The Number One Thing To Learn About Financial Services from These CEOs
Did you see what corporate rockstars like Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, and Jamie Dimon did?
181 American CEOs in the Business Roundtable issued a statement that changed "the purpose of a corporation" from simply providing value to shareholders to instead benefiting many stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers, and communities.
Hey, what's up everyone? Anton Anderson here, co-founder of Elite Resource Team. Hope you're having a great day. In today's video, I want to talk about the shift that's been going on, moving away from products and moving towards serving personal needs. And I'm joined by Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Jamie Diamond, three of the biggest CEOs in the US today. Why do I have their photo up? I want to talk about what's happened at the American Business Round Table just this week. If you're not familiar with the American Business Round Table, it's roughly 200 ... it fluctuates a little bit, but a group of 200 of the largest corporations and the CEOs that represent those corporations. For years, their mission statement has been to provide the most value to the stockholders. What happened just this week, they actually changed it for the first time in almost two decades, To provide the most value to our clients, our employees and yes, our stockholders.
It's a very, very interesting shift and the fact that 181 of those CEOs signed off on that letter. What I think it represents is a shift in the way that as business individuals and as businesses, we are being looked at by clients, and also the way that we are now communicating with clients and with employees and with shareholders if your company, as shareholders. And what it really represents is clients are much more educated now and they are moving away from just buying a product to finding a solution to their needs. That's a very big shift. I want to talk about how that shift plays out in our industries.
Let's talk about first and foremost, what is a commodity when it comes to financial planning, insurance planning, even accounting? Commodities. A life insurance policy. A life insurance policy is a commodity. There's an open marketplace for it. You can go out and you can get different bids from different carriers. Some have these benefits, some have those benefits, some it's this price, some that price, but ultimately it's a commodity. There's really very little difference. Now, you can argue with me all day long in this, but in a client size, there's very little difference in what type of life insurance policy or product they are buying.
Also, an annuity. An annuity for the most part has become a commodity. You look at things like the internet and how people are now purchasing these products, and there is no question, life insurance annuities have become more commoditized.
What else? Assets under management. Assets under management, the fees at which I'm paying, the money managers I have access to, all of these things because of a lot of online services and things like ETFs, the fees have been way pressed, commoditized, pressed down and so managing assets has become more of a commodity than ever before.
Certainly buying stocks and bonds. As soon as the online trading came out where individuals can open their own accounts and trade stocks and bonds, that shift right there opened up the purchasing or selling of stocks and bonds to become a commodity.
Providing a tax return. If you are an accountant and you're providing a tax return, they can get the same service done now overseas, H&R Block. They can get it done. They can do it themselves. They can do it online. The other thing that's happening, and you know this very well, what's going to happen as a result of the tax cuts and Job Act? What is that going to do to the average individual? That means they're not going to have to itemize their deductions. What's that going to do to the average accountant? It means they're going to lose, or they're at least risking 60, 80% of their client base, people that used to itemize, it was more complicated, so they were willing to pay for that complicated advice. Now, all of a sudden they don't have to automize and it's just a simpler tax return. Now, they can pay 50 bucks to get it done for what they used to pay 300 bucks to do. So the tax return is becoming commoditized.
And then the last is compliance work, so things like producing financial statements, audit work, anything to do with reactive backwards-looking services. All of these types of activities, whether your business is feeling it or not, is becoming a commodity. And what you do not want to do is run your business competing with other professionals based on a commoditized product. Why? Because who wins in that battle? Who can sell the cheapest? Who can give more? Right? I'll keep my services, I'll keep my price the same, but I'll throw in extra services. You either reduce your price, you throw in extra services, or you start losing clients. That is a terrible way to compete in 2019.
What's a much better way to compete? Focusing rather on a commodity, focusing on what clients actually want. Can you see that okay? Let's talk about getting away from a product and instead focusing on what does a client actually want, and it is not to buy a product. I'll tell you that. If I could stay busy with my family and work and never purchase another product again I'd be very happy about that. Why are people buying products? Because products are just a vehicle to get them from where they are to where they want to be. What we should do is look at where do people really want to be? Not buying your product. They want to be solving their problems.
