We just did a video that you may enjoy about effective lead follow-up along with effective new client sales process. If you’ve missed it, you can find it on our YouTube channel (click here), or at the end of this post.
It seems that even the word “Sales” is a dirty word for many for some strange reason. Perhaps is due to some combination of classic sales “techniques” that have been over used and the image of the bad used car salesman. Certainly coming across as “needy” will be a turn off for prospective clients.
It’s foolish to avoid mastering communications, leadership, persuasion, and sales processes. As someone who’s training many 1,000’s in effective sales process, scripts, and closing techniques I can tell you one thing: When I encounter someone who’s really good, then I’m eager to buy from them. On the other hand I resist and avoid buying from someone who’s bad. In fact it really annoys me to purchase from someone who hasn’t done their homework and been has been poorly trained.
There’s a commercial that runs constantly on the Sirius news channels that goes something like 80% of sales people haven’t even read one sales book and 80% of your sales are made by the top 20% of sales people.
That 80/20 rule or more likely 90/10 rule is certainly evident among financial advisors. You start out with just a massive failure rate for those starting out. It’s certainly a failure of marketing skill as well as failure of effective sales technique. Once you get through that gauntlet then the industry more or less sorts out into 90/10. The vast majority of the income will go to those in the top 10%.
Those in the top 10%, 5%, and 1% certainly do a lot of things differently but it certainly starts with effective marketing and really mastering persuasion, mastering sales skills.
The improvements are often a matter of the “slight edge.” It’s essential to master each and every crucial aspect of your career.
In talking to an advisor today he said that he was doing fine without any sales skills and that he preferred authenticity. Well, inauthentic interactions are indicative of poor persuasion and sales skills. Attempting to be authentic without having a consistent process is foolish.
When advisors just round up friends and family or, when they have a very small number of new prospective clients they can wing it.
The most common “complaint” I get from clients is that they end up “drinking from a firehose” – their term not mine. Often getting more new client traffic in a month than they had in the previous year. It becomes option 1, break all of their systems and watch conversion rates fall or, option 2, fix staff and sales processes first before opening up the marketing.
I’d recommend that you watch the video referenced above, I believe you’ll find it valuable.
Stephen Oliver, MBA
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