Natalie Grassi is an Advisor Development Consultant at Simplicity Scottsdale, an organization that is revolutionizing the insurance industry. Natalie specializes in helping financial advisors reach their goals faster by guiding them in overcoming their challenges. She has created marketing plans for top performers and has coached hundreds of advisors on seminar best practices. Before joining Simplicity, Natalie worked as a Success Coach for Advisors with White Glove, a tech-enabled marketing services company.
Natalie joins me today to discuss her best practices in marketing for financial advisors. She shares her emergence in the industry and how she pivoted from being an elementary school teacher to working with financial advisors. She explains why financial advisors need to stay open and curious with their clients and reveals the factors that define (and make) the best financial advisors. She also underscores the power of using storytelling to connect with prospects and convert them into clients.
“All the little things make the biggest difference and impact the result. They create an experience for prospects and make prospects take the next step with you.” – Natalie Grassi
This week on The Model FA Podcast:
● Natalie’s background in the financial services industry
● Simplicity Scottsdale’s services and how they help advisors
● What financial advisors should consider when developing a marketing plan
● Why advisors need to give their marketing plan and activities more time
● What makes an effective financial advisor
● The importance of tracking results and keeping marketing funnels full
● Why seminars are working well — despite the pandemic
● How financial advisors can increase their conversion rates from registration to attendance
● Why financial advisors should invite their seminar attendees to follow them on social media
● Converting seminar attendees into client appointments
● The power of curiosity and storytelling
● Book: What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story by Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan
● Book: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
● Book: Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Our Favorite Quotes:
● “People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. If they connect with you on social media, it lets them connect with you on a deeper level.” – David DeCelle
● “Storytelling is a tool to help financial advisors increase their conversion rates.” – David DeCelle
● “The best advisors don’t say they’ll continue what they’ve always done. They look for new ideas, recommendations, training, and other things that will help them get better.” – Natalie Grassi
Connect with Natalie Grassi:
● Email: [email protected]
About the Model FA Podcast
The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams.
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President of Model FA, David DeCelle
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Natalie Grassi 00:07
I think simplicity has done a really great job coming up with very specific things advisors can do in the lead up to the event to help maximize the attendance. And not only are these activities going to help maximize the attendants, they're really also going to help the advisor build their credibility, the level of professionalism prior to the event, which really should help them connect and build more trust going into the event.
David DeCelle 00:33
Welcome model phase, David de sel here president of model FA and I am very excited to bring you today's guest Natalie Grassi. So Natalie was introduced to me by a former guest actually, and a good friend of mine, Brad Swinehart. So Brad, if you're listening to this episode, big thank you to you, Natalie grace, He is an advisor development consultant at simplicity Scottsdale. Natalie specializes in helping advisors overcome the common challenges they face so they can reach their goals more quickly. She has created marketing plans for top performers and has coached hundreds of advisers on seminar best practices. So with that being said, Natalie, welcome to the show. And I appreciate your time. Yeah.
Natalie Grassi 01:22
Thanks for having me. David. I'm very excited to be here with you today.
David DeCelle 01:25
Awesome. One quick thing, I want to thank Natalie. So we've had a reschedule a time or due to what I thought were Wi Fi issues and come to find out there were no Wi Fi issues. I was just connected to the apartment, a couple doors down that I used to live in. So I appreciate your patience with scheduling by glad glad that we're here now. Yeah, I'm
Natalie Grassi 01:50
happy it worked out too. And no worries happy worked out today.
David DeCelle 01:53
Awesome. So for our listeners who are tuning in, and we're going to spend a lot of time today talking about marketing for financial advisors, we'll probably have a specific tilt towards seminar marketing, which I know people have different views on in today's environment with COVID and all that type of stuff. Yet they've seen that a lot of the advisors that they're working with are still having success with seminars. So we'll be talking about that today. But before we do so, tell us a little bit about your background in the industry. That way we have a sense as to some of your experience so far,
Natalie Grassi 02:29
sir. Sure. So my industry experience started in 2017 When I started at like glove. Prior to that I actually was a teacher elementary school for eight years and totally shifted from elementary school to working with financial advisors when I started with at white glove in the fall of 2017. And I think it was really there that I really realized I have a passion for working with advisors, serving advisors and really loved seeing them be successful through the strategies and different ideas I shared with them. So that's where I started over at like love. I was there for four and a half years coaching advisors on seminar best practices, helping them with their marketing plans. I had the opportunity to travel to a lot of industry event fly was over there many different FMO events training event for advisors, some of the best speaking coaches in the industry, Pat Quinn, Josh Jones, Frank Maselli. So I have a lot of knowledge that I've learned from many of these people in my time over there at white glove and January of this year. I started here at simplicity Scottsdale. So I really just wanted to have a bigger impact on advisors businesses, and that's what I'm able to do here. Rather than just saying in the seminar space, I'm able to help them with their entire business and many of the challenges they overcome not just in the seminar space.
David DeCelle 03:40
Awesome. So before we get into some of the marketing stuff that we'll talk through today, what is simplicity Scottsdale? Like what do you guys actually do just so we have some context? Oh, sure. So simplicity
Natalie Grassi 03:50
Scottsdale, we are FMO IMO, we come alongside advisors to really help them reach their goals more quickly. And I know there's a lot of different companies in the FMO IMO space David and I think there's different levels of service and support that fmoS IMO provide, you know, what I've learned is the most basic level is really just product and cap. So giving the advisors access to product and paying them out, maybe the next level up is service and support. So case designs illustrations, really helping them prepare plans for their clients and some fmoS do that the level above that, like I said, is really coming alongside advisors as a true partner and helping them reach their goals. So really getting to know them, what makes them unique, and putting a plan in place specifically for them. So I'd say that's, that's really where we are at simplicity, in addition to the product and comp and the service and support. We're really true partners to advisors and get to know them and their goals and help them reach them.
David DeCelle 04:42
Awesome. So before we get into seminar specific marketing, let's start a little bit more general to begin with. So as you're working with advisors, whether that be currently or you know, in the past in your prior role, what are some things that advisors should take in consideration as they begin to develop their overall marketing plan. Yeah,
Natalie Grassi 05:06
I think one of the very first things to consider when they're creating a marketing plan is their overall goals for the year. So sitting down and really identifying what their goals are, whether that's the amount of AUM, they want to capture a number of new clients, they want to bring on annuity production goal really sitting down and identifying what it is they're hoping to accomplish that year. So they know exactly what the target is. And once they come up with that goal, I think they really want to reverse engineer a marketing plan. So if they can identify, hey, I want to bring on they got 36 new clients this year, well, obviously, that's three new clients monthly. And so we have to identify what type of marketing is going to help them bring on three new clients. And once they know that number, we can look at different activities and data we have behind these different activities to help them identify the volume of activity they need to do to reach that goal. And again, David, I work with advisors who have goals around number of clients they want or annuity production goals, or capturing a certain amount of AUM. And we look at whatever those goals are, and kind of work backwards to identify monthly, how we can put that plan in place. And then once we have the information, again, just really making that plan. So looking at all these different resources and tools that we have available and inserting these in appropriate place, I really think it's important to have a long term marketing plan, I think a lot of advisors sometimes want to jump around from different activity to different activity, because they didn't get the results they wanted immediately was one thing, I really encourage advisors to have a long term marketing plan with a mix of different items in there and stick with these these activities for some time until they can really determine if they're working. And rather than just dumping unless they think they're not working, trying to dial in and really work out the kinks in these activities that they are seeing the results they want, whether that's three clients a month, 2 million immunity production a month, 3 million and new AUM a month really working out the kinks to dial in the results they want.
David DeCelle 06:55
So you bring up a couple interesting points that I know this as well, and working with advisors, and there's a lot of folks who are super dialed in and have a great strategy. But there's other folks who are just kind of blindly marketing with no real purpose or direction. So I think you bring up a good point in terms of figuring out like, what are you actually doing this for? Like, why are you doing seminars? Or why are you doing a podcast? Why are you doing whatever it may be? Why are you posting content and having something to measure your activity and success against as opposed to just making a determination based on how you feel it's working. And then the other thing, too, is oftentimes with marketing, depending on the strategy, they take some time to work themselves out, right? And you can't necessarily expect to, you know, put together a new marketing plan. And you know, the next couple of weeks new clients start rolling in, it typically takes some time. So it's committing, as you add reference to a longer timeframe to determine if something's working and before you just immediately go to something else. If it's not, are there any levers that you can adjust on your current marketing strategy to make that much more successful? So to your point, I think advisors are very quick to jump from one thing to the next without giving it time needed to determine if it actually works. Absolutely. Yeah,
Natalie Grassi 08:15
I agree with that. And I think another thing I see is either scrambling, so they do something for a few months, it doesn't work out the way they thought or they didn't put a long term plan in place. So then they're like, I'm not where I want to be. I'm halfway through the year. And I'm not where I want, I'm not where I want to be in scrambling looking for another option, rather than in the beginning of the year, really sitting down putting a plan in place. And again, you know, most companies are able to give you data and expectations of what to expect from marketing. So if you really look at that data and expectations and you keep your plan in place, you should see the results that they're anticipating
David DeCelle 08:44
for sure. Now in I guess, working with some of the top advisors that you've worked with over the years, and that you work with currently, whether some similarities that they have, like, well, there's some of their, you know, best practices and things that they have in common with the folks who are knocking the cover off the
Natalie Grassi 08:59
ball. Yeah, so I have been really fortunate to work with a lot of top advisors in my time at white glove and now my time here at simplicity. And I think I've been able to help them a lot with their business but in the same breath, they've helped me learn so much about what makes effective advisors effective. So I would say these advisors one thing is they do really understand the importance of activity. So I know a lot of new advisors are really hesitant to spend, you know, the founder of like love Dean Thurman, he told me a story when he started as a financial advisor, he had used his mom's credit card device for seminar and I know how difficult it is from talking to advisors to have those funds available to start activity in the beginning. But I think the top advisors understand the importance of activity. They know that if they continue activity, they will keep their funnel full and just like we were just talking about that's what's really going to produce results over time. So recognize the importance of activity and continue activity, whether it's seminars, buying digital leads, like you said posting content digital mailing camp or direct mailing campaigns, whatever it is they're doing Something to continue to be active and keep their marketing funnel full. And then I think they're flexible and adaptable. I think, you know, last year taught us all that you never really know what's coming at you. And you really have to be flexible and adaptable. And that's what I see in the top advisors, even the advisors who've been doing this for years and years and years, the best of them, don't say I'm going to continue doing what I've always done, because it's how I do it. They're looking for new ideas, they're looking for recommendations, trainings, things that are going to help them continue to get better. So I think really being flexible and adaptable is a huge part of being effective in this industry, and changing as as time changes. And I'd say lastly, they track the results, it is so incredibly important to track your results. Like I said, I am a huge proponent of sticking with something for a significant amount of time to see if it's effective. But there's no way to know if it's effective unless you're tracking results from your activity. In fact, I talked to an advisor a couple weeks ago, and he had several things going on. He was doing seminar marketing, he was buying digital leads, like from a digital lead vendor, he also was doing some LinkedIn marketing. And he told me I'm all them are working because I have business coming in. And he said talk to my assistant, you can figure out where the business coming from, that's something I do over here is help advisors kind of identify where they're at and help them get to where they want to be. And in talking to his assistant, Megan, she helped me identify for him that he had no business that had come in from 12 months of the digital campaigns or the LinkedIn. So he's thinking, hey, business is coming in. But he's not tracking where it's come from. So it's continue to pay for this method for him that it was not effective, doesn't mean he needs to stop doing it. But he needs to figure out how to make it effective. It's something that's not working. So you really have to track your results and monitor those results and either dial in and adjust things to make things more effective. Or if you've done something for a long time, and it's not working, remove that from your marketing plan.
