Episode 61 : 08/22/2018

Overcoming client objections

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Sarano Kelley

Co-Founder
The Kelley Group

Hosts:

Ben D. Jones
Managing Director - Intermediary Distribution
BMO Global Asset Management

Emily Larsen
Product Strategy Manager
BMO Global Asset Management

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Objection handling is a communication skill that many financial advisors struggle with – whether it’s with recommendations for existing clients or prospective clients dragging their feet. How do you put established habits and status quo bias aside to overcome objections in your practice? Our guest in this episode stresses the importance of emotional intelligence.

Sarano Kelley, author and co-founder of The Kelley Group, joins the podcast to discuss the communication techniques you can use to overcome objections. Plus, Sarano shares his process of asking for referrals, something that often feels a bit uncomfortable to do.

In this episode:

  • Training early and often can improve objection handling
  • Are there certain client life cycles where advisors encounter the most objections?
  • Create agreement and understanding, not inadvertent conflict
  • Deciding when to be persistent and when to cut bait
  • Referrals, done right

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Transcript

Sarano Kelley – We all know that a person in this business can be absolutely brilliant, literally like a rocket scientist at investments, but if they can’t communicate, it doesn’t make a difference.

Ben Jones – Welcome to Better conversations. Better outcomes. presented by BMO Global Asset Management.  I’m Ben Jones.

Emily Larsen – And I’m Emily Larsen.  In each episode, we’ll explore topics relevant to today’s trusted financial advisors, interviewing experts and investigating the world of wealth advising from every angle.  We’ll also provide you with actionable ideas designed to improve outcomes for advisors and their clients.

Ben Jones – To access the resources we discuss in today’s show, or just to learn more about our guests, visit bmogam.com/betterconversations.  Again, that’s bmogam.com/betterconversations.  Thanks for joining us.

Emily Larsen – Before we get started, one quick request. If you have enjoyed the show and found them a value, please take a moment to leave us a rating or review on iTunes. It would really mean a lot to us.

Disclosure – The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of BMO Global Asset Management, its affiliates, or subsidiaries.

Ben Jones – The couple of things that I need to get on tape, if you could do me a favor and just state your name, title, and organization.

Sarano Kelley – Sarano Kelley, co-founder of the Kelley Group.

Ben Jones – When you’re out with friends, and family, and folks out for dinner, and somebody asks you what you do, how do you describe that?

Sarano Kelley – I have the honor and the privilege of providing coaching training to the elite leadership and top producers of the largest financial firms on Wall Street, and that work includes not just increased productively in business, but I’m glad to say it includes having higher and better life balance.

Ben Jones – Do you want to share where you are recording today, where you’re sitting?

Sarano Kelley – My office in Pasadena, California.  For a New York boy, I can say that once one gets addicted to the weather here, it’s hard to go back.

Emily Larsen – We’ve had several listeners ask us to address how to overcome client and prospect objections through better conversations.  So we sought out an expert on advisor communication.  It’s been a long journey from New York City to Pasadena for Sarano Kelley.  He got his start at Leeman Brothers, making cold calls, and then found a mentor who taught him advanced communication skills.  Seeing a need for advisors to build more effective communication and hone their business skills, he began speaking and coaching across the country.  He wrote a book called The Game, that provided a process for people to achieve higher levels of success, and his new book, Reversing the Deal Flow, teaches 34 techniques to get prospects asking to do business with you, rather than the other way around.

Ben Jones – Sarano had a lot of amazing lessons related to our topic, and a lot of them came from real life examples.  Whether you have a prospect that’s so close to hiring you, but just keeps dragging their feet, or maybe you have a client who leaves you for another advisor.  We’re going to dive into the communication techniques that you can use to master the tricky territory of objections.  And as an added bonus, Sarano also shared his process of asking for referrals, something that oftentimes feels a bit uncomfortable.

Emily Larsen – First, Ben talks to Sarano about why so many advisors tell us that they’ve had issues overcoming objections.

