The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice: A Proven System for Becoming a Top Producer

The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice: A Proven System for Becoming a Top Producer

by David J. Mullen


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In The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice, author David J. Mullen, Jr., shows you how to become a top-producing financial advisor. This comprehensive book combines marketing, prospecting, sales, and time management techniques into a system that will help you build a successful and lucrative practice. Mullen reveals valuable techniques for overcoming the obstacles of turning personal contacts into potential clients, how best to capitalize on your personal experience and past contacts, ways to work through real estate agents and builders to get access to affluent investors, and much more. Filled with hard-won, real-world advice and immediately usable tools, this indispensable guide shows you how to take your financial services practice to the million-dollar level and beyond.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814480526
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 09/26/2007
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author

David J. Mullen, Jr.(Englewood, CO) is the author of The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor and The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice. He is a 37-year industry veteran and former managing director at Merrill Lynch, where his advisor training program had a consistent success rate of twice the industry average.

Read an Excerpt

C H A P T E R 1


You are about to read a book that can change your career.

Building a million-dollar financial services practice is not complicated,

but I’m not going to pretend that it is easy. If it were, there would

be a lot more financial advisors making millions. In the twenty-six years

that I have been in the business, I have seen hundreds of people fail to

make it past the first two years and few who reached the million-dollar

level. Yet those who reach or exceed $1 million in business have one of the

best jobs imaginable. The autonomy and income of, and the excitement

experienced by, million-dollar and multimillion-dollar producers are unparalleled.

• This book will give you every tool you need to build your financial

services practice to a million dollars and beyond, no matter where

you are in your career—and show you when to use each tool, how to

use it, and how often to use it.

• There are many books and training programs that claim to help you

build your financial services practice. However, this book is different

because it gives you step-by-step instructions for carrying out a comprehensive,

tactical process that has been proven to make your practice

more successful.

• The process I present here has for twenty-one years been able to

double, in many cases, the income of financial advisors at any stage

of their career. It has been refined hundreds of times to be sure it is

as effective as it can possibly be.

• This book is tactical; it contains specific templates, scripts, contact

plans, lists, tasks, marketing plans, letters, and resources, and all

these tools are integrated into the overall process.

• This book covers every aspect of a financial advisor’s job, from prospecting

to client service.

• This book addresses every stage of an advisor’s career, from the first

day on the job to becoming a multimillion-dollar producer.

There are three distinct stages of an advisor’s career:

Stage one is building the foundation. This is done during the first two

years of the advisor’s career. During this stage, the advisor should

spend the majority of his time on marketing, with the objective of

building a ‘‘book’’ of fifty client relationships and a prospect pipeline

of one hundred. About 70 percent of the new advisor’s time should

be spent on marketing, with the objective of getting eight new appointments

a week.

Stage two runs from the third year through the fifth year of service. Now

the advisor must balance client service with marketing. The number

of client relationships should be increased to one hundred, and the

client relationships and the one hundred prospects should be upgraded.

The advisor needs to spend at least 50 percent of her time

on marketing—on client-leveraging activities, on natural marketing

techniques, and on attempting to identify and get all her existing

clients’ assets. The advisor should have four appointments per week

with new prospects.

Stage three is beyond five years. The advisor should continue to upgrade

the one hundred client relationships throughout his career. A minimum

of fifty prospects should be in the active pipeline, and they

should continue to be upgraded. The advisor should spend a minimum

of 25 percent of his time marketing, and he needs to see at

least one new prospect per week.

The road to a million-dollar practice is a series of steps that build on

one another, and you must take the first ones first. The new advisor needs

to understand that building the right foundation greatly increases the

chances of building a million-dollar practice and greatly reduces the time

required to get there. An advisor can commit to the million-dollar road

at any stage of her career, but the fastest and easiest way is to take the

proper steps at the beginning. As your practice grows, the fundamentals

remain the same, but how you allocate your time to each one changes.

In this chapter, I will give you a brief overview of the journey to building

a million-dollar practice; in subsequent chapters, I will go into greater

detail about every aspect of building a million-dollar practice and beyond.

Book Outline

This book is divided into three parts.

Part 1: The Foundation

Chapters 1 through 9 make up this part. It will be of particular interest

to new advisors. It outlines the first things you need to do on the pathway

to building a million-dollar practice; it shows you how to build the foundation

you need for a million-dollar business. However, I encourage any

advisor no matter how much experience she has, to review the information

in this section. The importance of motivation (Chapter 2) and the

marketing process (Chapters 3–7) outlined in this part of the book applies

to experienced advisors as well as new ones.

