Presenting the Strategy Paper to Turn Prospects into Clients

Presenting the Strategy Paper to Turn Prospects into Clients

In my previous guest blog post, I explained how I dissected the confirmed file note by dividing it into four separate quadrants in order to create a strategy to take to my next meeting – the Strategy Paper Meeting (SPM), It should lead to a “yes”, the prospect agreeing to do business with me.

In summary, the primary purpose of the SPM is to highlight a problem; get their agreement to the problem; that they want to solve it; and then involve them in the decision-making process. That way the decision becomes theirs and all I had to do was the numbers based on their ability to pay. In relation to the latter, I found the best time to do that was after I had proceeded through the strategy paper up to the point of discussing the shortfall with them. More on that later. Now let’s focus on the strategy paper itself.

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5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

Every initial meeting with a prospect is crucial. It took a lot to get them to finally agree to meet with you, and, in most cases, you only have one shot at making the right impression. If a prospect leaves the meeting still wanting critical information, you will not likely see them again. So, you carefully craft your initial meeting to ensure you check all the boxes, including:

– Your background and experience
– Understand your prospect’s needs and concerns
– Your process
– Your firm’s strengths and why you’re different
– Customer service expectations
– How you get paid
– Next Steps

As far as key information your prospect needs, that covers all the bases. It should also give you plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your competence and capacity to address your prospect’s needs and concerns.

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Agenda for the Strategy Paper Meeting (SPM): What Is It and How to Prepare It

Agenda for the Strategy Paper Meeting SPM - What Is It and How to Prepare It

By now you should be familiar with the concept of the File Note and how it helped me increase my closing rate to 9 out of 10 in life insurance sales. I found that the reaction to my file notes was one of people looking forward to our next meeting and how I was planning to deal with their particular situation. I called that meeting my Strategy Paper Meeting (SPM.)

Within the file note that they had previously confirmed, were a number of answers to my questions that highlighted problems to which they were not even aware existed at that time. My dissection process was to draw attention to those questions and their answers in such a simple format that would allow for frank discussion.

So, generally, the format for the SPM would look like this:

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How to Respond to the Comment ‘I Don’t Want to Lose Any Money’

How to Respond to the Comment I Don't Want to Lose Any Money

A while ago I received an email from John in Texas and his email was very simple. He said, ‘Every time I go on an appointment, the first thing out of somebody’s mouth is, “I don’t want to lose any money.” And I’ve been saying, “I don’t know anyone that ever does.” as an ice breaker, but I don’t feel comfortable. Can you give me an idea on how to respond to that comment?”

Watch this video episode or read the transcript below to learn Don’s answer to this question.

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Nail the First Meeting with a Prospective Client: Address What Your Prospects Want to Know

Nail the First Meeting with a Prospective Client - Address What Your Prospects Want to Know

It takes a lot of time, patience, and effort to move a prospect through the funnel to the point when they finally agree to meet with you. For every prospect that makes it that far probably six to nine fall by the wayside. That makes that first meeting ever so crucial. There’s a lot that must be accomplished. It has to go perfectly. There’s a minimal margin for error.

Every advisor has their own formula for constructing a perfect prospect meeting. It invariably includes a polished presentation and ample opportunities to present oneself as a likable, competent professional.

However, ensuring that first meeting is a success comes down to how you structure it to address all the prospect’s questions and concerns. They’re meeting with you to find out who you are and why they should work with you. They need the answers to very specific questions on their mind even though they may not ask them. So, why not structure the meeting around what your prospects really want to know?

Here are a few such questions they are asking themselves.

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The Importance of a Post-meeting Checklist

The Importance of a Post-meeting Checklist

Nailing that initial prospect meeting is crucial if you are to have any chance at starting a relationship. If you follow your first meeting preparation checklist to a T, you’ve established good rapport, shown your authentic self, listened more than talked, and pinpointed the person’s pain points. You mapped out the initial steps to address their biggest concerns and got agreement to forge ahead. What comes next?

In many respects, your follow-up to that first meeting is just as crucial as it will either reinforce your prospect’s positive feelings about you and the experience, or it could raise red flags triggering remorse. The initial meeting follow-up is your opportunity to showcase your commitment to excellent client service and set the tone for the new relationship.

Too often, advisors allow critical things to fall through the cracks, creating a perception of incompetence or not caring. That’s why a post-meeting checklist is just as essential as a meeting prep checklist culminating with a well-crafted follow-up email or letter setting the stage for the next step. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy checklist but completing the items on a timely basis is critical.

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First Meeting with a New Client—Preparation Checklist

First Meeting with a New Client – Preparation Checklist

The first meeting with a new client should be a momentous event for both you and the client. For your client, it’s the first opportunity to validate their decision to select you as their advisor. For you, it’s the first opportunity to showcase your professionalism and reinforce your new client’s decision. You both hope this will be the beginning of a long and trusting relationship.

As you prepare for your first client meeting, it’s critical to remember that you are being carefully evaluated. Your new client is essentially taking a leap of faith in choosing you, and you must always strive to make them feel like they have made the right choice. With that in mind, your first meeting sets the tone for the entire relationship. Plan it with care.

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The File Note: How to Increase Your Closing Rates to 9 out of 10 in Life Insurance Sales

The File Note - How to Increase Your Closing Rates to 9 out of 10 in Life Insurance Sales

At the conclusion of my previous guest post – “Making Every Initial Meeting with a Prospect Successful” – I mentioned that if I could point to one thing that increased my closing rate to 9 out of 10, it was the file note. This in effect acted as a pre-presentation vehicle and I believe it motivated people to really look forward to our next meeting and my eventual recommendations.

Here’s how to start using the file note to increase your life insurance sales.

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To Get to “Yes” Financial Advisors Must First Get to “Why” and Stir Up Emotions

To Get to Yes Financial Advisors Must First Get to Why and Stir Up Emotions

What if, in every initial client meeting, your prospects would just come right out and tell you what’s important to them and what it would mean to them if you could help them? Indeed, it would make your job much easier, but then anyone could do it. The challenge is most people don’t think that way, and it’s your job as a financial advisor to help them uncover their most important issues.

But even that doesn’t go far enough because all you’ve done is uncover the “what.” People don’t act on the “what.” They act on the “why.” When fully revealed, the “why” becomes the key motivating factor. It contains the emotions that drive people to act. Your value as a financial advisor is to get people to take the actions you know will help them. If you can’t trigger the emotions behind what’s important to them, they are not likely to take action.

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First Meeting Conversations You Need to Have with Prospective Clients

First Meeting Conversations You Need to Have with Prospective Clients

Let’s be honest. Many financial advisors view the first client meeting frettingly as an obstacle to overcome on their way to, hopefully, establishing a new client relationship. After all, the way you start a first client meeting sets the tone for how your relationship will develop—if it develops at all. Prospective clients don’t make it any easier, often approaching their first advisor meeting with an air of skepticism or apprehension. This creates an unnatural tension that crowds out trust-building. That tension must be broken at the outset, and the ball is in the advisor’s court.

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