Sales happen one conversation at a time and the better you get at mastering your sales conversation skills, the more you will be in control of your revenue. Implementing any one of these tips will improve your closing rate. Implement them all and you will be strapping a jet pack to your sales results!
I have coached over 5,000 financial professionals in the last 13 years. These strategies have been field-tested and proven to get results!
1. Prepare! When you ‘wing it’, you are aren’t in the driver’s seat, but instead leaving it to chance that you’ll be ‘in the zone’ or lucky that day. Build sales conversation prep time right into your calendar.
2. Trust your prep. Much like an athlete or musician prepares with concentration, research and practice, On Game Day, it’s time to get out of your head. When you’re in the actual sales conversation, trust your prep, let it go and be fully present with your prospect.
3. Have a strong intro. Your answer to: ‘So, what do you do?’ either generates interest and curiosity – and the start of a sales conversation – or indifference and a shut down. See this moment as the valuable real estate that it is, and take the necessary time to craft a strong opener, tailored to your audience’s needs.
4. Create KLT. People do business with people they know, like and trust. This is a business truism that reflects human nature and buying patterns. Your sales process should include a documented plan to develop KLT with new leads and strengthen it with current clients.
5. Get great at questions…and listen! People mistakenly think that the person talking is in control of the conversation. In fact the opposite is true. Come from an intent of connection, not manipulation, and develop your facility with asking open and closed questions to guide the conversation to where you want it to go.
6. Master transitions. One of the least favourite moments for Advisors is getting from rapport into a meaningful business conversation. It’s also the biggest moment of opportunity, so it’s critical that you master it! Learn the mechanics of this turning point to do it well. Reach out if you need support: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Bond, don’t rebut. Most sales training gives you a list of rebuttals for every objection. These are rarely effective because they create defensiveness and don’t respect your prospect’s emotions. Instead, bond with them by acknowledging with empathy and asking curious questions to fully understand.
8. Know your next steps. As part of your preparation for every networking event or sales conversation, you should know where you’d like to take the relationship (coffee meeting, review presentation, attend fun event together, etc…). This will compress your sales cycle.
9. Recap their priorities. People are busy and change can be hard for humans, so you are fighting inertia to get them to take action. The most effective way to do that is to tap into emotions. When you’ve uncovered their priorities, repeat them before making your offer. Get your prospect to rank them in order of importance. This creates desire and urgency for the improvement your services will provide.
10. Ask, ask, ask! Many Advisors shy away from asking for the meeting out of fear of rejection. Here’s the danger – if you’ve done a good job of uncovering a need and creating desire but don’t ask, you’ve just done all the work for another Advisor who will. Even if it’s a no not now, you’ve created a solid connection and can build the relationship over time.
I invite you to post these Top 10 Sales Tips and review them often in 2016. I guarantee they will serve you well. From Conversation Gym to you, I wish you a wonderful, prosperous New Year!
Kira Callahan is an expert sales conversation coach for the financial industry. Her private clients typically experience 30% – 100% increase in appointments and business. Click here to find out more about Kira.