For many financial advisors, prospecting efforts have traditionally been based on a perspective of scarcity, where the aim was to focus on connecting with and closing as many prospects as possible, regardless of their actual needs. However, in order to accommodate a wide range of clients with wildly diverse needs, firms often need to provide a myriad of services to address those needs. And this can mean developing a fee schedule with so many layers of complexity – to price out the range of all the services offered – that many prospects often end out too confused to understand what the advisor can actually do for them.
In our 98th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss how a scarcity perspective can result in a firm’s loss of focus by trying to accommodate any and all clients regardless of their needs. Instead, by conveying a clear and simple message to clients about how the advisor’s value can provide for a very specific type of client and their unique needs, advisors can enhance their business growth by attracting the right type of client while investing less time and fewer resources actively seeking out new prospects.
As a starting point, it’s important to understand that as the financial services industry has evolved into the digital age, it has become increasingly common for financial advisors to rely on web-based business development strategies where the typical number of ‘prospects’ who visit the advisor’s website are often astronomically large. Which means that nearly all advisors who have a website no longer have a shortage of prospects (as they can often rely on organic web traffic alone to bring thousands of visitors to their site); instead, the challenge has become one of attracting the right kind of prospect. And offering a message that will compel even just a small fraction of site visitors to engage in a relationship can lead to a substantial increase in business.
As individuals increasingly rely on the internet to find the right services to meet their needs, more clients are also seeking and engaging with advisors digitally. Which means that understanding the nature of how those visitors use and relate to their website (through website data analytics tools) can give advisors the tools to assess the efficacy of their marketing efforts. Some useful metrics to help advisors understand their visitors include the number of users and visitors, where they look for information, and session length. And monitoring these metrics over time can help the advisor ensure that their messaging is truly offering a clear, meaningful, and relevant value proposition to prospects.
Ultimately, the key point is that trying to cater to all clients out of fear of leaving opportunities on the table – and developing complex fee schedules to meet all of those clients’ needs – will generally only serve to dilute an advisor’s value proposition. But by recognizing that firms already have access to a wealth of prospects through their website, advisors can home in on attracting the right kind of prospects to grow the business without losing the focus of the firm!
***Editor’s Note: Can’t get enough of Kitces & Carl? Neither can we, which is why we’ve released it as a podcast as well! Check it out on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher.
Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: Greetings, Carl.
Carl: Well, hello, Michael. What’s the middle name?
Carl: I actually thought that was what it was. Hello, Michael Ernest Kitces. Let’s go. What are we talking about today?
Michael: Let’s go. We are just like all in. Is that because you don’t want me to comment on the fact that there’s no blue couch in the background?
Carl: Yes. The blue couch… Oh man, I was going to say I officially got permission to bring it back here, but it’ll be here soon. Just keep waiting. It’ll be here.
Michael: Okay. All right.
Carl: I should get blue couch stickers made.
Michael: You should.
Carl: Hand them out…
Michael: Like give them out at conferences. And like…
Carl: At the Riskalyze conference, I’m going to hand out blue couch stickers.
Michael: With the blue couch. The blue couch is coming to Riskalyze as well, right?
Carl: No, I can’t tell you whether the blue couch is going to be there or not.
Michael: Well, I’m just saying, the blue couch was at the Snappy Kraken Conference, so.
Carl: But yeah, the blue couch may or may not be at the conference. The Dragon Adventure Truck is going to be at the… Well, never mind. I can’t talk about that either.
Why Unclear Messaging Turns Prospective Clients Away [01:21]
Michael: The Dragon Adventure Truck. Okay, we’re going to revisit that in a future episode, I think. So, you had asked me, though, so what are we talking about today besides the sad absence of the blue couch in today’s episode? So, I wanted to revisit a conversation I had with an advisor friend recently. So, we’ll call him Joe. So, I had been asking Joe just about his business, how it works, how he charges. Joe came out of the tax CPA world into the financial planning world, still does a little bit of tax work in addition to growing the financial planning, and kind of had this very broad business. He’s got tax clients from when he did tax stuff. He’s got financial planning clients. He’s got AUM clients. He’s got some clients he does taxes and planning. He’s got clients he does investments and taxes. He’s got clients he does investment and planning and taxes, all these different pieces. I was just asking him how do you charge for this?
