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Archive for February, 2010

Simplify Your Presentations

Posted By Michael Roby | Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Many firms have a “packaged” proposal system. While proposals are all over the map in terms of structure, most contain huge amounts of information, with numerous charts and graphs, volumes of copy, and endless disclosures. Whether you present financial plans or individual product presentations, proposals generally contain enough information for a doctoral dissertation. It’s all about disclosure and dictated by the compliance department.

Some clients want the bottom line. Other clients look for detail. And after all, isn’t the presentation about the client? How do you build a presentation and presentation strategy that always provides you with the tools you need to deliver whatever information your client needs to make an intelligent buying decision?

Consider making a summary of recommendations for your presentations. Take the detailed analysis and spreadsheets, and put them in an appendix.

If your client channels Jack Webb and wants the facts – just the facts, or if the client is an actuary with graduate degrees in statistical analysis and engineering, you will be prepared to provide the information needed to fulfill your obligations to communicate in a manner best suited to your client and provide appropriate and complete information. Provide the summary, and give the clients as much detail as they need. Your closing ratio will go up because you are adapting your communication techniques to your clients needs.

Good selling!

Cheapest Is Rarely Best

Posted By Michael Roby | Thursday, February 11th, 2010

As a professional speaker, marketing consultant, business coach, and high level-sales trainer, I meet with a wide variety of salespeople and consultative advisors. This week one of my engagements was to the mutual clients of a retirement plan Office Depotdistributor and a third-party retirement plan administrator, or TPA. One of the points that was discussed of the flaw of SBS© or “Selling By Spreadsheet©.

Too many so-called advisors feel they are providing value by selling cheapest as best.  Advising is really telling a client what is the best solution to their problem. Sometimes price comes into play, but if you are selling a service, usually the main selling point is the quality of service, not price. When you sell price your biggest risk is someone else can do it even cheaper, and if you look hard you can always find it cheaper!

A recent commercial by Office Depot says it well. The commercial depicts a barber shop best by a cheaper competitor, and how they address the challenge. When faced with a shop across the street offering $6 haircuts, they counter with a sign that says, “We Fix $6 Haircuts.”

So what’s your story? Build a defining statement that truly demonstrates your value as an advisor, and quit positioning yourself as the cheapest alternative. Position yourself as the best alternative.

Good selling!

To see the Office Depot Commercial, click HERE.

Valentine’s Day Marketing

Posted By Michael Roby | Monday, February 1st, 2010

Financial services professionals constantly look for ways to stand out among their competitors. Consider the following idea this Valentine’s Day to reach out to your clients. Some of your best clients are widows and widowers. What do these people not get anymore? Flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day. Make an impact – and do something really nice – this Valentine’s Day. Send something to these clients and show them someone cares. Will you get business or referrals from this? Maybe or maybe not, but do it anyway; it’s the right thing to do.

Good selling!Hearts