Weekly Insights to Help You Craft the Ultimate Advising Practice

EPISODE 115: Reframing Your Relationships and Expectations

In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we dive into the concept of growing your business by working on your client's needs and finding what they lack. Today’s episode is focused on the importance of nurturing your relationships with clients and exceeding their expectations. We look at the significance of setting time frames and expectations for your client to establish confidence in the relationship.  So push PLAY and join us as we discuss the importance of developing relationships with your clients!



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INTRO  00:08

This is the ultimate advisor podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful and scalable practice. Each week we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations, helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets, and to create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by our hosts Bryan sweet, who is moving fast towards a billion dollars in assets under management, Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to improve their operations and company culture, and Draye Redfern who can help you systematize and automate your practices marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what do you say? Let's jump in to another amazing episode of the ultimate advisor podcast.


Brittany Anderson  01:07

Welcome back to your ultimate advisor podcast. Brittany Anderson here today with the one and only Bryan sweet. And the reason that our dear friend Draye Redfern isn't here is he actually recently at the time of recording welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their wonderful, cute, adorable little family. So we are so excited for for Dre and for his wife, Andrea and for their girls. And just all that comes with that. So we're gonna dive into an interesting series that we get asked about a lot. The theme for the next few episodes is how to grow your business, regardless of your demographics. So we get asked all the time within suite financial how we have managed to build the company up to manage nearly a billion dollars in assets under management at the time of this recording, in a town of 10,000. People. Yes, you heard that correctly, we are in a town, our offices in a town of 10,000. So I would love to be able to tell you that it's some fancy marketing strategy, those things definitely help. But that's not necessarily the big salt. It's not some secret referral language that you know, we are just learning how to say something the specific way those things help to. But that's not necessarily what builds a firm in this area of the country or where we're at, to the level that we've gotten to. In reality. It's all about relationships, and just taking really really darn good care of people. It's interesting, because as we coach advisors from all across the country, people get hung up on, you know, what's sexy, what's exciting at this time, what's going to be that next ticket to massive growth. And while some may tell you there's a secret formula, or there's, you know, some something that's going to be new, hot and amazing, that's going to help you get to every goal you've ever imagined. The reality is, is you just have to care about people, and you got to take care of them. And you have to be consistent and do what you say when you say you're going to do it. Those are the things that help you stand out. And those are the things that differentiate. So Bryan, I think this is just such an interesting conversation. And you and I talk about this all the time. So I'd love for you to kind of jump in and and let's talk a little bit more about how, you know you've really built the business around the whole concept of under promise over deliver.


