Pellegrino Castronovo on Fashion Tips for Financial Advisors & How Your Image Impacts Your Business

Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson Brad's the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US

He's also a regular contributor to Investment News, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, and it's my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint and I've got to welcome my friend and the best-dressed man that I know, Pellegrino Castronovo Welcome to the show, my friend

Pellegrino: Oh, my goodness I'm so humbled by that intro Hello Ciao, everybody Brad: Well, I already know just from the pre-conversation before we even went live here, this is going to be one of my favorites and just from hanging out, we always have a good time

So, I’m good with just diving right in unless there’s anything you want to throw out at the front-end? Pellegrino: No Just hello to everybody around the world That’s it Brad: All right Well, let’s do it

So, as you know, obviously I work with financial advisors, Pellegrino, and one of these things that’s been this age-old debate in over a decade that I’ve been doing this is there’s one school of thought that says, “I can’t dress too nice because my clients will think I make too much money and do too well” And then there’s the other school of thought that says, “I have to dress nicely so that my clients know I do well and that I’m a professional and a master of my craft and I take this seriously” So, please weigh in with your thoughts and the psychology behind how you carry yourself, how your dress, and what that portrays about you Pellegrino: Okay It’ll be my pleasure to lay the ground on this

Okay This has been one of the biggest debates I’m doing for 20 years and the conversations I had with many tailors So, the first is false People feel if they look a certain way, it will make the impression on their client that they’re making too much money and they’ll feel that the client will pull away from this This is not true

A lot of group of people have had a bad experience or somebody said something, "Oh, you’re making a lot of money Are you doing so well?” And what they end up doing they classify everybody like that and they look at that as a factor, a statement to base this whole theory on From all my experience, let me tell you a story first, I sell to a lot of financial advisors and I could tell the successful ones from the not just based on certain details they do in their life and they portray So, it comes from a story where this man came to my shop over 15 years ago and he wanted to get into the fruit industry, so he wanted to sell fruits to this fruit market that was saturated already, and he wanted to enter it and there's a lot of mafias, there's a lot of like connections, old school of connections So, what he did was he rented a Lamborghini

He owes his money to rent this Lamborghini and he drove it into the market and he kept on driving around this market, getting out, looking at his phone, talking to a person here and there all around this market and people started asking, "Who is this guy? Who is this guy?” They started inquiring He started giving his card He started networking, talking a bit, and the image to all these farmers that this person here must have a product that everybody wants for him to be making pennies off of, for him to be this successful Pellegrino: So, that subconscious saying, “Who is this guy with the Lamborghini?” But I’ll tell you nobody rents a Lamborghini, but it worked for this kind of story where people feel I don’t want to be the first one to invest into a product that could go wrong I don’t want to be the first one

So, they’re looking for telltale signs When they’re looking at you, they’re looking for these telltale signs constantly They look at is he successful? Did other people invest in him? Is he making money for other people? And how do they do that? By what you say? No It’s not about what you say And all in contrary a lot of the salespeople you know that say everything that they want, and the thing is we want to be honest so if we’re already successful, we say it

If we’re not yet or we’re growing in a growing phase, don’t say you’re successful at this point Don’t say you have made it Don’t say you’re living a certain lifestyle People will catch that right away So, it’s first analyze your position in life if you’re a start off or if you’re successful

And if you are successful, you have to by telling these telltale signs, it will create confidence in the other person and the person is analyzing and saying, "Okay This is the legit person who’s doing very well, very successful,” and it builds trust It builds confidence in the person’s ability to you there make the money, sell them a product, or interact or at least good to the next level So, yes We’re going to look for these telltale signs

What are the telltale signs? It’s going to be little things and I really don’t like to mention it, but I want to verbal it, verbal out and you choose what you want to do with this information but they’re going to look at the keychain They’re going to look at the garments you’re wearing They’re going to look at your watch They’re going to look at all these signs where they have proof, direct access to what’s in your bank account or if you’re successful enough They’re going to look for that right away

Pellegrino: They’re going to say, "Okay Is he coming in with a broken-down car? Is he coming in with a garment that is on threading or it’s cheap or is his whole outfit and car less than what I’m going to be giving him?” How can I trust him with all these? Is he going to just run away with everything? I’ve got these feelings from also like my financial advisors So, when you show up that you don’t need their finances, when you show up with this is my status, this is my level, it automatically creates confidence They may not like you or they may not want to be your friend because they feel like you’re up here and you think they’re better, but they definitely do have confidence in dealing with you in business Brad: It’s interesting you bring that up, Pellegrino

I think of two stories that you just made me think of One of them, real-life story, I'm looking for CPA As a human being, we're all programmed to shortcut That’s why it’s always like quality stuff is more expensive It’s a shortcut because if it’s more expensive, it must be better quality, right? And so, I had two CPAs that were recommended to me

The first office I walk into, highly recommended, I mean, literally from one of the financial people I know, one of the smartest people I know, and I go in and the office there’s no receptionist and I walk in It looks like a college guy’s dorm room and then I sit down and talk with this CPA for probably 60 minutes Seemed very, very knowledgeable but I had all of these signs I’m like, "Is this like a sham or what’s going on here? Is this like a boiler room set up because everything around me is telling me this is not a successful office” Exactly after that, I go to the second CPA, greeted by a receptionist, beautiful little area where the conference room table, TV, drink, refrigerator right behind I have no idea who had more tax knowledge

I just I know I bought and I moved my account to the second one because all of those signs were telling me this office is more successful and more legitimate I think a lot of what you’re saying applies to how you carry yourself, how you dress Would you say that’s fair? Pellegrino: Yeah Dressing is one segment of that and it says a lot about yourself There are all different levels

By just to go back to that point what you said, it never makes a person feel he’s making too much money, I won’t do business with him It never makes them feel that In contrary, it makes a person feel they must be doing something right They have a good product that everybody is buying It’s a Walmart like their prices are just perfect and they’re doing, they’re expanding, they’re big because they have something right and that’s what a person feels

