Why doesn’t everyone do business with you? Why aren’t you managing 100% of your client’s assets? All of your prospects and clients have objections, stalls and resistances. How do you deal with these concerns? With words. If your words are not good enough, you will lack success in turning prospects into clients and in getting more business from existing clients.
Chances are, your products and services are pretty good. Chances are, your products and services are fairly similar to those offered by the financial planner down the street. They might even be quite a bit better. However, no matter how outstanding your products or services, if your words (and your presentations) are not outstanding, you will not enjoy the success you deserve. It is my goal to help you reach a higher level of success than you have previously attained. The quickest and most certain way I have ever found for accomplishing this is to upgrade the quality and power of the words you use.
In my previous article, I introduced the concept of sales scripts and showed how all financial planners and investment advisors use scripts (organized collections of words). Your scripts are either organized and written down or they are disorganized and residing somewhere in the back recesses of your subconscious mind. If you have not read my previous article, I would suggest you do so now because many of the ideas presented here rest upon concepts presented in that piece. Most importantly, you must truly believe in the power of words or you will never put enough thought into what you say (scripts) and how you say those words to become as successful as you could be.
Before submitting this article, I showed it to a number of financial planners. A comment I heard more than once is that this article has a lot of “meat and potatoes.” It is content and technique rich. I normally only share this material in a workshop or seminar setting where I actually generate powerful scripts in exercises with the audience members. It is a fun interactive workshop and truly demonstrates how word patterns can rapidly create client relationships and close sales. Since I am now sharing some of these techniques with you in print, you will need to do the interactive part on your own. This is not an article to be passively read! To get the most out of these techniques, take action and do the writing exercises I recommend. I think you will enjoy them and feel truly empowered by the results.
Steps in Building Powerful Scripts
You may or may not have any desire to learn how to write a script or screenplay for a Hollywood movie or for a best selling novel, but you do need to know how to create powerful scripts that will turn your prospects into clients. Bob Veres, one of my heroes, has written eloquently about kind, idealistic, big hearted, highly skilled financial planners who are starving and he asks “Why?” I know why. These financial advisors can’t tell their story. They can’t motivate prospects to become clients. Their words are not good enough. Many of them do not even consciously know why their prospects do not become clients.
Bob Veres’ questions leads us to the first strategy in building your mastermind sales presentation:
- Identify and write down every objection, stall and resistance you encounter. These are the roadblocks that prevent you from turning prospects into clients. You must know how to best deal with these objections, stalls and resistances or you will never become significantly more successful. The first step is to identify them. Here is the good news: they are limited in number. There may be only twelve reasons that prospects do not become your clients. More good news: no one has all twelve concerns! Mr. Smith only had two concerns that you did not successfully answer. Mrs. Jones had three different concerns. But you must first of all identify all of these reasons that prospects do not become clients and that clients do not turn all of their assets over to you.
- Organize the objections, stalls and resistances you hear. Do not list them all on one page with little notes next to each one. You will never be able to find your best, most powerful responses if you have them all mixed up on one or two pages. I have helped hundreds of financial planners around the country write scripts and come up with the best ways of handling objections, stall and resistances. One of the most common problems I have seen is disorganization. If your best words are disorganized and you cannot find them, of what good are they? You must have immediate access to your best, most powerful compelling words and word pictures. Therefore, devote an entire page in your notebook or in your computer file to each objection, stall or resistance. At the top of the page, list it (for example, “I Already Have a Stockbroker. Why Do I Need You?”). Leave the rest of the page blank. Then, on the next page, list another objection at the top, such as “I Can Pick Mutual Funds Without Your Help.” Create twelve or fifteen pages or as many as you need, with one page for handling each objection.
- Start by writing down your best response to each objection. For example, what is the very best thing you can say when a prospect says, “I’ve Already Identified My Financial Goals. I Don’t Need Any Help.” Many financial planners say, “What do you want your money to do for you?” If you use this response, write it down. This is a common response, but it is just one response. You need many additional responses. After you have written down your best response to each objection, write down your second best response, and then your third best and so on.
I have found that many average financial planners have only two or three good responses to any objection, stall or resistance. Superstar financial planners like Tom Gau and others literally have dozens of powerful responses to each and every objection. They always have something compelling and fascinating to say that takes the power out of the objection. That is how I derived the title for this article, “Fear No Objection, Stall or Resistance.” Write down every great response you can think of to each and every objection, stall and resistance you hear. You have begun your mastermind sales script book! This is a book that can truly make you rich—and can enable you to help many more clients.
