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36 min read

Don’t Wing It: Systems and Processes Prevail

By NAIFA on 10/20/23 9:30 AM

Topics: Podcast

Dan Finley

Dan Finley is an experienced financial advisor and professional coach who founded a business consulting and coaching service dedicated to helping advisors enhance their business. He began his brokerage career in 1993, spent 13-plus years as a successful financial advisor, and since 2004, has conducted over 20,000 hours of individual and group coaching sessions for financial advisors. His financial advisory and coaching experience includes all three major distribution channels: wire-house, bank, and independent.

Dan frequently speaks at branch offices, local chapters of the FPA, NAIFA, and national conferences. He is also the author of 101 Advisor Solutions: A Financial Advisor's Guide to Educate, Motivate, and Inspire!


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Dan Finley talks about his relationship with NAIFA 
  • How he got started in the financial services and coaching industries
  • What is the difference between coaching an individual and a team?
  • Dan’s coaching process for advisors on how to overcome rejection and win in the industry 
  • How Dan overcame challenges he faced in the financial services industry
  • NAIFA's impact on industry education and networking

In this episode…

Are you looking to build a successful business as a financial advisor? Where can you get the support you need to take your business to the next level? 

Part of being a successful financial advisor is building a thriving business — and if you're winging it, you will struggle to make that happen. Dan Finley recommends getting a coach as a game-changing strategy for your business. With a coach, you can get the guidance, support, and accountability necessary to build the systems and processes that will enable you to create a better business.

On this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Dan Finley, an experienced financial advisor and professional coach, to discuss how he helps advisors flourish in the industry. Dan talks about his relationship with NAIFA, how he got started in the financial services and coaching industries, the difference between coaching an individual and a team, his process for coaching advisors, and how he overcame the challenges he faced in the industry.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Hi NAIFA nation this is your co-host for Advisor Today's podcast Chris Gandy and I'm here with my wonderful co-host, Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 0:29 

Hey, Chris.

Chris Gandy 0:30 

So good to see you. Suzanne, we've been doing this for a little bit of time now. And we're starting to get some good feedback, people are starting to actually download the podcast, pay attention. But I think we have a guest today where people will be able to take some systems and processes and some new unique ideas away from today. So Suzanne, before we get into it, share with us a little bit about who is our sponsor? Or what's our sponsor for today's podcast.

Suzanne Carawan 0:58 

Yeah, be happy to. So this week's sponsor is going to be it's kind of a joint one between the Talent Development Center and the Business Performance Center, because Dan Finley is actually a member of both those and regularly contributes. So Dan Finley has been a loyal member with NAIFA for quite a few years. And I'm happy to say I'm the one who recruited Dan. I sold Dan. So Dan's one of my like progeny there. And that we'll talk about that. But he's been a longtime partner to NAIFA. And we'll get into that as well, as well as he has a brand new book out that we want to hear about. And so we wanted to have Dan come on the show because he has been a coach, et cetera. And we were just hitting on a couple of things. I know today we're gonna hit on systems and processes, moving from individual coaching, team-based coaching, and whatnot. But Dan Finley is our guest today. So Dan, we're delighted to have you on and actually it's taken us months to get you on, because he's been busy out there coaching away. So happy to have you and he's one of our NAIFA best.

Dan Finley 1:59 

Thank you. I appreciate that. Thank you. What a great introduction.

Chris Gandy 2:04 

So Dan, welcome. Welcome to our podcast. I believe we are on episode, we're after 40, I think. I think we're moving on up there. So Dan, happy to have you. So share with us a little bit about your relationship with NAIFA. And share with us a little bit about how you get started connecting to the financial services business.

