Just like in any other line of work, as a financial advisor, you are confronted with many obstacles and challenges you must overcome. That being said, it is no secret that finances are a very touchy subject for many Americans and more often than not, prospects that need the most financial guidance many times turn out to be the most difficult or stubborn. So what are some ways that advisors can break through to these difficult prospects and potentially earn their business as a new client?
Ask the Right Questions
First and foremost, to overcome the obstacle of dealing with a difficult prospect, it is important to know how to ask the right questions. Although most experienced advisors are very aware that questions are crucial, it can many times present a challenge to get a difficult client to realize how little they know, or how wrong they are about a specific topic in a way that doesn’t come across as condescending. In fact, the last thing an advisor should want to accomplish in asking probing questions should be to make them feel inferior or insinuate that they have made major mistakes in their financial planning efforts prior to meeting with you. Instead, as an advisor, you should strive to establish just enough rapport so that the prospect feels confident in dealing with you and taking advantage of your knowledge and expertise.
Try asking questions that open up a dialogue or a discovery event. Questions such as: “How much money do you think you will need for retirement?” “What are your biggest financial fears?” “Do you feel that you are currently accomplishing your goals?”
Be Patient But Be Proactive
One thing you want to avoid doing in dealing with difficult prospects is trying to rush them. Don’t make them feel pressured and give them yet another reason to push you away. Be helpful and assertive but don’t try to, “sell them” on your services. Keep asking those key questions to engage them until they finally decide to come on board themselves.
If a prospect starts getting cold, it can be helpful to start sharing information with them, keep them updated and informed with relevant things that could directly affect their financial situation. One good example would be information on the new changes in Social Security laws that could potentially affect the amount they will receive in future benefits. Information on topics like this could not only peek their interest and curiosity but can also be very helpful in providing them yet another reason to seek out your expertise in retirement planning.
Bring In Another Associate
Not all advisors have a big firm, or the ability to bring in another associate, but for the advisors that do, this could prove very beneficial. Sometimes, for one reason or another, certain individuals just don’t click. It’s not a fault of the advisor or the prospect, but by bringing in a third party, sometimes conversations could open up in many ways that otherwise would not have been possible before. Another factor contributing to this is different perspectives. In certain situations, when multiple views are presented, the prospect can sometimes feel like he/she isn’t constrained to just one viewpoint, leading to them feeling more at ease in the decision making process.
Share Powerful Data With Them
Another very crucial component to winning over difficult prospects is data. Usually visual data is the most compelling, but nonetheless, if you can provide the prospect with powerful information and show them the actual numbers, most prospects will start to come around. The most practical scenario would be to come up with some numbers that actually reflect the prospect’s particular situation, offering them a free report or evaluation. This information can allow them to see the difference you could potentially make if they were to follow your suggestions based on the numbers you project in the reports you provide them.
We hope you have been able to takeaway a few tips on dealing with difficult clients. If you are a financial advisor and interested in learning more about how Resource Solutions can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us! Find out how you can provide some very eye-opening reports with compelling data, included as part of one our several complete turn-key marking programs!