Sales 'not dead' in financial advice

The “art of salesmanship” is not dead in financial services and is a necessary tool in providing tailored advice to clients, according to one business consultant.

Connect Financial Service Brokers chief executive Paul Tynan said that while the word “sales” might have negative connotations in financial services, it is actually an important function within the industry.

“Although the words ‘sales’ and ‘salespeople’ are no longer fashionable and referred to negatively in financial service circles, they still exist in reality as there is no function or activity in life that doesn’t require selling of some kind,” Mr Tynan said.

“For example, you sell yourself to clients, prospective clients, business partners, friends, etc.
Furthermore, you sell your knowledge, experience, qualifications, advice and communication skills –
and the list goes on.”

Mr Tynan said that being a salesperson is not simply about selling a product but about seeking “to solve an underlying issue or problem”.

With consumers having more choice and autonomy than ever before, he said, the modern client wants an adviser who can ask questions, identify problems and deliver solutions.

Mr Tynan said these interpersonal skills are what need to be taught to the next generation of advisers, rather than the ability to list “features and benefits in robotic monotone”.

“The biggest criticism I receive about new entrants to the industry (and the primary reason why so many fail and exit) is their lack of soft skills, inability to network and prospect and deficiency at finding clients and establishing referrals,” Mr Tynan said.

“Selling is a part of life.”

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