Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Life Health > Life Insurance

Advisors: Don’t use ‘style’ as an excuse

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

There is no sales “style” that consists of winging it—going into a sales meeting unprepared or unable to create value for your dream client. That’s not style, that’s laziness, and it’s never been fashionable.

You aren’t making a style decision when you open a sales call by fishing around for something personal on which to build rapport. That is called “wasting your client’s time.” There will be room later to know your client on a personal level, but taking this approach early on—when you should be creating value—is guaranteed to fail.

You aren’t making a style decision when you skip stages in your sales process. You need to establish verifiable outcomes for your client before your decide to work together. Doing partial work isn’t a question of style; it’s a recipe for losing an opportunity.

You aren’t making a style decision when you avoid difficult conversations. It’s fear—plain and simple. Lacking the ability to have difficult conversations is weakness. Your dream clients need help dealing with difficult issues, and they will trust people whose style includes helping them deal with those issues.

Whenever you lean on style as an excuse for not doing something the way you should, you’re really just frightened or lazy. These aren’t style decisions, they’re rationalizations. They’re your way of dealing with your refusal to improve.

You are unique. You are allowed to have a personality, and you must show your humanity if you really want to connect with your clients. But don’t fool yourself into believing that poor performance constitutes a style.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.