That’s what a person has in their mind Brad: I just put the analogy like other financial services you have to have a high level of trust to work with someone So, I look at that It’s the same thing with the medical doctor If you have a health issue and, God forbid, like a serious issue where you require a surgeon, imagine if you walk in to see the surgeon and he’s in like sweatpants

I’m going to be like, “I don’t think so I think I want to go trust somebody else that is scrubbed up” Most doctors I know that do high end, they might even have a tie-on underneath the doctor’s garb So, I think it applies to all different industries were a high level of trust is required So, let’s transition because I know you fit some incredibly, I mean, I think pretty much every field of professional sports, Sugar Ray Leonard, the CEO of Montréal Canadiens, a number of their players, NFL players, Major League players

I know you’re really big on F1 racing When we hung out in Montréal, I think I somehow stumbled into an F1 party and the next thing I know there’s like Dom Perignon I’m like, "Okay” And so, anyway, that’s a whole another segment but when you’re fitting very successful people that deal with people that have money and need to look very nicely, let’s go into the psychology because we were literally out in Carmel at Jayson Gaignard’s MastermindTalks That’s where we crossed paths and I’m just going to call you like the suit whisperer because I know of no better term and we’re sitting there I think we’re sharing, you’ve got a beer, I’ve got a beer, we’re just talking, “Hey, what do you do? What do I do?” And pretty much within about two, three, four minutes conversation, you’re like, "Let me tell you how I think you should…” Kind of like, "Here’s how I think you’re probably portrayed as a business person

Here’s that type of suit, here’s the kind of what I would recommend or where I see you really pulling that part of your personality out” So, can you speak to how you deconstructed that so quickly and kind of your thought process as you tailor different types of people? Pellegrino: Okay So, it has to start with also my background and my knowledge so when I’m dealing with a client or individuals, I stop thinking of myself and actually that’s why I had to put this paper in front of my podcast, so I don’t look at myself I’m fully engaged in how the other person is making me feel So, I picked this up over the years

It’s 20 years of tailoring, one-on-one with men and constantly I’m checking my feelings, my sensories, my radar to see what type of person I’m dealing with or I’m talking to, I’m speaking to What he’s saying doesn’t match his energy or the details he’s doing because if it doesn’t, there’s a disconnect and I got to figure out what’s that disconnect If it does match, then could we highlight it? Could we make it seem, could we make the strength seem more? So, I think we went sailing together and right after that sail, we stopped at a little I think it was like a bar or a bistro Brad: Yeah Little hole in the wall

Pellegrino: Yeah You had a beer I had a [inaudible] and I just started speaking to you and I felt a very trustworthy factor about you I felt that instantly and I felt very strong trustworthy factor I didn’t feel this person would run away with any of my finances

I didn’t feel you to be pretentious I didn’t feel you could be a show-off I thought you very genuine just like a loving friend like if I was next to you, we’d be good friends and we would hang out without intros and without bells and whistles And I felt that interesting because it’s an interesting quality that a lot of people shy away from and you were very comfortable with it, you are very comfortable in who you are in that setting So, what I wanted to do is to highlight that because it’s a beautiful quality that not many people have

And that’s why I suggested right away I said, "Look, you have a trustworthy factor You have a capability to project trust into other people It’s just a natural thing” And everybody has different strengths, also different weaknesses So, I like to just highlight people’s strengths

It’s an easier way to connect with other people So, certain garments, certain colors, certain shades to highlight that trustworthy factor or to highlight that character that you’re already having within that builds confidence, that builds like a character that you’re not running away or you’re not just going to leave the next day That friend that will be there for the next 20 years That’s what I felt and that’s what I highlight But everyone, everybody has their highlight and some people have, for example, let’s say a guy comes into the room, he’s a bodybuilder, black hair, dark eyes and his facial expression, natural facial expression is a facial expression that doesn’t smile

He’s like this Pellegrino: Imagine the timidness you would feel of him walking into the room What is he thinking? What is he doing? Just that energy he’s bringing But you get to know him, and you get to say, "Oh, he is reserved,” or, "Oh, he is kind,” or, “Whoa, he’s very friendly,” or, “He just had a bad life,” or, “He’s looking for love,” maybe he’s in a relationship or looking for a relationship What do we do then is I would have a verbal conversation, just a couple of little questions here and there asking about his life, who he is, what he needs a garment for or what his goals

Just by someone communicating, you get a sense right away and then we start highlighting that We start looking at that aspect of the person Does he want to camouflage something or does he want to highlight something? So, that’s what we do and just everybody gets it Everybody has this intuition and it’s that gut feeling when you leave a person saying, “Was he real? Did he have a mask on?” If a person has a mask on his face, no matter what is being said, no matter what they’re talking about, the only thing you’re thinking about is what’s behind that mask No matter how poetically perfect his vocabulary is or the way he speaks, the only thing he’s thinking is, “I wonder what he looks behind that mask

” Regardless if I like him or not, I just want to know, and people get that sense When people are looking at somebody, you’re always wondering, "Is this person real what he’s saying? And what’s behind them?” Like if it’s not, I feel like that he’s hiding something, or I feel like just something he’s ashamed of maybe All right Maybe he’s ashamed that he’s not at a financial level that he wants to be, or he doesn’t have a portfolio like his neighbor He has that fear and he projects that

So, we have to build confidences somewhere else, so he doesn’t feel that fear when he’s meeting somebody Brad: Okay So, let’s dive in a little deeper there If you’re a financial advisor, what are wardrobe things you would stir clear of like, "Oh please don’t do this?” Give me some examples there Pellegrino: Okay

So, wardrobe details that you would stay away from is imagine yourself in a black-and-white movie If you wear a dark-colored shirt and you have a dark shirt and suit, so in a black-and-white movie that will basically be like you’re wearing a dark gray outfit So, what you want to do is create contrast levels so dark on dark next to your skin, you want to stay away from that It’s portraying too many movies as gangster It’s portraying too many movies as the bad guy

Subconsciously and psychologically people have that in the back of their mind No matter how good you look with it You look fantastic, but I’ve seen a lot of people like to go that dark on dark or just a medium gray with a black shirt or dark shirt Brad: Don’t forget the pinstripes Those are common in our industry too

