Financial Advisors, Swimming, Sales and Social Media

Being really great at what you do doesn't always translate to other skills. For example, how well do you know how to swim? Can you dog paddle, compete in a triathlon or watch the beach as a lifeguard [or a sun bather]?

Now, let's think about business skills. What is the one skill you need to know to master to survive any economy?

Because PR is in this blog's title, I'll give you a few points for that. But, the only real answer is sales. Yes, content marketing is important as is customer relationships - but you can trace every business interaction back to sales.

Thanks to Annette Bau, I'm the sales and social media strategies presenter for the Financial Advisor's Summit. Visit the event online at http://budurl.com/fasummit or read on to find out why I think sales education is a must for every business.

No matter what business you’re in, sales is a survival skill
. I know your time is valuable, that’s why I’m including the presenters’ bios here so you can make an informed decision to attend. By the way, Annette’s arranged for each speaker to provide a free bonus. It’s worth signing up just for that.

We're living in challenging times: markets and marketing is constantly changing.

But, for people who don't know how to sell, markets and marketing conditions don't matter. You see, the more you know about how to create customer relationships and deliver value, the better your sales and your business will be.

How do I know? I'm a former corporate sales trainer for one of the largest health care systems in the country. Although I'm not a national sales manager anymore, I do incorporate what I learned into everything I do.

I know what it's like to build the most successful regional health care insurance office in the country with competitive products and services. I left that position to become a sales rep in Indiana.

Six months later I resigned. With no sales coming in - who wouldn't quit? I transferred to Chicago and within a year my new territory - and the one I left - were leading the company. Ten years later, the relationships in Indiana I thought must be stone cold were still warm when a friend of mine took over my territory for another company. She wound up being their sales leader.

Taking my learnings from highs to lows, I became a national sales trainer on a mission to increase sales - as much as 400%. How did we get such great results? Simple: personalization and customization. From classroom presentations to riding along on sales calls, I worked with sales reps to come together as one team to serve customers.

Today, helping businesses navigate change and grow is what my business is all about.

That's why I wanted to let you know that I'm presenting at the FA Summit, which takes place next week on August 10-12.

It's conducted over the internet so it’s free to attend.

I have to tell you that I don't know any of the other presenters. Except for one, I've never heard them speak. And, I don't get any compensation from speaking or promoting the event. So why did I agree to present?

Because I love talking to people who sell, which means everyone. And, I know that most businesses need more sales education.

One of my favorite creative projects was for the financial services market. A Fortune 50 company engaged my services to create the optimal marketing materials for a fictitious financial planning firm. I made up everything: the logo, the name, the address, the bios, the clients, the statements, the identity and fabric of the firm were formed in my imagination and brought to life in my writing and the designer’s graphics.

So when Annette Bau, asked me to be a social media strategies presenter for the FA Summit, I said yes. Annette is an accomplished financial planner, marketer and an author. We geared the call for beginners in social media and professionals in sales – quite a mix, right? It’s interesting, to me, how regulations set tight guidelines on what financial advisors can say and post on social networks.

Financial Advisors Summit Speakers

All content from FASummit.com . . . .

Sid Walker: Selling Without Wrestling - How to have a 90% closing ratio and an abundance of quality referrals without being pushy or controlling
Sid is a champion of the consultative, relationship-building style of selling and self-promotion. His battle-cry is: "Your main job today is to help the client make informed decisions that feel right to the client!" Sid has successfully coached over 2,500 financial services reps including hundreds of the top people in the business. Sid is the founder of the Selling Without Wrestling Society, author of six books on topics including: interviewing to get more client commitment, how to develop the confidence to prospect for bigger clients, overcoming call reluctance and the fear of self-promotion, and how to "get on a roll" and "stay on a roll" selling financial services.

Michael Beck: Hit Your Marketing Bull’s-eye with D.A.R.T.S. Deep-seated, Action Reflex Trigger Strategies
Michael Beck is a recruiting and marketing specialist and is the nation's leading expert on recruiting independent sales agents. Having helped insurance and financial service professionals for many years, Michael provides new perspectives on how people behave and how to communicate more effectively. He is a regular contributor to many trade publications such as producer’s web, financial services journal, and advisor today. He is also the author of the upcoming book, Stand Apart or Stand Aside.

Annette Bau: The Fast Track to Double Your Income and Success
Annette Bau, CFP™, a Certified Financial Planner™, is the Managing Member of Estate & Retirement Strategies, LLC, A Registered Investment Advisor. She has been a financial planner for over 20 years working with extensively with affluent business owners and women. She is the founder of the MillionDollarMarketingPractices.com and MllionaireSeries.com. Annette has authored books and products including The MillionDollarMarketingSystem.com, The Affluent Women's Marketing Guide, the 7 Principles for becoming a Millionaire for Life and her upcoming book Winning Clients for Life.

Marie Swift: Branding Your Firm from the Inside Out: What You Must Know and Do to Win Market Share Now
Marie Swift is the CEO of Impact Communications. Her firm boasts a long and illustrious list of industry thought leaders, celebrities, and highly-successful advisors-all gleaned effortlessly through attraction-based marketing and PR strategies. She’s one of the top PR experts in the country, as well as an expert in public relations and marketing communication. She is hailed as the ‘Marketing Guru’ by the editors at Investment Advisor Magazine.

