You need to know how you’re going to ask for the business before that prospect meeting even starts.
I was talking with an advisor this week about things she’d been reading about closing at a prospect meeting: how to close strongly and ask for the business. Understandably, with mentioning some of the articles she’d read, she felt a little awkward but was also wondering if she should ramp her game up a little bit, in her words, and really push hard for the close.
Here’s my response: When you’re going well in a prospect meeting, and the conversation is flowing, and you’re sensing a good fit with these prospects, and you could see them coming on board and fitting nicely into your business, you’ve got one of two options.
You can push for the close then with them, and if it’s flowing nicely, it shouldn’t feel so much like a push; it should feel more like just the next logical step. So you might want to say to that prospect, “Based on everything I’ve heard and with what you’ve told me today, we work with many families exactly like you, who have the challenges and the goals and objectives you have, and I’d love to have you on board with us and working with our firm. So, if you’d like to, I’m happy to proceed to the next step,” and we can talk about what that looks like. So that’s one way to close if you’ve got a good feeling for this meeting, if there is a genuine rapport that you feel has been built with them, if it’s just nice (you have those nice meetings where it’s just the next logical step: you want to work with them).
Conversely, you can go the other track, if you’re talking with a couple, for instance, and they clearly talk with each other back and forward and you sense that they’re going to feel a little more comfortable working with you after they’ve had that chance to dialogue and talk between themselves, don’t push for the close. Just let them know, and here’s how this sounds: “From everything you’ve said, it would be wonderful having you on board. You’re very similar to the clients I work with and the families we help. If you feel like you want to discuss working with me a little more, and you want to do that between yourselves, that’s totally fine. I totally understand that. Talk about it on your way home. Talk about it tonight, if you wish. I’d like to call you tomorrow, after you’ve slept on it, to ask you what you’re thinking about going forward. I’m not going to hound you, I’m not going to badger you, but we can just talk about what taking the next step looks like. Take tonight to think about it, and I’ll come back to you tomorrow.”
That’s just a nice, easy way of letting them know, I’m going to give you time (not all the time in the world), and I’m getting to back tomorrow to talk and find out what you want to do. We’re a good fit. I’d like to move forward. The ball’s in your court.
- If you’re confident the rapport is built and want to close them then and move forward with them, just let them know and expectantly wait.
- If you’re not that confident and they need some more time, give them more time. Give them the evening to think about it, to sleep on it.
- Commit to calling them the next morning, to let them know, “The ball is in your court,” but you’re expecting them to have made a decision.
Two simple ways to bring any kind of prospect meeting to a close. You should have one of these two ways set in your mind by the end of that meeting, but going into that meeting with both ways very clear: if it’s this way, we’ll say this, if we’re going that way, that’s what we’re going to say, and wrap up that meeting strongly, regardless.
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