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Making Contact Isn’t Just for Jodie Foster - Why You Need to to Make Contact with Your Clients

Anand Sheth on the Pod, EY’s 2024 Family Office Outlook and Milemarker on the Road

Greetings from Fort Myers en route to San Diego.

It's conference season, and I’ve been having a blast spending time with advisors working to take their firms to the next level of success.

Special thanks to the team at RFG Advisory for hosting me as Joel Bruckenstein, Shannon Spotswood and I discussed the future of advisor technology.

RFG is on an absolute tear, and it will be fun to watch them add more and more value for their advisors in the coming years.

The time I spend with advisors consistently cements key facts. This week, I’m going to center on making contact with your clients.

Today, I’ll unpack a bit of this.

Here’s this week’s Connected Advisor Newsletter.

  1. Making Contact isn’t Just for Jodi Foster

  2. Turning Clients into Raving Fans - Anand Sheth 🎧

  3. EY’s 2024 Family Office Outlook

  4. Milemarker on the Road

Let’s jump in.

Making Contact isn’t Just for Jodie Foster

Here’s hoping your money was on Oppenheimer last Sunday night. Our house was torn between Barbie and Killers of the Flower Moon as film of the year.

There are always a few movies that stand out every year. The ones we remember. The ones we can quote every line from or the ones that are so interesting cinematically that we can’t help but rewatch.

One movie that sticks with me more than it probably should is Contact, starring Jodie Foster.

"Contact" is like interstellar phone tag with Jodie Foster playing cosmic detective.

She's Ellie, a star-gazing, alien-chasing scientist who's married to her giant satellite dish, listening for ET's mixtape.

One day, the aliens hit play, sending Earth a cosmic IKEA manual for a mystery machine—no Allen wrench included.

The world goes nuts: politicians squabble, religious folks get existential, and scientists geek out over the ultimate DIY project.

Ellie becomes the chosen one to ride the alien roller coaster, which looks like a mashup of a giant gyroscope and a space blender.

After a trippy light show that would put the best 70s disco to shame, she ends up on a beach chatting with her late dad, or at least an alien's best impression of him—because, apparently, cosmic beings are also part-time actors.

She returns, having aged about as much as someone waiting for their coffee at Starbucks, but with no souvenirs to prove her space escapade.

Everyone's skeptical, thinking she just took a quick dive in the world's most expensive drop tower.

Ellie's left with her memories, a hefty dose of existential wonder, and probably a desire to start a support group for people who've been ghosted by extraterrestrials.

The moral of the story? The next time aliens call, maybe ask them to text instead.

What does extraterrestrial contact mean for advisors?

Here’s the thing.

Advisors are talking about how organic growth is dead. No one’s growing. The sky is falling and our pets’ heads are falling off (you know which movie this is from, right?).

Here’s the truth.

No one will find some magical IKEA manual that unlocks the secret to growing your business.

It comes from making contact with your current clients and friends.

If we are not connecting, we are not in the game.

Parkinson’s Law is probably something I think about nearly every day.

Parkinson's Law is a principle articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian and author, in "The Economist" in 1955. The law states, "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion."

Why am I bringing this up here?

Stop making the hour-long calls happen. Parkinson’s Law tells us that they will be an hour long. They shouldn’t.

That’s a lot of time.

Your calls should be brief and be done.

I did a 2-minute 34-second call yesterday. It felt like I had broken the mold.

It was simple, effective, to the point, and relational.

In all of our connectedness through the plethora of tools we have at our disposal, it’s sometimes hard to keep it simple. Especially for connecting with other business owners or our clients.

Most of the time, we need to keep it simple.

Here are a few simple connection points that could be really helpful with your clients:

  1. Family Check In - Ask your clients how their family is doing and make sure you actually have a full accounting of their family members who are close to them.

  2. Tax Temperature Check - Clients have anxiety about taxes. Make sure they are navigating it well and use a simple call as a way to make a connection with CPAs.

  3. Accountant Pulse Check - Your CPA friends are burning the candle at both ends. Why not treat them to some Grubhub? Send a quick text to see what they’d like and make it happen. Or, even easier, send some cookies (the biscotti are especially delicious).

  4. March Madness - Use the fun of the season as an excellent way to shoot at text their way and say “Go Big Red” or whatever the appropriate school cheer is. Maybe tread cautiously if you burn a bit hot on rivalries.


    If you are looking for a new texting solution for your clients - check out https://www.currentclient.com.

    Dustin is doing some great work to help advisors leverage modern communication.

  5. Summer Plans Check-In: Often, your clients may need permission to enjoy their money. This is a great time of year to check in on how their summer plans are coming along. If they are creatively stuck, partner with a local travel agent to introduce them to new ideas and a guide that can make it happen for them.

The reality is that there are hundreds of reasons to connect.

What didn’t I mention?

On the Pod

Episode 034: In this week’s episode of Milemarker’s The Connected Advisor Podcast, Kyle talks with Anand Sheth, CEO and Co-Founder of Pulse360.

As a long-standing practice manager in the advisory industry, Anand recognized the inability to create professional, customized, and timely meeting documentation. He created Pulse360 to help financial advisors automate and streamline creating client deliverables, including meeting prep agendas, follow-ups, client tasks, and annual summaries. Anand aims to get advisors back to advising versus doing administrative work.

Key takeaways from this week’s episode:

  1. Providing exceptional client service goes beyond answering phone calls and replying to emails within 24 hours. Advisors can turn clients into raving fans by personalizing their interactions and anticipating their needs.

  2. Data fragmentation and the lack of tools that communicate with each other are operational challenges for advisors.

  3. Pulse360 aims to provide a systematic way for advisors to enter and access client data, communicate with clients, and streamline their operations. It allows advisors to stay informed and showcase their expertise and personalized service.

"I built Pulse360 because I wanted the advisor and the team to create raving fans because those create referrals which grow your practice."

- Anand Sheth, CEO and Co-Founder of Pulse360

The episode is available now on your favorite podcast platform as well as a video version on YouTube. While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

EY Study: Focusing Further on Family Offices

I found this EY report very useful as we unpack why Family Offices operate the way they do, and I find it rich with ideas that RIAs can borrow for their own practices.

Milemarker on the Road

Catch our team on the road at the following events or cities:

  1. March 12-15 — San Diego, CA

  2. March 18-19 — Tampa, FL

  3. Mid-April - Charlotte, NC

If you’re in any of those cities and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.


Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson