Recent research has shown that 55 percent of why your prospects decide to buy is based on your office space, 37 percent is based on nonverbal cues and only 8 percent is due to the content of your message.

Most producers think they can present a financial product persuasively enough that the prospect will feel compelled to buy. Yet psychologists have long known people are much more likely to decide to do business with you due to rapport and trust.

I recently spoke to a new coaching client of mine who markets exclusively with public seminars. He generally books 35 percent of the attendees. During our last coaching session, he said, “I tried something new last night and only spoke for 45 minutes. It wasn’t the best seminar I have given, but I booked 75 percent of the room.”

He had booked a higher number of appointments because he had been able to connect with the group more effectively. Yet he didn’t feel he had given the group enough financial content.

‘Social proof’

Tom Brueckner in New Hampshire has put into practice “the speed of trust” in a remarkable way. Much of his success comes from the way he organizes his prospect visits. All appointments are scheduled in two and a half days. This would seem a nightmarish schedule for most advisors. Yet Brueckner is able to establish amazing social proof as a result. As one couple emerges from the waiting room, they see another leaving Brueckner’s office. This establishes the fact that he is not only very busy but also works with people just like them.

The setup of Brueckner’s office is also unique. The conference room is glassed in, yet he rarely ever uses it. As he greets the prospect in the waiting room and walks him or her down the hall, he passes the conference room and says today they will meet in his office.

This more personal space is also more inviting and again develops more rapport more quickly. Brueckner’s office space is also remarkable. There is a conference table in his office and a bookcase behind his desk with titles including “The Mutual Fund Trap” and “Investing Wisely For the Future.” It’s a virtual cheering section of books supporting his safety-focused financial planning concepts.

Part of Brueckner’s brilliance is to communicate those ideas, all the while backing them up with what the prospect or client sees in the office. During the meeting, he mentions how much he enjoys his clients and shows the many testimonials and photos on the wall that support his philosophy. Even his computer screensaver is a photo of his family, an image that reinforces the importance of family and legacy.