Thursday, May 16, 2013
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I enjoyed 23 years in the greatest business in the world, a financial advisor. I managed to qualify many times at Million Dollar Round Table ‘Top of the Table’ level and right now is a full time motivational speaker sharing ideas and strategies in 52 countries. In this article are some of the basic strategies I used over the many years to achieve the highest levels in financial services.
One of the most important things that I learned early on was to remember people’s names. This was brought home to me in a disastrous interview early in my career. I was going to see a top executive and his name was Eustace Harop. Well I remember sitting in the waiting room saying to myself, ‘don’t call him Useless’ (instead of Eustace). As you can imagine, I had just conditioned myself to do just that. What happened? I walked straight in and said, “Hi Useless, my name is Frank Furness, how are you doing?” and throughout the rest of the interview I kept calling him Useless. Fortunately he had a sense of humor and became a client and up until today he still reminds me about that first interview.
Keep alert and pleasant, I mean it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, you’ve got to be alert, you’ve got to be pleasant and let the clients talk about themselves. Put yourself into the position of the client and think about what may be some of the things on their mind just before seeing you. They’re probably thinking, who are you, how credible are you, and how long have you been in the business, how qualified are you? Who is the company that you work for and how long have they been around, how credible are they, whose products do you sell? Are you there just to line your pocket or to actually look after the client? Are they going to see you again? These are some of the questions that are on the client’s mind and you’ve got to clear these questions before you go any further. Now the way you do that is using a method called the ‘Ben Duffy’.
Many years ago a large tobacco account was up for grabs and every big advertising company was after this account. There was a fellow called Ben Duffy and he was also after this account. He had a tiny firm and he thought to him, how am I going to get this account, I’m just a small guy with a small company, there’s no chance. Then he thought about it and said to himself, ‘let me put myself in the position of the buyer that I going to see. Let me think about some of the questions, some of the things that might be on the client’s mind’ and he wrote out a list of fifty questions, then narrowed those down to about ten questions and answers. He went in to see the client and said, ‘in preparing for today’s meeting, I put myself in your position and thought there might be some things you’d want to know about me, my company, what’s in it for you, what’s in it for me and as such I’ve prepared a list of ten questions.’ Well the chap from the tobacco said, ‘well I’ve got ten questions as well’. They swapped lists, six were the same and he won the account.
Now for years and years, I used exactly the same strategy. When I met a potential client at the first meeting, I would reduce tension levels by getting the client to talk about themselves and then I’d say to the client, ‘you know Joe, in preparing for today’s meeting, I put myself in your position and thought there might be some questions on your mind. Who is Frank Furness, who is XYZ Financial Services, how long have they been around, what’s in it for me, what’s in it for you? Are these some of the questions on your mind?’
They would normally nod in agreement and this is the only time you will speak about yourself. This is the opportunity to sell yourself and establish your credibility. So if you’ve got a degree, if you’ve been in the business for ten years, whatever you have done well, this is where you sell yourself.
Next you would speak about your company, how well established they are and what sets them apart from everyone else. Next I would say ‘ you’re probably also wondering what’s in it for you and what’s in it for me; well what’s in it for you, all I want to do is take a snapshot of where you are now, and where you want to be in the future and really just help you develop the strategy to get there. What’s in it for me; if you like what I’m doing and feel that I can do a credible planning strategy for you, all that I would ask of you is, should you be satisfied with our recommendations, that you place the business with us. Secondly, whether or not we do business together, should you find us to be professional and ethical, we would like you to refer us to other professionals such as yourself. (get commitment)
Right now I am an International motivational speaker specializing in sales and technology, but where I learned my selling skills was in financial services where I qualified amongst the top half percent of salespeople in the world at the Million Dollar Round Table ‘Top of the Table’ level.
I used all of the methods explained above and these are also detailed in my comprehensive 15 CD/DVD resource Sales Strategies for Financial Advisors
For more articles, please take a look at my website http://www.frankfurness.com
Frank Furness CSP CFP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and technology. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. He is the author of ‘Walking with Tigers - Success Secrets of Exceptional Achievers’ which is available from http://www.amazon.co.uk
For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email email@example.com or telephone+ 44 (0) 1923 248200. http://www.frankfurness.com
NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to firstname.lastname@example.org Take a look at other articles, free software and e-Books at http://www.frankfurness.com/
For many of us it is a challenge to find high quality Royalty Free images, here are some ideas and resources.
If you are looking for an outstanding collection of public domain images that you can use immediately on your website or blog, Pixabay offers more than 65,000 free images, photos, vector graphics and clipart contributed by its community.
Developed by Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger this is a great image resource to bookmark right away.
From the official site: "...a repository for outstanding public domain images. You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use, without attribution requirement to the original author."
Take a look at http://pixabay.com/
Some other great sites are http://www.istockphoto.com/ and http://depositphotos.com/
- Ask for specific referrals to narrow the customer’s focus.
- Gather as much information about the referral as possible.
- Ask your customer for permission to use his or her name.
- Ask your customer for help in obtaining an appointment with the referral.
- Contact the referral as soon as possible.
- Inform your customer about the outcome of the contact.
- Build referral alliances (this can be through sources such as tip clubs, centres of influence, key people in the industry).
- Prospect for referrals just like you prospect for sales leads.
- Rank your referrals as you do your customers:
- A for hot (you know a lot about the referral and the referrer introduces you)
- B for warm (you know little about the referral and you can use the referrer’s name).
- C for cold (you know nothing about the referral, and you can’t use the referrer’s name).
- Seek internal referrals (other departments, locations, divisions, branches and subsidiaries).
The Importance of Video Marketing
Video is an extremely powerful marketing tool, and one that you can’t afford to ignore. It can significantly improve the ability of people to find you on the Web, and it’s also a very effective and memorable way to tell a story.
Tell your Story. There’s nothing like the raw power of visual and audio to make a story memorable. We are all are visual learners, and nothing grabs and holds our attention as much as a narrative told in moving images. In fact, this is the best way to convey complex ideas. Video can be used to tell the story of your brand, provide information that helps clients solve a problem, or explain trends.
YouTube offers a search advantage. There are other video sites, but my preference is YouTube. It’s the second most popular search engine, which means that if someone is looking for instructions on how to complete a task, that’s where they’re heading. But, more importantly, Google owns YouTube and gives it some preference in its search algorithm.
This improves the odds that your video will end up on the first page of search results. I have 500 videos on YouTube and find it one of the best free advertising mediums.
How Long. The top 10 videos that are shared most often have an average run time of 4 minutes, but try for about two minutes as this is the attention span of most people.
Look and Feel. Aim to create videos that fit your brand. Take a look at the great success of Will it Blend and the EvianBabies
Viral subjects. While funny and surprising videos have a greater success rate at going viral, there are many other approaches that can be very successful for your brand.
- How to
- Technical explanations
- Product demonstrations
- Staff training
- Meet the team