David DeCelle 11:48
Well, you bring up a good point, because I've heard opposite things from advisors just as just as I've heard the same thing from advisors with what you just said. But there's plenty of advisors that I know that aren't successful with seminars, but they are with digital leads, or maybe they are crushing it on LinkedIn. And they're not with digital leads or seminars. So to your point when you're doing a good job tracking and measuring results from specific sources that you're allocating your marketing dollars to. So I think it's important to have, especially if you're just starting off with this, like having multiple lines in the water to determine what's working and what's not. And let's say you know, this person has already tried to shift certain levers and still the digital leads or LinkedIn wasn't working well. It's like cool. Well, if seminars in this example are working, reallocate the dollars that you're spending on the other two marketing strategies, and pivoted over to seminars and just dump it on there, because it's working really well right now. So I think it gives you an opportunity to determine where your dollars should be spent. And then depending on geography, depending on the advisor, depending on a multitude of different variables will determine which strategy is most successful, but if you're not tracking and measuring it appropriately, you're kind of just throwing money in the air and hoping that things land when they're supposed to. So I agree with that a lot,
Natalie Grassi 13:12
right. And I can see how, as an advisor, it's probably very difficult to track things, I mean, advisors have so much going on. So I'm sure they're just like on to the next to the next client meeting and marketing event, whatever it is, and they forget the importance of looking back and really identifying where the business is coming from and what's most effective for them. So I understand it's difficult, but I know it's very, very important for them to continue to do that. And David, something else that I just wanted to mention, I am a huge proponent of seminars, I love seminars, but I do definitely know advisors who have not had success with them. So I will acknowledge that you definitely have to find what's a good fit for you, whether it's seminar marketing, or digital leads, you really have to find what's most effective for you, your personality, your style, the capacity, you have to see people and and really dial in was going to be most effective for
David DeCelle 13:55
you, for sure. So I had an assumption coming into today's call. So as we sit here today, we're recording this on September 2, we'll probably be released at some point in like the November ish timeframe. And one of the topics that we had discussed initially that you could speak to is seminars and I opened up the call before we started recording saying, hey, you know, maybe we stay away from that, because, you know, the world is still kind of iffy right now with COVID and whatnot. And you actually shared a different sentiment and, you know, alluded to the fact that seminars are actually working pretty well right. Now, with that being said, I'm sure it differs based on geography to a degree so like, you're calling in if I'm not mistaken, you know, from Scottsdale, Arizona, right, I'm calling in from Florida. So in terms of COVID, and restrictions, like our states are a lot different than like California or New York, right? So at some sure to a degree geography certainly has an impact, but share with me what you're seeing in the seminar space currently as it relates to, you know, some success stories or you know what people are doing and to still actually run those events in today's ever changing environment. Yeah, absolutely.
Natalie Grassi 15:05
I was pulling up some data. Actually, we were talking here, David to look at some specific numbers I could share with you. But as you said, when we started talking like, hey, maybe we should sit away from the seminar conversation. And I definitely want to let you lead and do what you decided to do. But you said unless you you think something other than that, and I shared with you that we have seen the strongest numbers in August as far as responses to direct mail campaigns than any other time this year. So I don't know what the cause of that is, of course, we have some guesses that pent up demand people ready to come out after not being out for so long. Usually August tends to be a lower number for m&r attendance. Seasonality of it, typically, there's fewer people who are attending seminars are really seeing a better response than we've seen the rest of the year. Another factor that may be playing a role in the incredible attendance that advisors are seeing is a lot of advisors aren't nervous to host seminars right now, because of everything that's going on. So maybe the the saturation event, yeah is way down. So because there's fewer events available, more people are registering for the events that are out there. But you know, I'm just looking August 16, and August 19, I work with an advisor in Minnesota, he had a two night event 33 registrations for the first event 28 registrations for the second. So really strong responses there, he had a capacity of 30. So he was slightly over on the first so 33 in 28, I don't have the other advisors results up. But in July, he actually was in New Jersey, which is a state that you would think would be a little concerning. He added a third night to his campaign. So we had two nights booked 30 capacity for each of those nights reach capacity added a third night. So I know it's a scary time to do seminars, because the last thing you want is to put out a direct mail piece and have a venue shut down or have a low response because people are concerned to come out. So I understand that but I can just share with you that what we're seeing right now people are registering and coming out and you know, we work with a great partner lead jig acquire director at simplicity. But another great option and can't help but plug in my I love white glove. Now they're great option is like love you You only pay for the households that actually attend. So that's something to consider right now. Like I'm taking all the risk for you. You can book an event, do you have an event scheduled for September 15. And the day before the event the venue closes? White Glove eats the cost of marketing for you, you'll only pay for the people who actually attend. So something to consider if you still want to do events and you're nervous about a direct mail campaign right now?
David DeCelle 17:28
Well, it's interesting, you shared a couple examples, you know, Minnesota and New Jersey that one would assume you know, or areas in which you would not get high attendance or local, you know, rules and regulations wouldn't allow for it. I guess growing up, my mom told me the saying about why you should not assume certain things. So it's interesting that take that you have or that the data that you have to prove otherwise, just is pretty cool to see.
Natalie Grassi 17:56
Yeah. And I was shocked by it too. Totally shocked to see these numbers. Like I said, I can't I can't make any guesses as to what's going to continue to happen over the next couple of months, I can just share with you what I see here. And we've been really pleasantly surprised with the responses.
David DeCelle 18:08
Well, it's cool too, because there's, you know, some advisors who are hiding under their desks, so to speak as it relates to marketing and like waiting for the world to open. And there's others that are, you know, capitalizing on less competition with the strategies and like you said, simple supply and demand. If there aren't a lot of events, the demand of those events goes up. So I think it's a good take on it. So let's keep going down the seminar path. So you alluded to some stats, specifically around registrations. Now we know that to a degree registrations don't matter if none of them actually show up. So with that being said, whether some things that advisors can do, because I have some ideas, but I'd like to see what yours are and kind of compare notes today. But what are some ideas that you have to increase the conversion rate from registration to actually butts in the seat?
