Would you rather be perceived as trustworthy or competent? Many advisors place more emphasis on competence.
Take a look at your webpage. Does it feature your expertise, credentials and experience?
There’s compelling evidence this emphasis should be redirected.
The research underlying The Solin Process ℠ is extensive. It’s set forth in a 62-page bibliography in my book, The Smartest Sales Book You’ll Ever Read. My findings demonstrate emotions drive decisions. Prospects are unlikely to hire you unless they like you. When they like you they’re inclined to trust you.
“Trust” is the coin of the realm.
When prospects trust you, they are predisposed to find you competent.
The halo effect
The “halo effect” is a cognitive bias, much like the other biases that impact decisions made by advisors (confirmation bias, recency bias, etc.).
We have a natural (almost irresistible) tendency to ascribe positive qualities to those we find attractive in other ways. Here’s a useful explanation:
One great example of the halo effect in action is our overall impression of celebrities. Since we perceive them as attractive, successful, and often likable, we also tend to see them as intelligent, kind, and funny.
It’s the halo effect that causes us to believe attractive people are more intelligent; that people who are physically fit have better leadership qualities; that attractive people are less likely to be convicted of a crime; that well-behaved children are “bright, diligent and engaged”; that enthusiastic employees perform better and that attractive job applicants are better candidates.
Using this research
A recent article by Travis Bradberry provides guidance for how to use the halo effect to your advantage in trying to convert prospects into clients.
If you accept the fact that likeability trumps competence, your goal (in both your personal and written interactions) is to become more likeable. Here’s how you can do that.
1. Focus intently on the other person. Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions with the goal of genuinely getting to know the prospect better. In my Smartest Sales book, I explain the effect of hormones released in the brain when we empower people to talk about themselves.
2. Ditch your agenda. Your goal is to uncover the prospect’s agenda; not to impose your own. Ask follow-up questions. Be content to let the conversation go wherever the prospect wants to take it. Make no effort to “steer” the conversation to subjects you want to discuss (like: “What keeps you up at night?”)
3. Don’t “educate”. If a prospect has a question, trust them to ask it. Before they do, make no effort to “educate” or lecture or explain. By waiting for a question, you can be confident you’ll be addressing something of genuine interest to the prospect. Otherwise, you are violating a basic rule of The Solin Process℠: Assume nothing.
The Solin Process℠ is not an abstract theory. It was initially greeted with skepticism by advisors, because it’s so counterintuitive. In the past four years, I’ve taught it to thousands of advisors. They’ve used it to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of AUM.
You can learn more about The Solin Process℠ here.
Resource of the week:
This article by Travis Bradberry is definitely worth your time.