Los Angeles:  “I don’t think I’m being aggressive enough,” muttered Joe from left-field as we began our coaching session.  “I’m doing some of my fixed daily activities but I’m not getting the results I want.  Sure, I would like to make more money, but I’m just not that motivated and I don’t want to come across pushy. Maybe being aggressive just isn’t my style.”

Joe notching up his “aggressiveness” isn’t going to solve his problem.  The truth is, Joe couldn’t come across aggressively even if he tried.  He’s just one of those guys with whom people instantly feel comfortable.  He is a natural at building rapport and trust.  What Joe was really lacking was passion

Passion is an underrated sales tool, mostly because it is difficult to measure and even more difficult to teach.  What makes passion so effective in sales is that it cannot be faked, it is a raw human emotion that must come across as genuine or prospects can sense it.  However, earnest passion will createmagnetism which will serve as your best sales ally.  It will lead to more sales and unsolicited referrals throughout your career.

I reflected for a few moments on Joe’s comments and then proceeded to ask him the following questions in an attempt to diagnose his lack of passion.   You might want to take an honest stab at answering the same questions as a quick self-assessment.

Do You Believe in What You Sell?

We recently had a conversation with a highly successful retired advisor reminiscing about his days as a new advisor.  He said, “The day I became successful, was the day I started feeling sorry for anyone not doing business with me.”  The moment he believed wholeheartedly in the service he provided and felt bad for those not willing to work with him was the moment he started selling with conviction.  The first step in regaining Joe’s passion was for him to believe in his product.  If he doesn’t believe in his product, he shouldn’t be selling it.  But if he truly believes in his firm’s products and services, they then become his products and services.  Once he takes ownership, his conviction will become apparent.

Do you believe in what you sell?  If not, your prospects can tell and your sales will suffer.  As Matt Oechsli frequently says, “The sales game is won or lost on that 7” playing field between the ears -- the most important sale an advisor will ever make is to him or herself.”

Do You Transfer Your Passion?

Once you’ve made that sale to yourself, the next step is to transfer the passion you have for your services to your prospect.  Imagine what would happen if the prospect on the other line or across the table could feel your passion.  Imagine if you radiated enthusiasm about your products and services.  What if you explained to your prospect not just what you are selling and how you are different, but why you are selling it.  You might say, “There are a lot of advisors you could work with, but I believe what we stand for is unique.  Let me share with you why I do this…”  If you can explain your “why” your prospects are much more likely to follow you.

Do your prospects know why you sell your service?  Do they know your story?  Can they feel your passion?  Do you know your “why” story?

Do You Exude Positive Energy?

Joe’s lack of passion was really affecting his attitude. We are all forms of energy.  To quote Harv Eker “Energy is contagious: either you affect people or you infect people.”  Thus, the energy you transmit creates the world around you in a positive or negative way.   If you are attempting to make sales by going through the motions and your efforts are falling flat – whose fault is that?  Something must change and your attitude is a great place to start.  Make a list of all the things you enjoy about your profession and review them daily.  Tip: One of those things should be your belief in your products and services.

Selling with passion can take your sales from zero to sixty quickly, but it must be genuine.  For Joe, he truly believed in the service he was selling, but was having a hard time transferring that passion to his prospect.  His inability to transfer his passion to prospects was hurting his sales and ultimately his self-esteem. 

If you don’t believe in what you sell – seriously reconsider what you’re doing.  If you do, start leveraging your passion.  It’s one of your strongest sales tools.

Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are thought-leaders and coaches with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry.  @StephenBoswell  @KevinANichols  www.oechsli.com