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Matt Oechsli: Changing Investor Expectations – Are You Ready?

Guest Matt Oechsli, Founder and CEO of The Oechsli Institute | August 29, 2018

Summary and Full Episode

According to Matt Oechsli, there’s one group of financial advisors who are not being disrupted by the shifting technological landscape and changing expectations of affluent clients. He identifies these professionals as elite advisors. What are they doing differently? What do they know that other advisors can incorporate into their own businesses? In this episode, Matt shares insights from The Oechsli Institute’s latest research and the implications for financial advisors who want to remain relevant today and in the future.

Transcript

Host
Bill Coppel, Managing Director and Chief Client Growth Officer at First Clearing
Guest(s)
Matt Oechsli, Founder and CEO of The Oechsli Institute

BILL COPPEL: Hi, this is Bill Coppel, and welcome to another episode of The Next Frontier. Today, I am honored to introduce our guest. Uh, it’s Matt Oechsli. I hope that’s a name that resonates with all of you. Matt and I have been working together for a number of years but just in case you’re not familiar with Matt, let me just tell you a little bit about him. Matt has been doing research against the affluent market for more than 20 years. And it’s through this research space’s approach, he’s developed a number of programs to help financial advisors develop their business, and more importantly stay relevant in times today that can only be categorized as enormously disruptive with the advent of technology in digital into the financial services space.

BILL COPPEL: Today we’re really competing against robos in a lot of cases. Matt is the founder and CEO of the Oechsli Institute. It’s really an institute designed to track the sentiments of affluent investors and how well advisors are serving the needs of these investors. He delivers presentations worldwide to Sydney to Singapore and all the way to Wall Street. And he brings a very dynamic and practical message to financial professionals, support personnel, and sales management. He’s written 11 books. Many of them are best sellers within our industry, often referred to as really “Professor of Wall Street,” in the sense that he really has spent a lot of time studying this space and using academics research findings, and data, to guide his thinking. Along with how he coaches and counsels financial professionals.

BILL COPPEL: So Matt, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Welcome to The Next Frontier.

MATT OECHSLI: Ah, a pleasure to be here, Bill.

BILL COPPEL: As I mentioned, uh, we are facing a tsunami of digital disruption. You know, it’s affecting institutions, industries, and service spaced businesses, and clearly, the financial services industry is feeling the effects of this. You know, today, uh, clients can manage a lot of their own affairs from their smartphones based on the technology that’s out there. So it really begins to question where is the value of a financial intermediary, or a financial advisor we call them. And is this value eroding? What do you see out there and what do you see the future for the financial advisor at?

MATT OECHSLI: You know, the– it’s an interesting question. You know, for years, I mean, over a decade ago our research highlighted the fact that the affluent wants someone, a professional, to oversee the multi-dimensional aspect of their family’s financial affairs. In other words, they want to go to financial quarterback, or go to a family physician of their finances. And for years we’ve researched both the affluent and advisors and the general population of advisors really is not providing that role. And in recent years, now, comprehensive wealth management has become a talking point everybody’s, you know, every firm is talking about their advisors providing comprehensive wealth management, which is basically their label of overseeing the multi-dimensional aspects of a family’s financial affairs.

Welcome to The Next Frontier where we examine what the world of the financial advisor will be in a world that’s being disrupted by artificial intelligence and algorithms. Our mission is to spark new conversations that create stronger connections and build greater client confidence. Join us as we look at our industry and others through a new lens and explore the opportunities emerging at the intersection of high-tech and high-touch. It’s time for a new conversation. Are you ready?

BILL COPPEL: Hi, this is Bill Coppel, and welcome to another episode of The Next Frontier. Today, I am honored to introduce our guest. Uh, it’s Matt Oechsli. I hope that’s a name that resonates with all of you. Matt and I have been working together for a number of years but just in case you’re not familiar with Matt, let me just tell you a little bit about him. Matt has been doing research against the affluent market for more than 20 years. And it’s through this research space’s approach, he’s developed a number of programs to help financial advisors develop their business, and more importantly stay relevant in times today that can only be categorized as enormously disruptive with the advent of technology in digital into the financial services space.

