At Select Advisors, we believe that "Sales" is not a "lesson" to be learned from a textbook, a binder, or a public speaker. It is not a process. It is not a module.
Rather, Sales is a Skill. Just like acting, singing, or playing the piano, it can only be fine-tuned through rehearsals, improvisations, scenario analysis and real-time case studies. It must be practiced...over, and over.
That's what we provide to our clients at Select Advisors.
☛ Why Sales Coaching?
Research by the Sales Executive Council shows that no other productivity or marketing investment comes even close to coaching in improving a professional's performance pertaining to growth. Yet, service providers spend thousands of dollars on expensive websites, brochures, technology platforms, search engine optimization, blog writing, and peer group discussions to grow their practice.
The end result? Many advisors growing at less than 10% annually, or even worse, throwing in the towel, laying off talented planners from their team, merging with advisory firms unwillingly, giving up their hard-earned independence, or being bought out prematurely.
A sales coach brings in an outsider's perspective inside your practice, providing a third party, unbiased viewpoint of your team and how you operate as sales professionals. He or she also compares you to the industry benchmark of growth, which is comprised of years of research and observation of best practices in sales strategies within your particular industry.
With a full understanding of what you're doing right and where the potential weaknesses are, a good sales coach will be able to work with you and your firm to bridge the gap and help you become extremely competitive to win and maintain more business.
☛ Who is a good candidate for the Select Advisors Sales Coaching Program?
Let's be hypothetical:
You are introduced to a wealthy prospect at a charity event or wedding, sit down for lunch with a trust and estate lawyer your client introduced you to, or meet a well-known celebrity on the line at the grocery story. You start with some average small talk and then...
…Do you know how to convert that interaction into a business meeting? Or do you go on and on talking about the food at the restaurant, talk sports, or ask about their purchase at the register? And at the end get the typical "It was nice meeting you" comment, and separation?
Alternatively, you went to college with someone who now runs a hedge fund, presumably making around $5 to $10mm a year. Do you know how to get a meeting with him, and convert him into a client (he manages money for living, after all)?
You receive a referral from a current client, only to start the runaround chase to get him to actually schedule the meeting. How can you stop looking pathetic and take the driver's seat in this situation?
Or...You have meeting after meeting with qualified prospects, but none of them want to take a second meeting. Do you know what you may be doing wrong in the meetings to not move it to the next step?
The list goes on and on with situations that can be improved to help you grow your practice as a financial advisor.
Networking, prospecting, and inspiring action — with charisma, charm, passion and endless curiosity — is possibly the most important skill a wealth manager who is looking to grow his or her practice can have. And if we can’t communicate to others effectively how our practice is different, how business development is important to us, or how unique our personal story is....
well, we just get left behind and let the other power advisors dominate.
Anyone can develop charisma, smoothness, and endless curiosity in people that can lead to a larger, powerful network. You Just Have To Know How!
I see it all the time as a sales coach. People with amazing life backgrounds and years of experience...and they can't articulate themselves effectively or show their value proposition even if a billionaire walked right in front of them. It's painful for me to watch sometimes!
It doesn't matter how great your platform is or how good you are at building portfolios if you cannot converse effectively and convert a conversation into a business development conversation.
The problem is that most advisors who can't grow their practice believe one of two things:
- That sales skills are something to be learned from a binder or in a book, and all they need is a data-oriented process
- That networking effectively, being charismatic, or even worst, being a business developer is something that one is simply “born with”
Neither of these are true. Conversations and sales are creative exercises, which therefore require skills and habits of the creative brain, not the logical brain (this is why many CFA's and portfolio managers tend to hate sales — they’re always being too logical!)
And like anything else — learning to play the piano or singing — social interactions and sales are something that must be practiced and improved.
When You Sign Up For The ‘Select Advisors Sales Coaching Program’ You Will Learn Directly from Amy Parvaneh:
- Our process to start a conversation with anyone, anywhere
- Our process to immediately gauge if someone you are speaking with can be a good business connection (either as a prospect or as an influencer)
- Our proven process to make your story interesting and exciting, as well as specific exercises to practice it
- Our methodology to convert your casual conversation into a business conversation
- Our email writing strategies which can significantly increase your chances of getting a meeting
- Our research tools to help you uncover more opportunities around any prospect or client
- Our formula for one thing you need to do daily, one thing you need to do weekly, and one thing you need to do monthly to utilize these exercises to help you grow your practice
☛ How do you select a sales coach? Ask yourself, would I hire this person as my advisor if I was a prospective investor?
A sales coach is ONLY, repeat ONLY, as good as the coach behind it. If you have respect for the person coaching you, and want to emulate his/her style and approach to growth, you should hire that coach. If the coach irks you, or their style is unrealistic, trust your personal judgement.
At the same time, a sales coach should differ in their strategy from yours. Otherwise, you would be repeating the same pattern of growth, which is most probably not as ideal as you'd like.
Another way to see if you want to work with a sales coach is to see how fast they have grown their own sales coaching practice. If someone is a good sales coach, they can also sell their own business! If they have been in business for 10 years as a sales coach and still working with only 10-20 advisors, that's not a good sign. (Since launching 3 years ago, Select Advisors currently works on an ongoing basis with advisors whose collective AUM is $70 billion!)
☛ What are the credentials you should look for in a coach?
Some factors you should look for in a coach are:
- Their track record within your own industry
- If they will be the person actually coaching you. Typically, most sales coaching firms will pass you on to a junior sales coach who barely knows anything about your industry, and was previously a pharmaceutical sales rep or real estate agent. If you will be passed on to a junior sales coach, you want to find out what is the selection process for becoming a junior coach at this firm
- The education and schooling of the coaches
- The way they carry themselves. If you were a potential client, would you select this person as your financial advisor? Why or why not?
- Are they ethical?
- Do they understand the investment industry on a very technical level?