In order to have a 90% closing ratio,
you have to get the client to verbalize what is important to
them and why it is important. If you don't get your
prospective clients to discover and verbalize these critical elements,
your closing ratio is going to stay around 25-30%. So there is a lot
of money to be made by becoming skilled at this simple problem-solving
Point of clarification, "getting to
the feeling level," "asking the 'why' question" and "getting the
prospective client to verbalize what's important to them and why it is
important," are all the same thing. When someone verbalizes why
something is important, it will usually have a feeling attached to it.
An example of asking the "why"
question goes like this. If your prospective client says its important
to save money. You attempt to get to his or her feelings on the
subject by asking: "You know Joe, a lot of people say it's
important to save money these days, why is that important to YOU?"
Asking someone why something is important to them is usually going to
lead to the feeling behind what they have said is important to them. I
like this approach because it makes it logical for people to give you
a feeling response.
So what are the reasons advisors don't
get to the feeling level in a sales interview? There are several:
Some advisors are afraid to ask
the question "why." This is more of a rookie fear but I have
seen experienced advisors hesitate on asking the why question. The
concern is that this is asking the prospective client for more
information than you are entitled to or that there are some things
that are not any of your business. This is a ridiculous notion, of
course, as many fears are. You need to get all the information you can
possibly get about everything you think might be pertinent in order to
come up with the best solution for your prospective client.
Some advisors don't understand the
significance of asking the why question. We are all trained to
take an analytical approach to problem solving and therefore we tend
to take an analytical approach to selling as well. The problem is that
people don't make buying decisions based on logic alone. Sure the
logic needs to be there but it is not the motivator that gets people
to write the check. What motivates people to buy is a combination of
logic, emotion, and intuition. If the feelings are not there, usually
neither is the sale.
What usually happens with the "logic
only" advisor is that as soon as the prospective client shows
interest in anything, the advisor is pitching a solution or getting
information in order to make a closing presentation. The advisor is
usually so focused on the logic of their product or solution, it
doesn't occur to them to ask the prospective client the why questions.
Just as often the prospective client will not buy and say "Let me
think about it." This is actually a very logical response on the
part of the prospective client. If he or she is not in touch with the
feeling of why something is important, they won't be motivated to buy
no matter how much logical sense it makes to buy the solution!
Sometimes advisors don't make a
distinction between facts and feelings. This usually happens
when the prospective client is giving us a lot of information all at
once. The tendency can be to try to write down all the information
rather than focus on the feelings. In reality you can always go back
and get any information you need. The prospective client will always
appreciate your efforts to make sure you understand what they want and
why they want it. So don't hesitate to go back and get clarification
on important facts and feelings if the prospective client is giving
you a ton of information all at once.
"It worked so well I stopped doing
it." This is the lament of many advisors who have experienced
the power of getting to the feeling level and then reverted back to old
habits. It takes effort and discipline to get the client to verbalize
why things are important to them. It is easy to skip this step,
especially if you have made some sales and the prospective client did
all the work for you. When you make sales without getting the client
to verbalize why what they are doing is important to them, it creates
the illusion that you don't need to ask for this information. If you
want a 25-30% closing ratio you don't need to ask. If you want a
90% closing ratio, you have to ask the "why" questions.
Whenever I am coaching a financial
advisor who is having trouble getting cases closed, here is where I
start. I tell them to pick one of cases they are working on. Tell me
what the prospective client wants and why they want it in a couple of
sentences. If you can't answer this question with confidence, you are
letting a small fortune slip through you fingers.
I have spent 30 years perfecting this
process for relationship-oriented advisors. If you want to master the
art of Selling Without Wrestling®,
check out my new training and coaching website. It is the most
extensive website specifically dedicated to the low-key approach and
industry specific for financial advisors. And, you can check it our
for 7-days for free!
Have a productive month,
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