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. Introduction
. Attitude & Action for Achievement
. Business Breakthroughs
. The Psychology of Client Decision Making
. The Manager as Coach
. The Art & Science of Selling
. Leading with Emotional Intelligence
. Attitude & Action for Leadership Achievement


The Psychology of Client Decision Making
Achieved significant growth in funds under management

FinOne * is a national finance company that helps people make decisions about their money, from investing to planning for retirement. FinOne asked ABT to help its sales team become more proactive and productive by changing the way their advisors think.


FinOne wanted to increase its sales by improving the loyalty of existing customers, and also by winning new business. The management at FinOne recognised that to do this, advisors need to be more proactive and productive. It meant changing the mindset of each advisor to increase their motivation, confidence and communication.


The first step was to identify FinOne's needs. Through discussions with stakeholders at FinOne, ABT was able to identify the key issues. This enabled ABT to tailor a training program that focused specifically on the advisors and their business.

Research published in Harvard Management Review shows that companies who display best practice in managing their customer emotional engagement, generate 26% more gross margins and 85% sales growth over their five largest competitors. Emotionally satisfied customers contribute more to the bottom line than 'rationally satisfied' customers. In fact, the behaviour of rationally satisfied customers is no different from that of dissatisfied customers.

ABT tailored its 'Psychology of Client Decision Making' program into a two-day workshop aimed to meet the advisors' particular needs. The training program was designed to build the advisors' awareness and skills in making the emotional connection with their clients. It focused on the importance of building value in the client's mind.

FinOne and ABT decided that the best approach was to deliver training in several stages to ensure the new attitudes and skills transferred into new behavioural habits. This would ensure ongoing benefits. ABT designed the workshop materials and developed productivity exercises and coaching assignments pitched at FinOne's advisors.

Following the workshop, ABT conducted individual coaching sessions for each advisor over the telephone. Coaching has proven to increase training outcomes by more than 60%. The coaching focused on specific development activities set during the training workshop. It was initially delivered by ABT and then taken over by the FinOne management.

ABT provided FinOne managers with the tools and templates to coach and support the transfer of training. This meant FinOne could independently continue helping advisors maintain their new skills.

Later, ABT followed up with FinOne to check the outcomes and ensure the training had impacted behavioural patterns in the long-term.


The sales team achieved results 75% over budget in the first six months. This is a remarkable result that shows the powerful nature of having a 'can-do' attitude. Advisors were asked to comment on what they had learned from the training. Their answers highlight the change in their mental processing. They understand the psychology of selling, which impacts their customer interactions.

Advisors put their success down to their ability to more effectively plan for and structure meetings and, perhaps more importantly, listen to client's needs. They said they were more confident and relaxed with clients. As a result, they were able to sell more deals and close deals more quickly than before.

Here are some of their comments:

  • "In the past I had a tendency to make statements. I'm now focusing on asking questions and getting the client to articulate the benefit."
  • "I am now more conscious of how I interview clients and listen to them and ask questions to get them opening up to me."
  • "I now keep quiet and hold back from jumping in too early with advice."
  • "I am more confident."
  • "I have a greater connection with the client."
  • "I'm more effective and efficient. My energy is better directed and I'm working smarter."
  • "I'm now more conscious of the importance of planning a meeting before I have it."
  • "I am more proactive and I engage clients a lot more."
  • "Plan sold. I planned interview questions prior to the meeting. By the end of the meeting we had mapped out the course of action … The client did 80% of the talking and got to articulate the benefits that she perceived … I have met my target for first quarter of 2006 with a month to spare! This is my best quarter in my career."

The Evidence

Advisors were asked to judge how they saw their performance before and after the training. The results, shown in the table below, illustrate a marked improvement across all the target areas.

performance comparison

Overall, the advisors regarded the training as highly valuable and beneficial. The graph below shows that advisors rate the training they received at 8.5 out of 10 or higher, and recommend similar training to other sales teams.

course rating


-The Psychology of Client Decision Making

-The Manager as Coach

-Leading with Emotional Intelligence

-Emotional Intelligence in Selling

-Business Breakthroughs

-The Art and Science of Selling

-Attitude and Action for Achievement

-Building a Positive Workplace

Note:The client's name has been changed to maintain their privacy.