How to Generate More Responses and Better Responses
Congratulations. You have now written down your best responses to the most difficult objections, stalls and resistances (OSRs) you hear. Now, you need to add to that list of responses. Why? Remember, your words can make you rich. If the quality and variety of your responses are more powerful and make more sense than the OSRs of your prospects, those people are very likely to become your clients. In my seminars, I like to say, “Whoever has the best words wins. And remember that in using the best words, your prospect also wins because he or she gets to become your client.”
- Include responses for every personality type of prospect and client: the words that work beautifully with one prospect may fall upon deaf ears with another. For example, I have worked with a number of planners who have told me that the phrase, “What do you want your money to do for you?” confuses or turns off some prospects. If you want these prospects as clients, you must use different words. Don’t hit these prospects with the same phrase over and over and expect them to talk your language. Doing so is disrespectful and ineffective. It is your job to talk their language, to put whatever you are offering into words that make sense to that individual client.
Therefore, in your list of responses to each objection, stall and resistance, you will want a wide variety of responses. What will you say to a successful, hard charging highly dominant person who says, “I want to think about it?” Remember that strong people respect strong people. If you have a weak wimpy response chances are that person will never see you again. You need responses for strong people, for analytic people (who like facts, charts, graphs, etc.), for low key people, for people who need to be entertained, and for every other personality type of individual you are likely to encounter. A response that works well for the analytic person may bore an expressive person to death. An expressive very sociable person (we all know them) needs a story response that imbeds the facts in a short interesting “real life” example.
It will take time to add to your mastermind script book. Be patient. Write down responses for different personality types as you think of them or as you hear them. Your book will get better and better over time. Many financial planners have told me that their mastermind sales strategy book is the single most valuable book they own. This is one book that truly can make you wealthy. Most remarkable of all, you wrote it!
- Brainstorm new responses to objections, stalls and resistances with your associates and your coach. It is difficult to come up with great new responses to OSRs and this is the reason that so many financial advisors use just a few responses over and over. The problem with using the same responses again and again is that this limited range of responses limits the number of people you can reach and influence. In addition, it leads to planner burnout. You get tired of saying the same thing over and over again—especially when it is not working. You need to have as many great responses as you can possibly collect.
When you can’t think of any new responses or when you have an especially important prospect meeting coming up, brainstorm new responses with an associate or your coach. Most importantly, write those responses down! If your coach thinks of or shares with you a powerful new approach, record it in your mastermind script book. Human memory is fallible. If you don’t write it down, there is a high likelihood you will forget it within two weeks. The next time you have a multi-millionaire client coming in to see you, you won’t remember those great words and you will not obtain that person as a client. If you do write down every great new response you hear, your collection of mastermind scripts will get better and better each week and it will become much easier for you to convert a large percentage of your prospects to clients.
When brainstorming responses, do not be overly critical. The key task up front is to generate a large number of rich new responses. Keep an open mind. A response that you might not like at first could later become one of your favorite (and most effective!) responses. Give yourself a chance to warm up to different types of responses. Remember, you don’t have to necessarily like each and every response. A response that you might not particularly like might be exactly what a certain retiree needs to hear to transfer all of his or her assets to you.
- Interview a sales or marketing superstar. If you have the opportunity to spend time with, study or interview a sales or marketing superstar in the financial planning industry, seize that opportunity! One of the reasons that I became successful on the seminar circuit is that I was not repeating the same old cliché’s that many of the other speakers had been using for years. My practice was based on studying and working with sales and marketing superstars (I even did my Ph.D. dissertation on sales superstars). Instead of repeating something I had read in a book, I share with audience members the exact words, phrases and powerful language patterns that the top people in the field are using—and I explain why they work.
I have more than 2,000 books in my library, yet most of what I know about persuasion techniques, influence strategies and closing techniques I learned from top producers rather than from books. I am sure your experience will be the same. When you interview a sales or marketing superstar in your industry, pose the most difficult objections, stalls and resistances you hear and ask that person what he or she would say to answer such OSRs. Then, write down his or her best responses. By doing so, you will capture much of the persuasive power of these individuals and you will be able to duplicate much of their success. Face it—these people are probably offering the same products and services you offer—but they are using better words to communicate the benefits and to motivate prospects to become their clients. Add their best responses to your mastermind sales script book.
