Sidney C. Walker
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December 2011

"What Will Your Client
Most Likely Buy First..."

by Sidney C. Walker


I have always been more comfortable with a consultative approach to selling financial services over pitching a product. Also, if you are a relationship-oriented advisor, I think it is much better to figure out what someone 'wants' to buy first and make them a client. Then you have the rest of your career to get them to do what they 'need' to do, which is a better strategy for everyone involved. And, you get paid when you find that first sale. With this approach you can sell as high as nine out of ten where there is chemistry, timing, and money. I have never seen any other approach come even close to this level of effectiveness and profitability for a relationship-oriented advisor.


A topic I seem to be coaching advisors on a lot related to the low-key, "make-them-a-client-first" approach is how to find that first sale. Basically, you are interviewing people to identify as many potential needs as possible. You get the client to prioritize those needs and find the issue they most want to solve or address first.


Instead of pitching a product, you are looking for something to work on 'with' the client that is of the most interest to the client. You are looking for a problem to solve that you can solve with one of your products. You are looking for the one thing that the client is motivated to spend some time and money on at this point in their life. The client may not know what that something is at the beginning of your initial interview. Often the project you will work on together will appear in the interviewing process. In others words, people know they need to do something. They often are not clear about what the something is.


There are a couple different ways to think about what you are looking for when you go into the initial interview. One of my favorite focuses is "What do they want that they don't have in relation to their finances." What they want that they don't have will come into view from your questions and your teaching process. As you paint the picture of what your client has done and clarify what they want to do in the future, an area that needs attention will usually appear.


Another way to find a project to work on together is to look at what they have done and look to see what can be improved. In this scenario, you are creating ways for the client to improve, fix, or update their portfolio and see if that is of interest to them. Therefore the more areas you can look at when you initially talk to people, the more potential there is for a sale. So an important skill becomes seeing how many rocks can you turn over to uncover a potential problem or opportunity related to the products your represent. If you can improve the clients' position, they are usually going to listen to your ideas.


One more perspective on your focus as you go into the initial meeting with the potential client. You want to identify areas that the client does not feel competent in, feels discomfort with, or has a fear or concern about and would like some help or advice. Once you identify an area of concern, you simply say, "Would you like some help with that?" If the answer is yes, you probably have a project to work on together as well as a sale!


If this sounds simple, it is! Success with the low-key, consultative approach to selling financial services is based on effective interviewing skills and problem solving ability. It's not based on selling skills. There is no magic to this process. Go teach people how to better address the financial challenges they are facing and you will make sales.


Peace and good will for the Holidays,

Toll-free: 877-985-3297



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Permission to Use eNewsletter: This eNewsletter is copyrighted and is the intellectual property of Sidney C. Walker. You have my permission to share this month's eNewsletter with peers, with your reps as a sales manager, or as an article in a financial publication as long as you use the content in its entirety, without changes, with a clear reference to my contact information including my website address, and do not charge anything for the information since this is a free newsletter. Please contact me, Sid Walker, at 877-985-3297 if you have questions. Thank you for your consideration. - Coaching info, buy books, eBooks, CDs - Extensive Training & Coaching Site

Sales Performance Coach - "Champion of the Low-Key Approach"



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