So, is fact-finding the medicine to cure all your sales ills? Not really, but it is a wonder drug that can put an ailing practice back on the road to recovery.
If we know what a prospect’s feelings are, we know what they want, and prospects only buy products that help them get what they want. With solid fact-finding a producer can:
1. Determine the client’s needs
Fact-finding helps a producer peek inside a prospect’s head and see the dreams inside. This allows the producer to fine-tune the presentation and construct a product solution that really fits.
2. Design a tailor-made solution
This is the essence of professionalism and the secret to bigger sales, better closing results, repeat business and improved persistency. A producer who masters this will leave the competition in the dust.
3. Take the guesswork out of the solution
Fact-finding helps us identify how much a prospect can afford and is willing to spend. That knowledge can help avoid or defuse objections and make a successful close more likely.
4. Identify objections before they come up
Fact-finding and feeling-finding discussions usually surface the issues that a client feels strongly about – both positively and negatively. This enables the producer to anticipate objections and arms him with the information to effectively counter them before they arise.
5. Prepare the close in advance
By exploring a prospect’s feelings a producer can listen for responses that actually are the prospect saying, “These are the key issues that will get me to buy.” Pay attention to these and the sale will be much easier.
6. Identify the prospect’s dominant buying motive
Each client has one or more dominant buying motives, the objectives that are number one on their hit parade. A solution and close wrapped in dominant buying motive language is far more effective.
7. Make policies lapse-proof and replacement-proof
Cases sold after thorough fact-finding and needs identification stay in force – and when competitors call, they usually are sent packing.
8. Pave the way for repeat sales
Fact-finding helps producers plan for additional sales to cover additional needs. The more the producer knows, the greater the likelihood that he will uncover a need that can serve as the basis for future contact.
9. Set the stage for referrals
Fact-finding yields a positive, professional result, which, in turn, should yield more referred leads.
10. Build trust and loyalty
When a producer asks the prospect what is important to him, the prospect knows that the agent cares. Trust helps build loyalty which results in a lifelong client and all the ensuing benefits.
Bruce E. Dickes, CLU, ChFC is vice president and chief marketing officer for Financial Brokerage, Inc.