How to sell financial products and services
Many financial advisors feel that the figures set by their management are too high, that they are already working too hard, that the pressure is too great. Why? because they don’t know how to sell financial products or services, even though this can be learned. And yet the best sometimes sell three times as much […]
Many financial advisors feel that the figures set by their management are too high, that they are already working too hard, that the pressure is too great. Why? because they don’t know how to sell financial products or services, even though this can be learned.
And yet the best sometimes sell three times as much as they do without trying too hard. As I’ve had the opportunity to work with them, train them and coach them, I’d like to present you with the key points for success that I teach them.
How to sell financial products and services: the file
The first step is to create a file. You need between 300 and 600 customers to be effective. Normally, your financial institution supplies them to you, so you need to classify them as A, B, C or D customers. A customers are your large customers who no longer have any potential, because they’re already with you; B customers are your small customers who have large investments in other institutions; C customers are small, but will grow; D customers are small and have little potential. Your priority is to call the A’s to build loyalty, then the B’s to develop them and repatriate the assets they have in competing banks to your financial establishment, and finally the C’s.
If you’re a broker working on your own, you’ll build up your file from lists you obtain or buy, and then grow it by asking your customers for referrals.
Working with the right tools, you have three choices
- CRM for large organizations
- If you are self-employed, an Excel file is often simpler and less cumbersome to manage than a CRM.
- A paper file still exists and works well for a single person.
You need to prospect to develop your file and replace lost customers. If your financial institution gives you a customer base, it’s estimated that you should spend around 70% of your time maintaining your customer base and 30% of your time developing prospects, which implies 2 or 3 hours of telephone appointments per week.
If you start out without a basic file, this means that in the beginning 100% of your time will be spent prospecting. This is also true for so-called “developers”, whose role is to constantly seek out new customers.
Preparing your meetings
You need to prepare your meetings by knowing your customer’s file, the questions you’re going to ask, the solutions you’re thinking of offering, the objections they’re likely to have and the best answers to give them.
To be able to talk to a knowledgeable customer, you also need to follow the stock market indices: NASDAQ, DAX, Dow Jones, TSX, S&P, CAC40. Your job is to advise clients, so you need to know what’s going on in the markets, even if it’s not your job to manage mutual funds.
Make warm contact with your customer
The purpose of the initial contact is to break the ice and create a favorable climate for the rest of the interview. If you don’t know your customer, you can present your experience in the financial field, but do it quickly and don’t unroll your CV for 10 minutes like some people do, it’s tedious and the customer assumes you know your field.
Discover your customer and his needs
This is the most important part of the contact: you need to get to know your customer completely in order to make a global offer. It’s the only way to offer your customer the best financial solution, but also to distinguish yourself from other advisors who will focus on selling just one product, whereas a good advisor must focus on his customer to make the most suitable and advantageous global offer.
Questions should cover :
- Personal and family circumstances
- Professional situation
- Financial situation
- His projects
Ideally, I train advisors to use the SOS discovery method, which detects the gaps between the customer’s current solution and the ideal solution, enabling the advisor to identify opportunities.
A comprehensive offering
Ideally, your offer should be comprehensive and include the best solutions for the customer to realize his projects, including :
- Saving for long-term projects
- Credit for short-term projects with, depending on the customer’s needs, the best rates or the most flexible repayment terms.
- Coverage, taking into account age, assets to be covered, family, etc.
- A credit card that prioritizes what’s most important to him: the interest rate, travel insurance, or reward points.
- Automated transactional solutions to facilitate his transactions anywhere in the world, especially if he travels a lot.
It goes without saying that the best advisors earn their highest revenues by repatriating their clients’ savings or credit to other financial institutions, at the expense of their competitors. This is considered to be the most difficult task. In fact, all you need to know is a dozen or so questions to detect errors and omissions by other consultants, and then it’s easy to come up with something better. Some advisors can raise more than $15 million annually with this technique.
Responding to objections
If you know the answers, you can use them as a selling point. For other objections, all you need to do is learn the steps and classic techniques for responding to objections.
Close your sale
If you make a good meeting, but don’t close the sale, you’ll probably have done the work for your competitor, who will reap the rewards. What’s more, if your customer hesitates too much, he runs the risk of losing the advantages you’ve offered him, so it’s up to you to close the sale. When it comes to finance, you have the good fortune to be able to guarantee credit rates, or a fixed rate of return, at the time you make your proposal. If they are good, your customer can lose them by thinking too long, which is an excellent argument for closing your sale!
Follow your customer
Of course, you’ll need to provide your customers with impeccable follow-up. This means reminding them of loan or investment deadlines, but also meeting with them at least once a year to review their financial strategy and check that it’s still adapted to their situation, their objectives and the market. Don’t forget that your new good customers become the target of your competitors, and you need to put as much energy into protecting them as they do into trying to take them!
Preparing for the sale of the future
The classic method was to receive customers at his office and to travel to the best ones, otherwise to conduct the interview over the phone. That’s a thing of the past. Since the pandemic, the best advisors have taken to videoconferencing sales meetings, and this is a different art: the sales methods are the same, and you can even take advantage of screen sharing to better present your solutions to the customer. It’s yet another way for the best to stand out from the crowd!