How to Motivate Your Prospects to Take Action Now
No doubt you remember the last car you purchased. If you’re like most people, you spent hours, days, maybe months researching, comparing prices, features and specs. You knew what you wanted but were hesitant to pull the trigger. Ultimately, it wasn’t the gas mileage, sporty interior, or five-year bumper-to-bumper manufacturer’s warranty that moved you to action.
While those are nice features and may be important to you, they’re not the reason you bought the car. The reason you acted was how those features made you feel. They made you feel smart, secure, and proud. You may even feel like a million bucks. The smile on your face as you drove your new car home was not from having made a good decision based on the car’s features; it was from how your decision made you feel.
If your prospect wants to think about it, you haven’t given them a reason to buy
All financial advisors reach a critical juncture in converting a prospect to a client when, after the solution has been laid out and the features have been explained, they ask the prospect to take action. Up to that point, the prospect has been nodding and sitting closer to the edge of their seat—tell-tale signs of agreement to move forward. Yet, when asked to do so, they hesitate with some variation of “Let me think about it.”
The challenge for advisors is they can’t offer prospects an opportunity for a test drive. They understand all the features of your plan, and they may even be convinced it will work. But people don’t make big decisions based on rationale alone. They make them largely based on emotions—how it will make them feel sitting behind the wheel. As the financial advisor, whose primary job is to get people to act, you have to find a way to let your prospects take your plan for a test drive. How do you do that?
#1. Discover the reasons why prospects will buy
Most people’s motivation for making big decisions does not reside in their heads—it comes from their gut. Knowing something is important and beneficial comes from your head, but the trigger for taking action is how they will feel when they take it. That’s the motivating factor advisors must uncover in the deep dive into their prospects’ goals and concerns.
Most advisors are adept at discovering what is important to their prospects—i.e., their goals and priorities. But many stop with that. An essential element of discovery is learning why it’s important to them. But even that is not enough because you’re likely to get a rational response. To get to a prospect’s motivating factor—the reason why they would take action—you need to know what it would mean to them and their families if they can achieve a particular goal—or, equally important, what it would mean if they didn’t achieve it. In other words, how would it make them feel?
#2. Uncover the motivating factor
Here’s how the discovery conversation should go down to uncover their motivating factor:
Advisor: What would you consider your most important goal, one that is critically important to achieve?
Prospect: Right now, we want to make sure our kids have access to a quality college education. That’s number one for us.
Advisor: I understand. Can you tell me why that’s so important for you?
Prospect: We want our kids to have the same opportunities in life that we have. (Rational response)
Advisor: I get it. Tell me, what would it mean to you if you achieved that goal?
Prospect: Everything, because they are our priority, and it is up to us to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed in life. (Leaning toward an emotional response but need more)
Advisor: Do me a favor and try to envision yourselves on the day your child graduates from college. How are you feeling?
Prospect: Proud. Relieved. Overjoyed for our kids. (Emotional response and motivating factor)
Advisor: That’s why we want to make this happen—for you and your kids.
That becomes the essence of your plan presentation. You present the plan features—what it does and how it works. You then describe the plan’s benefits—how it achieves the goal. Then you replay to your prospect what having that will mean to them using their motivational factor, which might sound something like this:
Advisor: [After explaining the plan features and benefits]: What that means to you, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, is that in about 15 years, you’ll be proudly watching your kids walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, relieved and overjoyed they will have every opportunity to succeed in life. That’s what this plan will do for you.
Prospect: (Nodding and smiling).
Advisor: Let’s make that happen, OK?
At this point, they’re not thinking about the plan’s features or benefits but how they will feel when they’ve accomplished their goal. That’s the reason they will move forward with you.
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