All Marketers Tell Stories. Some Do It Right. *

All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that $225 sneakers make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than a $25 brand. And we believe it!

Every consumer has a worldview that affects the product you want to sell.

Today I’ll share a few quotes from Seth Godin’s book “All Marketers Are Liars”.

They will help you understand why you must reinforce what your target market already believes.

Godin writes that “worldview is the term I use to refer to the rules, values, beliefs and biases that an individual consumer brings to a situation. A worldview is not who you are. It’s what you believe. It’s your biases”.

Here are several thought-provoking quotes from Godin’s book:

This on why stories should agree with your customer’s worldview:

Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.

This on why you shouldn’t try to change someone’s worldview (even if the facts and data reveal they are wrong):

Don’t try to change someone’s worldview is the strategy most smart marketers follow. 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. Instead, identify a population with a certain worldview, frame your story in terms of the worldview and you win.

This, on preconceived worldviews:

Worldviews are the reason that two intelligent people can look at the same data and walk away with completely different conclusions—it’s not that they didn’t have access to the data or that they have poor reasoning skill, it’s simply that they had already put themselves into a particular worldview before you even asked the question.

Finally and most importantly:

Every consumer has a worldview that affects the product you want to sell. That worldview alters the way they interpret everything you say and do. Frame your story in terms of that worldview, and it will be heard.

 *edited from
The Bellis Method™
Simple and Effective Marketing.

Financial Advisors – It’s Not Just Storytelling, Try Storydoing*

Building your story into your business

“A company without a story is a company without a strategy”. **
Having a clear and distinctive story is critical in building your company’s brand.

However, there’s a difference between broadcasting your story–storytelling–and living your story, or storydoing.

Understanding the difference between the two and making that shift toward the latter is fundamental to building your business.***

From Storytelling to Storydoing
So, how do you effectively get the story of your brand and your service into the world?

Shift to storydoing.
It’s telling people what you do and then doing it. People talk about a service that is remarkable… a service that is worth remarking about.

90 percent of people trust a friend’s recommendation.
People are more influential than ever.
Those recommendations are based on great experiences.

The old adage continues to ring true: Actions speak louder than words.

What Makes a Great Storydoing Company

Storydoers are structured differently. They all put their story at the center of their Company and build it into their services and products.

They know what they are for and what they are against.

Great story-doing companies are on a quest. They define an ambition, beyond making money, that comes through in everything they do. Being the biggest or the most financially successful is not a quest. There has to be a fundamental generosity for a quest to inspire. It has to be something that inspires people to join and evangelize.

Zappos is on a quest to create an amazing customer experience regardless of cost. It makes that real in its culture, even offering money to customer service employees to leave after a couple of months if they don’t love their jobs.

The enemy is bad service … which brings us to the final story-doing attribute:

Great Storydoing Companies have a defined enemy.
JetBlue was created to fight against the bland and brutalist experience on the major national air carriers. Its stated quest was to “bring humanity back to airlines.” It didn’t do that through slogans asking you to “fly the friendly skies,” but rather expressed it through experience: one class of service. Leather seats for everyone. Satellite TV for everyone. Unlimited (and free) snacks for everyone.

In the networked world, shifting from storytelling to storydoing will make your business not only more efficient and effective but also fundamentally more rewarding–for your customers, your staff and your community… and for you.

(*edited Inc magazine article by Rosemarie Ryan)
(**Marc Andreessen, co-founder Netscape)
(***According to Brand Asset Valuator, overall scores of brand quality, brand loyalty, and brand trust are in decline, down 24 percent, 31 percent, and 50 percent, respectively. Perceived value is dropping as well.
Ask CEO’s whether their services or products are differentiated from the competition and 80 percent will say yes.
In stark contrast, just 10 percent of customer agree.)

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Storytelling and Storydoing

9 Tips For A Remarkable Financial Service Practice*

Is your business remarkable?

Remarkable always gets talked about. Marketing starts with having a service that is ‘better’ than the competition, giving clients what they really want, being remarkable and worthy of being discussed by your clients and potential clients.

1. Making promises and keeping them…
is a great way to build a brand. This is one of the ‘first and foremost’ branding lessons. Emphasis on making promises as well as keeping them is required.

2. Your best clients…
are worth far more than your average clients. It starts with knowing who your clients are, then knowing the best of the group.

3. Conversations among the members of your marketplace.
Conversations happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations, the ones that create the basis for your word of mouth marketing.

4. You’re viewing marketing as an expense.
Good marketers realize that marketing is an investment.

5. Clients don’t buy what they need.
They buy what they want. Gather as many insights as possible by observing what they do.

6. New ways of spreading your messages and ideas.
Blogs, permission-based RSS information*, consumer fan clubs are quickly proving how well they work. Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness.

7. The best Marketers convey their messages by telling stories. 
It’s the best way. It’s not even close.

8. Always choose your clients.
They increase your ability to deliver the right story to the others.

9. Reminding the client.
Telling a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut. The best clients and client knowledge is based on the best relationships.

*Edited from unattributed source. (It sounds like Seth Godin but not sure)
**RSS Stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a way to easily distribute a list of headlines update notices and sometimes content to a wide number of people.
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Build A Remarkable Business From The Inside Out


Your Brand Is What Other People Say About You When You Are Not In The Room*

 Brand building is the deliberate effort to create the desired perception in someone else’s mind.

