Crowded Marketplace? Share Your Truth!

case study

Massive competition is something many entrepreneurs and salespeople face every day. Those in real estate or insurance are good examples, but it also applies to those in software, selling customer relationship management or accounting systems. When you know you are one of many, how do you get your prospect’s attention?

This is what Michael Silicz and I spoke about recently. He’s a long-time reader of this blog who generously offered to be a case study. Two years ago, Michael became an investment advisor with National Bank Financial Wealth Management, and there’s no disputing that, when it comes to investment advisors, it’s a crowded marketplace.

What can Michael do to grab the attention of more prospects and increase his client base? How should he structure his cold call?

“It’s incredibly difficult to meet new clients,” says Michael. “It’s hard to earn their trust quickly and there are so many investment advisors doing the same thing.”

But Michael brings some unique attributes to his work. He’s a lawyer who spent 5 years working for the Province of Manitoba as a policy analyst. This background in law and politics fueled an interest in noticing, researching and following trends … and this led him to climate change and responsible investing.

“Responsible investing means looking at a company from the financial side and also looking at what’s known as ESG – Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance.” (Goldman Sachs has even published white papers citing ESG as ‘the new bottom line’.)

“It includes things like gender-neutral boards, arms-length directors, climate change policies, and so on. If companies are organized enough to have these things in place, they are going to do better than their peers,” says Michael. “That’s what I believe.”

As we talk about this, Michael’s voice changes. He’s no longer an investment advisor in search of phone skills, but someone deeply passionate about and committed to his work. By sharing his story with me, revealing his truth, he proves his honesty and wins my trust.

So … to grow his business, Michael needs to inspire a similar conversation with his prospects. Here’s my suggestion for how, in a cold call, he can get this conversation started:

“Hi Mary Jane, this is Michael Silicz from National Bank Financial Wealth Management. The reason for my call … I work with investors who focus on aligning their financial decisions with their values. Whether this relates to corporate governance, climate change, human rights … . As Manitoba’s only Certified Responsible Investment Advisor, my clients experience strong returns while supporting important change in our world. I’m wondering, what values matter most to you when you are considering a new investment?”

While not all of the individuals Michael contacts will answer this open-ended question, those who do are definitely his target market, a warm lead, and interested in having a conversation. He’ll have the chance to talk about his legal and political experience, as well as his passion for his work. Trust will happen … and so will the one-on-one meetings that will result in new clients.

If you find yourself selling in a crowded marketplace, allow yourself to be completely genuine. Share exactly who you are and what you believe with your audience. That’s how you’ll build trust. Oscar Wilde said it best: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

Enjoy your phone work everyone!

If you’ve enjoyed reading these case studies and would like to be featured here with your sales or customer service challenge, then please get in touch with me via email at We’ll set up a time to … talk on the phone!

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What's The Phone Lady doing?


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