Pellegrino: Oh, is that right? Brad: If you want to go extra gangster Pellegrino: Pinstripes actually is coming in the industry It’s coming back in fashion Brad: Hey, that’s a thing If you hold on to the suit long enough eventually it will be back

Pellegrino: Yes Like, if you picked up a reputation of not being in style for the past eight years So, you would want to look at also the length of the sleeve and the length of the pants This is also too long, it becomes sloppy and people feel you’re wearing a sloppy garment and too long of a pants like it’s too many breaks at the bottom, it’s sloppy So, just to give you like a heads up, so this line right over here, if you bend your wrist going towards you, you will see a line that appears, the first line

When your arms are to the side, your suit jacket has to fall at that line This shirt half an inch after that Why? Because a lot of men wear it to their knuckles sometimes and when they’re talking or they’re speaking it becomes sloppy Sloppy means they don’t care about the details If they don’t care about the details, will they care about the details of your portfolio? It’s simple

So, the more you care about the details, the more they think, you’re looking at the details of their money You’re looking at the details of their portfolio or the business or whatever you’re selling So, more details you could display, more details and more proof you’re giving the clients or reassurance you’re giving the client The more you talk without those details, "Oh I’m a detailed person, I’m a very detailed person I went to this university and that, this and that,” it doesn’t matter if details are not matching what you’re saying

They’re questioning what’s behind that Brad: So, speaking of details, we've got to go here because your attention to detail and for those of you that are listening via audio, by the way, you're missing out on at least one of the best-dressed guys I've ever seen So, Pellegrino’s got an exquisite jacket on and I had to throw one that he did for me on as well So, definitely make sure you tune in to the show notes or go check it out on YouTube, the interview So, we’re introduced at MastermindTalks and I’m like, “Hey, crazy coincidence

I’m going to be in Montreal this summer which is where you’re based out of,” and you’re like, "Swing by” And so, perfect I wear a lot of suits for work or jackets and things like that So, I swing by I’m just going to kind of paint this picture because there’s so much financial advisors can take from the client experience that I experienced with you that I think going back to attention to detail, there was so much So, first off, be like, okay, well, I'm there with my whole family so my wife, our three children so three and seven years old, be like, "I'll join you for breakfast

” We’ll meet at these spots in all of Montreal which I’m going to butcher the name, L'Avenue Am I saying that right? Pellegrino: Yeah L'Avenue Brad: Okay Yeah

You can say it much better than I can So, anyway, we get there and you’re like, "Well, let me know when you’re getting in because it’s really, really busy,” and it’s like the spot And so, you literally have your assistant standing in line on our behalf and by the time we get there, I roll up in an Uber, my whole family piles out and the line is like 15 deep behind your assistant and I’m feeling like so bad because this whole crew just rolls in You had literally taken care of that detail, so we show up, we walk right in without to wait Side note, the coolest bathroom I’ve seen in the history of any restaurant for those of you listening in if you get a chance to check it out

So, let’s just take this all the way through We have a great time I show up You have an office and actually a very close to my office building where we do a private fitting You show up with everything

I just walk in You’ve got all the materials, shoes, belts, all of that Pick out three or four garments I’ve bought some nice suits over the years I’ve never had this happen

So, you’re like, “I will ship you…” what do you even call it? Like a practice suit? Pellegrino: A sample suit Brad: Okay So, we get all fitted up and then, I don’t know, probably a few weeks after, a sample suit shows up so it’s not even a real suit Any of the materials you’re like, "Yeah Just want to make sure this fit properly

” I get a text, "Hey, it should be showing up that morning” It was either from you or your assistant So, like all the way through this whole process, I'm getting checked in on so text along the way I get the sample suit You say, "Hey, when would be a good time?” And so, we set a time

We Facetimed where I throw this thing on and you’re like, "Hey, side view, front view We need to move that Okay” And like probably 15 minutes you send me another sample suit because you’re like, "That one was just too far off” So, we do that a second time and then by the third time we’ve got it dialed in and then everything starts showing up and the whole way through your communication back and forth was little text check-ins like, "Hey, the materials came in, they look beautiful, we’re working the suit

” Your assistants pinging me a couple of times like, “Hey, the FedEx package has gone out” And so, really big build up here but I think there are so many lessons that can be taken away from the whole experience all the way through And so, I just want to ask you, I know a lot of that’s obviously very intentional, how did you craft this client experience? What are the key things that you find along the way that are things that you can’t miss to build that trust in the relationship? Pellegrino: Yeah Well, thank you You saw all the details

Brad: Hey, I notice them Pellegrino: That’s amazing First, it has to be being a purchaser myself walking through situations and I’m like, "Oh, I don’t feel I’m valued here” I don't feel like I'm dropping a lot purchasing that or this What is luxury, right? Luxury is the details that make a story perfect and having that not reciprocated to me made me question and made me want to be that way to others

So, for instance, very in tuned to how I’m feeling when I’m purchasing or buying or dealing with anybody and then after I transform that and said, "You know what, I would like to know what’s happening along my order” So, my knowledge, I also get a lot of garments made for myself from Italy trying out different tailors over there and patterns, and I learn a lot Like, actually, I believe every financial advisor should hire three other financial advisors to and they should put up a bit of money there and see how their experience putting their money through other financial advisors For me, I had to experience how others are along the process and it’s very scary because it takes about a month to get the first garment going, the fabrics in, and you’re like, "Did he forget about me? What happened to my garments? Am I just a number?” All these like feelings are coming back So, none of them ever text me or send me a message or an email saying, "Hey, we’re in the process

We just got your fabric or we’re cutting right now” So, I wanted to reciprocate that feeling reassurance to everyone And I put steps along the way just to make sure everything is perfect So, it’s more slightly how I would like to be treated and I’m very in tuned in how I would like to be treated That gives me the ideas of how to treat others really, I’m positively thinking

