Scooby Doo and the Case of the Scalable Advisor

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finance-scooby-dooIt’s the Halloween season, and we’re feeling nostalgic for costumes, candy, haunted houses, and spooky episodes of ”Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”.

Want an excuse to watch a Scooby episode this week?

Here’s a good one: Scooby episodes teach us a lot about keeping a formula that works, updating your formula, giving a stellar first impression, having a plan, and staying calm in scary situations.

Use an engagement formula that works.

Scooby Doo, even after 45 years, always sticks to the exact same formula. The gang – Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, drive around in the Mystery Machine and usually, it breaks down or has engine trouble. They stop and a local villager – who is almost always the villain – tells the kids a crazy story about a monster problem that the gang then decides to investigate. The jokes are even the same – Scooby and Shaggy would do anything for a Scooby Snack, and Daphne is the damsel in distress. Almost every episode ends with the culprit muttering a version of “and I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”

Scooby Doo developed a formula that worked for their audiences, so they stuck to it.

Advisors should keep to what works for them as well. It could be a niche audience you know you work well with, similar to how CFP Dave Grant focuses his business on a hyper-specific teacher-based niche. It could be a certain marketing strategy that you’ve learned works well for you. Whatever it is for you, it can be a foundation of your firm’s success.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 

Update your format as time progresses.

Since the original series premiered in 1969, Scooby Doo has seen 11 television reincarnations and 4 movie reincarnations. They know they have a formula that works, but they also know it’s worth updating. Whether it’s for live action or stronger animation or a new take on the original characters – they keep the same general format of the original show but update it to keep the series popular as technology upgrades and fans move forward.

Advisors should update their format as time progresses as well – you don’t want your firm to be ‘behind the times’. You can do this by making big changes that make work easier for you and for your client. Make a change by going paperless, or transferring to client portals.

First impressions say a lot about who you are.

In Scooby Doo, you almost always know who the culprit is within the first 5 minutes of the episode. More often than not, it’s the creepy old man who gives them directions. That impression leaves a lasting mark on the audience, in a similar way the first impression you have on a prospective says a lot about you.

In your first meeting with a client, they decide by looking at you what you could do for them and what you are capable of. The first impression can draw you out to be a ‘bad guy’ that a potential client will run away from. Think about the things that could tip their scales – have they Googled you? What advice have they been given about finding advisors? Think about it, and be prepared to make a good first impression.

Have a plan and expect something to go wrong.

Once the gang decides that the monster is a fake, they come up with a plan to capture him. Fred usually sets up an elaborate trap, and in most instances, Scooby or Shaggy will get in the way and fall into the trap. The gang will then catch the monster, seemingly by mistake. The monster is apprehended and unmasked, every single time.

They have a decent plan in the start with their trap, but usually the elaborate trap doesn’t go the way they had intended. Still, the gang is ready to deal with anything that may come into their path.

Stay calm when things get scary.

Scooby and Shaggy aren’t always the best at staying calm in a scary situation – but that is only for comedic purposes. Fred, Daphne, and Velma (in particular) are always on top of the situation at hand. Velma knows how to scout clues, Fred handles the team and tells them when to search or try to capture the villain, and Daphne aides the team in whatever way she can. Even though they weren’t prepared for the monster when their car first broke down, they found a way to improvise.

As an advisor, you always have all of the tools that you need. You just need to know how to use them. That old tool you see could cause the monster to trip and conveniently end the troubles you have endured. Fred knows how to do this, and a forward-thinking advisor does too.

Corinne is an emerging expert on social media-based communication, with a BA in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication. Content Manager at Blueleaf, Corinne enjoys organizing content in the cleanest and most elegant way possible. Outside of Blueleaf offices, she can be found performing in comedy, on the elliptical at the gym, or trying to conquer the latest video game. Connect with her on Twitter @CorinneDeCost.