BILL COPPEL: Today we’re really competing against robos in a lot of cases. Matt is the founder and CEO of the Oechsli Institute. It’s really an institute designed to track the sentiments of affluent investors and how well advisors are serving the needs of these investors. He delivers presentations worldwide to Sydney to Singapore and all the way to Wall Street. And he brings a very dynamic and practical message to financial professionals, support personnel, and sales management. He’s written 11 books. Many of them are best sellers within our industry, often referred to as really “Professor of Wall Street,” in the sense that he really has spent a lot of time studying this space and using academics research findings, and data, to guide his thinking. Along with how he coaches and counsels financial professionals.

BILL COPPEL: So Matt, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Welcome to The Next Frontier.

MATT OECHSLI: Ah, a pleasure to be here, Bill.

BILL COPPEL: As I mentioned, uh, we are facing a tsunami of digital disruption. You know, it’s affecting institutions, industries, and service spaced businesses, and clearly, the financial services industry is feeling the effects of this. You know, today, uh, clients can manage a lot of their own affairs from their smartphones based on the technology that’s out there. So it really begins to question where is the value of a financial intermediary, or a financial advisor we call them. And is this value eroding? What do you see out there and what do you see the future for the financial advisor at?

MATT OECHSLI: You know, the– it’s an interesting question. You know, for years, I mean, over a decade ago our research highlighted the fact that the affluent wants someone, a professional, to oversee the multi-dimensional aspect of their family’s financial affairs. In other words, they want to go to financial quarterback, or go to a family physician of their finances. And for years we’ve researched both the affluent and advisors and the general population of advisors really is not providing that role. And in recent years, now, comprehensive wealth management has become a talking point everybody’s, you know, every firm is talking about their advisors providing comprehensive wealth management, which is basically their label of overseeing the multi-dimensional aspects of a family’s financial affairs.

MATT OECHSLI: All that being said, elite advisors, in our research, are providing these services and they are not, you know, being disrupted by technology or the robos. In fact, they’re using technology. The affluent want their advisor to be current in technology and resources. But the average advisor who maybe is still one dimensional, just following the stock market, or just handling an investment, or just selling funds they’re the ones that are being disrupted.

BILL COPPEL: Take a moment, Matt, and share with us your definition of the elite advisor.

MATT OECHSLI: The elite advisor is, is an advisor who is acquiring on a consistent basis clients of a million dollars, or more, of investable assets. They’re bringing in more than– close to 10 of these clients a year, and they are retaining their affluent clients. So they have a loyal client base. So they’re providing the services, you know, they’re meeting, you know, the criteria that our research says that they’re looking for from a service perspective, to financial planning, to protection, to investments meeting expectations, to communication. Right on down the list. So they’re providing, you know, the solutions a– at– with a level of personalized service the affluent want. And they’re also in a continual growth mode because they’re marketing themselves, you know, using word of mouth influence. And here again, word of mouth influence is absolutely the driver of marketing in, in the affluent space. And the affluent aren’t telling their friends to go hire a robo advisor. You know, they’re telling their friends, “Hey, you know, you’ve got to talk to Matt Oechsli.”

BILL COPPEL: And that’s interesting because, uh, the a– the elite advisor that you’re describing, I’m guessing, and I’d like you to confirm this based on the research you’ve been doing, and the teams been doing, I’m assuming they’re not static. They must be evolving and the skills and capabilities that they make available, or probably look different today than they did, perhaps, five years ago.

MATT OECHSLI: Most definitely. An– and they evolve year to year to year because we do, as you know Bill, parallel research projects every year. We research the affluent investor, the client and we research financial advisors. And the common theme– I mean, not that much changes year to year, to year with the affluent. But what’s a constant is at the elite advisor’s are hand to glove providing the services that the affluent tell us they want. For instance, there’s many elite advisors, who years ago didn’t do financial planning. They do it now. There’s many advisors years ago who weren’t really organizing and overseeing the totality of their clients financial affairs. They’re doing it now. You know, years ago financial advisors were just focused– even the elite advisor, just focused on being good professionals. Now, these elite advisors have expanded the relationship so the emo– they’re emotionally connecting with their client’s, they’re providing that personal component. We have 10 years of research that says, when you expand that relationship, you have an ideal client.

BILL COPPEL: So let’s, uh, let– let’s spend a few minutes now l-l-looking at the affluent based on what we’re reading and– an, an some of the research we’ve done suggests that digital clearly, you know– for example, you can buy your groceries online today. You know, you can do all of your shopping and fulfill all of your needs online. Clearly sentiments and expectations of affluence, and general population of consumers in– a-across the country have changed. They’ve been altered by this. What are you seeing in the research where the needs, as articulated by affluents, are beginning to evolve reflecting some of the influences from other parts of our lives that we’re now shifting the responsibility over to digital?

