What is the question that has the
greatest impact on your closing presentation? It is simply
this important to you?" This is a question that you should have asked
before you get to a closing presentation. The answer to this question
is what you lead with in your closing presentation. However, if you
forgot to ask the question prior to your closing interview, this
question can still be asked during the close for the first time and it
can still work.
Why is this question so powerful? In the
Dale Carnegie sales vernacular, it gets at the "dominant buying
motive." This is the single most powerful motivation for a client to
take action on whatever you are proposing. If you go into a closing
interview without it, you are essentially flying blind and have
substantially increased the odds of the client doing nothing.
Whenever I am coaching an advisor who
has a lot of business pending and nothing seems to be closing, I ask
two questions. The first question is, "Tell me about one of your
pending cases and what the client is trying to accomplish?" The second
question is, "Tell me in the client’s words, why this is important to
them?" Almost no one in this situation answers the second question
without some major fumbling for words.
What does a dominant buying motivation
sound like? It is usually a feeling or the feeling that will come from
having the solution to the problem in place. Examples are: peace of
mind, sense of security, an expression of love, care, or concern for
others; feeling responsible, sense of recognition or prestige; feeling
of confidence or competence that you did your best to plan for the
future. The opposites of the above feelings can be prime motivators as
well, avoiding feelings like: looking bad, looking irresponsible,
feeling embarrassed, etc. I would advise that you always state the
dominant motivation of a client in positive terms even if you have to
change their words a little (which I ordinarily advise against). They
will appreciate the positive spin.
The opening language of your closing
presentation should sound something like: "John and Mary, you told me
that you want to have a certain lifestyle when you retire and want to
look at the best options available to give you that lifestyle.
Furthermore, you said that this is important to you because you have
worked hard all your life and you want to have something to show for
it when you retire. You also said it is important for you to be able
to spend time with your grand children and to be able to help them
with college if they need it or to get a start in life. And this is
important to you because of the help you got from your parents which
made a huge difference in what you were able to achieve. Do I have
that right? Is there anything you want to add?" Don’t worry about
grammar or sentence structure here, just use their words as much as
you can and re-state anything related to what they said was important.
The more the better.
Here is a test scenario. The client says
to you, "I need to find a way to save more and protect my money from
potential loss." Do you jump in and show off your knowledge of how to
accomplish these objectives or do you see the opportunity to get at
their dominant motivation? I am a big proponent of teaching people
what their options are but be careful not to forget to ask somewhere
in that interview, "John and Mary, you said you want to save more and
protect your money from potential loss. Tell me more about why that is
important to you?"
Have a productive November and a
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