Ben Jones – We have a lot of advisors that listen to the show and a lot of them write in and tell us about situations where they have various forms of objections that they’re dealing with, resistance from existing clients or prospects to work with them, and I want to talk with you a little bit about how advisors can think about overcoming these objections and resistance.  So maybe I should start first with you talk to more advisors maybe than I do, why do you believe most advisors struggle with objection management.

Sarano Kelley – I believe that it is literally entirely a lack of training and that most advisors are basically making it up as they go.  I mean, look at it this way, Ben, just by contrast.  If you wanted to be a surgeon, we wouldn’t actually have you do enough surgeries and kill enough people to wait until we could see that you were able to do it right.  If we were training you to fly planes, we wouldn’t wait to see how many you crash before you learn how to fly it right.  What we would do is we would train you first, right, and then we would actually, after seeing you succeed, allow you to actually then engage.  Well, the industry is a very interesting beast.  The reality is, we don’t know who’s going to make it.  We don’t know who’s going to survive.  We don’t know who’s going to be good.  So inevitably, the process is one of bringing people in, giving them a shot, and then seeing if they have what it takes to make it.  You would think, well, okay, then that’s great.  Well, once they make it, then what’ll happen is we’ll train them.  But the problem is that by then, they’ve already established a set of habits.  Those habits may not be the best way, they may not be the right way, but to them, they’re the only way.  A person doesn’t think what they don’t know.  So literally, there are folks that I coach who are managing several billions in assets, very, very successful advisors, and there are certain basic things about objection management that when I videotape them and roleplay with them, they’re shocked to realize that their skills have not really improved from the day they first started, that to this day, they still say the same things that they said when they first started in the business, and that those things, quite frankly, rarely work.  So it’s a combination of what I would call sort of the early trauma of having to create a way to cope and survive, combined with a lack of training before that happens that has many advisors feel like they’re not that good at handling objections, when I would say, hey, it’s not that you’re not good, you’re just not trained.

Ben Jones – Oftentimes when you say the term objection management, you immediately kind of turn to the prospecting stage or the selling part of the client life cycle.  I’m curious from your perspective as to what stage of the client life cycle you believe commands the most skill and knowledge for objection management on an advisor’s part.

Sarano Kelley – I believe that a lot of what shows up as objections is really not objections.  It’s actually prior issues in the process that either never got handled or were because of a lack of process, issues were created.  So if we take a look at sales as having four cycles and we imagine it like a wheel or a compass, at the very top of that compass would be the word, leverage.  What we mean by leverage is all the ways that advisors go about gaining access to people: cold calling, joining a country club, seminars, referrals, networking.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  Those are all forms of leverage.  To the side of the circle is the word, rapport, because after leverage, the next issue is do I like you.  Then from there, at the very bottom of the circle is the word, relationship, which is do I trust you.  To the left of the circle and what completes the circle is the word, recommendation, which is why I do business with you.  The circle flows leverage, rapport, relationship, and recommendation.  What it basically means is if I’ll see you, and I like you, and I trust you, odds are good that I’m going to do business with you.  It literally looks to advisors like — they don’t say once I have leverage.  They say, once I get in front of people, I’m really good, and many of them may very well be good.  But it really looks like I made a recommendation and now it stalled or now the person is not really returning my communication.  It feels like something happened at the end.  If we take a look at it in many cases, it didn’t happen at the end.  For example, in some cases, the way that the advisor met the person or whoever introduced the advisor to the person may not have been trained in how to best position the advisor.  I’ve had advisors tell me all the time, oh yeah, I get my new clients through referrals.  I’m like, great.  That’s great, that’s awesome.  Great way to go about.  I’m just curious, do you know the people who are referring you, what they’re saying about you.  They’re like, what do you mean.  Have you asked them to repeat back to you what they’re telling people about you.  They’re like, well, no.  Then they presume that because someone is talking to them, that must mean that the person likes them, and yet when I videotape advisors and they have a chance to see their own communication skill-set, they can see that they’re often making a lot of unconscious mistakes.  Like they’re clearly not listening when someone is talking because they’re busy thinking about what they’re going to say.  Or you can see the impatience as they begin to want to get out the wisdom that they have.  This can only be seen on tape because no one does it on purpose.  So by the time we get to the end, even the client or the prospect feels like they’re literally having an issue with the timing or they’re literally having an issue with the pricing, when the issue is, they don’t trust the person or the issue is they realize they don’t really like the person.  But it’s hard to admit that, and so it’s easier to give some other reason, and it shows up like an objection.  Most objections, I believe are perpetuated by the way the advisor is selling from the very beginning, and not necessarily because the person has an issue with the recommendation.

