Figure out what you're passionate about and then let people know it.

    Now that "Start Late, Finish Rich" has been released, David Bach is back in the news. Everywhere you turn, people are still buzzing about his last one, "The Automatic Millionaire," too. Maybe you're tired of hearing about him. After all, what's he got that you don't?
    He's become an international celebrity of money management in the last ten years. At 37 years old, he's written a string of bestsellers, has appeared on "Oprah" twice, and has a standing appointment with CNN every Thursday morning as their resident expert on personal finances. How did this happen? Is it because he knows so much more about financial planning than you do?
    David's the first one to admit that it's not that he knows more than other financial professionals. He's built much of his success on one simple idea: Pay yourself first. Ever heard that before? Probably a hundred times. So if David's not reinventing the wheel, why are people flocking to him for advice?
    It's because of the way he shows up in the marketplace: "This is so cool! You can be a millionaire! People make it so complicated, and it doesn't have to be. Simple: Pay yourself first."
    And Oprah leans forward to say, "That's incredible, David, tell me more."
    "You know how you automatically pay your mortgage, your insurance premiums, your cable bill? You just write those checks without thinking about it or have the amounts automatically deducted from your account. You can set it up so the first one to get paid is you. Isn't that great? Wouldn't you like to get paid before anyone else?"
    And the audience cheers, offering a collective, "Whoaaa! That would be incredible!"
    David assures them, "That's how simple this is!"
    By contrast, most advisors show up in the marketplace sighing, "Pay yourself first. Who hasn't heard that frickin' idea? I'm looking for a new idea . . . lessee here. Lemme tell ya about 'stretch IRAs,' okay?"
    My point is not that  "pay yourself first" is the open sesame of financial planning. It's that the way you present yourself has everything to do with how you're received.
    One of the key relationship-building and client acquisition strategies that we teach the advisors in our programs is to offer clients the chance to have a book, Values-Based Financial Planning: The Art of Creating an Inspiring Financial Strategy, sent to people they know. The effectiveness of this in gaining qualified referrals rests purely on how the advisor shows up in offering the gift (the gift can be any book or anything of value to the client/prospect).
    It doesn't go well when you show up with a pained look on your face, saying, "Well, I could send this book to some of your friends. They're probably going to blow me off when I follow up, but let's go ahead and write a note and see what happens. I'll try not to come across like I'm enthusiastic because I don't want them to think I'm selling anything."   
    Compare with this, delivered with complete sincerity: "This book is the most compelling book ever written on aligning your financial choices with what is truly important to you (your core values). It's endorsed by some of the most successful people in the world of finance and personal and professional development. Anyone who gets their hands on this book is lucky to have it. I don't know if they'll read it or not, or if they'll respond positively. To put this book in their world can change their life in an extremely positive way. And it doesn't cost you or them anything to obtain it. It's purely a gift. It's a gift of clarity. And I'll go one further. I'll not only put this gift at my expense into their world, but I'll also follow up and give them 15 minutes of my valuable time to help them understand how the concepts in this book will help them have a better life. Now, I've got a hundred books here, and I'll bet you know a lot people who ought to have this, don't you?"   
    The bottom line is: What do you believe? I'll tell you this: David fervently believes that if people will pay themselves first-that's all they have to do over time-they can become millionaires. His goal is to help 10 million people become millionaires by 2030. He knows that even though a million dollars in 2030 will not be worth what it is today, most people will be better off if they have a million than if they don't. So he's showing up and letting people know that's what he's passionate about.
    You've gotta figure out what you're passionate about and then let people know it. Now, I don't mean that you have to jump around and wave your arms. If you watch David on CNN, you'll see that he has an understated enthusiasm. He shows that you can have your own personality, and if you also have conviction, you can produce incredible results.
    You don't have to share David's goals to realize that this will work for you, too. Strive to be a celebrity in your own marketplace. Simply having even greater belief in what you are doing for people will inspire them to be more interested in you and what they need to do. Who would you rather hire? Someone who has conviction and wants to do business with you, or someone who can take it or leave it? Your way of being can set you apart from the salespeople masquerading as advisors. Whether they tell you or not, your clients and prospects already know which one you are.

© 2006 by Bill Bachrach, Bachrach & Associates, Inc.  All rights reserved Bill Bachrach is the author of four industry-specific books, including his newest book, It's All About Them; How Trusted Advisors Listen for Success. For more information about his services, call (800) 347-3707 or visit