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Technology Singularity and the Client Experience – with Ron Carson

Technology Singularity with Ron Carson

If you look at the difference between success and failure, many times it has to do with what we choose to spend our time on. It is that simple.

So I’m excited to have a very special guest on the show to discuss my favorite topic: avoiding distraction.

The reality is that it is no longer acceptable for clients to experience complex or confusing technology.  In our discussion, Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group, will share how advisors can (and why they must) embrace the client demand for an immersive experience.

According to Ron, “There’s no question about the consolidation that has to happen in financial services. Most advisors have been lucky, they’ve been spared this accelerated change because of regulation. But guess what – that isn’t going to last forever.  And we’re already starting to see the changes.”

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • The invisible influences shaping the profession of financial advising today
  • Why the real competition isn’t other advisors anymore – it’s Amazon
  • What an immersive technology experience really is and why consumers prefer it
  • What will happen to advisors who lag behind in terms of technology
  • What Singularity is and how it applies to the financial advising profession
  • The 3 choices that advisors who are lagging behind in terms of technology should consider

Thanks for listening. Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

Resources mentioned in this show:

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Swag like Swedroe: Communication Tips from an Investment Thought Leader

Communication tips from Larry Swedroe

What can I say, he’s got swag. And here’s what you can learn from him if you are an investment professional looking to stop being part of the noise that gets ignored.

I was honored to have one of the “greats” in the investment world on my show this episode. Today we welcome Larry Swedroe, a widely recognize investment thought leader and the director of research for The BAM Alliance, a community of more than 140 independent registered investment advisors throughout the country.

As brilliant as Larry is as an investor, he’s made his mark on the world in an important way: earning a position as a thought leader by adeptly communicating with investors, financial advisors, and the investment community at large.

And this skill is becoming more valuable by the minute.

In a world of fee compression, smart beta, low cost TAMPs, and next to zero management fee ETFs, it’s clear that anyone charging a fee for investment advice is going to have to fight for it. The human touch that a credible investment manager brings is irreplaceable.

Larry is going to share with us some ways to improve your ability to reach clients, and it is advice that anyone in the investment industry should consider.

Hear Larry’s thoughts on the following:

  • You’ve made quite a name for yourself as an investment expert. Why do you think people like listening to you talk about investments, a subject that is typically dry and unappealing?
  • You recently described a technique used when a client asks a question – you write about it in a blog. I do this also. Tell me more about what you’ve seen as the results of this communication.
  • You write for AP and also What have you seen as the most effective writing techniques that have gotten people engaged? Does this drive leads for you?
  • In your current role, you’re a mentor of sorts for the advisors at BAM. Tell us some of the wisdom you’ve imparted to them that has made a difference about how to run their practices from an investment perspective.

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

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Exclusive Workshop February 12th

Are you Creating an Allure on LinkedIn?
Or, is your profile saying the same bland old story as 99% of people like you, touting your credentials and experience while failing to create any Intrigue or Curiosity in the minds of those you wish to attract?
Join me for my Exclusive Workshop that is limited to only 10 participants via online conference call on at 12 PM EST on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019.
You’ll learn:
  • How to attract potential clients on LinkedIn by creating a profile that Allures, Intrigues, and Captivates them so they become attracted to you enough to hear what you have to say
  • What each part of your LinkedIn profile page (header, photo, summary, etc.) needs to do to attract people to you
  • What not to write if you don’t want to turn people off
  • How to motivate people to take action and contact you


For more information about how to access similarly informative content, please contact me.
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Vid 10 – What to Say When Someone Asks You to Connect on LinkedIn

When someone asks you to connect on LinkedIn, don’t assume you know the reason why. There may be valuable business opportunities waiting to be uncovered. Here’s what to say to these unexpected requests if you want to max out the value of every single relationship possible!
To access this post, you must purchase Membership Portal.
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Is the Future of Advisor Software Free?

Future of financial advisor software

While the rest of the world offers free software like YouTube, Adobe, Evernote, Spotify, etc., financial services has resisted. Today I’m talking to David Lyon, Founder and CEO of Oranj, about how this model may just be the future of financial advisor software.

Listeners will learn:

  • Why free software, more scalable, is the way that you build really good software
  • Why free platforms are getting the traction that they are outside of finance
  • What David is seeing the factors impacting independent financial advisors that will require software to be low or no cost in the future
  • What happened to the music industry over the last 20 years and how finance may be following the same path
  • How the economics of free software work – is free really free? Is it really viable for financial advisors to use free software?
  • David’s 3 tidbits of advice for a financial advisor who is looking at any piece of free software

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

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Using Your CFA Designation to Power Your Private Wealth Practice

How CFA charterholders can develop their wealth management practices

Here’s my interview with Bob Dannhauser , head of Private Wealth Management at the CFA Institute, about the special tools that CFA® charterholders have available to them to develop their wealth management practices.

