I always say, if you do a good job of fact finding, you will have the proper ammunition to close the sale. The solutions you propose will be EXACTLY what the client wanted, and they’ll probably be amazed that you gave them the solution to their problems. If this is not the case for you, then a few things could have happened.
1. The need wasn’t properly identified.
2. The motive for planning was not established.
Today I’m going to focus on the second point.
The Motive – What Drives People
Years ago, I had a client with a clear need for life insurance, and I was befuddled when he was willing to put off a plan I proposed to protect his family. The “Need-Based” sale was not what drove him emotionally. I couldn’t understand it.
I thought to myself, “I would most certainly spend $1,800 a year on a term policy to protect MY family. Why won’t he do it when money is not the main concern?”
I had clearly identified the “need,” but he felt like he could put it off. Fast forward to two years later when I had mastered the “Greed-Based” sale. I shifted the conversation to the benefits of cash accumulation, tax-deferred growth, and tax-free withdrawals in retirement, and of course, protecting his family in the case of an unfortunate situation.
Now this peaked his interest!
I went from an $1,800 a year policy to $36,000 a year permanent policy. Sure, it was a long two year lesson, but I’ll never make the same mistake again.
So where did I go wrong here? What was THE error in my process?
I focused too much on what I would do, and I didn’t explicitly ask him what was most important to him. We impose our own bias and our own needs onto the client. I assumed that because I would spend $1,800 to protect MY family, that he should too.
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I simply needed to ask him ‘What is your greatest financial fear?’ and he would have told me something along the lines of “…running out of money in retirement because of market downturns.” The answer wasn’t “…not leaving enough money for my family,” and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about his family, it’s just not the primary reason.
When you are talking about a buying decision, you must get to the core of what moves someone to action. A comfortable retirement was a greater motivator to him than to replace his income. Had I failed to keep asking questions, I would never have gotten to the main issue.
Even when you do a good job of fact finding and you have all the numbers you need to formulate a solution, you could still face objections if you fail to connect the dots emotionally.
Set aside your own desires and objectives. Don’t worry about what YOU would do. Figure out what they would do. What they want, and what they worry about. Once you do, this job becomes a little easier.