“Hey, come on. Are you going to buy or not?” An advisor who said something like that to prospects probably wouldn’t be qualifying for MDRT. You have made it because you understand your clients’ needs and want to do the best job possible. Sometimes, we wish magic phrases existed — words that would make turning a prospect into a client easier. They don’t, but here are seven expressions you can put into your own words.
- “We are all in this together.” It’s a newer client. You just made a series of investments. The stock market went down suddenly. They are worried.
Why it works: Sometimes clients feel investing is like gambling. Although you are a financial advisor, they see you as a friendly croupier in a casino, ultimately unconcerned whether a player wins or loses. “We are all in this together” establishes common ground. You are an investor too. Your net worth is also impacted. If they own insurance products with a degree of protection against market volatility, you can explain it.
- “Let me make this easy for you.” You present lots of information. Sometimes prospects get confused. They don’t know where to start. They say: “Let me think about it.” Get out in front. “Let me make this easy for you” precedes your recommendation on how to proceed, what happens next.
Why it works: You would never say “Here’s what I want you to do,” yet you are telling your prospect the next steps you would like them to take. Psychologically, who wouldn’t want something to be easy?
- “Does this make sense to you?” Often when we present a proposal to a prospect, we talk and they listen. When they come across something they don’t understand or that bothers them, they stop listening, intending to ask a question. If you are in full flow, there’s no opportunity. If the first chance they get to speak is when you ask for the order, everything is riding on their yes or no answer.
Why it works: Trial closes like this expression keep the prospect involved. It gives them the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. Questions like “Are you following me?” and “Are you OK with that?” often get a yes answer. A string of positive answers is rarely followed by a no when it comes to closing.
- “Do you know someone who’s dissatisfied with their advisor?” When asking for referrals, the assumption is you want fresh money. Clients often hesitate because either they don’t know anyone or they worry if the situation doesn’t work out, the upset friend will remember who made the introduction. Try asking: “Who do you know who uses professional money management, but is dissatisfied with the relationship?” Here’s another: “Do you know someone who complains they haven’t heard from their advisor for a while?” Find the complainer.
Why it works: Most people know complainers. When someone they know has a problem, the first instinct is “How can I help?” The risk outlined above is lower, because this isn’t fresh money; it’s a person with a problem. Your client volunteers your name because they feel they are helping that person find a solution to their problem.
- “Are you ready to address the issue?” Ask for the order. No one is going to say: “C’mon, are you going to buy or not? I don’t have all day.” In talking with experienced advisors, I heard great expressions like: “Are you ready to address the issues?” and “Are you comfortable enough with the recommendations to proceed?”
Why it works: These are soft expressions. The word “you” shows they are client focused. The comfortable answer is “Yes.” Remember, after they agree, you will still need to read the order back in detail, so they know exactly what they have instructed you to do.
- “Feel, felt, found.” This is not mine; it’s been around forever. It was probably part of your training. “I know how you feel. Other clients felt the same way. Then they found that …” You add your explanation.
Why it works: Feel, felt and found are three words that alliterate. They sound nice and soft. The prospect raised an objection. You sympathized with them (feel). You respected their objection, indicating others (felt) the same way. You then countered the objection by indicating what those other people learned (found).
Questions like “Are you following me?” and “Are you OK with that?” often get a yes answer. A string of positive answers is rarely followed by a no when it comes to closing.
- “When do you review the relationship with your other advisor?” Your prospect works with someone else already. They told you. Remind them they told you they work with someone at (firm). Mention the type of business they do. Your firm does that too. Use the above expression. Let them know you would like to win some of their business. Can you see them a day or two before they have that meeting? They agree.
Why it works: You are respecting the other relationship. You are asking to compete. Your prospect is likely a middle manager, business owner or professional. They are used to reviewing relationships with service providers and putting out requests for proposals. You are talking their language, suggesting they apply the same approach to their personal financial advisory relationship. When their current advisor makes suggestions, there’s money in motion. You are fresh in their mind.
You now have seven strategies. Some might fit, others might not. Don’t use them word for word. Find wording that’s comfortable for you.