Natalie Grassi 19:03
Obviously, like you said, it's very important to not only get those registrations, but to make sure you maximize that attendance. So getting those people from registrants into the door to actually have some time to connect with these people. And I think simplicity has done a really great job coming up with some very specific things advisors can do in the lead up to the event to help maximize the attendance. And not only are these activities going to help maximize the attendance, they're really also going to help the advisor build their credibility, the level of professionalism prior to the event, which really should help them connect and build more trust going into the event. But some specific things that I think advisors should be doing at the point of registration. As soon as someone registers for that event. The adviser should be getting on the phone or someone in the office and calling that individual as soon as possible after registration to thank them for registering, see if they have any questions really put a personality to that paper invitation so that they realize hey, there's someone behind this invitation who's looking for seeing you at the event. And we have some great scripting around that as many marketing companies do, or lead jig, white glove, they all can give you scripts that you can use to make a registration call there really solidify that connection with the registrants. Then another thing that simplicity recommends that I've seen really increase the attendance rate is sending a registration packet by mail. And there's very specific items that you can put in there. One thing, David, we recommend that you put a name tag in there. And once we started putting the name tag in the registration packet, we saw spikes in the attendance rates. So something as simple as sending someone a name tag. So again, they're realizing I actually registered for something, there's an event that's going to take right I need to be there, it really increases the attendance rate. And we put several other things inside here a letter thanking me individuals for attending some core specific materials, direction sheets to the venue. So some things that really helped solidify the the registration to coming in. And also, like I said, build the advisors credibility and professionalism. Even before the event, something else we recommend, which I personally love. I'm a big fan of bom, bom, we like advisors to take a video of themselves in front of the venue and send it to the attendees. So hey, looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday at the community center, showing the venue behind them when you walk in doors are going to turn to the right, here's the room right here. Looking forward to seeing you here, really just giving people a sense of what to expect. You want happy attendees. And if there's anything complicated parking, finding the venue, finding the room, any of these things can make people grumpy. So setting this BombBomb ahead of time again, connecting with these people ahead of time and making it very easy for them to get to your event is always a really good idea. And then of course, there's a very specific sequence of text message reminder, phone call reminders and emails that advisor should be putting in place to not only make the call at point of registration, but then make a call just before the event to really again, solidifies attendance there.
David DeCelle 21:49
I'm smirking for those of you who are just listening to the audio right now. And I'm smirking because there's some things that you share that I think are improvements upon some of the advice that I've been giving. And there's some things that you share that I never even thought of which is just gets a testament to the importance of not just advisors, but like companies like ours to connect and collaborate for the purpose of further serving the advisor and making sure that they have a good experience, regardless of what it is that they're doing. So I want to just kind of reiterate and highlight some of the things that you had mentioned. So similar to Bom Bom, we suggest a service called loom, which is very similar in nature in terms of lightweight tool to be able to do video. And we will always suggest that folks, you know, shoot an introduction video, like they shoot it one time and send it out a bunch of times to save on their time, send it out set that the attendees can actually put a face to the name and hear your voice can feel your mannerisms, get them excited about going. But the add on that you shared about doing the video outside the venue, I think is freakin awesome. I think that's such a good idea. So I think that's an improvement upon what I've been sharing with folks. And then the whole name tag thing, it's something that's so such a small thing that I don't think a lot of people would think about. And I would imagine that a lot of advisors, if they use name tags, they're like the sticky ones that they fill out at the door before they walk in, you know, slap it on their chest, but being able to, you know, spend a buck or two on, you know, whatever name tag costs and send it out in advance, it's just more legit to your point and makes them realize, like I signed up for events, like there is a seat for me, and they spent the time and the money to send this out. So I just I think that stuff is awesome to increase attendance. So I appreciate you sharing that. Yeah,
Natalie Grassi 23:39
I think a lot of advisors are like, Oh, these little things don't make a difference. And I think what they really need to keep in mind is it's all these little things that make the biggest difference. So it's the sum of all these small things that they're doing that are going to really have an impact on that result. So I would encourage advisors not to say like, oh, I don't want to spend $2 on a lanyard, or I want to dip here and not get nice bottled water and individually wrapped snacks, I don't want to spend money there. It's all these little things that really are creating experience for the attendees, that's going to make them more likely to take the next step with you. So and I know that can be a lot of work and simplicity as well as other companies, they'll help you with all this we make the name tags, we customize the directions to actually write the letters for you make it super simple. So all you have to do is print the packages and hand them out. And there are other companies that will do that too. So don't feel like you have to take the weight of that on, you know, find someone who can support you in that if it's not something that you have the capacity to do independently, because those little things are important for sure. Hey, model phase, I know you're enjoying this conversation, but I wanted to take a quick break to talk to you about the model FAA accelerator. This is a unique collaboration between us and you, where we help you build a financial advising practice that you can be proud of we focus on the foundational concepts around how to pick a niche or a specialization, how to price your services, how to construct an offer that people are going to buy, and then how to market it and sell it in a way that'll get people to sign on the dotted line and become clients of refer all while giving you the information to scale and set up workflows and operational processes that will allow you to reclaim your time and build a practice that doesn't run you. So if you'd like to hear more about that, go to www dot model F eight.com, forward slash Excelerator or www dot model FA comm hover over work with us and click on accelerator hope to see you in the program.
