Selling to Friends

One of the many challenges and joys about being an independent financial adviser is that I have to do my own sales training. Sure, FormulaFolios has many training videos and their stuff is extremely helpful, but I need to learn how to sell. As we know through social media, all of our friends have the side hustle job, so everyone sells something. If we break it down, every industry does selling on some level, but how do you become a successful salesman?

For example, how do I approach someone about my services? When I get rejected, how far should I push the person to change their mind? When do I just give up on a person because they’re wasting my time? On behalf of all salesman, please do not give us false hope. While I don’t really understand why anyone would say NO to my services, sometimes it’s actually the best answer. Time is valuable for everyone, so if you’re never going to buy, kindly let the salesman move on.

I started reading books on selling because I came to a hard truth: Everyone needs my service, but if I wait for them to come to me, I’ll starve! That did hurt my pride and I felt like a failure, but the truth is that all businesses face the same problem. Have you looked at the retail sector lately? Yikes!

I learned a lot after reading the books, but I was hoping for a magical, easy fix to get more clients than I could handle. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. However, I found great hope as I learned all salesmen go through peaks and valleys in their careers. They succeed because they look past rejection. A 30% success rate stinks when you get 3 commitments out of 10 attempts, but it’s awesome to get 300 commitments out of 1000 attempts.

However, one “tip” I’ll never agree with is the idea that you shouldn’t sell to friends. Sure, if you’re selling a crappy product and ripping people off, then please don’t sell to your friends. Actually don’t sell to anyone because you’re giving all other salesmen a bad reputation and most people aren’t fans of us anyway.

On the other hand, if you’re selling a product that can help improve someone’s life, then aren’t you obligated to offer it to you friends? That’s how I feel about Financial Planning. Money is one of the top causes of stress in the world today. My services are all about using money as a tool to achieve your goals. If that can lower the stress in a friend’s life, shouldn’t I offer the service to them?

It brings me pure joy to watch a client follow a plan and go from being in debt to opening an investment account. Yes, I get a fee, but the greatest reward is that it gives me a chance to be a good friend and help someone. I would love the opportunity to help you as well!

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