3 Methods Successful Advisors Use to Connect With Business Owners
- By Michael Hall
- May 10, 2016
HOW DO TOP FINANCIAL ADVISORS CONNECT WITH SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNERS?###
Last week, we discussed how to help clients with business planning.
How do you get through gate-keepers to create opportunities to bring value?
When we talk to our most productive advisors, there are a few recurring themes.
1) Introductions > referrals##
Referrals remain one of the most effective ways to connect with new people. They are relatively easy to get, as they do not demand much of the referrer.
An introduction, however, requires a little more effort from the referring party. This pushes some outside their comfort zone.
For a referral, someone is giving permission to use their name to make new connections. With introductions, they must reach out to prepare the other person for your call.
People who are willing to make introductions are usually more comfortable getting involved in the process with someone they know well.####
Top producers tell us they are more likely to meet with a business owner via an introduction. Knowing this, they try to make the process as easy as possible. Some advisors even go so far as to provide an introduction script that can be sent to the business owner. Here is an example of one that has proven to be effective.
I have had the opportunity to work with (__) and I have really appreciated his/her low-key, professional approach. (__) will be calling you in the next few days because I think you will find value in the work he/she does and I would encourage you to take the call.
2) Intent matters##
In his book Let’s Get Real Or Let’s Not Play, Mahan Khalsa says that intent counts more than technique. This is especially true when it comes to business owners.
When meeting with business owners, take it slow and make the process about them.
For example, the information-gathering process can easily take up several hours. Instead of cramming this into one session, break this up into smaller, more manageable meetings.
Business owners are more engaged and responsive when you strive to give value from the start; this is because they can see the intent is to help.
They appreciate your willingness to solve, and even anticipate problems within their business. No one wants to feel like they are being sold. So remember to add value at every opportunity, even if that additional value is outside your normal practice model.
3) Stop and Listen##
Listening is a recurring theme in all our top advisor surveys. It is the most consistent response we hear. When you talk more than you listen, you will miss opportunities to address the needs of your prospect.
It is no surprise that those who sell the most are those who listen actively.####
When you approach a business owner, don’t just think about what you will say next. Observe their body language. Pay attention to what they are saying.
Are they engaged?
Are they tracking with you?
Are they showing signs of interest or are they tuning out?
When you practice active listening, you are much more likely to pick up on clues that could make all the difference.