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10 Ways to Manage Your Financial Sales Target

Managing financial sales target is not easy.  Whether you are fresh out from university or an experienced sales person, many struggle to meet the sales target.  For those who meet the sales target, the fear is always someday, they may not.

Add on the unpredictable outcome of financial products such as as equities and foreign exchange makes financial sales even tougher.

You would never had been trained to manage financial sales

For many advisors, you would never had been trained to manage financial sales.

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If fortunately, financial institution doesn’t have a sales target, it could mean

  • You might be operating on a standalone P&L
  • You have no or low basic salary
  • Your platform is absorbing much of the fee income
  • Your platform is one of the many business functions in the group

Here, we look at 10 ways how you can manage your financial sales target:

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No. 1 What is Your Sales Target?

Weekly Sales Meeting
Weekly Sales Meeting

The first mistake in financial product sales is not finding out if you have a sales target.  You may be wondering if this is even necessary since:

  • Most banks have a sales target
  • Most financial advisory firms have a sales goal
  • Some financial advisory firms have no sales target since there isn’t a minimum salary

Why you should know if you have a sales target?

A financial sales infrastructure is expensive to run and upkeep.  This means the infrastructure will face increasingly high costs to upkeep, hire more sales staffs and as a result, increasing sales target.  All these are a given, you may be thinking.

But you are doing financial sales, not just selling insurance, but providing financial advice, including investments on unpredictable investments such as equities, fixed income, currencies, interest rates and perhaps derivatives. This means your sales consistency and being able to meet the sales target, largely depends on the global financial market condition.

being able to meet the sales target, largely depends on the global financial market condition

The moment you think the sales target is set by the company you are in, you have started your advisory on the wrong track.

 

No. 2 Why is Setting Your Own Sales Target Important?

Career Decision
Career Decision

Unless you are thinking of quitting being a financial advisor someday, spending a lifelong career as an advisor means you will have to deal with economic cycles of upturns and downturns.  Revenue margins from Stocks, Bonds, Foreign Exchange, Interest rates, Unit Trust, Insurance Products will change over time.

If you are able to set your own sales target, you are always much better prepared to balance the interests of generating sales, revenue and advisory for clients.

Why you should set your own sales target?

  • Planning for sustainable revenue allows you to provide quality advice to clients
  • Knowing every financial institution has a different goal, products, margins and sales target
  • Developing long-term strategy to grow your clients’ base and network
  • Understanding financial markets affects your sales consistency
  • Able to deal with stress and pressure during low sales period
  • Planning for possible change in compensation structure or products that may prompt you to find a more suitable financial institution

 

No. 3 Get Ready For 10% or 20% Target Increase Yearly

Socialites
Socialites

If meeting your sales target this year is worthwhile celebrating, you might have to think about not celebrating next year’s target as you will be getting a 10% or 20% increase in sales target next year.  This is no secret.  You get this increase every year, unless this year is a in recession or in an apparent crisis.

you will be getting a 10% or 20% increase in sales target next year.  This is no secret

To retain people, hire more people, increase in infrastructure expenses, salaries, inflation and expected positive economic growth, presumably you will be able to meet that 10% to 20% increase in sales target.

As there will be more hires, which means you face more competition, your importance decreases and when your performance is lagging, you also face the risk of being fired or the entire unit could be shut down.

Why should you be aware of this 10% or 20% increase yearly?

  • The sales target increase occurs every year
  • Making long-term plans on revenue reduces your need to plan year on year
  • Unless you have a plan to only advice “safe instruments”, the financial market will affect your sales target
  • There is no pause unless you move into a sales management role

 

No. 4 Are You in the Mass Market, Affluent, HNW, UHNW or Institutional Market?

Private Banking Management Associate
Private Banking Management Associate

Which client segment are you currently in and which client segment would you like to be in?

