If you are a financial advisor who has ever had trouble dealing with wealthy prospects, then what you need is a process or formula to follow that will enhance your success. About the only thing more frustrating than not dating enough is ruining them when given the chance. That’s where a formula comes in.
With formulas, all typical human error is eliminated. It is replicable. It’s like 2 + 2. When I do it, I get 4. You do it, you get 4. You see, if you know a formula works, virtually anyone with a pulse can “plug in” to the formula and get the same results. If you haven’t narrowed down everything you do in your business to some kind of formula … then you’re working too hard and you’ll never get predictable results.
And with the correct “formula”, your results can become much more predictable. You will know exactly how many new customers and new money under management you will have in two months; or 6 months; or 6 years for that matter. It’s easy and I’ll show you how and why it works for anyone, anywhere, all the time.
So let’s go to what I call the million dollar sales formula …
The Million Dollar Sales Formula Step # 1:
We’ve all had prospects that no matter how much we know they should work with us, for some reason or another, they choose not to. Financial advisers often punish themselves by chasing down the potential client, trying to figure out what went wrong, and they almost always think it’s because: A) The client is an idiot (which is sometimes true) or B) We said something wrong in our meetings. / sales process
On the other hand, I would say that most of our sales failures in financial services are due to something we did long before we asked about the business (you are asking about the business, right?). Through extensive trial and error, what I have found is that we failed to make the proper “first impression” before the meeting process started. And that’s why we lose customers that should never be lost.
How do you fix this?
Making sure to send a package to all the prospects before they meet with you. When done right, this ‘package’ can literally shut down 32.4% of prospects before they even meet with you. I know, I have measured with and without and can verify that exact number. Let me share with you the pre-meeting components that need to run to significantly increase your close rate:
An appointment reminder letter with map to your office along with instructions on what your prospect must do to be properly prepared for the meeting. Think of this as a welcome letter and a short task to ensure that both your time and yours are well spent. The cover letter should be printed on professionally designed letterhead with a professionally designed logo and should include your website address. Which, by the way, should definitely have a website, and it should look good and serve a purpose. To see what I mean, feel welcome to visit my company website – there is a link to my bio.
A confidential personal profile. This is what they put their name, date of birth, children’s names and the like. It should be no more than one page long, and you should also ask for the names of your current broker, advisor (these are different and will make your client decide exactly who their current “advisers” are in their opinion), attorney, accountant, and insurance agent. . In the same section, you should also give your potential client a satisfaction scale of 1 to 5 to rate your current financial professionals.
A confidential financial profile. Now this is basically what it says it is: a place for you to answer some thought-provoking financial questions, create an income statement and balance sheet. You should also always ask what they would change about their financial situation if they could change only one thing, as well as what is really important to them about money. The answers you give to this question will be vitally important in your meetings (note that I said ‘meetings’, not your one-time appointment and one-speed appointment).
Your PROFESSIONAL business card. Do not try to be cute, do not put your photo and do not print yours. Your card should be at the level of the best law firm in your city, town, village, tribe … whatever. If this all sounds like a lot of work, it is !! But it’s worth it once you close your first BIG client.
The Million Dollar Sales Formula Step # 2:
The kickoff meeting and the most important 45 minutes of your sales process!
Why 45 minutes? Well, for those of you who haven’t studied direct response marketing … let me illustrate. There’s a copyright adage that the purpose of your headline (and everything you submit should have a headline) is to get people to read your first sentence. The purpose of the first sentence is for your prospect to read the second sentence and so on.
The same goes for a well-executed sales process.
The only purpose of a first date should be to have a second date. To do this, limit the first date to allowing the prospect to ask you any questions they have about you, then ask questions for about thirty minutes, and then finish. If you have sent a package like the one described above, at each initial appointment your prospects will come into your office with their completed questionnaires and all of their financial statements. When you have about 15 minutes left, just say the following:
“Now that I know a little about you, here is what we need to do next: I will take the information that you have completed, my notes and copies of your returns and prepare an analysis that I call a personal MAP for retirement. This will show you in detail. the specific areas of your finances that can be improved and to what extent. We will schedule a meeting in the next few weeks to go over your report so that whatever you decide to do after that you will be able to make informed decisions that will improve your finances, will you? fair enough? “
Did you see what I just did? Did you notice the last two words? These will become the two most important words of your career, guaranteed.