Brad: I left one of the coolest things out which is the simplest coolest marketing idea ever So, once again I’m pushing you all to watch the YouTube video here because a lot of this is very cool in this episode So, I’m going to stand up now and I’m showing off a Pellegrino suit jacket here which can you tell them the story of the interior and the thought process and how you pulled that off? Pellegrino: Yeah Sounds good Brad: We’ll get to that, but I have to show this so I’m putting this on camera

So, I think it was three or four jackets and I just put the jacket on and I go to wear it and then I feel something on my side kind of on my hip and I reach into the interior pocket of the jacket and there’s a business card and not just any business card I swear it’s like it’s some form of leather It’s like a suede leather and I know these aren’t cheap Pellegrino but then it’s got this little band wrapped around it I’m going to hold it up to the camera “Be the guy who knows a guy

” And I look at this thing and I’m like, "How simple but brilliant,” because everything you do is so high end from the front end picking out the materials, where they come from, how you source them You have a story behind everything and where it originated and why you chose it and it makes you want to, as your customer, tell other people the story and then you’re like, "Yeah” You tell a story and then you’re like, "Oh yeah, I know a guy” I mean, that’s like a – so how did you come up with that idea? Pellegrino: Okay First of all, the cards, the business cards, the paper is brought in from Italy because I have a pet peeve

I don’t like business cards where the edge, I like the black business cards, but I don’t like the business card where the edge is white I find it’s just aesthetically not nice So, imagine a black business card Front and back is black and on the edge and top and corners in the bottom, it's white and then after when you give it to somebody and you keep it in their pocket and you put the keys in that pocket then it starts getting chipped away So, I wanted first black paper

So, I started sourcing out the best black paper in the world It brought me to a company in Italy then I said, “I want when they touch it they get another experience” So, it’s actually a velvet finish so when you’re touching it, it’s very soft In your hands, it feels rich So, right now the detail of noticing black, nobody is saying, "Hey, look, the edges are black

” No one is saying that, but they just feel it They feel there’s something special about my card then they touch it, yes, very clean front and back The cards, they end up probably being $1 apiece which is in this industry is not, you’re thinking 10,000 cards, it goes up but every single one, every single person I gave it to regardless of they’re a paper expert or not, they appreciated, they felt it right away, they felt it was a different card, just the subtle details Be the guy who knows a guy Everybody is like, "Hey, I know a guy

I know a guy” I bounced off ideas to close friends to one Greek friend, Stavros Papadopoulos He says, "You know what, everybody says, ‘I know a guy,’ and you should put that in with your cards” He said that idea and I love it I love it

So, that created very clean, simple two cards pocket was born Brad: I like the fact that it’s two as well because you can give one to a friend and keep one for yourself Was that the intention? Pellegrino: Yeah That was the intention Three is you’re being too sales-like

You’re being that too pushy One, after you don’t have a card, some people don’t want to even give their card because that’s the only card they have of mine So, the two was a perfect balance Brad: I deal with a lot of people that pay attention to detail because it’s their business in financial services as well I don’t know that I’ve met a person that pays more attention to the detail than you do

All the little things, it’s all the little things, right? Okay We got to bust this out Pellegrino: All right Brad: So, Dale Carnegie wrote a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People which is one of my favorites, but he also wrote the book called How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking and my wife got this for me many, many years ago and there’s a section in here I’m just going to paraphrase a couple of things, but it speaks to what you do, and I think the artistic way that you approach your craft and it’s really interesting

So, how you’re affected by clothes and the inquiry was sent to a large group of people by psychologists and university president asking them the impression clothes made on them All but unanimously they testified that when they were well groomed and faultlessly and immaculately attired, the knowledge of it, the feeling of it have the effect which while it was difficult to explain was still very definite, very real It gave them more confidence, brought them increased faith in themselves, heightened their self-respect They declared that when they have the look of success, they found it easier to think success, to achieve success, such as the effect of clothes on the wearer himself And then he gets into a little bit of how it affects the audience but I’m not going to redo the whole book on the show but let’s get to we’ve talked a lot about external how dressing impact somebody

Let’s talk about internally and your confidence in your approach So, what are your thoughts around that? Pellegrino: Well, that’s a great question and it’s a great observation that you made and also a great quote because all my clients their superpower or their help, their help to aid their superpower comes from feeling that confidence and that confidence could be applied on with Superman when he wears his cape, Batman when he wears his black suit, anybody when they put in their outfit and also us men when we put on a suit that makes us feel confident There is still no uniform to this date for a man to where that has the prestige of a blazer There’s still nothing Either president or if you are a businessman when you put on a blazer, there’s a structure

It’s almost militarial There’s a structure to the shoulders, there’s a structure to man’s outfit that the others reflect However you feel inside, you feel confident You feel strong When you’re dealing with certain fabrics, when you’re dealing with certain fits, it automatically makes you feel confident

And, yes, they walk into the board meeting, it happens in a split of a second They walk into the board meeting Everybody looking at them a little more curious, a little more curious, "Who is this guy? He looks different from the other guys,” and you feel that walking to the board meeting You feel that when you’re walking beside somebody and another colleague and he’s not wearing the same garment, or he doesn’t have the details put together like you have and you meet somebody, and that person is giving a few more attention than the other person regardless of how well-spoken or who he is There is that confidence, that detail that radiates outside of you

It’s going to come out guaranteed and every one of my clients they feel that Pellegrino: Still to this day, it’s very hard to explain why, they express why, but when you are well, if you’re in your zone and well made-up clothes or you have your look put together as you want it to be and you know it’s another level and once you increase like I told you about where the sleeves should end and how the jackets should fit, once you increase your knowledge of that, you will pick up the guy beside you who doesn’t have that and it will come across, across the table So, every one of my guys feels the exact same way as Dale Carnegie quoted over there and they come in with confidence, they come in with more security, and everybody else feels that [ANNOUNCEMENT] Brad: Hey, Blueprint listeners, I have a special opportunity for you this week I mean, I wouldn’t interrupt the middle of an interview otherwise

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More on that and how they do it at the event Then of course, once you get a qualified attendee to actually show up, it becomes about the automated follow-up process you have in place to get them from your event to your office and then once they get to your office to becoming a client We’ll have an Infusionsoft expert in to share exact campaigns working today in financial services And by the way, if you aren’t familiar with Infusionsoft, you should be as it is changing the game for our clients Brad: Lastly, we’ll have two of our top performing offices which gathered 233 million and 97 million organically in 2017

