One of the stumbling blocks almost everyone faces in sales is how to flow naturally from one part of the conversation to the next – especially, from rapport into the financial conversation.
Advisors tell me all the time: ‘I’m great at building rapport…but I have no idea how to get from there into talking about business.’ They genuinely struggle with the dichotomy of being themselves when making a connection and then feeling they have to abandon who they really are in order to make the sale.
This awkward moment is one of the biggest reasons professionals who love their area of expertise, hate selling it.
And it is gross, isn’t it? Most of us have been on the receiving end of an inept transition:
The salesperson is relaxed and you’re connecting, and then…Elvis has left the building! They slide into this other state – I call it ‘sales mode’ – with such a disconnect that it turns people off.
And what happens as a result? Conversations that never get past rapport, a pattern of talking past the, constant anxiety about prospecting, avoiding prospecting altogether and a business that drains you of energy and never gets off the ground.
Well that’s enough of that!
A fail-safe three-step process to smoothly make the transition. It’s simple and elegant but does require some practice to master:
Step One: Ask an open question
Step Two: Share an important fact
Step Three: Then ask another more personal open question
Let’s take a look at a couple examples. After you’ve built some genuine rapport…
Feng Shui Expert
What do you know about Feng Shui? Listen for their response, then…
Did you know that Feng Shui design has been proven to give a better night’s sleep 80% of the time? (I made this up – you know your industry better than I do!)
How do you feel about your space?
Question: How much do you know about our company? Share your value proposition, then…
Fact: The change in government has opened up opportunities most investors don’t know about yet. Question: How much financial planning have you done?
Using this process, you’ve just transitioned smoothly from getting to know each other chit-chat into talking about your business. You’re both relaxed, you are still your authentic self, and the questions have gotten your prospect emotionally involved in hearing about how you can help.
This is a mastery-level sales conversation strategy that will eliminate awkwardness and allow you to sell with confidence and authenticity. Enjoy!
Kira Callahan is an expert sales conversation coach for the financial industry. Her private clients typically experience 30% – 100% increase in appointments and business. Click here to find out more about Kira.