This week I was working with my client Martha, she is a new financial advisor at a major firm. After months of coaching Martha finally asked the tough questions and was amazed at the results.
Working with Martha we spent months creating her message, defining who she is and how she adds value as a financial advisor. We developed her investment philosophy clichés and built her investment model. She now had it all, she just had to put it to work.
At our most recent call she updated me on her progress, she had gone on 7 appointments some with potential prospects others with centers of influence, while she felt good about her message and presenting her practice the one area she was still struggling with was asking for the $. This is a VERY COMMON issue with female advisors, they think by asking how much money you have accumulated is pushy and rude. That’s like saying a Dr. is out of place when he asks about your symptoms and health!
This became the focus of our call this week. Martha had a meeting set up the next day so we decided to use that meeting as the opportunity to make sure Martha asked the tough questions. We finalized all her marketing materials and we talked about the power of having what you do in writing so that the prospect doesn’t question whether you have just made things up.
The next day Martha met with her contact, she had known this woman (although not really well) and she wasn’t sure why the woman wanted to meet, so Martha decided to apply everything she has learned.
Martha asked lot’s of open ended questions provided a little information about herself but turned the focus back to the prospect. After getting to know the prospect a little better Martha started to ask the important questions, she held her breathe (knowing she was still uncomfortable asking about $) and asked, “What have you been able to accumulate so far?” The women then replied $18,000,000. Martha kept her composure even though she felt like falling out of her chair. She then used her presentation book that we created to validate her message and how committed she is to working with women.
Martha called me that night to tell me two things, first how surprised and excited she was that the woman has $18,000,000 and secondly how proud she was that not only did she ask the tough questions (and keep her composure) but her presentation was so clear and compelling that she has a VERY GOOD chance of getting this woman to become her client.
Forget the Educate:
As a Financial Advisor who gives seminars you MUST understand that it’s not the actually presentation that makes an impact. You could honestly totally botch the actual presentation and still get business from your event as long as you ENGAGE the audience and provide a GREAT INTRODUCTION and conclude the program with A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION.
My client Jeff recently hosted his first Savvy Women seminar. He called me that same evening feeling positive and quite optimistic with his event. I asked what went well he had 12 buying units and got two immediate appointments, then he started to laugh. He then said “To be honest Adri I forgot a bunch of the presentation but my Introduction and Closing was REALLY good.
It so common for Financial Advisors to focus on the educational, power point portion of the presentation when in fact that has the least impact on turning the participants into business. Now certainly the content is important and I’m not suggesting you come not prepared but as you do prepare most of your focus and energy MUST be in how you introduce yourself and what you want the participants to do as a result of attending this event.
The INTRODUCTION must contain 4 things:
- Your story; why you are in this business and why it’s important to you
- Your market: Who most of your clients are, their assets size and what are the most common issues they experience
- How this event fits into your overall business experience
- A fun and engaging way to clarify the need for what they are about to learn
The CLOSING must contain:
- A reference back to the introduction highlighting the emotions (issues and concerns that were raised at the beginning of the presentation)
- Clarify why the participants need to take action
- How the participants can take action (spell it out for them) with YOU.
Creating a great introduction and closing is not a simple nor an easy task but a VERY IMPORTANT one. For those that are currently hosting seminars be honest and evaluate how strong is my introduction and am I addressing the 4 critical components. Is my closing clear and compelling providing the participants direction to move forward (with ME)? If this is not the case then I highly recommend you get some coaching and training before you move forward with another seminar. With proper coaching and training you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.