How to Get Prospects Off The Fence
When a prospect turns around and says he or she needs to think things over they’re likely basing their indecision on fear or laziness. Maybe they’re fearful about the shaky economy, distrustful about paying you a fee, or just simply don’t want to leave their comfort zone. All their ‘reasons’, however, are based on emotion – and to break this inertia, you need to use techniques that will motivate them to act.
It’s your job to help prospects see their financial goals in sharp focus. And we’re not talking about dollars – this carries little emotional weight. You need to help them visualize and quantify what, in real, tangible terms gives them good reasons to act. Numbers, graphs and charts won’t persuade people to make the important decision to invest. Instead, you need to stir up memories and connect emotionally with prospects to get them off the fence.
Sell the problem back
If your prospects need to find a way to educate their children and decide to leave your office without committing, remind them that unless they initiate a plan they won’t have a hope of amassing the funds they require. If their child is currently three years of age they may only have 180 paychecks left before they need to find the money for college fees. If they don’t get started right now this goal becomes way less possible.
Re-iterate to your prospects that waiting is a dangerous game. If you need to drive to a town sixty miles away and need to get there in an hour you need to leave right now and drive sixty miles an hour. If you delay your departure by twenty minutes, you’ll need to drive at 90 miles an hour and that’s downright dangerous. The same principle applies to investing, the longer you wait the riskier it will be to arrive at your destination on time. If you just turned fifty and get paid once a month and wish to retire at 65 you have frighteningly few paychecks left to pay for it.
Force prospects to confront their fears
Make it uncomfortable for prospects to keep stalling by forcing them to confront their fears.
For example, ask them “Did you pay more for your last car than you did for your first house?” If they are older, chances are they did and this realization brings smartly into focus the costs of inflation and that their retirement income is often fixed and doesn’t keep up with inflation. Prices will continue to rise but their income is static which will leave them unable to sustain the lifestyle they crave in retirement. Work stops. Expenses don’t. So they need a financial plan that must remain in effect for the rest of their lives. A financial plan is a process, not an event.
Emphasize that postponing investing could cost them dearly. More money has been lost by people trying to invest at the right time than for any other reason. The fact is however that smart investors make money regardless of what the market is doing.
What about the fear of losing control of their money? What about your fees?
Embrace this elephant in the room and dispel their suspicion by using an analogy: Ask prospects “Do you remember a time when you rearranged the furniture in your living room? Did you throw away the furniture? Surely not, you simply re-organized it.” Similarly, by choosing to work with me you’re not throwing away money. You will still have all your money and full control. I am simply here to rearrange your finances.
By paying me a fee you are simply handing over all the worry to me, so that I can ensure your future is being safeguarded. I won’t guarantee you’ll make a lot of money. Nobody can. But I guarantee I’ll work as hard as I can with your money and treat it as though it were my own.
Get prospects to act by tapping into their emotions. Use stories and analogies to motivate them and face them to confront their fears. Remind them that the decision to delay investing could be the worst decision they ever made.