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Are You a Sales Person or a Business Owner?: Keys to Running a Successful Financial Advisory Services Practice

Are You a Sales Person or a Business Owner?: Keys to Running a Successful Financial Advisory Services Practice

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Are You a Sales Person or a Business Owner?: Keys to Running a Successful Financial Advisory Services Practice

323 pages
5 hours
Dec 16, 2013


Building a successful Advisory practice is not very complicated, but it does take a tremendous amount of energy and effort. You need to utilize proper strategies, techniques and also become relentless with consistency to succeed. What I want to instill in the newly developing advisor is a sense of ownership. This more business type mindset can be the difference between having lasting success or coming up short.
I once managed a program where I was charged with developing new Advisors. I brought in an executive to speak to a class where he explained that his role was to assist them when they had their initial struggles developing and managing their business. His experience showed that many of the advisors he worked with started off strong but eventually struggled and failed to continue growing their business. After hearing this I spent several years researching this very concern. What I found was that it was very real and happened to many advisors between the 3rd and 5th years of their careers, dependent upon how fast their initial growth was. This caused me to spend a great deal of time working with advisors that had either broken through this plateau or never encountered this period at all.
This book is a culmination of the strategies that have proven to provide advisors with success in managing their business. It is hard-work but needs to be consistent work. It is very tedious work but such is the risk that could provide you with your ultimate reward. You see everyone in this business starts off with the idea of wanting to be good at what they do. But it is the elite performer that puts in the effort that goes along with becoming great! I wish you all the success that this business can provide you in the future.
Dec 16, 2013

Despre autor

Rasheed has provided training/coaching in sales, customer service, effective communications, presentation skills, business development, business management and leadership to well over 12,000 advisors and professionals in his career. Rasheed first developed many of the concepts and strategies he shares in this book, first as a recruiter and then as a financial advisor for nationally known financial services organizations. Recognized as a Master Trainer, Rasheed has received many significant awards in his 18 years as a speaker, trainer and coach. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Rasheed now resides in Charlotte, NC. He has 2 children (Jasmine and Khari) and one granddaughter (Janiyah) that reside in Chesapeake, Va.

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Are You a Sales Person or a Business Owner? - RASHEED HANEEF


© 2013 Rasheed Haneef. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 12/09/2013

ISBN: 978-1-4918-1929-6 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4918-1927-2 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4918-1928-9 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013917178

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1    Introduction

Chapter 2    The Business Mind-Set

Chapter 3    Who Am I and Who is My Client?

Chapter 4    You Must Have a Plan

Chapter 5    Characteristics of Sales

Chapter 6    Basic Foundational Sales Skills

Chapter 7    The Process of Sales

Chapter 8    Business Management Processes

Chapter 9    Periodic Practice Maintenance Service

Chapter 10  The Art of Persuasion

Chapter 11  Rasheedism’s

Chapter 12  Periodic Practice Maintenance Service (PPMS) in Action



About the author


I had no idea how I was going to commence on this book until one day when I received an email from an advisor from Massachusetts who I admired and respected. One of the great gifts that my job has afforded me over the years is the opportunity to meet so many dynamic and interesting people around the country. I value each person and every relationship but the advisor that sent me this particular email is a very special person to me. I root hard for success in this business for everybody I work with, but I admit, I have always rooted a little bit harder for her. So allow me to explain why I feel this way about her.

In 2006, I was managing the New Hire Development Program for Financial Advisors at a major financial services organization. Within this large class, I had an advisor who worked tremendously hard at developing her abilities during the program. She did the right things and asked the right questions so I could tell right away that she got it.

Towards the end of the program, I would bring in top performing senior advisors and/or managers to work with the rookie advisors in breakout groups before the participants could successfully leave the program. During these breakout sessions, the advisors go through a series of role playing simulations where they would first have to cold call for an appointment and then conduct two subsequent sales meetings with this new fictional prospect. At the end of her breakout session, she eagerly walked over to the senior leader of her group and asked for some additional feedback. The leader looked at her and simply said, Well, I would go dust off my resume if I were you.

That unfortunate and callous comment broke her heart! She came to talk to me in tears and asked for my advice. I felt that this leader was way out of line with this feedback, so I empathized with her over his comments. I encouraged her to express her hurt and disappointment by talking through how she felt. I then said, You asked for my advice, so I have two options for you. You can leave here and give up on becoming an advisor, proving him right or you can become a successful advisor and prove him wrong. It is as simple as that, so which will you choose? She replied, I will prove him wrong.

