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Sales Skills Every Financial Advisor Can Master

Almost 75% of buying happens before you meet. Improve your sales process to improve your outcomes.

Like it or not we are all selling, all the time. Especially when your livelihood depends on moving people to take action, sales skills matter. The reality is most people aren’t born with the natural ability to sell. Most advisors, don’t believe they have the skills to sell. I want to show you, you’re wrong, you (and your team) can sell. Sales success is not what it may seem. 

Sales is truly an art and science. Said another way, it’s a mix of skill and process. 

Sales is no longer just a relationship game. According to Forresters, 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research online. If someone refers you chances are the referral will vet you online and will research other options to validate you’re a good potential choice.

The great part for all you non-sales people out there is that there is a lot you can do to up your sales game that doesn’t involve traditional, face-to-face selling. 

At the end of the day, trust is built between people. By the time you’re sitting down with a prospect their decision is largely baked. They wouldn’t be wasting their valuable time if they didn’t have a need and weren’t interested in how you can help. 

Next time you’re sitting down with a prospect remember, most of their research and decision making already happened. If they didn’t believe you could help they wouldn’t meeting with you. 

So what are the skills and processes you need to master selling?

Sales skill, the art of sales includes:

  • Mindset: Confidence, belief, positive self-talk, perseverance 
  • People skills: Emotional intelligence, presence, the ability to connect, listen and build trust to meet people where they are
  • Presentation skills: The ability to tell a story and deliver simple, understandable and impactful messages that resonate 

Sales process, the science of sales includes:

  • Process: Your client experience and prospect onboarding process (aka pipeline)
  • Approach: Who you target and the tools you use to reach and manage them (CRM, email platform, social media, website, content, etc.) 
  • Metrics: The activities that matter and drive how you spend your time selling 

If you can get your sales process right (even improved) then you’re going to get a lot more chances at bat and to improve your skills. Sales truly is a numbers and quality game. You want to structure your process to get many chances with the right people

Sales skills, just like any skill, takes time to develop. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts but there is a good places to start. 

When developing sales skills start with your mindset. A common block I see that makes it hard (sometimes impossible) to developing sales skills is a negative association with the idea of selling. If you consciously or subconsciously believe that sales is negative, bad, not you then guess what, it will be hard. If you don’t believe you deserve to receive then you won’t receive. To overcome these common mindset blocks reframe the idea of sales. 

Examples to reframe a negative association with sales:

  • To sell is to be authentically who I am, to be genuinely focused on understanding others’ needs and providing solutions when I can. My success increases my impact to my clients, family and community. People need my help. 
  • Selling is simply sharing. Sharing my knowledge, skills and self to those who need it.
  • The more I receive, the more I can give. 

Developing a sales mindset that resonates will drastically help increase your comfort with the idea of selling and developing your skills. 

Couple a sales mindset with a sales process and you’ll setting yourself up for success. 

Related: How Financial Advisors Can Leverage Their Team to Grow