  • Mass Market
  • Mass Affluent
  • Affluent
  • High Net-worth (HNW)
  • Ultra High Net-worth (UHNW)

Although the financial instruments available to the group of clients are increasingly homogenous, the clients all have different wealth management needs.  This means the financial products advised and revenue derived would be different over time.

Why should you be aware which client segment you are serving?

  • Mass Market clients require more basic financial planning products and you can prospect for hundreds and thousands of clients.
  • There are only a handful of UHNW clients you can find.  Building relationships with them takes time.  Portfolio size can grow from $10 Million to $500 Million per client.  This means the revenue margin is very different from a mass market client.

But all of these clients suffer the same consequence of economic growth and crisis. During falls, your UHNW client may have complex needs, but the portfolio size remains fairly large.  Institutional clients are more process driven.

For mass market clients, they might fall into difficulties, some might need extreme help and some might lodge complaints.

Knowing which client segment you are in allows you to plan the sales and revenue strategy for economic cycles of ups and downs.  You are also able to develop skill sets that will help yourself to get into your ideal segment.

 

No. 5 Literally – Are You a Financial Planner, Wealth Manager or Investment Specialist?

Monitoring Investments
Monitoring Investments

Knowing the “profile” or “personality” of you as an advisor , or would be, will naturally help you to plan your financial sales better.   Below is a simple profiling of “advisor” you could be:

Profile of Advisors:

Profile Interests Products
“Financial Planner” Budget, Cashflow, Income, Planning for the future Life & Health Insurance, Endowment, Regular Savings Plan, Single Premium Policies, Unit Trust
“Wealth Manager” Asset Management, Portfolio Management Unit Trust, ETFs, Equities, Bonds, Discretionary Portfolio, Estate & Asset Structuring, Loans & Credit Facilities
“Investment Specialist” Investment Management, Equities, Fixed Income, Interest Rates, Foreign Exchange, Derivatives Equities, Fixed Income, Interest Rates, Foreign Exchange, Unit Trust, ETFs, Structured Products, Derivatives, Hedge Funds

 

This helps you to select your demographics and profiles of clients, potential products to be recommended, and potential financial sales.

Why profiling yourself helps?

If you are providing financial advice focusing on insurance to a client who has $20 Million, you will likely get away with $1 Million of financial sales.  The client might be more interested in Wealth & Investment Management products and could potentially do about $10 Million of assets.

If you are providing financial advice to a family with $200,000 of assets, and focusing $150,000 on investments, you might fail terribly as the assets is dear to the family, with 3/4 of assets into risky assets might be a bit too much.  Of course, this would also be dependent on their financial goals, future income and risk appetite.

 

No. 6 Plan Your Financial Sales Like a Portfolio

Portfolio
Portfolio

Planning your sales target is easy.  Allocate your revenue characteristics like a portfolio. The table below shows how you could allocate financial sales similar to constructing an investment portfolio:

Asset Class Similar Products Characteristics Revenue Forecast
Money Market Deposits, Loans, Money Market Fund, Treasury Notes Low or none. But able to allocate to other asset class any time
Equities Unit Trust, ETFs, Bonds, Equity Linked Notes, Derivatives High Volume, Subject to Market Condition
Bonds Regular Savings Plan, Currency Linked Notes Recurring
Real Estate Large Sum Insurance Policies such as Single Premium or Universal Life, Discretionary Portfolio Large but Rare

 

Why should financial sales take priority?

Perhaps you might think that you are not placing clients interest first.  Yes, clients interest first is important, but you need sustainable revenue to sustain a financial advisory setup.

Knowing if revenue margins is sustainable gives you the very first indication of a possible systemic collapse in the financial product.

 

No. 7 If You Want to Do Well: Sell Insurance or Low-Risk Products

Asian Financial Advisor
Asian Financial Advisor

An early struggle of any advisor is to get enough sales.  If you want to do well, sell insurance or low-risk products.

Insurance Products inherently carry systemic risks only, unless the insurance company had built a poor underwriting, profiling, credit and investment process .