I knew that would be her response, so I said, Ok, you had your crying time but you have to get busy now. You have a business to build. That may sound a bit harsh but I knew she didn’t need any more of my empathy or sympathy at this time. She needed someone to challenge her. She also needed to know that I believed in her. I had just spent two weeks with her and I knew she had what it took to be successful no matter what she was told. I just wanted to sense that she felt that way and I definitely could see in her eyes that she did.

During the time she was back in Massachusetts building her business, which takes a ton of energy, she was given the unfortunate diagnosis that she had cancer. That diagnosis broke my heart but, to my surprise, this amazing woman never wavered. She continued working on her business as hard as she ever had. It was crazy but I felt like whenever we spoke she was supporting me, instead of it being the other way around. Some people, like her, seem to have an internal strength that can take them through the toughest of times.

Well, she made it through chemotherapy sessions, lived her life, and built her business. She built her business the right way and she became successful at it. She is still successful today and we manage to keep in touch every now and then. I am glad that she allowed me to support her and provide her with guidance while she was building her business. It has been a gift and a blessing for me. I understand the struggle of building a business and I have a tremendous amount of respect for those that do it. But I can only imagine the additional struggle she must have went through to do it while also dealing with cancer.

However, I have seen thousands of advisors struggle and I know what they had to do to get through the more typical challenges. This struggle is something that I understand first hand and it allows me to relate to other advisors extremely well. When you blend the understanding I have for advisors with the knowledge and experience that I have attained in the business of advising over the years, it becomes a great combination. That is what I feel has made me a top coach to advisors and both compels and qualifies me to write this book. So, I hope you enjoy it and I hope that it helps you to reach for your dreams!

This is a copy of a recommendation note this great advisor and friend sent to my inbox after she found out I was writing this book recently. God Bless You! I value our friendship.

I first met Rasheed when I joined the Investments Program in 2006. He was the group leader in the program I was participating in. I cannot say how much he made the two (2) weeks a joy. He was always encouraging, helpful, large ears as well as heart (though it took a bit of talking to get there). We have kept in touch since then. Rasheed has always had my back, which is a wonderful trait. I respect his knowledge, his insight but most of all his honesty.

Oh, by the way, I received a call from her several months after writing this foreword. She told me she was moving her business to a competing organization and gave me specific and well thought out reasons why she was actually doing this. I am so happy for her. This decision will give her the opportunity to grow her business exponentially and help more people while doing so. And the fact that she received a very hefty and lucrative bonus to move her business doesn’t hurt either. I am so proud!

On the road to success, you can’t afford to make any excuses

Eric Thomas

Chapter 1


It was 1981 in the state of Ohio and I was in college hanging out with my buddies. I started college in 1980 and it was really the first time that I had been away from my hometown of Brooklyn, NY for any extended period of time. Come to think of it, the only time I ever left New York City was to go to work over in Jersey City, New Jersey. While in college, I gravitated towards all the East Coast type of people since that was what I was used to. So my small circle of friends included two cousins from Baltimore, Maryland and two other friends from the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. We used to hang out at the Eastside apartment of the two cousins, which at the time was the worst side of the city. At one point, I was actually on the President’s List for my high grade point average but unfortunately our circle’s extracurricular activity and lifestyle swiftly rescinded my invitation from that prestigious list.

Now to say that we were a little mischievous at times was really putting it mildly. We had a lot of fun and got some attention in the city, and it wasn’t always for the right reasons. The two cousins carried guns to campus which I wasn’t aware of at first. I really wished I had known that fact before I got into a fist fight with one of them at one point. I may have had second thoughts about inviting him outside but I guess it turned out ok, but I digress.

I found out about the guns at a campus party we went to at another local University. We were in the rest room and one of the cousins got into an altercation. There were two major college football players in the restroom at the time. One of the footballers, who was about 6’5 and in excess of 300 pounds, wanted to break up the fight. It was at that point I learned that one of the cousins was carrying a gun as he revealed it to the football player and said, You are not breaking up anything." And the football player sort of agreed with that notion so the festivities continued on. [I found out a few years ago, these two football players eventually played in the NFL and both won a Super Bowl.]

One day after that altercation when we were back at the apartments, I wanted to talk about that situation since I hadn’t realized that they were carrying guns. We had that conversation and it was clear I was expected to just deal with his intention to keep carrying the gun. Unfortunately for me, coming from Brooklyn, this was not really that unusual of an occurrence. I had seen a lot of violent situations by that early point in my life.

A few weeks later, one of the cousins snuck up behind me, grabbed me in a choke hold and put the gun up to my temple. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer to myself. Before I could say or do a thing, I heard the click as he pulled the trigger. When I opened my eyes and saw that I was still in that same raggedy apartment, I blurted out a full line of expletives towards him and basically told him that he had better not ever do that to me again. He only laughed and put the gun to his own head, pulled the trigger again and said, See, it wasn’t even loaded.