MATT OECHSLI: You know, i-i-it– as far as shifting the responsibility an, an advisor has to realize that they are outside of themselves, their own persona, their brand has become digital. And what do I mean by that is that– so I’m introduced to you by a client at a social function. Word of mouth is s-spreading properly. You, you be– you come highly recommended. If I’m at all interested in you or what you do, or who you are, I’m going to Google search you. And so, you know, that’s just the basics. And from that Google search, you know, now, now whatever comes up you don’t have a current website. If your digital presence is just sort of ho-hum, our data says very clearly it’s a negative impact factor.

BILL COPPEL: Okay. So what we’re seeing change is the fact the internet and digital has empowered affluent investors to really do an awful lot of research on you, before they even have a conversation?

MATT OECHSLI: Absolutely. Abso– or even after they’ve had a conversation. I mean, b– you know, is– it’s interesting our most recent data– this is very key. So we, we asked in our most recent research this year, what prompts a search for an advisor? So we’re prompting a proactive search for a financial advisor. And what prompts this search is getting a higher level of assets. So when they accumulate a certain amount of assets, if they’re doing it themselves and/or– and this is– this is what advisor– this is as disruptive to a, a typical advisor, you know, if they’re not careful. If they deem that their advisor isn’t capable of handling their now more complex financial needs, they proactively start searching for an advisor. And how do they proactively search? They start asking around. The number one thing they do is start asking around. They’re not thinking about going digital, you know, using a robo advisor. They’re asking around.

MATT OECHSLI: And our other research– I mean, this is– and this is a point I, I really need to make because when we look at what, what are the big complaints that advi– I– that the affluent have with their advisor, the complaints, in other words the dissatisfaction is typically around service and communication. However, that doesn’t necessarily prompt a search because it’s in th– in the intangibles world. We use that data in our coaching for financial advisors to use when they’re out there prospecting, developing relationships. That information is very, very helpful and planting the seeds to stir that dissatisfaction. Reminding that particular prospect that they’re not really happy with, you know, the communication and the service they’re receiving from their advisor.

BILL COPPEL: What I’m hearing from the research is that advisors are often lulled to– into a sense of security with a relationship with a client, only to find out when their needs change they don’t think of that advisor. So it starts to point this, this notion of EQ, or emotional intelligence, and so I think that’s a theme that I’ve read, uh, throughout a lot of your l-l– most latest publications, this sense of– you know, you said it earlier, communication. I mean, there’s service but then there’s that communication element. And so it seems to me that, you know, in a world that’s being dominated or certainly being influenced by the encroachment of digital services, whether we typically relied on an intermediary, communication now is key more so than ever.

MATT OECHSLI: It’s absolutely key and really– I mean, you know, when we look at the word of mouth influence hierarchy. So we studied this– we’ve been studying this for a decade, and we finally, you know– I, I think we cracked the code with what– you know, we know advisors who stimulate, who get the positive word of mouth because most of all new affluent clients have discovered their current advisor through some form of word of mouth influence. And the base of that hierarchy is they have to be first class professionals. They’ve got to be really professional and good at what they do in overseeing the totality of their clients financial affairs. But that alone, Bill, doesn’t stimulate word of mouth influence. And a lot of advisors are kind of, “Oh, gosh why not?” Well, because it’s expected. Just like we expect that our cardiologist is a first-class cardiologist. Or we expect that our orthopedic is a first-class orthopedic surgeon. You know, so being a first-class professional is the baseline. But then it’s the next step up on that hierarchy is emotionally connecting. That means you, you, you expand the relationship. You now have this holistic relationship with your client where you’re sort of involved in their life. You’re like their– you know, sort of their life coach. You know what their kids are doing. They know what your kids are doing. And it’s beyond just business.

MATT OECHSLI: This is all about trust. You know, people throw that word ‘trust’ around rather loosely. But we– you know, have data and when you have that emotional connection with your client– you have a loyal client, you know, they’re not beating you up over prices, and they’re going to take you into their spheres of influence and introduce you to people who could potentially become future clients.

BILL COPPEL: One of the things your research does, Matt, is it points out gaps between what affluent investors indicate they want from a relationship. And it measures how well they believe the advisor is delivering against it. On the other side of the coin, you’ve got the advisor who you’re talking to in this research–

MATT OECHSLI: Right.