They’re going to share their real-world marketing ROIs, how they consistently keep the calendar full, and the key to scaling your firm, so you’re no longer a salesperson or an asset manager that has to show up to work each day but rather a CEO So, if you'd like to see if you qualify to attend, it’s as simple as taking five minutes to fill out a short application online at BradleyJohnsoncom/TheCatalyst so we can understand more about your business and make sure that the event best fits you And for those that qualify, we’ll fully cover your cost to attend including your flight, your hotel, and your ticket to the event And if you play your cards right, maybe we’ll even crack a bottle of wine or two at my house

You never know With that being said, this is the first time we’ve ever done an event fully focused on digital marketing, so I promise you it’s going to fill up fast I’ve actually already seen a few registrations coming in So, go fill up the application at BradleyJohnson/TheCatalyst to save your spot today and I’m going to be looking forward to the chance to meet a few of you face-to-face [INTERVIEW] Brad: You reminded me of a story and I think it was actually because I read this book, so most of my consulting is done over the phone

So, this was prior to the days we can do Zoom It’s like we’re doing right now where it’s like a conversation, but I remember I had a big, big recruiting call like my biggest recruit ever and I literally threw a full suit and tie on that day just for the call I mean we weren’t going to see each other at all but I was like, “Hey, it’s game day today I’m throwing a suit on and we’re going to go in here and we’re going to give it our best run” Pellegrino: Awesome

Brad: Which you just reminded me off when I played football in college To go on to the field and wear the uniform, it was everything had to be like the shoes had to be spatted up a certain way It’s like I’m ready to go out and perform and the way I look at that in business is this is the closest thing you’ve got Are you ready to dress for success so you’re ready to go out there and perform? And there’s so much psychology that goes into that, but I think you’re spot on there Pellegrino: Definitely

And how much of, for example, how much of you does a client really see? It’s just your face and your hand That’s it That is granted The rest is made up The rest is a story

The rest is communicating to the other person who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, what status I am at this point in my life That’s a communication you’re constantly speaking to the other person in front of you and you knowing that you built confidence Brad: Awesome stuff, man I feel like I need to buy more suits from you after this conversation Pellegrino: We have a line

You think that’s a huge order Get in line Brad: Cool Let’s keep rolling Okay

So, one thing we talked about before we went live here you said if there’s one thing that I can do, obviously not everybody’s going to be on Montréal in your own backyard where they can come up and see you If I’m a financial advisor out there, I’m going to give them some tips that if they’re looking at doing some custom suits in their local market, here are some things to look for in a tailor so you know you’re working with a good guy Pellegrino: Yeah Okay So, there are three things you got to remember when you’re looking for your tailor

So, wherever you are around the world if you’re searching for the right tailor and you’re questioning, you don’t want to go to that old Italian guy at the corner and you see his windows like just three shirts for $999 If you’re questioning what is a good tailor from a bad tailor, there are three things you have to look at One is fabric, second is a fit, and the third is a making of the garment So, I’m going to break down these three and that’s it you have to work with

So, these three you have to keep in mind when you’re meeting or interviewing a tailor Better you call it interviewing because he’s going to be selling through you You have to interview him with those three questions So, you can jot them down or you can review it back on this podcast So, what the three things are? Let’s talk about versions of fit

If I ask you a question, would you take a suit that will last you only six months, but the fit is beautiful on you? Your wife turns around and says, “Wow You look so good The fit is gorgeous Would you take a suit that will last you only six months or another suit that is baggy, loose, doesn’t fit as you well but the guy at the store tells you, “This will last you ten years?” So, majority of men will take the one that fits them well regardless of how long it lasts So, the fit, in reality, has a lot to do with if you'll be happier or not at the end of this process

So, how can you tell this tailor will give you the fit you like? You have to ask for their pictures You either have to be referred You have to ask him, "Have you tailored any important people or people I could see on the media or on the internet?” Fourth, look at his suit, look at his back when he turns around and when he goes get you an espresso or something, look at him Look at his pants Is that the style that you want? Pellegrino: Maybe it’s an older tailor

Maybe he has a different style Look at the mannequins The mannequins are hard, to be honest The mannequins are hard to tell because there’s a lot of pins and needles You have to see some of his results, so the fit is probably that is one of the most important parts

Second, I don’t think every tailor could give you the fit you need because the tailors are trained to sew They’re not trained to do fittings The fittings in the fashion term is called draping I spent the next three years learning how to drape properly then the seven years making a lot of mistakes in a lot of people fitting them properly in the span of ten years and I have given the skill of actually sewing to my tailors I know how to do it in principle but I’m not nearly as qualified as they are

So, everyone has their skill So, a lot of times people think, "If he’s a tailor, he knows how to fit,” and it’s the biggest misconception They do not So, the fit is you walk in, you look at these telltale signs to know if they can make their jacket that higher arm roll, tapered sleeve, more flattering down the leg then it stops at a certain level Second thing that you want to look at is the fabric

Where is he getting his fabric from? Now, there’s a lot of gimmicks from China China is replacing a lot China, India, Bulgaria, they’re replacing a lot of the Italian fabrics, lookalikes with a knockoff version So, the dealer he has to be dealing with these brands already So, I’m going to tell you the four top brands which is Zegna, Dormeuil, Scabal, and Holland & Sherry

Now, there are other brands out there that will make a fine cloth, but these are the top If you deal with one of these, you can sleep well at night You’re getting a good quality fabric There’s a lot of other brands which you have to question Pellegrino: It doesn’t mean they’re bad, but Barry's is beautiful, Cerruti is beautiful but you have to see what cloth you’re getting from them

However, these are the top brands You have to look at those books, write them down, research them, the top brands You make sure he has those books inside the tailoring shop If he doesn’t have those books inside a tailoring shop, it tells you something about this tailor and these fabric suppliers don’t believe in him So, I received – I’m one of 50 in all of North America I received a Diamond Chip from Scabal