In other words, unless the financial system fails, insurance policies are rather safe.  Low risks products are also easy to understand, easy to explain and easy for clients to accept the product recommendations.

Reasons Why You Should Sell Insurance or Low-Risk Products

  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to explain
  • Clients are more receptive to products
  • Allows you to have an easier conversation with clients
  • You don’t have to explain why investments are not doing well
  • You don’t have to explain a lot of risks, risks you don’t understand and hidden financial risks

And the two most important reasons why you should sell insurance or low-risk products:

  • You can close the deal in less than 20 minutes.  This saves you an incredible amount of time and build your confidence, sales pitch, process and administration very quickly.
  • You can build a huge client base very very quickly, simply because you have the chance to close multiple deals a day.  You don’t have to follow-up on financial market fluctuations.

 

No. 8 Draw up a 5 Year, 10 Year Plan as an Advisor

Head of Wealth
Head of Wealth

An advisor has the same knowledge roadmap as a Professor, Surgeon, Lawyer, Programmer – your value together with knowledge and expertise grows over time.

Planning ahead with a 5 or 10 years client and financial sales roadmap is extremely important, especially when much of the portfolio could be in investments.  At any given year, there could be a major economic crisis that might cause the portfolio to decline by 50%, causing you to lose the trust of clients and dealing with an incredibly arduous journey of recovering the trust and asset value.

Important Notes as an Advisor:

  • Client Roadmap
  • Client Segment
  • Products
  • Knowledge
  • Network
  • Local, Regional, International Market
  • Value-Add
  • Advisory Strategy
  • Preferred Platform
  • Regulations
  • Certifications

 

No. 9 Building a Portfolio Earlier or Later Makes No Difference

Bloomberg Terminal User
Bloomberg Terminal User

The early phase of the financial sales journey is often struggled with such questions.

  • Are you having trouble with products basket?
  • Do you have to build a diversified portfolio?
  • Should you focus on insurance & estate products or on investment products such as Unit Trust, Structured Notes or Direct Securities purchase?
  • Should you learn quickly and find a better financial advisory platform?
  • Is making money or being a good advisor your priority?

It doesn’t really matter.  You just have to get started.  Constructing a portfolio earlier or later, makes little difference – unless the client is giving you close to 30% or 50% of their personal assets at the first meeting with you.

Whatever amount they entrust to you, is likely a fraction of their assets (kindly verify via Know-Your-Client Process).  This means whether you allocate the money into insurance or investments into a China Equity Fund, an Emerging Market Fund or balanced fund, all these make little impact as there will be additional funds allocated to you in the future.

This means your first portfolio construction will be fundamentally skewed:

  • Portfolio constructed failed to consider client’s entire personal assets
  • It is constructed based on assets entrusted to you today
  • If client were to give you more funds in 3 months time, the current portfolio has to go through a major re-construction
  • Client didn’t disclose to you sufficiently on their financial assets
  • and more … …

 

No. 10 Build Your Own Revenue Strategy in Relation to Your Sales

Banker with Client
Banker with Client

There is no better way to manage your sales than to set your own sales target.  Your roadmap and license as an advisor is a long journey.

You are in control if you want to stay in your organization or to shift to another one.

You are in control if you want to stay in your organization or to shift to another one.  If what is not working for clients and yourself, you will also be much more confident and equipped to make the better decision.

Product Advisory Strategy Revenue 
Advising Portfolio: 0.25% – 1.5% Fee Annually $10 Million gives you $100,000 Revenue
Advising Regular Savings Product with Insurance: Recurring Fees with 10% to 160% of annual premium as revenue
Advising other Financial Products:  One-time fee of 0.25% to 8% Fees
Advising on Spread-Based Financial Products:  Dependent on spread

 

By creating your own revenue strategy, you will always be ahead of your financial institutions’ objective because you might just be getting 50% to 500% growth on your revenue and financial sales every year.

Read More: The Compounding Effect of Revenue and Sales

These are 10 ways to manage your financial sales target.

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