After you meet with prospects, are you still calling “just to follow up”? Stop! Instead, use these words to clearly set post-meeting expectations and connect more effectively and productively.
- Specifically plan your processes and practice your wording for finishing initial prospect meetings and subsequent follow-up.
- Test the words. Practice them and make them your own.
- Comfortably and confidently use these words to successfully close your meetings, connect genuinely when you do follow up, and be clear about what happens next.
Just calling to follow up? Avoid that dreaded language and try this instead.
Advisors often tell me they don’t enjoy that follow up call. Here’s how you need to set it up, though. You need to set the expectations for what will happen regarding follow-up just before that prospect leaves their first meeting with you.
In last week’s post I mentioned that you always want to com/2022/05/prospect-purpose-sets-pace-distraction-proof-advisor-idea-294" rel="noopener" target="_blank">leave prospects with something of value after their initial meeting so they leave with a positive impression of you. (Do this whether they’re going to “think about things” or even if you know they won’t be a good fit.) I offered you a copy of the Ash Brokerage fillable estate and end-of-life planning document The Facts of Your Life as a good resource to provide prospects. Just click the links in this post to review that video post or access the workbook.
When you’re winding up that initial conversation, and let’s say your prospects are still a little noncommittal— hey want to talk about this. That’s fine, but set the expectations. Let them know, if they’re not going to come on board with you immediately, you’ll call them within a week:
“Hey, today’s Thursday. How about I connect back with you a week from tomorrow, next Friday afternoon, and see how you’re feeling about things then? How does that work for you?” And that’s fine to do. Most people will be agreeable because that will aloow them to buy some time—they’re going to be able to delay making a definite decision and they’ll have time to talk with each other about how they’re really feeling about moving ahead with you.
So you’ve given them that complimentary workbook as they have left your office, and while they’re in the car driving home, they may have that ideal coversation where he turns to her and says, “Hey, so what do you think of him?”
He’s going to respond, “You know what? I felt the same way. But he did say he’d call us back next Friday. Let’s put them to the test,” which is perfect. You want to build credibility every opportunity you can.
Now, you’re going to follow up and call them next Friday. This is the language you use when you call:
“Hi Joe! It’s Paul Kingsman from Ash Brokerage.”
They’re obviously going to say, “Hi, how are you?” And you can say, “I’m good.”
Don’t ask them how they’re doing! Say, “I’m calling for a couple of reasons. With some of the headlines we’ve seen since we last met, How are you and Mary doing?” That’s how you want to introduce this because Joe is going to be thinking, “He’s coming back to loop around, to ask me what we’ve decided. Are we going to work with him?”
But for you, more important than them working with you is you knowing that they’re doing okay. So you’re empathetic here, regardless of what’s in it for you. You’ve already given them the complimentary document to take away about the facts of their life. So, you’re giving and giving and giving, whether they come on board with you or not.
After you’ve listened to their answer, then you can simply loop back, saying, “I mentioned last week when we met that I’d follow up with a call today. What have you and Mary decided? Have you had a chance to talk about it?”
If the answer is that final step you’re looking for where it’s, “Absolutely! We loved our time with you. What’s the next step we take to ensure we’re going to work with you?”, then away you go and tell them what happens next to start the onboarding process.
If it’s a, “You know what? Our kids called. The twins were sick. We took care of our grandchildren while our son and daughter-in-law could get out of town for a couple of days. We actually haven’t had too much time to discuss things.” Then you can simply respond, “That’s fine. Normally we just have one follow-up call like this and then leave the ball in your court. But because of what you’ve had happening, how about I connect back with you the middle of next week, say next Wednesday? How does that sound?”
If it’s a “yes,” then away you go—calendar it. You’re going to dial back with them next Wednesday.
If it’s a “We’ve still got two more people to talk with, and then we’ll come back to you,” then recognize they’ve taken the ball—they’ve got it in their court. If it’s someone you want to work with, then you can simply say, “Hey, that’s fine. Given what you and Mary discussed, I’d love to have you be part of a group I email content to from time to time—just helpful, timely relevant content about some of the things you mentioned. Is that okay to do? We don’t hound, we don’t pester. We just like to be of service to people.” If the reply is, “Yes, that’s fine,” then go ahead and include them on your list of people you share helpful, relevant information to semi-regularly. That’s the process after those prospect meetings when people aren’t ready to commit to moving forward with you during that initial meeting. You have three different cenarios here to roll with, but regardless of how conversations progress, you’re not going to be connecting with them to “just follow up.” Don’t do that! When I get those emails staring out with those words they usually get deleted pretty quickly, and when I hear someone say that on the phone, again, from the start, the words sound hollow and I’m looking to finish the conversation quickly.
So to do this most effectively,
- Dial in the language/strong>. Write out the words you will use and get comfortable with saying them.
- Test it. Start using this language in the next prospect conversations you have. The chances are that you’re not going to do it perfectly the first time, but it will be OK. Keep practicing and it will feel smoother each time you do it.
- Say it comfortably and confidently. Let that person know, “We typically follow up with one call and then we leave the ball in your court. We don’t hound, we don’t pester. From everything that you mentioned to us, we’d love to have you on board. In fact, when I came out of our meeting last week, I spoke with Sarah about the time I had, and she also really enjoyed meeting you. She could totally see you as one of our families work with.”
That’s how you close a meeting super successfully and then follow up. Do things this way, and the chances are your ideal prospects are going to come on board with you as clients.