Many financial advisors think it’s critical to qualify before setting an appointment with a new prospect. The most common reason stated by experienced professionals is “Why waste my time if they don’t have any money?”
I strongly disagree with this thinking. As a phone trainer, I find that a lot of requirements are thrown into phone calls that don’t belong there. Qualifying is inadequate substitute for good marketing. Be more careful about who you market to, who you get referred to and who you network with and you will get qualified prospects before making the call. That is my first and most important advice about qualifying.
I can already hear some of you saying: “But I only sell one product and if the person I meet doesn’t qualify health-wise, I am wasting both of our time.”
Yes, you are. If you are a one-product company, I suggest you first use a short script to get the appointment and then, after restating an agreed time, date and place add the following: “John, in order for this appointment to be more efficient, I would like to just ask you three questions. Is that okay? (Get permission!)
How would you rate your overall health – excellent, good, fair, or poor?
When was your last visit to a doctor and what was was it for?
Have you been in a hospital in the last five years?”
Those of you who normally qualify know that the answers to these questions will bring up red flags that are important. If that flag is up, go into more detail to see if your prospect will be unable to purchase your product based on their health. However, if their answers are (a) excellent or good, (b) I went for my yearly checkup this year or (c) I haven’t been, then go on the appointment.
Getting into long conversations about people’s health on the phone is not appropriate. Use a short script instead, set the appointment and then asks the three qualifying questions to reassure yourself that it will be worth your time (and gas).
Below are two examples of a “short script” for long term care. One is assuming a returned portion of a mailer and the other indicates someone who has gone to your website for information:
Hi, this is Gail Goodman and I’m calling from ABC Long Term Care Company. Recently we mailed you an informational piece on LTC and you returned the bottom portion indicating to me that you were interested in more information.