Advisors are all in the same boat. Every day when they wake up, they know they need to get in front of clients and close deals. Well, when you think about it, that is not a good formula for a good night’s sleep.
John Pierce, an industry insider for more than 20 years, realized the problem facing advisors and wrote a book: Sell More and Sleep at Night – Developing Relationships with Emotional Intelligence to Increase Sales. On the following pages are five topics, taken from John Pierce’s book, to help 2015 become a transformational growth year — adding new clients and expanding current relationships.
1. Building Relationships
Family—Learn about a prospect’s family and their family history. Family is usually closest to the heart, so it is a good investment of your time. Birthdays, anniversaries, and key dates are important to know and to keep track of. It may take time to learn about the family part from a prospect, but it usually ends up being a very meaningful part of your relationship. Over time it has been my experience that as you share things about yourself, people will share things about themselves.
Organization—Learn about their history at their current organization as well as other firms where they worked. This is also the time to see where they went to school and what their focus has been since graduating. I have found that these probes are the easiest part of the conversation to have. You may want to start with this area because it can lead to discussing the other aspects of the conversation. A best practice is also viewing a person’s professional LinkedIn profile before a meeting to write out some open probes.
Recreation—Learn what people do for fun. Finding out what is important to them outside of work is usually more important than what you learn about their current work. This is an opportunity to see what organizations they belong to and what charitable boards and groups they have a passion for. Recreation can be an easy conversation starter when you have clients on the phone or face to face. You connect at a more personal, not professional, level.
Dreams—Learn about someone’s long-term dreams and aspirations. Dreams can be the most intense part of your conversations; these tend to be very personal and intrinsic to the client or prospect.
Because we can be so passionate about what we do, we forget a Cardinal Rule: The sweetest sound to prospects’ ears is the sound of their own voices. When you learn to listen, you learn more than you ever imagined because your prospects start telling you what’s important to them, their families, their businesses, or their futures. I know you want to tell your personal story, and how you can help, but this can wait if your prospects are doing all the speaking. If prospects are telling you their stories, soak it in, listen and learn.
The concept of listening is simple. You need to force yourself to listen more — don’t let your next response cloud what your client or prospect is saying in the moment.
Here is a new personal rule: Listen 70 percent of the time, speak 30 percent of the time. It is true that the sweetest sound to prospects’ ears is their own voices. Start listening 70 percent of the time and see your productivity increase.
3. Common Sense Activities
Because we can get so busy, we sometimes forget the basics. Here are three simple things to do to jumpstart your productivity and have a better functioning Team: