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How to successfully sell financial planning

How to successfully sell financial planning.

Would you like it to be easier to sell financial planning. This article explores how.

Genuine financial planning is very different from providing purely transactional financial advice.

So, how you sell financial planning is a different kind of conversation too. 

Would you like it to be easier to sell financial planning engagements? This article explores how. 

The first hurdle is to realise that:

People do not want financial planning.

How many times has someone approached you and asked for a financial plan?

Probably never, right?

Often, a conversation with a client or potential client begins with a product enquiry or a change in their circumstances.

So, a client comes along with a pension, investment, or some similar type of enquiry.

Where do you go from here?

You must enter the conversation already happening in the client’s mind

A financial planner client I worked with told me about a lady who approached his firm with a pension enquiry.

He tried to sell financial planning to her, and she was not impressed. In fact, she rightly accused him of not listening to her.

In the book by Dale Carnegie, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ there is the famous line:

Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.

If someone comes along with something on their mind they want to deal with, then you must acknowledge this first. And they must also be willing to put it to the side, otherwise you are inviting push-back or disengagement. 

The value of financial planning

Most people do not have a well thought through, coherent financial plan, do they?

At least, this is my experience.

Yet how often do you meet someone who has a whole collection of randomly purchased financial products? Back when I was an adviser this was more common than not. 

So, one of the first jobs is to acknowledge someone for their good intentions in what they already have. Then you can explore whether they are open to a new and better way of doing things.

How do you sell financial planning?

Many years ago, I read a book called, ‘Persuasion engineering’ by Richard Bandler and John LaValle. I have worked with both these guys in the past and they are the real deal when it comes to selling.

One of the factors they make a huge point about is whether you believe in what you sell.

Do you believe in your product or service?

They say, “Anybody who sells something that they don’t believe in, is only going to hurt themselves in the end. They are not going to do that well.”

Believing in what you sell is more than half the job done.

Create a new way of looking at things for your client

My good friend and highly experienced financial planner Paul Tracey believes in financial planning. He cares deeply about people, and they can feel this when they meet him. He listens to them and because of this, when the time is right, they will listen to him. 

To begin to have them see things differently he often uses an analogy with his client. 

He asks them, “If you were going to do a jigsaw, where would you begin?”

Most people say, “With the edges.”

But Paul challenges this assumption and asks, “Wouldn’t you begin by looking at the picture first?”

And, of course, it’s true. To do the jigsaw, you would first want to know what the end result looks like.

So, this is a great transition into that bigger financial planning conversation because it will cause the client to think:

“How can I possibly make smart decisions without a clear idea of what I am aiming for?”

To successfully sell financial planning it only needs to make sense

In my experience people are motivated to do what gets them what they really want. So, once you have acknowledged why the client is in the meeting and they have an open mind, then find out what they really want (see ‘How to ask great financial planning questions‘).

To successfully sell financial planning it just needs to make sense, be understandable, and make more sense to do it than not do it.

P.S. You can download my recording on ‘What Every Financial Planner Should Know About Getting Clients!’ by clicking here.


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