“A Simple Blueprint For A Successful Brand.” **

Brand building is the deliberate effort to create the desired perception in someone else’s mind.

It’s been said that “A Brand is not just a logo, a website, or your business cards… It’s an experience.”

To build a great brand you need the right blueprint for shaping perceptions about your service or your product.

The best blueprint begins with just three components: what, how and feeling.

Consider the example of Southwest airlines. What service do they provide? Well, it’s pretty simple: they move you from here to there.

That is Southwest’s what.

The what of a brand is typically straightforward. The most successful brands tend to represent only one what in their customers’ minds.

After what comes how.

Understanding the how of a brand begins with seeing that for every product or service, there can be many ways of delivering the what. “Overnight,” “cheaper,” “organic” – these are the types of words used to signal the specific how for which a business wants their product or services to be known.
For the most part, hows tend to travel into twos. One how is not quite enough, but more than two is unnecessary.

For Southwest Airlines, the first how is: “by air.”

Southwest began flying its first passengers on short hauls to and from second-tier airports in Texas where the competition was more likely a Greyhound than another airline.

There is a deep branding lesson. The customer is trying to accomplish a specific result – a specific what. The hows compete with one another. Nothing else does.

Southwest has a second how: “at a low price.”

Take away either of Southwest’s two distinct hows, or their performance aspects, and the brand – that is our perception of Southwest – starts to fall apart. Only Southwest is offering the entire package at once- the what and how that differentiate their brand in the minds of the customers.

What and how are the fundamentals of a sound brand blueprint, but the most successful brands include a third component: feeling.

Customers want to do business with people they like. Who doesn’t? Similarly, we prefer to consume products and services we feel good about. Southwest customers like the Southwest brand. The brand is fun and laid-back; it makes people feel good.

So, to summarize: brand building is the deliberate effort to create the desired perception in the mind of another person. The blueprint for creating the perception has three basic elements: what, how, and feeling.

**Edited from a post on by Jerry McLaughlin
*Quote from Jeff Bezos
The Bellis Method™
Simple and effective brand building

A Question For All CFPs, RIAs, & FAs – what would make your practice more stress free and fun… more productive and efficient too?

“THE ANSWER”. A constant stream of warm, quality 1st Appointments personally introduced to you and endorsed by the grateful, friendly, quality clients in your client book – for the remainder of your career.

We have interviewed countless numbers of Advisors over the years and not one Advisor gave us “the answer”.

We heard responses like dinner seminars, educational workshops, lead groups, free reports, community networking, Facebook, Google, newspaper articles, cold calling, direct mail, newspaper and magazine ads, buying preset appointments, buying leads, enhanced web design and LinkedIn.

However, upon discussion and reflection, Advisors agreed that their answer really didn’t the question. In addition, they felt the responses above didn’t answer the question either.

Most Advisors said something like, “of course I’d want “the answer” but it’s not real. It’s a pie in the sky answer.”

But, if it’s not pie in the sky, isn’t it worth talking about?

Isn’t it a conversation worth having?

If you can dream it, you can do it!

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Trust "The 60 Day Rule" Process

Why don’t I have a consistent stream of 1st appointments with the friends of my best clients?

Because most Advisors, no matter their income or standing, don’t understand or effectively address WORLDVIEW.

The Marketing Challenge for Financial Advisors

Several years ago we conducted a series of focus groups across the U.S. We spoke to a wide variety of market segments including the “millionaires next door”, baby boomers, newly marrieds, upwardly mobile singles, soon-to-be retirees, and retirees… people who are just like your clients. 

What we learned – no matter which segment we interviewed – was that financial advisors and the industry are perceived in a rather unflattering light; “used car salesmen”, “in it for themselves” and “just want to get their hands on my money” were among the comments we heard.

But the one that really stuck with us was this:
“They are all a bunch of Darth Vader’s, working for the Evil Empire”.

Face it. This is the market’s predominant worldview, and it’s your clients’ worldview too.

Your clients, along with your prospects, have some pretty strong opinions about you. 

You have the power to turn them into your best trumpeters… Your advocates.

When you have a good marketing story, one that effectively addresses the worldview, not only will your clients respond to you, they will also talk about you with their friends. 

It’s the key to a consistent stream of quality 1st appointments with friends and colleagues of your best clients.

The Bellis Method™
A Simple and Effective Client Advocacy Program

Financial Advisors, Pull The Plug On Stress

It’s difficult constantly worrying where the next quality new appointments will come from.

High-income Advisors constantly feel this quality new appointment stress and they succeed in spite of it. But, they do want a better way, free from anxiety.
This is also true for Advisors with more moderate incomes.

But you can’t let your ego get in the way. Put it aside for a while… to learn.

The initial step is to create and share a “New Marketing Story”. This is not just any story. (See posts below)

Quality activity will go way up and stress will go way down when Advisors move away from their old marketing story to a new client-centric story.

Keys to reducing stress for Financial Advisors

The 60 Day Rule
Any marketing story worth its salt should feel right and create positive, measurable results within 60 days. If it doesn’t, stop what you’re doing.

Begin by reading these brief blog posts:

Post 12/28/15 – A Great Marketing Story – It’s About Them, Not You

Post 01/19/16 – The Bad News. Your Marketing Story Sucks!

Post 02/08/16 – The Most Important Story You Will Ever Tell…

The Bellis Method™
We Help Reduce Stress

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)
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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