I think we can all agree that ‘sales’ has become a word we all dread to hear. These days it is more commonly associated with negative connotations of high pressure sales and pushing things onto people that they don’t want. However, maybe it is time to rethink the role of the ‘S word’!
This blog addresses that dirty ‘S word’ but instead we will see that skills in sales are actually essential for financial advisers! Not all sales is intense and irritating. In fact, a number of advisers come from a sales background and this gives them a real advantage. This is because advisers with sales skills understand the sales process and how to read people and situations. After all, advisers still need to sell their services and demonstrate the value of their advice, knowledge and experience. This is not pushing services on to people unnecessarily, but more about listening to client’s needs and appreciating the fit between their requirements and informing them of the relevant services available to them. So, this is where the sales skills come in to help you then work with your paraplanner to source the best options in the market and present them back to your client for their feedback.
Our recommendation is that sales is removed from the profanity listed and instead becomes recognised as a highly valued as a skill to grow a financial advice firm. Sales skills should not be limited purely to the advisers as other members of the team could benefit from the additional skills and help grow the firm. This is because sales experienced employees have the advantageous skills of being:
• A people person – they tend to be outgoing and have a likeable personality
• Able to build relationships with clients
• Great at listening and understanding the client’s needs
• Great at all forms of communication – especially listening to client’s needs! They can communicate well with people at any level or from any background
• Great at negotiating
• Self-motivated and goal driven
• Passionate about achieving goals
• Well presented
• Ambitious and positive
• Resilient and persistent
Who wouldn’t want these qualities in their team? So, it is time to appreciate and utilise the sales skills as it will really nurture and strengthen your team. A great way to do this is by running internal training sessions. Those with sales experience can mentor advisers who are less confident in their sales skills. Particularly as recently qualified advisers may have a more academic route and be well versed in exam taking but less confident with their sales skills. If this is the case it is possible they would benefit from training which gives a better understanding of building client relationships and reading situations.