Ben Jones – These areas really go to the sales process, and so early in the prospect stage of the client life cycle.  How do these issues manifest themselves once they’re already a client, when the advisor is recommending that they change a fund or stop taking money out of their IRAs, etc.

Sarano Kelley – Well, it manifests, I would say in its most negative form as someone taking the advice, doing what the person said, secretly resenting them, then when it doesn’t work out or the market goes down, blaming the advisor and then basically bailing and moving to someone else.  Right, by then it looks like this relationship was great, but then suddenly out of nowhere, this person just decided to move their account.  You take a look at relationships and when relationships end, it is rarely ever because of one thing.  It is typically an accumulation of things.  But most advisors are not in touch with the accumulation.  Just because someone does something or buys something, doesn’t mean that they were fully sold on it, meaning they may not have fully understood why this was the right way to go.  They might have bought into what the advisor said, but the individual did not have their own understanding, so they have no responsibility.  So when things don’t go their way, they blame it on the advisor.

Ben Jones – So how can advisor avoid that?  How can they get to that point where when the client agrees to their recommendation or gives them the authority to execute a recommendation, how do they get to the point where the advisor knows that the client truly understands and is on board with it?  Is it non-verbals, is it all verbal?

Sarano Kelley – Well, one very simple facet of that is literally checking in with the person as they’re communicating.  So if I go to make a recommendation to you and there’s this torrent of information, at the end of which you’re expected to make a decision, you might just sign off on it because it seems a bit socially impolite to go back and go, I didn’t actually understand what that meant, I didn’t really get why that’s important, because there’s at that point, way too much data and there’s social politeness.  That’s really the advisor’s fault.  It was up to them to be reading some of the non-verbal cues, as you mentioned, but also to be frequently checking in with the person, not merely just blasting through a recommendation because it makes sense to you and you’re in love with it.  You could literally take a look at an advisor when I tape them make a recommendation, and count the number of times that they literally check in with a person, and you will see that with some people there’s no checking in.  It’s like they end the presentation and it’s almost like ta-da, right, and they’re waiting for applause.  Whereas other advisors you can tell are very methodical.  They’re very in tune with the other person.  They’ll even notice when someone has a quizzical look on their face, and say, let me just check in with you.  I sense that perhaps that last statement might require clarification.  Would you like me to go further into that?  The person looks relieved and goes, you know, I’m glad you said that.  Yeah, I really wasn’t getting exactly why you thought that that was something that we should be doing right now.  These advisors are exhibiting a very high level of EQ.

Emily Larsen – A very high level of EQ, or emotional intelligence, is something that Sarano stresses as being just as important in this industry as IQ.  If you can’t get the client to overcome their objections, the smartest financial plan in the world isn’t going to help you.

Ben Jones – Next, Sarano and I talk about referrals.  Many advisors I talk with say that they get most of their business from referrals.  But then when I asked them when the last time they got a new client from a referral was, they can’t always remember.  So I really wanted to ask Sarano if the advisors that he speaks with are actually getting clients from referrals.  It’s interesting to me that we had Steve Moore on the show a little over a year ago, and he said asking clients for referrals is something that about 90% of clients feel is an uncomfortable situation.  Why would you do something specifically that puts them in an uncomfortable situation?  So I have to imagine based on that statement, that this is one of the parts of discussions that advisors have with their clients where they get a lot of objections.  Can you walk me through maybe some examples of how you think referrals can be done right in a way that doesn’t insight objections by the client?

