A sales expert met with the financial advisors of 3 brokers — here’s who he chose and why

Not long ago, I set out to choose a new financial advisor for myself and my sales training business. Once I narrowed the field down to three candidates from three different independent brokers (one was referred by a friend, I narrowed the others down through an online search), I interviewed them. Their approaches were very different and greatly influenced my final choice.

Mike Shultz is the Director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research and President of RAIN Group.

Here’s how it happened.

Advisor #1 presented me with a pitch deck on his company’s funds, products and services and provided me with data on how their IBD had beaten the market year after year. He also gave me additional information about the company’s offers. At the end of the meeting, I had a very clear idea of ​​the company’s services and offers; less clear was how – or even if – these services would benefit me and my business.

Advisor #2 arrived at our meeting after researching me and my business online. She used our time to ask about my current portfolio, my investments and my goals. Although she asked great questions and we discussed relevant solutions, she didn’t provide any new insights. We had a pleasant conversation, but our discussion didn’t progress as far as I would have hoped.

Advisor #3 came to the meeting after emailing me a series of questions to get a general idea of ​​my financial situation and goals. During the meeting, he offered some ideas and asked follow-up questions based on my answers. Thanks to the advisor’s preparation, we were able to use our time to discuss the merits of the ideas. It looked more like a work meeting than a pitch for my company.

Decision: I was impressed that Advisor #3 took a few extra steps before our meeting and provided valuable insights in addition to insight into company services. The advisor’s dedication to finding me the right solution even before our first meeting made me want to talk to him more. In the end, he got my business.

Perfect location
You got into financial services for one of many reasons. Maybe you like working with numbers. You may be a people person who wants to help others achieve their financial goals. Maybe you’ve always been drawn to the stock market and love the fun of investing. Whatever the reason, chances are you didn’t enter the profession to be in sales.

But to be successful as an advisor, you need to generate conversations with potential clients, conduct engaging prospect meetings, deliver value, and continue to build business with clients once you have them. At its core, success in financial services is about selling your valuable advice to buyers. As an expert in your field, you already have much of the knowledge you need. But buyers want more than just expertise: they want you to educate them, they want to be sure you know what you’re talking about, and they want you to guide them and give feedback on any mistakes they may be making.

Yet potential buyers say only 42% of their sales meetings are valuable. This means that most financial advisors don’t hold their meetings – certainly the case when I was looking for a new advisor.

If you want to attract new customers, focus on the value you can offer, work with them collaboratively, and come up with ideas that will make a difference for them. Make sure everything you share is 100% specific to their situation.

Selling financial services doesn’t have to be too complicated. During the first meetings, leave the pitch deck at the office, display your expertise and, above all, treat prospects as if they were already customers. Ask them important questions and give them practical advice. Seek to understand why they are in their current investments and, if appropriate, challenge their assumptions. Be specific: weigh in on areas where they may be over-invested or under-invested.

Investors who get that kind of value on a first encounter will want to talk to you again, and you’ll be much more likely to turn them into repeat customers.

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