How financial services practices can supercharge their revenue
The challenges worth solving
Not charging what you should be charging, not converting prospects effectively and consistently, having to do ‘lead generation’ as part of your job and not applying best practice to make it more efficient, and serving many ‘less-than-ideal’ clients are common challenges faced by financial services practices across Australia.
Key skills for success
Many financial planners get into business because they are excellent ‘technicians’, so are highly skilled at giving financial advice and helping people achieve financial stability and success.
Whilst that is a mandatory requirement, there is another essential element that is often overlooked in financial services, but it also determines just how efficient and successful planners can be; and that is the process you take your prospective client through, which begins at your very first interaction, and ends with a ‘converted’ client, paying you what your expertise is worth.
Planning vs Hoping
Similar to the advice many planners give clients about not having a plan, if your financial services practice is lacking a structured sales process, then this is equivalent to leaving your revenue to chance, or even worse, hope.
Sales is the business function of bringing in revenue. Irrespective of whether you refer to this as “business development”, “client liaison”, or “account management”, on the most fundamental level, this is “sales”.
Sales is not something to be embarrassed about, fearful of, or not talked about. Sales is necessary.
Without a focus on sales, or even worse, without a proper sales process, your financial services company will likely suffer from lumpy new revenue, low fees and unpredictability.
World’s Best Practice – most practices already use it
Many financial services practices are highly systematised when it comes to the technical and compliance components of their profession, but few apply the same diligence when it comes to systematising the process to convert a prospective client, to becoming an actual client.
Michael E. Gerber, author of best-selling and world-renowned books The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited, perfectly describes how business can be much more successful, with his famous quote “the system runs the business, and the people run the system”.
He talks about the importance of a sales process in every business, across every industry, which is the same as having a revenue machine.
Sales can be professional and enjoyable
Sales doesn’t need to make you feel uncomfortable. In fact, if it’s making you feel unconformable or someone is selling to you and you feel uncomfortable, then, they’re doing it wrong.
When the sales process is conducted successfully, here’s what you’ll notice:
- Conversation feels calm and free flowing
- Prospect share lots of helpful information
- Trust is built early, and with strength
- You’ll be meeting with more of the right kinds of prospects
- You’ll have more business on, with the right type of clients
- Margins increase
- Your revenue is predictable, sustainable, and constantly increasing
- Your team enjoy doing sales, sometimes for the first time ever
Here are 4 attributes that are crucial to sales success in financial services practices:
The phrase that usually calls this out is “I don’t like talking about myself”. Or even “I don’t like the selling part of my role, I just want to help people with financial advice.
One of the most fundamental elements of sales is the ability to sell yourself.
If you or your employees are unable to sell themselves as a representative of your company, how will they sell your product or service?
In addition, how will they convert prospects to customers if they are ever challenged on price or quality?
Understand what problem you are helping to solve
If your team were asked “what problem do you solve?” what would they say? Then, if it was suggested that your competitors do the same thing, how would they respond?
There are plenty of people in business who can’t answer this question. They can explain their product or service, but cannot articulate what problems consumers would experience if their service did not exist.
Having clarity on this question will make you laser focussed on how you serve your market.
Don’t “Show up and Throw up”
Whilst your team likely believe that your company is a market leader or has a unique point of difference, your prospective client does not care for that upon their first interaction with you.
Some financial advisors get caught up in vomiting their product, company, and technical information all over a prospect during the first interaction, after all, they’ve come in to hear about that, right? Wrong.
Your customer has come in with a problem and the role of the financial advisor is to give them the right information so they can make an informed decision as to whether your service is the right fit.
How do you know your product is the right fit if you don’t ask the right questions?
Most people in sales are unskilled in their knowledge of questions. Not just what questions to ask, but the type of questions, the number of questions and the order in which they are asked.
Use a sales process
Ask any unsuccessful financial advisor about sales processes and they will tell you “I don’t need a sales process because every client is different”, and “we don’t do sales, because we’re in financial services”.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Like any framework, its benefit is to help you stick to a process of ‘best practice’. A sales process is a repeatable system that starts when the enquiry comes in (or the meeting is held) and ends with a paying client.
It is designed to bring out the best in your prospective client, so they can share what is important to them, and also to showcase that your practice is best-placed to assist them. A sales process will also shorten the amount of time it takes for prospects to decide to become your clients.
If you want to maximise your opportunities for sales success, a sales process is crucial.
Learning the importance of these 4 attributes will give you and your practice the best chance of success!
Master the art
You can master the art of selling by adopting the Infinite Sales SystemTM , based on some of the world’s best practices for lead conversion and making sales.
The Infinite Sales SystemTM will bring you more sales, more often, for more margin.
Learn more from www.juliaewert.com