Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting That Sale (Part 2):

For Wealth Managers involved in a sales engagement, pre-empting potential objections helps to secure the sale. If we don’t answer those questions prior to attempting a soft- or hard-close, they will certainly appear or, potentially, kill the deal and you’ll never know why.

The five questions to answer:
1. Do I need an investment advisor? Answer this with features and benefits to show the consequences of not using an investment advisor. For example, access to institutional-class funds, proprietary research, integrated investment, tax, estate and insurance planning. That’s particularly important in both financial planning and in selling against a non-fiduciary, transaction-compensated, broker or advisor.

2. Will fee-based advice benefit me? Few investors realize that financial advisors can be either fiduciary or not, and that those who are not fiduciaries have no legal responsibility to act in the best interest of the client. The simple explanation is enforced with “ask your attorney about this.”
From the financial side, if the potential client is buying class A or class B mutual funds, the fee-based argument is particularly simple. Otherwise, a clear accounting of transaction-based fees and charges will help answer this question.

3. Will this specific wealth manager meet my need or solve my problems? Pre-empt this question with a clear understanding of your credentials. “In addition to being registered, I’m a Certified Financial Planner (or CFA, or other designation) and this means…”
Likewise, use case-studies and testimonials to help convince the prospect that you are right for them.

4. Is the fee (price issue) right for my needs? Focus on the price:value relationship, the integral nature of investments, tax, insurance, and estate-needs coordination. Many transaction-based advisors do simple investment plans and call them financial plans, they aren’t. What you can offer is.

5. Why do I need advice/this advisor right now? Simply, now is the time because you won’t know what opportunity or obstacle tomorrow will bring.

Next blog, we’ll address the best format for the actual one-on-one sales presentation, and start a conversation on “soft” and “hard” closes, and the right timing for each?

What do you think? Please comment below.

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