Good news! Your marketing efforts are working. Prospects are booking calls through your website, sending you messages on social media, and calling the office directly. But how do you turn interested prospects into paying clients once they’ve made it this far? The answer may not be with you think. Or, at the very least, the answer might be the opposite of what your gut instinct is telling you to do.
Once you have made an initial connection with a prospect, your first thought might be to showcase your services and highlight all the amazing perks of signing on with your firm. But, this is often a mistake. As they say, timing is everything, and at this pivotal and critical point, building a relationship with the client is going to be the most valuable thing you can do.
Here are five techniques begin used by some of the nation’s top financial advisors to turn prospects into long-term wealth management clients.
1) Don’t Sell. Attract!
It’s no secret that people don’t like to be sold to. It puts undue pressure on your prospect at a vulnerable stage in the relationship and often leads to repelling the potential client rather than attracting them. The key to nailing this step then is ultimately to take your focus off the product—your services and what you do for clients—and turning it toward the prospect themselves.
At first, this may seem counterintuitive. Isn’t this the time to showcase all that you can do? But what prospects are really interested in at this point is how your potential wealth management relationship will benefit them. Before you can explain that with any personalization, you’ll need to gather some more information about your prospect.
2) Understand Your Audience. Research Your Prospect Online.
You never want to meet with a potential client without learning as much about them upfront as possible. And in today’s digital media-based society, this is easier than ever. Social media profiles from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter and websites are great ways to learn what your prospect does, what they are interested in if they are more family or career-oriented, and much more. This will help you prepare for how you will approach your initial consultation.
3) Ask Once, Listen Twice.
Once you have done your research, you should be prepared to ask some thoughtful, insightful questions that will both (1) engage your prospect and (2) make your investment in their success clear from the start.
Plus, people love talking about themselves. In fact, according to research collected by Scientific American, people like talking about themselves over everything else! So, ask questions that will allow your prospect to open up and speak about themselves. The reaction can be surprising when you ask big questions like, “I know your business has received a lot of awards – what was the most meaningful one to you?” Or, “What’s your biggest challenge?” Or, “What is the one thing you wished your current advisor would do?”
Then, listen twice. That is, allow them the time and space to speak as openly and freely as they like. Interestingly, if you let the other person talk a lot about themselves, they will likely think you are fascinating.
4) Offer Some Immediate Takeaways
In a world where free information is abundant and almost anything can be researched online, you can help yourself stand out by offering a couple of personalized recommendations to your prospect at the end of your initial conversation. You certainly don’t have to go as far as to map out a DIY plan, but simply sharing a couple of solutions your prospect could implement right away can help add value to your relationship.
5) Don’t Lose Touch
Always follow-up with a prospect. Life is hurried and people get busy. Don’t assume that not hearing from the prospect means they aren’t interested. Plus, you’ll want to be able to track if that prospect is someone whose relationship should be further nurtured with your marketing efforts or if they simply aren’t interested at all.
From Prospect to Client
While you won’t land every prospect that comes through the door—nor may you want to—the good news is that there are ways to transform a disinterested prospect into one who can’t wait to get started with you! As you work through these techniques, make note of the types of strategies that seem to work well for you. As you notice a prospect warm up to you, make note of what you said or did that caused the shift and make it a part of your process. You may be surprised to find you can get others to pay attention to you simply by the way you pay attention to them.