Bryan Sweet  03:38

Oh, absolutely. Brittany love to one of the things I want to do first, though, is to take off in your little comment about Dre and the new addition to his family. Congratulations. We're also happy for you. But back to business. So yeah, that's it's really, I think one of the things that you always want to be mindful of is trying to equal or exceed your clients expectations. And how do you do that? Well, the first thing you need to know is what are your clients expectations. And what I have found works amazingly well is when you have a project or you're doing something for a client, and you need to get back to them, instead of assuming the date is three days from today. I always ask the question, if I got this back to you by this date, would that be okay with you? And if the client says no, then you know, you have to back that up and you need to get done a little bit sooner. But what I found is by asking that their timeframes are typically longer than our timeframes and it actually buys you more time. And then if you are really good at it, and you at least meet the date that they said, but maybe delivered a day or too early, just think about that you're going to look really, really good in their eyes. And that'll also apply going forward that, well, if you did this in a timely manner or even exceeded my expectations, that's probably how you do everything. So I think that's really the, you know, one of the key things and one of the other things we like to spend time on is not so much talking about returns, but what's the client experience, and we're constantly working on how do we make that experience even better? I think those of you that compare your returns to the s&p, you might want to rethink that. Because what really happens is, if you're happened to be hot, then you happen to have the hot money. And as soon as somebody else shows some results, there's not really any loyalty because all they're doing is chasing returns. But if you give them a unique experience that they've never gotten before, and deliver things, in an experience that's unique, and they've not had before, those clients tend to stay around forever, because they don't see that very often. And it's just like service at a restaurant, it stands out when it's exceptional. And I think today, everybody's gotten to the point where if it's poor, that's kind of normal. So anything to do with the client experience, spend some time on, and try to make it better each and every day, you might even want to think about having some mystery shoppers come by your office and ask questions and and then have a debrief as to, you know, what did they think of the building when it looked, you know, what it looked like? And how was My greeting? And did they ask these questions, things like that. But we spend an exorbitant amount of time and then literally zero talking about performance, because their experience is all based on our dream architect process, which really has everything to do with what do they want to accomplish in life, what are their dreams, what are their goals, and that's really, really important to them, and rate or return, they have to get a rate of return to get those goals. But if you build it into part of the experience, you'll have much better luck. And as Brittany alluded to, we've had some very good success in a very small town. And I think part of that I would actually say it can be treated as even a positive being in a small town. Because if you do things right, and you do get back to people, you are going to stand out, much greater than if you're in a town of a million people. But also, if you don't do things, or you have a bad reputation, it'll also get around very fast. So you just have to be very, very aware of what you're doing and meet and exceed expectations all the time. And one of the other things when we're talking about differentiation, is you need to do what others won't do in order to stand out. And I think that is really critical. I think others watch what people do, and that are successful, and then they try to repeat what that is. And I would look at that differently and go who's the most successful advisors in your area? And what are they doing, and let's do something completely different. So I stand out. So look at that a little bit differently, I think you'll have some amazing luck by being aware of what your competition does. And then making yourself different from that. And one of the other things I think is really critical is this is a long term game, as Brittany alluded to, it's not some fancy marketing, some referral language. It is really about relationships and taking care of people. But relationships don't necessarily happen overnight. Sometimes people aren't ready to do business with you. And it takes time to develop. And one of the things that you need to do is consistently help people first, deliver value, and the results will follow. And if you just continually give good information, follow up with people, you would be amazed at people that call one year, five years, 10 years down the road when they're retiring and their 401k is now maturity, if you will, since they're not working. And so you want to not get so excited about I have to close every piece of business today. But look at it as a long term venture, you're in this for your career, and what can I do to help every person I'd love to work with in the future understand and appreciate what we do as a firm, and continue to deliver that till they actually need your services. And if you do that consistently, I would say 99% of the time that will ultimately come back to you.


Brittany Anderson  10:16

Hey, Brittany here, stopping and pausing for a moment to talk about something that we've had so many of you inquire about, and that is our ultimate advisor, mastermind. Now, I'm going to start by saying, if you are not a growth minded individual, if you are not somebody who's focused on taking your business to the next level, if you're not focused on engaging your team, and helping them to help you, in turn, level up that business, the service model, how you provide that wow experience to clients. If those things are not your focus, just fast forward right now, because the ultimate advisor mastermind would not then be for you. However, if you are looking to take your business to the next level, if you want to experience exponential growth and feel supported along the way, if you want to start working smarter and not harder, if you want to help your team members to work within the God given talents that they were provided, and use those skill sets in a way they haven't yet to help support you and your business, to help them realize their biggest goals, their biggest dreams. If you want creative approaches to marketing, I know that can be an intimidating word. But we're not talking here about the fancy Facebook stuff, or you know, the latest and greatest, but rather looking at how you can market what you do, how you can express how you're different, and how you can truly differentiate yourself in a crowded market space. If those are problems you're looking to solve, then you absolutely want to go check out ultimate advisor to learn more about how we can help you on your path and journey to growth.


Bryan Sweet  12:15

So Brittany, I'd love you to share a little bit more on you know, anything that maybe I didn't allude to that you think's important from that standpoint.


