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by Matthew Asser, The Covenant Group
I recently pulled up an old New York Times blog postwritten by Tom Szaky, the CEO of recycling specialist TerraCycle. His words about sales resonated with me, and I drew a lot parallels to what we do here.
“Sales is not about what you are selling, but about making friends and about getting someone to see the world the way you do,” he writes. “If you do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
Through our financial advisor training at The Covenant Group, we teach a similar message. As entrepreneurs, advisors must realize that they are not simply making another sale. They are laying the foundation for a long-lasting client-advisor relationship, which they must then be continuously managed and developed by offering value-added service and building trust.
What do you do to establish a friendly rapport with prospects and develop that into meaningful friendships and business partnerships once those people become clients? How do you express the fact that as a trusted advisor, you care not only about their finances, but about their personal well-being?
Making someone see the world from your perspective may require a change in approach. In The 8 Best Practices of High-Performing Salespeople, Norm Trainor details how advisors can sway resistant prospects in a sales meeting.
If, in your research and your conversations with the prospect, you uncover a business problem for which you are offering a solution, you will need to show them why it needs to be addressed. Take the time to go over this with them, bring it to the front of their minds and establish the fact that you both agree what the problem is. Then, start the move toward your perspective — demonstrate how this seeming challenge can actually be turned into an opportunity.
Establish the prospect’s confidence in your business and your abilities by mentioning existing clients’ decision to buy. Lay out the actions that the person can take, as well as the consequences of doing nothing.
A key part of this approach is the use of the word “we.” Do not discuss the issue as something you have a solution to. Rather, frame it as a course of action that the two of you will be embarking upon together. As Norm says, this reaffirms the fact that you are both on the same side.
Matthew Asser has spent the last few decades gaining expertise in how financial services firms can optimize their operations, marketing, new products, business development and client relationship management practices. He’s well-versed in the challenges that an entrepreneur may struggle with, and as a Senior Coach and Facilitator, helps clients achieve business change through The Covenant Group’s extensive financial advisor training programs.
Norm Trainor is the Founder and CEO of The Covenant Group, a company that specializes in educating and coaching financial advisors and entrepreneurs and providing them with business tools to enhance their performance. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-903-3878 X333. Read more from the author/contributor here.
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