If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours. — Ray Kroc
If you want high-quality clients, follow this structured three-step approach that gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and capabilities from the start.
Build rapport and trust with a prospect. Show you care about who they and their family are. The prospects should be speaking 80 percent of the time; you are listening and taking notes so that you can learn as much about the prospect as possible. This is not a presentation meeting. You are focused on asking and answering questions. You have no prescriptions, recommendations, or opinions until you fully understand the prospect.
- Uncover their needs, wants, unfulfilled desires, and concerns.
- Emotionally and economically qualify the prospect.
- Create interest to get the prospect ready to select you as their financial advisor.
Gain a complete understanding of the prospect’s current financial situation and experiences. The goal is to uncover technical needs, review their goals, and continue to increase their level of trust and likability in you that was built in meeting one so when the time comes to take the action of committing to you, they will say yes.
Discuss your strategy and plan for the prospects and their family. Your plan assumes the sale as a prelude to the question, “Are they ready to start working together?” Your plan is general enough so the prospects cannot implement it themselves but specific enough to define the actions they need to take with you.
- Demonstrate how you are going to help prospects achieve their goals.
- Shape your presentation around the prospect’s communication, buying style, and personality.
- Use emotional tie-ins and be prepared to handle objections so the prospect takes action with you because they are confident you have described a solid plan for their future financial well-being.
Four Rules From 30+ Years of Success:
- Know the prospects in-depth. Know their thoughts about their lives; their values, beliefs, hopes, and how they got to where they are, what they care about and why, who they care about, and what’s most important to them. In these meetings your questions will go beyond money and finances. You want to know about the prospect’s family, their health, their leisure interests, what they are interested in learning, their inner growth goals, and their home, community, and work lives.
- If your prospect is part of a couple, you must meet with both parties. The National Center for Women and Retirement estimates that 90 percent of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives. We also know that 70 percent of women fire their FA within a year of the loss of their spouse. It is critical, respectful, and appropriate, as well as of value and service, to treat couples in any relationship as equals in all ways—from what you say and how you say it, to the amount of time and the type of professional attention you pay to each partner. You need to understand each partner’s wants, needs, goals, risk attitudes, time frames, etc.
- Listen for the real message your prospect is sending. Subjugate your ego to listen, hear, and understand your prospect. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships. Listening results in better discovery, better recommendations and decisions, better plans, more respect for you, and uncovering opportunities based on the prospect’s true wants and needs. This is service and value.
- Show your strengths, capabilities, values, integrity, and character. A Forbes article states, “Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are” — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. Prospects make up their mind about you quickly and spend the rest of their time justifying their initial belief. In those first seven seconds, your prospects observe your grooming, your welcome, your demeanor, your teammates, your opening comments, as well as the physical environment in which you meet. These are areas in which you need to approach perfection.