If executed correctly, no one will be able to resist that second date. Now some people will ask you how much it costs and tell them it’s free, but you will tell them, based on what you find, how much they would have to pay you if they made an informed decision to hire your services.
Seriously, these things make me dizzy just writing them. You should be too! In just these first two steps, I’ve already shown you how to at least double your closing percentage with wealthy financial planning clients.
The million dollar sales formula, step n. 3
The second date: separate the men from the boys!
As a precursor to this meeting, here’s a little tip: be sure to send a thank you letter to the prospect for the first date and double it as a reminder of the second meeting. Follow the same rules for paper quality and the like and include another business card.
At the actual date, be sure to thank your prospect again for coming, let them know it’s good to see you again, and always ask if they have any questions before you start showing your analysis.
The analysis should include the following (nothing more and nothing less please):
* Morningstar reports on its variable funds / annuities
* An asset allocation analysis
* A bullet-style analysis of your taxes, long-term health care needs, estate planning needs, and a quote of what you would charge to fix your problems.
And let’s be honest here: everyone will have problems. Especially Million Dollar customers. If you can’t analyze your investments and show them how to save money on taxes, eliminate estate taxes, and improve your investments, then you need a lot more than a sales education.
This step is really very easy. The key is this:
“As Mr. and Mrs. Prospect can see, I have identified approximately $ 4,000 of immediate benefit to you from this analysis and another $ 1,700 each year thereafter. Therefore, there should be about $ 20,000 of profit for the next ten years. And my fee for making this happen is $ 595.00 for a detailed step-by-step action plan. Fair enough? “
Some people will agree on the spot, others will not. Remember never, never, never, never, never press to close. All of this has to happen very naturally. Understand that the reason people work with you is not because of what you can do for them, but because they trust you and like you. Not many people like pushy salespeople. So do your best to be very nonchalant about all of this.
And about the fee, hey, this can be what you want, but you have to charge fees. If you don’t charge fees, these people will instantly know that the other shoe has to go down, and it’s usually in the way that you sell them something for a commission. If you only pay one fee, this is never a problem; but if it is based on a fee or commission, you have to charge a planning or setup fee to accept a new customer, PERIOD.
If they don’t want to schedule their next appointment at that time, just tell them to think about this for the next few days and that they will follow up to see if they have questions.
The Million Dollar Sales Formula Step # 4
The Ultimate New Customer Acquisition Process!
I’ve said before that I love systems and processes. They work so well and are so easy to replicate that you should use them if you ever want to hit the big leagues in financial planning. All million dollar producers do it, so do what they do and you will too.
So this is the process I use to accept a new customer:
Meeting Three: I have clients that sign my Advisory Services Agreement (for the fee) and we create an Investment Policy Statement (for those who don’t know what this is, it’s basically a summary of what the client’s goals are and what we will be trying to achieve for them as your advisor)
Meeting Four: We completed the transfer paperwork and new account forms. I always use brokerage accounts to gather the assets and consolidate them first. The recommendations and financial plan follow.
Fifth meeting: We review the client’s written financial plan and investment recommendations.
Sixth meeting: a three-month review meeting
Seventh meeting: another three-month review meeting
Meet with all clients every six months thereafter.
Holy Cow! There are many meetings!
That’s right, and they love it. This, my friends and colleagues, is what the rich want. They want a system, some attention, a WOW experience. An experience so different and so superior to that of any other consultant in your area.
And let’s clarify this:
This process is straightforward. Anyone can learn it. If you have at least one staff member (and please get one as soon as you can afford one if you don’t have one) all you will have to do is the meetings.
Lastly, know that this system may not work for everyone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a system. Always identify what you know works and remember to never stop doing those things. If you can put 4 – 6 steps together that work well, then you have just created your own “formula”; And that’s exactly what financial advisers need to achieve great sales heights.