Sarano Kelley – Absolutely, and this goes back to the prior part of our conversation.  When we see a problem downstream, it looks like it occurred downstream, but the problem actually began upstream.  I’ll give you an example.  Most advisors legitimately find asking for a referral uncomfortable.  But you might think to yourself, well, why is that?  They’re salespeople.  They’re used to asking for things.  Yeah, but this is different.  The reality is, is that when you ask someone for a referral, you’re asking for a favor.  You are putting yourself in a position of vulnerability.  When you’re selling, you’re the expert and you’re in the dominant position.  When you’re asking for a referral, you’re no longer in the dominant position.  Naturally, this sense of vulnerability is uncomfortable, but if you take a look at the way that we coach advisors to ask for referrals, even the way that it begins gets out in front of those behaviors that cause objections.  So let’s say Ben that you and I had just ended a client review, everything was going great, and I had put on the agenda, which I share with you before the meeting began, that one of the subjects would be personal introductions.  Let’s say that I even told you at the beginning of the meeting when I walked you through the agenda, hey Ben, at the end I’m going to introduce a new subject.  You’ll see that the bullet point is personal introductions.  I’ll explain more about what that means and why that’s there once we handle everything that’s important to you.  So then you and I now go through this meeting.  Again, let’s presume that meeting went well, things are going well, everything is flowing.  At the end of the meeting, I would check and make sure that you’re fully satisfied.  Ben, is there anything that I missed?  Anything you wish I spent more time on?  Anything you feel that I should’ve covered?  You’re like, no, actually I’m great.  That was great.  Everything that I was looking to cover, we covered.  I would say, remember how at the beginning of the conversation, I went through an agenda and I shared with you that one of the items was personal introductions.  You would say, yeah.  What I would then say to you is, I want to have a conversation with you about that, but I’d like to acknowledge up-front that that conversation may be a bit uncomfortable for me.  If I were going to phrase it another way, I might say, Ben, I want to discuss the subject with you of personal introductions, but I want to acknowledge up-front that I feel a bit awkward having the conversation.  Why is this necessary?  Because most advisors, if I put a blood pressure cuff meter on you, when you go to ask for a referral, your blood pressure goes up.  The reality is, is that most people think they merely feel uncomfortable when I videotape you, which you can see you don’t just feel uncomfortable, you actually look uncomfortable.  People get flushed, they begin to have rapid eye blink, they begin to look away, all of a sudden, we see swallowing.  There’s some shift and the prospect, in this case, client, doesn’t really know why something shifted.  All they know is you seem uncomfortable.  Now Ben, let me ask you a question.  If I’m uncomfortable asking you for something, how comfortable do you think that makes you feel giving it to me?  What would your reaction be?

Ben Jones – Yeah, I mean if I saw that you were nervous, I would think we were doing something wrong.

Sarano Kelley – It really looks that way, right?  It would really look that way, right?  This is not good.  So the last thing that a person would ever think to do is to actually say what’s true and what’s so.  They’re not intentionally lying.  That’s not what I’m saying.  What I’m saying is most people don’t think to be authentic.  It is the last thing that they would think to do, but it is that which is most powerful because it’s also that which is most effective and that which is most true. And that when a person let’s someone know, hey Ben, forgive me.  I may be a little bit awkward having this conversation with you, which is why I haven’t had it in the past.  If you were also as a client feeling uncomfortable, Ben, all of a sudden, it feels like there’s parity because I’m uncomfortable and you’re uncomfortable.  That’s very different than a situation where I’m acting all cool, calm, and collected, and trying to be slick, where you’re sitting there and your chair, squirming a bit, thinking I’m not comfortable with this conversation.  It would be better for both of us to be able to communicate if I can own the fact that I’m uncomfortable.  Now, is that something that we typically hear in most “referral request” scripts or programs?  The answer is no.  I can’t necessarily explain why there is a tendency to want to posture, pretend, or pose, but the folks that I coach, the ones that I coach, they definitely prefer the more authentic approach.  You can imagine that let’s say I hadn’t said that, and let’s say that you’re sitting here thinking, this is a bit uncomfortable for me.  I’ve got your money, so you’re smiling, right.  We’re having a pleasant conversation.  Then I get to, you know, I was wondering, and all of a sudden I make this referral request, and you’re thinking to yourself, I feel uncomfortable, but I don’t know how to get out of this.  Let me tell them no one comes to mind, but I’ll think about it.  That’s what you say.  Then as an advisor, I’m like, I don’t want push you because I don’t want to break rapport with you, so I’m like, that’s great, and then nothing happens.  That’s what typically happens.

