The Client-centred Blog

Do you hate selling financial planning? Discover the two shifts that change everything

Do you love working with your existing clients but hate selling financial planning?

If so, you would not be alone. Yet rather than enduring this essential aspect of being a financial planner what if you could learn to love what is often perceived as the hard part?

If this is you then read on to discover two shifts that can change everything.

Why do people hate selling?

When I think back to the amount of stress, I used to have around selling my services I was convinced that those feelings came from the process of selling.

I thought selling was inherently difficult because it brought up feelings such as fear of rejection, apprehension, dislike, disappointment, and discouragement.

It was no wonder I felt a lot of resistance!

Sales training often has it back to front

So, to try and overcome my fear and improve I invested in sales and influencing training.

However, I began to realise (slowly!) that much of the material made selling more difficult not easier.

The language being used around it such as prospecting, objection handling, and closing seemed dehumanising. It treated selling as something you do ‘to’ someone and this did not feel good to me.

Also, a lot of sales training has it back to front because you are taught that serving your client only comes after they have started paying you. Therefore, the whole process was about getting someone ‘over the line’.

I think this is why selling can be perceived as manipulation, trickery, or even adversarial by many people. 

Yet now I enjoy selling as much as much as working with existing clients. I have helped many financial planners and advisers make this change too.

What shifts your relationship with selling?

I found there are two fundamental shifts that give you a whole new way of experiencing the process of selling financial planning.

1. Understanding the role of thought 

Selling cannot make you feel bad (or good for that matter). Even though it may seem that way. 


Because the human mind only works one way – from inside to out. This means that you feel your thinking about something, not the thing directly. 

If you have disempowering thoughts about selling financial planning these are not reliable or even true information about the process of selling. And once we begin to realise that thought has no power to affect our lives, we can let thoughts pass through our minds as though they were simply a passing cloud.

Amy Johnson in her wonderful book, ‘Just a thought‘, insightfully points out:

“It doesn’t occur to children to try to change their feelings, and we remark how resilient they are, how quickly emotion moves through them. It works the same in all of us when we don’t interfere.”

2. Selling is serving

One of the most helpful realisations I had about selling was that I could serve people straight away and not wait until they paid me.

Financial planning lends itself perfectly to this.

The most powerful element of financial planning is the conversations you have with your client. For instance, these can include a rich exploration of:

1. What is most important to your client

2. What they want more of and what they want less of in their life

3. Clarifying their goals and outcomes

4. What immediate steps they can take towards what they want

5. What could stop them and removing these potential roadblocks

So, instead of talking about financial planning in a conceptual way with a potential client, you can create an engaging experience right from the very beginning.

One of my coaches had a brilliant way of thinking about selling. He said:

“Go and have conversations with people and make those conversations so valuable to them that some of those people will pay you not to stop.”

By focusing on serving someone and creating value I guarantee you that this will transform your experience of selling and your results.

P.S. A core skill that also contributes to selling becoming an enjoyable and more productive process is listening. Click here to discover the 5 steps to becoming a better listener.


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