Fear not the Bot!

Not long ago there was a headline declaring that Artificial Intelligence – a robot – at a big bank had done in just a few seconds work that had taken lawyers 360,000 hours to do the previous year.

News like this can be frightening, especially if you’re law school.

But I can’t help wonder, where is the headline proclaiming – “Programmers work for 360,000 hours but the robot fails to have a meaningful conversation?”

When advisors are doing a good job, we are not only posing questions, but also prompting more productive questions from our clients.

It’s a mutual process of discovery, and artificial intelligence – Bots – can’t do it.

It’s where needs and expertise intersect with trust. The algorithm for that human connection is nowhere in sight.

So, if you are human advisor, that’s the good news.

But while the bots may not be able to make human connections, they can make it harder for us to earn a living doing so. Bots don’t have to worry about margins.

Given the explosion of robo-platforms making access to insurance, investments, legal documents easier and cheaper than ever, you would think more people than ever would have those essentials in place, but the opposite is true. The robots are failing to connect with most people.

Those fintech, insure-tech, pick your tech disruptors have not filled the void they helped create.

It turns out that it’s easier to kill the human advisor’s margin than to replace that advisor. 

If mutual discovery is our value as advisors, and eludes our robot counterparts, then the question follows; Can we do more of it?

What if we could scale our unique value?

At Complete Connection we take a page from those tech start up innovators to help advisors do the things that successful startups do to scale their value. Specifically, leveraging technology and each other.

Prospecting, then and now.

Prospecting for gold in the 1800s was a labor-intensive activity.  Searching for gold meant traversing rugged terrain, climbing outcroppings and wading through streams.  A trace of minerals would lead to panning on hands and knees to sift out a nugget that may indicate a distinct vein, and ultimately a principal vein – the mother lode.

Most advisors have heard the analogies of sales prospecting to prospecting for gold. Actually, it’s more than an analogy, it’s where the modern sales term came from, but I’d like to take it a step further.

Of course, gold is still mined today.   Sophisticated metal detectors and geological ultrasound have replaced searching on foot or horseback.  Panning and sifting on hands and knees has given way to powerful magnets separating valuable metals from surrounding soil.  

So what technologies are available to help with our prospecting? 

LinkedIn and some CRM systems may resemble those geological ultrasounds. Powerful search tools which enables us to cover a lot more territory in less time.  However, while those tools may show us where to look in a vast sea of connections, they rarely help us separate the gold – the best opportunities to act on. 

What if we had a tool that acted like those powerful magnets, separating the best opportunities from the rest? 

Complete Connection is a system based upon Points of Connection (POC). The discrete intersections of Needs, Expertise and Trust which comprise the best opportunities.

The Curse of Later

The most limiting word in our vocabulary is “later”. 

Now is good, even empowering.  Never is okay too, it’s final and can open a different path. Later is insidious, especially if the terms we set for later are ambiguous or out of our control. Later will rent space in our head and obscure the path we should take.

We all understand that prospecting is key when building our practice, and deep down we know that the people we respect most are those that can help us most. 

However these are the people we most want to think well of us. The last people we would ever want to see us as needy. So we choose not to engage these people now.

Later, we tell ourselves. Later, when I am more experienced, more established, richer and obviously NOT needy. Then I will engage those great people. Or better still, they will come to me.

The problem of course, is that later never comes. We may or may not have success in our career, but we fail to achieve what we might have had we asked the right people the right questionsearly on.

When you prospect, go for now or never. Later sucks the life out of you.

The shoemaker’s children go barefoot

Why is it so hard to heed our own advice?

The biggest waste in professional advisory is the lost value of isolated relationships. The economic value of the reputation and relationships possessed by talented advisors is the largest asset of any advisory firm, but it often goes unrealized. When the advisor rides off into the sunset, the value of those relationships is lost to the next generation.

Meanwhile, the next generation struggles to establish new connections, which could easily be a continuation of relationships that came before, but remain hidden. We cannot leverage what we cannot see, so we start over.

Lost revenue, lost reputation, lost continuation and succession. These are the problems we advise our clients to avoid in their own businesses, yet we suffer in our own.

Are we like the shoemaker, so busy serving others that his own children go barefoot?



You’re in a box

So am I. So are most of the people either of us knows.

The box is the narrative people have on us. The narrative is the easy story that allows people to place us in a tidy category. “She’s a great technician but not good with people.” “He’s a lot of fun, but not a serious thinke Read more