BILL COPPEL: –and you’re serving up these categories of things that affluent investors have indicated are important to them. And asked the advisors to judge themselves on how well they’re doing. Give me an example of a gap that your– you’ve recently uncovered with this latest round, where, where the affluent has identified something very, very important to them, uh, given it a high value. An advisor has responded by giving it high value but also saying that the advisor’s not delivering against it, and the advisor, in fact, thinks they are.

MATT OECHSLI: The biggest gap and, and the most important area is what we just talked about the emotional connectivity because the affluent want this emotional connection. This, this gives them a level of trust and comfort with their financial advisor. We’ve been asking in the, the affluent for a decade now, how they viewed the relationship. Was it just a business relationship? Or was it an ex–expanded to have this personal component? And the data, you know, changes year to year, but it’s in the range of 25 to 28% of the affluent say they have this expanded relationship that they want. And then when we ask the advisors the same question, it ranges between 68 to 75% of the advisors say they have this expanded relationship. So that’s a huge gap. And I think that gap speaks volumes for the disruption you’re talking about.

BILL COPPEL: Well, that’s interesting. Boy, that’s– that is quite a gap. So–

MATT OECHSLI: And it happens year to year, to year. It’s just not a one-time thing. It’s jus– it’s, it’s, it’s continual.

BILL COPPEL: It’s consistent? It’s–

MATT OECHSLI: Right.

BILL COPPEL: And that’s when you get the advisor who’s stunned when their client actually calls them one day and says, “Gee, I’m leaving.”

MATT OECHSLI: Exactly right. And you know, it, it– it’s– and everybody talks about performance. Performance, performance, performance. So here’s an example, I’m on– I’m just on a call the other day with an advisor of a big team and one of their team members, and the team member left another team, came from this team from another firm, and took all of his clients. And the performance was horrible. But this advisor had great relationships. An I– an– and I, I was told the performance was horrible, but it was– let’s say it was probably subpar. And the comment was this– you know, shoots the– a big hole in the fact that everything cen– centers around performance, doesn’t it? I said, “It’s all about relationships.” Now, you don’t want to have bad performance but relationships trump performance.

BILL COPPEL: Let’s talk a little bit more about this relationship aspect of it because I think everyone believes they’ve got a relationship. In fact, we believe here that’s there’s only three things that really matter to clients. If you really dig down deep it’s this notion of what are the three things that are most important to people? And it can be boiled down to relationships, life experiences, and time. When you look at your affluent research, is this something that elite advisors are recognizing? And is that something that is contributing to their ability to have a better level of EQ, emotional intelligence, that creates an exceptional relationship and turns the client into an evangelist for what they do?

MATT OECHSLI: I don’t think the elite advisors have thought it through to that extent. I think it’s sort of common sense that’s not common practice. You know, the elite advisors have recognized that when you’re dealing with the affluent, you know, the typical standard advertising, billboards, you know, newspaper ads, public seminars, these people, in their mind, it doesn’t– it doesn’t relate to them. It’s, it’s not targeting them. And so they know that the better relationship they have with these wealthy clients, the more they interact with them outside of the office, strengthens the relationship and brings more business their way, because they get introduced to people in their spheres of influence. And I think through their experience over the years they realize, “This is what it’s all about.” And so they continually go ahead and strengthen their relationship. You know, generational planning for the next generation is not a big issue for these elite advisors because they’ve developed relationships with the family. They’re ah– they’ve been advising the children of their wealthy clients. I mean, they’re in the game. But they’re a minority. I mean, there you– you know, most of the advisors aren’t really elite like this.

BILL COPPEL: Well, it sounds like there’s a real opportunity. It’s a relatively small percentage of the advisor population that we can call elite, based on their behavior, and the fact that they’ve discovered it’s more than having that baseline level of great service, and knowledge, and expertise needed to manage that relationship. As you’ve worked with advisors that are seeking to reach that elite status, uh, what are the steps like, and how is it– how, you know, what’s the change process feel like for them? And what are they doing to change their behaviors to attain this status of elite advisor?

