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4 Ways to Improve Your Sales Skills

Successful financial advisors are great sales people.

Allen Good, 12/22/2016

It was 1982. I was fresh out of college with a double major in Economics and English Communications, and I wanted to be a stock broker. A friend introduced me to the manager of a regional financial services firm for an interview. During that interview, my job description became clear. I would need to pass the Series 7 and learn how to cold call. I knew I was hired as a sales person and my job was to sell. 

My sales training consisted of six words:

> See More
> Tell More
> Sell More

I got to the office early and cold called people all day long. I was proud of my work, and I loved telling people what I did for a living. The business model was simple: The more people I called, the more money I made. Each month our commission revenues were posted on a bulletin board, making me highly motivated to improve my sales skills. I read books explaining how to sell, improved my communication skills, practiced public speaking, and became more involved in the community.

I learned that great salespeople have a great story to tell. They are passionate, contagious, and highly persuasive. Salespeople understand they must sell their ideas, products, and services, and they must sell using ideas that are simple, straightforward, helpful, memorable, and valuable.

Follow the principles below to instill potential clients with confident assurance that you can assist with achieving their financial goals.

1. Know What You Are Selling
What do you sell? Ford sells cars, Apple sells computers, and Nike sells cool shoes. These companies sell tangible products that solve specific problems for qualified prospects. I drive a Ford because my old car had 191,000 miles on it, and I wanted to buy a hybrid car. I purchased an Apple MacBook Air because I wanted a lightweight computer. And I bought Nike shoes because I work out with a physical trainer two days a week, and I wanted to wear cool shoes. I did not buy a concept; I bought a product. I bought a car, a computer, and a pair of cool shoes.

Do you know what you sell?

Allen Good is a senior stock analyst covering the oil and gas industries.

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