Appointments. That is what you want and that is what you desperately need to have a system that you trust to consistently provide if you are a financial advisor.
This focus on appointments scales for the entirety of your career
As an aside, if you don’t have a growth mindset (don’t hide behind investment performance) as a financial advisor I, to some extent, question your professionalism. After all, 99% of the financial advice you give has a component of intentional growth does it not? If you don’t have a detailed and clear plan for your business growth I am not sure you are going to be consistently providing that same growth for your clients portfolios…but, that is another discussion.
Back to your ‘North Star’ of appointments. If you are brand new to the business you know you need them and you are constantly focused on them…or, you are updating that resume. I am going to focus on the more experienced advisors that have moved past the how-do-i-survive stage and are at least somewhat financially stable: +100k take home.
You still need appointments, but, you can’t afford to get them the way you did when you started out because you also need to deliver on your promises to current clients: regular meetings, portfolio management and financial planning.
This is the point where sales training that is customized for your industry and your particular situation can make an amazing difference in the rate of growth and, more significantly, your enjoyment of the process.
What is the use of earning a good living if you aren’t experiencing good-living?!?
Effort almost never scales in a linear fashion. In the beginning of your career your rate of effort ramps up fast (it has to!) and you keep the pedal down for 1-2 years to establish your baseline income and stability. However, if you keep ‘redlining’ the effort button you are going to inevitably have problems from burnout, fatigue and decreased cognitive and physical performance.
Ironically, as the vast majority of financial advisors have never been trained in professional sales they hit a series of plateaus as their business moves from one level to another. Here is some insight into professional selling: Fundamentally, it is a scientific exercise in efficiency and analysis. Professional sales people do pay attention to how to close deals, but, more importantly, they are experts at the whole sales process and how to save time and effort for both themselves and their clients at every stage.
No slick marketing plan, amazing graphics on handouts or slide decks, is going to have the same impact as training on how to do your job: Sales. That’s right, unless your job is to sit in a room and design portfolios without ever speaking to the end user (the client) you are in…Sales.
I consult with Financial Advisors and their teams on how to get more appointments and we are beginning to offer a sales training course that is designed specifically for financial advisors. That won’t help you right now, but, I can give two major tips to help you get started on your sales training journey.
- Start consuming content on professional sales. The best place to start is following B2B sales training experts. These experts have honed their skills and processes in the most complex arena (B2B) and they deeply understand the basics of how to sell effectively in any industry. The foundations of the sales process are universal. The most current and immediately applicable book I can recommend is “Virtual Selling” by Jeb Blount. Trust me, you will not regret reading this as soon as possible.
- Change how you view referrals. Sadly, there isn’t much referral training out on the market that combines the foundations of professional sales training with actual, real world referral expertise. Most of it is shallow and weak. Simply put, referrals for financial advisors are the most powerful ingredient in a consistent and enjoyable plan for individual and firm growth…if you understand how to use them at every stage of the sales process…and you almost certainly do not. If you think referral marketing is constantly asking for referrals and then sitting back waiting for the phone to ring with prospects begging you to sit down and take their money…you are like every other advisor wasting the most powerful tool for growth ever invented: predictable referrals.
Here is the truth: You have been grossly misled about how to easily and enjoyably grow your business. It has led to complacency and a false belief of the stability of your future growth. You have to learn how to sell professionally so that your clients will refer you consistently. You also have to set aside most of what you have ever been taught of referrals in favor of a much larger (and more lucrative) viewpoint of using and leveraging referrals throughout every interaction with prospective and current customers.
The great news is this: you are in the best profession I have ever known to truly leverage referral marketing at its highest level. The amount of money and the amount of time that referrals can bring to you and your company is immense. The path to that success, however, is one that has been hidden from you.
You could do this on your own, but, if you want help accelerating the path to profitable growth there aren’t that many choices.
You need a guide that is experienced and willing to be accountable teaching and coaching these methods. Our company is completely dedicated to this type of work. We know referrals are incredible and we are willing to be held accountable for teaching the resultsbased version of how to get more of them. Make sure, if you choose to get some help, that they are willing to be held accountable for res ults.
We work with clients by first consulting with them to understand where they are right now with growing their business. Then, we help them decide how to begin integrating the power of referrals into their business through incremental and integrated systems design, training and coaching. Give me a call and we can start helping you do what you love: Growing and Enjoying.
Need some help? The first step is having a conversation about how you have grown your business and how you wish to grow in the future. Here is a link to get a 15 minute call with me: 15 Minutes with Mike