Know Your Client with Frank Rekas

When you know your client, life and business get easier. Frank Rekas talks about how to market and sell yourself effectively! 

Feb 9, 2024 | Podcast

About the Episode

We focused on how and why to know your client, effective marketing and sales, the double-edged sword of technology, why it’s prudent to have a heart of gold as well as gold in your pockets, and why nobody likes being sold, with Frank Rekas, Financial Advisor with Plutus Financial Partners.       

Listen to hear a difference-making tip on how to know if your financial foundation is strong!

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher


Frank Rekas

Frank Rekas


Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Frank to get started. Give me two truths and a lie.

Frank Rekas 0:06
Okay. Let’s see. I was involved in a protest in my younger days.

I coached an adult women’s baseball team. And when I was 19 years old, I tried out for a major league baseball team.

george grombacher 0:29
Those are excellent. You’ve got some, some great word choices to try to throw me off the scent a little bit. Frank. I bet the protest one is alive.

Frank Rekas 0:40
No, it’s true.

george grombacher 0:43
All right, go ahead.

Frank Rekas 0:46
When I was in sixth grade, I went to a public school in Chicago. And there was a threat that they were going to eliminate gym class, extracurricular sports library, you know, there was a, there was always a shortage of something back in those days. So a bunch of people at my school said, Alright, we’re going to, we’re going to organize a protest, and everybody’s going downtown. And we’re going to walk downtown, which is like 15 miles from the school. So a bunch of people started walking. I was included. And it ended up being the three three guys that we stuck together. And before we made it downtown, we’re like, Alright, enough. Let’s go home. And I get to my house and my dad’s car is there. And it’s like four o’clock in the afternoon. Like, what is he doing here? So, yeah, that was the truth.

george grombacher 1:39
All right. So so did you get to keep gym class? Yeah, everything stayed. Yeah.

Frank Rekas 1:45
Yeah. Sports, nothing got changed.

george grombacher 1:52
So was it the adult women’s baseball team? Was it was it you try it out?

Frank Rekas 1:59
The lie is Yeah, I did not try out for a baseball team.

george grombacher 2:02
Okay. All right.

Frank Rekas 2:04
There is the reason I have my career in financial services. And before is because I couldn’t have a curveball. So there you go.

george grombacher 2:12
What seemed like a terrible thing at the time turned out to be a wonderful blessing.

Frank Rekas 2:16
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I’ve made it work.

george grombacher 2:19
Had you tried out for a baseball team? What team? Would it have been?

Frank Rekas 2:25
I would have loved to have tried out for the Baltimore Orioles. I always dreamed of taking over third base for Brooks Robinson. Which would have been probably one of the worst things you could have done, because he’s probably the grit one of the greatest third basements they ever play. So would have been a heck of a lot of pressure.

george grombacher 2:41
Yeah, but I appreciate that, too. All right. I love it. Well, great job. You got me, Frank, what is top of mind for you right now.

Frank Rekas 2:53
I would like to, I guess, discuss how marketing and sales has really changed in financial services over the years. I’ve been doing it for a long time. And things have changed dramatically. And if you’re a financial advisor, and you haven’t adapted to whether it’s technology process, the way that you’re doing business, or if you’re a financial adviser hasn’t adapted to the way to do business now. You’re gonna get left behind. And I see I’ve seen some people struggle with, you know, things the way they are, and I’ve seen people adapt, you know, very, very well, I think I’ve adapted pretty well. I mean, I always have room for improvement. You know, I’m always looking to do that. But things have changed over the years. And, you know, I’ve I’ve been accused of you’ve been in our industry, George. So you know, so I’ve been accused a couple of times by people saying that, you know, you don’t like to close. Now. I don’t. I just it just feels very uncomfortable. I don’t like it when people close me. So my answer is, is that I, I take the theme of what my business coach says is I invite people to say yes.

george grombacher 4:21
I like it. Yeah, and there probably are plenty of people that are are very comfortable. Putting people in a tough situation and actually closing them. So I appreciate that. Yeah. This has Has that always been the case for you?

Frank Rekas 4:37
I’m not, I guess in the early days, you know, you’re taught to, you know, see X amount of people if you see x amount of people awake, you’re gonna get through, you know, 1010 appointments, see three people, you know, one is going to be a client, the old 10 Three, one thing and, you know, show up with all your tools and your Your bells and whistles and, you know, everybody needs to buy one of these. And, you know, my joke no is is not everybody needs the plotnick 3000. You know, I mean, it’s not, doesn’t fit everybody’s mold. And I don’t know, when it really changed for me. But it’s been a while. And I, you know, I think the problem with some advisors who struggle with either being successful or have some sort of momentum is that they don’t have enough people to see. So the three or four people that they see, every week, I gotta, I gotta sell George something. So let me bring him this, you know, let me show it to him. And you know, we’ll make it work. And it’s very old school, it might work for some people, you know, so I’m not judging anybody out there, who it does work for. But for me, and for the people that we work with, it doesn’t fit

george grombacher 5:52
it. That makes a lot of sense. If I only have, if I have a very small number of potential clients, I must turn some of these into clients, therefore I will, but if I don’t, I’m out of the business. Right?

Frank Rekas 6:08
I mean, you got, you know, you got to eat, okay. But, you know, the old you eat what you kill? Well, I that’s really, that’s old school, you know, and I, and I think the prospect or you know, your client, you know, can feel it, and you don’t want to do a review. And every time you do a review, well, hey, George, it’s time for you to buy this because you don’t have this right. And even if someone comes to me and says, Frank, I need x, that’s fine. We may get there. But I want to learn, you know, how did you come up with that? What made you decide that you needed that? Let’s kind of talk about, you know, your whole situation. And if x turns out to be something that you need, I need to know what’s behind it.

george grombacher 6:52
I think that that’s, I think that that’s a sign of certainly maturity and wisdom, somebody comes to you and says, I want to buy a, and you say, I hear you tell me a little bit, but tell me why it is that you’re interested in buying a first before I just right, take take your order and sell you the thing? Yeah,

Frank Rekas 7:09
I’m not about transactional. And I know a lot of people who Oh, okay, great. They whip out an application or they start on the computer, and they’re ready to go. And like, you know, you’re not really doing the right thing for the client. Yes, it might be what they want you No, no, no doubt about it. But I think you need to do a little homework, you need to build build a little bit of a relationship, because otherwise, it’s just on to the next person.

george grombacher 7:34
Maybe this will sort of take us into the evolution of marketing in the industry as well. Because with the internet, obviously, I can search whatever I want, and then make a determination. So if I, if I were to search, you know, let’s just make up something that the plotnick 3000. I think that that was the term that you used earlier. And you’ll see that half of America thinks the plotnick 3000 is crap, and the other half thinks it’s the best thing in the world. And so I come to Frank, I said, you know, what, I heard the plug 3000 is the best thing in the world, I want to buy one of those. So we don’t know, where people are coming from where they’re getting information. And I don’t know if that does sort of dovetail into how we need to do a better job of marketing ourselves, and then helping people to invite them to become a client hurt by?

Frank Rekas 8:28
Well, I think sometimes you can have information overload. You know, and no offense to anybody. But you know, there’s all different sources, there’s all different outlets, of where people can get their information from, you know, CNBC, the News, Fox, whatever, that you’re listening to online platforms, you know, different things that can you can read your neighbor, your cousin, your cousins, brothers, uncles, whoever, you know, you have to talk to someone when it’s related to financial products, who’s actually in the business, who actually knows what it is that they’re, you know, they’re doing because we invariably will have conversations with clients will say, Yeah, I read yesterday about this, or somebody was telling me about that. Okay, well, they don’t quite have all the facts, or that’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you and your situation. So there is a lot of information out there that, you know, wasn’t there. You know, when I first started, you know, way back when, you know, when I was four years old, but yeah, there’s things have certainly changed over the years, and now people have a lot more information at their fingertips. Could be good. It could also cause mass confusion. Yeah, I feel like procrastination,

george grombacher 9:51
right. We’ve been drowning in information and and starving for wisdom. So when I started writing Get in. Again. I got into the world of blogging just to sort of educate myself. And I realized, oh, wow, so many of these blogs are written by professional writers who have maybe no subject matter expertise or experience, they just know how to write a blog about something. So that’s fascinating. And I’m making a judgment about that. I think that somebody who is immersed in the field is better suited to help counsel on what might be a good fit versus somebody who’s just a professional writer. So Buyer beware.

Frank Rekas 10:33
Right? Exactly. I mean, you’re not gonna go to an orthopedic surgeon and have heart surgery. Right.

george grombacher 10:41
And then, and then, we now live in this wonderful digital age where we can do Facebook ads, and I have funnels, and I can automate these things. And so now it’s just my, my marketing is taken care of, and I can just just set it and forget it, and I’m just gonna get rich, I don’t know if that’s been your experience, or what you’re talking about, by changing the way we think about marketing?

Frank Rekas 11:05
Well, I think changing the way about marketing relates to how you actually approach people. For me, I’m a big LinkedIn user, I’ve always been on LinkedIn. But I haven’t been as intentional, as I’ve been, you know, like, I’ve been for the last, I guess, six months. Whereas before, I would post occasionally, I would use, you know, company created material that’s already been approved. And then I decided that, you know, I just, I want to be different, I want to express myself, my own voice, my own expertise, show a little bit about me personally, show, you know, some fun stuff that I do or have done, and just kind of try and mix it up. So for me my marketing, well, that’s one of the avenues that I’ve done marketing with, we’re not at the firm on that we’re not allowed to use some of the other tools like you know, Instagram and X, Twitter, whatever you want to call it. And, you know, there’s other people who who do cold calling, and that may work for some, I did have to do that when I was first starting in the business, especially after I moved to South Florida. And not knowing anybody, I did a lot of cold calling. Because we didn’t have back then it wasn’t LinkedIn, there wasn’t an aging myself, but there wasn’t the tools, internet that we have. today. It’s you know, smartphones didn’t exist, we barely had email. So I didn’t have much of a choice. Also, networking events, which I think are a great way to connect with people, right. But you don’t want to be the guy or gal that walks into a networking event, you collect 25 cards, and then you start calling all 25 people, you have to build a relationship, you know, my usual, I’ll say routine, if that’s the word is if I do go to a networking event, and I don’t know, anybody has to talk to two or three people have a decent conversation with two or three people and see where it goes from there. I’m not, you know, I don’t need to work the entire room. You know, so I think that’s changed quite a bit for people and you just have to be personable. Ask a lot of questions. It’s always about, you know, Hi, George, tell me about you. What do you do? How long have you been here? You know, what do you like to do those kinds of things, try to find out about you, personally, and I hardly ever bring up what I do, unless you ask me and I keep it as short as possible, because this is a really the place for us to talk about it, you want to talk more, I’m happy to meet you for a cup of coffee, you know, next week or, or the week after. So I think things have changed in that respect. And I think it’s another great way to build a good, you know, pipeline of people that not only are potential clients, but also our resources. You know, as a financial adviser, you need to have resources of people, estate planning, attorney, CPA, business attorney, mortgage broker, realtor. So I tried to surround myself with a lot of those types of professionals, and often will create those scenarios in my meetings with my clients to refer to those people. And then it becomes a back and forth kind of situation.

george grombacher 14:33
I think that that makes a lot of sense. And I feel like it’s probably a more comfortable way to do it for for everyone. How do you think about how do you think about allocating time to that? Because we obviously have a finite amount of time. So if I’m going to, if I’m going to agree to have a coffee with somebody just to sort of get to know them and discover and develop this relationship. That’s that’s an investment of time. and your attention and your resources. How do you think about that? Because we can’t do that with everybody.