Sometimes a top producer will deny he or she uses scripts. However, as you now know, any organized set of words is a script. If he or she denies that scripts are being used, that is fine. Just ask, “What do you say when a prospect says, …”(pose your most hated objection). Listen to what the top producer says and you will hear some powerful scripts—even though the producer may not label them as such! The only times I have not been able to collect powerful scripts from an interview with a million dollar producer is when he or she was holding back. Sometimes highly successful people come up with words, phrases, word pictures and descriptions that are so powerful, they don’t want to share these million-dollar word patterns with others. That is fine because there are always other great producers you can interview. And when you hear their best lines, phrases and images, add them to your masterminds sales script book.
When a financial advisor has the opportunity to spend time with a sales or marketing superstar, I find that many times they ask a question such as “What are your favorite mutual funds (or stocks)?” Who cares? Your selections are probably just as good as those of the marketing superstar. If you are using Principia or Advisor WorkStation, they are probably better. Don’t squander this opportunity by chatting with the marketing superstar about investment tips. Instead, make the most of it and find out how he or she handles the toughest objections any financial planner encounters, and capture those responses for your future use.
The superstar marketer you meet at a conference or workshop might be earning $2 million or $3 million a year and you might only be earning $100,000. Why would he or she agree to an interview with you? If the superstar practices in a different city, you are not a competitive threat. Offer to take him or her out to the finest restaurant in town and make sure that you pay for the meal. The meal might cost you $200 but I guarantee that if you do a good job eliciting the superstar’s best responses, you should learn verbal strategies that could earn you tens of thousands of dollars. Talk about return on ivestment!
I’m lucky because I’ve been hired by top banks, savings and loans, brokerage firms and others to study their sales superstars, capture their scripts and build verbal models that average producers can use to significantly increase their effectiveness. I’m paid very well to do this work because it produces rapid sales increases. Using the trade secrets and strategies I am sharing with you in this article and my next one, you can do the same for yourself. By doing so, I know you will learn powerful scripts and persuasion techniques that are truly insider secrets of the best in our industry.
- Edit, hone and polish your scripts. Make every line effective. Make every line sing. It has been said that all great writing is rewriting. The same can be said for your sales scripts and presentations. Writing sales scripts is like writing great advertising copy. You need to look at every word and phrase. Get rid of lazy or ineffective words. I spend about half of every day working with financial planners around the country on their client presentations. I didn’t plan it that way, but that is what many of my clients are most interested in because it produces profound results.
Much of what we do is role playing and conducting in-depth “sales autopsies.” However, we examine both the unsuccessful sales and the successful ones. You can frequently learn as much from analyzing the successful sales as from analyzing the ones that didn’t succeed. The financial advisor tells me what his or her client said and then what he or she said. I have learned that a certain percentage of what financial advisors say to clients is unnecessary, redundant or counterproductive. We cut out the unnecessary verbiage and that saves the financial advisor a great deal of time. We then perfect the remaining parts of the client presentation. I provide better, more powerful scripts that I have learned or developed over the years. Together we edit, hone and polish the scripts to make them best fit the personality of the planner and the client. It can be fun and empowering, but it has a very serious purpose: to turn a larger and larger percentage of your prospects into your clients.
Remember, your scripts and presentations can never be too powerful unless every single person you meet becomes your client. Continue to edit, hone and polish your scripts until you can almost effortlessly turn a very high percentage of your prospects into clients.
I hope you have enjoyed the techniques and strategies I have shared with you in this article. I normally spend an hour or so in a seminar or speech teaching and demonstrating these script collection, brainstorming and script polishing strategies that I have learned and developed in my work with superstars and average producers who want to become much more successful. These are practical techniques that have led to massive improvements and billions of dollars of new assets under management for hundreds of financial advisors. If you use them, I know they will work for you too.
In my next article, I will share with you some additional strategies I have developed for rapidly building your own powerful sales strategies book and also for using your sales scripts. I will show you how to make your sales scripts invisible so that no one will ever know you have previously said those words. All they will know is, “I like this planner. He understands me. I totally trust her. What he says makes sense. I want this planner to manage all of my assets and help me plan for the future.” Your powerful new words and client presentations, along with your outstanding products and services, will enable you to rapidly grow a highly profitable practice. Your words will make you rich.
Dr. Donald Moine, based in Palos Verdes, California, is a Sales and Marketing Psychologist specializing in working with financial advisors, mutual fund companies, brokerage houses and wholesalers. A popular seminar leader and marketing success coach, Dr. Moine is the author of seven books and more than 200 articles. He has just designed a new series of seminars for financial planners based on his popular MorningstarAdvisor articles on Practice Building. To receive a free copy of his new report “How I Help Financial Advisors Rapidly Build Profitable Practices,” write to DrMoine@aol.com or call (310) 378-2666.