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Financial Advisors: How To Use Clarity and Understanding to Close With A Softer Touch

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Financial Advisors: How To Use Clarity and Understanding to Close With A Softer Touch

‘Closing the deal’ is a term that makes many advisors blood curdle and often creates internal conflicts especially for women. 
 

Traditional “closing’ skills feel high pressured, manipulative and calculated with little focus on the needs of the client and totally focused on racking up new accounts and more production for the advisor. While it seems it is the only way to get the business there is a better way.

Getting a commitment from a potential client is not just important to the advisor, but is often a necessary step to motivating the prospect to make a decision that is good for them.  The old school approach to closing typically focuses on forcing a commitment with little to no room for clients to feel comfortable raising questions:

  • “When can we get the process started? “
  • “All you need to do is sign here.”
  • “Is there any reason we can’t get started today?”

This traditional approach has tainted the well for so many women. With little understanding and less than stellar communication and education from advisors, many women don’t even know what questions to ask, and often feel obligated to move forward.  

Today’s process requires more transparency, education, and a collaborative process where both the advisor and client are truly committed to achieving their primary financial goal. This new approach focuses less on prospecting and more on building relationships because It eliminates selling and focuses on inspiring potential clients with alternative options. This new more female-friendly approach transforms closing into a process that motivates clients to do what is right for them.

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In order to make this new approach work you must learn new skills that emphasize clarity and understanding.

Closing skills can no longer be an isolated tactic but the culmination to a process that is highly collaborative and engaging.

  1. It all starts with an understanding, understanding who the client is and an understanding as to why you as the advisor care about them.  If your market is women, then ask yourself ‘Why do I care about women?’ If it’s business owners, then ask yourself ‘Why do I care so much about business owner?’. Regardless of your focus you must be able to articulate why through your personal story. This will dramatically accelerate your ability to build a trusting relationship.
  2. Your process must inspire prospects to want to work with you. Using language, terms and analogies that are congruent with their world by eliminating financial jargon and terminology transforms the process into one that is totally authentic and transparent. Instead of promoting a “financial plan” perhaps you rename it a Personal Income Plan (for women) or a Succession Plan (for business owners).  Using words that are meaningful to them not you.
  3. Motivating clients to make a commitment requires a clear understanding of what is important to the prospective client.  Summarizing what you have learned about them, asking for confirmation of their priorities, clarifying your process and how it will enhance a collaborative engagement, then authentically sharing your desire to work with them, expressing not just what you want but how you feel.

Commitment driving example:
 

“I’ve truly enjoyed our time together, and feel we would work well together. What would you like me to do now?”

And then there was silence… Be sure you don’t fill that silence by speaking, let the question percolate in the mind of the prospect, if there is silence that simply means they are thinking and you have done a good job.

A softer touch at the end of an appointment can make a huge difference not just in helping the prospect make a commitment to moving forward but for setting the tone for the kind of relationship that is reciprocal, engaging and enjoyable for both parties.

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