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3 great books all financial advisers and planners should read (but you might never have heard of)

“Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge” – Stephen Hawking

I completely agree (who am I to argue with Stephen Hawking?) but I’ve never been one of those people who tries to read a book a week. Who has time for that? Plus, while reading helps improve knowledge, it’s only actually useful if I put into practice what I’ve learnt.

That means I’m just as likely to reread a book (or read it for the first time after listening to it), make notes, and implement ideas as I am to read a new book. The summer is the perfect time to do just that. Plus, if you’re anything like us, you’ve had your head down for the past few months dealing with the challenges and opportunities Covid-19 has presented to us.

Now’s the perfect time to reset with the help of a good book.

So, here are three standout books I’ve read (or reread) over the past few months, which I highly recommend to financial advisers, planners, and business owners. Each of them is a treasure trove of hints, tips, and ideas to improve your marketing, sales (yes, everyone is selling something), and business.

As an aside, before you read on, it’s probably worth me pointing out that I’m no book reviewer. In fact, on the few occasions I’ve been asked to write book reviews I’ve found it to be incredibly hard. So, forgive me if I cut to the chase with each, explaining what I got from the book and why you should read it.

Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss

Written by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, this book has revolutionised how I, and we, communicate with existing and potential clients.

It’s so much more than a book about negotiating, though. For example, the section which deals with why salespeople should search for ‘no’ rather than ‘yes’ is particularly powerful.

We’ve implemented many of the key lessons Voss outlines. For example, there’s an email designed to elicit a response from potential clients who are ignoring you (see page 92). We’ve used it, and it works 80% of the time. It’s revived deals we thought were dead creating revenue we wouldn’t have had without that magic email.

Just don’t let your kids read the book before the negotiate their next increase in pocket money!

Oversubscribed – Daniel Priestley

This book aims to help you become ‘oversubscribed’; where you can turn customers away because you have too many wanting to buy from you.

Becoming a ‘go-to’ expert is the goal of many financial planners and advisers. The book is packed full of practical strategies and tactics to become ‘oversubscribed’ which are tremendously useful for business owners.

It should also be required reading for all financial advisers/planners who work for someone else, and consequently don’t control the marketing strategy.

Perhaps the most powerful section is ‘Principle 6’ where Priestly explains the power of giving ideas away for free and charging for implementation. It’s a mantra we’ve followed successfully since we founded The Yardstick Agency nearly four years ago, and one we regularly recommend to clients.

Show Your Work – Austin Kleon

I’m hugely grateful to Nick Lincoln of Values to Vision Financial Planning for introducing me to this book.

Right from how it looks and feels, you know it’s different and that you will want to dive straight in. I took it on holiday and read it twice. It’s that good!

The principles and tactics outlined in the book are ones financial advisers and planners can easily adopt. Many are particularly useful when it comes to utilising social media to engage with potential clients.

The book challenges your mindset, too. A section which recommends reading the obituaries every day is particularly powerful. And, if you’re one of those people for whom perfection is the enemy of getting things done, turn straight to page 14 to learn why amateurs often have the edge over professionals.

Implementing knowledge

One of the three reasons we started The Yardstick Agency was to help financial advisers and planners market themselves more successfully.

Each of these three books will help you do that in different ways. The accumulated knowledge you will get for a grand total of £25 is immense. That said, the ideas have to be implemented which is something we know many people don’t have the time or inclination to do themselves. If that’s you, we’re here to help.

Email or call 0115 8965 300.

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