Sales Training & Curriculum Content Design

How to Sell Securities in Any Market

[Below is a Sample Gretz Consulting Group curriculum for a six-day training program / curriculum in consultative selling for new sales reps in the financial services industry. With minor modifications, this curriculum was used by half a dozen major securities firms for over four years.]

Based upon Drozdeck & Gretz’s best-selling book, The Broker’s Edge: How to Sell Securities in Any Market, this consultative based selling program is designed to help financial reps develop the tools and skills needed to effectively seek out and professionally serve your firm’s clients. By including work from three other texts, Gretz & Drozdeck’s Consultative Selling Techniques for Financial Professional’s, Gretz, Drozdeck & Miller’s Managing Your Business for Success: A Guide for the Financial Consultant, and Drozdeck & Gretz’s Market Strategies workshop, the course will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your reps by enabling them to create and use a personal business plan to seek out and serve clients within your target market. All training includes significant hands on exercises to develop confidence in the participants in their ability to actually face prospects and clients each day. In addition, by emphasizing the importance of effective profiling, putting the customer’s needs first, and constant skills practice, this program also helps to reduce compliance problems wherever it has been taught.

Each course / workshop listed below is followed by a list of learning objectives called “Dos” and “Knows” representing the skills and expertise each participant is expected to demonstrate upon completion of the program / curriculum. Depending upon the desires of your firm, these Dos and Knows are tested in both practical exercises, through written assignments and with paper and pencil tests. Note: a shorter, advanced version of this course has helped over 500 experienced financial advisors to increase both revenues and assets under management [net new money] by an average of over 44 percent within the first year.


Coping With Change

Participants will take part in an exercise in which they are forced to deal with a series of unexpected changes. Upon completion of the exercise participants will discuss their experiences and relate them to the changes they ask of customers every time they meet with them. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Participants will discover a series of understandings regarding the effect of change on clients, staff and themselves.


Introduction to Consultative Selling in the Banking and Securities Industries

and an outline of expectations for the five days of training. [60 minutes]

      • Why are You in Business? The average rep wastes over 80% of their sales presentation time trying to overcome unnecessary resistance that they caused. How to avoid causing resistance by selling from your client’s point of view instead of your own.
      • The 2% Differential. The two percent difference that separates the twenty percent of sales professionals who create eighty percent of a firm’s revenue from the rest of the pack.
      • The Character of Leadership. Great leaders share eight key character traits that set them apart from the “also-rans.” They include the ability to make and keep commitments; the willingness to accept responsibility and the willingness to sacrifice for something or someone greater than themselves. However, great leaders aren’t just born, they are self-made. Participants will explore the concept of character and set personal character growth goals that will increase their level of success in every endeavor.
      • Why Consultative Selling Works and Traditional Sales Techniques Don’t.


Writing Your Mission Statement

Helps participants to define why they are in business and how they see both their various roles as well as their “mission” relative to each role. It has been suggested that great leaders have a story to tell. Your mission statement provides the core theme of your story. [50 minutes]

      • Write rough draft of an initial mission statement.

      • Understand difference between mission and value statements.
      • Understand how the mission statement relates to each role they fill at work, home and community.
      • Understand the relationship of the mission statement to their strategic plan.
      • Definition and importance of a mission statement.
      • Understand the purpose of a mission statement.
      • How to involve others in the creation of a mission plan (e.g., boss, clients, co-workers, team, spouse, etc.).


Key Communications Skills

The psychology of effective probing, building, bridging, analogies, acknowledging and analogies. Practice exercises are included throughout. [50 – 100 minutes]

      • Demonstrate ability to correctly use all four kinds of probes.
      • Demonstrate proficiency in building and bridging during a conversation.
      • Demonstrate proficiency in various forms of acknowledging.
      • Use analogies to explain complex financial products and concepts.
      • Recognize congruities and incongruities in their own and customers’ conversation.

      • Understand the psychology of probing and correctly define each kind of probe.
      • Understand how to maximize the effectiveness of any conversation / meeting with a prospect or client.


Rapport and the Power of Thinking / Speaking in Positives: An Introduction

Participants will learn how to establish deep and lasting openness and trust in any relationship in moments instead of weeks. Whether we are positive or negative has a powerful affect on our productivity as well as those around us. Participants will experience the impact on their performance of even minor changes in the way they think. [2-3 hours]

      • Demonstrate each key element of rapport (e.g., posture, speech, breathing, etc.) and apply it in a variety of situations.
      • Demonstrate effects of positive versus negative thinking and speaking on themselves and those around them.
      • Apply the principles of the mind-body connection to their own motivation.

      • Understand the six elements of rapport (i.e., body rapport, pacing & leading, speaking in positives, congruity, mutual interests, testing for rapport).
      • Understand the effects of positive versus negative thinking and speaking on themselves and clients.


CLAP: What did you say?

Making sure what you hear is what they mean. Using the CLAP technique to handle client/prospect questions, stalls and objections. Exercises dealing with common questions, stalls and objections. [50 – 100 minutes]

      • Demonstrate the ability to apply the CLAPping technique to a variety of customer concerns and “resistance.”

      • Understand the components of CLAPping (clarify, legitimize, acknowledge and probe) and how each works in responding to client needs.
      • How to apply CLAPping to a variety of situations (e.g., customer anger, confusion, anxiety, etc.).


Setting Business Goals: Your Strategic Plan

Provides a simple formula for developing and evaluating your strategic/long-term goals as well as the reasons why many goals fail. [50 – 100 minutes]
1. Six steps of effective goal setting.
2. Why goals fail. How to/Chance to/Want to modal.
3. Writing a plan to achieve your goal(s).
4. Selecting synergistic not competing goals.
5. Evaluating your plan: the Real/Win/Worth Model.
6. Goal writing exercise.