David DeCelle 25:23
Now with ADD, one thing I forgot to share is in between when they register, and when they show up for the event, implement, you know all the things that you shared. But in addition to that, I would invite them to connect with you on the social platforms that you use. And that includes more than just LinkedIn. Because I mean, let's be real, if you're hosting a seminar, what type of people are showing up for that probably folks who are either done working or about to be done working, you know, you're not going to get a 20 or 30 year old to show up for a seminar most likely. So they're not really utilizing LinkedIn, I know that this makes some folks skin crawl, but to the degree that you can get over that and invite them to connect with you on Facebook or invite them to connect with you on Instagram, people like to do business with folks who they know, like and trust. And they're only going to get a specific like one specific side of you in that seminar. Sure, you can add your own personality to it to a degree, but you're there to talk business and finance and helping them with that stuff. But they're able to connect with you on these platforms, a couple things happen. One, social media does a great job of leaving clues as to what you're into and the things that you like to do with your family and friends. And perhaps there's a connection point there that gets them to be like, Oh my god, they like that, too. Like I really like that. And also, I think that trust is built not just based on elapsed time, but based on the accumulation of experiences. And every time they scroll through your profile and get to see what you're up to, they're adding more experiences of you to their brain. So they show up to the event feeling like, I don't know what it is. But I already know this guy, or I know this gal. And I think it only helps elevate assuming that your social media isn't overly polarizing, with topics that you're not supposed to talk about, you know, in public with politics, religion, all that type of stuff. But I do think it gives them an opportunity to get to know you on a deeper level in advance of that seminar itself. So we talked about how to increase the conversion rate from registrations to actual butts in the seat, let's talk about how we can during the seminar, how we can increase the rate of appointments booked from the people who show up?
Natalie Grassi 27:40
Yes, we can definitely talk about that, before I get I just want to compliment you on your social media because I do feel connected to you and probably much more than you feel connected to me because I started following you on Instagram a few months ago, and I knew I was going to do this podcast with you. You have a great Instagram presence. I know you meditate. I know you exercise daily. I know when you're reading certain books, who you're interviewing for your podcasts, you know, sometimes you put your calendar up there, and you spend time on your bow with your friends and family. So I can really speak to how much connecting with them on social media makes you feel connected to them even before having a real relationship with them. So you do a great job on your social media. And one more thing I want to mention there. Before we move on to best practice, David is his lead jig and acquire direct, I do want to talk about some of the value I see in them. I think there's different companies that do different things well, but one thing they do really well is they provide you data ahead of time for the attendees. So not only do you get their name, phone number, email address that you get for most marketing companies, but they will provide you with any social media data that they can find. So whether that's a file, Facebook profile, Zillow home, you know, address, you can see their exact house go to their doorstep, it's pretty incredible. So to your point, if you're working with lead, Jake, if they find any of that data, they give it to you. And I would encourage people to go on make connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, as long as the advisor does have a presence that's appropriate for professional setting, but they make it very easy for you to do that. So I think that's a great recommendation that you just gave.
David DeCelle 29:06
Awesome. So let's talk about convert, how do we increase the conversion rate from folks who show up to actual appointments on on the calendar, cuz I know seminars is basically just a big math equation, right? And if it if it shakes out to where it's a profitable equation, it's like, cool. Let's dump a bunch of money into it and just rinse and repeat. So how do we make sure that folks are getting the appropriate ROI? Yeah. So
Natalie Grassi 29:28
there are so many things that you can do at seminars, little things, like I said, that have a big impact on results. And I want to share a couple ideas that I think are things people can walk away and implement if they had seminars tonight, that that will have an impact on the results. But again, I mean, we could spend hours talking about best practices. So I really think it's important that advisors do take time to find people who are successful in the space so other advisors who are doing it well and share ideas or people like myself, white glove lead Jake who have a lot of experience when I was over at White Glove, I was working with advisors and about 100 events a month though in my time there I saw 1000s of events take place. So I really know here's what was working well, here's what wasn't and seeing these different speaking coaches who really share a lot of great ideas. But a couple things that I can share that people can walk away and do tonight, we know that the main reason people work with an advisor is because they trust them. And one of the fastest easiest ways to build trust is through storytelling. So I really want to encourage advisors to do some storytelling in their seminars. And I would say you really want to start with a strong opening. And I would recommend that someone else introduce you, whether that's a staff member of yours, or your husband, your wife, friend of the family, someone who can get up there and introduce you do the housekeeping, we know you'll have seven seconds to make a first impression. And you want your first words to be words that are getting people to lean in not telling them to turn their phone off and where the bathrooms are. So I really recommend that you let someone else get up and introduce you. And then you come out there with a strong opening with some sort of story. And here at simplicity, we coach the founder story we talk about very specific components that should be in there very specific structure that you should use. But there's lots of people have great ideas around this Frank Maselli is one of my favorites. He has great ideas around a power opening all of his stuff is on his resource vault He's so kind to share that all for three year driven asked has a lot of ideas around storytelling and how to effectively use a story in the start of your seminar to capture people's attention, get them leaning in. So I really encourage that advisor start with a strong opening. Again, not the predictable pleasantries, not housekeeping, something that's putting you in a position of vulnerability most likely letting people know, hey, I'm ordinary, just like you. I'm also extraordinary because under protect your money, so there's different things you can do to do all this in one in a story at the beginning. So I would really come out strong with a strong opening, right?
David DeCelle 31:39
We've talked about a couple main themes so far. One is storytelling. And another one is making sure that it's an amazing experience. So there's two books that come to mind that I just want to toss out there. You know, for the folks who are listening one I have right here on my desk. It's called what great sales people do. And it talks about the power of storytelling, but it goes into detail as to how to actually construct different types of stories. So like the who I am story, the what I do story, who I work with story, and it gets as granular as different color notecards to figure out those different steps of the story with like the setting and the resolution and everything in between you attach particular emotion that you want the audience to feel with each of those stages. So it's a very granular approach to crafting a story as opposed to tell a story right, it gets into the details. And the other book, probably my most recommended book is called Delivering Happiness by Tony Shea, who is the late founder of Zappos. And Delivering Happiness is all about making sure that you have an unbelievable experience for the people who are buying your product or service. So I think those two books what great salespeople do for storytelling, and Delivering Happiness for client experience will have a big impact on your career for those of you who are listening, and obviously, if you haven't read them yet, I would suggest because I think it would give you some more tools and ideas to share with folks as you meet with them.