Dan Finley 2:30 

Okay. Well, let me start with your first question, getting connected with NAIFA. Because the latter question is a little bit longer, longer answer that is. So I believe I was introduced to NAIFA a long time ago 2006. And what's interesting about that is because I had already been in the industry since 93. But I didn't really know anything about NAIFA. I was with a large regional firm, AG Edwards back in the day. At any rate, I was coaching, I started coaching in 2004. But I heard about NAIFA in 2006. And I reached out to NAIFA. I think it was well before Suzanne, you were on board. And it was just kind of some light conversations a little bit at first and it took a few years. And then at one point I had asked if I could do a free group coaching session for NAIFA members. What was interesting about that is they said this was January, and they said maybe in October, and at any rate, you know how time flies. I mean, October came pretty quickly. And so when October hit, we did a free session, and I can't even remember what it was about. It was so long ago, I think it might have been questions-based selling or SPIN Selling how to ask better questions. And then afterwards, I got a phone call from the person that had set the whole thing up and was kind of Co-doing that presentation. And he asked, you want to do one every month? And so I did at that point. And I think that lasted for about six years until COVID hit. And then things kind of slowed down in a lot of different respects and would COVID hit. So that's how I got introduced to NAIFA's. But Suzanne is right. She was the one that recruited me into being a member years ago. And so I did, I took the plunge and I'm glad I did. So I hope that answer that first question. But as far as Chris, as far as and Suzanne, as far as getting into the industry, getting into the business, I started in 1993. And I was 26 years old, which I'd never thought 30 years were gonna fly by. But at any rate, it goes quick and sort of set it too quick. And I didn't know what I didn't know it. I didn't even know I didn't know it. And so it's the first level of learning. It's called unconscious incompetence. You just don't even know the challenges because you're so lost.

Suzanne Carawan 4:46 

I love that unconscious incompetence.

Dan Finley 4:50 

You just don't know the challenges. Yeah. And so, at any rate, I got into the business in 93 and I was a registered investment advisor But it was a nice title. But the reality Chris and Suzanne was, I was glorified cold call it for three critical partners. And about a year later, I decided to move on to build my own business instead of building theirs. And so I moved on to AG Edwards. And I stayed there for a lot of years. But I think it was, well, in 2000. I moved on in 2003, I believe, and then went to a bank for a couple of years. So I literally have had the wirehouse, the independent, the wirehouse in the bank channel. I've had that experience with all three different formats, or places to be. But somewhere along the way, and I think it was about a year to three, the branch manager came into my office and he said, hey, could you teach the rookies how to cold call and could you stay late? I said, I stay late every night. And he said, okay, well, I'm gonna order pizza, you teach them how to cold call, what to say how to say it. I said, okay, so we didn't kind of read through. And I kind of got the coaching bug at that point. And then it followed me when I left Milwaukee and then moved to Minneapolis, because my family's from around here. So I came back to this area. In that branch manager, I told him, coaching the rookies, and he said, we bet six? Can you coach those guys? And then it followed me to the bank, where that manager said, hey, can you coach our rookies here? But it's morphed into that coaching the rookies to like Suzanne said, coaching teams, as well. And my biggest team manages a lot of assets, 2.2 billion. So it's been a good progression. So your question, Chris, but yeah.

Chris Gandy 6:43 

So that's an interesting run. Right. So you go from coaching, rookies to coaching teams, playing sports in my previous life. I think that's, I mean, that seems like it's a different skill set. Can you share with us a little bit about what is the difference between coaching and individual and coaching a collective team?

Dan Finley 7:02 

Okay. So think of it this way, if you are pitching coach, okay, for professional baseball player, baseball team, you're going to work with these pitchers only, right, you're going to look at their form, you're going to look at how well they can throw the ball, everything, everything because you know everything about individually. But if you're coaching the entire team, you're watching the whole team. Okay, which is interesting about that, which I think is interesting about that, Chris is, even though I'm coaching a team, I'm also coaching the players individually, as well. So what we've done is we've done a group coaching session, which is 24 weeks, and it's basically the foundation, it's the advisor, solutions, pipeline and sales 1.0. So it's the foundation of soft skills of how to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. And then we also do a team coaching session, twice a month. So this is the group is every week, so they get the fundamentals. That'd be like going to practice every week. And then the team is to be accountable of what did you do? How many referrals did you ask for? What kind of responses did you get? How did you get through that? Did you follow up, and I'll just use it one example referrals, and then charting how they're doing every week. And that team actually received, I think that was somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 114 referrals in six months, which is huge. And they brought in 45 million in six months, which is huge. Because they weren't bringing in that kind of number, they found 94 million in six months. So they were doing it because they were conscious of doing it. I'm still working individually. So it's kind of like a three-pronged system, working individually, with people to coach them on what to say how to say it and that kind of thing in an individual coaching session, and we look at their pipeline. Okay, who's in the pipeline? What's the most important situation? Like who's the most important person? I've got a meeting I want to close? So we work on that strategy, how are we going to help that person buy, because people hate to be sold, but they love to buy. So it's a process that I teach people, but also group coaching, where everybody's together, and we're working on exactly what to do over these 24 weeks of how to connect better with people. I call it effortless connections. And then the third way is team coaching, which is really another word for accountability coaching. It just sounds a little bit nicer to say team coaching. So I hope that answered your question, Chris.

