Your M.A.P. for Growth


Understanding behavior is an important part of building a relationship with your clients. There are lots of different ideas about why we do the things we do. Just as important is understanding why we, as advisors, do what we do.

I’m currently reading a book called Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything by BJ Fogg. In the book, the author discusses the Fogg Behavioral Model, which is actually pretty simple to understand.

Fogg basically states that behavioral changes can be condensed down to the anacronym M.A.P.: motivation, ability, prompt. Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Motivation: We’re generally all motivated to be successful in our business right now. And some of us are motivated to grow and become more profitable and efficient. We’re always looking for more AUM and more of the right clients.

Ability: We also generally have the ability to make changes that increase our success, if we’re willing to put in the work. For example, we have the ability to ask for referrals. With a larger base of clients, it would be easier to duplicate our top 10 or 20% than it was when we were starting out.

Prompt: This is the one I want you to really think about. Is there anything prompting you to change right now? Because M.A. isn’t enough. You must have the P. Without it, you haven’t completed the map and won’t have the direction necessary to achieve your desired results. You’ll just keep moving along, same as always.

During the past six months, we’ve experienced firsthand just how important behavioral changes are. Have you had clients who left because of a bad experience with current market conditions? Or a family that is unhappy about how well their assets were managed during retirement years? Both of these negatives might just be prompts for change — but only if you act on them in a timely manner.

The reality, of course, is that we would rather have a positive prop. We want to make sure that we make those changes. That we provide the best opportunity for the clients to succeed in retirement. And that we get the beneficiaries involved in the conversation as soon as possible. These are all positive prompts. And they are much more welcome than a disgruntled client.

If you’re ready to grow and are looking for your positive prompt, reach out to our Retirement Income Consultants at (800) 589-3000. Talk to us about how we can help you grow your business, attract quality people and, most importantly, remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement that we’ve ever seen.


Transformational Tactic

Create a M.A.P for success by finding your motivation, making the adjustments you are able to, and finding positive prompts for change.

Why Words Matter


Communication and staying connected seem to be top of mind nowadays as we navigate our virtual world. We’ve had more than six months to work on new ways to keep relationships strong, and our clients and colleagues have adapted as well. One thing I’ve discovered is that now, more than ever, what we say matters at least as much as how we say it.

It’s important to communicate properly if you want to keep your clients and grow your business. To do this, there are a few key points to focus on.


  1. Focus on your client. And by focus, I mean really concentrate. on the focus on your client. Too many times I see financial planners talk about themselves, about their credentials, and about their years in the business. There is a proper time for that—after all, you want your client to have confidence in your skills. But always remember that your clients are coming to you to solve a problem, and that needs to be the focus.  How are you going to solve that problem? And what other areas of the client’s journey can you help with?
  2. Practice empathy. Our clients need to be assured that we understand their problem and that we’ve experienced that very same problem and we know exactly how to solve that problem.
  3. Communicate that process. As a CFP, I know that there are more than 100 different things that you look at when working on a financial plan. But when you’re talking with clients, you are not advising. You’re selling and marketing. You need to keep the process very simple, so they can understand in broad terms how they’ll be meeting their goals

If you concentrate on those things, you will have a clear message. Your clients will understand how you can help them, allowing you to attract more clients, grow your assets and remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement our country has ever seen.

Please give us a call at (800) 589-3000. Learn more about how we can help you with your brand messaging or attend one of our upcoming workshops.

Transformational Tactic

A clear brand message will strengthen client relationships, attract new clients and allow you to grow your business.

Keeping Up with Amazon


I was at a retail store over the weekend, and as I was checking out, the UPS man dropped off some additional supplies. The shop owners stopped and commented that UPS now has their people working on Saturdays as well. The UPS driver responded that by the beginning of next year, he was going to have to start working on Sundays as well. He added, “I have to keep up with Amazon.”

So, my question for you. Are you ready to keep up with Amazon when they enter the financial services space?

At some point, Amazon will most likely enter our business — if they haven’t already. Different online insurance agencies have begun peppering our clients for information to win their business. But if we continue to add value, we make ourselves irreplaceable. What is changing, however, is how people interact with us and how they choose financial planners. Type in the words financial professional, financial planner or financial services into your search engine and you’ll find 20 million hits on any one of those keywords. The way people buy things are completely different from just 10 years ago. Purchases are being driven by the changing behaviors that Amazon has created.

So, how do you cut through all the noise?

