Advisors often ask me ‘how do I increase my closing rate?’ Many elements go into winning more clients. Every week in my newsletter Speaking From the Heart of Business, I explore in detail the sales conversation skills that will get you there. (You can sign up here.)
I’ve broken down, step-by-step, how to build a genuine connection with your prospect, ask great questions, transition from rapport into business, navigate through challenging objections, and many more of the skills you need to master in order to up your closing rate. We also talk about confidence, resilience and the winning mindset it takes to be successful in business.
Notice that most of these actions happen well before the close, and they all work together to create enough trust for a new prospect to say Yes!
Don’t get yourself tied up in knots looking for the perfect closing phrase. There are lots of effective ways to ask for the business. Instead, here is the killer closing technique that no one talks about:
Model the behaviour you are promising they will receive as your client, during the sales process!
Here are three key strategies that will blow them away:
1. A true personal touch.
‘We create a customized plan based on your needs.’ Sound familiar? In fact every Advisor I’ve ever worked with has said this. Just so you know, there is nothing particularly impressive or original in this. In fact, doing so follows basic legally-required KYC (Know your Customer) obligations, and every financial institution has their version of x-step ‘customized’ process.
What will make you stand out from the competition is demonstrating this personalized behaviour during the sales process.
Does your first formal sit-down follow a routine of setting an agenda, introducing yourself and then walking them through a qualifying presentation with a big list of questions? OMG, stop that! Yes, those elements need to happen, but have a genuine conversation with them first. If you pride yourself on great client service, demonstrate that from the first moment. Treat them as though the relationship has already begun.
When you ask about their kids, ask their names and use them in the conversation. When you ask about their business, use the company name, and use language from their business world. When you ask about vacation plans, listen and share their excitement!
2. Accountability and follow through.
Once you’ve uncovered their areas of interest, go deeper. Ask why that’s important to them, so that you can demonstrate what going the extra mile looks like. This will allow you to present your offer and answer their questions in a way that really moves them. A way that goes beyond fact and demonstrates a deeper understanding of what they care about.
Then, give them something to measure. Make a commitment to find out xx information for them. Tell them when they can expect to hear back from you, and be impeccable with your follow-through. Set this up intentionally so that they can experience your integrity instead of you having to convince them of it.
Ask yourself: How would I treat them if they were already one of my best clients?
3. Be authentic.
I know, I know. We hear this phrase ad nauseum these days, but there’s a reason for that. Too often, we are two different people – one during the sales process, and one when they’ve said yes and we can finally relax and use our expertise to serve them. This dual personality is a natural coping mechanism we slip into – like a coat of armour – to protect us from rejection.
Instead, ask yourself: What can I do to bring more of the real me to all my interactions with prospects? How can I demonstrate what it’s really like to be my client?
If you want to dramatically increase your closing rate, instead of twisting yourself in knots getting them to believe you really care, simply show it. Don’t reserve your caring until they become clients. Do it now.