Yes, Every Advisor Can Learn to Sell Comfortably and Effectively

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers,

I just completed a coaching call with an advisor I have worked with for many years. In his honor, I will profile a bit of the journey we’ve had together to illustrate how every advisor (yes, every single one) can learn how to sell effectively and do so in a comfortable manner.

I haven’t asked his permission, although I did mention wanting to do a case study on him because the journey has been so fascinating, but for purposes of this column, we’ll call him “John.”

John’s firm hired us to implement the Advisor’s Sales Academy, wherein we provide full training, small group practice, and then individual coaching. As with many firms, the program was rolled out as a sales initiative. Hearing the words “sales” and “selling” often strikes fear and loathing in the hearts and minds of many advisors, and John was not immune to this. He is one of the nicest, most engaging, and most endearing people I have ever worked with. So he phrased it very pleasantly when he told me he didn’t really want to talk with me 1:1 on how he could sell more effectively.

John eventually agreed to come to meetings with me, and we’d talk about how to think about selling differently, and the importance of doing so in a way that feels genuine and noninvasive. He is one of the most ethical people I’ve ever met, and he needed to know that what he was doing was also staying true to who he is as a person. In today’s meeting, John shared that he has implemented a plan we talked about many weeks ago, and has garnered $20 million in net new assets from doing so. He told me “…next time we talk, I hope I am telling you I have doubled that number!” John is now not only an enthusiastic “salesperson,” he is selling (or he and I would say it is “not selling”) in a manner that works for him.