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Has a prospect or client ever said, “Let me think about it,” and then gone radio silent?
My coaching client Andrew worked with a new prospect for a few weeks. After presenting a financial plan, the prospect wouldn’t answer phone calls or emails. One theory was that the prospect decided not to implement Andrew’s ideas and didn’t answer his calls. A better theory was that the prospect forgot the proposal and lost the sense of urgency, causing procrastination.
There is a better way to get your prospects and clients to implement your suggestions and stop stalling. The answer is The Focal Screen. In an earlier article, I wrote about preventing clients from stalling by using the Up Front Close. (Contact me if you would like a video on how this works.)
Memory is porous. We forget 70% of what we see and hear within one day and 90% in three days. Those over 55 remember even less. That is a major reason why clients don’t respond immediately to your calls and emails. They remember only broad outlines of what you said. But people buy based on emotion, not product benefits. Even emails don’t convey the emotion necessary to cause prospects to act.
The answer lies in The Focal Screen.
The Life Insurance Marketing Research Association (LIMRA) reports that if one need is uncovered, there is a 36% chance of a sale. With two, there is a 56% chance. If you can listen for three needs, a 92% chance emerges. Poorly trained agents try to sell the brochure without listening for client needs. Those with more experience listen to needs that correspond to their skill set. But most are also cognizant of how much information the client can process.
My research has shown that if you can collect and present solutions based on three needs a sale occurs 92% of the time.
But why three needs?
Human memory is coded in engrams (also known as chunks of information). The Internet’s packet design is close to how memory works in the brain. We can remember three plus-or-minus two pieces of information. Those with exceptional memories recall more and those paying less attention remember less. Back in the 1950s, phone numbers were alpha-numerically coded, such as Merrimac 2-3397, and Columbia 6-2219. Today, they are coded in three plus-or-minus one digit blocks. These are area code, local prefix and four-digit identifiers such at 714-368-3650 (my phone).
Let’s prove this theory. Read the 10 numbers below to a colleague or friend over 40 years. Younger folks remember more. Don’t let them write the numbers down. After the last number, ask them to count down out loud from 100-95. Then ask them to recite the numbers they remember. Their memory will range from one to five but never more than that. Do this experiment now.
22 35 67 26 83 91 52 43 74 61
Did you also notice they remembered the first and last few numbers? This is called the primacy-recency effect. Your client will remember more in the beginning and the end than in the middle.
The point is that if you listen for, and limit your presentation to, three needs and solutions, your closing ratio will increase. When Andrew tries to reconnect with clients, he now calls or writes:
When we last spoke, you were concerned with:
- Running out of money. You want to make sure you don’t end up being a greeter at Walmart.
- Volatility. You said the ups and downs are pretty scary.
- Taxes in retirement. You are nervous that taxes will keep increasing as the government creates massive deficits.
If we can address these concerns today, would that be the right way to go?
If you can discover, present and remind your clients of their three needs, your closing ratios will increase. If you try to tell them how much you know, your ratio will stay low.
Present the way your clients buy instead of the way you want to sell.
Dr. Kerry Johnson is “America’s Business Psychologist”. He is the best-selling author of 9 books and a frequent speaker at financial conferences around the world. Peak Performance Coaching, his one on one coaching program, promises to increase your business by 80% in 8 weeks. To see if you are a candidate for this fast track system, click on www.KerryJohnson.com/coaching and take a free evaluation test. You will learn about your strengths and what is holding you back. Or call 714-368-3650 for more information.
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