Sidney C. Walker
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April 2011

"What Makes the Client Write the Check?"
by Sidney C. Walker


The academic world teaches us that the world works based on logic and reason. Certainly there is truth to this premise but if you are in sales you know there is a lot more to it. Logic and reason are the basis of a lot of sales training, but not the cause of very many successful sales. Logic and reason play a role in a sales presentation for sure, but the motivation to buy rarely comes from logic and reason. What makes people write the check is a feeling.


One of the biggest mistakes I consistently see talented, well-informed advisors make is to think that if they present a solution that makes logical sense to the client, they will buy it. If you only engage the intellect (the analytical mind), this makes it difficult for most people to make a buying decision. The intellect makes decisions based on information. There is an endless amount of information. There is a big potential for making a mistake which means you have to be cautious and learn as much as you can. Then add the fact that you can logically justify almost any point of view. Limiting your closing presentation to logic and reason will put most people into a permanent holding pattern, especially today.


So how do you find the feeling that will close the deal? Finding the feeling that will motivate someone to buy is not as illusive as you might think. You should be trying to create a list of all the things that your client feels are important to address in terms of their financial future. Then you have to determine what is the most important thing to do first. Not the thing "you" want your client to do first, but what do "they" want to do first. It is a lot easier to make someone a client by getting them to buy what they want. Make them a satisfied client and then you have the lifetime of the relationship to chip away at what they should do which also means lots of repeat sales.


Specifically, the feeling that will cause the client to write the check is going to be emotional or intuitional. I like to make a distinction between the two feelings because they are very different. Emotion is a more intense feeling that usually relates to a potential loss of control, loss of power, loss of status, or the inability to maintain the status quo in some way. Intuition is a quieter, more refined feeling usually relates to values like love, a sense of responsibility or sense of purpose. The combination of emotional and intuitional feelings includes a complex array of ingredients but fortunately the path to the dominant motivation is somewhat predictable and identifiable. The question that has the greatest potential to get people off the fence is something like: "I think we agree that what we are discussing makes sense, the real question is does it feel right?"


Unfortunately, this is not a question that gets asked as often as it should. We get extensive training on how to do linear logic but not so much on the big picture logic that can only be accessed by feelings. With the intellect, you can only process a few pieces of information at a time. With feelings you can process unlimited amounts of information all at once. If you donít get people to use the part of the brain that can process all the information all at once, your client will most likely want to think about it some more!


I wrote a book on the subject called Trust Your Gut. Through the month of May I will give you 33% off the $29.95 price and sign the book. But only buy the book if it feels right!

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