When Clients Think You Only Call When Selling Something
Many prospects are skeptical. Here are ideas about how to handle that.
(Related: 7 Ways to Stay on Your Prospect’s Radar)
Everyone has them: the clients who see working with you as a mildly adversarial relationship.
Your call is greeted by, “What are you trying to sell me this time?” Anything that looks or sounds like a transaction gets, “So what is this going to cost me?”
You want to do the best you can for your clients, yet you feel it’s an uphill battle. What can you do?
Let’s assume you find the above description uncannily accurate. “I’ve got that guy! How did you know?”
1. Play the multiple channel card.
The only time they hear from you is when you call. You have many more communication channels available to you. If you add several more to the mix, it diffuses the “He only calls. When he calls, he’s selling something” problem.
Your traditional channels have been calling, sending letters and meeting face to face. Sending the occasional letter or mailing adds a second channel. Today, technology has added many more.
You’ve got e-mail. Texts, if your firm allows them. Electronic newsletters. Online seminars. Live seminars. And let’s not forget face to face meetings.
By seeing your name often and being contacted through multiple channels, they realize you have their interests in mind. You are thinking about them. They are a person, not a number.
2. Initiate non-sales communication.
You likely produce an electronic newsletter, or possibly a print version. It contains educational articles. It might contain lifestyle articles too. You (or the firm) designed it as a compelling read. You hold online webinars and live seminars. Send them invitations.
You are teaching. Communication from you is associated with learning or an opportunity to learn. Perhaps the client who said, “You only call when you want me to buy something,” will call you and say: “I read that article in your newsletter. It really intrigued me. I never knew a product like that existed…”
3. Send educational material.
This was touched on above. Here, we aren’t talking about product or sales scenarios, but purely educational content.
Even if you sell only life insurance and annuities, you may find that the typical client, including that guy, has homeowners insurance. You and your clients hope they never need to make a claim, but what if they do? How do you prove you owned something that’s no longer there? How do you place a value on something you’ve owned forever? Will photos do? Where should these records be kept?
This information is really valuable for your clients. They will likely print it, save it and act on it. They might even call and thank you for it. Even better, they might share it with a neighbor. Make sure your name, firm and contact information are on the print version.
You started with a mildly adversarial relationship. By increasing the number of communication channels and the content, you’ve changed the communication landscape. You may have prompted calls from them. Even if nothing happens and they never attend a seminar or webinar, it gives you both something to talk about the next time you make a phone call.
— Read 10 Ways to Tactfully Get Your Point Across, on ThinkAdvisor.