As a group, you’re very intelligent. This isn’t surprising. The work you do requires the ability to grasp complicated subjects and communicate them effectively. Many of you have advanced degrees or have taken specialized courses.
You may be surprised by my observation that your intelligence is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve found it fosters a series of mistaken beliefs, that prevent you from gathering more AUM.
Here’s are the two big ones.
You know what the prospect needs to hear
There’s only one foolproof way to find out what’s on the mind of the prospect: Ask her.
When you carry on about your background, credentials and expertise, you’re assuming these are areas of interest. Your assumption could be right or wrong. Why take the chance?
Instead, control your inclination to convey information. Ask questions to get to know the prospect better. Let the conversation go wherever the prospect wants to take it. Don’t try to direct it to areas you believe are “relevant”.
Almost always, there will come a time when the prospect will ask you a question. Now you will know exactly what’s on her mind. Answer the question briefly, then ask: Did I answer your question or do you want more details?
If the prospect doesn’t want more details, ask this question: Do you have any other questions?
If so, answer them. If not, ask this question: Is there anything else you would like to discuss?
If so, discuss that subject. If not, end the meeting by asking this question: How would you like to proceed?
You don’t trust the prospect
When I’m teaching advisors The Solin Process, the most common pushback I receive is: What if I never get a chance to make my pitch?
The reality is that you’re in a win-win situation.
Almost every prospect has something on their mind when they meet with you. There will come a time when they will ask a question. You need to trust their intelligence and be patient.
But what if they don’t?
If you end up talking to a prospect for the entire meeting about their favorite hobby, you’ll still ask, at the end of the meeting, how would you like to proceed? In these circumstances, in every case reported to me, the prospect became a client.
Why? Because the encounter with an advisor who focused entirely on them, didn’t try to persuade them of anything, and showed a genuine, authentic interest in them, was a rare and special experience in their life. They will like the advisor, trust him (or her) and want to develop a relationship.
Don’t fall into the intelligence trap.
Resource of the week
I really like this quote from Seth Godin:
Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.