Typically, when I ask my clients what their objective for a sales call is, they say it’s to ‘get a meeting’. This is fine for an end goal but it’s not specific enough to help you structure the conversation in a way that will get you the meeting.
There are steps involved to quickly building a relationship. You’re taking a prospect from unfamiliarity to enough comfort to meet with you and eventually, to trust you with their money and their future. So to make that happen, break down your objectives for the call into 3 steps.
These steps are important whether you met at a networking event or through a referral or even through your warm market. All of these situations require you to go on a little journey of emotions with your Prospect. There is a ROADMAP, with steps along the way to get you there. If you skip them or SKIMP on them, your closing rate goes down. Take moment and think of someone you’re prospecting right now. You’d had the initial contact but you haven’t won them over yet. As we go through each of the stops on the Roadmap, think about that Prospect. Got your name?
Okay! Here are 3 stops on that relationship journey – there are more of course, but here’s what you need to start strong. You MUST GENERATE CURIOSITY, BUILD RAPPORT, AND Build TRUST AND CREDIBILITY.
Now before you think – ‘Oh, I do all that’, take a moment and think about a sales conversation you had in the last week where you weren’t able to get a meeting. Got it in mind? As we discuss each of these points, think about your conversations with your Prospect. Think about the beginning stages of that relationship journey.
Generate Curiosity. I’m going to talk like a Prospect now – if we meet and you haven’t grabbed my attention or made me curious in some way and you start talking about insurance, I’m gone. Know your target audience and make sure your attention-grabbing opener addresses their needs.
Build Rapport. If you generate some curiosity, but don’t bother to make a genuine connection with me before you start asking questions about my needs, I’ll take my curiosity to another Advisor. Prepare a couple of rapport-building questions before the conversation, and practice being fully present while you listen to your prospect’s response. Paraphrasing what they said and asking follow-up questions, will make them feel valued and help to create a strong connection.
Build Trust and Credibility. If you do generate curiosity and your prospect finds you charming, that’s still a long way from feeling in their gut that you’re the guy or gal to trust with their financial information and their future. Have 2 – 3 strong credibility facts ready to weave into the conversation – including something about the stability of your firm, and something about your own expertise.
How are people responding to you during sales calls? Take a moment and think about your ROAD-MAP – your typical approach to a sales conversation, and make a note about which of these stops on the ROADMAP you could be spending more time on.
Once you start thinking about your Sales Conversations in terms of the emotional journey your Prospect goes on, you can adjust your approach to make sure they get what they need to move forward with you – and you’ll close more business.
And remember… Speak from the heart. It’s good business.