Selling is challenging, whatever your industry. Financial services has its own inherent set of challenges.
- Selling intangible products that are difficult for clients to compare, observe, or test
- Selling services that involve money, so the buying decision has substantive consequences
- Asking for a lot of information that the client may not be used to sharing
- Selling products that are often complex, so you have to educate your clients while carefully observing stringent regulatory requirements
Building trust is at the heart of overcoming these challenges and successfully selling financial services. Without it you cannot talk about money, ask for information, or be in a position to educate your clients. This trust has to be earned. The salesperson who presents themselves as an advisor, but then quickly moves onto their own sales agenda, destroys this trust.
David Maister in his book ‘The Trusted Advisor’ develops an insightful equation to help salespeople understand what it takes to build trust. He describes how trust is built through three attributes: credibility, reliability, and intimacy. The denominator to the equation is self-orientation – the more we are driven by our own sales agenda rather than the client’s needs, the less trust we build.
This concept of trust is at the heart of our work with financial services sales teams. Our Creating Client Value methodology provides the skills, tools, navigation and insights that salespeople need to build trust while selling consultatively. We focus on the client’s buying cycle, and demonstrate how, by working with and supporting the client’s agenda, trust is built and deeper, more profitable and longer-term relationships are established.