Brittany Anderson  12:25

So there's two things that I want to press on here. Number one, Bryan, you talked so much about being helpful and building the relationship and how people have to understand that it's a long game. So when we're looking at our prospect list, per se, when we're looking at essentially kind of the next person that we may be able to add value to, we're having conversations around how can we actually help them? Or who can we help next? And I think something that that's done is it's really a reframing, because in order to truly help somebody, you need to understand what their problem is. And you have to understand where they're lacking in value and where you can fill that gap. So I think that's a whole reframing, when you're looking at it instead of well, who am I going to do business with next, business is transactional, helpful or being helpful in that nature is relational. So I think that's a reframing for our industry as a whole is to make sure that when you're looking at these, you're not just seeing dollar signs. Yes, that's what drives our business. And that's what helps us be able to put more value back into the world. But that's not the frame when you're looking at actually building that long term relationship. The other thing that has really stood out, you know, especially lately, Bryan, and you can jump in on this at any time, too. But when we give our tour of the office, there's two things that continually jump out that people kind of linger on. And I think this is interesting. And I think it ties back to overall relationship building. So we have a client dream wall in our office representative of dreams we've helped people achieve, but then we also have a team dream board. And what's interesting is that when we give anybody a tour, whether it's a center of influence, it's a prospective client, it's somebody visiting for whatever reason, they tend to linger even more on the team dream board than they do on the client dream board. And I think the reason for that is because they see that we've built internally here, relationships with each other, which in turn is representative of how we're going to treat them. So I think that's a really interesting one. And then the second thing is our patio space. So we have and we're very fortunate with where we're located. Again, we talk about, you know, a small town actually being an added value for us versus a hindrance. But we have this beautiful patio area. We have couches that we can do reviews out there with a screen hung over a beautiful stone fireplace. We've got a grill area and a nice little bar and just a really cool Trouble atmosphere for entertaining. And again, for building relationships, you know, it's a different thing than being in an office between four walls. And you know, you're conducting business in that setting. This particular setting is much more conversational, it's much more natural, it's much more of a easy going feel where you feel like you're having coffee or tea or whatever with a friend versus taking advice from an advisor. So those are two things that I see all the time. And, Bryan, I don't know if you want to just interject on, you know, what's the client experience out there on that patio you just had, when you spend the summer out there on the patio with clients, I think it's such a cool thing.


Bryan Sweet  15:37

Yeah, that is so true. Brittany, I appreciate your bringing that up. Because I just had two meetings out there yesterday morning. And it was a nice, cool morning, no humidity. And the clients were all smiles we had coffee and, and sat around the rittany alluded to nice comfy cushions, we've got a big screen TV, above the fireplace. And the interesting thing is they relax more. And they actually express and tell you things in that environment that I normally don't hear. And it was really amazing, just watching their faces, and the excitement when they got to sit out on the patio yesterday. And, and I told that the team after the meetings, I said, we just need to keep doing this more and more. Sometimes we don't do enough of them. But the experience is always always great. And also, to your point, Brittany, about the dream wall, I really think it is amazingly impactful. The team dream wall, because we live and breathe, helping people live their dreams. And it all starts with our team. And if we don't help our team, solve their dreams, then how are we going to help our clients. And then when the team gets their dreams solved, they actually become sales people for our whole process telling others of what they've accomplished, and how the dream architect has had a benefit for their lives, and how it could be helpful to them. So I think those two little things turn out to be such huge things for future relationships and, and building better relationships.