Just how does that work when you’ve got all these different services that are mixed together? And he was like, “Well, I charge a base monthly subscription fee. The fee is based on complexity. So, there’s a couple of layers depending on your complexity. If you want me to do the tax returns, that’s separate, unless you get to a half-million dollar minimum, and then we just roll it all together where the planning fee and the taxes are included, unless you have a really complex tax return, then we do still charge an additional fee on top of it if you’ve got business returns or a lot of K-1s. And if you’re really high complexity, we actually still have a planning fee layer along with it as well just to sort of recognize all the stuff that’s involved.”
So I was like, “That sounds really complex.” I was like, “I’m a little bit confused about that, just wondering how does this work in that way?” I’m in the industry and I nerd out on business models.” So just…
Michael: Do you ever have the problem that clients or prospects just have trouble keeping up with all the different layers of your fee schedule, or have you ever thought about just reducing the number of layers a little bit? And Joe’s comment was, “Well, yeah, I’ve thought about it, but I don’t want to leave any opportunity on the table. I don’t want to miss out on a client that maybe would’ve fit my service but doesn’t because I had an asset minimum or a fee minimum. And I don’t want to undercharge for complex clients, and I don’t want to lose a not-so-complex client that I still could have helped.” And so, essentially it came down to like, “I have all these layers in my fee schedule so that no matter who I’m sitting across from, I’ll be able to help them at a level that’s appropriate for them.”
Michael: And so, on the one end, I get it. I think this is incredibly common for most of us. I sort of think, you only get so many at-bats, chances to stay in the cross of a prospect to win them into a client. So, I really don’t want to squander an opportunity. I got in front of someone. They’re interested in my services. They’re willing to pay something as long as I can make the cost match the value of what they need. So, I like to adjust the fee to fit the client’s situation. But then I’m also just hearing this from the business end. I’m not even sure Joe’s helping himself at the end, because all I could hear from that is, “This is so complex I’m having trouble keeping up with it.” And I’m giving you the boiled-down version. I’m not doing that to throw Joe under the bus.
It was a very interestingly designed fee schedule to try to handle anyone up and down the spectrum. There were five layers on it to make sure it matched, and all I could hear is, if I’m a little bit confused by this, I can only imagine how many prospects you’re sitting across from who get lost in that discussion and end out not working with you because they basically just couldn’t actually figure out what you charge and how it works and whether they’re getting a good deal or a bad deal. I’m sure they’re probably getting a good deal, but there were so many layers I’m not even sure people could figure out how to get a good deal or not or what it was really adding up to for them.
So, I don’t want to get too deep into Joe’s fee schedule in particular, like how do you layer together tax services and financial planning services and investment management services. But, to me, the essence of it that I think hits for so many of us is just this idea of you have to be flexible about what you charge because not everybody can pay the same thing and you don’t want to leave opportunity on the table. And I find there’s a lot of trouble and maybe even traps that we seem to get ourselves into if we get too far down this road of I don’t want to leave opportunity on the table.
Carl: Yeah. There’s so much there, right? And by the way, I’m sure Joe or Jill or whatever anonymized person we’re using here…
Michael: Joe. We’ll go with Joe.
Carl: We see these things and they’re incredibly well-intentioned, and I…
Michael: Oh my gosh. Yeah, I just want to help the people I’m across from, charge the full value for people that can really get the full value of my services, and not price out the people who just can’t afford that. I mean that was the essence of it. And I think a lot of us, particularly anyone who’s ever tried to set their own fees where you have to pick a number and then risk that it will exclude some people, we’ve all gone through this.