Frank Rekas 15:08
I think if it’s the right person, you know if you’re local, right, so if you’re in the area that I live in, and we can meet for a cup of coffee, you know, I love coffee, obviously, you and I are both drinking one right now. So I love to start my day, there’s a great cafe, right across the street from the office, there’s a couple others that I know, because I love coffee cafes, I’m fine doing something eight o’clock in the morning, 830 in the morning, let’s get to know each other. And do that. If you’re out of the area, you know, you’re in another city, you’re in another state. Yeah, let’s do a virtual coffee, let’s jump on. Let’s jump on a zoom call for 30 minutes. And a lot of times what’s happening is those 30 minutes are not enough. You’re like, oh my gosh, we’re done, we got to have another one of these, you know that. And when that happens, you know, you have some synergy with the other person or with each other. And then you’re able to kind of build on that relationship. So it doesn’t feel like it’s off. I gotta reach out to George to stay top of mind, I hope he accepts my, my meeting. If if things are going well, and you’re having a good conversation, then yeah, you’re you’re both going to be eager and willing, you know, to do it. So I think it’s important, I try to have at least two a week in person. If I can have another two, virtual, that’s great. And I mean, I just a lot the time for it, you know, I just kind of know my schedule. I know when I want to do it. And I know if I can do it, you know, and sometimes, you know, it works out for the week, sometimes it doesn’t. And then we just you know, find a time where we can do it. But I think it’s important to have

george grombacher 16:48
it strikes me that you have you have, from my perspective, my perception is that you have a very defined kind of client that you work with and serve, how long did it take you to to come to that desired client profile.

Frank Rekas 17:09
You know, we’ve worked primarily with attorneys, so law firm, owners, partners, associates, as well as entrepreneurial business owners. The business owner thing was kind of our kind of always there, but the law firm just kind of developed, I’m going to say overnight, a few years ago, and just started meeting more of them. One of my very best clients not going to say their name, I’m not going to say where they live, but met them at a bar association event, totally had no idea who they were there with my business partner. And we’re like, Okay, where do we sit? Oh, she says, Let’s go sit with them. They look like they’re a pretty nice group of people. And we did. And we spent the next three hours just talking it up getting to know them, ended up running into one of the partners at lunch, a few weeks later started seeing each other and started doing work together. And now probably one of our best friends have great relationship and have grown with other attorneys from the group of people that they know, and that we know. So it just kind of has developed. And I’ve also been focused more on that with my LinkedIn material with my LinkedIn connections. I’m not saying I know how a lawyer thinks and how a lawyer, you know, I’m not saying I’m that good or that in tune. But I think after working with several of them are quite a few of them. You know, we know what we’re looking for, you know, successful attorney, could be a solo practitioner, hears about their family, cares about themselves, cares about their firm ears about their client, and wants to do not only good work for their client, but also wants to do good work for them and their family. And I think the key word there is care. And you know, just kind of developing those relationships even more.

george grombacher 19:19
I appreciate that. And I imagine that you have developed a really probably pretty deep understanding. I don’t know how individual human beings think. But I do understand and you are now able to understand better, what is of importance to an attorney and a law firm and the different challenges that they have from insurance and a human resource. Just everything you when you get to know an industry and the people that work in that industry. You’re going to learn more about it, you’re gonna be a better adviser to them, and it’s going to help you in every other aspect. So it just makes sense that you would endeavor to have a more defined client and then understand what that client needs wants all that Good stuff.

Frank Rekas 20:00
You know, it used to bother me, George, when I first started working with them, when I would either show them a proposal or show them a plan or give them an idea. They always let me think about it. And used to take a while for them to come up with their answer. And until I finally woke up and realized, well, you guys went to school. And one of the things that you did a lot with research, and you read, once I was able to be comfortable with that, that I was able to take not only the pressure off myself, but the pressure off of them. And I, you know, and I can appreciate it, and I understand it, you know, a lot better. Which I think that helps with the synergy between the two people, you know, you have to know the personality of the person that you’re dealing with. Not all of them are like that. And I think as you develop more with your client, you know, less and less of that happens, but sometimes, you know, they want to know that, you know, I might like Frank, I think I can trust Frank, but do I have the confidence in Frank to have him or his partner, Rania get done what we need to have done?