Chris Gandy 9:42 

So accountability coaching, so you're coaching individuals collectively and you're coaching them as a joint and partner on a team, okay. So there had to be a distinction for you, right? So coaching versus playing right So, I'm sure people ask you, hey, why don't you just be a producer? Like, just be a producers be a big-time producer? Why spend your time energy and effort? It's gonna bring glory to others?

Dan Finley 10:10 

That's a great question.

Chris Gandy 10:11 

So, why?

Dan Finley 10:13 

Every client that I have I've closed. So it's not that I'm not closing people, I am, it's just in a different kind of, on the flip side of the same coin. So what happened? I'll tell you a quick story of where the conversion was. One day back in 2004, I believe it was, I closed a huge annuity. And I was pretty excited about that, in this person who left this couple, I sat down and had the paperwork, Chris and Suzanne had the paperwork in front of me. And instead of mailing it off, because my system wasn't right outside my door, I had to mail it off 12 miles away to headquarters or my regional headquarters. Instead of doing that, I grabbed the phone, and I picked it up to call the next person. There's a reason why I'm telling you that it'll all come around to your question. I want to call the next person. And I realized what I looked at the computer, I don't know who I'm going to call what I'm going to say, but I do know, I want to set another appointment and have a good, another meeting. And I put the phone down and I thought, wait a minute, I'm winging it. And if there's one thing that anybody gets from this podcast, it's winging it doesn't work. The fact I say that all the time in my podcast, winging it doesn't work. And so I went home that night. And I knew about this tool called the life wheel. Chris, Suzanne have you ever heard of life wheel, have you ever heard of that. So the life wheel is just a pie chart that has slivers of the pie, and it's different facets of your life, like fitness, friends, family, hobbies, whatever it is, that's important. And then you rate yourself in each one of those facets, your finances. How are you on a scale of one to 10 with your finances? Like I've got it dialed in? I know how much I have. I've got a budget, all of that stuff. What about friendships? Are you spending enough time with friendships and so family? And I knew the process, which was this wheel, and then you rate yourself from one to 10, one being the lowest 10 being like the crust of the pie. And then you connect the dots. And you look at that. And you ask yourself, is this wheel balanced? Would you drive on this wheel if it was an actual wheel on your car? I thought to myself, wait a minute. At first I thought, okay, if this were the business, what is it? Is it a square, like there's four corners to this business, I get these four things down, I'm going to take it to the next level. Then I looked at it and thought maybe it's the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs kind of triangle thing. Because everything's equal. So it's equal, it's going to be a circle. And if it's a circle, what are the pie slivers of the pie, and I thought time management, I don't manage my time. Everything crumbles prospecting, if I don't grow this business and prospect, it's never gonna grow, sales, I can prospect all day. But if I'm not good at sales, I'm not going to close anyone, marketing, Client Servicing product knowledge and so on. And then a rated myself and each one of those connected the dots. And that was the beginning of all of it, Chris and Suzanne, where I looked at that, and I thought, wait a minute. If I'm like a three and time management, what's my problem? What are my challenges? So I start writing down the challenges. And then over time, I counted a 40 different sources, books you've all heard of. Okay, I'm trying to find a solution to have unstructured to the day, having a way to handle interruptions. And so, how to how to talk to my clients and my assistant when I get interrupted, so that I don't put up the next fire and then put off the next fire and so on. And what I found was Chris, and Suzanne, I started getting better results. But then as I was coaching these rookies, I realized that over the years, I got more satisfaction out of helping advisors than I did investors. That's why I moved on. So long-winded answer to your quick question, Chris. But it really comes down to satisfaction. I got more satisfaction still do helping advisors.

Suzanne Carawan 14:28 

You put in the playbooks together and run Yeah.

Chris Gandy 14:31 

So on the adviser side, Dan, I do coaching. I coach advisors, probably not at the level you coach them at but recruit, train and develop advisors, but I also produce and I would say that coaching for me it's harder because the motivation. So the question is, how do you get advisors, let's call it to see the world through your rose-colored glasses. How do you get advisors to move the needle to do the things that others aren't willing to do to make the sacrifices? Okay, how do you do that without telling them what to do? Does that make sense?

Suzanne Carawan 15:16 

Feeling it out internally, right? Get that internal drive.

