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Selling Professional and Financial Services Handbook, + Website



Selling Professional and Financial Services Handbook, + Website

Scott Paczosa, Chuck Peruchini

ISBN: 978-1-118-72814-7 November 2013 192 Pages


An effective strategic framework for successful face-to-face selling for financial services industry professionals

Times are very tough for people who sell professional services and Selling Professional and Financial Services Handbook offers a new solution proven in practice. The book describes methods the authors have used and taught since the 1990s, most recently at a major consulting firm, where they led a Global Business Development team to revenue gains of 500% over six years — in a period that included the recession of 2008-10.

The solution is not any new twist on face-to-face selling techniques or the art of persuasion. It’s a strategic approach built around a simple fact:  the markets are tight but far from static. Even with lean budgets, client companies must respond to urgent changes and emerging threats in their industries. Thus they will buy services from the sellers who can help them detect, understand, and cope with what’s coming their way.

This handbook outlines a systematic way of becoming such a valued resource. Readers learn to scan the horizon for early signs of “rock-ripple events.” Major changes in the business world often spring from new developments that are little noted or heeded, at first, by the client companies soon to be affected by them.  But like a rock dropped in a pond, these events set off ripples that sweep through entire industry sectors, creating must-have service needs.

The book is written for everyone who sells, or is responsible for selling, professional services. This includes but is not limited to: law firms, consulting firms, finance industry, public relations, engineering, and architectural services.

Readers who can benefit from the dynamic approach hold a variety of positions. They include:

  • Attorneys, consultants and other practitioners who must sell their services as well as execute.
  • CEOs, equity partners, practice-area leaders, functional and divisional leaders
  • Private Equity or Venture Capital executives
  • Sales or business-development professionals, from entry level to senior level
  • Sales and marketing managers

But the book is for sellers in every category who need a new and better approach to selling. Many, even the most skilled, simply have not adjusted to the new normal of today’s economy. They persist with old strategies that cannot be as productive as they once were, such as pursuing one-off opportunities (which are too few and too hard to win in lean times) or old-style “relationship selling” (which gains little if any traction). Selling Professional and Financial Services Handbook gives all such readers a new strategic framework within which to apply their face-to-face selling skills. It is an approach that puts them in position to win — so they can sell from ahead of the game, instead of struggling to keep up with it.

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

A New Way to Sell 1

Chapter 1 Changing Times, a New Dimension: The Rock-Ripple Strategy 3

It’s All about Recognizing Change 4

What the Man on the Doorstep Did 6

Sense the Wave, Trace the Ripples 7

The Rock-Ripple Effect 9

Chapter 2 Fields of Vision, New Relationships: On Being a Guru 11

What Doesn’t Work; What Does 11

Building Guru Status 13

Creative Solutions 14

What’s Next? 16

Chapter 3 The Four-Stage Process: Why and How It Works 17

Why the First Mover Wins 17

Getting Started, from Wherever You May Currently BE 21

How the Stages Work 22


Chapter 4 The Identify Stage: What to Look For 33

The Industrial Mindset 33

Defining and Thinking about What to Look For 35

Experiments in Mind Stretching 38

Drawing Parallels 40

Chapter 5 The Identify Stage: How to Look Systematically 43

The Entrepreneurial Mindset 43

Putting Yourself in the Path 44

Tapping the Internet 44

Tapping Human Intelligence 46

Narrowing Down and Homing In: How the Identify Process Comes Together 47

Moving On 48


Chapter 6 Intro to Evaluation: Basics and the First Step 53

The Process: First Things First 54

Lost in Space 56

Other Possible Outcomes 56

Numbers versus Judgment 57

Moving On 58

Chapter 7 Deeper Evaluation 59

Evaluation Points 59

Getting to “No” 63

A Note on Strategy versus Sales Skills 65

“Yes,” Plus Continuous Improvement 66

Every Step Counts 68

“Yes” Plus One for the Portfolio 68


Chapter 8 Innovation and Preparation 73

Where You Stand in the Process 74

Innovating the Solution 74

The Multilayered Benefits of Innovation 76

Innovating the Campaign 77

Building the Package for the Sales Force 78

Background Materials 79

Targeting 80

The Message and the Talk Track 81

The Professional Team and Qualifications 82

Chapter 9 Top-of-Mind Awareness Tools and Launch 83

Parallel Marketing Efforts for Persistent Issues 85

Targets, Tracking, Reporting 86

The Launch Call 86

Stage 4: DEPLOY

Chapter 10 Transforming How You Sell: What’s New, What Isn’t 91

A Game Plan, Not Basic Coaching 92

What You Are Setting Out to Do in the Deploy Stage 93

Transformation, Not a Blitz 94

Chapter 11 Steps to Full Deployment 97

Tracking, Refining, and Extending the Initiative 97

What’s Next, What’s Next? 99

Initiatives May End, but the Process Doesn’t 100

Building Relationships with Content Tools and Events 101

Selling to Both Sides of the Client 103

Roundtables and Other “Scale” Outreach Events 105

Keep It Simple 107

Extending Relationships into Other Initiatives 108

The Multiplier Effect and the Small-World Effect 108

Indirect Sales: The Ultimate Payoff 109

Chapter 12 Hunting or Farming? It’s Both: An Approach for New and Existing Clients 113

The Downsides of Account-Centric Farming (and Why Rock-Ripple Is Superior) 115

Efficiencies on the Hunting Side 118

Where the Differences Come In 119

Indirect Sales: The Big Difference 122

Chapter 13 Where to Go from Here 125

Boarding Call: The Destination, the Ticket 126

It Always Starts with What’s Next 127

Implementing for an Individual 130

Implementing across a Team 132

Implementing across a Firm 136

What’s Next? 137

Appendix A: Books for Further Reading 139

Appendix B: Strategic Initiative Checklist 143

Appendix C: Key Concept: ROCK-RIPPLE 149

Appendix D: The Four-Stage Process 153

Appendix E: Idea-Starters and Tools 159

About the Companion Website 165

About the Authors 167

Index 169