Think about how you last purchased something. Did you look online? Most likely you looked at the ratings and read some of the other reviews that previous buyers posted on the product. Searching online before buying is a material change in the way people look at how they buy products and services. They look online for words and reviews that convince them of the value of what they are buying.  

 In the financial services industry, this has a significant impact. There are three things to consider when shaping your digital presence.

  1. Change how you’re positioning yourself. With more than 20 million hits on keywords involving financial planning, you must cut through the noise, clarify your message and be crystal clear about what you do. To do that, you need to segment and target your prospective clients and make sure they understand the meaning of your message. This will attract the quality prospects you really want into your practice.

  2. Make your client the hero of their journey. Every one of us is the hero of our own journey. So, if you try to be the hero of your client’s journey, you will run a parallel path. When you become their guide, however, and help them find their way on the path, you prove your value.

  3. Maintain a nurturing email campaign. Once you have established yourself as a guide, you need to nurture your clients. Switching from attracting clients to nurturing them cannot just be a simple crossover. In today’s world, you can continue to nurture and to build trust digitally. Your nurture campaign can be programmed to deliver your message and continue to clarify your role as a guide. It can be customized for different audiences. It can allow you to speak personally to each client, while still taking advantage of automation. To make it work, however, requires effort upfront and a solid message. And it requires the ability to reevaluate and adapt to meet your clients’ current needs.


By focusing on these three changes, you will open yourself up to greater success both now and in the future. You’ll attract quality people, grow your assets under management and then ultimately remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement our country has ever seen.

It sounds like a daunting task. But it is possible.  Reach out to our team and learn more about how we’re here to help you become a High Performing Practice. After all, Amazon didn’t start out as the force it has become. Like other growing companies, Amazon watched, adapted and automated. And so can you.

Transformational Tactic

Cutting through the noise of today’s digital world is essential to remaining relevant. We can help.

Driving a Successful Retirement


Are your clients relying on Social Security to fund their retirement? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. In fact, for 61% of us, the majority of our retirement income will come from Social Security.

The trouble with that strategy is that Social Security is set to decrease by 24% by the year 2034. With the pandemic and current economic downturn, it could happen even quicker. So, if your clients fit into that majority, it’s time to consider options that will protect their retirement despite this decrease.

Driving a car, or a career, requires focus. But how do you know what to focus on? In both cases, there’s not a single answer. You must be focused on your destination, of course, but also be watching for signs along the road. I believe that you need to focus simultaneously on short-term, intermediate and long-term goals all at once. And while it does require concentration, it’s not as impossible as it sounds.

When I was learning to drive a car, either my mom or my dad was always in the passenger seat reminding me to scan the horizon. They taught me to focus on intermediate distance — what was coming up ahead a few miles —but to also pay attention to what was happening close to the car in case something jumped out at the last second. And, of course, I needed to make sure I was making the proper turns to reach my destination — my long-term goal.

Focusing on short-term, intermediate and long-term goals also applies to retirement income planning.

It’s too important an issue to ignore when discussing income retirement plans with your clients. And, depending on where your clients live, I want to share a possible solution. It’s an annuity that addresses the unknowns of Social Security.

There’s a lot going on in today’s market.  We’re experiencing short-term volatility, largely fueled by the upcoming election. Intermediate problems are the result of the federal government announcing that they’re not planning to raise rates until 2024. It’s extremely difficult to generate income yield in a low-interest-rate environment. And finally, Social Security is at a risk for a reduction sometime between 2031 and 2035, depending upon where you think that the impact of the economic downturn will hit.

So, how do you make sure that you’re focusing in on three things?  Start by planning with all three — short-term, intermediate and long-term — concerns in mind. Just as when you’re driving a car, you should be scanning for all those varying concerns and preparing solutions for your client that address them. And most importantly, you need to be guided by the question: “How can I create a legacy for that next generation so that my client doesn’t run out of money?” And, while doing that, how can you take the risk of Social Security off the table for all your clients — not just the wealthy ones? Because the impact of reduced Social Security could be 24% or more.

Planning successfully for your current clients will help you reach your long-term goal of securing the next generation. It’s by far the least expensive client acquisition and client retention strategy available. If you’re looking for ways to take your business to the next level, make your business a High Performing Practice and learn how to behave, act and think differently to successfully navigate the greatest transition from the workforce to retirement I encourage you to reach out to our sales desk at (800) 589-3000.

We can help you take your business to the next level.

Transformational Tactic

Don’t ignore short-term and intermediate goals. They are essential to hitting the long-term goals of successful retirement and satisfied clients.