Dan Finley 15:19 

Exactly. So it's a combination of two things. When I started in coaching, I went to this meeting where somebody was coaching other people. And I called her later and I said, wait a minute, but you didn't have any answers. And she said, no, coaching isn't about having a uniters. It's about having the questions. And I said, Well, I don't want to be a coach, because I want to have the answers for people that need help. And that's more consulting.

Suzanne Carawan 15:46 

Right? I was just gonna say that sounds like consulting is a recurring revenue.

Dan Finley 15:51 

Exactly. So, this is a combination of both? Because I may have the answers. And I most likely do, because I've seen it all in the last 19 years of coaching, and 30 years being in the industry. But here's the thing, if I asked the right questions, to get them to come to a conclusion that they need blank, and then I say, and here's the tool, and here is what's gonna get you there. That gets them more motivated. But also, Chris was a great question. How do you get them to be motivated, you turn it into a game. Think of it this way. Kids loves to play games, right? Kids will play games, especially if they're winning, they want to keep playing. And so what I do first and foremost, is help them with time management to begin with, and prospecting and sales. Those three facets, I think are paramount to help them. But I have to help them, turn it into a game. So you're only going to do this game for 45 minutes, you're going to make outgoing calls for 45 minutes, there's always going to be a winner and a loser in that game. Right. But you're playing against yourself, you got minutes to do blank, to do this activity, make outgoing calls. So if I turn it into a game, and they're accountable to tell me that they won the game, or lost the game, and they reward themselves, or they punish themselves for winning or losing, then they're more motivated, because they've got awareness of what to do. Okay, action of doing it. I call it a triple-A business, triple-A rated business, awareness, action and accountability. So how do I keep them motivated? Turn it into a game until it turns into a habit.

Suzanne Carawan 17:35 

Turn it into a game until it turns into a habit. But do you find like, back and this was probably far more when you had the rookies, though? I mean, you know the percentage of washout rate in our industry. So are you finding that people are just, you're either seeing it or not kind of like you would look at athletes, like they either have the ability and they can learn any sport? Or they are they're opting out themselves? Like, how do you develop an eye for that?

Dan Finley 17:57 

I would say, well, a couple of things. Well, what is their why, what's their motivation to even be in the business if it's just about money, and they don't like what they do, they're going to be gone. But what we really need to do is find out okay, so what's your why? And let's take a look and figure out where you rate on what I call the rejection spectrum. Okay, the advisors rejection spectrum. One would be, I don't even want to pick up the phone because I'm afraid of rejection. 10 is, I'll call anyone anywhere, anytime. I don't care. So where do they rate? Now, veterans can have kind of this learned belief system, like, yeah, but I spent 10 years building my business, I don't want to call people, I just want to talk to my clients, that kind of thing. So first and foremost, I find out okay, where are you with rejection. And then I help them I put together a white paper 25 ways to conquer rejection, we're gonna whittle that down to 10 ways to conquer rejection will make a game louder, getting rejected. And understanding and identifying rejection is not the same as an objection. An objection not interested, like we talked about before we started is no big deal if you know exactly what to say. So getting them motivated, Chris, your original question is really a function of a couple of things. One, helping them understand that they can get through rejection, they can conquer rejection, okay. It's the art of rejection perception. That's what I call it. Rejection is a learned behavior. When you were a baby, the doctor didn't pick you up by your ankles and say, not interested. I have an advisor and you cry. You didn't even think that were. So, along the way, when you heard it the 133,000 time, you're like, oh, they're rejecting me personally. But it's a learned behavior. And so if you can learn that the art of rejection perception says this, they're not rejecting you personally. They're rejecting the value they think you can bring them So all we need to do is help increase the value that you bring with the right buyer questions. If you ask the right questions, and they're thinking, yeah, maybe I do need help with that, then they're going to want to meet with you. So the key to what I do is all about systems. I said winging, it doesn't work. The opposite of that is I know exactly what to do. I've got a system for this. That's why I wrote two books that are over 400 pages each. Because it's all about what to do.

