In the financial services sector, effective communication will be the difference between closing a deal and not. Well-practised, effective communications can consistently unlock opportunities to success, helping you to not only boost your sales but enhance the financial benefits you bring to your clients.
To arrive at this point of “effective communication” we need to take a few steps back and see exactly what we are up against.
Life need not be complicated
And yet it is. The range and types of financial solutions open to you and your clients are complex. Your first task as a financial adviser is to learn them all.
Often, the temptation is to advise your clients on what is most popular, safest and most easily understandable but this could be the first mistake you make.
Developing an in-depth understanding of what you have to recommend and why you are recommending it may seem unnecessarily rudimentary but it is all too often overlooked – and it is the first step to effective communications.
Think about things from your client’s point of view
To get where you are right now you have studied, passed exams and immersed yourself in the way the financial sector works. You feel familiar and comfortable with the financial products you recommend and you are pretty sure you are on top of the bewildering amount of modern-day financial regulation.
That is a lot of hard work and you should be congratulated but take a minute to think about things from your client’s point of view.
And when you sit back and take a look, you will find the first thing you need to do is:
Learn the art of simplification
As we have discovered so far, your task as a successful adviser is to be armed with knowledge – to know everything that is available to recommend. But sometimes knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Financial products have a tendency to befuddle folk. It is just the way they are. You have specialist knowledge honed through training and experience.
Your client has likely not. You likely have a gift for the financial markets. Your clients likely have not and that is why they have come to you.
Your first task in effective communications is to simplify. You need to declutter the industry speak and present what you know in an understandable way to who is, ostensibly, the layman.
Now we are on a roll, so let us leap into the most important area of effective communications.
Learn the art of listening
Every client you meet is unique. They will have their own individual backdrop of life experience, financial needs and expectations. That is what you need to understand and you can only do that through listening.
In short, effective communication between advisers and their clients is the difference between “good selling” and “bad selling”.
It is down to you to ask the right questions with interest. Do not interrogate; empathise, understand, use your knowledge to create a financial investment plan that suits your client perfectly and perhaps use your knowledge to persuade your clients that they genuinely need something not currently on their radar. You can only do all this by listening.
Unleash your potential
Become as well informed as possible about the products you recommend. Communicate clearly and in layman’s terms. Listen to your client and understand what is best for them.
Get it right and not only will you benefit from a rewarding career, you will achieve well-earned financial success too.
Doug Tucker is managing director of Sales Commando and author of Sales Commando – Unleash Your Potential