You work hard as an Advisor, serving your clients, and you work hard to bring in new ones. And the more clients you bring on, the busier you get doing the part of your job you love the most - advising people and building financial plans that have a positive impact on their lives.
This success necessarily means that your prospecting time becomes more and more precious. Every call counts. Every meeting matters.
So naturally, it's frustrating dealing with fence-sitters or people who procrastinate.
Here are 3 dead-easy strategies to compress your sales cycle that most advisors miss:
Always have your calendar available. Always.
You're going to that networking meeting with the intent to make initial contact and collect business cards. If you meet someone who has an urgent need for your services, don't lose momentum by just taking their card and saying 'we should get together sometime'. Be ready with your calendar. Then booking a meeting or follow-up call is easy. If the need is there, your prospect will grateful to be making progress!
Or perhaps you're attending a wedding or other social gathering. Of course you won't be one of those crass advisors that goes around pitching everyone at inappropriate times. But if in the course of a day-long event someone expresses interest, you can simply say 'This sounds important. Let's book a time to discuss how I can help you with that.'
What if they don't have their calendar? No problem. You can send them an email on the spot with two or three available times, and confirm the next day.
Book now, reschedule later.
How many times have you been on the phone with someone who has already expressed interest and a need, only to have them delay: Yes, I want to do this, but can you call me in two months?
Stop! Do not say 'Yes of course', and hang up.
Instead, try this: 'Ms. Prospect, of course we can meet a couple months from now. I know x goal is really on your mind, and my schedule is filling up. Why don't we book a tentative meeting for eight weeks from today. If we need to move it to accommodate your schedule, we can. But at least you can rest easy knowing we've set aside some time to take care of this.'
This strategy will help them make progress on an important goal, and help you fill your calendar!
To move people out of inertia, it's not enough to ask them what their goals are. Ask them why that goal is important. Then ask them follow up questions to really get them to think about it. This process will engage their emotions and they will move your meeting from an 'I'll get around to it' to a 'let's meet next week!'
There's no need to reinvent the wheel. Keep prospecting, but with refinements. Each one of these strategies will compress your sales cycle and have you bringing in business faster.