Posts Tagged ‘Initial Interview’
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
by Matthew Asser, The Covenant Group
It’s a common theme in sales industries: No one likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy. As a financial advisor, how can you be successful in acquiring clients without making meetings feel like a sales pitch? Make yourself relatable, listen to the prospect and strive to be genuine in every interaction.I recently came across a conversation on LinkedIn discussing the best practices of sales, and I think a lot of what was discussed can also apply to client relationship management. The discussion kicked off with a note about the importance of listening carefully and asking lots of questions, two tactics that are central to what we teach financial advisors at The Covenant Group.
Essentially, the conversants agreed that it was a salesperson’s duty to help their clients, not simply sell to them. Keeping the client’s interest in mind and showing that you want the best for them will transform their perception of you from that of another salesperson into a trusted advisor. Sharing details about yourself in conversations can also allow clients to get to know you as a person, which can deepen the level of trust.
Whether you’re sitting in the initial interview or catching up with a long-time client, give yourself enough time so you can listen and ask thoughtful questions rather than jumping right into the business purpose of the meeting. Build connections with the client, be they shared hobbies or mutual interests in a certain sport.
While it’s important to maintain a professional tone in your relationship with clients, strive to be their friend and a source of help. Show them that you care about their overall well-being, not just their financial health. Be approachable. Emphasize the fact that clients should not hesitate to call you, and follow up on that promise by being available when they need you most.
Facilitating that closeness and trust can be a differentiating factor. The majority of clients want an advisor who will continue to give them just as much (if not more) attention in the years following a sale as they did in the marketing stage.
Anthony Lam has spent more than 20 years honing his customer relationship management skills. He has demonstrated his commitment to high-quality customer service in the retail, banking and airline industries. Anthony is the Manager of Program Delivery and Client Relationships at The Covenant Group and coaches financial advisors on client services through The Covenant Group’s financial services training.
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Tags: Asser, Best Practices, Business Purpose, Client Relationship Management, Closeness, Conversations, Covenant Group, Financial Advisors, Financial Health, Hobbies, Initial Interview, Interaction, Linkedin, Mutual Interests, Perception, Professional Tone, Relationship With Clients, Salesperson, Thoughtful Questions, Time Client
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
The following is based on one of Norm Trainor’s clients, Norm Carroll.
I first met Norm Carroll in May, 2002. I was launching our Practice Development Program sponsored by Great West Life. Norm was one of 32 President’s Council qualifiers who signed up for the program. In our initial interview, Norm explained that his primary motivation was to keep his production level in the top ten of the President’s Council. Like most top advisors, Norm is very competitive. However, maintaining a top ten position was becoming more difficult. Norm was the only producer in his office. The challenge of selling, managing staff and running his business was becoming overwhelming.
As Norm would tell you, it took a while in the Covenant program to grasp the complexities of building his business. After a number of years, it all came together. Norm learned how to work more effectively with his employees. This led to increased production that allowed him to hire another producer. By freeing himself up to do what he does best, the business just took off. As he learned to better manage himself and his business, he was freed up to focus on what was really important.
A new and more powerful purpose emerged in his work and business. His son, Neil, came into the business and succession became the focus. Prior to Neil joining, Norm had restructured the practice. Initially, Norm had a specialist and two assistants. One of the assistants wanted to get into sales. Over the last few years, she has become an important contributor to the growth of the business. This gave Norm experience in managing a producer and prepared him to work with his son. Norm wanted Neil to succeed on his own merit. Neil started on commission and has contributed from day one to the profitability of the firm.
When a son or daughter enters the business, there is an overwhelming sense of pride. It validates your work and your life. Neil learned at the dining room table about the business. When Neil joined, it was a statement that he saw the value of what Norm was doing.
Norm has built a strong team that supports and challenges each other to grow. They feed off each other. The involvement of others has breathed new life into the business. The combination of diverse levels of experience has taken the business to new levels. It is allowing everyone in the business to visualize a much bigger future. It is an exciting place to work.
The firm now has a Business Plan to transition the company to the next generation. Norm has moved from success to significance in his work and to succession in his business.
Norm Trainor is the founder of The Covenant Group, a company specializing in practice development for advisors. For further information, visit his Web site at www.covenantgroup.com.
Tags: Complexities, Contributor, Covenant, Dining Room Table, Dining Table, Focus, Initial Interview, Led, Managing Staff, Motivation, Norm Trainor, Overwhelming Sense, Pride, Profitability, S Council, Succession
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