Natalie Grassi 33:14
I love that you probably saw me Google them both while you were talking about it. So I wrote on my screen right now to check out after this podcast. So yeah, and I think it's very important, I'm happy you brought that up that you really have to have specific stories in mind and practice those stories. So when you deliver the stories, they are effective, have a purpose for why you're telling a story, a strategic reason why you're telling the story, like you might want to tell a desirability story. So telling someone, Hey, I know this is the desires that you want to be in, let me tell you a story of how I help someone else get there. And these people are at your seminars, they're not like your friends who kind of let you ramble on tell a story that, you know, diverse in different directions. And like, where am I Oh, let me get back to my point. This is what I was meaning to tell you, your friends will sit there and listen to that, at a seminar or in a meeting, you have to have a very concise story that you're delivering for a purpose. So being very strategic with your storytelling, and I'm happy to share those books. And again, there's lots of people who coach to this out there to really help you figure out what your story should be and how to use these stories effectively. And I think the great thing is David, once you come up with these stories, you can use them in different settings. You can use them at seminars, you can use them while you're networking, you can use them in the first appointment. So once you come up with these stories, memorize these stories and an effective way to tell them you can use them over and over and over again.
David DeCelle 34:25
Love it. So stories is one way that folks can increase the conversion rate from people who show up to appointments. What are some of the things that they can be doing to increase that conversion rate? Yeah,
Natalie Grassi 34:35
super simple. Use attendees names. I've been to a lot of seminars and the most effective advisors are able to weave in every person's name in the room throughout the seminar. We know that one of the most effective words you can say to someone or is their own name. People love hearing their own names. So you're giving out these lanyards ahead of the event or providing name tags of some sort table tents something so that while you're presenting up there, the names are large enough that You can see them. And as you're talking, you're incorporating people's names that makes people feel more connected to you like they've already had a conversation with you prior to the event. So if you're standing in front of the room, I mean, there's so many ways you can do it. At right at the beginning, one thing I recommend advisors do is that they use response form and introduce the response from right at the beginning. And on top I like when they write what are three reasons why you're here tonight, or what brought you in tonight list. Three things that brought you in here tonight. What are you hoping to learn? And so right at the beginning, after they do that power opening, tell a story, get people leaning in, ask people to take that out, and then write down reasons why they're there tonight, let them know, hey, my commitment to you is none of your question will go unanswered. You got that paper invitation in the mail. I'd love to hear what are you hoping to learn? What are three reasons why you're here tonight. And then as they're filling it out? You kind of walk around? Give him a couple minutes, David? Awesome. I think so you have a couple lists of reasons listed there. John, I see you have your reasons listed there. Pam, you're all set. I always use my mom and my mom and dad's name. John, you're on that. Pam, you're on that, Mary great. You have a few reasons I see there's similar to Pam's so using people's names as you're going around the room, you might say, well, you're standing up there, hey, I was in this room two months ago, giving this exact same presentation and someone sat in the seat right there where you're sitting tonight, David, and after the event, they came back to my office. So very easy to just start using people's names. You don't want to make it awkward. So your goal might not be to use every person's name in the room at the first event. But slowly start using people's name in these scenarios where it's appropriate, because people will feel more connected to you, if you're using their name a really easy one, you can walk away and use tonight. Another one is use your own name. So when I heard this the first time, I was like, that sounds so simple. But now I noticed advisors doing it in presentations. And when I go to presentations, people do it. I think it is very effective and allows the attendee to start picturing themselves having a conversation with you. So you might say, hey, continuing my last example of David, I was in this room giving a presentation right here and someone sat right there where you're sitting tonight, David, and after the event, they came up to me and they said, Hey, Natalie, I really enjoyed the presentation. I have a lot of questions around social security, you really helped me out. And he actually came back to my office sat down with me and sat across the table. And again, he just said, Natalie, I am so confused. My neighbors doing one thing, my friends doing another thing my sister's doing another thing, I don't know how to maximize the benefit for me, can you help me with that. So using your name multiple times throughout the seminar, so people can start visualizing themselves. Having that conversation with you.
David DeCelle 37:22
I've loved learning about both in college as my minor. But then since then, through, you know, books and podcasts I love is the psychology side of sales, and you're hitting on all those soft skills that aren't like aggressive sales tactics by any means. But someone to your point, like they're sitting there, and they're like, I don't know what it is about this person. But like, I feel really comfortable. And I feel like I can have a conversation with them. And it's just like those just little tips and tricks. So to your point, I feel like we could talk all day about this stuff. So let's go to that next phase before we wrap up. So we've talked about registration to people who show up to scheduling appointments. And now we have to go through people scheduling appointments to actually becoming a client. So whether what's an idea or two that advisors can implement to help that conversion rate and really, you know, bring them through the sales process in the appropriate way to increase the likelihood that they actually do business.
