Legacy Background & the Mindset to Succeed

Hi, I'm Todd Fithian, Managing Partner of The Legacy Companies, and I want to welcome you to the program.

As we get started here, I want to give you a little bit of a background story on us. How did we get into this business? How did we found The Legacy Companies? Where did we come from?

We've got a long history in our family of working in financial services. My grandfather, my father, had very, very successful careers. This was table stakes for us. Growing up, this was breakfast time discussion, dinnertime discussion, always around the family parties and gatherings. This was kind of all I've known my entire life.

My brother and I later followed our grandfather and father into the family business. We really got excited about the business, and we started to really look at understanding a few things that from our perspective were broken in the model. Really, it boils down to how relationships were being built with clients and how engagements were happening. We took a lot of time to really tear down and understand, what are some different ways to think about this?

We began to start to team up with some of the industry's best thinkers in the psychology world, the sociology world, to bring that academic background to the things that we were thinking, the things that we were experiencing. What they helped us do to really hone in on how we were asking questions, how we were building relationships, how we were connecting with our best clients.

Our results in our own practice went through the roof. They were significant to a point where other advisors that we knew around the country just started looking at what we were doing, and they really asked us to share.

We thought about it. We had a group of people show up in Chicago. We had about a hundred or so advisors from all over the United States show up. We spent two days. We shared with them everything that we had, everything that we built that helped our practice really go from here up to here.

At the end of the two days, they all looked at us and said pretty much the same thing. "When are we getting together again?" It was mind boggling to my brother and I because literally we always just felt, "Hey, we're advisors. This is what we do, we're just like you." They said, "Well, we need more help. You gave us some great things, but we need more things."

We really felt that in looking in the mirror, we have these needs for our practice. We felt that the industry had the same need, and it was something that we want to step in and serve. This was literally the foundation of The Legacy Companies. We became a training company overnight to really look at how we could help advisors really step into relationships in a different way, a more significant way. That's what I wanted to talk to you about here as we kind of walk through this opening talk.

At the center of our work at Legacy, there's an overarching theme that you're going to hear us repeating and talking to you about all the time, and that is this: when you alter the relationship, you alter the results that are possible from that relationship. Let me talk about, what do we mean by that?

Here's the thing, when you look at traditional sales approaches and selling approaches, most of them are designed by a focus first of bringing a product, bringing a solution to that client or prospect. You're in an approach meeting, and what you're trying to do is find a gap, find a hole, find an opportunity so that you can actually bring your solutions to that.

When we look at altering the relationship, what we're talking about is opening up that relationship focus on the relationship first, and not focus on trying to solve first. When you focus on opening that relationship and that client steps closer to you, it creates an opportunity for you to then bring all of your skills, all of your competencies to now that strong relationship. This is what's at the center of Legacy.

The second thing I want to talk with you about is that when you look at the industry, the industry is all day talking about meetings, right? The number of meetings you have with a client, we're always analyzing the number of meetings, how the meetings go. At Legacy, we take a very different approach in this as well.

What we talk about at Legacy is the decisions. At the end of the day, it's all about moving people through decisions. When they make decisions, they progress, right? When they make decisions, they move forward to getting the results that they want.

In order to be able to help you do that, one of the things you're going to find totally effective in this program is something we call the 4 Decision System. The 4 Decision System can happen in one meeting, believe it or not. You don't have to have a series of meetings to be able to execute through those decisions.

Let me walk you through what are those four decisions. Number one is, is to agree to meet. First decision is to have to actually agree to sit down and meet with you, have a cup of coffee, come visit you at your office, whatever it might be. That's number one.

Number two is, they've got to agree to engage. How do we know we actually have an agreement? Did they say that they want to engage? Do we think we had a good meeting and they want to engage? We're going to show you how to ensure that you actually have the agreement for engagement.