Part 2: Taking It to the Next Level: Building a Million-Dollar


This part includes Chapters 10 through 19. More experienced advisors

will find it particularly useful—you will find everything you need to do

once you have built the proper foundation. It will also be useful for new

advisors to read these chapters because they provide a vision for how to

reach a million-dollar practice once the new advisor has built the foundation.

Part 3: Market Action Plans

This part, Chapters 20 through 34, includes over fifty approaches to fifteen

different markets. Each market action plan gives you all the tools

you need to succeed in that market, including when the action plan is

appropriate, case studies, how to implement the plan, and sample phone

scripts and letters.


At the end of the book, the appendix gives you resources for finding

names and directories for each market.

The Concept Behind the Process

As you can see from these descriptions, each chapter will guide you

through a comprehensive, tactical process for improving your practice.

Before you begin, however, it is important that you understand the five

characteristics of million-dollar producers and the five fundamentals of

growth, which together are the foundation on which the million-dollar

practice is built.

The Five Characteristics of Million-Dollar Producers

1. They set business and activity goals and track their progress.

2. They are motivated.

3. They market relentlessly.

4. They manage their time effectively.

5. They make establishing relationships with affluent individuals their first


My observations of successes and failures in this business have led

me to the conclusion that million-dollar producers do not possess any

extraordinary skills; however, they have different characteristics from advisors

who do not reach the million-dollar level. These are the five characteristics,

and they show you what multimillion-dollar producers are like,

their basic approach, and how they work day to day. These characteristics

apply to any advisor who wants to build a million-dollar practice, no

matter where he is in his career.

Characteristic 1: They Set Business and Activity Goals and Track

Their Progress

Studies done on the differences between more successful and less successful

people indicate that the most successful people set goals. To reach

a million dollars in business, you must set goals and measure your progress.

The first step is to understand that your business corresponds to the

number of affluent households (households with more than $250,000 in

investable assets) you have and the total amount of assets you manage.

The average million-dollar producer I have worked with manages at least

$120 million in assets for about one hundred affluent households.

Take the number of affluent households (100) and the amount of

assets ($120 million). Subtract from that the amount of assets and the

number of households you have now, if any. The result is the amount of

assets and number of households that you need to add in order to reach

$1 million. If you divide that number by the number of years within which

you want to reach $1 million, you will see the number of households and

the amount of assets that you need to add to your practice each year in

order to reach your goal by that time.

I tell new advisors that building a million-dollar practice in ten years

is a challenging but realistic time frame. Certainly, advisors can do this

in less time, but I have seen very few do so—most advisors who reach $1

million take at least twenty years. However, if a new advisor is trained to

develop the five characteristics described here from the beginning and to

understand and execute the five fundamentals introduced later in this

chapter, she can realistically expect to reach $1 million in ten years.

Those advisors who want to reach $1 million and who have been in

the business for a while can expect that the training in this book, if they

follow it, can add at least $100,000 in business each year. As an example,

if you are currently producing $500,000 per year, following and executing

the five fundamentals should result in your reaching $1 million within

five years.

Once you have set your overall production goal, you should set goals

in the following two areas:

1. You have set your goals for the number of affluent households and the

amount of managed assets required to reach a million-dollar practice;

now you should break down these goals into daily, weekly, monthly, and

annual goals, and you should monitor your progress at least every

week—track the difference between your goals and where you currently


2. You should set activity goals every week for the number of client contacts

to make, the number of prospect contacts to make, and the number of

new appointments to have.

Characteristic 2: They Are Motivated

Once you have established your goals and your time frame for reaching

them, you must make sure that you have a truly high level of motivation

to fuel the process. Merely understanding the five fundamentals of building

a million-dollar practice is not enough. In order to execute the five

fundamentals every day, you must have a very high level of sustainable


Executing the fundamentals is no easier for the million-dollar pro-

ducer than for those who never reach that level; instead, the successful

advisor can make himself execute the fundamentals, and the less successful

advisor cannot. Million-dollar producers make themselves do the

more difficult tasks that this business sometimes requires, in spite of the

rejection they receive. Less successful advisors do not. Remember what I

said at the beginning: Building a million-dollar practice is not complicated,

but it is difficult. Having a high and sustained level of motivation

is essential if the advisor is to do the difficult things required to succeed

in this business.

Characteristic 3: They Market Relentlessly

After you have made your commitments (motivation) and set your goals

(and the time frame for reaching them), you must understand that the

most important characteristic is sustained and relentless marketing. The

most successful million-, multimillion- and decamillion-dollar advisors I

have worked with never quit marketing. Their individual marketing processes

may be different, but they always do them. The only way to reach a

million-dollar practice is to understand that you must always be carrying

out effective marketing.

This book provides a proven marketing process, as well as fifteen

different marketing plans, that any advisor at any point in her career can

implement. This is certainly not the only marketing process that works,

but it has been used by hundreds of advisors, and it has been proven to

work very well.

