Sidney C. Walker
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February 2013

"Go For Interest, Not Just An Appointment!"
by Sidney C. Walker


In less than a year after graduating from college, I decided to sell life insurance at age twenty-two. Those were the days when they gave you a rate book and said, "Everyone needs more. Go get 'em!"

The most important thing was to get an appointment with someone so you could talk about life insurance. It didn't matter how you got the appointment, just that you did. Then, somehow you had to get the conversation over to life insurance and hope for the best. I was actually good at getting people to see me. But my appointments often didn't go very far because the people I was talking to were not really interested in life insurance and I wasn't really telling them much about what we were going to talk about. I would say things like, "Let me stop by and show you the kind of work I do." In the old days you didn't need to say much more than that to make an appointment. It required more nerve than skill.

That was over thirty years ago. To say times have changed is a laughable understatement. But some things never change. You still need to make appointments to turn prospects into clients.

I tried many different telephone languages in my subsequent years in the life insurance business. As a coach to financial advisors, I have tried hundreds more ideas. What follows are some highlights of what I have learned works the best for relationship-oriented advisors which I define as: advisors who care more about the relationship with the client than they do about making the sale.

Of course, you have to make sales to stay in business. But you don't have to control and lead people into a corner to get them to write you a check. You can teach people how to maximize what they do with their conservative money. You can help them figure out which approach works best for them and then help them get it. And you can make a great living in the process!

So if you're a "relationship-builder" and not a "client-controller," how does that change what you do on the telephone? One of the biggest differences is that you don't want to make an appointment if there isn't some interest on the part of the prospect. If you are a relationship-builder, your strength is not making appointments with people who are not interested and then getting them interested. That approach is way too adversarial for a relationship-builder. Your strength is in getting to know people, establishing rapport, finding chemistry, and developing a relationship. You are a lover not a fighter. If there is no interest on the part of the prospect, you are probably wasting your time.

If you want your prospect to express some interest in what you are doing, you need to offer something of tremendous value to your prospects to get their attention. Here is the phone language that I have used for years with hundreds of coaching clients. I have tested this language endlessly. It works better than anything else I have ever tried. Remember, this is for relationship-builders not client-controllers.

At the appropriate time in the conversation you say...

What I typically like to do is spend an hour together. I will give you as much information as I can on whatever topics are of greatest interest to you. I will answer as many questions as I can.

I don't charge for this meeting and there's nothing to buy at this point.

I can typically make or save people thousands of dollars, even ten's of thousands of dollars...just from this single meeting!

Does that sound like that might be helpful?
Or, Does that sound like it might be worth you and I spending some time together?"


Try that language! If you are trying to get people interested in what you are offering, offer a lot and make the offer so good that it's hard to say no to.

To be continued next month...

Have a productive February,

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