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Who’s the real “Clown Boy?”

I recently returned from speaking at a big industry conference and had a chance to listen to several of the other speakers. Usually I learn a few things and it’s a very enjoyable experience.

This time was different.

One of the speakers (let’s call him Clown Boy) was a supposed expert on referrals…a subject I know a little about having written a best-selling book and trained thousands of advisors on it. It’s also a topic that has frustrated the vast (and when I say vast I’m talking about 90%) of financial professionals over the years.  So I was eager to see if this guy had any new ideas.

Actually I was hoping for something new…something creative and bold that advisors could feel good about using.

What I heard was a combination of ancient sales crap and a fairly violent assertion that most advisors are lazy pieces of whale blubber for not being more aggressive when asking for referrals.

Finally I had to leave the room.  I was physically sick.

As I splashed water in my face and starred into the bathroom mirror I found myself wondering in some despair if our profession is forever going to be stuck in this old-school, heavy-handed, arm-twisting mentality. Are we really just one evolutionary notch above used car salesmen. To hear this guy tell it, we are mere product pitchers who only need to “Get them to sign on the line which is dotted!”

If he’s right, then everything I try to teach has no value. And if we ARE just salespeople, that means I’m the delusional one!  I want to believe we’re better because it fits my own world view and validates my reason for being.

I have some evidence for my delusion. People come up to me after my referral training program with joy on their faces and say things like, “This is the first time anyone has told us the truth about referrals!”  or “This is the only referral strategy that I will ever use.”

These are wondrous and gratifying moments for me.  But maybe the same thing happens to Clown Boy!  Hey someone thought his stuff was good or they wouldn’t have paid him to come speak. Some senior manager must have resonated with his “beat them up until they submit” referral approach.

I honestly don’t know who’s right. The only thing I can do is stick to my approach and let you decide which is better. If you are comfortable going to your best clients and saying things like:  “I need your help to grow my business.”   “I get paid two ways!”    “On this sheet of paper, I’d like you to list the five wealthiest people you know. We’re going to call them together!”    Or the latest approach I call The Jedi Mind Trick…“I’m not asking for a referral Bob…only an INTRODUCTION!”  (“These are not the droids you’re looking for.”) 

If you honestly feel that these strategies work with today’s clients and you’re okay using them…then I’m wrong!  We ARE mere salespeople.  We SHOULD be pitching products and a much more aggressive style is what we need.

But if these phrases make you cringe — if you have any sense that these old ideas simply do not work with modern clients  —  if you have any feeling that a trusted advisor would never want to make a client feel so abused…then you have to learn a new way!

RefBookCoverYou need to read my book…and I’m going to make it as cheap for you as I can.

This book will change your entire referral world.  It contains a set of strategies that will make you look and feel like a true winner when you use them. It will take all the fear of referrals away from a top client or a center of influence like a CPA or attorney.

For the next 30 days…you can get it for half price!  Use the coupon code “Aces” on my website.

I know you can afford the full $20 so it’s not about the money.  It’s about ACTION!   If you read this book and apply these strategies, you’re basically done with marketing!  You may never have to prospect for new clients again. You might be able to activate a powerful referral engine from your client base that puts you in front of the exact kind of people you need to meet and who would benefit from your wisdom and service.

And the more you succeed, the fewer product pitcher salespeople will be left in this business. We can accelerate the evolutionary process by being better than they are!

Alternatively, if you can get yourself to one of our Referral programs, you will learn these strategies live!  The best way to do that is to contact your local Jackson wholesaler and let them know you want to come to a training program. They are my biggest sponsor these days and they do a ton of these meetings all over the country.

If you would rather work with Clown Boy…I’m sure you can find him as well.  He’s not a bad guy and I suppose I shouldn’t call him Clown Boy. It’s a nicer name than I thought of at the meeting, but he still might be the smart one.

Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so!”

In my heart…I know we are better.

I know we need new strategies to grow and to help people in a much more complex world.

I know the future or our profession transcends the old sales mentality.

But I could be wrong.

I could be Clown Boy!