Why Too Many Advisors Fail at Sales
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Your energy matters in sales.
Successful selling is a multidisciplinary skill. In developing sales skills, we focus attention on what we say and do, but rarely do we discuss the impact of our energy.
Traditionally, the qualitative aspects of sales include physically showing up in the right ways (confidence, professional attire, articulate), saying the right things (messaging that’s on brand and consistent, good questions), listening and our presentation skills.
The quantitative aspects include doing the right things consistently, which requires systems and organization (follow-up process, pipeline, research and use of data, etc.).
One qualitative aspect of selling that I rarely see but is incredibly impactful to your success is the energy you bring to the conversation.
Because energy is not easily seen or measured it’s not often discussed. But it is a mistake to ignore this aspect of sales.
Good things happen where you and your intentions are fully present and aligned and you believe completely in your value and are genuinely excited about the impact you can make.
In his book, The Power of Intuition, Gary Klein says that 90% of critical decisions are made using our intuition.
Intuition matters. Stumped at why an opportunity is stuck when you did everything right? Rationally, the prospect should want to move forward, but they aren’t. Likely it has nothing to do with the facts but with their intuition and how they feel.
Before you can gain buy-in rationally, focus on connecting and gaining buy-in emotionally
There is a state of being called “coherence,” when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation, according to HeartMath Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty.
You can gain coherence yourself, with someone else and even a group of people. The value of coherence selling is that you gain a deeper buy-in between the customer and you, even if that’s indirectly a result of a personal relationship. You aren’t just selling your service or product; you’re selling the value that your company and relationship provides, which is important in a service sale, where you can’t always quantify your value or performance, and may even underperform at times.
Coherence selling is a far cry from transactional selling. It’s focused on building quality relationships from the very beginning. Think about your best clients, the ones you’d like to clone. They likely are not only the most profitable but also the ones you have the best connection with – that’s coherence.
The science of connection
According to McCraty, your heart generates a powerful electromagnetic field, which can be detected several feet away.
In your effort to optimize and scale your marketing and sales, don’t lose sight of the importance of emotional connection.
In the Harvard Business Review article, An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction, the authors emphasize the importance of appealing to any of the dozens of “emotional motivators,” such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.
The idea of connecting by tapping into others’ emotional needs is not new. It’s the core of effective branding and value messaging. Yet, especially in the financial services industry, we focus on our services and performance. If you’re focused only on those things, you are missing the point. What you do and how you do it may seem like your value. But it’s how your skills, experience and approach address the emotional needs and goals of your clients’ that matters.
Back to your heart being the most powerful electromagnetic field in your body: This is your antenna to detect and uncover your prospects’ and clients’ deeper needs – this is how you connect with them and allow them to connect with you.
Manage your energy
If you can connect with a prospect emotionally early, your chances of success increase significantly. If someone wants to work with you, they will find a way.
What can you do to use your energy to connect early and often?
Be fully present in the conversation. You may have an agenda, but be open to the unexpected. Listen with your full body. Trust your intuition and be willing to ask the questions that come to you, even if they are off script. Worst case, they won’t confirm your hunch. But that detour often opens up the conversation in productive ways.
Again, the goal is deeper relationships, which leads to better results for everyone.
What does this mean for sales managers and leaders?
Your team’s energy matters! As a leader and manager, one of your most important responsibilities is to create and nurture an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work. It’s difficult to tap into your energy and be open if you don’t feel secure.
One sales key performance indicator that I always include for my clients is energy. You can only keep grinding it out so long before burning out.
Relationship building requires energy. Protect your and your team’s energy.
Tips to show up energetically
For many of us sales is a necessity, not a natural skill or desire. These tips will help anyone but especially if you are easily drained from development conversations and activities:
- Give yourself the space and resources to show up well. Make sure you’re not rushing between meetings and calls; even five minutes to take a breath and prepare can make an enormous difference.
- Make sure you are physically prepared. Use the bathroom, stay hydrated and fueled with quality food and snacks (high protein is brain power). Getting plenty of sleep and exercise also helps you stay clear minded and energized.
- Be emotionally ready. Use breathing to get present, have an object(s) nearby to help release extra energy to stay focused, tune into your body to listen fully. If you’re not emotionally in the right mindset, imagine taking whatever is distracting you and put it into a box, close the top and place it somewhere out of sight to deal with after your call.
- Use time blocking to prepare and protect your time and energy. Especially if sales conversations deplete you, it is helpful to keep those conversations to specific day(s) or time of the day when you have the highest energy and ability to prepare.
- Review your energy weekly and adjust as needed. This doesn’t have to be complex; check in with yourself at the end of the week and be honest about how it went – thumbs up, down or neutral? If you have too many thumbs-down weeks, consider this question: If you could stop or change one or two things that would improve your week what would they be? If you find that sales is not the best use of your time and energy, tap others with natural sales abilities and interest. May people can sell or support various aspects of the sales process; it doesn’t have to be you.
Your energy is a powerful tool in opening and closing an opportunity. Connect and tap into your prospects’s needs before fulfilling your own.
I partner with financial professionals, asset managers and small businesses looking to unlock potential by getting intentional and comfortable with business strategy and sales. Growth strategist and coach, accountability partner, change maker – those are some of the names I’ve been called over the past 15 years. Access growth best practices and learn more at www.shaunamace.com or contact me at [email protected].