Sidney C. Walker
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March 2010

What Will Keep You From
"Getting To The Feeling Level?"

by Sidney C. Walker

 


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 strategy.

 

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!

 

www.SellingWithoutWrestling.com

 

Have a productive month,


Toll-free: 877-985-3297
sid@sidwalker.com

 


 

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