When Prospects Say, "I Need To Think About It"
Have you ever had a great meeting with a prospective client, or you just got done delivering their One-Page Plan and your proposal to work together, and then they say, I need to think about it.
I’m not into cheesy sales techniques, or pressure, or objection-handling and things like that. But I do have a secret strategy that involves none of these uncomfortable tactics, but still increases the chance that they become a client. Even if they first say, I need to think about it.
When a potential client says this, it’s clear they’re not a hundred percent comfortable working with you. Maybe they have other advisors they’re talking to or maybe the motivation just isn’t strong enough for them to work with an advisor at this point in their life.
Whatever the reason is, there’s something that we can do to greatly increase the chance that they will end up working with us. It’s not some sales verbiage. It’s actually something that you do in the very first meeting. That’s right; well before they ever say they need to think about it, you’re going to do one important thing. You’re going to ask them for a micro-commitment, something easy to say yes to that is actually valuable to them.
This micro-commitment is joining your email list. You might ask, why is that important? Maybe you don’t even have an email list yet (stay tuned, because I’ll share an easy way to do this later in the post). The reason we do this, is because you can actually automate staying in touch so that you remain in their mind, even if they aren’t ready to work with you right now. In these automated emails, you won’t be asking them if they’re ready to commit or really ask them for anything at all. You’ll just be providing and delivering value to them.
So, if a prospective client emails me back and says, I need to think about it. I reply, sounds good. Take all the time that you need. I say that because I know that they’re on the email list. They are going to continue to receive communication from us, something that they agreed to up front. Maybe I won’t hear from them for a year, but that whole year long, they’re going to be getting regular, helpful emails that are adding value to their retirement life.
Another thing we add, if a client isn’t ready to work together yet, is a planning topic or action item that’s coming up for them. Here’s a sample email I may send in response to, I need to think about it:
Sounds good. Take all the time you need. If we don’t hear from you by May, I may reach out to you to see if you’d like us to do a tax-planning review of last year’s taxes and look for any potential opportunities for the rest of this year. This has been valuable for some of our clients in your similar position.
Again, it’s about finding things that are helpful and things that you can give them. It’s really just about giving them value.
The last thing we do, especially if they’re an A+ prospective client, is send them a book with a personal note a few weeks later. A lot of prospective clients in the first or second meetings bring up the idea of fulfillment in retirement. They want to make sure that they’re doing the things they want to do with their time. This topic of unique abilities or unique skills comes up as they consider living their fulfilling retirement. If this is the case, we’ll send a copy of the book, Strengths Finder, which includes a strengths assessment.
These three simple steps really do work in strengthening the relationship so that a prospective client becomes comfortable moving forward with you.
Tips for Email
As promised, here are some tips for the email list I mentioned earlier in this post.
When we started sending an automatic email to our clients every month, we looked at the top strategies that we use for our clients. Things that a lot of advisors like you are probably already doing: tax-loss harvesting, rebalancing, asset allocation, Roth conversions, our Bear Market Protection Plan, things like that. Then we record short videos (or you could write in the body of an email) educating them on that strategy.
We treat it almost as if we’re giving them the strategy to implement themselves and why it’s important. What we’ve seen happen as a result, is that people who might be leaning towards a do-it-yourself retirement and planning to manage their own financial affairs, quickly realize that they might not want to be doing everything that they could be doing to optimize their retirement plan. It really is helpful information that we share, but it often slowly converts them into being a client.
I go into more details on this strategy, the specific emails we use in our automated email list, and the system we have in place that makes it crystal clear to prospective clients that the advisor value far exceeds the fee in our Advisor Value Formula course, available here.