Michael Collins, a member of non-profit group Toastmasters who regularly gives presentations to international audiences, warned that more attention should be paid to giving the right impression by focusing on mannerisms and dedicating more time to listening.
He said: “If you cannot sell yourself as a person, you are going to find it difficult to sell your idea, your product, or your service. The cornerstone of being able to sell yourself is the ability to communicate.
“Do not limit the success of your business by your inability to communicate and successfully sell yourself. If you want to increase your sales then it is important to learn to sell yourself first.”
He said the first of seven steps to successful communication was humour because clients do not always remember what was said and done but remembered how you made them feel.
Mr Collins said listening was often overlooked when it was pivotal to tailoring a personal service. He also said that how a person dresses must be carefully linked to the type of image that he wanted to portray.
He stressed the importance of practising speeches, being in a positive mood before meetings, smiling to soften the mood and adding a personal touch by maintaining eye contact with clients.
David Crozier, director of Northern Ireland-based Navigator Financial Planning, said: “This really should not come as light-bulb information to any proper financial planner. I would bet money that all of the best financial planners in the country – by which I mean the leading lights in the Institute of Financial Planning community that we all look up to – are doing most if not all of this.”