The Misconceptions About Selling that Impede Success

By Dan Solin

March 18, 2014

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As a group, registered investment advisors (RIAs) are extremely intelligent, conscientious and caring. At least that’s my experience. They are diligent about keeping up with the latest developments in investing and financial planning. They take the time (and incur the expense) to attend conferences and obtain certifications to ensure they are current.

The work isn’t easy. The unpredictable and volatile nature of the market creates constant anxiety and the rewards aren’t all that great. The median salary for RIA’s is only $85,000.

Of course, RIAs who generate meaningful assets under management can significantly increase their earnings. Every RIA appreciates this. Many believe superior knowledge and expertise is key to capturing more business, but they often overlook other factors. There are also some misconceptions about selling that actually impede success. Here are some examples.

Reliance on quick fixes

There’s a huge industry dedicated to providing quick fixes for those seeking to improve their lot in life. These fixes range from walking on hot coals to demonstrate a positive mindset to repeating mantras like “I can do it” or “I am an attractive person.” My personal favorite is this recommendation attributed to Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie, a French psychologist and pharmacist in the 20th century: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

In doing research for my book, The Smartest Sales Book You’ll Ever Read, two facts stood out. First, the size of the self-improvement market is huge, estimated to be as much as a $9.6 billion industry. Second, I could find no support that quick fixes work, while I was able to find significant, credible evidence that it doesn’t. According to Steven Novella, an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, there is a lot of published data that would be very useful to those seeking self-help, “but the big sellers in the self-help industry seem to be completely disconnected from that evidence. What they are selling are made-up easy answers, personality, and gimmicks.”

There are no quick fixes to gathering more assets under management (AUM).

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