A very small change in how you interact with others can pay big dividends. This is especially true when you are trying to convert a prospect into a client.
Value the opportunity
Think about the time, effort and expense you devote to motivating a prospect to reach out to you. Maybe it was referral. Perhaps it was a blog you wrote that resonated. If the prospect went to your website (which is likely), maybe the time you took to make it warm and relatable did the trick.
Whatever the reason, you now have an opportunity to convert this prospect to a client. Surely, it’s worth your time to acquire the skills that will maximize a successful outcome.
Sadly, few advisors do so.
My recent experience
Our website design and content business is expanding. Our project manager needs a virtual assistant. I reached out to an agency specializing in these people. Here’s how the conversation went:
The salesperson started by telling me how they screen candidates. He then explained their “subscription model,” which involves buying a block of hours and paying in advance every month. In response to my question, he said that unused hours aren’t carried over from month to month so I should “be very careful when estimating my needs.”
I observed that a benefit of virtual employees was the flexibility of having someone available as our work ebbs and flows. His response was that “we have our own cash flow issues.”
I thanked him for his time and hung up.
I would never hire this firm.
A level playing field
The internet has created a level playing field. I was aware that some of his competitors offered plans where you only pay for the hours used. Others that follow the “subscription model” rollover unused hours.
When a prospect calls you, don’t assume they’re ignorant of your competition. They either have, or probably will, be interviewing a number of firms.
This salesperson made the same fatal mistake advisors often make when fielding calls from prospects. The assumption is the caller is interested in what you have to say, so you proceed to explain who you are, what you do, why you do it and why they should consider your services.
The reality is quite different. They have little interest in listening to you. They want to know if you can solve their issues. Unless you stop lecturing and ask questions, you’ll never find out what those issues are.
What if the salesperson has responded with these questions:
Dan, tell me a little about your business?
How do you plan to use your virtual assistant?
Have you figured out how much time you will need a month?
In making this decision, what is most important to you?
I realize I’m pushing the envelope here, but what if he went on to say:
Would it be okay with you if I took some time, reviewed your website, talked to my colleagues and came back to you with a suggested plan? I know this is an important decision for you and I want to be sure our recommendation will meet your needs.
The next time a prospect calls you, learn from my experience.
Resource of the week
This article will help you harness the power of asking questions.