Master the Sales Process Before Mastering Product Knowledge

It is tempting to lead with product, but having the discipline to stick to a sales process focused on providing solutions will lead to more success. Rather than taking the time to master products, focus on creating opportunities (i.e., booking appointments) to educate prospective clients through face-to-face contacts.

Mastering products can be complicated and often set you up for objections if not explained properly. It’s certainly crucial to provide excellent product and service knowledge, but this won’t lead to the long-term, sustainable growth that your business needs. The goal is to create lasting relationships with clients, and it starts by demonstrating your dedication and establishing trust.

A strong relationship with a client gives you the ability to establish and execute their long-term goals. They want to know that you understand their needs and challenges. If you can demonstrate this, they will be your client for life, and it can be the difference between success and failure for most businesses. But in our industry specifically, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. So when they have kids, or reach new life milestones, you will be the one they turn to for additional planning.

Client Experience Matters

The “client experience” is a major factor in a their decision to retain and recommend your services. According to a study by The Tempkin Group, clients who received an excellent customer experience were 11 times more likely to recommend your services to others! I always say, if you do a good job for a client, they’ll tell 2 or 3 people; but if you do a bad job, they’ll tell 10.

So make sure to do the little things when they come to your office. Greet them, don’t keep them waiting too long, offer them water, and validate their parking, if needed. These things make it easier for a client to come see you.

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Regularly Engage with Clients

After they become your client, it doesn’t mean the “sales process” is over. Make sure to stay in touch and provide periodic updates because there could be an opportunity to sell them something else at a later time. Earlier in my career, I had a client shift all his assets and policies to another advisor simply because he hadn’t heard from me in some time. I could have easily avoided this by keeping an organized and well-timed contact schedule. Use helpful content management tools like a CRM or an email automation tool to make your timed contact strategically sound. MarketingPRO allows you to reach more prospects in less time. This tool not only allows you to automate your regular emails, but also automates your social media marketing and birthday card send outs.

It is a mistake to treat client interactions as one-off events. By thinking long-term, you will be able to better serve their needs over time and provide the very best in customer service, which will often result in additional sale opportunities.

Prioritizing Your Clients

Learn how to prioritize those clients whose needs require attention more immediately versus those that can be followed up with at a later time. This is inevitable, and certain tasks are time sensitive so you’ll need to be flexible throughout the day.

Treat your A, B, C, and D clients in a way that they feel equally well-handled. Regardless of type, their value is measured by their experience. Give them an opportunity to provide feedback so you can constantly improve your process.

Once you’ve helped them protect their interest and map out their financial goals (by focusing on process vs product), you’ll have a client for life. Their decision to stay loyal to you is associated with the amount of support and engagement you give them beyond processing their paperwork.

If you focus on products without a firm grasp on relationships and prospecting skills, you very well may find yourself amongst the most technically knowledgeable advisors with no clients, and in turn no money. Keep your focus on the process over the product, and make sure that process includes a long-term strategy of superb customer service and intelligent management of their needs.

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Eszylfie Taylor is the founder and president of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services and the Creator of The Taylor Method, his online sales system for financial advisors. He attended Concordia University on a basketball scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Prior to founding his own brokerage, he was a standout financial advisor at New York Life, finishing his career there as the highest producing advisor in the history of the African American market.

Mr. Taylor has been a Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table producer since 2011, which places him in the top 1% of advisors worldwide. In 2015, he was the recipient of NAIFA’s Advisor Today Top 4 Under Forty award. Today, as an active advisor, he continues to build on the sales language, concepts, and tips that contribute to the curriculum on The Taylor Method.