Emily Larsen – One of Sarano’s techniques for overcoming objections is to create agreement and understanding between you and your client, instead of creating conflict when you don’t mean to.  He illustrates this point using two common examples that may have happened to you in your practice.

Sarano Kelley – Well, one of my favorite objections that people are frustrated with, most of the time you will get an objection or a response that sounds like this: hey Ben, I’m really glad that our friend suggested that you reach out to me, but I’ve got to tell you, I’ve actually already got several advisors.  In fact, believe it or not, I’ve got a family member in the business.  You know, you sound like a nice guy, Ben, and I really appreciate us being connected, but I’m just not looking for another advisor.  Now, many advisors would hear that objection and become a bit disenchanted.  But then I say to them, would you rather call someone up and have them say to you, hey, I’m glad you called me.  I’m broke, I’m lonely, and I could use a friend.  Right, that’s probably not the response that you want.  Right? This person is basically saying, I’m an investor.  I value advice.  I value relationships.  But because we don’t know how to handle that situation in most cases, we take one or two passes at the person maybe, and if they’re not responsive, we fold up tent and we go home.  There’s a very simple way that I work with advisors to show them how the process works in a situation which they should be in a lot.  One should be in many situations because you’re really out there connecting with people, having people tell you, hey, I’ve got great relationships, I’m already covered.  So the way the process works is to follow a particular flow.  What most advisors do is someone will give them that objection, and they’ll say something like, well, no one has a monopoly on good ideas or jeez, like a doctor, you should get a second opinion, but rarely do those comebacks work.  The reason why they don’t work is because fundamentally, what you’re saying to the person is you’re wrong.  Instead, what I have them do is I have them actually replay what the person said.  So Ben, let me have you say to me, you know Sarano, I’ve got several advisors, I’ve got a brother in the business, I don’t need another advisor.  So say that to me.

Ben Jones – You know Sarano, my brother is an advisor, I also have a couple other advisors that I bounce ideas off of.  I think I’m advisored out.

Sarano Kelley – You know, it sounds to me like based on what you said, you have really a lot of great counsel and you even have a family member in the business.  Am I understanding you correctly?

Ben Jones – Yeah, that’s right.

Sarano Kelley – You see, what advisors don’t realize is what I just did with you is I created agreement.  You see, had I have given you some snappy comeback, like well, jeez, I’m sure it’s difficult for your brother to be objective.  We are able to give you objective advice.  You feel like I’m attacking your brother.  That’s what people normally do.  They create disagreement.  What I just did was I just basically rephrased what you said, which was a level of agreement, and then you verified the accuracy what I said, which is additional agreement.  The very next thing that I would say to you is I would acknowledge you because I know my goal is to keep you wanting to communicate with me.  So what I would say to you is, I want to thank you, Ben, for being very up-front and I want to thank you for being such a straight shooter.  Now who doesn’t like being acknowledged period and who doesn’t like being acknowledged for being a straight shooter, right?  Most people are going to be like enjoying that experience.  But because I’ve been building rapport with you, you will likely allow me to explain something to you.  So Ben, here’s what I would say to you.  Ben, I want to thank you for being a straight shooter.  Can I ask you just one quick thing before I let you go?  Most people at this point would say, yeah, okay.  One thing.  Ben, are you familiar with what they call the low man on the totem pole effect?  So Ben, have you ever heard of what they call the low man on the totem pole effect.  Have you heard of that?

Ben Jones – I haven’t.

Sarano Kelley – I bet you if I asked you to rank all the advisors that you’re working with from the best to the worst, and I’m not going to ask you to do that, Ben.  But I bet you that you could tell me who’s at the top, but more importantly, I bet you, you could probably tell me who’s at the bottom.  Would that be fair to say, Ben?  Would that be fair to say?

Ben Jones – Yeah, I think that’s right.