What do clients want? How about business growth? I'm a business owner. If you can show me how to increase my growth last year, maybe ... Let's say we grew at 25% ... If you can show me how to increase my growth by 50% this year and I'm going to make another $1.7 million as a result of that, I'm all yours. I will pay for that. What else? So that's business growth. How to help me grow, how to help me become a better business individual, better leader, a better visionary, a better communicator, right? These things are very valuable to a business owner.
What else? Confidence and clarity. Confidence and clarity. You can do that through things like financial planning, coaching, business advisory services. You are offering me confidence that I'm making the right decisions and clarity on where I am, where I'm trying to get to, and then I'm on the right path to get there. So confidence and clarity. Notice this doesn't take a specific product, right? There's no one specific product that always accomplishes business growth. There is no one specific product that always accomplishes confidence and clarity. It's a conversation to find out from the client, what's the best way to help you get from where you are to where you're trying to get to? So confidence and clarity.
What else? Reducing taxes. I've yet to meet someone, at least a business owner that is doing any degree of successful revenue, that is not motivated to reduce taxes both on the business side and personally. People are motivated to keep more of what they've earned. We feel like, "You know what? I've worked hard for this and if you can show me how to reduce taxes, that's definitely something I want."
Family and business protection. Now, right away, the financial advisors or insurance agents are thinking, "Insurance policy. I sell insurance policy. I sell family protection. I sell business protection." But do you really? Is a trust away to provide family protection? A will? How about a buy sell agreement? How about disability insurance? Right? So you see there are products that can fit within a type of planning. For example, a life insurance product with a disability rider might be good business protection as part of a key man policy or as part of a buy sell agreement or a life insurance policy might be part of an estate plan, but the life insurance policy itself is not enough. So family protection, business protection. I want to know right now ... Last weekend my son turned one years old, 12 months. I want to know if something happens to me that my wife and my son are taken care of. Right?
And a point person. How many people do you want to call to get an answer? Realistically, what? Well, really zero. If I could just not call anyone, take a pill and know everything, that'd be fantastic. But we haven't solved that one yet. Let's say we have to at least call someone who knows the answer. How many people do you want to call? Do you want your CPA or your financial advisor to give you a name and phone number for three people? Why are you making me call and interview three different people and figure out their pricing and what this person offers and what that person doesn't and try to figure out all of these moving pieces? That's terrible. Why don't you just tell me and better yet, why don't I just call you for not only my business protection, not only reducing my taxes, but to help me get some clarity and maybe to help me experience some business growth? Why can't you just be my one point person that I call?
Well, that's not my job. What is your job? I thought your job was to solve my problems. If your job is to sell a product, good luck competing in the future. If your job is to sell problems, then what you want to figure out is, how can I bring the most value to my best clients? And then by bringing the most value to my best clients, I'm naturally going to create organic growth to duplicate those best clients. How do you bring more value your best clients? Solve more of their problems. That's not very complicated.
While I'm not an expert in business growth and financial planning and tax planning and family protection and business protection and I can't be their point person as a result of that, who said you had to be the expert in any of that? Are you familiar with what a family office is? Family office isn't one really, really smart person that's serving that family. A family office is a team of professionals that are working together. There is likely one point person, but that point person is supported, right, by all different types of professionals. Your client has one point person to go to with all of these concerns plus a dozen others, right? Succession planning for their business and maybe longterm care planning and maybe social security planning and maybe college planning. We could go over this a couple of dozen times and I could make a list to the floor.
The point is, this is what clients want. They don't want a commodity, they don't want a product. They want somebody to help them solve their problems. The less people they have to go to to get their problems solved, the better. It's not a difficult argument to make. Again, put yourself in your client's shoes. How many people would you like to call? Six, to get your to problem solved, or one?
So it's 2019. Take a lesson from Jeff, Tim and Jamie over here. Focus on not only your bottom line revenue, but focus on what's best for the client, what's best for your team members or your employees, what's best for your partners, and how do you become a professional that is not competing on a product or a commodity? How do you become a professional that actually can solve clients' problems?
That's it for today's video. Hope you found it helpful. In these videos, I love tackling your problems, your questions. If you're looking to work with either more affluent clients or you're looking to work more in strategic relationships with other professionals like CPAs, like attorneys, we have a 20 year tax and business attorney here in house, we have accountants in house, we have securities license and insurance licenses in house. We've trained over 700 advisors how to form these types of partnerships and have done it ourselves for the last nine years.
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