Characteristic 4: They Manage Their Time Effectively

It is essential that you have sound time-management techniques, especially

in order to perform—every day—the ‘‘five fundamentals,’’ which

are discussed in the next section.

• You should divide your day between client service and marketing.

• You should use your client associate to protect your time throughout

the day and to help increase your service to your existing clients.

• You should have an automated, well-thought-out wealth management


• You should keep track of how you spend your time and be accountable

for spending time doing the right things.

• You should become a master at executing the three basics of time

management: prioritization, delegation, and time blocking.

Characteristic 5: They Make Establishing Relationships with

Affluent Individuals Their First Priority

This is primarily a relationship business, and million-dollar producers

focus more on their relationships with affluent individuals than do lesssuccessful

advisors. Without strong relationships and all the elements

that strong relationships are based on, it is very difficult to reach the

million-dollar level.

The Five Fundamentals of Growth: LEARN

Leverage: Leverage current clients to get new ones.

Expand: Expand the products and services each client uses.

Assets: Get all of your clients’ assets.

Retain: Retain your clients by providing extraordinary service.

Niche: Develop your niche and natural markets and build a marketing

process around them.

Niche: Develop Your Niche Markets and Build a Marketing

Process Around Them

The most important fundamental is to develop your niche market and to

build a marketing process that you can automate—that you incorporate

every day. This process:

• Should include one to five marketing plans for different niches.

• Should make getting a face-to-face appointment right away a first


• Should have a follow-up process that is tailored to each prospect’s


In order to open the number of new accounts that will lead to a

million-dollar practice, you should be servicing between fifty and one

hundred prospects. Most prospects are underserviced by their existing

advisor, and if you service these prospects better, you will convert them

to clients. This means providing them with consistent follow-up tailored

to their personal and financial needs.

Once you have at least fifty affluent client relationships of at least

$100,000 each, you can now tackle the other four fundamentals of


Leverage: Leverage current clients to get new ones.

Expand: Expand the products and services each client uses.

Assets: Get all of your clients’ assets.

Retain: Retain your clients by providing extraordinary service.

Knowing what the five fundamentals are and developing a plan to

incorporate these fundamentals every day is how a million-dollar practice

is built in the shortest time possible.

What It All Adds Up To

The formula for building a million- and multimillion-dollar practice is

not a complicated one. It involves building the right foundation first, then

taking it to the next level by ongoing marketing, developing strong relationships

with clients, and providing outstanding service. This formula is

much easier to understand than to execute. It takes a high level of commitment

and motivation to do the activities necessary to build a milliondollar

practice every day. It takes strong organization and timemanagement

skills to fit these activities in every day, to build an effective

team, and to build processes that support the practice. It takes making

the highest priority that of building relationships. This can all be condensed

into the following equation:

The Formula for a Million-Dollar Practice

The right foundation  marketing  strong client relationships 

outstanding service  $1 million practice

There are so few million-dollar advisors and even fewer multimilliondollar

advisors not because the formula for success is complicated, but

because it is so hard to carry out the right activities every day. If you are

committed, develop the characteristics of million-dollar producers, and

follow the fundamentals I have outlined in this book, then a million-dollar

and multimillion-dollar practice can be yours.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Part 1 The Foundation 1

1. Overview 3

2. Motivation 11

3. The Numbers You Need to Succeed 19

4. Niche Marketing 27

5. Getting the Appointment 34

6. The Appointment 48

7. Turning Prospects Into Clients 59

8. The Wealth-Management Process for New Advisors 75

9. Time Management for New Financial Advisors 85

Part 2 Taking It to the Next Level:

Building a Million-Dollar Practice 95

10. Balancing Clients and Prospects 97

11. Getting More Assets from Existing Clients 104

12. Leveraging Clients to Get New Ones 110

13. Expanding the Client Relationship 124

14. Your Natural Market 135

15. Client Retention 143

16. Time Management and the Client Associate 155

17. Teams 164

18. What Millionaires Need 176

19. Beyond a Million-Dollar Practice 186

Part 3 Market Action Plans 199

20. Seminars 201

21. Event Marketing 212

22. Networking 223

23. Past Experience and Personal Contacts 233

24. Adopt a Town 241

25. Business Owners 245

26. Professionals: Medical, Legal, and Sales 251

27. Executives 258

28. Influencers 263

29. Diverse Markets: Women, Hispanics, and Asians 270

30. Retirement Plans 282

31. Retirees 290

32. Money in Motion 293

33. Mortgages 299

34. Nonprofits 305

Appendix Resources 315

Index 337

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Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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I am still waiting on my 45% discount. Where the heck is it?