To grow a successful business, it’s important to learn to put a potential client at ease.
I’ve seen some salespeople in financial services so intent on controlling the sales process that they act like demanding choreographers training young dancers for a Broadway show. “Five-Six-Seven-Eight! Dance-Dance-Dance!!!” Dancers, military recruits, and members of the high school marching band may respond to that kind of direction. Prospective clients will respond by finding another salesperson.
Yes, the salesperson has to control the process, but you don’t and can’t do that by being pushy or demeaning. You do just the opposite and put your prospects at ease and doing everything you can to make the process an efficient and pleasant one.
The nature of prospecting dictates that there will always be some element of tension in every contact. As a champion salesperson, your success is mentally-accomplished before you even begin. Your prospects haven’t accomplished anything other than using all their fears and worries to build a wall of sales resistance.
“What if we lose all our money?”
“What if that salesperson takes all our money?”
“What will we do if we lose all our money?”
Chances are your potential clients are in fact a bit mind-numbed by the experience of actually having to do something with their finances and by the commitment they’re mentally debating. To them, you are a stranger who (they hope) has the reputation and answers to their questions that they so desperately need.
Initially, in their eyes, you’re someone who could just want to make money off them. Maybe you’re trustworthy. Maybe you’re not. “We’ll be on our guard just to be safe” is the likely attitude.
3 Most Effective Ways to Put a Potential Client at Ease
You know you’re a champion, but you have to keep earning the title every time you step into the ring.
Here are three simple steps that help put the skeptics at ease so you can move right into building rapport and trust.
- Compliment your client. It’s easy to find something to compliment if you just pay attention to what you see and hear. Select your compliment carefully. If the prospect’s child-beast is yelling at the top of his lungs, tearing your office to pieces and kicking you in the shin, the term “delightful” will not only be (and sound) false, it will mark you as a liar. Of course, you could say, “Ouch. Quite a little kicker you have there. He’ll be a star on the soccer field someday.” Take care of your shins later. Take care of your potential client now.
Your compliment must be sincere. People can spot a phony a mile away and these people are probably within arm’s reach of you. Remember they’re nervous, on guard and are in a position to easily misunderstand the things you say.
They’ll notice your body language that indicates falsehoods.
They’ll soon see right through your false front. No one likes, trusts or wants to do business with a faker. Just look hard enough and even in the most challenging situations, you can find a legitimate compliment even if it’s simply that he or she was punctual in arriving at your office.
Use it to break the ice and to propel you into your presentation.
- Sit facing your client. That’s easy enough to do, especially if they’re coming to your office to discuss their needs. If you are at their home, use these words to get to the kitchen or dining room table: “Mr. & Mrs. Kraft, to do my best for you this evening, it would be best if you two would sit side-by-side at the dining room table. You don’t mind, do you?” As you say these words, gesture toward that room and in the majority of cases, they’ll do what you’ve asked. And, you’ll be in a much better position (literally) to “read” what they’re saying “between the lines.”
- Establish commonalities with your client. Many salespeople feel that this area of finding common ground with people means that you talk, and talk and talk about many different subjects until you find a chord that resonates between you and them. While it’s important to establish that you’re “just like them” in some way, don’t flounder when trying to establish common ground. Show your prospective client you’re in the same or a similar position in a professional and champion-like manner.
“Bob and Betty, when I’m not helping people acquire the best investments, I’m just like you – a consumer. And just like you I always shop for the best product at the best possible amount. But I’m not an expert on everything I buy. So I look for someone who knows the products and who can help me understand the ins and outs of what I’m shopping for. That’s how I make wise decisions. Today, I want to earn your trust in me as an expert on financial strategies. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.”
Not only does that short speech position you as an expert, but it also helps to put your potential client at ease and at the same time builds rapport because you have that in common.
They know or should be beginning to believe that you are the genuine article and that your sole purpose is to help them find the best investments for their specific needs.
Speaker/Faculty at XTRAcredits
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More about Tom Hopkins:
Tom Hopkins, is world-renowned as an expert and authority on the subject of selling. He has helped over four million students on five continents to enhance their careers and earn higher incomes through his proven-effective selling strategies. No theory here, Tom’s training is specifically “how-to” and “what to say.”