Carl: Yeah. I just deep, deep empathy for… I just think of the number of hours I spent kind of agonizing over that and just getting comfortable with even… Yeah, but the underlying piece here, I immediately was looking at this through marketing and communication and sort of brand perspective and it’s… So, the question underlying this to me is the most interesting part of it. And we see this fee schedule is just one entry point to this discussion. But we see this when we talk about, should I have a niche, should I have a specialty. All of these other things, anytime we have to have an opinion. I like to use Seth Godin’s words for this is like, “Anytime we have to put ourselves on the hook for something.” And the fee schedule is just another way to stand for something. And again, this has nothing to do…please quickly get out of your head that we’re talking about the debate between different types of fee schedules, so it has nothing to do with that.
But just the idea that… And so, the way I think about this is noise versus signal. And from a marketing perspective, trying to be all the… As soon as you… The language and the feeling from this, at least for me, the way I felt about it was I can’t do that because I would be excluding or leaving people out or missing opportunity for myself. Either way that’s two sides of the same coin. And so, you think what you’re doing is maximizing opportunity and maximizing your service and maximizing your impact, and what it actually turns out to be is noise. And the noise confuses people. And then confused people say, “I’m out.” It wouldn’t take me more than 10 seconds to bump from having to make that decision.
And what we’re saying instead, and we come back to this often because it comes up around marketing, and certainly around niches, is put yourself on the hook. Because what happens is your… And I want you to talk about this…I love this metaphor you have for the confusion we get around the noise because somehow creating noise feels good. It feels like activity. It feels good and there’s no accountability. And what we’re asking you to do is realize that actually becoming a really strong signal is the best way to have the most impact, help the most people, and maximize the opportunity for yourself. And it feels…saying no because you have a deeper yes is the only way to maximize that. So, talk a little bit about that, that sort of analogy you use around the enticement of noise.
Shifting Away From A Client Scarcity Mindset And Focusing On Opportunities Instead [10:28]
Michael: Yeah. So, I want to come back to that in a moment, but I almost think of the challenge here a little bit differently. Because I’m reflecting back to starting days as an advisor. There were two things I was basically taught out of the gate. Client opportunities are incredibly scarce, so anytime you get a chance, you better make the most of it. And activity is what matters. But I mean we often teach that as sort of a mantra early on. Initial clients are a little lumpy. You don’t have a lot of opportunities yet. It’s like, don’t measure the outcomes, because you get a client, then you don’t get one for three months, and you get another one, then you don’t get any for two months. It’s just so lumpy early on that often the advice, and I think in general it’s good advice. It’s don’t measure the outcomes, measure the activity, and we get focused on the activity. You’re like, “How many phone calls did I…” Well, cold calling days. I’m dating myself. How many phone calls, how many dials did you make? How many doors did you knock on? How many approach meetings did you have? How many networking meetings did you go to? How many business cards did you get?
Because we do know, to be fair, if you do enough of the activity at some point some percentage of it’s going to work out. It might be fairly low percentage, but if you do enough dials, knocks, meetings, approach talks, whatever it is, at some point some number of them are going to work out and you very quickly get back to a version, like Nick Murray’s “Game of Numbers.” Just if you do the activity enough, something will shake loose, and the people who do the most activity shake the most things loose. And anytime you get an opportunity actually from a prospect, do whatever you can to close them because you don’t get a lot of those opportunities since you spend 99% of your time striking out in activity-based focus. And maybe this is my baggage of the particular time stamp of when I started in the industry and how we got trained then.
But I hear that mentality. Clients are super scarce. Activity is what mattered. Play the games of numbers. I still hear it very much in advisors today, and I see it expressed in how we go about marketing opportunities like this. Which, to me, gets down to the essence of even where Joe was. There aren’t a lot of opportunities in front of clients. So, when you get in front of anybody, you want to try to close that business and turn them into a client. Because who knows when the next prospect’s going to come? Because the activity stuff has a really low hit rate.
And so, we get stuck to me in this trap because when you get down at the end, I’m only going to have a couple of approach talks a month, and some of us don’t even have that many. It’s like a couple of approach talks a quarter or a couple of approach talks a year. If I’m only going to get a few at a time, my God, you have to make the most of the few that you actually get and that everything builds out. All the concessions, all the accommodations. I don’t want to set a fee schedule out there because one of the very few people might be alienated by that and say no. I don’t want to simplify my fee schedule because then one of the few people I’m sitting across from might not have a fit.
