Are You Fact-Finding or Trust-Building?
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Advisors have been taught, before they do anything, to ask fact-finding questions about a prospect’s financial situation.
The traditional sales formula looks like this:
Qualify the lead + Present your solution = New paying client
That’s basic selling 101, isn’t it?
But if this formula, which has been taught by the “sales gurus” for decades, is bulletproof, then why doesn’t every single person who is qualified become a new paying client?
What is the missing piece of this puzzle that causes you to lose prospects who check all the boxes of what your ideal client looks like?
It’s called “trust-building,” and it needs to happen before the qualification process.
Unless you create deep trust first, any qualification process will make your potential client feel you only want to know if they’ll buy your services.
In their mind, if they qualify, then they expect you to start selling your services.
But I hear you saying: “I know how to build relationships, Ari.”
Building trust in a sales context does not mean building a relationship with your potential client; the two are not the same.
Building a relationship is about building rapport… which is often ineffective for solving problems. In fact, how many times does being friendly and agreeable get in the way of telling someone what they need to hear?
Building trust with your potential client is about what I call “going down the iceberg.”
Going down the iceberg as an advisor means helping your potential client understand the gravity of their situation and the implications of not addressing it.
It’s an iceberg because the implications are often much larger than they realize.
To create the clarity and trust clients need, do this eloquently but with humble firmness, like a doctor speaks to a patient. , You want them to respond with:
How can you help me?
When you hear that phrase or something like it, there is no need to ask more questions.
Because you’ve given them a depth of understanding they would never have received from other advisors, who are conditioned to use only the traditional sales formula.
Here are some questions you can ask to go down the iceberg:
Can you tell me a little about your background, your situation and your biggest financial concerns?
Listen carefully to their concerns.
You mentioned xxx is a concern, can you tell me a little bit more about that?
Lower your voice when you say this, like a doctor with warmth and bedside manner.
How long have you been concerned about that?
What have you done so far to try and solve it?
How has not solving these issues impacted you?
Is this a priority for you to solve as soon as possible?
These are not fact-finding questions, they are trust-building questions to help them feel that you care about them.
Surprisingly, advisors rarely create a feeling of deep trust with new potential clients in their initial conversation.
Concentrate on building trust by going down the iceberg with your potential clients, instead of educating them on your solutions.
You’ll be surprised at how many new clients jump on board with you and even pay you a planning fee, simply because your approach was so different from every other advisor they’ve encountered.
Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after sales conversion expert for Financial Advisors. His newest book, “Unlock The Sales Game”, has become an instant best-seller among Financial Advisers worldwide – you can get a Free copy of Ari’s book here and, when you click the “YES” button in the order form, you’ll also receive a complimentary client growth consultation with Ari or one of his trust-based consultants.
Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the Financial Services industry and in his book, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.