The next time we were all together, he did the same crazy thing to another one of my friends. I thought to myself that this person was a little bit off. He probably was going through some issues, but deep down, I felt he was really a good guy and I liked him. We had a lot of fun together and I had a lot of respect for other aspects of him.

I have always had this mental compass that guides me and tells me at times to move to another location. This compass has never failed me and it has moved me out of harm’s way on many occasions. Besides, I really had not come to college for this sort of turmoil. I wanted to get an education.

So the next time we were all together, I went next door where a group of girls from the apartment building were just hanging out. I was probably over there for about twenty minutes before we all heard a gunshot. The mother of one of the girls called 911, but I had to see what was going on. When I got back to the apartment and saw the looks on my three friends’ faces, I knew what had happened. This cousin had put the gun to his head again but had not remembered to empty out the chamber. There was one round left in the gun. It was a terrible tragedy and a loss of life that I will never ever forget.

I truly hope that I have not offended anyone by relaying these experiences as I begin this book. This was one of three very unfortunate situations in my life that have left very emotional scars in my memory. At the same time, these situations were also a positive catalyst for change in my life. The terrible loss of my friend was the significant event that truly motivated me to take more positive steps in my life. College is supposed to signify the beginning of one’s adult life and career but for my friend it turned out to be the end.

At that point, I sat down and put a plan together to take more positive steps in my life that would hopefully propel me into situations that would be more beneficial and rewarding to me. Those steps included the military and seeking a more spiritual base to ground me in my life. I wanted to surround myself with positive and success seeking individuals.

So while preparing to write this book, my mind drifted back to that low point to illustrate for me why I now have this great opportunity before me. It was that moment that provided the emphasis for me to plan a new life for myself which truly propelled me to this point.

I am very glad and thankful that you decided to pick up this book and I definitely appreciate you for that. I feel that all of my experiences in life have strengthened me and provided me the knowledge and experience necessary to assist you in becoming very successful with your pending business venture. Incidents like the ones I described earlier are what motivated me to get my life in order, but I have always felt like I had so much more to offer of myself than what I was giving at that time.

Shortly after that tragic situation, I signed up for the U.S. Navy which was the first step of my plan. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. While in the Navy, I rose in rank very quickly and won many prestigious awards and accolades during my career. The Navy provided me with the discipline and self respect I needed to shape the rest of my life. All told, it has been a heck of a journey but I am here now and I am so happy to be in this position to share some of what I have learned about business and life in general.

I may not have taken the path best traveled but I am truly here now! I stand toe to toe with my peers in this business and I am very effective at the job that I do. I vividly remember standing in front of a room of about eighty financial advisors, just a few years back, preparing to introduce a Professor from Harvard University and thinking, Nobody I knew from Brooklyn would ever believe I am here doing this today. I mentioned this thought in a joking way to the Professor, and he said an interesting thing to me. He told me that many years ago he used to walk with Civil Rights leaders. He said, Rasheed, I may not know you but I would imagine that you have gone through many obstacles to get to where you are today. You should be proud!

It’s funny because when I talk to my mother about some of the things that I am doing or my accomplishments, she will look at me and laugh, thinking that is not possible knowing the young person that I used to be. God is truly great!

I am writing this book for all sales professionals but mostly to my peers presently in or about to enter the Financial Services industry. This business is a tremendous business and I am so fortunate to be a part of such an industry as the one we have. I have been a financial advisor, sales trainer, coach, and now a consultant, in this industry for many years and I would not want to do any other thing. [Okay, maybe I would love to be able to shoot hoops like a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James but that is about it.] It has taken me from very humbling beginnings to a life that I am truly comfortable in and very content with.

This industry has helped others do similar. At one time, I was in a relationship with a wonderful woman who was also in this industry and had become extremely successful in it. She is now able to provide her son with a better life than the one that she was afforded. She, herself, has since had a wonderful life, but her son will be able to start with advantages that she had not had access to. This business can truly be great and rewarding for people who work hard in it.

When I was a financial advisor back in the 90’s, I was like a sponge. I soaked up everything that people shared with me and all that I observed. One of the first lessons I can remember is my mentors telling me that I needed to have a hook. I needed an elevator speech that could be my commercial to market myself. It needed to capture intrigue and cause them to want to hear more from me. I thought hard about this and, even though my early thoughts were also about all the money I could make in this business, the one standout thing I thought was that I really did want to help people. This is a crazy concept, huh? But that is what I truly wanted to do. I wanted to ensure people were able to live their lives without the stresses of wondering how to pay for some of life’s necessities. I wanted parents to be able to decide where their children would go to school and not if they could attend school. I wanted to go to places like Wal-Mart and McDonalds and not wonder if those senior citizens were working there because they wanted to or because they truly had to. I wanted people to retire like my mother who, up until a few years ago, would take an occasional odd job because she was bored and wanted to get out of the house and not really because she needed the income (although she would say otherwise). Not retire like my father who passed away in 2002 and we had to pool together money to pay for his funeral. God rest his soul.

