Most financial planners have a tendency to tell prospects and clients what they need to do. Unfortunately, this approach creates resistance. Dwight D. Eisenhower said it best, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
The common phrase, “Nobody wants to be sold to, but everybody wants to buy,” is a prime example of what most planners just don’t understand: people buy when they understand why they should buy. In other words, they buy when they realize what the problem is and that you have the solution.
Have you ever taken the time to think about how to help prospects and clients truly understand the reasons why you are recommending specific products and services?
If not, utilize the following steps to help guide you through that process.
Step 1: Understand the Benefits of Your Recommendations
The first step is to write out three benefits for your recommendation(s). If you don’t understand the benefits of your recommendations, the prospect won’t either. This can be done by using a tool that I created for my coaching clients, The Question Path Exercise.
Sean, a five-year veteran financial planner client of mine was about to have biggest single day of his career by gathering $7 million in total assets. Unfortunately, he had never heard of the concept of “Insight Selling,” which is about providing a prospect with the insight regarding the benefits of a recommendation so they fully understand why they should buy. I explained the concept and had him fill out The Question Path Exercise starting with the top three benefits of his recommendations.
Step 2: Prepare the Right Questions to Ask
The second step is to map out three or four questions for each of those benefits to help them understand that they have a problem and your benefits are the solutions.
Once Sean had his three benefits filled out, I recommended that we design three or four questions around each benefit. The process started out by formulating a question that would prompt a prospect to realize that they had a problem. An example of this is the question, “Do you know how much diversification you have in your current portfolio?” We followed it up with two other questions to help the prospect understand that they did not have enough diversification, which is a problem and that they needed more, which is the solution.
Step 3: Summarize Two Options
The third step is to articulate a dialogue that summarizes that they have two options, to keep doing what they are doing or buy a product that has those benefits.
After role playing, Sean fully understood the process, his questions and the options he would share. We continued honing his conversation which ended up sounding like this: “So, it sounds like having diversification is important to you?” In which case the prospect would agree. Next, we summarized the only two options that the prospect has by comparing what he is currently doing to the three benefits he could get by choosing Sean’s recommendations. This sounded like, “You have two options: you could keep doing what you are doing or you could get diversification, reduced risk and possibly better returns.”
Step 4: Ask for the Order
The fourth step is to ask, “Of the previous two options, which one is better for you?" At this point, I recommended that Sean use what I call the Ultimate Close, which was just ask for the order. An example of this is, “Which option do you feel is better for you?”
Why Helping People Buy Works
Following this stepwise approach can help you map out a presentation that prospects will understand. The reason why helping people buy works so well is because it allows them to comprehend both the challenge and the solution and when they realize that they came to the conclusion on their own, they are far more likely to purchase.
So, what happened to Sean?
After practicing the presentations several times, he closed not one, but both of his prospects that day and gathered $7 million in new assets. That was more than in his entire previous year.
If helping prospects buy is something you need guidance with, or if you would like to hear an audio version of the “Advisor Success Story: How to Gather $7M in Assets in One Day,” email Melissa Denham, direct of client servicing.