sales

The 3 Pillars to a Successful Sales Approach 

By Gui Costin

When it comes to raising capital for investment strategies, the best strategies are rooted in basic sales principles. Our team has tailored these principles to yield the highest levels of success based on over 20 years of working with over 30 different investment firms. Our firm has raised over $25 billion for our clients and there is no question that we have been able to do that by adhering to a three-pillar approach in everything we do.  

I will go into detail about what these pillars are, but ultimately, it’s all about knowing who to call on, knowing what to say, and how to follow-up.  

Pillar 1: Call on people who buy what you sell

The focus of any sales effort must be calling on people who buy what you sell. You must call on the right buyers. To do that, you need to know who your buyer is. For example, we are specialists at growing small mutual funds. Other people are experts at raising capital for hedge funds or private equity funds. You need to do a deep and honest assessment of your product, its strategy and approach, and your product structure to determine the optimal fit. You can then expand out beyond the primary channel. Understanding who is the right buyer takes time; however, it’s time well spent if it means you have a higher rate of connecting with the right people.  

Pillar 2: Be a master messenger

Once you determine who your target audience is that is going to give you the best opportunity to win business, you must figure out how to pitch your strategy and tell your story. This is so critical I cannot emphasize it enough. Institutional investors need to understand your story. Performance isn’t enough; they need to understand how you got to the numbers. I heard one of my favorite marketers, Russel Brunson, commented that people who are passionate about what they do tend to resort to “techno-babble.” The goal is to use very carefully chosen words, to tell your story and bring it life. Think carefully about what they are interested in and what their concerns are likely to be. Your message needs to compel them to act; it won’t do that if you haven’t considered the audience.  

Pillar 3: Have a killer follow-up system 

Poor follow-up is the single biggest failure of most salespeople. They can get the meeting, perform well in the meetings and then they drop the ball and never follow-up. There is the post-meeting follow-up that most salespeople in the investment industry will send an email thank you with attachments. While this has been sufficient in the past, institutional investors are hammered with so many emails this is no longer effective. Successful sales professionals track and find personal ways to make an impression whether through mail, calls, or follow-up meetings.  

If you have a quality investment strategy, when you put these processes in place, there is no question you will dramatically increase the number of prospects you get. No one can guarantee that you will raise money – the closing part is up to you; however, following these three pillars of successful selling will inevitably lead to greater success.