How to Get Prospects and Clients to Be More Candid

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Have you ever been in a meeting with a prospect who was at a loss for words? They just clammed up? It’s almost as if they didn’t know what they didn’t know. Do you stop the meeting? Do you reschedule for another time? How do you get a prospect or client to be more candid?

The answer is “prime the pump”.

In the 19th century, ranchers would carry buckets of water to the “back 40” in their wagons. When they came upon a well with a pump attached, they would pour the water into it. This lubricated the diaphragm in the pump, creating suction. The water would then be extracted more easily using the hand pump.

The same process can be used during your fact-finding meetings. If a prospect or client isn’t forthcoming with their answers, give them options. We know that seniors’ most important retirement concerns are:

  1. Longevity risk;
  2. Inflation;
  3. Volatility;
  4. Taxes;
  5. Legacy, and;
  6. Catastrophic illness.

Mention these concerns as you probe. For example,

A lot of my clients say their concerns are running out of money, inflation, or taxes. Do any of those concern you?

Another example is when asking about retirement income needs. When the prospect doesn’t know what to say, you might ask:

Many of my clients say they want to travel more during retirement and help their grandkids through college. Does this seem like something you want to do also?