Not too long ago, I was having lunch with a group of financial advisors during one of our two-day Rainmaker Retreats. In this instance, two advisors dominated the conversation at our table—and not in a good way.
The advisor asking most of the questions was constantly interrupting whoever was talking (including me when I attempted to answer a question from another advisor). His business casual attire was quite sloppy. And the other advisor—although better dressed and not interrupting—seemed to always be talking with his mouth full of food. This is just bad table manners.
These advisors were textbook examples of the negative power of personal presence. What do I mean by personal presence? In studying elite advisors, we’ve observed a trait that is woven into their sales skills. It’s not really charisma, but rather a combination of manners, rapport-building skills, being able to listen to others with sincere interest, appearance and hygiene.
Their personal presence was poor, and neither of them had a clue. No matter how eager they were at mastering affluent sales, their personal presence would definitely hurt their prospecting efforts in affluent social circles. I attempted to steer the conversation to the broad topic of personal presence, but these two advisors weren’t taking the hint. How do you tell someone in a public setting that they have horrible table manners?
We could all use a little help. Here are some timeless tips from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, first published in 1936.
How to Make a Good First Impression
· Be genuinely interested in other people.
· Remember that person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
· Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
· Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely.
· Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
This is advice that everyone should follow, regardless of their profession. But for anyone attempting to master the art of affluent sales, these tips need to become part of who you are. These ideas are so powerful and far-reaching that they should be reinforced both in the office and at home.
There is more to this than simply making a good first impression; personal presence is all about making a strong and positive lasting impression. It’s this lasting impression that fuels positive word-of-mouth influence within affluent circles. This, by the way, has more impact on the affluent’s decision-making than any other marketing tactic. Once again, this is all about developing rapport, expanding relationships, and developing relationships with both spouses of an affluent couple.
In our world of intangibles, you, the advisor, are the product. Everything about you impacts your personal brand. Now that socializing in affluent circles has become a major factor in affluent marketing, advisors must be aware of and evaluate their personal presence. You can be certain that your affluent clients and prospects are.