I don’t want to take a stand about any thing or issue that could be controversial in any way because there are so few opportunities, I don’t want to lose the one that’s in front of me. And on the one hand, look, totally get it, lived a version of that myself. Heck, I was so bad at prospecting I couldn’t even do that version of the business early on. It took me 10 years to come back to business development. So, totally get it. But, and the huge but to all of this is, I think in today’s environment, that whole mentality is built around a fundamentally flawed premise of what you’re supposed to measure to figure out what you’re doing is working. The roots of that is all around my personal activity, phone calls, meetings, approach talks, things that I did that interacted with another human being, and then I see how many of the human beings became my clients.
Carl: Hey, I have a question real quick. What’s an approach talk? Are we using a new word?
Michael: Approach talk, like sit down with a prospect and talk to them about themselves and what we do. So, I guess that’s my jargon label for the first meeting with the prospect where they talk about themselves and you talk a little about what you do and you’re trying to figure out whether this is a potential fit that we could work together.
Carl: Okay. I was just trying to make sure you weren’t using a new word for elevator speech.
Michael: No, no, I’m thinking it’s like the first prospect meeting.
Carl: Okay, perfect. Okay, keep going.
Getting Past The Fear Of Alienating Clients To Increase Growth [15:30]
Michael: So, here’s what changed for me. It was starting to build business in the digital environment, like website-based marketing activity. And, well, I guess let me sort of… So, here’s what I would encourage any advisor to do. Go to your website, or I guess call your developer person, whoever handles your website, and have them install Google Analytics if you don’t already have Google Analytics. It’s free. You may need someone to turn it on or configure it for you if you’re not a web person. Most platforms even today have it built in. Get Google Analytics installed if you don’t have it installed. And if you didn’t have it installed, you turn it on, come back in a month, because you’re going to need a couple of weeks of data to do what I’m about to ask you to do.
If you’ve had it installed, great. So, go to Google Analytics and there’s a report that they give. So, Google Analytics tells you how many people are coming to your website and what they’re doing on it. There’s a couple of key numbers that are on it, page views, which is just how many different pages of your website did anyone see. Sessions, which is how many times did a person come to your website and visit around and do a bunch of things. Maybe they went to a bunch of different pages. And users, which is essentially how many unique human beings came to your website this month. Maybe they viewed one page, maybe they viewed lots of pages, maybe they came one time, maybe they came multiple times. How many users? How many human beings showed up on your website?
When I look out at a lot of advisory firm websites, and we’ve kind of done some informal polling around this, most advisors, this number is somewhere of a couple of hundreds a month, which over the span of 30 days is 10 or 20 a day is what it comes down to.
It’s 300 a month is 10 a day, and a couple of thousand a year. That’s where I find a lot of advisory firms are. If you’ve put a lot of money into website marketing and the rest, you could have much, much, much larger numbers than that. But for average advisor, at some point someone told me I needed a website, so I stood up a website, or maybe I hired a web designer and they made it relatively pretty. Go look, you’re probably going to find a number like that. So, let’s pretend for a moment it’s 300 a month. It’s probably a little bit towards the low end for advisors, but it makes the math easy with the 30-month day. So, most advisors are getting almost nothing from their website. It’s not producing a lot of lead flow.
So, I want you to think about this for a moment. Three hundred people a month coming to your website. It’s about 10 a day. So, let’s remove this from the digital realm because I don’t see website-y people. In fact, if you have never installed Google Analytics and looked at the numbers, you might even be surprised to find out that many people are coming to your website because not a lot of them are exactly reaching out.
So, let’s put this in the analog human realm. So, you’re sitting in your lobby at 9:00 a.m. sipping your morning coffee, and a prospect walks in the front door, comes over to whatever your front office, your coffee table, or whatever it is, picks up your little brochure that talks about the firm, looks at it for a few minutes, turns around, and leaves your office. Never even talks to you. You’re sitting right there, doesn’t even talk. Comes in, looks at the stuff on the tables, is like, “Nah,” walks out, as some of us do when we browse stores and don’t necessarily want to talk to the store employees.
