This plan may suit:
- Retired and other investors who need to preserve capital and earn regular income.
6. Encourage Regular Investment
Advise your clients to invest early and stick to a regular investment plan. This will help them to make more money because the power of compounding enables your clients to earn income on income and their money to multiply at compounded rates.
7. Commit Them to Invest
The best plans and the best choice of investments are of little use unless your clients act upon them and invest. Ensure that your clients give you the commitment for their investment. Be ready with application forms and other documents and if necessary, help them to complete the paperwork and bank the cheques.
8. Provide Personalized After Sales Service
One of the most important responsibilities of a professional agent is to provide prompt, efficient and courteous service. You can build up lasting relationships by providing your clients personalized services such as:
- making periodic calls to see if they need any help with their investments;
- getting in touch if there is a great deal of fluctuation in market prices which may be of concern to them;
- assessing any change in their personal circumstances which may call for a review oof the financial plan recommended by you.
- informing them of new schemes and products that could be useful to them;
- following up with the Mutual Fund if your clients have experienced a service related problem with their investments.
Stay in touch with your clients on a regular basis. You will not only get more business from them, but you can also earn the business of their friends and relatives by getting positive references from them.
SELLING TIPS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW
The previous section dealt with what you need to know about Mutual Fund and how to deal with clients. This section will outline seven useful and practical tips for becoming a successful sales person. These concepts are applicable not only to Mutual Funds, but are practised by sales people in many industries all over the world.
1. Strengthen your prospecting skills to build a strong client base
To build a successful agency business you need to establish a strong client base - one that you can keep adding to. This means that a lot of your effort should be directed at finding or prospecting for new clients.
As a first step, you will need to generate a list of people who could become your potential clients. It could be based on membership of a club, association, professional group, etc. for which lists are readily available. Or you could select a particular locality in your town where you feel the residents may make good clients.
Make contacts by either mailing or calling personally:
- Direct Mailing - involves sending your potential clients a mailer describing how you can help them and then following-up with telephone calls to fix appointments.
- Personal Calling - involves calling potential clients (telephonically/personally) with or without prior notice and explaining how you could be of use to them.
As it is the first contact between you and the potential client, you must be prepared for a low sucess rate. However, these methods are essential to build-up and expand your client base.
The second approach which is more effective is to gain referrals from your clients. This means getting the names of their friends and relatives whom you could contact. It could be vountary on the part of your clients or you could specifically request that they help with referrals. Here your chances of converting a "potential" to a regular client are higher, as your potential clients are reassured by the positive references on you recieved from someone they know.
2. Ask questions and listen to the answers
Whenyou ask your prospective clients a lot of investment related questions, you are telling them that you are concerned about their financial well-being. Investors give the right answers if they are asked the right questions. However, asking questions is not enough. You must listen to the responses and take notes if necessary because clients' answers are a vital input to developing a proper investment plan for them.
3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The more time you spend on preparing, the more comfortable you will feel and the easier it will be for you to convince your clients. Preparation should cover all possible aspects relating to your client and the potential investment opportunities.
Preparation should include a thorough understanding of specifics of the investments you are selling:
- refreshing your product knowledge;
- trying to know more about your prospective clients;
- preparing tables, charts, reports etc. which help clients understand opportunities;
- anticipating client questions and preparing your responses;
- outlining and practicing what you are going to say when you meet your client.
Or it could also include preparation on broader and more general subjects such as:
- the growth and status of the Mutual Fund industry
- fund concepts and new types of fund investments
- changes in the markets or government policies
- how market and regulatory reforms are helping to create increased efficiency, transparency and competition among Mutual Funds for the benefit of investors.
Whatever you say, you must say it with confidence and conviction, which comes from understanding your product and the market and lots of practice. All successful people in any field attribute their success to preparation and practice.
4. Practice basic etiquette and courtesies
In any relationship which depends on trust and confidence, being courteous and presenting yourself professionally is very important. While building confidence in your clients through your knowledge and ability could take years, their faith in you could be eroded, in minutes, if you show discourtesy or lack of professionalism. Therefore, keep the following courtesies in mind:
- Be smartly dressed amd make a favourable first impression;
- Don't just drop in on a client. Take an appointment;
- Having taken an appointment, don't be late;
- Spend a minute or so making polite enquiries;
- Present yourself as warm, approachable and thoroughly professional;
- Do not waste your client's time. Finish your business quickly and leave.
5. Get the most out of your Mutual Fund
To be able to sell Mutual Schemes effectively, you need to insist on total support from the Mutual Fund managing the schemes. Ensure that you ask for their product literature, latest investment strategies and details of new products and initiatives. And use this information to communicate with your clients. In addition, you need to pass on any feedback obtained from your clients to the Mutual Fund to enable it to be responsive to your client's needs.
6. Stay visible and keep in touch
Many times it may happen that the markets decline and your investors incur a short-term loss in the investments you have recommended. At such times, the tendency is to avoid calling on your client's because you are worried that they may have a negative reaction. But it is in such adverse circumstances that your clients need your reassurance most of this is when your visit or call will be most appreciated. By staying in touch and communicating in difficult times, you build lasting relationships.
7. Set goals for yourself and determine to be successful
The first and the most important step in becoming a successful agent is to have a desire for achievement. This involves setting specific goals such as "I want to increase my monthly commission from Rs. 5,000 to Rs 8,000" or "I want to add 10 new clients every month" or "I want to have a new office by year end". Write these goals down and monitor your progress.
After you have decided what you want to accomplish, the next step is to work out your stategies to achieve these goals. Strategies could include "Do 100 direct mailers each month" or "Call 3 new prospects everyday" or "Add on a new Mutual Fund to represent this year" or "Add 3 corporate clients in the next 3 months". Review your goals and action plans periodically to ensure you are on track and if neccessary increase your efforts to achieve the level of success you desire.
EIGHT KEYS TO SELLING MUTUAL FUNDS
- Know Your Products
- Know Your Clients
- Prioritize Your Clients
- Understand Your Client's Needs
- Help Them Choose Their Investments
- Encourage Regular Investment
- Commit Them to Invest
- Provide Personalised After Sales Service
Give a professional touch to your job. Keep in regular touch with your clients. Remember always, a satisfied and well looked after client is an important asset to your profession.