How to Tell When a Prospect Is Ready to Become a Client

How to Tell When a Prospect is Ready to Become a Client

In their interactions with prospects, financial advisors reach a critical juncture when they must determine when or if a prospect is ready to become a client. If they make the wrong determination, it will likely result in a missed opportunity. Trying to close prospects before they are ready can push them away, while waiting too long can cause them to lose interest.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, when they are ready to buy, prospects would just pipe up and say, “I’d like to get started?” Unfortunately, it rarely happens that way. Your prospects are just as apprehensive about making a buying decision as you are asking them to buy. Most people need to be held by the hand and reassured that they’re making the right decision. Some may need a stronger nudge. But in almost every instance, financial advisors must know when the time is right and take the appropriate action.

If you bring a prospect far enough along in the process, it means you’ve probably done a lot of things right—built rapport, discovered their pain, explained your process and how you bring value, etc. Then it becomes a dance. Like that girl or boy you’ve been staring at across the dance floor, they will provide clues or buying signals when they’re ready to be asked. Here are a few such signals or clues.

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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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How to Increase Your Life Insurance Sales Making Every Initial Meeting with a Prospect Successful

How to Increase Your Life Insurance Sales Making Every Initial Meeting with a Prospect Successful

When people meet with you for the first time, subconsciously they have four questions that need to be answered. They haven’t thought about these questions in advance but they cross their mind during that meeting. If they are answered, this will ensure that there is not only a second follow-up meeting, but also presents the immediate opportunity to develop a long-term relationship:

Do I like you?
Do I trust you?
Are you competent?
Are you the sort of person who will put my best interests before your own?

In addition to these four questions, I believe that a person would also have to be thinking to themselves “this adviser makes sense!” if there is going to be an ongoing relationship.

How to make every fact-finding meeting a success

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How to Increase Your Life Insurance Sales through Preparation

I am of the opinion that one of the major stumbling blocks for new (and, surprisingly, even more experienced) Financial Advisers in conducting successful initial meetings with prospective clients (as well as review meetings with existing clients) is the lack of proper preparation.

In recent years Dealer Groups have introduced a one-size-fits-all templated fact finder document to be used by their advisers in both initial and ongoing discussions with prospective or existing clients. In terms of compliance requirements, the dealer group needed to protect itself from possible future litigation down the road and therefore many participated in designing the questions that their advisers could ask.

From my experience, I believed that there were two problems with this approach.

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