The financial industry is continually changing – new technology, regulatory updates, shifting demographics – and this is great news for advisors who are internally curious and adopt a mindset of learning in all areas of their business.
Financial advisors who strive to stay on top of the latest trends, marketing techniques, and new products — especially those who also take an interest in developing their sales skills — have an edge over the competition.
A combination of strong product knowledge and sales acumen is particularly important when advising high net worth individuals and businesses, like the clients of M Financial’s Member Firms. Working with this demographic, advisors have a great opportunity to grow their own net worth right along with their wealthy clients — if they have the knowledge and training to do so.
To ensure their new advisors are prepared for what they’ll face in this challenging yet lucrative market, M Financial created the Magnet Program. This unique training and mentoring program is open to all new Member Firm advisors, whether they are just starting in the business or have already begun building their book of business.
Why Sales Training Is Integral
to the Magnet Curriculum
The Magnet Program takes a holistic approach to supporting advisor success by focusing not only on product and industry knowledge, but also on mentorship, marketing, and sales strategies. The objective is to get advisors fully prepared to address the needs of the high net worth clients they will work with.
M Financial has collaborated with the Brooks Group, a leading sales training provider, to augment its powerful e-learning program with effective sales and marketing techniques that can help advisors generate positive results. We spoke with Lisa Rose, Regional VP of Sales at the Brooks Group, about working with the financial advisors enrolled in the Magnet Program.
“The relationship that’s most advantageous to build is to become a trusted advisor to clients,” Lisa told us. “A mistake of many salespeople is to think having a good relationship means being buddy-buddy and going to play golf and eat lunch together. They need to remember that we all have a lot of friends who we wouldn’t buy a thing from.”
According to Lisa, building a relationship as a trusted consultant can look different when dealing with high net worth individuals. Some clients have a certain level of formality that they expect from you, but that’s not always the case. People from different backgrounds, generations, and even personalities can have varied expectations. Knowing how to read them and respond is a key element of success.
“We use the DISC profile in Magnet training,” Lisa said. DISC is a behavior assessment tool that divides common behavioral characteristics and attitudes into four personality types:
- D: Dominant, direct, to the point
- I: Influencers, warm, friendly
- S: Steady, patient, methodical
- C:Control-oriented, data-focused, logical
“D’s and C’s can be a little more formal. C’s say, ‘Respect my work hours,’ whereas I’s and S’s, you can text them in the middle of the night and they wouldn’t care,” Lisa said. Understanding each client’s style is crucial to earning their trust.
M Financial’s Magnet Program focuses on continually updating the information advisors will need to not only generate more sales, but to bring more value to the client relationship.
According to Lisa, “The most successful advisors are those who are open to learning at any stage in their career. The pace of change in the marketplace has never been faster. Client expectations are changing, and forward-thinking organizations like M Financial prepare their teams for these changes so they can perform at the top of their game, no matter what happens next.”
Know When Things Are Changing:
Steps You Can’t Overlook in Today’s Marketplace
Experts at the Brooks Group believe there are certain steps you can’t overlook to stay current with shifts in client expectations and achieve success in today’s marketplace:
- Focus on the customer first. When you approach your clients from a consultative standpoint, you can gain both their trust and valuable insights into how their needs, businesses, and interests are changing. Your customer base can be an early and accurate barometer of what is trending in the industry.
- Be vigilant in your business: The financial market can change quickly, but when you are vigilant about monitoring your business and looking for clues from your customer base, you increase your opportunity to recognize change early. This may include fluctuations in your sales volumes, barriers to purchase, or obstacles at certain points of the sales funnel.
- Be competitively savvy: Pay attention to your competitors. Who is thriving? Who is shrinking? What changes has a competitor made? It’s always beneficial to have a working knowledge of the competitive climate in which you are selling. This doesn’t mean imitating the latest trends, but do your due diligence. You should refer back to your own knowledge and training, and seek guidance from your mentors about innovative ideas you see in the market.
- Be internally curious: External changes can often be addressed by looking inward. What are your strengths and what are your gap areas? Take a look at the tools and resources provided by your firm and find ones that can help you fill those gaps. This should be done from both a product and a sales standpoint. Staying current with new sales training gives you access to the latest information on how to approach different behavioral styles, generations, and demographics.
- Be ready: Develop an attitude that embraces change. Once you’ve embraced the idea that the industry is constantly changing, you’ll better recognize that change is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Talk with your colleagues and peers about emerging trends so that you can all stay ahead of competitors.
Change will continue in the life insurance and wealth management markets. The advisors who will lead are those who continually train and stay curious — and who recognize that when you’re properly prepared, change is good.
Interested in financial services? Magnet training and development can help you get where you want to be. Learn more about the M Financial Group Magnet Program.