We live in a hurry/hurry, go/go world. It seems as if most of us are in a hurry to get somewhere. Yet, we know that there are times when the slower you go, the quicker you get there. Let’s use a simple example. The quickest way to communicate an idea is to tell someone. But this method is often the slowest way to obtain buy-in. People are more comfortable with their conclusions than ours. You are more likely to win a sale if the client is given the opportunity to express themselves and feel that they are in control of the process.
Rod is a financial advisor whom I coach. He is based in Regina. Recently, Rod was referred to a couple who had $2,000,000 to invest. They received the money through a settlement and did not have experience in managing money. Initially, they were hesitant to trust Rod, even though he had been introduced by someone they trusted.
As Rod has learned through his work with The Covenant Group, the first principle in building trust is to focus on the other person(s). Rod began by asking a lot of questions to help them identify, clarify, and intensify what was important. Their primary concern was the safety of their capital. Rod also took the time to patiently answer their questions. Recognizing their concerns, he proceeded slowly and met with them a number of times. At the same time, they met with a banker who recommended one of the bank’s balanced investment funds. They told Rod that they were more comfortable dealing with the bank. Rod suggested to them that they needed three people to help them with their financial affairs, two of whom were already in place. The first was a good lawyer who could assist in structuring their wills and estate planning. The second was a good accountant who could provide tax and accounting advice. Rod knew both their lawyer and accountant and expressed his confidence in them. The third person is someone to provide investment counsel and assist with the insurance requirements of the estate plan.
At that point, Rod asked them the name of the banker with whom they were dealing. They could not remember his name. Rod asked them, “What are the chances you will see the same person in the branch three years from now?” The wife laughed and reminded her husband this was the third person they had seen in the last six months. Rod shared a story of another client who was in a similar situation and had the same concerns. In the story, he illustrated the range of choices available to them to protect their capital and provide enough growth to offset inflation and withdrawals. The story resonated with them.
People treat facts as factors, but make decisions primarily based upon emotions. Rod connected with these people at an emotional level. At no time did he hurry them or press them to make a decision. In due course, they made the decision to work with Rod. By giving them time, asking the right questions, and illsutrating his commitment to the client experience, Rod created the opportunity to win a sale. Sometimes, the slower you go, the quicker you get there.