Carl: Well wait. If you want to know what this would feel like, remember the last time you went to a financial planning conference and you walked through the vendor hall. And every once in a while, you see… And I purposely go talk to these people because every once in a while, you see somebody who’s like brand new with their startup and you don’t know what it is. It’s a new FinTech thing or it’s a new planning software and hardly anybody’s talking to them. And the pain that you feel that person having, that’s the pain we’re talking about.
Michael: So, an hour goes by and another person comes in. They walk up to the front table, they look around a little, they go to the front desk, they look at some of the stuff there, and then they walk out the door. At 11:00 it happens again, at 12:00 it happens again, at 1:00 it happens again, and then every hour that afternoon it happens again until dinner time, and then finally, people stop coming in because it’s dinner time. And so, over the span of the day, 10 prospects walked into your firm, didn’t even say hello to you, looked at your stuff, and walked out. And it happens every day for a month, which means 300 human beings walked in the front door of your office, stood within 2 feet of you, wouldn’t even acknowledge you and say hello, walked out the door, and you didn’t get one conversation, business card, interaction with any of them.
That’s the average advisor’s website. Now it happens digitally. So, if you don’t turn on Google Analytics, you don’t realize every hour of every day, all month long, hundreds of prospects walk into your digital storefront, look around and leave. And I know a few people are listening are like, “Kitces is smoking crack. I do not have hundreds of prospects visiting my website.” Turn on Google Analytics and look. You do. You do. And there’s more there than you realize.
And someone’s going to say like, “It’s some of my clients.” Okay, that’s why you actually look at users, which is the number of unique human beings. You got a couple hundred that came to your website. Okay, first of all, not all of your clients come to your website every month. In fact, as most of us know from portals, hardly any of them go to our website ever. But okay, you want to allocate 10%, 20% of your clients that come to your website in any particular month. It barely makes a dent in the several hundred visitors that come to your website every month. And for some firms that are more established, it’s several thousand people, which means now there’s a person coming in every 10 minutes of every day all day long, they have to actually be careful not to bump into each other when one’s going out the door, while the next one’s coming in. But the key theme is that not a single blessed one reaches out to you and even says, “Seems like a nice place. Can you tell me a little more about what you do?”
Not a single one even gives you a business card and says, “Looks interesting, I’d like to stay in touch.” Because that would be, you know, in digital terms, a lead magnet that converts to an email, a contact form inquiry. Hundreds of people. So, if you want to measure activity, measure the 300 people that you strike out with every single month because of how you’re holding yourself out on your website and how you’re marketing yourself, and what happens when you try to accommodate so many different things for so many different people that nobody can actually figure out what the heck you do and all of them leave.
And I’m not saying this up to depress anyone or beat anyone up. The reality for anybody that has run any kind of digital business, the truth is in almost any business, minuscule percentages are all you ever can reasonably expect out of a business. But here’s where the mentality shifts. So, imagine for a moment you just put something in your website, like “We specialize in doctors within five years of retirement. And we’re experts at helping you transition into retirement.” Now I don’t know how many people in the general public are doctors, but there are a couple hundred thousand of them. And I would venture to say that the odds are pretty good that if reasonably affluent people are strolling through your digital website, that at least 1 out of every 100 of them could actually be a doctor.
So, if you write a website that basically gives the giant middle finger to 99% of people who are not a doctor within 5 years of retirement looking to sell their medical practice. And it only actually connects with 1 out of 100 people, you’ve build a website that intentionally has a 99% failure rate, you would astronomically increase your growth. You would have 3 highly qualified prospects every month reaching out to you at our 300 rate, which is 36 highly qualified prospects a year. And if you are at all doing a reasonable job at explaining yourself what you do to people that almost by definition are an ideal fit for you, I’m going to venture to say you’re probably closing a third of them. Some people have like 50%, 70% close rates with qualified prospects. We’re going to only say a third, which means 36 prospects in a year and 12 high-quality, ideal clients by intentionally making a website that completely alienates 99% of people.