george grombacher 21:07
Yeah. And when we talk about it, it’s pretty obvious. But we don’t think and consider, I wonder how Frank likes to process information. I wonder if he likes to, to watch a video or listen, or if he wants to actually pour through some kind of academic research on the topic. And so when you have a better understanding of the industry, and kind of a profile, you can say, Frank, I know a lot of folks in your line of work, really enjoy actually seeing data or like to see grant, whatever. Is that how you like to process information as well. And so just understanding expectations and inviting people to really inviting them into the process.

Frank Rekas 21:49
Yeah, funny that you say that? Because oftentimes, we’ll say so, George, you know, do you want all the details? You want to 50 page plan? Do you want me to narrow it down? You know, how do you want me to communicate with you? Do you want a phone call? Do you want to email? What’s the best way to communicate with you? So when you ask those questions, not only I think it shows that you’re paying attention, but it shows that you have some interest in how they operate, which I think, again, creates a little more synergy than the next person.

george grombacher 22:20
Yeah, I love it. Well, Frank, we’re ready for your difference making tip, what do you have for us?

Frank Rekas 22:28
Make this the year that you get your financial house in order. Procrastination is a terrible, terrible thing. And, you know, growing up, for me, money was tight. I came from a divorced family. And it’s not that we were poor. We were okay. But there was, there was no plan. And I didn’t really know it till I got older and looked back on the struggles that both my mom and dad went through. And I don’t want people to go through that, you know, my mom, if she had $25 on her, she’d rather give you 20, keep five for coffee and breakfast for herself. Rather than take that 20 and put it away. Yeah, she had a heart of gold. But in the end, it’s it’s that that kind of had us in financial struggle. So be open minded about your planning, you know, we believe to start with the foundation. And that’s really where you got to start, you know, which involves the insurance products, because if we don’t start there, then your financial plan, as Nick Murray says, is built on sand. So make this the year that you put it together, reach out to your advisor, if you don’t know an advisor, find an advisor, I can probably recommend one that you might want to talk to. But it’s it’s important because situations happen. And I think COVID taught us that things happen that are completely out of our control. Not that we expect another COVID to happen, but you never know what’s coming around the corner and you want to make sure. And of course adjusted along the way, but I can give any tip it’s, you know,

george grombacher 24:10
stop waiting. Well, I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. Frank, thank you so much for coming on. I wrote down, I wrote down that having a heart of gold is great, but also having gold is also a good thing. So

Frank Rekas 24:29
that’s great. You got to send that to me,

george grombacher 24:30
for sure for sure. But again, thanks for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Frank Rekas 24:38
So I’m on LinkedIn at Frank Rica’s. I’m there every day I post it 819 Every morning. You can reach me at 561-961-9312 I have a website. It’s called Plutus financial partners. And you can also email me at four Right dot Rica’s at my Plutus

george grombacher 25:06
Excellent. If you enjoy this as much as I did so frank your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas find him on LinkedIn, where he posts every morning at the specific time, say 15 Frank

Frank Rekas 25:18
819 819.

george grombacher 25:21
Why why 819 90

Frank Rekas 25:25
is my favorite number represents a couple of my favorite athletes, just a number that I’ve always loved. And it allows me to participate and engage a little bit before the post goes live and then engage a little bit after the post goes live. So it’s kind of worked out my schedule to be that way. I could have made it 815. But the 15 doesn’t mean anything to me.

george grombacher 25:45
I think it’s great. Whatever works, man. Perfect. Fine, Frank again on LinkedIn. Go to Plutus financial Check out the great resources there and give him a call, shoot him an email and go from there. Thanks again, Frank.

Frank Rekas 26:01
Okay, thanks, George.

george grombacher 26:03
Finally, a friendly reminder this never gonna be anybody more interested in your financial success than you so act accordingly.



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