His book is sold exclusive There are Diamond fragments in this suit The suit cost over $15,000 just one suit The Scabal make sure that the company that produces this fabric, make sure that do I make a proper fit? Does the tailor do a proper work? Does he have a good reputation? So, you could tell by the fabric books he has that he’s offering if he’s a good dealer already So, look at the fabrics, those names that I mentioned, look if they have those books in their shop so that’s a second sign

And the third one is quality in the making They will all generally do a good quality suit and they will stand behind their quality If something opens up, they will fix it It’s all handmade so you have to take a look at, but you have to just open up the jacket, make sure that it’s all hand done on the inside that the seams are right Look at the pockets

The pockets will tell you all the signs Look at the little details of the inside of the pants Those are the little things So, those are the three things Quality of making, fabric, and fit to look for in a tailor

Brad: You hit on it You have to tell the story I’m going to stand up again Tell them what this is right here the interior of the jacket Pellegrino: Okay

That’s silk Those silks come from women’s dresses and I was looking to put silks inside my jackets for some time and I don’t know if you can see that Okay On mine too And I started dealing with old manufacturers and say to them, "Can we get some beautiful silks that go into men’s jackets?” And they said yes

So, they shipped me some silks and they’re just boring colors, plain boring colors, and I said that, “You know, when you know that there’s something else out there, but you’re just not convinced of what’s being presented to you?” So, I have that feeling I was coming back from Rome back to Montréal and there was a lady sitting beside me who had a beautiful silk skirt I said, "That’s the type of silk I need in my jackets,” and you can just feel the way it draped on top of the leg, the way it just shines off the light, you see the quality, the design The designers who designed that silk put thought into it, color into it So, I said, "That’s it

Let me look at women’s dresses, silk that is made for women’s dresses” So, I found a supplier in Italy that manufacturers Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Armani, all the women’s dresses and I asked them, "Let me purchase the end of stocks So, after you finish in production, let me purchase all your ends of stocks and ship them to me,” and actually that’s what’s going inside of my men’s suit jackets is women’s silk for dresses which their wives go crazy Brad: I didn’t know that I would ever be comfortable wearing a women’s dress, but I do… The personality in your suits is incredible because they all have a personality to them and it’s just the way you’ve thought through every little thing I just can’t say highly enough how much I admire that

Pellegrino: Awesome Thank you [00:50:32] Brad: Since we hit on Italy and this is a selfish question so sorry if you advisors out there were taking this a little different direction Number one, so I’m taking my family to Italy this summer so we’re going, the whole crew We’re going to take my wife’s mom who’s a lifelong Catholic

We’re going to go see the Vatican so it’s kind of one of those bucket list trips for her Pellegrino: Oh, beautiful Brad: And every single person I’ve ever told up to this point to, “Hey, we’re going to Italy,” like, "That’s my favorite place in the world,” and these are people that have traveled all over the world like to all of these countries So, I know you go back and forth there a number of times a year What’s the one thing on an Italy trip that we need to experience? And maybe if that relates to what you do as a profession in some of the different cool little areas you’ve seen that are off the beaten path, please share

I’d love to hear it Pellegrino: Yeah Everybody goes in like every other country with an itinerary You have to allow some time to do nothing, the sweetness of doing nothing, of being in the moment So, in Italy, you don’t have coffee to go

You go to a bar, you ask for coffee, you sip it there You take the moment, you enjoy the people around you, you enjoy the noise, you look at a person beside you, you engage in a small conversation The person at the bar who’s serving you the coffee, he talks to you for a couple of sentences, where you’re from Those moments is why people keep on going back Scenery, there’s beautiful sceneries all across the world but Italy doesn’t do take away coffee because they understand that they have to have these breaks where they engage with people

It’s in our blood You need to engage with people You need to have a moment where everything else is forgotten and the person beside you is the only person existing So, my biggest advice is to anybody going to Italy, enjoy these little moments because the Italian’s culture, my wife and I would go there two to three months a year, the Italian culture they don’t want to They need to speak to people

It’s a desire They need to engage in a conversation or else they’re going to explode, and you being there, enjoy that process, enjoy the moment If you’re going to be late to the next thing on your list, it doesn’t matter Just take that moment, enjoy that scenery, enjoy that moment And no matter where you go, every day you always have a couple of places where you can just take a step back and enjoy that moment

That would be my biggest takeaway for anybody going to Italy Engage in conversations and enjoy certain moments of the day where nothing else exists Brad: Such a beautiful answer And I know I just sprung that on you, so I love just the, "Hey, don’t have to-go coffee in Italy” That kind of sums it up right there

It’s all about experience and being in the moment and I hear, by the way, they absolutely love kids over there Like they’ll like steal your kid and run in the other room but don’t worry about that, they’ll bring them back Is that true? Pellegrino: Yeah Exactly So, I have a daughter

She’s five-and-a-half years old Over here in North America when somebody touches your child, you question like, "Hey, where are you going touching my child?” They touch the head or pinches the cheeks but over there they do it so naturally, you feel like it's your aunt coming to say hi to your child My child passes in front of somebody and the person just walking, “Oh, cute,” and just touches her head They’re so in tuned and they understand the importance of children They don’t view them as annoying

They’re screaming and crying, they actually laugh They laugh at you They say, "Hey, I’ve been through that” So, they love children It’s not all to be concerned

They don’t frown They think it’s natural and normal Brad: Good Because we’ll be bringing three that are pretty action-packed over so that’s good to hear Pellegrino: They’re going to love it

Brad: Good Good Okay My friend, I’ve got to get to some of these philosophical questions after that last answer I mean we got to keep going there

All right Let’s go with this one When you hear the word successful, who’s the first person that you think of and why? Pellegrino: Okay There’s one lady that’s coming to my mind I’m sure there’s a lot more

I’m going to have to say this old lady she’s about 85 years old from Tuscany She took her old house and made it into a bed and breakfast and she wakes up every morning and she makes lunches and breakfasts for everybody out of her own joy, out of her own passion I say she’s successful because I very rarely see people so excited into whatever they’re doing, their work They’re like, "This is why I’m put on this planet” Very rarely I see that