Because the part that we don’t see is that today most of our websites alienate 99.99% of people, which means if you only make a thing that resonates with 1%, you could 10x your results or more, which, for most advisors, would change the entire trajectory of their career. If I just said 12 clients a year, 1 new client a month just by making your website better, that’s game-changing for a lot of advisors. If you’re really young and new and you’re trying to grow more, you probably want a little more than that. But frankly, you’ve got a lot more time to invest in it, you can make better results. For the average advisor, that’s a game-changer. But the anchor to all of it and the piece that we don’t think about is… Well, I find the average advisor thinks about the handful of prospects they get in front of and whether they can close them and adapting fee schedule and positioning and niche or notice, because we don’t want to alienate them. We do whatever we can to try to keep a high close rate of the few people that we sit in front of. And I think it’s fundamentally the wrong thing to measure because all that is predicated on horrifically inefficient, terrible activity. We focus on the activity, but it’s terrible activity, because when you zoom out to look at how many prospects you’re actually interacting with digitally, you’re alienating 99.9% of them, possibly 99.99% of them, possibly just literally 100% of them because you’ve never gotten a prospect from your website.
And it’s all because we measure the wrong thing. If you don’t look at how many people are actually walking into your storefront and walking out the door, unimpressed by what you’re putting forward, and recognize how game-changing it is to only alienate 99% of them. And I’m not saying you literally have to alienate them, but the point is, if you went that far, it still works in 10xes your results or more.
All it takes is shifting that mindset away from, “I don’t want to leave money on the table,” which is what you say when you view clients as scarce, instead of saying, “How do I just stand out enough to get 1% of what’s already coming my way if I ever bothered to look and see how much is coming my way?” Because 1% of that number is a game-changer for most advisory firms. And again, I’m just talking about this in the context of an individual solo. You get a larger firm with multiple advisors and a marketing person, your numbers are probably not a few hundred a month, it’s a few thousand a month, which just means you could be doing 10 clients a month instead of 1 client a month like the average solo, then the numbers scale quite well.
But it’s a mindset shift to stop just measuring the activity and then trying to close the very few opportunities that you get from it. Zoom out and look at your total opportunity set, and, no offense, how much worse you’re striking out now, because most of us get zero goose eggs from our website. And if you measure how much is there and realize how much you can grow by only being relevant to 1% of them, that’s the game-changing opportunity.
Carl: Yeah. I feel like I could just say amen, but let me just… There’s just two things that come up for me. One is the mindset, and then I think it’s fun to play the, “Well, what’s the alternative?” game, which you just spelled out the alternative. But there’s an assumption that’s being made that I have an alternative. Like the assumption…
Michael: Well, we’re living the alternative.
Carl: I know that’s why…
Michael: I do as many different things for as many different prospects and just hope that I can connect with a few of them to get their super scarce clients.
Why Being Relevant To A Smaller Segment Of Clients Leads To Warmer Prospects [29:22]
Carl: Totally. And we’ve just been doing that unintentionally. We’ve thought that that’s the best way. And I think now you sort of get a feeling like everyone doesn’t exist. It maybe everyone existed back when we had three TV channels and nightly news. Most of you won’t even remember that. There was a time when the only source of information was three TV channels. There was that fourth one that was educational, but that doesn’t exist anymore. And then, the second piece that I think’s really, really interesting that we all have a tendency to do is, as soon as you put yourself on the hook for anything… And again, this is the way you talk about your fees, this is your specialty, this is how you meet with people, it’s the way you dress. Anything opinionated about how you do your business, as soon as you put yourself on the hook for anything, you’re going to get feedback from people who are just outside of that circle. And you’re going to want to say, “No, but everybody.” You’re going to take that one piece of feedback and you’ll conflate it.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had either somebody walk me off the ledge or I’ve walked somebody else off the ledge and saying, “Wait, when you say everyone walk me through, are you getting that feedback?” “Well no, but my sister mentioned it.” “Wait, wait, wait, wait. So your sister mentioned it. That’s everyone?” And you see this how hard it is with building a tech company. We call this feature creep.
