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Archive for August, 2008

Attitude and Outcomes

Posted By Michael Roby | Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Yesterday I had conversations with two of my [tag]bank advisor[/tag] [tag]sales coaching[/tag] clients.  The first conversation was with an advisor who came to me as part of a corporate sales coaching agreement.  Take a look at the excuses he made in only one hour:

  • Our customer base has no money
  • (My former bank) is better / has wealthier, older clients – has fantastic relationships.
  • (Present Bank) is different
  • Branch managers are order takers / sell the product of the month / have poor product knowledge
  • Branch managers don’t market
  • Branches don’t have many commercial customers
  • Branch managers turn over every six months
  • Does not see any business potential coming from the branch managers or loan officers
  • Has to get loan officer approval to call on their clients
  • Tellers provide referrals but he gets “none, nada…they don’t have the relationship”

In case you wondered, he has very poor production.

Later in the day, I spoke with another advisor who could see nothing but opportunity.  He earns a great income, but still wants to grow his business.  He views his relationship with his banking colleagues as a partnership, and looks for ways to help them grow their business.  In addition to reviewing his marketing plan, he wants me to help him improve his fundamental sales skills.

This advisor sells six times more than the previous advisor.

What comes first – the attitude or the production?  Consider your attitude toward all aspects of your business.  Examine how you can improve, and make plans to pursue that improvement.  Your basic beliefs about your opportunity always translate into tangible results.  Ask yourself if your attitude empowers or hinders you.  Guard your attitude with your life, and constantly look for ways to improve – and you will!

Good selling!

Six Critical Success Factors in Financial Services Sales

Posted By Michael Roby | Monday, August 18th, 2008

Selling financial services as a [tag]financial advisor[/tag], [tag]stock broker[/tag], [tag]insurance agent[/tag], or [tag]banker[/tag] involves six critical factors to be successful – long term. Short term success is possible without attention to these “Critical Success Factors,” (CSF’s) but long term success requires proficiency on a regular basis in each area. The CSF’s include:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Sales Approach
  3. Presentation
  4. Answering Objections
  5. Closing
  6. Service

Nothing revolutionary here; these topics have been taught since the earliest days of sales training. However, today many firms neglect basic sales training, and we always benefit from a reminder to step outside ourselves and objectively examine our business. Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Are you weak in one or more CSF’s?
  • Do you pay attention to and seek to improve each factor?
  • Do you continually evaluate yourself and your business?

If you are new to financial product sales, or if you are experienced, consider reading my book, The Ultimate Small Cap Business; Building A Financial Advisory Practice. This concise book provides a comprehensive overview of financial service selling and practice management. Look for future posts to provide tips for each of the Critical Success Factors of Sales.

Good selling!

I Object! Dealing With Sales Objections

Posted By Michael Roby | Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Yesterday I was speaking to a [tag]sales coaching[/tag] client who works as a [tag]financial advisor[/tag] in a bank in New York. She asked me how to answer an objection that she had received on a recent [tag]sales call[/tag]. After suggesting a response, she asked me about another objection – and then another and another. We spent the rest of our coaching call discussing how to answer a wide variety of objections, and I shared several “techniques” for dealing with objections.

This conversation reminded me that the long lost art of sales training has been, to some extent, marginalized and in some cases forsaken. “[tag]Sales trainers[/tag]” – and I use the term loosely – suggest that [tag]selling[/tag] has evolved. [tag]Salespeople[/tag] should sell in their “own style” they say. Salespeople should listen, ask open ended questions, offer solutions, and then…

What happens is the prospect inevitably says, “I want to think it over,” and today’s salespeople lose the sale, at least temporarily, because they cannot deal with objections and close the sale. Let there be no doubt that selling has evolved and for the better. Professional salespeople do develop their own style, and always have. However, salespeople need a foundation of skills to help them survive – and actually sell something – until they have the experience and wisdom to sell within their style.
My suggestion for this sales coaching client was to make a list of every product and service she presents on a regular basis, and then list the four most common objections she hears to the offering. Then I suggested she consider how to answer these objections. Being prepared in this fashion will make her more confident – and successful – as she grows in her sales skills.

Sales training still provides a foundation for all new financial advisors. With a multitude of resources available there is no shortage of opportunities to learn the ways of the masters.

Good selling!