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Effective Habits - The changing face of sales

Peter wrote the following article for

Adapt structured professional selling skills to your business and you’ll convert more leads, writes Tandem Consulting’s Peter Niemandt.

Customers have changed: they are more informed; they are less trusting; they are more suspicious of our intentions; they expect more for less; they question our competence; they question our knowledge.

And this before a broker says “Hi, my name is...”.

What made brokers stand out a few years ago is now becoming industry standard. So what can a broker do to make sure they remain on top of their field and keep converting leads into sales?

Experience has shown that most brokers feel they are great face-to-face with a prospect; and they often lay down the challenge to me: “All I need are referrals, and I can do the rest”.

However, is this really the case?

According to our experience in the financial services sector, all top sales people – those that focus on professional selling – address four core areas when they are face-to-face with prospects.


Top brokers have a knack for making their prospects trust them, their advice, their competence and their intentions. The best brokers are those who can make their prospects have faith in their professionalism. If a prospect trusts you and your abilities, the rest is easy


Top brokers are able to question, listen for specifics, probe, check for understanding, and prove that they appreciate a prospect’s circumstances.

You might feel that this is obvious since they want to buy a mortgage from you, but the truth is that they don’t have to buy from you: your product is not unique. So what will make them buy from you has more to do with the quality of your questions. This will determine the acceptance of your solution. And that is more important than technical knowledge.


Top brokers are able to present their offering as a tailored solution to the prospect. They ensure that what the prospect wants is what their recommendation addresses. No more, no less.

In order to make communication with the prospect as effective as possible, many top brokers build daily processes that are seamless, simple and easy to implement.


Top brokers help customers overcome their resistance to making decisions. They appreciate how much is at stake for the prospect, so offer answers to objections competently in order to instil confidence and comfort.

Remember, professional selling is a structured process – not a haphazard collection of activities that fills the void between the lead and a deal.

Those brokers who are able to master this process focus on regular repetition of a collection of core successful behaviour skill sets and thought patterns.


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