You will learn:

  • The character attributes that a CFA®charterholder may have that high net worth clients welcome
  • How the CFA Institute is now preparing private wealth professionals (as opposed to institutional investment managers) to excel
  • The clout of the CFA designation versus other designations that you can buy or that don’t carry as much  merit in the private wealth space
  • Why you shouldn’t write off the CFA candidate or member pool as non-viable prospects and how to find the people within these populations that could be your clients
  • The value of emotional intelligence and why it should be developed
  • What the CFA Institute has coming down the pike in Feb 2019 in terms of tools and resources designed to help private wealth advisors
  • Online CFA Institute resources and how to make the most out of them to develop new clients for your private wealth practice

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!


Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Marketing Tips for CFA® Charterholders


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What’s Risk Got to do With It?

This podcast discusses a better way for financial advisors to assess risk with Aaron Klein.

I felt it was important to have a discussion about risk because over and over again in my interviews with my advisor clients, client misunderstanding of risk keeps coming up as the #1 reason that advisors lose clients. Or, that a problem with the client’s understanding of risk creates so much tension that it puts the relationship in turmoil.

I have seen even the most experienced advisors, those with 30 years in the business, struggle with getting this wrong and losing clients. It’s a serious problem. Of all the things that cost your business money, losing a client is one of the most costly. Plus there are reputational, morale, and legal issues that may come along with it.

The advisor and client seem to be diametrically opposed in some cases.

  • One on side, you have the advisor whose probably number one liability is getting sued over a portfolio performance issue.
  • On the other side, you have the client who wants to maximize the value of your services by achieving better performance than what they could get on their own. Some clients want this more than others, but in the back of their minds, they all expect you to do better than they could do. (Real talk). You can say all you want about the value of planning and tax advice but if you’re managing their investments, this is what they expect.

How do you make the client see risk from a rational perspective without boring them or talking in technical mumbo jumbo that goes over their head? How do you really grasp the level of risk they are really comfortable taking? How do you do all of this without misleading them or creating a legal liability?

It takes skill and knowledge and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

Take control back by getting a handle on how you discuss risk with clients. I’m honored to have one of the industry’s best to talk about that here with us today, Aaron Klein of Riskalyze. Enjoy the show!

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Common Objections to Joining my Membership

Common objections to joining Sara Grillo's membership.

I’ve lately come to embrace the view that whenever someone objects to buying a service that I offer, I should pay attention to what they’re saying because they’re probably not the only ones thinking that way.

Here are my responses to the common questions that people tend to have when they are considering joining my membership. Maybe some of these have crossed your mind and if so I hope you find these answers useful!

Why is there a $100 sign up fee?

I hear you. People are often curious why there is a $100 fee for sign up due when you join the membership (monthly ongoing fee is $35/month).

This is because there is a significant amount of background work that goes into onboarding each member to the back end of the portal, LinkedIn group, webinar list, etc at inception so that everything runs smoothly. In addition, sometimes the members will require some help navigating the startup and accessing the content. I’ve created a FAQs document that they can use which addresses most issues, but sometimes there is more onboarding work that needs to be done.

You create free editorial content frequently (articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, webinars). Why should I pay for this membership when I get an email in my inbox from you each week for free?

Good point.

My membership provides you with:

  • Three short training videos. The videos are typically less than 10 minutes long and demonstrate steps to follow to attract new prospects online.
  • One exclusive interactive membership webinar in which I demonstrate the training video tactics via screen share and you can ask questions.
  • Access to coaching through my exclusive members-only LinkedIn group in which I will provide guidance and advice on the tactics I’ve demonstrated.

The membership content differs from my editorial content in a few important ways:

  • My videos demonstrate the actual steps you take in an easy to follow format and the replay is available on demand. You see the LinkedIn tactics demonstrated. In contrast, in my blogs and podcast I only describe these in general terms and no concrete steps are outlined. I may give an example but those are words only, not live, step by step instructions that are demonstrated with real life examples you can see.
  • In 2019, my editorial content is going to cut down a bit in volume and also it will be focused less on the nitty gritty of LinkedIn strategy and online branding and more upon my thought leadership and keynote speaking.
  • It’s not just articles; it’s coaching, too. While very few people take me up on this, you do get online coaching through the members LinkedIn group. You can also ask me questions on the members only webinar each month. While you’re not getting direct one on one phone time, you are getting access to my consultative advice which on an individual basis goes for $250/hour. So if you do the math on that, just because you’re getting the advice in a group setting, you’re saving a huge amount of money.

There are so many LinkedIn messaging programs. Why should I pick yours?

Yeah, I’m with you on that!

You’re probably saying this because you’ve checked out some of these artificial intelligence type LinkedIn messaging programs. They say they’ll send 100 messages from your LinkedIn ID to viable prospects every week or something like that, right?

