Does the sales process for financial advisors differ from other industries?

Sales, no matter the industry, is a process. The more clearly defined the process, the more repeatable the steps in that process, the greater success a salesperson will ultimately achieve. There are a near-infinite number of processes available, but a good salesperson only needs one. Solid sales processes in the financial industry should include the following in some form:
1) Communication and Client Rapport – A steady client is one who feels comfortable with his/her advisor as a person.
2) Expertise and Credentials Offered and Examined – If charging for expertise, credentials and proof of that expertise should be offered to the client.
3) Profile of Client – What are the client’s goals in life? What are the most important facets of life to the client? What impact does family have on the client’s actions and thoughts? Are there any important upcoming events?
4) Investment Profile – What are the client’s financial goals? Do they conflict with non-financial life goals? What is the client’s risk appetite?
5) Investment data – What are the types of investments and the pieces of information that will most inform the client about the investments that will help fulfill both investment and life goals?
6) Prepare an initial proposal – This should be very straightforward and lacking details.
7) Education – What are the concerns the client has regarding the initial proposal? Educate them based on addressing those concerns. This way, the client is prepared to discuss and decide on potential changes needed.
8) Questions – Answer all questions in a straightforward and honest fashion.
9) Close – Get the appropriate signatures and money transfers in order.
10) Client Onboarding – How will the client access their investments in the future? Make sure all logins and passwords work and that the client has easy access to get future questions answered.
For more on the sales process and avoiding mistakes, see our new article this Thursday.