Sales - How To Close the Credibility Gap

10/19/2016 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2017

One of the biggest things I see new Advisors struggling with is the notion that they are not credible yet. The belief that because they have less than a year in the profession, it's unlikely prospective clients will take them seriously.

Certainly if you believe that, it will be true!

And wow - what a debilitating belief it is! The outcomes of that mindset are predictable. You will avoid prospecting! And when you do force yourself to get in front of people, your communication will be tentative and unsure. You may find yourself apologizing and using language that minimizes the power of what you say. Prospects pick up on that and politely decline your services.

It's natural to feel overly aware of your status as a newbie. And of course with experience, you will deepen your knowledge and build your confidence. You will earn the added credibility that comes with a proven track record. But that doesn't mean that you have to wait to feel - and communicate - a strong personal sense of commitment and values that will connect with your prospects as a feeling of trust and credibility.

This doesn't just apply to young Advisors. I have worked with many new financial professionals who made a lateral move from another career. Some of them are in their 50's, with a lifetime of experience, and yet don't know how to leverage that in their prospecting.

They have left their former career perhaps through downsizing, or a geographical move or just wanted a change in lifestyle. Whatever the reason, they moved from a position where they had decades of experience and the confidence and credibility to go with it to wo a whole different arena. They haven't been newbies in a long time, and they are just as uncomfortable as Advisors who are newly graduated from business school.

If either of these scenarios applies to you, the fastest way to gain your swagger (or get it back), is to find our credibility within.

There are two lenses to look through as you go about this: Your personal values, and the needs of your clients.

What do clients really look for?

For someone to trust you with their money and future, they are looking for an Advisor who has the necessary skills, obviously, but even more importantly, they look for certain personality traits. High on the list are integrity, trustworthiness, genuine caring, and a sense of ownership - a commitment to excellence that goes beyond just filing documents on time.

When your prospect sees that these core values are in place, they relax because they instinctively know you will recommend products based on what's right for them, not based on what remuneration is involved. They trust that you will be meticulous with details and diligent with follow-up. That you will be consultative. You will listen. You will do your very best to care for them and their family.

Any Advisor, even someone fresh out of school, has enough life experience to have formed core values. Take a few minutes to review the traits clients look for, and then dip into your personal history for situations where you exhibited them yourself.

How did that value take root? Why is it so important to you? Tell that story and connect the dots so your prospective client understands why it translates into excellent service for them.

Taking the time to reflect on why you are credible as a person will give you a rock solid sense of self and the confidence to approach any potential client for business.

If your prospecting skills aren't bringing in the business you want, and you want to better articulate your credibility, get coaching support! Your ability to sell is the gateway to your success. Ready to take action? Click here to book a complementary call with Kira to see if coaching is a fit for you.