There’s a lot of people I’ve seen them have that, not a lot of people A few but her it’s coming to my mind where when you say thank you to her, it goes on deaf ears because in her head she’s saying, "Thank you to you for allowing me to put out the spread and enjoy this bed and breakfast in the Tuscan hills of my villa and I could be around people” So, I really believe – I look at people who are so happy of where they are in their life I don’t know if that’s the answer you’re looking for Brad: I’m looking for whatever answer comes to your mind and that was awesome

Pellegrino: I like people who are happy of living where they are in their moments of their life regardless what they’re doing Brad: Yeah Is she close to Florence by chance? Pellegrino: Yeah Very close, about an hour away Brad: Offline we need to, it sounds like that’s a bed and breakfast we need to check out

Cool All right Here’s one of my favorites lately Okay So, what is something that you would like to see considered absurd 25 years from now? Or put another way, 25 years from now we look back and we’re like, "Can you believe they used to do that?” What comes to mind for you? Pellegrino: First thing coming to my mind is driving

I know it’s happening so it’s not too far fetched but having nobody drive anymore just like transport, full safety Nobody’s getting to car accidents, nobody’s texting and driving, no other problems So, I would love to see not one car on the road that somebody, that a human is behind it I would love to see just fully automated everything Brad: I’m with you

Are you a Tesla guy by chance? Are you autopilot? Pellegrino: No I’m not yet I don’t buy but a lot of my clients are I’m old school gas Brad: Well, it’ll be the same thing someday, “Can you believe that they actually used to put that flammable stuff into your car to get it here to there?” Pellegrino: Yeah

Brad: That really rings home with me, Pellegrino, because I mean we’ve got kids the same age and it just scares me especially like at least when we were kids you didn’t have mobile homes in people’s faces and now that’s just scary stuff So, I’m on board with that as quick as we can get there Pellegrino: Yeah It’s coming Brad: Well, you’ve got a lot of tech buddies

I’m sure they’re giving you all the insight too Pellegrino: Yes So, Most of my clients, a lot of my clients are in the tech world Brad: Yeah Which quick shout out, we have to give Daryl a shout out being a fellow masterminder

He was at the F1 party and hosted us well so hey to Daryl if you’re listening in Pellegrino: One of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever met in across this thing and dealing with banks for credit card conversions Brad: Yeah He’s done okay for himself in that space I think Pellegrino: Yeah

Brad: Is there a book or I’m going to expand this question a little bit for you Is there a book or maybe a piece of art because as I listen and try to be present in this conversation the whole way through I really love how you view a suit jacket? It’s your form of a piece of art So, is there a book, is there a piece of art, is there a piece of music that’s influenced you over the years? Pellegrino: A lot of art influences me and the art that triggers negative emotions in me are the most fascinating art pieces, things that I have to contemplate, and I wonder So, anything that triggers those emotions, I do enjoy from random artists But if you are going to the Vatican, there is from Donatello, his painting it’s all about dark and light

Anything that has strong contrast of dark and light inside the painting is probably one of my – it’s in the Vatican You’ll see this as you go into the first section It’s one of my favorites And just a story behind it It’s not just art

We’re all about stories, right? I want to know as many stories about you You want to know as many stories about me When we get together with our best friends, we tell stories Our life at the end of it, we just want these stories to the next generation And it’s the first time in history in all of history since the beginning of mankind, we are documented

First time Your child, how many videos you have of him since he was born, and pictures? And it will keep on going We document our children their whole life Back, myself, I probably have like maybe five videos when I was a kid on an old camcorder and going back to my father or my mother I’m lucky if I have a picture However, this generation is first time it’s all documented

The amount of stories that we are accustomed to because that’s the only way of knowing who our parents were and our grandfather, there was no video of them, so we just have to repeat these stories It’s ingrained to our generation We need stories to connect, to understand Pellegrino: So, anything that is given as a story along with the art, the thought process, any idea or why, I will respect it and I will appreciate it I don’t love it, but I would enjoy listening to that story and enjoying my time being exposed to this art, this piece of art

I believe strongly there’s a story that has to go along with it Brad: Well, you bring up something I wanted to add into the conversation We’ll put a link to your I think it’s PellegrinoCastronovobiocom because that’s the one thing, couple of episodes ago I had a guy named Chris Smith on and it was a super popular episode but actually I think he’s going to come to MastermindTalks if you’re going to be there again this year He calls it creating your origin story in your business and I was watching your bios, where there are little videos, there little like two-minute videos, and you say, "Here’s who I am

Here’s why I do what I do Here’s how I do what I do but here’s like,” you even go back to a story from when you’re a little kid and how you kind of saw the world and when I watched it I was like, "Man, that’s like Chris Smith Campfire Effect That’s Pellegrino’s origin story right there” So, we’re going to put a link to that in the show notes because I think there’s so much financial advisors can learn from that because you’re real, you’re genuine, you’re like, "This is who I was,” which I’m guessing like as a little boy being a guy that was really into art, that probably wasn’t the norm You are just fitting into the crowd there, but it made you who you are today and why you’re so good at what you do today

So, we’re going to leave that in Pellegrino: Awesome Brad: Okay, my friend As much as I’d like to keep this rolling all day long because I feel like this is you and me We should have a glass of red wine in front of us or something

Pellegrino: That sounds good Brad: But last question As far as sharing with the audience here, if you could really define it down to one thing, what’s the one thing that’s led to your success to this point? Pellegrino: It would have to be giving people what I want That’s it I’m constantly being in tuned of what I want in my life and I’m giving it to people

I’m believing that other people want the same thing Yeah Just being in tuned, being in tuned and reflecting that I believe everybody feels the same deep down We have a lot of common feelings

So, when you’re in tuned to your feelings instead of just worrying about what others are thinking of you when you just turn the mirror on yourself and just be, "What am I feeling at this moment?” I believe strongly that that is what I projected to other people when I deal with everybody and I think what I want the suit for myself and I just didn’t put up with somebody saying, "Hey, this is the best silk You deal with it This is what we got” No It’s like I don’t want that first of all

