The Solin Process℠ is, to my knowledge, the only evidence-based strategy for converting prospects into clients.
One of my most surprising findings is the counter-productive role of persuasion when engaging with a prospect.
Here’s a summary of the research underlying my view that making any effort to persuade, justify or spin lessens the possibility of converting a prospect into a client.
Persuasion causes stress
Compelling research (discussed in this blog post) indicates that trying to persuade someone puts them in an unpredictable situation, over which they have little control and is threatening to their ego.
This is the perfect storm for elevating cortisol, which is the hormone indicative of stress.
When your prospect is feeling stressed, you have reduced the probability of successfully converting that prospect into a client.
Data is polarizing
Evidence-based advisors have a wealth of data supporting their investment philosophy. When confronted with a prospect who believes in active management, it’s tempting to present this data.
Don’t do it.
My research indicates doing so is likely to be counter-productive.
In her fascinating book, The Influential Mind, What the Brain Reveals about Our Power to Change Others, neuroscientist Tali Sharot explained why marshaling data in support of your point of view is so ineffective. She found that, when we do so, the other person doesn’t objectively consider the merit of your facts. Instead, they use those facts to support their pre-existing belief or “turn away” and don’t consider them at all.
Famed comedian George Carlin observed, “anyone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.” This sage comment illustrates a concept known as “naïve realism.”
Our take on reality is just a perception we believe is accurate. In the current political climate, fervent supporters of President Trump and his detractors are absolutely convinced their views are correct and they can’t understand how anyone can hold a contrary opinion.
Since we perceive the world through a prism of our biases, efforts to persuade others that our opinion on a given subject is the “right” one, ignores their perception of the same issue, which is influenced by their biases. As summarized by Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross in The Wisest One in the Room, we must recognize that our view of the world is just that – a view that has been shaped by our own vantage point, history, and idiosyncratic knowledge.
You can save a lot of time, effort and frustration by accepting this reality.
Resource of the Week
Read this study, which demonstrates how our biases affect our perception of events.