Steve Moeller: Capture $10 to $20 Million Dollars in New Investments in 2010
Steve Moeller, president of American Business Visions and author of Effort-Less Marketing for Financial Professionals, is widely regarded as one of the industry's most ingenious business consultants. His unique business-building process, defined as relationship-based niche marketing, has become known as the "Moeller Method." This turnkey system enables advisors to identify and attract clients that are both profitable and fun to work with.

Bill Cates: How to Get Referrals Without Asking for Them
Bill Cates is a world-renowned referral expert and he has basically revolutionized the way financial service professionals generate referrals. He is the author of Unlimited Referrals, Get More Referrals Now and his newly released book (which I love the title), Don't Keep Me a Secret. Bill is the President of Referral Coach International and the creator of Referral Advantage Program. This program has been featured in publications such as Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power and the Wall Street Journal, just to mention a few. His own business success has been featured in Money Magazine.

Bruce Wright: Affluent, discerning clients: How to attract them, serve them and retain them
Bruce R. Wright is Chairman and founder of The Wright Company. He is the author of The Wright Exit Strategy: Wealth, How to Create It, Keep It, and Use It and Macro Strategic Planning® Your Life and Business. For over 20 years, Mr. Wright has been meeting the macro life, business and wealth management needs of discerning, affluent individuals and families. From 1985 through 1989, Mr. Wright was a managing partner for a registered investment advisory firm. Later, as founder of Macro Strategic Design Inc., he began consulting with discerning clients in their individual and family Macro Strategic Planning® needs strictly on a 'uniquely value added' fee only basis.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: The New Normal for Financial Advisor Business Growth
Maribeth Kuzmeski, MBA is author of The Connectors: How the World's Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life (Wiley, September 2009). Creating strong business relationships has been the focus of Kuzmeski’s business and career. Her book, The Connectors, is packed full of tools and techniques aimed at helping readers develop better, more profitable connections—tools and techniques proven effective by some of the world’s most successful professionals.

Richard Weylman: Understanding the Affluent Mind
He is a highly sought after marketing consultant, he draws from his lifetime of experience to help others understand this unique marketplace, overcome obstacles, and grow a profitable business. He is the author of the best selling book, Opening Closed Doors- Keys to Reaching Hard to Reach People. Richards is the found of The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management, an online university for financial professionals and staff to elevate their success in working with the affluent.

Wendy Weiss: Recession Prospecting: How to Build a Strong Sales Pipeline in a Weak Economy
Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling™ is an author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach. She is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development and she helps clients speed up their sales cycle, reach more prospects directly and generate more sales revenue. Wendy has been featured in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power, Sales & Marketing Management and various other business and sales publications. She is the author of various books and programs including Cold Calling Women and Getting Past the Palace Guard.

Ken Varga: Power Methods For Generating Prospects and Referrals
Ken Varga is a businessman who has built 35 successful, profitable businesses in his career of 38 years. One of Ken’s off-line businesses had over 460,000 ongoing customers. Ken is the author of over 300 information products, including the bestselling book, "How to Get Customers to Call, Buy and Beg for More!" All of his works are based on his experiences of developing hundreds of thousands of customers through expert marketing. He has an eye for what works and a way of conveying his knowledge and intuition to his listeners so that they will profit from it immediately…and for years to come.

Mitch Axelrod: Success Secrets of World Class Producers
Mitch Axelrod is the author of The NEW Game of Business™, The NEW Game of Selling™, Sales Alchem™, and more than 50 training programs. He is founder and CEO - Chief Encouragement Officer - of The NEW Game Publishing and Media. Mitch has delivered 3,500 live appearances, radio, television, teleconferences, webcasts, audio and video training to more than one million people from 35 countries. He has been changing the business game since 1978.

Mike Byrnes: How to Grow, Even when the Economy isn’t
Mike Byrnes, founder of Byrnes Consulting, provides business planning and marketing strategy consulting services to help advisors become even more successful. His areas of expertise range from creating business plans that bring results, to the use of social media to market your business. Mike breaks the conventional consulting and coaching model, transcending those traditional relationships by partnering with his clients to develop customized business solutions. Mike has written several articles and is currently providing regular content for www.RIABiz.com.

Barabara Rozgonyi: Savvy Social Media: How to Leverage Social Network Connections into Profitable Business Relationships
Barbara Rozgonyi is a speaker, author and leader of CoryWest Media, LLC,a strategic marketing consultancy firm. As publisher of www.wiredPRworks.com, listed on Alltop and in AdAge’s Power 150, Barbara reports on ways to grow business, build brands, and connect communities. The founder of Chicago’s Social Media Club chapter, Barbara is a frequent keynote speaker, an accomplished corporate trainer, and an experienced educator who’s developed programs for numerous companies, schools and organizations such like Office Depot’s Web Café and the International Social Media Association. As a recognized social media expert, Barbara’s media mentions include inc.com, SOHO magazine, Chicago White Sox magazine, West Suburban Living, Liberty Suburban News, Risk Management Magazine, Nursing Spectrum, Successful-blog.com, to mention a few. She also contributed to the LinkedIn chapter of “Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars,” published by Entrepreneur Press in 2010. Named one of the top 30 PR twitter experts to follow by ereleases.com, Barbara’s digital brand is @wiredprworks, which also the name of her iPhone app.

Do you need help learning to swim in social media? This fall The Social Media Center will begin offering courses. To get on the announcement list, visit SavvySocialMedia.com.

What's your biggest question about sales - or social media?

Thanks to Shutterstock.com for providing images in exchange for credit, which we are happy to give.

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