practice reasonable paranoia.

(Edited from article in Entrepreneur Magazine by Matthew Swyers)
The Bellis Method™
Simple & Effective Marketing


A perennial member MDRT TOT* read about the THE 60 DAY RULE and initially was curious, so he checked his ego and skepticism and quickly solved the activity conundrum.


60 day rule for financial advisors

Advisors, no matter their income, should achieve significant growth in new warm qualified activity within 60 days and this activity and growth will continue. Period. End of Story.


Picture your dream business. What kind of new first appointments would be the game changer for you… the easiest, most efficient and most productive?


Warm personally introduced, qualified introductions from a qualified client.

This is a client you’d like to duplicate, who allows you to help them choose and qualify a friend or colleague and then warmly introduces you at a 3 way meal or on a 3 way appointment or conference call.
Once this process begins, it continually repeats.

So how  does this apply to Advisors?

Even very successful Advisors say they are frustrated and frequently uncomfortable because there’s a problem. Nothing they try creates a consistent steam of quality introductions and first appointments.

They want a solution that is uncomplicated, efficient and permanent.  The solution should also work quickly and enable Advisors to achieve significant and measurable increases in new warm qualified activity in as little as 60 days.

The first step is focusing on activating and energizing the existing network of warm, potential advocates.

They are the Advisors’ current qualified clients – the clients they want to duplicate. And Advisors will find that with the correct approach, these clients are very open to becoming champions who will help identify and connect Advisors to warm qualified prospects.

Key to this first step is how Advisors address clients’ overwhelming, predominant “worldview”. [Read Post 11/24]

This worldview refers to the fact that existing and potential clients are generally skeptical of Financial Advisors. Most Advisor marketing approaches don’t recognize the impact of this worldview or are not effective dealing with it.

If you’d like to hear more about “The 60 Day Rule”and “worldview” and “consistent, personally introduced, warm qualified introductions”, reach out. The initial step, to move the growth trajectory of your business to that really good place, is an exploratory phone call.

Little risk for a big reward.

(*By the way, the client is real and he will share.)

The Bellis Method™
Developers and practitioners of the 60 day rule.

First, Ten

First, ten.

This, in two words, is the secret of the new marketing.

Find ten people. Ten people who trust you/respect you/need you/listen to you…

The purpose of a business is to create customers who create customers.

Those ten people need your service or what you have to sell or they want it. And if they love it, you win. If they love it, they’ll each find you more people – or a hundred or a thousand or, perhaps, just three. Repeat.

If they don’t love it, you need a new product or service. Start over.

Three years from now, this advice will be so common as to be boring. Today, it’s almost certainly the opposite of what you’re doing.

Edited from the post by Hall of Fame Marketer Seth Godin on April 02,2009.


#1 – Make the concept of “Free” the cornerstone of your marketing story.

Because, when applied properly to your business… free = more efficiency and productivity = more quality clients = more revenue.

“Free” initially scares many Advisors. But, study new marketing theory and “free” is everywhere. It’s counter intuitive.

Don’t resist learning about it because, for the experienced Advisor, for all Advisors, of all incomes, it can have a huge impact. It can be the game changer.

To learn about “free”, we tell Advisors to continue to do business as usual. But, take 10% of your time to do some research. Then, if it makes sense, conduct your own little pilot project.


(Note: We will be holding a FREE Conference Call on “The Concept of Free : The Cornerstone To Amazing Activity and Revenue Growth”. See bottom of page)

Today, there are Financial Advisors who freely share what they know -being of service, not sales. We know this because we’ve trained them.

These Advisors:

  • Practice the concept of free with their best clients, the clients they want to duplicate. These clients warmly introduce the Advisor to their qualified friends and colleagues. And the process repeats.
  • Have a pipeline consistently filled with warm qualified prospects.
  • Become remarkable.
  • Separate themselves from other Advisors.
  • Experience consistent revenue growth.
  • Build a framework for growth where many of their qualified clients will reciprocate and advocate for them.

Making “free” a foundational element of your mission is something to which clients and prospects respond. It sets your service and you apart from the rest.

Revenues will grow consistently.

It will simplify your business.

It will make you much more productive.

You will have way more control.

Don't forget! We will be holding a FREE Conference Call on Monday, January 23rd, 2017 at 1 pm EST. Topic: The Concept of "Free" the Cornerstone to Amazing Activity and Revenue Growth. To register, email us at and we will send you the conference number and code.