Sell Trust Not Products
- By Julie Stewart
- July 5, 2016
There are times we meet with clients and go in with one thing in mind: How to get them to buy what you are selling. There may be a product you know has helped several of your clients and you love it, wanting nothing more than your prospective client to know and love it too! It is not that your product is not spectacular and maybe it is the best possible option, but how do you really know if you are not taking the time to build an atmosphere of trust by establishing rapport?
Leading with product or having an idea of what you are going to pitch before you know or understand the client’s needs sets you up for failure. It can also create uncomfortable situations where clients ask questions outside of your planned conversation, stumping you in the process.
Here is where a little pre-game planning goes a long way.
Start with 3 questions to get your client comfortable:
- What do you want your Retirement to look like?
- When do you want it to begin?
- Why is that important to you?
Prospective clients want to feel at ease and trust that we have their best interest in mind, especially before they share information on assets and current plans. By focusing on the above questions, we move from “Look what I’ve got” to “What is important to you and why is it important?” The more clearly they can describe retirement, the better you are able to plan. As they answer, continue to dig deeper by asking them why. This will go a long way to establishing an emotional connection and thus a sense of urgency.
Selling involves an emotional transfer which can be established through storytelling. Erik Luhrs, author of Be Do Sale explains, “Stories, especially metaphors, work on the subconscious mind… In sales situations, stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’ and see the valuable application of the solution”
Once you have an idea of what retirement means to your client, there is an opportunity to make impactful statements by mirroring what they have shared with you.
Create Momentum in the Sales Process
The next step is to attach value to their retirement picture by asking your client open & closed ended questions. You are not trying to nail down a price per se, but get them thinking about the lifestyle they wish to lead in retirement and what it will take to get there.
Questions such as:
Do you wish to maintain your current lifestyle? How much is that costing you today? If they know they cannot afford the same lifestyle moving into retirement, ask them what they think they can afford. Again, we are not trying to make it reasonable or unreasonable but rather get them talking and build momentum.
These statements help to further commit them to their retirement goals. By asking your client to assign their own value: How much they believe it would cost and what would it take to secure, helps to disarm them and trust you are taking the time to get to know them and understand their particular situation and dreams for the future while also creating emotional momentum.
Begin to pepper in statements like:
- Several people I work with are afraid of running out of money, is this something that also worries you?
- At this stage, safety seems to be the primary concern – is this also what you are looking for?
Once you have uncovered their vision of retirement and why it’s important, use their answers to gain a commitment.
Ex: The client is afraid of running out of money, wants to maintain his lifestyle, protect his family in the event of his death and needs income to start in a year or two.
A simplified mirror closing: “Mr. Client, If it were possible for you to begin receiving income next year, for that income to be guaranteed for your life while also providing protection for your family, would you want to know more about how we could do that?”
There are several ways to phrase the question but the point is to gain a commitment without ever discussing a specific product! Now, you have the opportunity to work with your strategic partners to identify the best possible products to meet your clients need.
In turn the process is more impactful and you have hopefully created a client for life.