This article was written by Yael Warman, Content Manager at Leverate.
Successful outbound call conversion or retention in a brokerage is helped substantially by the ability to connect with your trader. From a marketing standpoint, the better you know and understand your target client, the better you are equipped to push the buttons for effective conversions or retention.
The above is (and should be) completely self-evident. Yet how many sales agents really feel that they have been given this advice before they make the call? Unfortunately, too many companies do not address this need for a variety of reasons, be it insufficient time or lack of interest. Whatever the reason, as a sales agent working on commission, the onus falls on you to get the most out of each approach. It is time to get proactive.
Communicate with your marketing department
Too often I see marketing and sales departments working independently from one another, when in fact, the synergy between these two departments must be ever-present. The way in which marketing and sales work together must go well beyond marketing generating leads for sales. Constant feedback from both sides can help build better strategies.
As a sales agent, introduce yourself to the pretty girl (or boy) in marketing and explain to them that you need information on your leads prior to making calls. 99 times out of 100 you’re likely to be fascinated by what you can uncover right from the CRM.
Due to compliance requirements, certain client data has been collected already, and you, as a sales rep, only need to learn how to make good use of it. Seemingly insignificant information like leads, affiliate details, or even the tags, can help you begin to piece together the puzzle of who your traders are. Things like where they live or what they do for a living can help you establish conversation points and structure a plan of action.
How about getting them a gift card to the best restaurant in their city? Help them get tickets to a sold out event? Bonuses that are personalized to each individual trader have a much greater impact and you can easily personalize retention bonuses by knowing who your trader is.
Continue to communicate with the marketing department. This will continue to pay off in new and unexpected ways.
Activities with the client
At the end of the day, there are two primary reasons to better know your traders. The first is to know how to convert them, which applies mostly to sales agents. The second probably relates more to retention – generating personal (and thereby company) loyalty through demonstrating that you care about them (not their business).
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Get on that phone
Irrespective of your other activities, realistically, most of the effort involved in getting to know your clients will be done talking to them over the phone. A phone call is imperative to control the tone of the conversation and to gather the details that you need. It is so much easier to say no via email (or simply not respond) than it is to say no on the phone.
However, the real reason a phone call is needed is because it is rightly perceived as an expression of interest in them as people. It shows that you are taking the time to call, to welcome and introduce yourself, to ask about them and discover their needs in a personal manner. Don’t wait to call them until you want them to deposit. Call them to discuss their strategy and their plans. It might take a bit of energy to keep fresh, but it is also very rewarding and fun to get to know new people!
Getting to know someone is about listening and not butting in
A wise man once said that sales is 99% about listening and asking questions to understand what the person on the other end wants.
So be quiet and listen!
Ask open questions (What are you looking to get out of this? What is your previous experience with trading? What useful lessons have you found in your trading? Do you think you would be able to apply them now?) and really listen.
Use paraphrasing to make someone feel like you have been listening. This skill also helps you to confirm what is being said and can be used later to convert the client.
Ask them about themselves
Most people like to talk about themselves, and are hard to stop once they get going. Ask follow up questions to show your interest, and highlight anything you have in common. You might even end up liking the people you are talking to!
For a follow up situation, you will need notes. Even the best memories will falter and nothing shows an interest more than attention to personal details.
Address the fundamental need, not the practical need
This is probably the most critical activity. It’s clear that people are taking your call due to an interest in making money. Less obvious though is their underlying reason for engaging which will vary significantly between clients. Yet, it’s that fundamental need that should be the point of your appeal. For you this means addressing the concerns of a person who wants money for their child’s college tuition differently from the client who wants to buy a yacht.
Getting to know your traders is critical to both a sales and retention agent in different ways. Yet, it can also be rewarding both professionally and personally.