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June 2010

Chemistry, Timing, and Money...
by Sidney C. Walker


If you are a relationship-oriented financial advisor, there are three essential elements to making a sale. If you are missing one element, you either wonít make the sale or possibly wish you hadnít made the sale at some point in the future. The three elements are Chemistry, Timing, and Money.


Chemistry is a rapport or a "connection" between you and the client. Sometimes what you have in common is past history, mutual friends, or maybe you share similar values. Sometimes the communication just seems to click. Chemistry is hard to define. It is different for everyone, but most people know when the chemistry is there or can learn to identify chemistry. The most significant impact of chemistry is that it usually leads to trust. And trust is what ultimately opens the door for the sale.


Of course, you can make sales without chemistry but if you are a relationship-oriented advisor, no chemistry usually means that the relationship is going to be an ongoing challenge. Whatever negative characteristics the client demonstrates early on will likely always be there. Usually, any negative characteristics the client has will be amplified when something goes wrong. Some advisors have a greater tolerance for a lack of chemistry than others. Some advisors will put up with almost anything, other advisors have a short fuse when the client is over-bearing, critical, or demonstrates a lack of respect for the advisor.


I have seen situations where a single client made an advisorís life a nightmare until the advisor fired the client. If you have a low tolerance for client whining and complaining, I highly recommend you donít take on clients where the chemistry is not there, no matter how much money they have. Hundreds of my coaching clients have shared with me that limiting their clients to people they have chemistry with was a turning point in their career.


Other benefits of limiting your clients to those you have chemistry with is that they buy quicker, they buy more often, they will cut you some slack if you make a mistake, and they are much more likely to refer you to their friends. My experience says chemistry is a big deal and to a great extent will determine the quality of your work life. Some would argue that limiting your clients to those you have chemistry with is required to have an ideal practice.


Timing and Money are less complicated elements. Timing simply means that the client has a current need for something you are offering. Money simply means that the client has the financial resources to pay for the product or service you are offering.


So what do you do the next time you meet someone who has a need for what you are offering and has the ability to pay for it but the chemistry is just not there? You can take this client on but realize they could easily turn out to be a hassle. Dan Kennedy, the marketing guru, says he will take on a client where the chemistry is not there, he just charges them twice his normal fee because he knows they are going to be a lot more work. Unfortunately, this is not often a workable option in selling financial products and services, but you get the idea.


If the chemistry and the money are there but the timing is off, keep track of those people because the timing will change at some point and those people can turn into great clients.


If you are newer to the financial services business, I usually recommend you talk to anyone who will talk to you. This is the fastest way to learn who you have chemistry with and who is going to be a lot of work. Once you see how this psychological qualifying process works, you then have the challenge of deciding who you take on as a client. Only you can determine how important chemistry is for your practice and it is good to remember that this is not an exact science so you have to trust your instincts, which will improve with experience.



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Have a productive June,

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