      • Create one or more goals following six-step process.
      • Evaluate goal using HT/CT/WT model.
      • Compare goals to determine if they are synergistic or competing.
      • Prioritize goals.
      • Evaluate plan using Real/Win Worth Model.
      • Combine plans for several goals to achieve maximum use of resources.

      • How to create effective goals.
      • Understand how to evaluate goals using HT/WT/CT model.
      • Understand how to evaluate a plan.
      • How to avoid competing personal, business and social goals.


Intermediate & Short-term Goals

Break long-term goals into more manageable intermediate and short-term goals around which you can build a workable plan for their achievement. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Participants will create a working plan to achieve one or more of their long-term goals along with it’s attendant intermediate- and short-term goals.


Managing Your Day-to-Day Activities: Establishing Your Critical Few Objectives

Will help you manage your time effectively as well as set priorities based upon those “Critical few” responsibilities and activities needed to achieve your goals. [100 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Participants will analyze all activities and responsibilities within their plan and select those few critical to the plan’s success and use them to prioritize their time.


Selecting Your Target Market

In every business eighty percent of revenues are generated by only twenty percent of the customers. Participants will learn how to select the best prospective customer base to help based upon the demographics of the area they serve, their own current clients and the products and services available. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Make an effective analysis of their market area and select qualified prospects based upon the key demographics they have selected.


Introduction to Prospecting Skills

Every year customers are lost due to death, relocation or discontent with service. Participants will learn and best practices for obtaining new clients based upon their target market. [200 minutes]
1. Why prospect?
2. Finding / creating lists of qualified prospects.
3. The prospecting track: making first contact

      • Opener
      • Body of the presentation
      • the customer for a need.
      • Closing for an appointment

4. Getting referrals from customers who “aren’t interested now.”
5. Organizing the prospecting process.
6. Scripts that win.
7. Prospecting Exercise.

      • Create and use effective scripts for initial and follow up calls.
      • Research lists of qualified prospects.
      • Ask for referrals.
      • Organize effective prospecting.

      • How to qualify a prospect before and during a prospecting contact.
      • At least three different prospecting techniques.


Introduction to Financial Profiling

Participants will learn the art and psychology of eliciting clients’ needs / goals and the key information needed to present products and services as solutions. Using seven key questions they will work with clients to identify and define investment goals / objectives and create a true partnership with clients. [50 – 100 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Identify and define a prospects key investment objectives and elicit their commitment to act upon appropriate solutions.


The Sales Track

The key to closing any sale is to make the product or service relevant to your client. Participants will learn how to use the key information gathered during profiling to effectively present solutions to clients’ needs. [150 minutes]

1. Effective sales presentations: review parameters of the need/solution; match product/service features with parameters of the need/solution; the body of the presentation.
2. Getting the close.
3. Follow-up and follow-through.
4. Getting referrals.
5. Writing effective product & service presentations.
6. Selling exercise.

      • Write an effective presentation for one product and one service.
      • Present at least one product and one service.

      • Explain the entire sales process.
      • Ask for a referral.


Defining Your Business: Thirteen Critical Questions

Workshop explores 13 value-adding questions every financial professional should be able to answer regarding their business and market. These 13 questions are often asked by large clients. Format: Lecture and small group exercise. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Fully understand both your own business AND your competition
      • Communicate the value of your services to your clients and prospects.


An Introduction to Customer “Buying Motivations”

Everyone has several criteria they use to make decisions. 98% of all people unconsciously, primarily emphasize those features, advantages and benefits of a product / Service which match their own criteria. In this workshop, participants will not only discover their own key criteria, they will also practice eliciting criteria from others and then matching those criteria while making a presentation. [50 minutes]

      • Confidently elicit client buying motivations / hot buttons during a presentation.

      • Know your own hot buttons.
      • Understand the importance of individual hot buttons to any presentation.


Psychological Profiling

Based upon an intuitive and easy to use system to understand and overcome customers’ hidden emotional agendas. [100 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Recognize the four personality types and their hidden emotional agendas and demonstrate effective strategies for neutralizing them.


An Introduction to Advanced Communications

Speaking the customer’s “private language” to match how they think and process information during prospecting and sales presentations. [100 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • List and define the four personality types.
      • Identify each personality type when presented.

Motivation and Monitoring will help you develop outside resources of support and encouragement by working with one or more other participants in friendly competition (partnering), as well as forming your own board of advisors / directors to help provide guidance and accountability. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Participants will create a board of advisors for their business.


An Introduction to Managing Stress

Stress is the single greatest cause of lost productivity in business. Research has shown that learning to manage stress not only makes employees happier and healthier, but significantly increase their productivity while reducing turnover. [50 – 100 minutes]

      • Participants will make plans to take control of stressful activities and events in their lives.

      • Participants will recognize signs of stress in their lives and ways to take control.


Creating a Client Service Matrix

How to analyze and segment your customer base to create an effective service model. Ritz Carlton levels of service are expected by large clients, who are also willing to pay for it. However, it cannot be provided to all clients as it becomes more expensive. [50 minutes]

      Dos & Knows
      • Select the criteria to use to segment your clients.
      • Define and follow the level of service for each segment.


Market Strategies

The use of Economic, Fundamental, Technical and Quantitative Analysis in the Top-Down and Bottom-Up approaches to securities selection in bull and bear markets. [200 minutes]
      Dos & Knows
      • Participants will demonstrate the ability to explain the techniques used by top money managers to select securities for their clients.


Putting It All Together

This powerful, four-part exercise takes the participants through the entire process of prospecting and profiling a prospect, selecting an appropriate solution for their need and making a sales presentation. In the process it pulls everything they have learned together into a meaningful whole while reinforcing key skills and acts as an effective practical final exam. [300 – 350 minutes]