Partner or Peddler?
Action Selling could as easily be named Action Advising. This becomes strikingly obvious when the system is used by professionals whose “product” is advice—financial advisors, consultants, accountants, and attorneys, for example.
Everything about the system—each of the Nine Acts and every part of every Act—adds up to a step-by-step guide that illustrates how to behave like a trusted partner instead of a peddler.
A peddler’s business can be taken away at a moment’s notice by any competitor with a lower price or a newer feature. A trusted advisor is precious and not easily replaced.
Peddlers are disposable. Advisors are precious.
But isn’t there a fundamental conflict between the vendor role and the advisor role? Take the concept of a Commitment Objective, for instance. Would an “Action Advising” system begin by insisting that the advisor’s goal in every client meeting should be to gain the client’s agreement to take some action that will move the relationship forward?
You bet it would. If an advisor does not believe that there is some course of action that would benefit the client, then in what sense is the person an advisor? What’s more, an advisor who Asks the Best Questions, listens carefully to the answers, and tailors solutions to the client’s most pressing needs is likely to recommend a course of action that will benefit the client very much indeed.
Questioning and listening skills build trust. And when trust is built, asking for commitment is a natural outcome of a well-orchestrated meeting between an advisor and a client. The client will want the relationship to more forward as much as you do. So where is the conflict?
Action Selling in ACTION!
Kyle Roehrig, a Texas-based financial advisor for investment-services company Edward Jones, recently attended one of our workshops. Here is what he said shortly afterward:
“My first success came almost immediately after I completed the day-long course. With one client, I used the TFBR (Tie-back, Feature, Benefit, Reaction) technique. It made the client feel that I really listened to him and understood his needs. I was able to show how my recommendations helped solve his specific needs, rather than just selling him an investment. This skill puts you in the shoes of an advisor, not just a broker.”
“Also, the discipline of setting a Commitment Objective before each contact is a big help. It gives you a direction to go, rather than just making a call and seeing where it takes you. These advisor skills have made a huge difference in my success.”
Maybe it’s time to get information about how to make advisor training pay huge dividends.