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041: Chris Smith on The Campfire Effect™ Framework and Creating an Origin Story for Your Firm and Client Experience

My friend and a former guest on the show Garrett Gunderson, first introduced me to today’s guest Chris Smith after he hired him to consult his firm Wealth Factory. He said Chris had to come on the show and after a 15 minute intro call with Chris it was clear Garrett was right. Chris also happens to be just about the only guest I think I’ve had on who happens to know something about a small town KS fairground tradition called team roping, so to say we instantly had some repoire is an understatement. But I digress…

Chris and his team teach businesses how to integrate their origin story into everything their company does. He’s the creator of The Campfire Effect , which is a methodology designed to make your team, your partners, and your clients feel a true oneness and connection. The beautiful thing is that it was literally born in our industry as it came from Chris helping his former business partners merge two long-standing financial services firms in Arizona. They used it to create a brand and client experience that attracted clients to them. He’s helped everyone from startups and small businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, clarify their story. I know you all are going to LOVE this conversation!

Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
  • The Campfire Effect origin story—including the lessons Chris uncovered about creating powerful connections with prospects and articulating how to better serve them. [07:11]
  • The step-by-step experience that Chris and his team create for every prospect that walks into their office—and why it practically guarantees new business!  [29:02]
  • How to create a proprietary methodology that will differentiate you from the rest of the pack—and why talking about your “how” is so much more valuable than talking about your “what”. [50:36]
  • The actionable steps you can take to start cultivating your own Campfire Effect—including the 3 Pillars Chris calls the Spark, the Fuel, and the Oxygen—to effectively sell without sounding salesy. [52:24]

“If you really want to create stress and struggle and non return on investment activities, start with marketing first.” – Chris Smith  

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  • [09:27] How Chris ame into commercial real estate with no credibility or connections – and blew away his competition at the age of 24
  • [12:29] Learn the little formula Chris applied to the financial services industry that made him a top producing financial advisor.
  • [15:21] How to create a space that empowers team members to come up with ideas.
  • [23:13] Why community service – and not asking for business – proved to be key to bringing in new clients.
  • [28:42] How getting one great client opened the floodgates for Seros Financial
  • [39:39] How Chris created a high-conversion mentoring and sales system that builds trust by talking like a coach – not an advisor.
  • [48:47] Why so many firms fail in their marketing – and the easiest ways they could make massive improvements.
  • [53:22] Why Chris never thinks about selling – while selling like few others.
  • [56:00] What your story needs to do – and why we often say way too much.
  • [62:21] How to hold yourself accountable to your message and put everything into alignment with your big idea.
  • [1:05:38] A quick exercise you can do to get to know your team better.
  • [1:17:54] How reassessing himself in a particularly dark time transformed Chris’s life forever.

“Human connection is at an all-time premium in the world we live in today.” – Chris Smith  

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  • Connect with Chris Smith

Website | Twitter Facebook

  • The Campfire Effect
  • Seros Financial
  • The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
  • Shark Tank
  • Wealth Factory


  • Garrett. Gunderson
  • Bob Burg
  • Mr. Wonderful


Thanks for checking out the latest show! You all keep blasting me with reviews and emails on how the show is serving you, this is the fuel that keeps me cranking these episodes out, so appreciated! Also the reviews and subscribes really help the show rank and other advisors out there find us so thank you!

Here are 4 more recent reviews, the first one comes to us from Logan Smith who says:

Logan, thanks for taking a minute to review the show, and as a new guy to the industry, I wish I would have had the resources that exist today when I got started, so glad you are getting it here! Jim Sheils concept of the Family Board Meeting has been one of the best things I’ve ever done as a dad, in fact I have one with each of my sons this weekend and my daughter next, so please reach back out and let me know how it goes once you’ve run with it. Also, my daughter is only two, so never too young to start! Thanks for listening in.

The next review comes to us from user AO323 who says:

Thanks for the review AO323, I can definitely get better here on the female guests as there are a lot of superstars out there in our industry and some of Advisors Excel’s top clients happen to be women as well. So if you have some great female guests you are thinking of, please get make a personal intro out on Twitter, I’m @brad_johnson. Also, if you haven’t checked out Kristi Piehl’s episode yet, that’s a great one to give a listen to in the meantime.

Next up is Darcylj who says:

AJ, I guess I have to crank these episodes out faster to keep up with you! That’s impressive as to date we’ve put out over 2 days worth of episodes so you are putting in some serious work

Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!

  • Listen to it on iTunes.


Click here to Read the Transcript


This is provided for informational purposes only. Producers are ultimately responsible for the use or implementation
of these concepts and should be aware of any and all applicable compliance requirements​. Results from the use of
these concepts are no guarantee of your future success.

AE02184009 For financial professional use only.

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041: Chris Smith on The Campfire Effect™ Framework and Creating an Origin Story for Your Firm and Client Experience


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