So that became my hook. When people would ask me what I did for a living, I would smile and say, I help people; that is what I do! Most people would look at my devilish grin and want to know more so I would expound for them. If I knew something about the person, like if they had children, I would tell them that, I help people like you send your children to college. Or, I help people like you and your husband purchase your dream homes. Or, I help people like you retire in a way that few could possibly dream of. I help people with their peace of mind so they can be free to enjoy the pleasures that life can afford. When you think about it what better gift can you give someone?

When I say that I help people, some might guess that I am something like a firefighter or a doctor instead of a financial advisor. That is probably because financial advisors rarely position us in that way. I do believe that saving a life is something that is very admirable and heroic. I am not comparing or trivializing the two in anyway; however, providing individuals with the peace of mind and resources to live their lives to the fullest is no trivial feat or matter. It is a gift. It may not be heroic in the same sense as fighting fires, but it is admirable. Financial advisors should be proud of what they do and all that they and their clients ever accomplish. So that focus on my purpose is how I began working on my brand.

Fast forwarding a few years into my career, I took over the management duties of the new hire sales program for a prominent financial services organization on Wall Street. This came about in sort of an unusual way. After a merger of organizations, I travelled down south to observe the first week of this program for new hires with thoughts of possibly working within it. There were already two people managing and running the program at the time.

I got off the plane and took a cab over to the site. When I got to the site, I found out that the person who was the lead manager of the program had been let go by the company. No real explanation was given to me, but I sensed it was a surprise and not something that people wanted to discuss. He wasn’t really the person that was the face of the program so the program would be able to go on for now without a hitch.

The next day I came to the class all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to observe the sessions. I met someone there who eventually turned in to a very good friend of mine. She introduced herself as the instructional designer for the program and we exchanged pleasantries. She was very nice and extremely knowledgeable about the process but had never worked on the sales side of this business. Between my review of the materials and my discussion with her, I could see the program addressed what to do as an advisor but very little about how to do it. I could easily identify where I would be able to add a lot of value if I became involved with this program.

Class was scheduled to begin at 8:00 am and, breaking from conversation, we noticed it was already 7:45 and the instructor had not arrived. One of the executives walked in, introduced herself to me, and then told the person I was chatting with that the instructor was feeling ill and might be in later that morning. This same executive kicked off the class and took the participants through an impromptu lesson that, in my opinion, really had no significant value in the course, but she was brilliant none the less. She spent about ninety minutes before she released them on a long break.

During the break, the executive made a call and found out the instructor would not be able to make it in at all that day. They debated about what to do and it was suggested to let the participants go back to the hotel for the day. Looking at the agenda, I knew that I could handle the day’s lesson even though I had no familiarity with the details of the curriculum. I offered that I felt I could handle delivering the program for the day. After some conversation, they agreed this would be a better strategy then cancelling for the day.

So when the class came back from break, I started working my way through the curriculum. I looked at the agenda and would read the topic while my new friend in the back prompted me with the objectives for each lesson. I simply taught the lesson improvised from my experience, guided by the agenda and objectives.

After about twenty minutes of observing my instruction, I noticed the executive left the room. At the next break, I asked the instructional designer if she thought I had gotten myself in trouble with the executive. She said, No, she was just comfortable with what you were doing. I thought, Okay cool, I get to keep my job.

We completed the day and I went back to the hotel feeling very satisfied as I reflected on what I had accomplished that day. As I had left, to my surprise, many of the participants thanked me for the day with smiles and a lot of passion. This kind of positive feedback certainly made me happy but I also wondered why they were so pleased.

I came in the next day intending to sit in the back and observe day two but, before I knew it, I was up front at the podium doing my thing again because the instructor was still very ill. So, I looked at the agenda and again received some guidance from the instructional designer and completed day two. After day two, I took the guide to the hotel with me just in case. Maybe, it was my internal compass working for me again. The next day I found out that the instructor had to fly back home and I had the opportunity to complete the whole two week course.

I completed the course successfully and at the conclusion of the course we had a small dinner for graduation where the class presented me with a one hundred dollar gift certificate to Target to buy my kids some Christmas presents. The participants and I got to know each other very well and that turned out to be one of the greatest professional experiences of my life. They even tricked me into going to a basketball game with them at one point. I usually would not go to such an event with students because I believe professionally and

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