Sound familiar? You present an idea to a prospect. They give positive feedback. You ask for the order. They want to think about it.
You call every two weeks asking: “Have you made a decision yet?” Eventually they stop taking your calls. You feel you’ve wasted time. Can you improve your follow-up?
When people are asked to rank the greatest fictional detectives of all times, “Columbo” appears high on most lists. (Sherlock Holmes usually is #1)
(Related: Do Annual Reviews, Columbo Style)
What made Columbo great? The fact he didn’t have a first name? You never saw his wife?
No. It’s his incredible follow-up. “Just one more thing…”
What can you do to improve your follow-up?
1. The Columbo Lesson
Columbo’s rationale for turning up unexpectedly was often to share new information or to ask another question. “There’s something that’s been bothering me…”
Tip: If additional information has come up that might help your client make a decision or support your line on reasoning, it makes sense to bring it to their attention.
You feel a client should buy a certain stock (or ETF or mutual fund) because it aligns with their investment objectives.
They aren’t convinced. In the meantime, the price has risen. This provides a reason to call and let them know the price is moving in the direction you hoped.
Tip: It’s not an “I was right and you were wrong” conversation. Your firm has a target for this specific security. There’s still a distance to go, but right now, it’s moving in the right direction. There’s plenty more space between the current price and the target price.
In the insurance industry, carriers often change rates of return for future purchases. Some mutual funds become so popular, they will close to new money. These changes are often announced in advance.
Tip: The window is closing. An attractive feature they like is going away unless they take action.
Prospects often assume you are talking with them because you feel they are successful and wealthy. They don’t want to say: “I don’t have any money right now,” so they put off an investment indefinitely.