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Mitch Anthony's Intuitive Advisor

The Practice Doctor is IN

The All-Day Breakfast Menu for Clients

by Al Depman, CLU, ChFC, CMFC, BH
Practice Management Consultant

Al Depman photoWhen McDonald's rolled out its "All Day Breakfast" campaign earlier this year, it was an immediate hit for millions of Americans, including yours truly. Overnight across America, it seemed every restaurant hopped on the bandwagon offering pancakes and eggs 24/7.

Matt Gazaway and Greg Dillard, co-founders of BridgeQuest Wealth Strategies, figured what's good for McDonald's must be good for the financial services business. The Lenexa, Kansas, practice introduced the "5.02 Breakfast" concept in January of this year (more on the meaning of "5.02" soon). It's been a rousing success—seems that everyone loves breakfast, not just McDonald's patrons.

BridgeQuest embraces the holistic planning concept of looking beyond investment returns and exploring what really matters to clients. They have a nifty puzzle iconic image that highlights the eight areas that will be addressed in this quest for client fulfillment and purpose:

  1. Retirement Paycheck
  2. Investment Management
  3. What If's
  4. Taxes
  5. Giving
  6. Legacy
  7. Health & Wellness
  8. Bucket List

Matt and Greg use the word "transition" a lot. Their approach is that life is an ongoing series of transitions from one state of being to another. If one isn't growing and "becoming" then they're stuck and stagnant. A BridgeQuest client profile is that of a dynamic individual, couple, family, or business who permit Matt and Greg's team to be the financial lynchpin as a client faces a challenging, transition-filled future.

To help make this become more than lip service, the two hit upon the deceptively simple idea that people learn best by sharing and teaching. Why not have successful clients who have faced and adapted to life transitions meet with other clients and prospects and share their experiences? Hence, the "5.02 Breakfast." The concept is derived from the idea that people nearing major transition points appreciate hearing from others in similar situations to share common challenges and victories in a comfortable setting. At the "5.02 Breakfast" they ask attendees to bring $5 to cover the cost of breakfast and contribute their two cents worth to the discussion. Wondering why the minimal charge? Here's what Matt had to say: "'Free breakfasts and free lunches' really aren't free, and most discerning people know that...our industry has so many fancy 'free' dinners that are all about a product sales pitch, not discussion oriented around topics that can impact Return on Life, which is our focus. We do subsidize but we find our clients don't really want or expect lots of free meals, etc. In fact, that sends up red flags of why/how can we as a firm be paying for so much of this? Our philosophy is to make it simple and inexpensive but not free."

Recent breakfast topics have been "Thriving in Retirement", "Creatively Giving Back", "Maximizing Medicare" and "How to be a Lifelong Learner." Clients and guests gather, listen, and share their perspectives as they build a community of boomers desiring to thrive in retirement. As Matt puts it: "Our 5.02 breakfasts are a wonderful way for us to help facilitate a place where clients and guests can predictably gather in a relaxed roundtable format around a good old fashioned $5 breakfast and cup of coffee to share what's working well and what they need guidance with. We highlight at least one client experience and one subject matter expert at each of our breakfasts to explore the topic at hand. We find that the open discussion is varied and full of client anecdotes. It's interesting to note that the intentionally unstructured time toward the end of our breakfasts is what our clients and prospects value most—lots of lingering conversations." So how does it work?

A recent example of a 5.02 Breakfast focused on "Downsizing Your Home, Pre-Retirement." All age-appropriate clients were sent an invitation and suggested bringing a guest. The restaurant selected has a dining nook that could be used to accommodate 20 diners in a roundtable format without a microphone.

After gathering, getting coffee and juice, visiting, and ordering breakfast, Matt introduces the topic for the week. For the "Downsizing" session, they had a professional realtor team share experiences they have had with people facing this issue. Clients who recently experienced downsizing shared their stories. It emerged that it can take people in the downsizing mode several months or sometimes even years to get mentally and practically prepared. All stressed that each case is a unique blend of financial, emotional, and relational factors that help determine how and when downsizing makes sense. A client with mortgage lending expertise shared pointers about the approval process and the current housing and interest rate environment.

Some takeaways from the downsizing 5.02 Breakfast include:

  • "When is the optimal time to downsize?" This led into a wider discussion touching on financial, emotional, and relational factors. Ultimately a great conversation ensued around values: "What matters to you most?"
  • "When's the best time to buy or sell?" The realtor team and mortgage broker agreed that in the Overland Park, KS, area it's a seller's market, but it also generally depends on the price range. For example, quality homes under $300,000 aren't staying on the market for very long, and the higher ranges tend to have a longer selling cycle.
  • "What about staying in current home options vs. a maintenance-free situation?" The economics may favor staying in one's current home, but the demands and unexpected expenses (even if managed and outsourced) can be difficult to assess.
  • "I'm overwhelmed with trying to declutter my house." Is there help to tackle this? This may have gotten the most "spouse elbows" of the entire morning (i.e., the elbow from the spouse when a topic they have tried to convince you of for a long time is finally being talked about by others as a real issue). Taking this in small bite-sized chunks was the consensus best way to handle this. Many stated they did not want decluttering to be a burden on their children or surviving spouse, but it's a difficult one to take action on.
  • "The kids don't want the stuff." Baby Boomers are realizing that their children and the next generation just doesn't want stuff in the same way they did. Sad but true for many, the suggestion was to ask and communicate with adult children about this sooner than later—and have thick skin.

Matt, Greg, and team are pleased with the 5.02 Breakfast results in the learning, sharing-wisdom and word-of-mouth prospecting areas. We might just wake up one day and see these as part of the McDonald's all-day breakfast menu! The price is certainly right.

The Doctor is OUT

© 2017 Al Depman

Al Depman, CLU, ChFC, CMFC, BH, a.k.a. "The Practice Doctor", is's Business Practice Consultant, and contributor to "The Wall Street Journal." He is the creator of "The Practice Management Assessment" tool, the key component of The Business Practice Check-Up™, has authored numerous articles in professional publications on practice management, and is the author of the book, How to Build Your Financial Advisory Business and Sell It at a Profit, available from McGraw Hill. Al combined his Liberal Arts studies with 10 years of management experience with McDonald's Corporation to enter the financial services world 25 years ago. Since then, Al has evolved from an MDRT-level sales rep into a full-time consultant specializing in helping others engineer their business practices to the next level. Contact him at

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