MATT OECHSLI: You know, to as– a-a-attain the status of an elite advisor it’s really one step at a time. And so we’re really, you know, we’re advocating one client at a time, making absolutely certain that you’re strengthening that relationship, you’re emotionally connecting with that client. We have a relationship index that we have advisors use so they’re tracking their relationship with all the data. You know, how many contact points? You know, how often do you talk to both spouses? When was the last time you did something social? You know, how many actual performance reviews have you done? And so we’re looking to move that dial. And so you take your top 25 clients, let’s say, one client at a time, you want to be strengthening that relationship and making certain that you’re providing the multi-dimensional solutions that our research says that they’re looking for.

MATT OECHSLI: That’s step number one. So an– and that’s– this is sort of a transformational process. And as they start that then, you know, the actual marketing acquisition, you know, will, will unfold because their, their clients through their actions will see that their advisor is more involved in their lives. Their advisor is providing more value than heretofore they’ve been providing. And the advisor, you’ve got to be scripting on this because it’s a more complex world, Mr. Client. And this is why we’re doing all these services. Things are getting confusing, and we’re going to be your point person, and if you e– you know, if ever you have a question about anything regarding your, your financial world, don’t hesitate, because this is what we do. You know, we’re your one-stop shop for coordinating all this. It’s that type client to client, to client that becomes transformational because it doesn’t take long for that relationship to change with all of your top tier clients. But it can’t be done in a client event. It can’t be done in having a big seminar, you pull all your clients in and, “This is the new me.” One client at a time. It’s the one prospect at a time. It’s one, uh, center of influence referral alliance partner at a time.

BILL COPPEL: So obviously not all of these advisor-client relationships, as you describe the elite advisor, are the same? They can’t–

MATT OECHSLI: Correct.

BILL COPPEL: And, uh, I know that you and the institute have worked hard over the years to help advisors find good processes to run their business. So it’s a little counter-intuitive when you think about it, right? So I’ve got to create a very, very special relationship, which is going to require me, in many cases, to do different things for different clients.

MATT OECHSLI: Correct.

BILL COPPEL: How do you reconcile process and uniqueness to create these clients who are, you know, essentially out marketing on your behalf?

MATT OECHSLI: You have basic standard client experience. But then the basic standard client experience, that’s sort of your baseline, you know. And if you’re going to have four themed r– you know, reviews a year, well you’re not forcing a client into a themed review who you could barely get down to have one review a year, because they’re too busy. They’re not interested in all these reviews. So it really– the first, you know, order of business is to really know your client. And to know your client, you got to ask the right questions. You’ve got to be really listening. You have to be dialed in. Each relationship, as you just said Bill, is, is really personalized to the personality, the needs, you know, an– and we’re talking about the emotional needs, a–as well as the financial solutions that are needed for each individual client. And whether there are needs for their children, whether there are needs in their retirement, to whether it’s something to do with, you know, retiring from, you know, a, a big job. It’s all personal.

BILL COPPEL: You mentioned, uh, something I want to– I want to drill down a little bit further on, retirement. Are you seeing advisors getting involved with not just preparing the client financially for retirement, but also emotionally. Because it seems to me when you think about retirement, what you’re– what you’re saying is the person you’ve been for 20 or 30 or longer years, you’re going to stop being that person tomorrow.

MATT OECHSLI: Right.

BILL COPPEL: Talk to us a little bit about what you’re seeing out there with the elite practices that you work with on how they’re helping clients really chart the next chapter, after they ‘transition’ out of the career they may have been in for a long time?

MATT OECHSLI: Well, I mean, the elite advisors are hand to glove with their clients so, you know, they know the emotional component of retiring for that individual client. Some clients are truly excited about it and they’re just– they’re never looking back. Others have a gap in their life and they need something to do. So, you know, they’re, they’re chatting with their elite cl– you know, they’re affluent clients who are retiring about, you know, where their volunteer work is going to be. Uh, what type, type of vacations they’re going on. Where they’re going. What they’re doing. They’re helping them e-emotionally fill that void. Others, they’re just sort of like, you know, it’s bon voyage. I mean, they’re out there and they’re enjoying life. But they’re, they’re dialed in. Where very few advisors are dialed into anything other than just they’re retired. They’re not dialed into that emotional component. So when you have that emotional connection, and I keep coming back to that emotional connection because you– if you have that emotional connection with a client, you’re with them and you know where they’re at emotionally as they retire.

BILL COPPEL: How many elite advisors would say that their clients are not just their clients, they’re actually their friends?

MATT OECHSLI: Uh, the majority.

