Sharpen Up Over Summer
Following our recent Lunch Money interview with Arabella Macpherson from Resonate Communications, we discussed how to tweak our communications to be more influential. As we approach the end of the year, it’s a time for us to reflect and see what we can do differently in 2024. The core of communication starts with YOU. Arabella will share some strategies you can implement around self-management and creating habits.
The Challenges of Sales in Financial Planning
Arabella discusses the common challenges faced by financial planners in converting leads and acquiring new clients. These challenges include:
● Inconsistent sales processes
● Difficulty in building intrinsic trust with prospects
● Lack of confidence in selling due to personality traits
● Reluctance to ask for referrals
The Importance of an Effective Sales Process
Arabella emphasises the need for financial planners to have a well-defined and consolidated sales process. This ensures that leads are properly nurtured and converted into valued clients. By focusing on the entire sales journey, financial planners can maximise their opportunities and generate better results.
Overcoming Sales Challenges
Arabella suggests several strategies to overcome sales challenges in the financial planning industry:
- Implement a scripted approach: Develop scripted conversations to handle various sales situations, including referral conversations, pitching ideas, networking events, and giving feedback. This allows financial planners to feel more confident and follow a structured process.
- Ask more questions: Spend more time understanding the client’s needs, pain points, and decision-making process. By asking relevant questions, financial planners can demonstrate their understanding and build trust.
- Anticipate objections: List out common objections and prepare responses in advance. This ensures that financial planners are well-prepared to address objections effectively during sales conversations.
- Identify decision-making influencers: Find out who else is involved in the decision-making process and address their concerns upfront. By dealing with objections early on, financial planners can prevent potential roadblocks.
Improving your communication skills is one of the most important skills to learn. Not only will it improve your role as a leader, but it will also assist you with your clients. Good communication skills differentiate professionals and improve your career prospects. Communication skills are a soft skill that is all you, it can’t be replaced by AI or outsourcing, so it’s an important skill to master.
Arabella highlights that effective sales in the financial planning industry require strong communication and leadership skills. Financial planners need to make their clients feel heard and understood, building trust and confidence in the process. Personal leadership skills play a crucial role in inspiring clients to follow through with the sales process.
Utilising Downtime for Business Growth
Arabella suggests utilising downtime, such as the Christmas break, to work on the business and improve sales strategies. This can include:
● Developing scripts and templates for various sales conversations
● Conducting role-plays and practice sessions with the team
● Anticipating objections and preparing responses
● Reflecting on the client’s decision-making process and identifying influencers
By investing time in refining sales strategies, financial planners can enter the new year with confidence and a stronger approach to business growth.
The Importance of Openness and Transparency in Building Trust
In today’s unpredictable market, maintaining open and transparent communication is crucial for building trust with clients. Transparency allows for a deeper connection and fosters a strong relationship even in the face of mistakes or errors. Research shows that 75% of satisfied clients are willing to switch providers, highlighting the need for ongoing conversations and transparency.
Arabella describes a common communication tactic called ‘Chunking Up’ and ‘Chunking Down’. This is a way of presenting information in a conversation to ensure it is easy to digest for your client.
● Starting conversations by addressing the overall goal builds agreement and trust.
● Focusing on specific details too early in the conversation can lead to resistance or disagreements.
● Using anchor phrases and repetition helps clients remember key information.
Intuitive Leadership and Learning Through Action:
● Intuitive leadership focuses on various skill sets, such as giving feedback, coaching, and decision-making.
● Programs can be tailored to one-on-one or group coaching, and there is also an online app available.
● Learning through action involves practical implementation and repetition to embed new skills.
The Challenge of the Unknown in 2024:
● The future is uncertain, with unforeseen events expected to occur.
● To prepare for the unknown, having a communication playbook and systematic processes is essential.
● Focusing on improving current business operations allows for greater adaptability and preparedness for the future.
Maintaining transparency and open communication is crucial for building trust in today’s market. By being transparent, professionals can mitigate the impact of mistakes and build strong relationships with clients. Ongoing conversations and systematic processes are key to navigating an unpredictable future. Soft skills, like effective communication and intuition, will continue to be highly valued in the business landscape.
01:21 Arabella Macpherson shares tips on how to make the most of the upcoming months to prepare for a challenging 2024.
03:18 Arabella Macpherson has been working with financial planners and industry fund managers to improve their sales process and convert leads.
14:57 Confidence in selling comes from product knowledge and understanding of the sales process. Prepare for objections in advance and have strategies ready to address them.
18:56 Build trust by being transparent and open in your communication with clients.
29:35 Start with looking at where we are and where we want to go, what are their fears and motivations?
34:08 Use anchor phrases to help people remember and transfer information