The Solutions Formula

Overcoming objections requires an appreciation for underlying challenges and creative solutions

Most advisers and insurance agents know that they will be faced with inevitable challenges in their business. However, rarely do they have a formula for creating and applying solutions. As a result, they leave overcoming challenges up to chance. A common phrase about challenges that I hear often from my clients is, “I guess there is nothing I can do about it. It is what it is.”

What if there was something you could do about it? In fact, what if there was a formula for creating solutions? Thomas J. Watson said it best when he said, “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.”

In other words, within every problem lies the answer to how to fix it. You just need a formula for finding the answer. After coaching advisers and agents for over two decades, I have established a formula that works. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step approach that I call “The Solutions Formula” to help you find your own solutions.

Step 1.  Identify Your Challenges

Knowing what your real challenge is, is half the battle. Unfortunately, often it seems that advisers and agents focus their attention on their lack of current results rather than delving into understanding what the underlying obstacle is.

Take William D., a veteran financial adviser who admitted that he had recently had a number of closing appointments but didn’t actually make a close. Instead of trying to understand why he didn’t close, he was frustrated at the fact that he wasn’t closing.

I had him look at four possible “root challenges” for not closing, which were:

  1. He didn’t have the right questions to help prospects understand the benefits of why they should buy.
  2. He was spending too much time telling prospects what they needed to do instead of asking them those right questions.
  3. He didn’t come right out and ask the prospect if they wanted to buy by saying, “Are you comfortable moving ahead?”
  4. He didn’t have a process to overcome objections.

After giving it some thought, William knew that it wasn’t a matter of one challenge but, in his case, all four of the aforementioned challenges.

Step 2.  Identify Solutions and Tools

Knowing the results you want is essential if you want to succeed in any endeavor. However, when you can identify the specific solutions and have tools to apply those solutions, you are more apt to end up with successful outcomes.

After William and I discussed his challenges, it was time to discuss the solutions I recommended:

  1. S.P.I.N. Selling, which is a process for designing the right questions to ask.
  2. The Question Path Exercise, which is a step-by-step method for asking questions so that they flow in a conversational way.
  3. The Closing Question, which is a summary of everything in the conversation and an ask for the order.
  4. The Objection-Resolution Model, which is a proven system for handling objections.

Once William understood what the tools were, it was time to apply and access them.

Step 3.  Apply and Assess Results

The final step is to utilize the tools on a consistent basis, and assess and evaluate the results. If you still have the challenge, you would need to find additional tools or make tweaks to your action steps.

In the following weeks, William applied all of the aforementioned tools. As a result, his close ratio went up over 90%! In addition, he has continued utilizing these tools and is maintaining the same greater level of success.

Why the Solutions Formula Works

The foundation of establishing success on a continual basis is grounded in having a series of proven systems, which are moving you in the right direction. No single solution is the cure all. However, the reason why the Solutions Formula works is because it’s a process for identifying challenges as well as solutions and tools. So, the next time you find yourself with a challenge, view it as an opportunity to apply The Solutions Formula.

Dan Finley has a 25-plus year successful brokerage career that began in 1993 and includes 14 years as a successful financial adviser. He has accumulated over 22,000 hours of individual and group sessions coaching financial advisers and insurance agents since 2004. He can be reached at 715-262-2040 or          

Practice Management