The third is, they've got to commit to their goals. They've got to commit to what's important to them. These can't be your goals, they've got to be their goals. In this program, we're going to show you a powerful way to get at goals like nothing you've ever seen before.

The fourth decision is actually they have to commit to implementation. At the end of the day, they're about getting the results that they want, that they need, for their lives, for their family, for their business. In order to do that, they've got to commit to it. That's the fourth decision. The 4 Decision System is going to be a game-changer for you.

The third piece I want to talk about is this concept of what we say the difference between discovery and fact-finding. This is going to be a huge advantage for you in the marketplace. People talk to us all the time. I have advisors that call me all the time and say, "Todd, how can you help me be different? It's a competitive marketplace. I want to stand out in the crowd. I want to be different from all the other guys."

The thing that we often go back down to tell them is, "While I get the need to be different, and I get what you're saying and I think it makes sense, but being different, there's a lot of ways you can be different. The best way for me to teach you to be different is to focus on the difference that you make in your clients. When somebody asks you, 'So what's different about your approach from my other advisors?' Focus on saying, 'Well, let me share with you about how we make a difference in our client's lives.'"

It's a totally different approach. Back to this whole concept of fact-finding and discovery, and this huge opportunity you're going to have through this course is this: while fact-finding is a critical, critical part of the process of assessing the facts, and data, and information for clients, you have to do that. It's a necessary part of the evil.

But today, the industry's throwing around this term, "Discovery." It's the new buzzword. Everybody's talking about it. Everyone's got a discovery process, but here's what I'm here to tell you. Everybody talking about the discovery is still doing traditional fact-finding. When I say to them, "Show me your discovery process. How do you approach that? What's the focus of it? What questions do you ask?" What I hear back are all traditional fact-finding questions.

Through this program, what we're going to do, is we're going to help educate you on what actually is discovery, authentic client discovery? We're going to show you how to draw out of your prospects, how to draw out of your clients, what matters most to them and why.

When you connect with what matters most to them and why, and when you serve what matters most to them and why, you're going to get the opportunity to bring all of your services, all of your competencies, to the table. You're going to be able to bring everything to the table to help them get what it is they want.

Discovery is a very different process than what fact-finding is. This is going to be a huge leg-up because we've got time. The industry is really, really confused. Your competitors are confused, and when you do discovery, clients are going to be like, "Where have you been?" Clients are going to be like, "Why have my other advisors not ever done this for me before?"

They are going to rave about you. They are going to tell their friends. They're going to tell their family. This is going to have a lot of seeds of opportunity for you and your business.

Let me talk to you about the fourth and final piece I want to bring to you here in this section, and that is the separation of your advice, your knowledge, your wisdom, the planning from your traditional core products and services that you bring to that relationship.

The separation of these two things is a game-changer. Allowing people to engage with you in a way that they can be open and free in a relationship for a fee, to be able to figure out where they are, where they're trying to get to, what they need, the things that matter most to them and why. To be in that relationship, and that's their obligation.

Then you get to shift gears. Then you get to be able to switch gears and talk about how you can help them, all the ways you can bring your technical expertise, and competencies, and skills that you've been delivering for 20, 25, 30 years. Keeping them separate and marrying the two together is going to have your business go through the roof. It's going to drive your revenue, you're hearing this probably from your peers, you're going to see this over time happening in your business.

Remember, the skillsets as well as the value proposition for your advice, your wisdom, your knowledge, and how you manage one's money, and how you help educate them around the proper insurance, or estate planning, or financial plan. These are two separate competencies and two separate skillsets. It's important to keep them separate and you will see that it will take your business to the next level.

If you can get these four things, it's going to make a significant impact on your business. Number one, when you alter the relationship, you alter the results. Number two, you've got to focus on decisions as opposed to meetings. Number three, you've got to understand the difference between discovery and fact-finding, and number four, you've got to always remember to separate your advice, knowledge, and wisdom from the core products and services that you can bring to that relationship.