Suzanne Carawan 20:31 

Yeah, no, I do think there's a little, from my career standpoint, I have taught and educated and coached hundreds of people in marketing, like hundreds and hundreds and I do think there is a magical moment, though, and it doesn't happen for everyone. And I think this is where it keeps you going. But that person, there's a point at which you realize that this is your craft, and your body of work, and it's in the game, you can get into the game between you and you, right. But there is something as to transition most people have been raised to go to their boss or their teacher, and they're just doing as told, doing as told, doing as told, when you go through that epiphany and you realize this is your I think it's like career piece, that this is your business, you're building your body of work, this is your legacy, however you want to put it. Getting people to that point, that is a magical thing. And I think most people that coach love it, that's what they love. They love that. Because then the accountability really is there's and then there's no limits right of what they could do. But I don't know that that comes to everybody. If you had extra secret sauce, you helped me pull that and more people because some people it just always was somebody else's fault. Or it's, there's a reason right, the bus broke down whatever, right? Like it has reasons that it's,

Dan Finley 21:51 

Well, the secret sauce is in the systems. That's what it comes down to. And so if this person's, here's the thing, in some respects, you can't coach desire, like if this person really literally pick up the phone, then they're gonna wash it out on your own, it's gonna happen. There was a rookie, a great kid that was in his 20s. And during COVID. I started coaching him at the beginning of 2020. And I remember his boss saying, we're going to put this guy on a, he's gonna get a salary for three years. And I said, why three years? And he said, well, why don't really make it. And I knew within the first probably three sessions, this kid is never going to make it because you just gave him the keys to the car. And he doesn't pay insurance. He's entitled. Yeah. So he had every excuse in the book. And back to your original question, Chris, that was one of those people that just didn't have desire. And so if I pick up the phone right now to talk to his boss, I'm pretty confident that guy would say, ho, and he left, he washed out, because his three years are up, his salary was up after three years. So yeah.

Chris Gandy 23:03 

Are you actively seeking clients? Are you coaching advisors. Share with us a little bit about if our listeners want to find you, Dan, and say, you know what, this guy can help me go to the next level. One, how do they do it? Two, it has to be a win-win relationship, right? I'm sure you're looking for talent, or people that are not just interested, but committed to being successful. So there's certain qualities that they need to bring to the table. But share with us a little bit about that journey, what that would look like what that would entail.

Dan Finley 23:40 

It was sort of interesting that you asked that because I just spoke to a NAIFA member that's been a NAIFA member for a lot of years, a couple of decades. And I'll speak to him later on today. And so the way to find me, if you want a free if somebody's watching this, and they want a free coaching session for 45 minutes, we'll set up a free session. That's no big deal. I mean, I'm fine with that. No obligation. Let's just talk, let's figure out what your challenges are, what are the solutions that work for other advisors and agents, and kind of go from there. So all you have to do is email me at dan@advisorsolutionsinc.com. And just put, let's talk in the subject line, and then a little bit about your backstory, and we'll set up a time to talk. And then from that, you'll decide whether or not or we will decide whether or not we're a good fit, and kind of go from there. And I've got different coaching programs where you can be in group only where we meet twice a week for two different topics each week, Monday and Wednesday, or individually. We're meeting twice a month and twice a week. So you've got eight 10 sessions, or weekly and I tend to find the people that get into weakly get the most results, because they've got the most skin of game. And when you were talking about, they've got to be, Chris, when you were saying something to the effect of what you're looking for, I look for people that want to get to the next level. And I think what happens in this industry is a lot of people hit a production plateau at some point in their career. And they either decide, well, this is it, I'm comfortable, this is all, I'm good. I don't want to grow, but they won't really admit it. They're just gonna go the next year goes by next decade and so on. And then you've got the people that are like, I don't want to be on this production plateau anymore. What do I do? What's the solution? That's where I was, when I'd had that epiphany after that couple left, and I closed that annuity that wait a minute, what are my challenges, and what are the solutions, but you don't want to reinvent the wheel at all. Because it'll take too long. What you want to do is learn from like-minded advisors and agents that are already learning these tools and techniques, and getting transformational moments. They're getting to the next level. And what's great about that is I can have a rookie, that if I'm thinking of this guy, right now, great guy, who's only been in the business for five years, and he was in a group session with a bunch of natural, guys. And at any rate, when we roll played, he put those guys to shame. He was open to learning and applying everything. And he was getting results that these guys weren't, which is great.

Chris Gandy 26:36 

Wow. So transformation, growth, upward mobility, and building their practices building their businesses. So let's talk a little bit about the challenges. So share with us, you didn't just arrive here. And you got here. But you had to have challenges along the way, can you share with us a little bit about some of the challenges you've had to face along the way that has kind of led you to this calling?