BILL COPPEL: So the friend– so the friend factor’s a big deal here, in terms of this emotional connection?

MATT OECHSLI: The friend factor is a big deal and you see what elite advisors do though, is they take everyone of their affluent clients personally and seriously. And they– and some of these clients are easier to interact with socially, emotionally than others. But they make it their mission to connect with all of them. Where the average advisor really emotionally connects, or gets a personal relationship with their favorite clients. The clients that are easy to interact with. And that’s the biggest difference.

BILL COPPEL: So I guess my question is, why would you do business with someone you didn’t like?

MATT OECHSLI: Yeah, I mean ad-ad-advisors who keep clients they don’t like– and, and I’m not saying– now, advisors– and, and we know advisors who keep clients that really drive them crazy, they can’t stand them. Well, it’s all about the money. But, you know, when advisors– you know, it– it’s not that they don’t like a client, it’s in fact that some clients are just more challenging to interact with socially. You know, they’re, they’re just not as– you know, you don’t have this natural of fit. You know, so if somebody– i-if you’re an outdoorsy, athletic advisor and you have a, a wealthy client that’s into the theatre, and a little more, you know, intellectual maybe, and you don’t have that natural connection point. Well, you have to go out of your way to make it happen. And they do. The typical advisor won’t because that client’s just a little– I, I feel a little uncomfortable around that client. I’m not as natural. I can’t really be myself. I’m a little self-conscious. Whatever it might be. And we all know– I mean, when people– you know, there’s certain clients that we, we enjoy being around. It doesn’t mean we hate the rest of them.

BILL COPPEL: Probably the notion of not liking is, is not the right way to characterize it but it’s finding that alignment emotionally, socially with that individual that transcends the relationship from a sales transaction into a sustainable emotional connection.

MATT OECHSLI: When you– when you have a– just a professional relationship, you’re in charge. This is what we do. This is how we do it. We’re good at what we do. You know, that personality factor comes into play but not as much as when you expand the relationship. When you expand to have that emotional connection, as you know, Bill, cer– certain personalities are easier to interact with than others. Advisors, the elite advisors make it their mission to interact this way with all of their clients.

BILL COPPEL: My experience has been often– where we were trained as advisors to tell a story, if you will. And ‘
oftentimes that story was about us and what we did.

MATT OECHSLI: Right [laughter]. Right.

BILL COPPEL: Um, and, and I’m not saying that that was necessarily wrong, or bad, but it didn’t give the client a lot of time to tell their story. How are the elite advisors handling that interaction?

MATT OECHSLI: Elite advisors are phenomenal listeners and, you know, we, we have taken with– the elite advisors do and we call it the three Cs of communication. You know, that they’re concise. They don’t talk too much. They’re not long-winded, talking about themselves. They’re conversational. They’re not arrogant, telling you how great they are, or, or acting like they have the answer for everything in the world. And they do it with confidence, but a relaxed confidence. And another thing that elite advisors excel in, Bill, are asking questions. You know, and they understand how to ask questions in a casual conversational tone. Not as an inquisition. And then they’re good listeners to the response. And by the way, you know, when you listen to somebody answer a question – this is whether it’s a client, or you’re out there socially with interacting with a potential prospect. You know, when a prospect typically asks an advisor, “What do you do for a living?” An advisor then regurgitates their value proposition, which often sounds like the financial pledge of allegiance [laughter], um, because you’re trying to come across so smart, so intelligent. This is all counterintuitive, but that’s precisely the wrong thing they should do.

MATT OECHSLI: They should just be very humble about it. You know, we handle the finances for some families here in the area. And then they redirect by asking a question to the other individual, you know, such as, “How did you get involved with this fundraiser?” And then they listen to the response. And when they listen and then ask a follow-up question, follow-up questions are the key to developing rapport and credibility because they signal that A, you’re listening. B, that you care about what you’re hearing. And then C, you’re interested in hearing more. People like that. I mean, it’s Dale Carnegie 101. Basically, elite advisors know that this prospect is going tell me what they need and how to sell my services to them.

BILL COPPEL: How are elite advisors specifically leveraging the digital technologies available in a way that enhances the emotional connection, and doesn’t re– try to replace it, or make it easy, or make it a shortcut?

