Editor’s note: To close up the year we’re going to post the top three blog posts of 2017. New content will resume in the new year. This post by Dave Zoller of Streamline My Practice is about the best question to ask prospects to instantly connect with them. We hope you enjoy it again and that you have a Happy New Year.
After learning this single question, your initial meetings with prospects will never be the same.
This question will help you instantly connect, differentiate yourself, and pre-qualify your prospects within the first few minutes of the meeting.
Once you see the effect it can have, you’ll most likely make it a mandatory part of every first meeting with a prospect.
Why Is This Question So Effective?
I first learned about the Magic Question from the business coach, Dan Sullivan. He wrote an entire book (titled The Dan Sullivan Question) on this question and why it works. After reading the book, I tweaked the question slightly so that it would make sense for financial advisers to ask their prospects.
At first, you may be a little hesitant to ask the question because it’s so different. And you can be pretty sure that they’ve never been asked this by their financial adviser before. Once you start using it, it will become clear how quickly you can connect with complete strangers over the phone.
The great thing about the question is that everyone can answer it—but they are required to think before they do. This is an important part of the process because you want to make sure you’re working with people who care about their finances and want to put the proper effort and thought into planning their future.
You may notice that about one out of 20 people do not answer the question. Either their brain cannot function in a way to think futuristically or they simply do not want to answer. This is actually a great thing because the people who don’t answer the question or don’t give authentic answers are probably not the right fit. They are the kinds of people you can disqualify right away before wasting any more time.
There are three reasons why this question works:
1.) It’s about them. About what they want. The results they are looking to achieve.
2.) It brings clarity. To where they want to go. To what’s most important to them. To how they define success. As you know, It’s hard for some people to specify their goals. This question makes it easy.
3.) It encourages them. One of the fastest ways to influence someone is to encourage their dreams. They are opening up to you about what’s most important and you are their ready to stand next to them and show them how it’s possible. People are attracted to those who encourage them in what’s most important in their life.
The 4-Part Magic Question
The first part of the question is the most important. That’s the one you will ask to instantly connect with someone. The following three are not necessary but they can be great to follow-ups to delve deeper into what they’re are looking for.
Here is the magic, four-part question:
If we were meeting three years from today, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to have happened in your financial life for you to feel happy with your progress?
- What are the biggest challenges you will have to face in order to achieve that progress?
- What are the biggest opportunities that you would need to focus on to achieve those things?
- What role would you like an adviser to play during those three years?
Give the magic question a try during your next initial meeting with a prospect. After you do, I’d love to hear how it went. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your results.