The perfect close is a masterful presentation.
The statement above encapsulates what we believe about effective closing. Some people study endless closing techniques and strategies in the hopes that by honing their ‘closing skills’ they can be more effective salespeople. And maybe for your average car salesman, such training really works. But to be truly successful in our industry, you must be more than just a salesperson. You must be a trusted advisor. The relationship you forge with clients and prospects should be in the realm of what they share with their doctors, accountants, attorneys, and even friends. It is for this reason that we have spent a considerable amount of time working on our “presentation” to ensure it eliminates the need for any closing at all.
No one likes to be “closed.”
By the time you’re sitting down in front of a new prospect, there’s a good chance that other financial advisors (or insurance salesmen masquerading as financial advisors) have already tried to close them. For this reason, it’s likely that on the way to your office, Mr. and Mrs. Smith just had a conversation like this:
“So no matter what this advisor says today, we’re not going to invest any money with him right?”
“That’s right. And you let me do all the talking. I want to make sure he really knows what he’s doing. Don’t worry. We’re not going to make any decisions today!”
Believe it or not, you can diffuse this mentality very easily by using the proper approach. The key is to treat your firm like it is a private club that only issues memberships to select individuals. And, that, in fact, it’s not their decision to work with you no matter how badly they wish to – It’s your decision whether or not to work with them.
We hold the cards.
From the very outset of our first meeting with a potential client, we inform them of the following:
“No one will be making a decision today.”
That’s right; we say it first – before they get the chance to! We then go on to tell them something like this:
“Our primary goal during this meeting is to get to know each other. Here at Fross & Fross, we are very selective about the people we choose to work with. It has never been our goal to be all things to all people, but rather, to be all things to a few people. And so, for that reason, before we take on any new clients, we are careful to gather enough information to ensure they pass all four of our tests.”
Can you see what this short paragraph accomplishes? These expressions fundamentally reverse the selling process. By saying these things, you are telling a potential client that you’re not going to sell them anything, and that if they want to work with you, they are going to have to share their information and pass your test.
1) The Chemistry Test
“I’m proud to say that I like all of my clients. And I’m committed to making sure that this never changes. So during today’s meeting we are going to see whether we feel we have the chemistry to work together for the long run.”
The chemistry test is important for two main reasons: One, do you really want to work with clients who you don’t like? And two, you don’t want the type of client who will file a complaint with FINRA the moment their account value drops 3%. If you perceive future headaches, you’re better off walking away.
2) The Goal Test
“I’m going to ask you a lot of questions about your goals today. My objective is to see if they are achievable. If I don’t think they are achievable, I would rather not help you fail.”
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