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How competent are you?

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We’ve been discussing the various stages in helping to build trust and we’ve arrived at the next and last step, our third “C,” competency.

If you have completed the first four steps correctly, your competency will be accepted, unless you do something that makes them question your ability. Your potential client has to be totally convinced of your competency before you earn their complete trust. Here are several questions to help you rate yourself on competency.

  • How competent are you in your field?
  • How well do you represent your company’s products and services?
  • Are you serving your company well?
  • Are you spending your time wisely?
  • Are you educating yourself on a regular basis?
  • Are you able to quickly and effectively learn your potential clients’ real needs?
  • Are you able to work at improving your skill and performance on a daily basis?
  • And are you working at peak performance all the time?

Your body language is a strong component used to increase competency. A study, which was done years ago by UCLA, shows that 7 percent of people purchased product because of what the sales person said. Thirty-eight percent felt the sales person exhibited confidence by the tone of his/her voice. The biggest news was that 55 percent of the people who purchased products said they felt confident in making the purchase because of something visual (i.e., the body language the sales person used).

So, from the first moment you meet with your client, stand or sit next to him. Typically, we recommend using round tables. This way you are able to position yourself next to him. This will place you on the same side, not across from him. Sitting across might portray a potentially confrontational situation.

When gesturing with your hands do not make a fist gesture or use a pushing motion towards your client. If you need to push something away, push it off to the side as well as away from the client. It is essential to always sit or stand straight. Frequently nod as you listen. This exhibits that you are paying attention to what he is saying – and never fold your arms. Do you know what he really wants or needs from you? Bottom line, he needs you to demonstrate and get across to him that you are competent. Competency is the key characteristic.

There are numerous factors that will dictate how or the way you ask the same question. Did you initiate the sale or did your potential client initiate the sale? What is going on in your industry? What is going on with your company? How is the current economy affecting his business and yours?

You can begin by saying something like this:

“If I were thinking about my financial future, there are some questions I would expect to be asked. Let us see if we are thinking along the same lines. You probably want to know such things as how long we have been in business and what are we all about? In addition, what makes us better than our competition and how is our service after the sale? Do not forget the one question everybody always wants to know: ‘How much does it cost?’ Are there any other questions you would like us to address? Good, those are excellent questions; I will address them specifically later in my presentation if that is okay with you. Then you come back to those questions.”

Right here is where the enemies bear their ugly heads. Those enemies are boredom, resistance and impatience. These issues will be addressed next month.

Don’t miss Kelly Shaw at Senior market Advisor Expo Aug. 22-24 in Las vegas. Visit for more information.


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