Natalie Grassi 38:27
So again, just like if you can't get the registrants into attendees, there's no purpose in having a seminar. If you can't pay attendees back to your office, there's no purpose in having a seminar. So the first thing I'll go into the sales process, but the first thing I'll say is just like the registration packet serves a really important purpose, there are things you can do between the end of the seminar and that first appointment to increase your sticky rates. So that's something I encourage advisors track the number of people who requested the appointment, and the number of people who actually showed so you might leave a seminar feeling so good, I get a 75% appointment request rate, that's incredible. But then only 25% of the the people who booked the appointments actually show so you got to figure out are all the people who request showing and there are some things you can do at the tail end of the seminar, I'd suggest that when people are booking the appointment, you give them a strategy sessions packet, the same idea of the registration packet, it's going to make that event seem real, give them some materials that are going to help them understand what will happen in that first meeting. Give them something to look forward to set expectations that registration packet will do that. So you're going to increase your sticky right and again, we have some specific items. We coached you as many people to really make sure the advisor has a simple strategy session packet to deliver to people to bring them in for the strategy session between the seminar and the event. I'd recommend that you send out a confirmation letter by mail again, just really solidifying that appointment, making it memorable to individuals and doing a confirmation call text message reminder and email seems like a lot of touches. But I think if you are really thoughtful in the way you're doing these touches, no one's going to mind so Hey, David, I know you booked an appointment I sent you a letter in the mail, I want to make sure you receive that. And that you plan to come in and see us tomorrow, we're really looking forward to the appointment. I've seen your evaluation form here, you listed that there's three different things you want to talk about. I'm really looking forward to connecting with you on those items tomorrow and answering any questions you have. So long as you're thoughtful in your approach, I don't think people will get irritated by multiple touches, I think it's going to help you increase that sticky, right. And then as far as sales process, I think there's very specific things you can do. And I've really learned a lot more about this here at simplicity, because to be honest, like white glove, I helped advisors, like I said, seminar space, getting people from the seminar back to the office. And that was kind of where I stopped that like glove. But in the last eight months here at simplicity, I've had a lot of training. And I've personally received a lot of coaching on how to coach advisors, to more effectively close clients. And I would say one of the things that really stood out to me is that first meeting, the discovery meeting, and you said this today, never make assumptions. What I really learned and heard here is that advisors work with a lot of clients, I think they start suddenly thinking that a lot of these clients are similar, and they start making assumptions about what they need or what their pain points are. So I would say in that discovery meeting, you really have to use some specific questions to find out what that prospects specific pain points are, and how you can help them not just assume that they're like everyone else you've helped because they're a retiree, really dive into the details of what their pain points are. And just be passionately curious, asking lots of questions, getting to know them. And that will really, really help you identify kind of their prospects pain and something else that really coach had simplicity that I've learned a lot more about here, even when I'm working with advisors themselves and try to figure out how I can help them and support them is the question funnel? Are you familiar with the whole idea of question funnel? And I know you have so much knowledge with the idea of the question funnel,
David DeCelle 41:47
know that not that specific terminology. So please, elaborate? Yeah. So
Natalie Grassi 41:51
you know, the whole idea that basically, you're going to ask a very general question. So you might ask something like, what are some of your financial concerns or challenges you have? And the prospect might say, Well, honestly, we're just worried we're going to run out of money. And some advisors might just stop there, I'll turn around money, they need an annuity, they need some guaranteed income. But that's not what you need to do there, you really need to ask a more specific question, and we trained a language you can use for this. But what we've discovered is that a common concern among many people, just like you is running out of money, can you help me understand a little bit more as to why that's one your primary concern? So again, instead of just jumping to Hey, I know exactly what you need, really diving in through that question funnel? Can you help me understand specifically, what is it that has you concerned and you know, maybe the responses, we just worry with expenses going up and more income coming in? How are we going to afford to live if both of us get sick, or one of us get sick, and if we die, or if we lose Social Security? And again, that's really where now you're understanding where that pain lies. If one of us dies, how's the other one going to be okay? Or if one of us gets sick, or we lose Social Security? So not just taking the first answer. And moving on to the next question, going through that question funnel? Can you help me understand specifically, tell me more about that, what we've discovered here showing your experience, we work with people like all the time, what we've discovered, and then repeating back, what I'm hearing is, is that accurate? Well,
David DeCelle 43:09
and in that example, you go from, oh, cool, maybe they need an annuity or something along those lines to maybe they need some sort of, you know, permanent life insurance contract. Because assuming that they're a little bit older, in this sense, term may not make sense. So you know, making sure that they're protected in that way, or, you know, in regards to getting sick or hurt, if they're not working still, then, you know, maybe you're having a long term care conversation, so that one follow up question generated two additional opportunities that you can help them. And to be blunt, increase your ROI on the event because you're implementing more products and services.
Natalie Grassi 43:45
Right, exactly. Yep. So you can just end with how would it make you feel to have a retirement income plan in place that will provide you with both inflation and Long Term Care protection? So again, you got that that deeper level of detail by asking that next question. And again, you know, I think all of us are guilty of this, sometimes, you're like, Oh, I'm Yeah, I work with advisors, I know what they need. But then you realize every single advisor is unique, and advisors need to realize every single client isn't unique. So really taking the time and that discovery process to learn more about them their specific pain and never make assumptions. And another area where we spend a lot of time with advisors is that second appointment and really spending time painting a picture for the prospect between their current state and their desired state. So I think that's really important. And it's fairly easy to do if you do a good job and the discovery, you talk to them about you told me it was important that and you share with them what they told you was important. And that's a valid concern. Because right now, if something did happen to you, David, your wife wouldn't be protected. She wouldn't have income, whatever it might be. So again, showing the current state the desired state and letting them know what is a valid concern, because there's a big gap between those two. So we spent a lot of time coaching to around how you can paint a very clear picture and really let people know that there's a gap There
David DeCelle 45:00
love it. So we've talked about increasing conversion rates of every step in the process so far, which is registration to people who show up to people who book an appointment to actually show up and of the ones who show up asking great questions to ultimately get them to become a client. So personally, I think that there is a ton of value in this episode, and I appreciate you spending some time giving us some of that insight. Before we start to wrap up the show, one of the things that I like to do on all the episodes is promote learning in the industry, specifically learning outside of our industry, because I think that there's so many good nuggets and some of the books that we referenced earlier, what great salespeople do Delivering Happiness by Tony Shea, I'm a big believer in you know, personal development books, marketing books, psychology books, think that not only does it help you as a professional, but it helps you as a person as well as a father or a mother. whatever role you have in your life, it helps that and I find a lot of advisors who are continuously learning a lot of them will do it inside the confines of our industry. So one question that I ask all of our guests is what is one of their favorite books and the one that you had mentioned is called Untamed by Glennon Doyle. So tell me a little bit about that book and why why you chose that.
