What You Need to Know
- Prospects don't owe you anything.
- Some will walk away.
- The key to keeping them may be to get to know them.
I cannot even count how many times over the years I have been asked this question — ”What if my prospect takes my information to another advisor?” — by the agents and advisors with whom I work. The most likely motive behind the question is a belief that once we provide information to the prospect, then that prospect owes us loyalty if they act on the information.
The premise of the question is a desire to withhold information from a prospective client because a competitor might use it if the prospect is not loyal to us.
It is a valid question and concern and a real-life problem we all face in this business, but the premise is exceptionally flawed. Rather than immediately answering this question, let me ask a question that is much more valid.
Why would a prospect owe us anything?
Making demands, literally or with motives only, starts our relationship with a prospect based on selfishness. Not only is that a terrible way to start a relationship but the prospect will see through our motives as clear as day. In the prospect’s eyes, it will come across as desperation and a lack of concern. No matter how hard we try and hide it, I guarantee you they will see right through us.
Getting someone to buy through a guilt trip is coercion, not sales.
Who has the most to lose, the advisor or the prospect? The money belongs to the prospect, not the advisor. It is their retirement, not ours, and the last thing they should be concerned about is our hurt feelings if they go with another advisor. They have everything to lose, and we only have our time and the cost of a lead, which is never as valuable as their retirement.
Why would any of us feel that our time and the cost of a lead are worth more than the prospect’s money?
A failure to compel is not the prospect’s fault; it is ours. Someone will service the prospect’s money, and the battle for that service is on us and the value proposition that we present.
For an advisor, as I wrote earlier, in The Rabbit Hole of Success, success in this business means helping people find solutions to their problems.
The prospect, of course, is under no obligation. We often say that in our marketing and disclosures, but do we mean it? Our job is to win the confidence of the prospect with compelling purpose of money planning, and that all starts with a comprehensive fact finder. The advisor that gets the client to talk about their money and provide information that can expose problems that need to be solved is most likely to win the right to service the prospect.
Showing product before you have won the prospect’s confidence to receive comprehensive information that exposes problems is like waving a white flag of surrender.
The worst offense of the “guilt trip” sales process comes from product sellers.
Product sellers sell products, not solutions to problems, but somehow they may still feel like the prospect owes them something.