Winning in Sales

Episode 53: Winning in Sales
Guest: Carmela Elco

This week’s guest came to my attention from a recent list from the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) identifying the top women advisors in the country for 401K or retirement savings. Carmela Elco is the Managing Director and Senior ERISA Consultant with Blue Prairie Group. Originally from a human resources background, Carmela graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and holds an M.A. in Human Resources Management from St. Francis University. Working with retirement plans and 401Ks, Carmela found that she really enjoyed it over other areas of human resources. She transitioned from working in a human resources capacity into a consultant position fairly holistically and has been providing great work for her clients ever since. Carmela is very collaborative and she has a passion for her work. That combined with her dedication to her clients and the industry has helped her stand out as one of the top female advisors of 2015.

Securing the sale of a 401K can take anywhere between one to two years, making the sales process extremely important. Carmela recommends establishing an advocate and build trust with that individual. This is especially important in those competitive situations. By communicating with your advocate, you can ask certain questions including what the committee’s overall concerns are, or what materials others may find beneficial. Also, Carmela recommends understanding the culture of the organization and how they approach their decision making and working with their partners. One way to do this is by reaching out to your network and finding those connections.

If you’re interested in learning more about the art of sales, be sure to read Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff. This book will walk you through every step of a pitch and provide you with strategies and tactics to engage and persuade your audience.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Powering Your Business

Episode 48: Powering Your Business
Guest: Jessica Ballin

Jessica Ballin has always been interested in finances. Even back in high school, she started as a bank teller and eventually was accepted into the Carlson School of Management, through the University of Minnesota. When she got there and was asked what she wanted to do, she chose finance, because of her previous experience. When she did her internship, she had the opportunity to learn a lot more about 401Ks. She became hooked and has been doing that ever since. In 2006, Jessica decided to try something on her own and started her own business, 401(k) Plan Professionals. She has worked hard to be where she is and has recently made the NAPA’s Top Women Advisors.

Being a female in the industry, she quickly noticed that it was male-dominated. She found that by really knowing her stuff, she was able to be competitive in the market.  Jessica was able to gain respect by talking, listening and showcasing her knowledge rather than just trying to sell, sell, sell. She really focused on teaching her clients and found that she approached worked. Jessica admits that it doesn’t work all the time but it has worked for the most part. Over the last few years, she has refined her process of rehearsing, taking notes and being prepared.

Jessica has a very busy life. Between owning her business and raising three boys, she has found that taking care of herself was crucial in maintaining a great balance. She has made the decision to put her family first and to encourage work-life balance within her business. She also has a great team that are able to pick up her workload if there is something that Jessica needs to handle at home.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked this episode, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Getting Generational

Episode 39: Getting Generational with Sheri Fitts

Welcome back and happy November! This week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show is a little unique. Last year, I had the pleasure of speaking at an event about the differences within various generations and how to talk to each of them about money in an effective way.

Did you know that there are currently four generations that shape our workforce today? There is the Traditionalist (born 1925 – 1945), which in 2014 made up eight percent of the workforce. This generation is conservative in their actions, and they prefer their communication in the form of the written word (memos). Compare that to the Millennials (born 1981 – 2000), who were raised with technology, prefer to communicate through text messages, are used to having adult-like conversations and want a level playing field right out of college, rather than putting in the time (as the Traditionalists would typically prefer to see). In between those two are the Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), who are the optimists and want to be involved in the decisions and the GenX (born 1965 – 1980), who are skeptical because they’ve seen quite a few people fall from power. Again, these two generations are a very interesting contrast.

Each generation has their way of communicating and their beliefs about money. However, one thing is similar across all generations – people’s relationship with money is personal. The conversation should be based around emotions and aspirations and not around fear, shame and doubt. The goal should be to build a plan and to build a personal relationship rather than a business relationship

“When you have a dream and a plan working together in the construction of a life chapter, you have a ‘mission,’ a circumscribed purpose that defines your use of time and space for the duration of this particular life chapter. People with a mission know where they want to go.”

Frederic M. Hudson
Mastering the Art of Self-Renewal

If people can understand the vision of their future where they can redefine what it means to work and give back to their communities and make a plan that talks about their life rather of their money, they may become a little more engaged around the conversation around their finances.

To view my full presentation, here it is. If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Proving Them Wrong

Episode 32: Proving Them Wrong
Guest: Jeanne Fisher

Hello again! I hope you’re having a great week and feeling happy and inspired. This week’s guest is truly a woman who is rocking Wall Street. Jeanne Fisher is a Certified Financial Planner with ARGI Financial Group and an ambassador for the CFP Board. A true believer in education, Jeanne has her CFP, a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. She is also one of the first female Certified Financial Planners in Bowling Green, K.Y.

Upon graduating, Jeanne found herself applying for positions in the financial industry as a 22-year-old female. Instead of receiving job offers, she was told to sell cell phones and apply for the job again in 5 years. In one interview, she was offered a secretarial position, even considering all her credentials. While Jeanne faced one negative response after another, her internal mantra of “I’ll prove you wrong” motivated her to continue. Needless to say, she proved them all wrong.

For the women just starting their careers in finance, Jeanne says that it’s going to be harder than you ever thought it was going to be, but it’s worth it. She recommends that you find a mentor or senior advisor who can help you create a client base as well will help you grow as an advisor. If you can find that person, then you’ll be set. Remember too, you can prove everyone wrong if you set your mind to your goals. Dedication, passion, and perseverance make success taste even sweeter.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Women Rocking Wall Street. Be sure to share this podcast with your friends and colleagues. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Increased reviews help increase the visibility of this podcast, which means more listeners (more listeners, more impact!)