The Client-centred Blog

The inescapable truth about selling your services

Although the word ‘selling’ can conjure up negative thoughts in some people’s minds the fact is that all commercial businesses are selling products or services.

Your ability to ‘sell’ your services is one of the most significant factors (if not THE most significant factor) in building a thriving practice.

Yet for many advisers, it is also an area that has more than its fair share of challenges.

Why is this? Why is it that so many people seem to find selling so difficult?

Before I come on to this in more detail what is this inescapable truth about selling that I eluded to in the title of this piece?

To sell your services you must have conversations with people.

I know in my own business that if I retreat into myself and avoid speaking to people (which has happened many times) I will experience a sharp decrease in work.

The thing we fear is making ourselves vulnerable. We can easily fill our minds with insecure thinking, such as:

Am I being pushy?
Am I being a nuisance?
What if I create an awkward situation?
What if they’re not interested?
What if I’m rejected?

And then what happens?

Getting clients (through conversations) is de-prioritised and we stop doing the things that will cultivate a thriving practice.

So, can conversations be avoided so we don’t experience any of this?

Just recently someone I know shared a story about a coach who wrote a best-selling book. As a result, she was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and it was watched by an audience of millions.

How many new clients do you think this resulted in?


It doesn’t get any bigger than that, right? Being interviewed by Oprah and being watched by millions.

And yet no clients.

She only started to become successful in getting clients when she began to understand the fundamental truth that you must have conversations.

This is especially true when you are providing financial planning because it is not a commodity. Someone must experience it to understand it.

So, if you cannot avoid conversations what can you do?

I have invested heavily in all kinds of training over 25 plus years and there is one thing that has helped me more than anything.

But rather than something you do, it’s an understanding.

If you experience something as difficult it is because of the thinking you have around it. Without this thinking things would be easy.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need more tools, techniques or systems. Subjecting people to sales tactics never works. In fact, this is what makes for an awkward situation and a lack of trust.

You cannot stop yourself having insecure thinking but the more you are willing to ignore it the less power it has over you and the less it tends to show up.

You provide a valuable service that is of great benefit to people.

But you don’t have a shop where people can come in and browse at their leisure. So, the only way you can discover who will benefit from what you can do is through having conversations.

Once we realise that any insecurities we have around the process are just passing thoughts and that we don’t have to believe them, getting clients becomes a joy rather than something we avoid.

P.S. My own coach, the brilliant Steve Chandler, said:

“Imagine there is a light within you. Picture it shining from your heart…or from your mind, if that works better. See it as a magic beam that causes anything it shines on to grow. And before you dismiss this exercise as some kind of new-age woo, note that it is the most practical advice I’ve ever received or given when it comes to getting clients.”

What you pay attention to grows.

John Dashfield

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.


Leave a Comment