5 Steps to Improve Your Sales Skills

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.

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You Need both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed as a Financial Advisor

You Need both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed as a Financial Advisor

You can’t offer financial advice until you have the necessary training and education under your belt. Learning the technical side is fundamental to your career, so that you can recommend appropriate products as well as adhere to the increasingly strict industry regulations.

But hard skills alone won’t secure you success. Even if you’re highly competent with technical information and product knowledge, unless you also possess the right soft skills, you won’t get your message across. Without excellent communication and interpersonal skills, you won’t get past the first post. That’s because prospects won’t understand what you’re saying or see why they should do business with you.

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Getting Clients to Talk about Money

Getting Clients to Talk about Money

As financial advisors we’re comfortable talking about money, it’s what we’re trained to do. But for everyone else it’s a different story. Most people feel uncomfortable talking about money, so you need to consider how to introduce the topic in a relaxed way.

Don’t dive into the numbers at the initial meeting. Instead focus on building rapport with clients; then ask them what it is they want money for. The goals must come first – then the money. Once you understand your client’s vision of the future you can start doing the math on how to get there.

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How to Connect with Clients Emotionally

How to Connect with Clients Emotionally

As financial advisors we’re objective thinkers. We use the left, logical, side of our brains, to work out the technical aspects of financial planning. But simply being able to do the math won’t differentiate you from the competition – even robo-advisors are pretty good with interest rates and algorithms. The way to stand out is to make an emotional connection with people.

Your clients won’t make big decisions based on the numbers. They will base them on how they feel about you, using the right (emotional) part of the brain. To form a connection with clients you need to work out what it is you have to offer them on an emotional level.

Here are three suggestions to help you connect with clients emotionally.

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Telltale Signs That a Prospect Is About to Waste Your Time

Telltale Signs That a Prospect Is About to Waste Your Time

Your time is precious so it’s essential that you spend it productively by prospecting to the right people. Some prospects are not worth spending time on – maybe expressing an interest when they’re not really committed to investing – and despite all your best efforts you won’t be able to do anything to change their minds. The problem is these prospects can be difficult to identify.

Here are a few telltale signs that someone is not about to do business with you.

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Help Clients Get to Know the ‘Real’ You

Help Clients Get to Know the Real You

Before a client makes the decision to do business with you he or she has to feel you are the ‘right fit’ for them. They’re about to embark on a journey into what’s often unknown territory for them – so they need to feel a real connection with their selected advisor.

Build rapport by letting prospective clients see the kind of person you really are. Let your personality shine through.

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How Do Clients Choose a Financial Advisor?

How Do Clients Choose a Financial Advisor?

If you don’t know what’s going on in a client’s mind when they’re choosing a financial advisor, you won’t be able to present yourself in a way that meets their needs. And you won’t get selected.

So let’s take a look at some of the things likely to be on a client’s mind when they’re looking for an advisor…

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Help Clients Understand Why They’re Paying You a Fee

Help Clients Understand Why They’re Paying You a Fee

Before you can convince your clients of your worth, you need to convince yourself of your own value. Always remember your fees reflect the five-star service you can offer. That’s what makes you stand out in an increasingly commoditized industry.

Here are some ways to help you communicate your value – both to yourself and to your clients.

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Lead by Example – Prepare Yourself so Your Clients Are Ready Too

Lead by Example – Prepare Yourself so Your Clients Are Ready Too

As an advisor, you need to prepare your clients for events that have not yet happened. You need to know in advance how you are going to manage your relationship with them when the markets take a downturn.

To step up to this challenge you need to practice your soft skills so that you inspire your clients with confidence in what you say. If they believe in you and think you are the ‘real deal’ they will go where you lead them.

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Learn to Manage Client Expectations

Learn to Manage Client Expectations

Running the business gets in the way of growing the business. That’s a fact of life in the Financial Services industry. As the business gets bigger, an Advisor has to make a decision. Am I going to manage money or am I going to manage client expectations? It’s almost impossible to manage both. In my travels, I find most elite Advisors opting for outside management. They choose to manage their clients and their clients’ expectations.

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