Sarano Kelley – Okay, then what do you think they call the guy at the bottom?  What do you think they call that guy?

Ben Jones – The bottom of the totem pole.

Sarano Kelley – That’s right, the low man on the totem pole.  Ben, I would like to respectfully request the right to compete for that person’s business because I believe I can do better than that by you.  That is what we call a reframe. It is not a comeback.  It is not a rebuttal.  It is a shift in a person’s perspective.  Basically, Ben, what it boils down to is I got you to prioritize.  By getting you to prioritize, there’s a possibility that you might actually consider letting me in.  Certainly, I can tell you that me trying to bash your brother or trying to sell you on having another advisor when you tell you have enough advisors, is probably not going to go very well because you’re going to feel like I don’t listen to you and I don’t get you.

Ben Jones – Now, as long as I’ve been in this line of work, status quo bias has always been the biggest hurdle to overcome for advisors.  This comes in a lot of different forms like I haven’t had time to review your proposal, I’ve got the forms, but I haven’t filled them out or I haven’t taken time to get the forms from my old employer.  These oftentimes are an effort, whether it’s subconscious or conscious, to kind of keep the status quo in place.  Do you have any effective communication techniques to address this that you might be able to share with the audience?

Sarano Kelley – Absolutely.  Now of course, I would first replay what you said.  That’s always the first step is to demonstrate understanding.  Ben, it sounds like you really haven’t had a chance to get around to filling out the forms.  Sounds like you have a lot going on and that things are really busy for you.  Am I really understanding what’s going on for you?

Ben Jones – Yeah, you know I’ve got both of my kids in soccer this year and my wife is working overtime, and so we’re just juggling a lot.

Sarano Kelley – You know, Ben, one of the things that I like about you is in the midst of all that busyness, you still keep in view something like the long-term financial well-being of your family.  Let me ask you a question since it’s been difficult for you to make this happen, what do we need to do to make it happen?  I’d like you to consider me your partner in this.  What do you think you and I could do together to make this happen and to get it done by the end of this week, so that way we can get it off your plate?

Ben Jones – Well, I mean if you could fill out all the forms, if you wanted to fill out all the forms that would make it really great.

Sarano Kelley – Well, what about we do that over lunch.

Ben Jones – You know, I just don’t have time for lunch.  Could you meet me at the soccer game?

Sarano Kelley – I could meet you at the soccer game and you and I could sit there, enjoy the soccer game.  I’d love to meet your kids, and we can get this done and not have this hanging over you, right?  So what I’m doing in that particular approach is I’m having this be no longer me pushing you and you being stuck.  Instead of it being you and me, I’m looking to create an us.  What can we do to resolve this?

Ben Jones – You sparked something that I know there’s advisors out there listening that have had this.  Part of your job as an advisor is as you’re growing your practice, is to make sure that you don’t waste time with tire kickers.  Maybe that’s the wrong phrase and don’t want to be too harsh, but people who string you along for long periods of time.  When you’re dealing with these type of people, how do you decide when it’s time to be tenacious and persistent, which many advisors have had success because they are persistent, and how do you decide when it’s time to cut bait and go another direction.

Sarano Kelley – In order to have a framework for this answer, let me just quickly mention that the recommendation phase, what I have people do is I have them just write down the word, recommendation.  Then I have them draw a flowchart, which begins with just four small arrows coming down from the word, recommendation.  These are the only four possible responses that a person can ever give to a recommendation.  They can say yes, let’s move forward, they can say no, they can give you an objection, which is a maybe, or they can ask a question.  Most of what we get is objections, or what we know are really maybes.  When someone gives you an objection, there are three arrows that we have in the flowchart that go from the word, objection, down, and what it shows are the three options.  Option number one and typically our preferred option is to try and change their mind.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  The second option is to negotiate.  That doesn’t just mean fees.  It might mean just taking a piece of the business, not all of the business.  There are many things that one might negotiate.  The third is what you highlighted, which is indeed an important option, which is to walk away.  Now, we say walk away.  That sounds harsh, but there are actually two arrows that we have folks draw from the word, walk away, down to complete that part of the flowchart.  One is where you put people in a drip campaign.  It means they’re not ready now.  They need to incubate.  You need to become more real to them.  They need more time to digest.  Whatever.  It could be low touch drip campaign, high touch drip campaign; doesn’t matter.  But these people are now in a process with us.  The other arrow points to people who you no longer want to be in communication with.  What are the reasons that you might not want to be in communication with someone.  Why is it possible that you might decide to not even put them in your drip campaign?  These people could be deemed by you to be a bad fit for your personality, and hence, a detriment to you.  You might deem them to be quite frankly, irrational and unduly emotional, or you might consider them to be unethical.  The sooner one can find that out and preclude them from the sales process, the better.  So selling is a mutual selection process.

