Member Spotlight: Matt Dicken
Like many people, Matt Dicken wanted to write a book “for years.” As a financial planner, Matt hoped to gather his ideas and philosophies in one place for both clients and potential clients. His reasoning was straight forward: “When you hear something, you only retain part of it. But if you can go back home and read it again, well, that reinforces the message.”
With this in mind, Matt published Retirement Planning in a New Direction: A Return to Common Sense in October 2012. While his book easily met his original goal, Matt quickly discovered far greater benefits. As he says, “It’s really worked as a positive in so many areas and influenced so many things for our practice that I wish I had done the book years ago when I originally set a goal to write one.”
So what benefits did Matt discover?
Establishes Authority and Credibility in Your Market
Even as Matt began working on his book, he realized it had become more than a resource for his clients. “I looked at it as a tool to try and separate myself from the sea of sameness. There’s a lot of financial advisors and we’re all competing for the same clientele. A book helps me to be viewed as an authority on investments and planning.” In the complicated arena of financial planning, people are looking for answers. Matt summarizes it this way: “In my business, there’s a lot of noise out there from various companies and advisors. And people just really struggle to see who to believe or who to trust.”
Trust is built on authority as well as credibility. One way to establish this is to share your views in a logical, orderly way. A book is a perfect vehicle for this. It also helps you to form a bond with potential clients before they walk into your office. Matt now sends a book to every prospect before meeting with them. And in some cases, the person calls for an appointment after buying and reading his book.
Either way, Matt observes, “They’ll often quote lines in the book, or recite things that I’ve talked about. Sometimes people will bring the book in with them, and it’s highlighted and earmarked. If they’ve read the book, my job of trying to establish credibility is a whole lot easier.” Matt has found that his book not only generates leads but “…also takes what might be a lukewarm lead and turns them into a hot lead before they meet with me. It makes our appointment much more productive and successful.”
Enhances Any Marketing You Do
With these benefits, it’s no wonder that Matt uses his book “everywhere” in any marketing he does. In addition to using his book to attract and nurture prospective clients, he also leverages it for referrals. “We give it to clients to hand to friends or relatives. We’ll tell them if they have anybody that might be interested in talking with us, rather than trying to convince them to call us for an appointment, why not just give them the book? Then, if they’re interested, they can call me.”
He also uses his book to spice up the typical financial planning seminar by holding “Evenings with the Author.” As he notes, “It feels just a bit different. I think it appeals to a higher clientele – a higher net-worth individual. It sets you above the rest and makes you stand out.” In addition to these evenings, Matt has also held book signing events at Barnes and Noble. Matt finds that as an author, getting media attention for these events is easier. And it helps to increase attendance, too.
Matt also hosts weekly radio and TV shows. This creates a perfect opportunity to use his book as a giveaway, with offers such as “the first ten callers to call our office will receive a signed copy of my book.” He occasionally switches to something such as a free report to keep the book offer fresh. However, as Matt says, “They going to get whatever they request plus a book…because there’s nothing better.”
Now, Matt realizes that most professionals are not hosts of a radio or TV show. However, he offers this advice: “Even if you don’t have a TV show, being an author is a big step in the right direction to really differentiate yourself with all the other advisors out there.” And this differentiation has made a huge difference for Matt’s business and provided another unexpected benefit from his book.
Wealthier Clients Who Appreciate You
As Matt expected, business has increased since his book. What he didn’t expect is the change in his clientele. “The average client that we are attracting to the firm has changed dramatically,” Matt notes. “The quality of individuals investing money with us has really increased in terms of their net worth.”
Now, for many, increased business and wealthier clients would be the ultimate benefit. But Matt has discovered another benefit that he appreciates even more. He has found that his book helps to counter the opinions of people who try to sway his clients. Matt describes it this way: “It’s also helped with, for lack of a better word, the naysayers. As an advisor, I would sometimes hear comments like ‘My next door neighbor told me I should buy XYZ stock’. Since I’ve been using the book, for the most part, I don’t hear these types of comments anymore. When I meet with someone…and it’s time to decide what we need to do, pretty much what I recommend is what the client does.”
There is an easy explanation for this, as Matt says: “Their next door neighbor doesn’t have a published book on retirement planning. So, it eliminates all the noise they’re hearing and they just focus on me and the advice that I give. And I think that’s probably been the most beneficial thing.”
Not surprisingly, Matt recommends that any business owner should write a book. However, he stresses it is very important to “team up with a group of professionals” to get it done right. With the help of Advantage Media Group, Matt now has a professionally published book. To get his book done quickly, Advantage editors simply added to the writing Matt had already done by interviewing him over the phone and reviewing transcripts from his group seminars. Matt says this experience was “…very helpful because I no longer had any guesswork. I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel myself.”
Advantage Media Group will publish your book in a process tailored to your lifestyle. You can write your own book with our professional editing. Or, you can use our unique Talk Your Book™ program where you literally tell your book to our editors, who then produce a draft for your review. The choice is yours, but either way, you get a book that establishes trust and builds your business.