Dan Finley 27:09 

Okay. So the biggest challenge that I had, when I sat down with that pie chart, I call it the advisors business wheel, the biggest challenge that I saw right away when I was talking about time management, so we break it down into different facets, different slivers of the pie, time management was structured to the day and a way to handle the interruptions. So I had a lot of clients and I was interrupted all day long. And it was to the point at one point where I had 42 items on a to-do list. And my assistant said, hey, your voicemail was full? And I said, I know. It goes, well, you got to empty that and I said no, because somebody else will leave a message. You don't have a client seriously. Yeah, I found this book, I felt like my buddy gave me a book called First Things First by Steven Covey. And he gave it to me back in 95, and I was reading it there. And I found, which was interesting, I found the time matrix management system. I thought the guy invented it. But then I had client that was at Annapolis back in the 70s. And he said, now they had us do it, we were in school. And so I created a tool called the Time Matrix To Do, which is really just take everything you prioritize are all your tasks, prioritize those, and I just translated it to now today this week, or whenever I still use it today, all day long. It interrupted. So what I was doing so that was one challenge the time management, how did I have structured found something from How to Win Friends and Influence People, you know, like took some information from that book. Or maybe it was I think it was the book, How I Went From a Failure To a Success in Sales by Frank Bettger, something like that. And what I did is I created a tool called the bottom line list. So for 45 minutes, I was going to do one activity, and then go to the next activity take a 15-minute break. So my time management challenges kind of evolved into finding the solutions. Same thing happened with prospecting, what do I say? How do I say it? That kind of thing. Which I was telling Suzanne before he came in here, Chris, eventually, years later, taking a bunch of different tools and putting it all in one Excel spreadsheet called the Advisors Edge. And I think I'm gonna read a book around it eventually. Because this thing gives you the edge of knowing exactly what to say when somebody says, well, let me think about it. You just click a button, find out exactly go right down the first row says objections, let me think about it. Go right across our first column right across the row. And you know exactly what the rebuttal is until it becomes second nature and you don't even need this tool anymore. Because it's all on your hand. You know exactly what to do. And another thing that was a challenge starting up coaching and being in production, was looking at the pipeline. See a lot of advisors don't want to have a pipeline where they don't have a written pipeline, it's in their head. Identical juice. No, that doesn't work. I agree leaning doesn't work. And right there, Chris, and Suzanne, if you don't have a written pipeline, but also putting in categories of like, stage one, the initial contact, I got to call this person, I got to call her and set an appointment, stage two the first appointment, I've got an appointment with her or him next week. And it's the getting to know you meet it. Stage three, the route, basically, I've got all of the recommendations, stage four, being able to look at that, and I color coded it, and being able to add the whole thing up that column that automatically adds itself to go, this is a good pipeline. It's a funnel, where I've got X number of people here, let's say there's 10, then there's eight, seven, three, whatever it is, stage four, it is referrals. That feeds the pipeline again. So what I started to do with prospecting is looking at it and going, what's the system for prospecting? And then sales. Like what are the challenges with sales? What to say how to say don't wing it, how to handle those objections, how to make better connections, how to ask better questions, but also, when I created this thing, and it was in production, where I created this thing, and I didn't have a name for it. But now I call it the psychology of closing the second appointment. It's taking someone down a formula to come to a conclusion they want to buy, people hate to be sold, that they'd love to buy. And they will buy all day long. If you ask the right questions, and help them to come to a conclusion. Well, it sounds like what I need is this, this and this. And that's exactly what I put together for you. Let me show you what I mean. And so when you've got combination of an apt, those are really three of the facets, when you got a combination of all of these solutions, what happened was, or is happening still, is that when I teach this stuff, Chris and Suzanne, it will get success. But they got to want to get success. Some people don't. They're on a production plateau. It is what it is.

Suzanne Carawan 32:10 

But also, I think I mean, once you systematize that from what you're saying, you also sensitize it. So people get a lot of that emotional resistance is also goes by the wayside. Right, you're measuring you're getting in that mode of just follow the process. Right.

