The Art of the Close
In a nutshell, find out everything you can. Check their existing accounts if you have access. Check social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Youre looking for topics of conversation: schools, hobbies, travel, etc. It will help in step 2....
This is probably the most important step. People do business with people they like. Spend time getting to know the prospect and finding common areas of interest. If you can find their true passion, theyll light up as they tell you their stories.
You must understand the art of asking questions. After you spend five to 15 minutes building rapport in a meeting, you should spend 10 to 15 minutes just asking questions. And know the fine line between open-ended and closed-ended questions.
You will not get the business unless you are perceived as a full planner so this is the time to lay out a well-defined plan. Make sure they fully understand the plan and why you are making these recommendations (even if it involves just one specific product).
At this point, you hopefully have learned a lot about your client. Not its time to ask for the order. (I prefer the assumptive approach). Whatever approach you take, if you truly believe this is the right thing for them, convey that and tell them where to sign.
This is where most advisors drop the ball. Its important to follow up a few days after you implement a strategy or plan. Your goal is to quickly reinforce the plan and to keep them updated. Give them your contact numbers and be available to answer questions.
For more detail on all these points, be on the lookout for the April issue of Bank Investment Consultant. Youll find Rummages article on page 29. In the meantime, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You dont have to act like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross to close a sale. But you do have to know a little something about human nature and psychology. Heres a preview of an upcoming story in our April issue called The Art of the Close by Rick Rummage.