In a recent group coaching session, Angela, a new financial adviser, shared a story of meeting with a client and knowing that the client needed renter’s insurance. Although the client saw no value in getting this type of coverage, Angela was adamant about helping him understand the risks he was taking, which far outweighed the costs. Instead of just telling him what she thought, she simply asked him enough questions to get him to come to his own conclusion that it was indeed something of value.
This level of conviction is an admirable pattern that I often see in veteran financial advisers and insurance agents but I rarely see in rookies. The reason is veterans simply have had more client experiences and thus know the value of (and rationale for) their recommendations. In other words, they generate conviction to build a connection.
The following is a brief overview of the steps that you could use to increase your own level of conviction for your products and services.
Step 1: Know Why Clients and Prospects Need Your Products and Services
Angela took a firm stance because she knew without a doubt that her client needed renter’s insurance. She had had other clients who didn’t have it and sadly paid the price when they experienced the loss of their possessions. It is vital to be able to articulate the tangible benefits or the “why” of your recommendations. If you cannot clearly connect the dots for your prospects and clients, they don’t know what they don’t know and could make some significant choices that could have significant consequences.
Step 2: Know the Right Questions to Ask
When Angela shared her interaction with the group, I noticed she had included one very important detail, that she had asked her client questions rather than just telling him what she would do. The reason this is so important is because people hate to be sold to but they love to buy. To accomplish the aforementioned step, all you have to do is map out key questions to help lead the prospect or client down a path to understanding why they should buy.
Here are some examples of some of the questions that Angela had for her client:
- “How much do you think all of your valuables, furniture and many miscellaneous items in the house you rent are worth?”
- “Do you have that much money to replace them in case of a fire or flood?”
- “Do you know how much renter’s insurance is per month?”
- “Do you think spending $6 dollars a month is worth the cost of covering your items should you ever experience their unexpected loss?”
Angela didn’t make much on this policy but that wasn’t a concern, she had the best interest of her client in mind.
Step 3: Know How to Ask for the Order
If you re-read the last question she asked, it was a closed-ended question that essentially asked for the order. Of course it was worth it for her client to pay $6 a month to cover all the items in his home. That’s a no-brainer! But, what if the cost had been much higher, say tens of thousands of dollars?
If this is the case, you craft as many questions as you need to help them understand the benefits. Next, you ask the questions and let the prospect or client end up making a decision they feel they made without you making it for them. Then, you summarize what they currently have versus the benefits of what you are recommending. Finally, you sum things up with this question, “Are you comfortable with moving forwarding doing [suggested action] based on the benefits of what we just discussed?” If you have led them to a place of clarity and provided plenty of information emphasizing the advantages, it should be a relatively easy to wrap the conversation.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Process
After you are finished with your appointment, it’s important to take time to evaluate your process. You need to know if your conviction was properly communicated to build a connection with them. If not, simply go back to the beginning and work on each of the steps discussed and fine tune them based on what you heard and noted during your discussion.
Why Conviction Builds a Connection
When I congratulated Angela on sticking to her guns, asking questions and letting her client come to his own conclusions, she already had felt good about what she did but the group and myself validating her efforts solidified that.
The reason generating conviction in your recommendations builds a connection with prospects and clients is because you are coming from a place of sincerity, it’s not about getting the sale but putting the client/individual’s needs first.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session with me by emailing Melissa Denham director of client servicing.
Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a business consulting and coaching service dedicated to helping advisers build a better business.