Dan Finley 32:24 

Exactly. And Suzanne was years ago, that same guy that I told you about that created the advisers act when I told him put these objections on recipe cards. Chris, I was telling Suzanne, before you came in, I had one of my clients put, I told him put the objection on the front, the rebuttal on the back, it's a formula. I have an advisor or I have insurance at work or whatever it is. And he came back with that Excel spreadsheet, we're able to role-play that, being able to do that. You get desensitized to hearing, I have an advisor, I know exactly what to say. Sure. The same guy, Chris and Suzanne that said to me, will, I think what's getting to me and this was years ago, he said, hearing no. And I said, let's do an experiment. I'm going to desensitize you to no. So here comes, I'm gonna say three two one go, you're going to say in the first 60 seconds. I'm going to say not interested and hang up on me said, what, I said three two one go. So we did it. And I said not interested. Click. I called the guy back. And he's laughing. He goes, jeez, that was quick. You got to give me a heads-up. That's okay. That's okay. Let's do it again. He did it again. I hung up on him seven times. And by the eighth time, he's just belly-laughing. And I said, what's going on? And he said, well, I know you're going to hang up on me. And I said, so does it hurt? And he said, no. I said, Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret. Everybody's going to hang up on you. So make calls, who cares? Doesn't matter. So he was desensitized at that point, Chris, and Suzanne, he didn't care. So, yeah.

Chris Gandy 34:01 

So it's interesting, you're going through the process of reprogramming people as you're going through the process of reprogramming people so that they can become the best version of themselves? And isn't that what NAIFA does. So share with us a little bit about your commitment to education, through leveraging NAIFA platforms. Share with us a little bit about that. And then we'll jump into the speed round. And it goes quick, time goes super-fast as we go through this. But share with us a little bit about that.

Dan Finley 34:38 

Okay, so at the very beginning, I was doing three group coaching sessions. And it got to the point where I'd have to close the meeting. Like we could only let 80 people in, and they would fill up within two hours. Because I can't have 40 people. That looks very sick, Chris. So yeah. So what was happening was these people, so NAIFA sent it out, was kind enough to send it out there was a long, I mean, we did it for like six years. So NAIFA would send out an invitation to come to this, how to ask for referrals, how to conquer rejection, whatever it was. So what was happening, Chris is that I would have to make a follow-up call, even though people click a button and say they're going to come to this thing, doesn't mean they're going to show up. All 80 people the day before, and I'm just dialing the phone, most of the time leaving a message 40 would show up. But 40 people on a call is a lot of people on a phone call. So what I would do is I would have these, the first dozen or so I'd say, all right, make sure you and I'd write their names down, maybe it'd be 15 or more. And then I would say to them, okay, here's what we want to do. Everybody that didn't say hello to just go on, right now just go on mute, just so we don't have a dog in the background or baby or whatever it is, let's just do this where it's streamlined, but you're gonna get an audio. So Suzanne and I have talked about this, your predecessors had these audios, but we're not sure where they are. So I'm gonna send these back. And there's a lot there's hours and hours of audio. So that commitment to doing that, I mean, it was a win-win relationship, in a sense that I was getting a lot of NAIFA's clients from that, which is great at any rate, then it kind of morphed into doing running blogs, speaking around the country, and basically being asked to be on different panels. And doing like it was a diverse diversification panel in Washington a couple of years ago, and facilitating that and just being asked to do different things through NAIFA. And so, I think NAIFA is a great organization, I think they are the advocate for the industry at the Washington bottom line. And I think NAIFA also serves couple of different purposes. One of the other purposes is that, look, a lot of these people are islands, even though they work for XYZ company, they're not on the phone with XYZ. But that works for that company. So NAIFA is a platform for helping increase their skill sets. And then the third thing that I think is huge, is the integrity and ethics. When you talk to a NAIFA member, that's been a NAIFA member for a while five years, 10 years, two decades, they're pretty proud of that. And they ask, hey, did you go to Las Vegas, did you go to the National Conference, and so and so, and they've been to all of these things. And it turns into a little family for thing, a chance to see everybody that they haven't seen in a year when they go to the National NAIFA conferences.

Chris Gandy 36:45 

Absolutely, it is a like-minded thinking individuals collectively coming together to uplift each other. So that is wonderful. You kind of laid right it to perfect tagline or tagline. Like, who isn't new? Right? With that being said, Suzanne, do you have anything before we go to the lightning?

Suzanne Carawan 38:09 

No, go to the lightning round, Dan can handle?

Dan Finley 38:13 

I don't even know what the lightning round is? What's the lightning round?

Chris Gandy 38:15 

So Dan, the lightning round is basically is like you're on a hot seat, I'll ask you a series of questions. I'm not going to ask you your political affiliation or your religious affiliation. I'm just going to simply ask you or now what you were doing when you were 18 years old, and you didn't want to tell your parents about? I'm going to ask you the questions that I know, you know the answer to. And the goal is that people probably know of you they don't know you. The goal is to get to know you a little bit, and it makes the human part of what we do, people really connect to. So with that being said, are you ready to go?

