I just got off the phone with a new client. She is an independent advisor specializing in annuity sales. She has done a fabulous job of integrating a seminar for women that can generate close to 20 appointments per event. Her process is impressive her closing ratio not so good. After reviewing her methods it became quite evident that her natural skills as a woman most definitely inspire the prospects to schedule appointments but those same skills are derailing her ability to close the business.
Women have a natural ability to develop and initiate relationships, their listening skills and ability to identify with the listener creates an immediate bond of trust. But there comes a time in the sales process where you must turn the soft skills off and turn the hard skills on. Women are excellent at the soft skills but we can learn a thing or two from the men when it comes to hard skills or closing the business.
Once the bond has been created and a relationship started women must change their whole approach when the conversation turns to money and investments. Your tone of voice even the way you sit needs to reflect a serious professional approach that lends itself to building the client’s confidence not empathy. Because this is not a typical strength for women adding more structure to your process can have a tremendous impact on improving your results.
For this female advisor she will now call those that scheduled an appointment and have a qualifying conversation with them. This qualifying call will help her proactively eliminate those that are not qualified while raising the commitment of those that ARE qualified. Even her appointment process will be more structured, setting a defined time frame for the appointment with a simplified agenda that both the advisor and prospect can follow, reducing run on appointments and wasted time for both. This was all we could accomplish in our first coaching session. Our next session we will focus on her vocabulary, focusing on words and phrases that leads the prospective client to take action.
Understanding your strengths as a woman in financial services is critical to getting the results you want but the key? You must know when to turn those skills on and when to turn them off.