I don’t want to wear that I want to wear something better I want a story behind it I want to feel great about myself I want to feel the romance in myself too, but I don’t want to hide it when no one’s watching

So, these are the feelings and just being in tuned and asking myself all these questions all the time like what’s wrong? What’s wrong, Pellegrino? What are you feeling off about this? Being in tuned with that I believe is what got me from just a regular suit maker to where I am now And if I can relate, I think you asked me a question before for financial advisors, how I picked my own financial advisor and how I deal and how I… Brad: Yeah Please do Pellegrino: I would honestly say when I’m looking for a financial advisor or when I look for my financial advisor I look for the story Who is he? When I walk into the office, does he have pictures of his kids behind him? And I know it’s nothing professional and I know I talked to other financial advisors and they feel a little bit intimidated or they don’t want exposed, but I look for these things to know that, “Oh, he has a family so, therefore, he's not going to run off

” He has a hobby Look at his hobby It’s behind him He has the samurai swords behind him or he has this aquatic fish tank of salt water or he likes watches, I mean, like his hobby but I know that he is a person that has interests and I can relate to him I need to relate to my financial advisor because a lot too often they’re very generic and they’re trying to copy the guy beside them

And they’re always coming in as a cross between a banker and somebody who is a car salesman or just a weird crossing between where I constantly feel like who are you? Who are you like when I sit in their office in their chair, from the moment it’s in their chair, this chair is provided by the bank? Where did you pick this chair up? What’s this table in front of me? What’s on the table? Are you trying to impress me by just your mouth? What story you have around you? Where can I connect with you? And I feel that connection, that building of rapport from the connection of who the person is, who’s going to be taking my finances, I feel that is the missing, a huge missing link in many financial advisors They want to keep it too professional and cold and that was great in my grandfather’s times Pellegrino: But right now, there are so many on the market, we’re looking at who, what character, what person would be the best for this, for what I need them to do And there are trips to Morocco There are trips to here and there

Have a little picture If I know there’s pictures in the person’s office, I know he’s not running away tomorrow and I know the company appreciates him there because there’s a lot of institutions where the company, we know that the company will probably kick this guy out or if he gets a better job, he’s jumping over to another company or another institution But when I see him nesting, settling in with these little details and him getting permission if he would say from a company to put up pictures and this, I feel okay No, no, no, the company and him are in line to stay there It’s for the long shot and this is where I build trust and I want to invest into a person like that

Because at the end of the day, you’re investing to the establishment but you’re investing also to the person in front of you You’re investing that everything he’s saying at the end of it is true So, once you have all that story that you’re providing, those details, that trust, then what the person is saying goes in You’re not questioning behind, it goes in perfectly, and you feel confident to move forward Brad: So, why did you save that until the very end? That was so much knowledge you just dropped right there

I’m glad you kept it going there We got so much What I love that you just expressed right there is it’s all of the stuff that’s going in through people’s heads as they’re sitting across from their financial advisor that most financial advisors are completely blind to And it’s just we’re in an industry like you said of two things like they’ve always been done, copy the guy next to me or the gal that mentored me or whatever and, man, so spot on so thank you for sharing that Pellegrino: And just to tell you about your character too

There was another point, we were in the bar, we were having a good time, we’re talking, we’re after the sailboat and you told the bartender, “I’ll pick the top for the whole bar,” but there was two people sitting at the ends of the bar who wasn’t part of our sailboat They’re just a couple sitting there by themselves and a lot of people would’ve been, "You know what, no, no, this is our group This over here I’ll cover the tab,” but you said, "Yeah Throw them in too,” and you started engaging into conversation with those two people and they actually cheered you on and they said great things and very pleasant and thank you very much, but you can’t fake that When you see a character like what you just did over there, I know it wasn't intentional and you engage in their conversation and you made their day, you come from a good background

You come from a background where your parents are like they treat others as you want to be treated, respect the people around you if you could let out If you could be nice just for the sake of being nice, do it Those are telltale signs People are feeling They’re not thinking straight out

They’re just feeling and I never thought about that moment until just right now but it’s stuff that the little details that they’re so not engaged what the other person is thinking that you have time to just kind of allow spontaneity to happen and to show your real character in that space So, like that, it allows conversations to go organic and to not go buy the book If there’s a picture of you in the background with your kids in a mud pit, what is that about? This guy is unafraid to put that? Why did you get? Pellegrino: “Well, it was raining one day when I was taking my kid and it was just the best moment” It allows a conversation to go outside the book where people can build that confidence because when you go script, they know you said that line a thousand times They know there’s no way out of it

They feel stuck in there, so they need to go outside, and you have help them too to go outside of their comfort zone, so they could feel comfortable to engage that spontaneous conversation, so they can build that trust, get to know who you are, and know that this is not scripted and then you could bring them back into whatever financial or whatever you’re offering Brad: Pellegrino, my friend, if this suit making stuff doesn’t work out for you, I think you’ve got a future as a financial advisor coach That was like wisdom bomb after wisdom bomb you just drop there like the last 10 minutes So, well my friend, man, this has been fun and thank you so much I’m so grateful to call you a friend and my wardrobe has – my wife loves me more now because of you

Pellegrino: That’s what I want to hear That’s what I want to hear, man Brad: So, it’s been a pleasure Thank you so much Thanks for sharing with the audience here

It’s been a lot of fun Pellegrino: Thank you Thanks for having me on Brad: All right, my friend Until next time

Pellegrino: Okay Ciao Brad: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint For access to show notes, transcripts and exclusive content from our show's guests visit bradleyjohnsoncom

And before you go, I've got a quick favor to ask If you're liking the podcast you can help support the show by leaving your rating and review on iTunes Not only do we read every single comment, but this will help the show rank and get discovered by new listeners It really does help Thanks again for joining and be sure to tune in next week for another episode

The information and opinions contained herein are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Advisors Excel The guest speaker is not affiliated with or sponsored by Advisors Excel For financial professional use only Not to be used with the general public or in a sale situation

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