You’ve had it happen.  You walk into a store.  You want to buy whatever it is they sell.  A salesperson walks up to you and you feel slimed.

What do you think happened?  The salesperson was likely more interested in selling you something than in solving your needs.  Or, the salesperson just didn’t believe in what they were selling.  Or even worse yet, the sales person was trying to pull the wool over your eyes and wanted to take advantage of you.

I’m sure you’ve seen the same happen in the wealth management world.  It’s not a place you want to be and you certainly don’t want your firm to be seen in that light.

What if a salesperson first stopped to listen and then made a recommendation?

This is the type of salesperson we all like to do business with.  It’s not that we don’t want to be sold, we do.  It’s that we don’t want to be sold something we don’t need or want.  We want the people who sell us stuff to be passionate about what it is that they sell.

I bet that when you find a salesperson is congruent in their speech and actions you not only want to buy from them you appreciate their help.  It’s congruence that makes the sales process enjoyable. 

I know that I like to buy things and I bet you do too.  I also know that when a salesperson looks at me like a mark, I turn and run the other way as fast as I can.  The older I get, the faster I run.  This is because I’ve been down that road and I don’t really want to go back there again.

The key here is to focus on what your clients want.  It’s not about how great your firm is.  It’s all about how your firm can help make your client’s life better.

We’re all in sales….especially in the wealth management business.

We all need to influence others to take action.  It might be getting a new job, selling your boss on a new idea or it might be helping your client in making a wise decision.  If you’re not congruent in your body language, vocal tone and what comes out of your mouth you won’t get the sale and you won’t be trusted.

The first step is starting off with a belief in what you want to happen.  Internal belief is the first step in a congruent message.  If you don’t believe in what you sell, how can we expect anyone else to believe in it either?  The more passionately you believe in yourself, your idea or product, the easier it is to get someone else to come along for the ride.

Influence and sales is the same thing.

Good sales people influence you to take actions that help you get what you want.  A good salesperson first listens carefully to what you want.  They ask good questions.  They ask good questions because they love whatever it is they sell and want you to also.  Isn’t this also the definition of what a good advisor does?

A good salesperson will say it’s not right for you when it’s not right.  You’ll probably walk away from a conversation like that feeling very good about the salesperson.  You’ll likely say to yourself, “What an unusual experience.”  It’s only unusual because we expect the worse and it’s often what we get.

If instead we as advisors and salespeople concentrate on being congruent we really will be working in the best interests of our clients.  That’s what great sales are about and it’s what makes selling things fun.  Learn how to know that the person you’re speaking with is not the last person you can sell anything to.  Learn that our job that selling is not convincing, it’s solving problems.  When we do that, we create value for our customers and ourselves.

Ask yourself this question, “when was the last time you told a potential client your firm wasn’t the right place for them?”  If the answer is never, you might have a congruence issue.  We can’t be all things to all people.  It just doesn’t work that way.


Topics: walk your talk, Creating Value, authenticity, For business owners, for business advisors, congruence

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