Top Advisor Lifts the Lid on The Exact Investment Minimum that Guarantees Ideal Clients, and Why

How many words does it take you to get your prospects to convert?

If it’s more than 5 then read on.

Because top advisor and Advisorist member Paul Bufty needs just 5 words.

That’s right.

Just 5.

And they’re so dead simple, you may be kicking yourself that you didn’t learn this technique years ago.

These 5 words are the ones he SWEARS by to get quality prospects in the door.

But first, let me tell you about Paul…

He is the Founder and President of The Financial Group of Philadelphia—specializing in clients’ retirement, investment and insurance needs. 

Paul started his firm 28 years ago, and over the years he has collected some smart strategies and enduring wisdom that can contribute to your business growth by helping you generate more QUALIFIED leads and convert them into clients.

When we sat down together, Paul shared a bit of that insight.

The 5 Words That Change Everything

Early in Paul’s career he put a lot of miles on his car–going from appointment to appointment–driving for dollars.

But a business-growth lesson he learned a Million Dollar Round Table changed everything.

He learned the 5 most important words to use when talking with prospective clients:

“When can you come in?”

These 5 words will instantly change the dynamics of your relationship with a prospect.

And by the way, that’s all you say.

Be silent and let your question sink in.

Let them make their first commitment to you.

As I said before, this is a game changer.

You’re resetting the dynamics.

For one thing, by a prospect agreeing to visit your office, they have made a commitment to you.

They may not realize it, but they have taken the first step to becoming your client.

Also important, is that having people come into your office gives you the home court advantage.

Actually, it’s more than that.

Whether you’re wearing your insurance agent or financial advisor hat, it doesn’t matter, when a client or prospective client visits your office, you stop being a sales person.

Now you are seen as the professional that you are.

Rather than you trying to sell them something while sitting huddled around their kitchen table, they have now entered your professional world.

You have access to staff, office equipment and support material as needed. 

Your presentation isn’t going to be interrupted with someone jumping up to refill a coffee cup. 

Kids aren’t distracting their parents.

And you’re not spending your day driving for dollars.

The Exact Minimum Investment That Guarantees Ideal Clients

It’s pretty standard for a financial advisory firm to have an investment minimum.

But whether you peg your minimum at $25,000 or $50,000 or $100,000 or $1 million, you may actually be looking at the wrong variable.

For Paul, the minimum that matters isn’t a number.

It’s a word.


As Paul explains, you really want to try to build a client base of nice people.

Nice people hang out with other nice people.

So, when nice people refer you, they’ll be introducing you to other nice people.

Bottom line: If you’re going to develop a huge client family, wouldn’t you rather have that family filled with a lot of nice people than a whole lot of nasty people?

To use the term we outlined in a previous post, Paul’s ideal clients are what we also call Ultimate Clients… the ones he enjoys working with.

They make going to work a whole lot more fun.

It’s that simple.

And by the way, your prospective client base already has preconceptions that may be keeping them away from your office.

According to a Harris Interactive survey for Principal Financial Group, 27% of respondents admitted that they wouldn’t feel comfortable meeting with a financial advisor until they had $100,000.

Are arbitrary numbers keeping you from reaching a market that has the potential to grow with you?

And Now For the Enduring Wisdom…

Always remember that you are dealing with people and their lives.

In Paul’s words, “We’re dealing with people… with families. We’re not dealing with account numbers and assets and spreadsheets.”

When someone comes into the office and sits with you, learn about that person.

Everyone has a story.

Discover that story.

Where did they grow up? What did mom and pop do?

Paul believes that our life experiences shape our philosophy about money, family, values… what’s important to us… and what’s not.

The more you know and understand, the better possibility you have to match your clients’ dollars with plans and products in the marketplace that will meet both their needs and their wants.

“If I don’t do that,” says Paul, “and all I’m doing is looking at your statements and I’m just another spreadsheet guy, then I’m doing a disservice to you. And I’m doing a disservice to myself.”

With Paul’s advice, you don’t have to be “just another spreadsheet guy” either.

Final Thoughts and a Few Takeaways

Paul has given us a lot to think about. 

He’s shared three critical components for your business growth that will help you build relationships with prospects that will continue forward as those prospects become clients:

  • By asking them to come in, he’s 1) getting them to make a commitment and 2) presenting himself as a professional.
  • By making “nice” his investment minimum, he is building a business around his ideal clients–people he enjoys and who have the potential to  grow with the firm.
  • By taking the time to talk with and listen to clients, he is in a better position to help them meet their financial and life goals, guaranteeing his own success by dedicating himself to the success of his clients.

With this, however, comes an added responsibility for you.

Once you’re communicating, you need to continue to build on that relationship.

You are, after all, forging what can be an enduring relationship with people… one that may last several decades.

You need to deliver on the expectation your relationship building is setting up. 

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Stay in touch and make yourself accessible.
  • Schedule quarterly or annual sit downs to discuss their situation.
  • Don’t talk at clients – make recommendations and involve them in the decision-making.
  • Talk in language clients can understand so you can expand their knowledge and financial literacy.
  • When talking, focus on solutions for their specific needs… not on making some boilerplate sales pitch for the product of the month.

If you’d like to listen to Paul Bufty talk about the people-centric strategies that are central to lead generation, conversion and business growth at The Financial Group of Philadelphia, watch his interview below:

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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