Unfortunately “sales” has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation in some advisor’s minds. They think of sleazy car salesmen, or pushy obnoxious people coercing others into buying things they do not need or want.
But “sales” isn’t necessarily any of those things. Solid sales skills will help you fill real needs that people have, and help them improve their lives by fulfilling those needs with your services.
If you just focus on a small part of what you can deliver overall, you limit your ability to deliver on other areas where you see value in assisting clients with their overall financial needs. Whether it’s a financial plan, a retirement plan, a college savings plan, investment management services, or long term care insurance, I invite you to clarify your breadth of services as well as how you communicate these services to your clients.
I have clients who run their financial services businesses without much previous training on the sales and marketing side. They know how to provide the services that they offer, but may not have the same level of skill in sales — and their businesses suffer as a result.
Here is a list of five sales strategies you can use to improve your skills:
#1: Start with an enrollment template to help you learn about the desires, challenges, and needs of your prospects. This is used in a prospect meeting to help you provide structure and focus to the conversation.
#2: Once you uncover the above information about your prospect, guide them through your Branded System. This framework describes your client approach clearly and makes it easier for prospects to ultimately say “yes” to being your client. (For more information on a Branded System, please read my previous blog here)
#3: Clarify your value before presenting your fees. It is crucial that you state your fees confidently. Practice in the mirror and in a role playing situation with colleagues, friends, or a coach until you feel comfortable and confident in your presentation. It’s important to practice stating your fees so that when you do so in front of a prospect, your confidence signals that they too should be confident in you and your ability to help them reach their goals. Your confidence also signals that your fees are worth it, and the structure that you are promising. If you are not confident, the reverse can happen, and your prospect may get the sense that your fees are not in line with what they feel you will deliver.
#4. Answer questions that come up, and overcome any objections. If you have not already done so, I invite you to sit down and make a list of potential objections you might encounter during a prospect meeting. Anticipating potential objections is helpful so that you will be ready with solid answers that will make your prospects comfortable and confident that you will help them reach their financial goals. (Ideally, by having created your comprehensive Branded System you might have at least touched on some potential objections.)
Are there any potential objections that would make you uneasy to hear from a potential client? These are important to anticipate so that you can prepare in advance to confidently speak to them and convert that prospect into a client.
#5. Finally, ask for the business. If you are not yet confident about this, practice your close as well. I find that assuming the close is a good way to start this part of the conversation. Rather than “When should we meet again to continue the conversation and determine if you would like to be a client?” which delays the prospect from moving forward, try something like “The next step is …” and moving right into the next step of client engagement, such as scheduling your next meeting to discuss the findings and recommended direction based on your comprehensive financial plan for them.
Now that you have read through this list of strategies, ask yourself if your own sales skills are where you’d like them to be. If you see some room for improvement, I invite you to reach out to me today: firstname.lastname@example.org