We have a new advisor joining our practice (yay!) and I am rereading the best book ever written for financial advisors, the
New Financial Advisor by Nick Murray. I reread the New Financial Advisor every few years and I am always in awe of how 20 years later, the book is still 100% relevant and aspirational.   


On a side note, rereading it makes me realize how much of a Nick Murray disciple I am.  The book was written in 2001, I became an advisor in 2004 and his work has been the foundation on which I built my own practice.    


People often tell me that they think I will be the “Next Kitces.”  While I appreciate the compliment, I don’t aspire to be the next Kitces, I want to be the next Nick Murray!  Taking a new spin on his work to the next generation of financial advisors.  

Back on topic… 

One of the key messages that Nick encourages the new financial advisor to recognize is that in prospecting “No” is inevitable.  “No” hurts.  And you are best served to find a way to make “No” less painful so that you can keep prospecting with vigor.  


I think this is one of the areas in which we can improve upon Nick’s original message.  He is absolutely right that you have to talk to a lot of people and many of them won’t become clients.  Maybe even most of them.  But I think we can flip the script and make “No” virtually meaningless.  


Nick talks about identifying 250 families for your “Ark” and the reality that you must talk to a lot of duds to find 250 families worthy of your Ark. In his model, emotional endurance is the key to successfully filling your Ark.  


In the Advice-Based Financial Planning model, very little emotional endurance is required because The Discovery EXPERIENCE is an act of service regardless of the outcome.  You can either feel good because you gave an hour or two to improve a person/family’s financial life or you can feel good because it’s a good fit to work together and you get to make an even larger impact in their life. 


It’s never “No”.  It’s always service.  It’s a little service or a lot of service.  It will always have a positive outcome.  


If you ask a financial advisor why they got into this business, almost all of them will say “to help people.”  The hard part is that the old-school model requires someone to hire you to help them, so you have endured a lot of rejection and pain to finally get the opportunity to help them.  


Our model helps everyone!  Every single person who has a Discovery EXPERIENCE should walk away with more clarity about their fears, values and goals, and resources.  They should have a better understanding of the next steps they can take to improve their financial situation.  And for those who are a good fit for your practice get the opportunity to hire YOU to guide them through that process. 


Everyone wins.  There are no losers.  There is no painful “No” to endure.   There are those who fit and those who don’t, but everyone leaves your office better off.  


Early on I was taught to keep track of my numbers (This concept likely came from Nick’s Game of Numbers).  You would track the number of times you asked for a referral.  Some fraction of those referrals would be willing to talk to you and some fraction of those should say yes and hire you.  The idea was that if you knew your stats, you could predict how many clients you would get out of a given number of referrals.  


It’s a brilliant concept because it takes the negative emotion out of the equation.  It’s just numbers.  Let’s say your stats say that for every 10 referrals, 5 would meet with you, and 3 would become clients.  All you have to do is get enough referrals such that 30% of that number is enough to build the business you want to have.   


But even in the Game of Numbers, you have to endure a lot of “No”.  Your clients or Key Partners also risk their relationships every time they make a referral and those people don’t fit your criteria of a good fit for your practice.  There are a lot of potentially negative outcomes in this equation.  


When you offer a Discovery EXPERIENCE with the full knowledge that it will be of service to that participant regardless of the outcome, there is no risk.  The referrer knows that their referral is going to have a positive experience and you know that if it’s a good fit, you will get a new client to serve.  


Now the game of numbers is about how many people you can positively impact.  Every Discovery is an act of service to your community.  And the percentages still come into play.  In my example above, you would know that 60% of the time a Discovery turns into a client, and the other 40% of the time you just put a little positive business karma out into the world.  


If you are like most advisors and want to help people, I can’t think of a better way to build your business than The Discovery EXPERIENCE.  Rather than leaving a swath of rejection in the wake of building your business, you would leave a wake of clarity, optimism, and positive action.  That is my kind of business development process! 


I will forever be a Nick Murray devotee, but I do think we can take his ideas to the next level for the next generation of financial advisors! 


I hope this serves you! 



If you are reading this and asking yourself,
“What is a Discovery EXPERIENCE and where do I get one?”, I got you covered!   


I created an online course to teach you The Discovery EXPERIENCE process that will turn prospecting into an act of service and get you hired for advice by the RIGHT clients in one meeting.  For a fraction of the value of one planning client, you can get lifetime access to this turn-key process you can learn in a weekend.  


You can purchase The Discovery EXPERIENCE Online Course HERE or email us a [email protected] to learn more.  


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