When I began to focus on the retirement market back in the fall of 2002, I had difficulty closing business. My conversion ratio of turning prospects into valuable clients was well below 50 percent. I often saw great potential clients come through my office only to leave without actually doing business.
This closing problem came to a head in the spring of 2004. I conducted a marketing event that led to $7 million of potential new business (new assets) coming into my office. I then converted one case of $80,000. Was I really this bad of a closer?
In retrospect, my problem had absolutely nothing to do with my ability to close. To this day I don’t think I am any better of a closer now than I was in 2004. So what changed, and how can you become more effective at converting more prospects into clients?
In my opinion, becoming a better closer is all about what you do before the time of the actual close. I am reminded of this year’s NCAA BCS Championship football game between Alabama and Notre Dame. When Alabama was driving up the field time after time during the first half, and they got the ball into the red zone (inside the 20), did you have any doubt that they would close the deal and score a touchdown?
Alabama had already prepared for that moment over the previous five years. They prepared in the way they recruited, trained and practiced. Consequently, when they got inside the red zone, you just knew that they would close the deal.
The marketing plan