Brittany Anderson  17:27

I think there's so much to be said about that. And, and you're right, I mean, just just being out there. And that feeling of relaxation is so awesome to see with our clients. Because you know, especially during, you know, we've had an interesting last 1518 months in the pandemic, and people may be a little more stressed than normal. And it's just such a neat environment to be able to host and, again, deepen those relationships. So again, it's being in this town of 10,000. People just go into this shock and awe when we start talking about that. But really, when your focus is set on a common vision amongst your team, when you are all moving towards the same goal of really helping people and helping people realize all that's possible for their future, you don't really see limitations. So in the next episode, we're actually going to talk more about that and really aligning people towards your vision. We talked about vision a lot on this podcast, but it's because it works. It's meaningful, and it matters. So I'm going to give really three key takeaways from this particular episode. And I think, if nothing else, if you do not listen to another single episode, in this podcast, these three things are going to be massive value adds to your business, and things that can help you create even more success. So number one, I think Bryan absolutely nailed it on the head. It's setting timeframes and expectations with your clients ahead of time. You know, it's amazing at how many businesses or interactions when you start doing that for your clients, you realize just how many businesses out there don't do that. So it helps you to differentiate, it helps you to deliver in a way that allows you to wow them. So if you know that you're very, very likely going to get something done for your client or prospect by say, you know, Wednesday in the week, if you tell them, hey, if it works for you, and if this matches your timeline is Friday, okay, they're like, okay, yeah, sure. Great, that sounds wonderful. Friday is perfect, and you're able to deliver on Wednesday. They're like, Oh, my gosh, you guys just killed it. Now, again, that's very strategic, and it's intentional, but it's because you want to make sure that their expectations are always met or exceeded. And we just don't know, in this crazy world, there are things that can pop up that can throw you off your game that can cause a delay and you'd rather give yourself that cushion, then having to go back and deliver disappointing news. So setting those timeframes and expectations and letting your clients be the ones to tell you when they want it. You're going to realize quickly that it may give you Even more flexibility in your delivery schedule. The second key takeaway from today is taking a bird's eye view. And I think Bryan gave a great example of having kind of that secret shopper come in. But have somebody come in and actually experience your office experience your team. Look at from, again, that bird's eye view perspective of what the field is, what's the delivery? And what is the true experience. So do that for yourself, get that bird's eye view, and then make the decision to tweak one or two things, one or two things that will create an enhanced experience for your client and our prospect, those little tiny minutia moves are what make a massive difference. So you know what sweet, we are known for our client experience. And we say that from every ounce of humbleness as possible, but we are known for that. And our clients have said, you know, you just don't even know it until you experience it. Well, if we looked at that, and said, Well, we've mastered it, we're the king queens of experience, we don't need to do anything else, we would quickly fall behind. So even where we're at with that whole experience delivery, we're constantly looking for ways to enhance and improve it and create an even better experience for our clients and our prospects. And then finally, I think a great way to deepen a relationship is to create a relationship, ship based atmosphere, there's nothing more else worse, and Bryan will attest to this over and over again, there's nothing worse than walking into an advisory office and seeing piles of paper or folders or chaos or a mess. What do you think the perception is going to be? They're going to look at that and go, Oh, my goodness, if they can't keep their space, like open, clean and inviting? How are they going to manage my money? So you know, it's amazing, because there are very successful advisors out there who, where we've done on site visits on site coaching or training, and we walk in and there's, you know, trim falling off the wall or piles of paper everywhere, or file cabinets that are bent and wonky, and they can't close and you're scratching your head going, Oh my goodness. Like if I'm having this first impression, what must the client feel? So having that mindfulness of if you really want to deepen relationships, and build your business and create something that is so different from your competitors, looking at it from the perspective of how can I create a while welcoming, warm, enriched environment that's going to allow me to actually get to know these people to deepen the relationship and make them feel welcome. So Bryan, before I close this out, is there anything else that you want to add, say, put on the on the table for anything experience related?


Bryan Sweet  22:41

I'm gonna be great, Brittany, I think you're genius just showed through so I'm gonna turn it back to you.


Brittany Anderson  22:47

Perfect. Well, that wraps up today's episode of your ultimate advisor podcast. We will continue on in the next session with training your people towards your vision. Hey there, Brittany Anderson here. If you are loving what you're hearing on our ultimate advisor podcast, don't keep us a secret. Share us with other advisors that you think would benefit from the messages that you are hearing. The easiest way to do that is to simply send them to ultimate advisor And if you want to learn a few other ways that we could potentially serve you as an advisor, go check out ultimate advisor As always, we are so happy to have you here with us as part of the ultimate advisor community and we look forward to a continued relationship.



The Ultimate Advisor Podcast was specifically created to help financial advisors unlock their ultimate potential by providing invaluable information and resources to improve your income, and the management, marketing and operations of your financial advising practice

The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.


Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  



Draye is the founder of Redfern Media, a direct response marketing agency that helps professionals to improve their marketing, attract new clients, generate more referrals and consistently "WOW" their clients. 


Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS,  Creator of The Dream Architect™

Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises

Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium

Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group


Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS,  Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises Author of two books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To

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Ultimate Advisor is NOT a financial advising firm and does not provide financial services.