Saturday, April 26, 2008

MDRT - Wellington - 24 April 2008

The Million Dollar Round Table is an organisation committed to the sharing of information and ideas. Our meeting in Wellington was full of excellent ways to improve business.

Walton Rogers - First Vice President MDRT
  • Learn by teaching.
  • Customise every customers solution.
  • Learn to listen.
  • Develop an agenda for every meeting including 3 blank items at the start.

Neil Kendall - Tupicoffs

  • Make a meaningful positive difference for clients.
  • Make sure business cards have a clear name, number & e-mail address.
  • If you're not in your client's mobile phone you're not in their lives.

John Shackleton

  • Focus on motivators (rewards & consequences).
  • Use visualisation.
  • Manage self-esteem.
  • Set precise & SMART goals.
  • Work towards your goals minute after minute, hour after hour.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Don't lose weight

That was the advice of John Shackleton at a session I attended today.

His advice was to focus on the desired outcome, not the negative process.

For instance, he suggested that losing weight was the process that people needed to go through that resulted in them looking slim, and that looking slim or fitting a certain clothing size should be the goal.

In other words, focus on the gain, not the pain.

Monday, April 14, 2008

How much should be spent on marketing?

The amount doesn't actually matter, the fact there is a plan does.

According to Kevin Roberts from Saatchi & Saatchi, some of the most creative marketing is done on the lowest budgets .

Whether the marketing budget is $20 or $200,000, the creative juices get flowing. I am always amazed how much can be achieved with very little, and sometimes I am amazed how little is achieved with huge expenditure.

Where I live there is a well known Real Estate company called Tommy's. Tommy was telling me about his marketing where he gives away $1,000 every month. He hands out 10 x $100 notes each month to random people as he explains who he is & what he does. A great way to get people talking about him!

A business person paid $500 to sponsor the player of the day award for a whole season for an entire football grade.

I love good news marketing stories and seeing examples of simple sales successes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

CFP International Forum - 8 April 2008

It was interesting to get a perspective of where New Zealand is positioned on the international stage of financial planners at the recent forum in Christchurch.

The forum had representatives from Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States in addition to attendees from other countries.

The number of Certified Financial Planners (CFP) has grown from 42 in 1973 to over 111,000 in 2007. New Zealand has 397 CFPs.

David Strege - United States
I enjoyed listening to David Strege who spoke about becoming a lifetime trusted advisor.

He shared the formula for calculating trust:

Trust = (Intimacy + Credibility + Reliability) / Self-orientation

Clients rate each of these values on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 is the lowest, 10 is the highest). The maximum score is 30.

For example if Intimacy is 7, Credibility is 9, Reliability is 8, and Self-orientation is 2, then Trust is rated (7+9+8)/2 = 12.

Further information is available at

David also made the comment that money itself is worthless, unless it is spent on something that is of value.

John Holland - Securities Commission
It was interesting and comforting to hear the commission talk about the approach they are taking to work with advisors to protect investors. He referred to an
illegal investment in 2001 as the reason for the disclosure regime.

Group panel discussion - Interesting points
Australia's main issues are:
- Regulation & licensing.
- A product-based (rather than advice based) system.
- Clients paying fees vs companies paying commission.
- Business costs.
- Recruitment, remuneration, retention and succession.

South Africa's main issues are:
- 48 million people, but only 5 million tax payers.
- Upfront vs renewal commission.

United Kingdom's main issues are:
- Strong sales focus from product providers vs advice focus.

United States main issues are:
- Regulation.
- New clients.
- Time management.
- Lack of effective regulation despite state licensing.
- Costs (5% spent on rent, 7% spent on regulation).

Hon Lianne Dalziel - Minister of Commerce
The minister's full speech is available on her
website. Note her final statement where she will keep repeating the need for investors to be wary of dealing with anyone providing financial advice who is not a member of a professional body.

The timeframe for regulation was 2010. Members of professional bodies should feel confident about the changes. The goal is to grow investor's confidence.

Further information

You can find out more about the Financial Planning Standards Board at

Copy of the slides are available at under the members section.

Recent article entitled Australian advisers do it better

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Country of contrasts

While travelling through India, this shot of a satellite dish next to rounds of cow dung on the roof of a house illustrated the contrasts of the country.

The modern technical age, next to the traditional, sustainable and recyclable past.

I was impressed with the tolerance the people showed to each other and to the blend of cultures in the face of a new fast-paced world.