Insights from the field of Selling
For sellers there’s always time to enjoy the lingering reverie of a sale gone well. The perfect touch points, the internal sponsorship, the business value you personally brought to the sale are all parts of a great deal. Who doesn't want more of that? But more and more of us are sitting scratching our heads trying to figure out why a prospect isn’t converting, why an opportunity isn’t advancing.
In competitive sales situations in wealth management, there’s a force out there to be reckoned with and it’s not about you or your firm. It’s not about the markets, and it’s certainly not about the lack of “wealth”. So what’s happening?
Financial professionals need to realize that anyone worth working with is likely engaging another advisor. In a way you want that – you want a prospect that sees the value of advice and thought partnership. More good news, many investors are mildly satisfied with their current advisor.
But it’s the negative perceptions around change that’s slowing the sales process down or stalling it altogether. Some see too much effort in locating statements, consolidating accounts or learning a new platform and user interface. Others fear the time it will take to educate another advisor on their affairs. Some just hate change. Period. So we de-veloped a diagnostic for assessing and working with prospects based on their appetite for change. For simplicity’s sake (and for a little fun) we’ve labeled these change types as five animals: The tiger, the eager beaver, the wise owl, the chicken and the alligator.
This prospect is excited by new and innovative developments in investing. They see change as opportunity rather than a risk. They ask inquisitive and challenging questions based on their own research.
Questions to assess if you’re working with a Tiger:
POINT: These are great clients to work with. Keep them informed, keep your commitments, and maintain a good information flow. They are low maintenance and will remain relatively loyal.
THE EAGER BEAVER
The eager beaver is excited by new and beneficial solutions and will eagerly be a proponent to their contacts. They’re often the first to adopt new ideas and will share their knowledge and insights with others.
Questions to assess if you’re working with an Eager Beaver:
POINT: Eager Beavers are your de facto salesforce so fully educate them on your process so they can accurately communicate it to others. Keep the idea flow rich.
THE WISE OWL
This prospect is willing to change with good reason. At the outset they see more risk than opportunity in change. They’re cautious about change and need time to think and deliberate.
Questions to assess if you’re working with a wise owl:
POINT: This change type is highly analytical, which provides a great opportunity
to inform and educate. There is comfort in the details for this change type.
Chicken’s are fearful and skeptical of change and will not change until it is proven and the majority of their peers have done so. The more you try to convince them, the more they will resist.
Questions to assess if you’re working with a chicken:
POINT: If you have good research at your fingertips combined with solid testimonials, the Chicken can be a valuable prospect.
This prospect is very alluring. They have asset levels that make them attractive and they are receptive to meeting. But their theory is, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and will work to refute your claims and the elements of your approach. Alligators despise change and will adopt only when it becomes the standard.
Questions to assess if you’re working with an alligator:
POINT: You may be tempted to work with the Alligator, especially if he or she has sizable assets or engages in serious debate that feels like interest. Be aware that change means loss to the Alligator, and you may wind up spinning your wheels with a prospect that will never commit.
Have any other thoughts on change and its impact on closing? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Walton Sales Training has over 60 years of collective Fortune 500 company experience in Sales, Sales Training and Field Sales Management. Our specialty is preparing individuals and organizations to present their value propositions in a way that results in higher close ratios. Our team are un-blurring the lines of differentiation between their client's fiercest competitors.