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Advisors: What to Do If You’re Part of a Competitive Bid

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How do your respond when you suddenly learn that you’re part of a competitive bid?

Sometimes right at the beginning of a prospect meeting the person will let you know that they’re looking to talk with two or three other advisors, and you’re just one of them. You’ve just got to roll with that and mention to them, “Hey, that’s fine. Totally understand. Ultimately you need to be most satisfied and enjoying who it is you’re working with. So that’s fine.

“May I ask you what it is right now that you’re most unhappy about with your current advisor?”

You can say this because the question’s pretty safe. If they’re not working with a current advisor, you’re about to find that out, and if they’re annoyed with their current advisor, you’re going to find out why. So, it’s only going to be helpful information, and in the back of your head you’ve already stored away the fact that they’re looking at two or three others and you want to loop back to that, and I’ll show you how to do that shortly.

If they drop this on you in the middle of the process, that’s OK: just roll with it. Just keep your cadence up. Don’t get defensive. You should have already asked them what it is that they’re not enjoying with their current advisor and gone through what I just explained. But don’t get defensive; just keep going through your routine and letting them know, regardless of what you say, this is how we work with people, this is how our prospects become clients and become friends. This is why we do what we do and why we love doing it.

If they drop this on you at the end of the conversation, the chances are they’re still not convinced that you’re the right person. Again, don’t uptight with this.

For all of those three responses, regardless, you want to be winding down the meeting properly and know exactly how it is you’re going to wrap it up by letting them know you understand they’re going to take some time to think about this decision. Understandably, it’s an important one. You’ll send them out an email next week just asking them where they’re at in the process, and then the ball is in their court. No need to get defensive with how they’re responding here; you’re just sticking to your routine.

Related: Advisors: How To Answer “What Do You Do?”

Related: How to Confidently Close Prospect Meetings

You can’t work with a thousand clients by yourself. You do have a finite number you’re looking for. They may simply not going to be one that comes “on the bus” with you, so to speak. And that’s OK.

So,

  1. Have language ready for when this particular statement gets delivered to you, regardless of where you are at in that initial meeting with the prospect.
  2. Be comfortable with it. Have it stored away in the back of your mind to anticipate what happens when it gets brought up and the wording you’re going to deliver.
  3. TWhen you deliver it, say it with confidence and say it with conviction, like you’ve heard this a thousand times, totally understand, here’s where we’re going next. So don’t let it throw you.

This can be disconcerting sometimes. It’s not, maybe, the language you ideally want to hear; we all want to hear, “Hey, sign me up! I’m on board! Let’s get started!” The reality is that doesn’t happen all the time. You want to be comfortable to know how to proceed most strongly, though, when you do hear those words, “We’re looking at two or three other advisors.”

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