How Can Financial Advisors Sell The Way They Buy?

Something has to give…

Is it just me, or does it seem like social media is sometimes like one of those pay per view ‘professional’ wrestling shows? I can almost hear ‘The Rock’ issuing his famous phrase “Can you smell what the Rock is Cooking?!”

If you are still with me I only have one question before we dive in: How do you buy?

I would bet a large sum of money with extreme confidence that you are very similar to one of the clients my friend Eric Doyle described in a recent blog:

“We hear from clients who tell us they don’t pay attention to adverts, they have cold call screening, they block email campaigns etc....and then they sit at their desk and commission the same stuff they have just confirmed they think is useless ...” 

I have been coaching and consulting with financial advisors and small business owners for 20+ years and one of the hidden elements of really successful ones is this: they sell the same way they buy.

As your business gets more complex you are going to be tempted to be ‘more efficient’ with how you acquire clients (automation, cold calling, email, etc..) and that temptation will, without exception, change the culture of your business in a negative way. You will, in effect, be sold a lie that in order to scale you will have to become less human. This isn't true.

We both know that you buy, if at all possible, by referral. This is how everyone that is social prefers to purchase products or services, commercial or personal. If we know of a trusted advisor that is recommended by someone we trust, in most cases it is there business to lose. We are willing to meet with them, get advice and even if we get other quotes it is just to confirm our purchase from them…not challenge it.

How does this apply to you? The big problem with selling differently from how you buy is that it adds friction to your sales process. When you know that you are operating outside of your own identity you are less confident and more likely to be hesitant and less compelling in meetings with prospects.

There is a way to scale how you sell and have it align with how you and your prospective clients prefer to buy: Integrate your on and offline social strategy.

In other words, combine what has always worked for you and your team in person (referrals) with what is required to do it at scale (social selling) into a digitally dominant strategy that is founded upon being human and building authentic relationships.

One easy way to visualize what I am trying to share here is this:

Imagine you are getting ready to walk into a large ball room filled with lots of your ideal prospects for your business and just as many salespeople and executives from other companies. What kinds of behavior are going to be effective in that environment? To be clear, if your mindset is that you are looking to make a sale you are going to be less effective, if at all. To be effective in social selling (on or offline) you need to be looking for conversations.

You know that to be successful in a social environment you need social. You already did the hardest part: showing up. The room is full of ideal clients and all you need to do now is have conversations. The problem is that this investment of time is linear. When your business is profitable you are going to have serious challenges scaling if your marketing is linear. How do we get introductions at scale?

Here is the action item: stop looking for a sale as your primary objective. You can smell it when it is happening to you and your prospect can smell it as well. Look for conversations that your ideal clients are already having.

Where this gets challenging is if you are looking for conversations prospects are having about buying your product or service (the trap). These conversations, if you can find them, are usually occurring at the end of the buying process and you are late for the party. Additionally, everyone that sees you join that conversations knows you are there to sell.

Instead, look for the conversations that your ideal clients (current and future) are having in their networks about stuff they are interested in right now. There are a lot more of those conversations, they are easier to find and join and you won't reek of commission breath.

How to find those conversations? Get on #socialmedia and search for them. Hint: connect with your clients on the social platforms they are on. Your personal connection with your current clients is everything and they will show you what is interesting to them through their posts and activity online.

At the end of the day, what I am trying to convince you of is this: The reality of the future for any business is becoming a social organization.

Whether you are a solo advisor or the managing partner of a huge independent RIA, you and your company need to integrate social into every aspect of your work. This is a simple concept that requires vision and strategy to implement effectively and with less risk. Remember, this is about integrating for effect across all aspects of social for your team and your clients.

Sell how you buy. Integrate successful social behavior across your entire company. Scale like a human being.

Looking for some help and/or low key conversation about how you can get started on your journey to the next level for your business? I am here to help. Comment below or send me a private message and we will schedule a call to talk about it.

Be Social, Be Human and Sell the way you Buy

Related: How Advisors Can Integrate Their Investment Philosophy in a Social Selling Strategy