Ben Jones – Creating agreement, then turning the viewpoint of me versus you into we is a great framework to think about for breaking status quo bias.  It’s another step in the process that Sarano has laid out for us today.  It’s easy to see why prior White House Administrations have sought his counsel.

Emily Larsen – As Sarano said, communication is a learned skill.  So putting time into expanding your expertise as a business owner and communicator may be one of the best things you can do for your advisory practice.  You’ve already taken the first step by just listening to this podcast, expanding your knowledge beyond what many advisors know about the art of overcoming objections.  If you want to learn more, we’ve provided links to Sarano’s website and his two books at bmogam.com/betterconversations.

Ben Jones – To drive home the point of why these skills are so important, we’re going to leave you with Sarano’s thoughts about what he sees for the future of the financial advising industry.

Sarano Kelley – I think the business is irrevocably and irreversibly changing.  I think that in the beginning it was a bare knuckle on the floor kind of grappling business and that the industry hasn’t just migrated to a higher level of fiduciary standard, that the industry is becoming more professional and that part of that professionalism is causing people to come into the business more in an apprenticeship fashion.  It’s requiring that people get certifications and designations, and not merely rest on their licensing.  It’s also requiring that people understand how to run a business, not merely be an advisor.  But I also believe that what you’ll see come next is a higher level of training and a greater level of rigor around one’s communication skills.  I believe that this is something that will change.  I believe that it is very slowly and progressively changing.  I am surprised that to this very moment, I have been receiving many more inquiries than I ever have about actually top teams and top advisors wanting to be trained in selling skills and communication skills.

Ben Jones – Well I really appreciate you taking the time to spend so much time with us this afternoon.  I know it’s been a busy week for you, and thank you so much for joining the show.

Sarano Kelley – Thank you for your generosity and thank you for the wonderful way in which you’re uplifting and elevating the advisor population.  I appreciate it.

Ben Jones – Thanks for listening to Better conversations. Better outcomes.  This podcast is presented by BMO Global Asset Management.  To learn more about what BMO can do for you, visit us at www.bmogam.com/betterconversations.

Emily Larsen – We value listener feedback and would love to hear what you have thought about today’s episode.  Or, if you’re willing to share your own experiences or insights related to today’s topic, please e-mail us at betterconversations@bmo.com.  Of course, the greatest compliment of all is if you tell your friends and coworkers to subscribe to the show.  You can subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher app, or your favorite podcast platform.  Until next time, I’m Emily Larsen.

Ben Jones – And I’m Ben Jones.  From all of us at BMO Global Asset Management, hoping you have a productive and wonderful week.

Emily Larsen – This show and resources are supported by a talented team of dedicated professionals at BMO, including Pat Bordak, Gayle Gipson, Matt Perry, and Derek Devereaux.  This show is edited and produced by Jonah Geil-Neufeld and Annie Fassler of Puddle Creative.

Disclosure – The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of BMO Global Asset Management, its affiliates, or subsidiaries. This is not intended to serve as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry, or security. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements, as actual results could vary. This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice and is not intended as an endorsement of any specific investment product or service. Individual investors should consult with an investment professional about their personal situation. Past performance is not indicative of future results. BMO Asset Management Corp is the investment advisor to the BMO funds. BMO Investment Distributors LLC is the distributor. Member FINRA/SIPC. BMO Asset Management Corp and BMO Investment Distributors are affiliated companies. Further information can be found at www.bmo.com.

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