MATT OECHSLI: The elite advisors are– they’re all– everyone that we’ve, uh– you know, our research says very, very firmly, in all of the ones that we’ve coached, they are on the cutting edge of technology. They use it. And they help their clients, you know, with the technology and, and at the same time they know if a client doesn’t want to get to high-tech, they leave them alone. But so they’re not afraid of technology. You know, they are on the cutting edge of technology, but they use it, you know, a-as far as internally with their operations to improve efficiencies, but externally with their clients it’s personalized to each individual client.

BILL COPPEL: The access, often times, they’ll use it for clients who, in addition to running their own practice, if a client– i– they empower a client with access to information without fear of it having, having a negative implication on their relationship.

MATT OECHSLI: Oh, no question. It doesn’t have a– because our data is very, very clear. You know, we, we, we asked a question, which is very germane to your– to the– to your point here of what constitutes – this is to the affluent now a, a high-quality in-office visit with your advisor. The five top criteria. The number one criteria was convenience. So the convenience of the office. The convenience of parking. And so some of these offices that are in major downtown areas with security to get in, and all that and the other, it’s a pain in the neck for affluent to go to that office. So the advisor needs to be cognizant of that and either have a car service drive their client in and meet them at the curb, and personally walk them in the office, go through security, or they need to go out to their, uh, e–establishment to have a meeting. The second criteria is the personalization of the initial greeting when they walk into the office. And then the third is they, they want to learn something. They want to be educated. The fourth is they want current technology. So here’s your digital– here’s the technology. They want you to be up to speed with current technology, whether you’re showing it on the big screen. You, you know how to use all the bells and whistles, not that they might want to learn how to use them themselves, but they want their advisor to be current.

MATT OECHSLI: And then the fifth criteria for a good office visit – and you’ll [laughter] get a kick out of this – is they want you to talk to them about their family and their hobbies. What they like to do for fun. The emotional connectivity part.

BILL COPPEL: Oh, that’s perfect. All right. I’m going to put you on the spot because we’ve been friends a long time. I’m assuming you have a financial advisor.

MATT OECHSLI: Right.

BILL COPPEL: When you think about the relationship with your financial advisor, what do you value most?

MATT OECHSLI: I, I value most my financial advisor’s brains and his honesty. Known him forever.

BILL COPPEL: Okay. And honesty meaning you trust him?

MATT OECHSLI: I trust him implicitly.

BILL COPPEL: And he knows everything about you?

MATT OECHSLI: Absolutely.

BILL COPPEL: And the family?

MATT OECHSLI: Yep.

BILL COPPEL: Okay. Now, second–

MATT OECHSLI: I prospected him by the way [laughter].

BILL COPPEL: You, you trained– you trained your own advisor.

MATT OECHSLI: He, he, he, he was my– he was one of my, uh, uh, gym partner’s– workout partners in the gym.

BILL COPPEL: What advice would you give to an advisor today to achieve that elite status?

MATT OECHSLI: My advice to, uh– it would be two-fold. It would be one, absolutely raise your game and– you know, professionally. Make certain that you are the real deal. You’re providing all these services with consummate professionalism. It’s not just about a value proposition. And then number two, make certain that you expand that relationship and emotionally connect with your client. You have an ideal client, word of mouth is going to travel in your favor.

BILL COPPEL: For the folks listening to this, uh, this episode how can they get a hold of Matt Oechsli and tap into the Oechsli Institute if they are interested in pursuing more information on becoming an elite advisor?

MATT OECHSLI: Uh, they can go to our website. www O-E-C-H-S-L-I dot com. And then just peruse and read some of our research reports.

BILL COPPEL: Are you still hosting your rainmaker programs?

MATT OECHSLI: Yeah, we’re doing– we’re, we’re doing our rainmaker. We’re, we’re now host– we’re calling them coaching retreats. They’re basically for our coaching clients. We’re doing a social media a-automation coaching, as well as team coaching. So we have 25 coaches that, you know, do a first class job and our, our advisors we coach come to these programs.

BILL COPPEL: Thank you. It was a pleasure to have you join us today. We look forward to our next conversation.

MATT OECHSLI: I enjoyed it. Thank you, Bill. [music]

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Block Quotes

Word-of-mouth influence is absolutely the driver of marketing in the affluent space.

Matt Oechsli

About The Guest

Matt Oechsli is the founder and CEO of The Oechsli Institute, where he educates and coaches financial services professionals on growing their businesses. In addition to his ongoing research, he is the author of 11 industry bestselling books, and is often referred to as “The Professor of Wall Street.”

Ways To Contact Matt