I hired a financial planner yesterday. I wasn’t exactly looking for one, but as you’ll see shortly, he was hard to resist.
First off, you should know that doing this has been on my mind for some time. Here it is the last week of November already, and I’ve been talking seriously about hiring a professional for… let’s see… October, September, August… about 14 years. More or less since the birth of my first child.
The truth is, I’d probably put it off for another 14 years had I not met Tim. Tim is a financial planner, and a new E-Newsletter client of mine.
Over the past month or so, and as part of my standard process, I’ve visited him at his home office about once a week. We’ve had long conversations about who he is, what he does, how he works, what he believes in, what makes him different, etc. All the essential pieces of E-Newsletter planning.
I’ve also had a chance to get to know him personally. I’ve seen his house, I’ve met his wife, I’ve had lunch in his kitchen, and I’ve watched him interact with his six month old son. I’ve even seen him get up to open the back door roughly 25 times an hour, in response to repeated and frantic requests from his two dogs, who, as far as I can tell, continually receive breaking news from “Canine Headquarters” with important instructions to go in if they are out, and vice versa.
The point is, after about 10 hours of face time together, I learned enough about his investment philosophy and – even more importantly – who he is and how he lives, that I felt compelled to stop procrastinating and hire him.
The experience, and my eagerness to hire Tim, reminded me of why a monthly E-Newsletter is so powerful. Because over the past four weeks I’ve kind of lived a “real life” version of a Tim E-Newsletter: A gradual getting-to-know-you process, with a healthy dose of professional and personal mixed together.
And by the end of yesterday’s session, not only did I feel compelled to take action, the choice of who to hire was clear.
Frankly, if you could just get enough people to sit in your kitchen and chat with you for 10 hours a piece, you wouldn’t need an E-Newsletter at all. By simply revealing your genuine point of view and your authentic life, over a period of time, in a no pressure, no-strings-attached environment, you’d have all the clients you could ever want.
Let me just repeat that important last sentence, in case the barking dogs were distracting you: By simply revealing your genuine point of view and your authentic life, over a period of time, in a no pressure, no-strings-attached environment, you’d have all the clients you could ever want.
The problem, of course – and I know this despite having never set foot in your house – is that your kitchen ain’t big enough. And so your E-Newsletter, something I readily admit is a poor second to that perfect kitchen experience, is your next, best option.
But wait, there’s more to it than simply publishing useful information each month. Revealing who you are – beyond what you know or what you’re professionally capable of – makes a huge difference.
I guarantee you that if I had spent those 10 hours with Tim in my office – instead of in his house – I wouldn’t yet be ready to hire him. Not to say that we wouldn’t get there eventually, but with a high trust, high risk, high cost service, it’s the human connection that gives a prospective client the confidence to move ahead.
In practice, that means sharing as much of yourself as possible in your E-Newsletter. How much? As much as you can get comfortable with.
Because while I don’t believe there is a “right answer” regarding the degree of personal information to share (we all have our own boundaries), I can tell you without question that the more you do, the faster and more confidently prospective clients will pick up the phone, dial your number, and write you a check.
Bottom line: Ironically, had Tim been in “selling mode”(rather than in client mode), as we sat together this past month, he would have been a lot less effective in closing the deal with me. It was only because his attention was on clarifying his thoughts and speaking his mind that I found his (lack of a) pitch irresistible.
Figure out how to do that with your E-Newsletter and watch your phone start ringing.