CHAPTER 10Financial Planning—A Sales Perspective

The purpose of this chapter is to briefly introduce the concepts of selling and being a salesperson in the context of financial planning. This chapter is not about developing a marketing plan, identifying target clients, or memorizing sales scripts “guaranteed to close 20 percent of your client appointments.” Instead, this chapter is designed to help financial planners understand that nearly every aspect of their day-to-day activities involves selling. The sale could be a simple as persuading an office manager to purchase a special snack for the break room or as complicated as getting a high-net-worth client to buy a deferred variable annuity. While the stakes and outcomes associated with these types of sales presentations are certainly different, the key elements of client communication and counseling are embedded in both sales presentations.

Sometimes those new to the field of sales inaccurately use the terms marketing and selling interchangeably. For the purpose of this discussion, marketing refers to the manner in which a firm or organization creates a message to facilitate the exchange of products, services, and values with consumers or stakeholders. Selling is a component of marketing. Selling, in the context of marketing, is a problem-solving endeavor.1 When people, especially those just beginning their professional career, think about the possibility of becoming a salesperson, they often become anxious, concerned, and ...

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