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How to close the HNW sale

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Last month, I discussed the four stages of a sale and two closing techniques: the implied consent/assumptive close and the “I recommend” close. These methods depend heavily on a client’s income and net worth.

This month, I’ll detail a third closing technique:

The “alternative of choice” close 

This is the close to use for high-net-worth (HNW) clients. There is a high likelihood the HNW have done some sort of financial planning on their own. They may have a desire to make their own choices from the options you present. However, be sure you present only three choices and put the one you want them to pick in the middle.

Research shows that everything being equal, people nearly always pick the middle option.

Try this pitch:

“Mr. Prospect, based on what you said about your goals of retiring at 65, needing $18,000 a year per child for college and your desire for $100,000 a month in income at retirement, there are three ways to go.

The first option we can utilize is a 529 plan for college, diversifying your portfolio in a more aggressive growth position and using fixed investments for the cash you will need in three years.

The second alternative is to overfund a life insurance policy and take the cash value out or, better yet, borrow from it tax free.

The third approach we could take is borrowing $30,000 from a low-interest-rate program for college, putting 50 percent of the portfolio into a more stable value fund and contributing $5,000 a month into outside investments using a ‘dollar cost averaging’ strategy.

More on this topic

Which seems like a better plan to you?”

This close works very well because 64 percent of the HNW are business owners. They are used to making their own decisions. If you suggest only one solution, they may become suspicious. This close also works well because it closely involves the prospect in the formulation of the plan.

When using this technique, you are effectively planting an idea in the mind of the client that the solution they’ve chosen is the one that is best for him.

In addition, this sales method establishes less dependency on the level of trust the client may need in case the solution goes awry.

All of these closes are effective with the right kind of client. But you need to size up your client, determine their level of sophistication and then close the way they want to buy instead of the way you want to sell.

For more from Kerry Johnson, see:

2 great ways to close the sale

Advanced persuasion techniques for top producers

Create a great elevator speech