Natalie Grassi 46:16
Yep. First, David, that was such a tricky question. I mean, I was like, Oh, my goodness, one book, and I was like, so I pick it. I love reading fiction. So I'm like, shall I just given one of my favorite fiction books and tell them why I love it. But anyway, I did pick this one. And I love it. So untamed. It's a bit of like a memoir and a self help book, I would say. And I really loved it. Because I do feel like when the author got very, very vulnerable in there, she was very real with what was going on in her life. I think it's very relatable, I would say mostly to women who are partners, mothers, daughters, friends, employees, and every aspect of your life. And David, something I really love when I read a book is something that makes me feel like a huge range of emotions, every emotion and that's how I really felt when I read this book or points I was laughing point I was crying, reflecting on it, rereading certain parts. I mean, I have quotes from the book that I refer back to my friends all we actually had a book club on the book. So my friends all read the book. Now we speak the same language to each other when we're struggling with something in our lives. Like, hey, you know, Glennon says it was your knowing. And if you just set your knowing will tell you what to do. And so it's really nice to get out now have this this common language that we speak to each other, because obviously, something she says in the book is the truest, most beautiful life never promises to be an easy one, we need to let go of the idea that it's supposed to be. And I think people need to get vulnerable with each other. Everyone has their own struggles. And it's okay, that's normal. And that's life. And so that's why I love the book. And I think many people would benefit from reading it,
David DeCelle 47:46
love it. So I've noticed too, that anytime I'm the most vulnerable, I feel like people connect with me very well. So I had made a post a year and a half or so ago. And kind of, you know, things have been going well, professionally and in business and in life in general, very blessed with what I have going on in my life right now. But there was a point in time when I was early on in my career as an advisor, income was kind of lumpy because I was in sort of a eat what you kill type of model and you know, no salary or anything like that, I had this stack of credit cards. And when I would go out to eat or fill up my tank with gas, like I would have to go log on my banking account and figure out which one has enough limit to actually do that. And now like when I travel my carry on, like my backpack, I keep that stack in there as a reminder of what life used to be. And grateful for the fact that I don't have to live like that anymore. And I don't use any of those cards, like I was at that point in time. And it's interesting, that's probably some of the highest engagement I've gotten on any of the social posts, which kind of proves the point of what you were just saying, which is when you're vulnerable, people can connect with you more because you do a good job of humanizing yourself in those instances. So appreciate you sharing your takeaways.
Natalie Grassi 49:03
I love that you keep those cards. I mean, what a great way to stay grateful. And I mean, the reality is as that's what a lot of the people we're working with are experiencing. That's good to remember, like, hey, it's really hard. And the people who have it figured out are so effective and successful. mean they're very fortunate. It's really hard to get past that initial point where you are figuring out which credit card to use as a as a financial advisor is no good. So it's great that you keep those as a reminder,
David DeCelle 49:30
appreciate that. So before we sign off, if people want to get in touch with you or get in touch with simplicity, where can they go where they connect with you? Where would you like to drive some people's attention?
Natalie Grassi 49:43
Yeah, so I need to get better at my own social media David, but I do I do have a LinkedIn account. I'm not super active on there, but it's one of my goals. So hopefully you'll start seeing me be more active on there, Natalie, grassy, and then emails great, Natalie and a TA Lie dot Grazi gra s si, at simplicity group comm so yeah, I'd love to connect with anyone who wants to learn more about these strategies, I definitely provide some free consultation initially to see if there's any ways that I can help engage with advisors, and help them overcome some of the some of the challenges they're facing, as I said, so we'd love to hear from anyone who may be interested in connecting.
David DeCelle 50:21
Awesome. So for those of you who are listening, if we're not connected yet, feel free to type in model FA on Google, you'll see our website pop up all of our social links, put out podcasts on a weekly basis, blogs, typically on a monthly basis are so a lot of great free content. And if you want to connect with me, same idea, just type in David de sel, on Google D, C, E, ll E. And you'll see all my social links there as well, I'd say I'm most active and engaged on Instagram. So feel free to connect with me on that platform. And also, if you would be so kind as to leave a review on iTunes for us, we'd really appreciate that. And as a thank you for doing so do me a favor and just screenshot that review once it's posted. And you can shoot me a text at 978228238. And just send me that and in the text portion, just type in Natalie, so I know which episode it is in reference to. And Natalie had referenced asking great questions in the sales process. So we have a document that has over 100 questions that you can ask folks in that discovery process, and they're not like put in order. So it's more of like a bank of questions to pull from as you see fit. But if you're feeling stuck or struggling on, you know, connecting with folks and uncovering the need and desire to actually work with you as their advisor, this document could be really helpful. So as a thank you just go ahead, screenshot that review, shoot me a text at 978-228-2338. And I will shoot you an email with that document. But with that, Natalie, I'm grateful that Brad had connected us, I thought that you add a lot of value in today's episode. And given that we're both serving advisors in different capacities, you know, interested and excited to see how we may collaborate moving forward, but I think the podcast is great start. So thank you so much.
Natalie Grassi 52:17
Absolutely. Thank you so much. I'm happy to connect to this too. And I really enjoyed my time with you today. So thank you, and I'm gonna go leave you a review. Not for the questions, but because I appreciate your content. I told you, I've been listening to your podcast now and I've taken a lot of value. I just listened to your Jonathan Montgomery podcast. I love that that's the most recent one I listened to. So you're getting some great people on who are providing a lot of value to people like me, so thank you.
David DeCelle 52:40
Appreciate it. But as soon as we sign off, I will send you that documents. I think it would be helpful as you're talking with advisors. I'm going to give it to you anyways but appreciate it and we will chat soon.
Natalie Grassi 52:50
Thank you so much, David. Awesome. Take care