Written by: Dave Alison
Are you on target to meet your new business goal? Are you getting prospects in the door, but having trouble converting? Curious what other advisors are doing to increase their conversion rates? Here are three tips that can help you close more business.
You have held several meetings with your prospect or client, gathering their financial information, determining their goals, and developing a retirement plan that meets those goals. Now it’s time to deliver the results of your work. Will your client be open to your suggestions? What are some ways you can make your presentation more effective and increase the chances that your plan will be implemented?
Before your delivery meeting, make sure that all your back-up documents are prepared and ready to go. This includes the Family Estate Organizer (a three-ring binder containing all the documents pertinent to your client’s estate), investment audits, Social Security analysis, plus, of course, the actual plan. But be careful not to overwhelm the client with too much information. If details such as long-term care funding, insurance, or estate planning were not among the primary concerns or priorities of the prospect – even though they are important to a holistic plan – you may want to hold off those discussions until a future meeting.
We asked some of our top advisors to tell us what they do to make this crucial meeting more effective. Here are some of their tips:
1. HELPFUL TOOLS
As you go through the plan with your client, it would be helpful to review some of the tools on which you have based it. These include:
- - Concerns and priorities – Revisit the client’s concerns and priorities as discussed during your meetings and show them specific items you have included in their plan to eliminate them. They need to understand where they stand now financially in order to determine where to go in the future.
- - Use reporting to show where their investments are now and ask them if they know what asset classes perform best over time. A powerful point is demonstrating the rate of return over a 20-year period versus the last 10 years. Since the past decade been an historical outlier in terms of performance, it is important to show a full 20 years to illustrate different market cycles and how their accounts would have performed. Illustrating the max drawdown of their portfolio and how this could impact their retirement income plan if they are going to pull systematic income withdrawals from their investment portfolio is also very impactful.
- - Refer to their Social Security analysis and highlight the dollar value you are creating for them by optimizing Social Security benefits.
- - If needed, share their retirement projection to see how their income and account balances will look at key milestones like five years and 10 years out.
- - Asset transition sheet – This one-page, easy-to-read tool gives the client a roadmap of where their money is currently and into which buckets it would transfer under the new plan.
2. POSITIVE LANGUAGE
Throughout the conversation, use positive, reassuring language. Try to “future-cast” your comments so the prospects can envision what it will be like when they are your client. For example:
“When working with us into the future, we will continue to identify tax law changes and specifically how we can save you money.”
“When we meet to review your plan next year, we will proactively ensure that your next 12 months’ needs are met”
3. GIVE THE CLIENT SOME SPACE
The amount of data and information can sometimes be overwhelming. If you can see that your client may need a moment to think, say that you need to step out for a drink of water and ask if they would like one as well. This allows them some time to talk things over without you standing there. Give them a minute and a half to two minutes before you come back to resume your conversation.
These are just a few ideas that our advisors found exceptionally helpful. Combine them with techniques that you may already be using to strengthen your proposal delivery and increase the chances of your recommendations being accepted!
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