For many financial advisors, choosing their profession was based on a genuine desire to help others achieve their financial goals. Yet, while these advisors recognize the importance of business development to grow their firms, they are also very often intimidated by the process of adopting sales techniques to convert leads to clients. It can feel stressful at best and disingenuous at worst. Sometimes, advisors can fall prey to the ‘scarcity’ mindset, which compels them to take any and all prospects who consider engaging them, regardless of whether there is a good fit. This inevitably leads to unsatisfying (and even unprofitable) client relationships and resentment for the sales process itself, making it harder to serve the firm’s full client base. These factors can understandably create a crisis of confidence for advisors, who struggle to market themselves and showcase the value they offer in a genuine manner, despite the business imperative to do so.
In this guest post, Stephanie Bogan, Founder & CEO of Limitless Advisor Coaching, explains that while the ability to sell with confidence is one of the most important skills advisors can develop on their path to success, there are ways for advisors to build their confidence through a ‘no-stress’ sales process that can help them tell their story and quote their fees without apology or hesitation. And by using such a process, advisors will have a systematic way to identify the right clients for their practice and filter out the wrong ones.
Implementing a no-stress sales process involves five steps: 1) the initial inquiry; 2) a brief ‘Learn More’ call to screen prospects for fit; 3) the Discovery Meeting to collect further insight into the client’s needs and goals, clarify expectations and next steps; 4) preparation of a 1-page financial plan that reviews the client’s situation and that defines the value the advisor can add through the relationship; and 5) the 2nd meeting to present the plan, review recommendations, quote a fee, and, if the fit is right, extend an offer.
Core to the no-stress sales process is establishing trust equity with the prospect. This entails the advisor explaining that they deliver their clients’ desired outcomes and that throughout the relationship, the advisor will see, hear, and understand the client’s goals and needs. The end result is that prospects will have a naturally implicit understanding that if they engage with the advisor, the advisor will be there to help them solve their problems. Importantly, using the no-stress sales process can help advisors seamlessly transmute their knowledge of the value that they can deliver to prospects so that they, too, perceive that value.
Ultimately, the key point is that the no-stress sales process offers advisors a structured approach to help them genuinely convey their expertise, credibility, and character while expressing their value with confidence to attract the right clients for their firm. And instead of making advisors shy away from the often-dreaded fee conversation, this process can help them feel more confident (and even convince prospects) that the fee they charge is an honest reflection of the value they offer!