Here’s what’s they’re missing (btw, I made a YouTube video summarizing the problem with social media AI services if you want to watch me instead):

  • After a certain number of unresponded to connection messages, LinkedIn (in the past) has put people into the “doghouse” where your ability to message new people without their emails is taken away. I can’t say for sure this is what they’ll do going forward but LinkedIn has recently taken many steps to eliminate spamming and it’s likely they’re not going to let people get away with mass messaging for too long.
  • When you are communicating one on one with another person, there is quite simply no shortcut to sincerity. If you want to get somebody to pay attention to you, you’ve got to pay attention to them first. In my membership I show you how to do this in a way that can build your pipeline over time.

Simply put, there’s no substitute for quality and authenticity. Although I’m a big fan of scalability, unfortunately with most of these LinkedIn messaging services you’ll just be paying to become part of the noise in their inbox that people want to ignore.

Authenticity wins. Without it, there’s no basis for growth and nothing to scale in the first place.

I already have LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Great! My membership is extremely complementary with LinkedIn Navigator.  From Navigator you’ll be able to find people easily and that’s where my membership is really useful: knowing what to say, how to follow up, what to post to your feed, etc. so that you can get meetings with the people you find through searches.

There are so many LinkedIn training programs. Why should I pick yours?

In addition to the reasons stated in the response to the question above, the advantage is time efficiency.

My training videos are less than 10 minutes long and some are only 2-3 minutes long only. This was designed for busy people who don’t have a ton of time to spend on LinkedIn but still want to take action to get results.

Let’s be real: what financial advisor has time to sit around and be on social media all day?

What are the training videos about?

Here are the titles of the first 10 videos:

  • Getting Center of Influence Leads through LinkedIn Search
  • How to Not Screw Up Talking to a COI on LinkedIn
  • The Easiest Possible Way to Get a COI’s Attention on LinkedIn
  • How to Look Cool (Not Sleazy) in LinkedIn Groups
  • The Fun Way to Meet Prospects in LinkedIn Groups
  • Creating a LinkedIn Community That Rocks
  • December Bonus Video  – Proven Lead Generation
  • Rebranding Your LinkedIn Profile
  • The 1,2,3 Combo
  • 4 Killer Ideas for LinkedIn Content

A few sample links are included below.

How To Not Screw Up Talking To A COI On LinkedIn – Video 2

Rebranding Your LinkedIn Profile for Conversions

What results/ROI do people get?

I would never offer advice that I myself would not follow. I’ve used these techniques for years and my experiences, successes, and failures form the basis for this membership content. Using these techniques has brought me clients, speaking engagements, introductions to hard to meet people, and it’s all happened in a natural way that everyone was comfortable with.

Although the membership itself is at its nascency at the time of me writing this article, people are already getting these results. Some have reported getting meetings and referrals from COIs. Others have said that it has led them to expand their networks in ways they never thought and has been a great benefit as a result.

I can also tell you that in my overall work with advisors as a marketing coach (those who aren’t on my membership), many of them have had success using the techniques that I teach in my membership.

I’m not sure I can afford this. I want to make sure I keep total marketing costs down.

Right on. I love smart buyers and I myself am careful when it comes to spending.

If you would like a marketing budget sheet, I can send it to you. This will help you get a handle on your overall marketing costs for the year.

Having said that, this is arguably the best value out there that you can get for $35 a month. You’ll be guided through how to run a LinkedIn campaign to your target market from start to finish. If you bought this advice from me on an individual basis it would run you $250/hour.

This was created for the financial advisor who either:

  • is disciplined enough to drive the marketing effort themselves instead of hiring somebody else
  • can’t afford a huge marketing bill each month (bluntly put)

Let’s say you were to invest time in watching my videos, doing what the instructions say, and taking advantage of the opportunity to get coaching from my webinars or LinkedIn groups. All of the resources available to you through this membership are worth well over the $35 you’d pay each month (and of course the $100 sign up fee due at inception).

We’re too tightly regulated, especially when it comes to social media.

Let’s be real; financial advisor compliance at some shops is downright stifling.

The good news is that my whole approach to marketing is geared towards getting you away from how advisors typically behave (which compliance isn’t such a fan of) and more towards acting like a natural human being. And compliance usually has very few bones to pick with that, because we’re steering clear of the technical stuff.

I’m creating a new way of communicating and that applies to everything you do as an advisor, from social media to blogs, speaking engagements, the whole enchilada.

And if your social media compliance team has really got you on lock down, there’s still a great deal of value in knowing how to use LinkedIn as a research tool. I cover this in my first few videos. Some of these techniques don’t have to be executed through LinkedIn; you can use social media for the research and actually execute the communication through email.

Sara’s Upshot

Did I cover it all? If I’ve addressed your doubts, please go ahead and click here.

If not, I want to hear from you. What did I miss? Please go ahead and send me a message through my contact form and let me know what else is on your mind.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll join me as a guide through your LinkedIn journey!