How hard it is to say, “No, I’m not going to add that because we’re going to execute on this.” And the thing, when you think about these websites, you’re like, “Man, imagine the difference.” And even more clear than… I mean doctors five years from retirement is awesome, right? The more clear we can get, it’s the… And then, we can still do all the Nick Murray numbers, right? Then we have a game to play. Now we can say, “Okay, upstream, where’s my traffic coming from?” So, if you imagine you increase from 1%, you go from 0% to 1%, that’s game-changing. You go from 1% to 5% because you increase the upstream traffic, your traffic sources. You’re on the right podcast, you’ve written a book, you’ve done content marketing, your message on LinkedIn matches. So, more of the people who it resonates with. Now you’re converting 5%. You’ve gone from 0% to 1% to 5%.
And like you said, we’ve got people who are thoughtful about this that go to 30%, 40% of at least signing up for a call to action, which is a permission to communicate again. So, that game becomes much more interesting, and now you’re still doing all the same Nick Murray activity, maybe not the exact same knocking on doors, but you’re doing…metaphorically, you’re still…we’re not saying do less activity, it’s just this gives you the tool to get really thoughtful about it, which I think is so smart.
Michael: So yeah. As we wrap up, again, there’s one thing you can take away. Look, a lot of us, we’re trained to measure activity. Activity leads to some number of prospects, and then we close a portion of them and we look at a close rate. If there’s one thing that you take away from this, get Google Analytics installed, go look at that number of users over the span of a month, and tell me what your prospect rate is. What portion of people who came to your website over the past month actually reached out to you to do business? And for almost everyone, it’s going to be 0%.
Carl: So don’t feel bad.
Michael: Don’t feel bad. And for a lot, it might be a higher number because you got one this month, but then you haven’t had any for six months. If you had Google Analytics for a while, do it for a year just to get the averaging note to smooth out. Most advisors this is somewhere between 0% and 0.1%. So 99.9% or more don’t like what you have to say. And so instead of anchoring it like, “Hey, I got a 30% or 40% or 50% close rate, how do I get it to 60% or 70%?” Get your prospect rate, and it’s going to be darn near 0 to 0.1. And think about it from there, if you could just get 1%. You’ve got an actual number of people that’ll be because you’ve looked up how many people come to your website every month. So, you can calculate 1% of that, like that many in qualified prospects. Would that change your business, even though it knowingly is going to turn off 99% of prospects? That would actually be a great improvement. Look at your prospect rate as the thing to improve, and what you’ll realize if you want to improve that prospect rate, you have to say something that’s meaningful to someone. You have to say something…
Michael: …that’s meaningful to someone. Because literally 100% of them right now are walking in the digital storefront and walking out.
Carl: Yeah, we’ve got to do one thing though, Michael. We got to tie this back to fees. That’s how we got into this thing.
Michael: Do all that and then realize you’re really…Joe’s really complex fee schedule is one of the many reasons that Joe’s hit rate on his website is zero right now. Frankly, there’s a lot of things that go into how do you get that number from 0.1 to 0.2 to 0.5 to 1%? It’s a whole bunch of things around clarity, who you serve, how you message them, what the calls to action are, how you price. There’s a whole bunch in that. We can maybe come back to that as a future episode or a few, because there’s a lot in there. But the core of it to me is just we anchor to the wrong number. Start with how many prospects do you get in a month or a year if you’ve had it installed for a while to look, how many prospects actually reach out to you and begin the prospect process, and how do you make that number bigger than 0 or 0.1? Because there’s a lot you can do to get that to 1%. And for most of us, that would be game-changing.
Carl: Yeah. And as it relates to the fee schedule, the word you used, which I think just can be the thread through this whole thing is obviously the prospect thing, but clarity. The clearer we can be, the simpler we can make it, the less friction, the less mental cognitive dissonance that I generate, the better. So, amen Michael. Super fun.
Michael: Awesome. Thank you, Carl.