Dan Finley 38:48 

Let's do it. Let's jump in. I'm ready.

Chris Gandy 38:51 

All right, Dan. So something really easy, when you were growing up as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Dan Finley 38:56 

Wow. A police officer until I was at a party when I was 14 years old and got caught there by the cops. And I thought I don't want to chase kids through the woods at about 2:30 in the morning. I'm from a small town and I'm sure police officers do a lot more than Chase kids through the woods at 2:30 in the morning.

Chris Gandy 39:16 

If the people you coach had to describe you in one word, well, how would they describe you?

Dan Finley 39:21 

Wow, energetic, I would say like, he's gonna jump in. He's gonna get motivated. Let's do this.

Chris Gandy 39:29 

If you could have dinner with anybody in history go back in history, whether they're living or they've passed on it. Who would it be and why?

Dan Finley 39:39 

Wow. Tough question. Two possible answers. One my father who just passed away in November from stage four cancer. I'd love to sit down and have dinner with him one last time until I see him again. Yeah, yeah. Or Jesus Christ. I think having dinner with Jesus would be a game changer forever for me. Not that I'm going into the whole religious thing or anything like that, but total game changer.

Chris Gandy 40:04 

If I was joining NAIFA today, what advice would you give an advisor today, knowing that the industry is evolving and changing so fast?

Dan Finley 40:13 

Okay, do not stick your toe in the water, dive into the pool, dive into the deep end, learn everything you can. In fact, I listened to John Wheelers podcast from, I think it was October 4, I listened to it before we jumped into this about an hour before. And he was right, John is 100% right? You can't be half in. He didn't say that, but that's what he meant, like, learn from everyone. Learn from everyone. And also, the other thing would be, be a friend. When you get into your, you're gonna form friendships. When I would speak at National NAIFA conferences, I would leave there knowing there are people that when I got there, and I would say that you want friends in this industry, not so much that you have to get anything from it, but to give things to them. And give them your advice as well. And your camaraderie and that kind of thing. So yeah.

Chris Gandy 41:10 

Wonderful Dan, you are a friend. Dan, is there anything you would like to share with our NAIFA audience before we wrap up?

Dan Finley 41:16 

Yeah, two things. One winging it doesn't work. Don't wing it anymore. Because you will never get from here to here by winging it. No way. And the second thing is, I mean, it comes down to this any challenge that you've ever had any challenge, you're having an any challenge that will have, know this, there's always a solution. There's always a solution. And I'm telling you right now, and it doesn't have to be with me find somebody to help you get the solution, so that you don't have that challenge anymore. And yeah.

Chris Gandy 41:50 

All right, Dan, it's me and you. Looks like Suzanne had some technical difficulties, but that's okay. I will close this off. So Dan, thank you so much for your time, we are forever better because you are a coach, and coaching the best of helping people become the best version of themselves. So those are out there who are listening to Dan, you know where to find him. Dan, would you just really quickly tell us where to find you?

Dan Finley 42:15 

Absolutely. There's a couple of different ways. I've got a podcast as well, if you don't mind me throwing that out there. It's called The Advisor Solutions Podcast. And I've had people in 20 different countries listen to it. So give it a listen, The Advisor Solutions Podcast. The second way, you could always pick up one of my books, just go to Amazon and put Daniel C. Finley and you'll see both books in there. Just published a book literally last week, my second book, these are thick, they're 400 plus pages, but you'll find solutions in there. The third way, email me, email me at dan@advisorsolutionsinc.com. And have a free session. So Chris, thank you. This has been fun. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Chris Gandy 42:57 

All right. So the takeaway today, everyone, it's very simple is you can become a better version of yourself. You got to jump in the pool and become better. Thank you for tuning in to today's Advisor Today podcast with Mr. Dan. Dan, thanks so much. We appreciate it. Listen, even the best players in the world, always had a coach. And so consider Dan as a part of your coaching enterprise to help uplift and promote your game. And again, thank you for tuning in Advisor Today's podcast where we promote uplift and make you as an advisor better for the collective good of your clients. And we all grow together. We'll see you next week, same time. Thanks for tuning into Advisor Today podcast. Thanks, Dan.

Dan Finley 43:41 

Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks.

Outro 43:47 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know.



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