How to Stop Prospect Procrastination

 


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If you want to close more prospects and close them faster, then you’ll want to know what I uncovered after 20 years of studying what prospects buy and don't buy. You’ll likely be surprised that what you’ve learned about having prospects take action is wrong.

Here’s what you’ve learned:

1. Use a fact-finder to learn about the prospect’s situation

2. Explain the prospect the features and benefits of your product that fit their situation

3. Add an element of urgency (e. g. the premium increases if you wait)

4. Close

When you understand what’s wrong with the above sequence, you’ll see the easy changes you can make for a colossal increase in results.

Use a fact-finder

The fact-finder provided to you by a financial services firm is off the mark. It probes for facts about the prospect’s life such as the ages of their children. Once you learn that they have a child that is eight years old, you’re supposed to talk about your college funding products and services. But your prospect may have no interest in this for several reasons:

  • Maybe the grandparent will fund college

  • Maybe he does not think his child will go to college

  • Maybe he’s not concerned and figures his child will get aid or attend an affordable community college

    Where fact-finders fall short is that they don’t inquire about the prospects desires. The prospects need are irrelevant as no one buys what they need; they buy what they desire. The question you really want to ask is, “How to you feel about funding your child’s education? Does the potential affordability worry you?” If there is no worry, then don’t pitch college funding products and services. (Note—if you think that your prospect should be worried, there is a way to educate them but it’s not by telling them the facts about college affordability. You can read how to educate clients at (put URL of article here with entry page).

    Explain the features and benefits of your product

    The only feature or benefit of your product that counts are the ones your client cares about. Soon, I will purchase a new car. There are only two things I care about

    1) I want a car that uses as little petroleum as possible because I don’t want to poison the air for your grandchildren and I don’t want to send any money to oil-producing countries that breed terrorists.

    2) I need to carry a lot of stuff when I shop a Home Depot

    Everything else about the car is irrelevant—it does not need to look cool, be a status symbol or have a powerful engine—all of the things that car sales people spout.

    Just as important is when the benefits of your product occur. People are not interested in future benefits but that’s mostly what you discuss (the death benefit, the payoff during retirement, the payoff when illness occurs, etc). People care about the payoff today, not what they get in 30 years. In other words, people buy because

    1) They feel better right now if they get the item

    2) They feel smart

    3) They feel responsible

    People buy because it makes them feel good to do so, they get an immediate payoff. If you sell the immediate payoff rather than the future payoff, you close more sales.

    Add an element of urgency

    This typically makes the prospect feel pressured, not motivated. You need to address the prospect’s “caveman” gene, their biological mechanism to procrastinate. In fact, you can tell the prospect about the caveman gene when you see them hesitate.

    We evolved from cavemen and we were programmed to stay in our cave for safety. To leave the cave risked getting eaten by lions and tigers and bears. So we stayed in the cave until we were compelled to leave—to avoid starvation. We quickly left the cave, got our kill, and scurried back. We are programmed only to take action if we are very uncomfortable. Our brain still thinks that if we take any action, it’s dangerous so it continually tells us to do nothing unless we are starving or experiencing great discomfort. Given that your caveman gene has operated all of your life, do you think this has caused you to miss opportunities? Do you agree that this (product or service) makes logical sense and you hesitate but really don’t know why? That’s the caveman gene running your life. Would you like to do what’s right rather then continue to succumb to a motivation that no longer applies because there are no lions, tigers or bears to harm you?

    Change these elements of your presentation and have much more success:

  • Stop asking situational questions (what are the ages of your children) and ask emotional questions (are you worried about the funding for your child to go to a good school?)

  • Sell the current payoff and not some future financial benefit

  • Don’t attempt to create urgency but rather undermine the prospect’s natural reaction to procrastinate

    Larry Klein CPA/PFS, CFP®, Certified Retirement Financial Advisor™ , Harvard MBA helps advisors get wealthy by being great advisors. He is co-creator of the Advanced IRA Rollover and Distribution Training and creator of the Certified Retirement Financial Advisor designation and training. Over 14,000 financial professionals use his marketing and lead systems and attend his educational programs to obtain more and better clients, serve them better, increase sales of financial products and services, increase commissions and fees, and earn more while working less. His programs are in use by brokers and planners at most major securities firms, many NASD firms, and by hundreds of independent insurance agents and captive agents with large, well-known insurance companies. Details on his winning marketing systems and his complete book on Marketing Financial Services to Seniors are available at NFcom .

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