5 Steps to Improve Your Sales Skills
Advisors often dislike being known as ‘sales people’ – they see the act of selling as somehow disreputable. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Selling is essentially the art of persuasion. If you are to get people to open accounts with you, you need to convince them it’s the right thing to do. You need to become proficient at selling if you want to grow your business.
Top advisors are inevitably skilled salespeople. Make it your aim to become great at selling by taking the following steps.
1. Only ‘sell’ prospects a solution once you’ve done the groundwork
Before you can persuade a prospect to act, you need to be fully on-board with their needs. Only once you’ve listened intently can you offer a solution. In your first meeting with prospects spend more time listening to what they have to say.
Ask pertinent questions to draw out their goals.
You wouldn’t expect a builder give you a detailed description of their tools before they know what you want them to build. Similarly, you need to assess a prospect’s goals before you can discuss a course of action with them and the means – or tools – of getting there.
2. Work on your presentation
This is your opportunity to showcase yourself and connect with prospects. You’ve worked hard and used your marketing efforts to bring potential clients to the table. Now’s the time when they’ll decide whether they like you and trust you.
You are a walking advertisement for your business – prospects will be examining your every word and taking note of every action you make. So, ensure you come across as a consummate professional.
Practice your presentation over and over until you’re word perfect, so you won’t stumble over your words. Let your personality shine through and establish rapport by maintaining eye contact and using confident body language.
While it’s essential that you appear knowledgeable, remember you’re not selling products – you’re selling peace of mind. Your presentation needs to be simple because people won’t buy what they don’t understand.
So, don’t talk about mutual funds or ETFs, explain how you can solve their problems.
3. Choose to be optimistic
There’s no such thing as a successful ‘pessimistic’ sales person. Your attitude is everything. The most powerful advisor is passionate and enthusiastic because these are traits prospects find irresistible.
If you want to persuade people to act, behave with immense positivity. Believe that you can become the most positive person you know, and prospects will warm to you.
4. Face down rejection
Elite advisors understand how to brush off rejection. Your job is to prospect to and convert people – a line of work in which you will inevitably encounter rejection, on an ongoing basis. Top sales people have the ability to keep things in perspective. They stay buoyant because they don’t take rejection personally. They don’t let their egos get in the way.
5. Invest in sales training
As Warren Buffet said, ‘the best investment you can make is in yourself’. This couldn’t be truer than when it comes to developing your sales skills. It’s not enough to ‘have’ what someone wants – you need to convince them that they ‘need’ what you have. Gathering prospects alone won’t help your business grow. Once you’ve identified the right people to see you need to be able to sell to them.
Don’t shy away from the notion that you are a salesperson. You needn’t associate selling with being manipulative or untrustworthy. If you can employ your sales skills to convince someone to plan for their children’s’ education or save for retirement, you have done something worthy.
To succeed as an advisor, you need to invest in your ability to sell to prospects to turn them into clients. If prospects don’t take action, no one wins: They won’t get the expert help they need to secure a comfortable retirement and you don’t get to grow your business.