REDUCING FINANCIAL SERVICES SALES CYCLE
A nationally known financial services company whose main market is retirees had stats that on average it took 5 sales calls to close a new investor. They wanted to reduce the sales cycle to increase production of each rep.
To assess the situation, I traveled in the field with reps prospecting and realized they were making the same mistake as all other sales reps----they concentrated on building a social relationship. On a cold call, they spent about 15 minutes with social conversations about the prospects, kids, sports games, etc which they thought was building a relationship. Instead the prospects were getting fidgety and stressed wondering what this person was doing in their house.
I helped the company re-format their cold calls. Instead of spending 15 minutes to build a social relationship, I suggested they cut it down to 2 minutes and then segue into this question: Mr. Prospect, can I ask you an important question? What are the three things you want your money to provide for you in the future.
This one question is the million dollar question. It takes the customer away from thinking they are being sold to thinking about what they want that is important for them., Their stress level goes down, they provide critical information and the rep is automatically positioned as a valued advisor.
The results were dramatic. This company reduced its sales cycle from 5 calls to 3 calls. Imagine how many more prospects a rep can see when they eliminated 2 calls from getting the investor on board.
Here is another result that was IMMEDIATE! I was attending a meeting with the firm partners when a senior partner said they had a class in for the week- veteran reps had 4 to 7 years of experience. They asked me to do a one hour session on this concept. Later that evening one of the reps in the class called my hotel room and asked if I had a moment to speak. I asked him what’s up and he said that coincidentally he had to Widows who had the same amount of money to invest $100,000. He was trying to get them on board for six months and couldn’t. He called him after my session and said I was remiss in not asking you an important question as we were only talking about stocks and bonds. And then he asked the question what are the three things you need your money to provide for you in the future?. Miraculously both Widows gave him more information than he acquired in the past in the previous six months and he felt the relationship changing. One widow actually committed her funds to him that night and the other widow gave him another appointment to come back In. Talk about immediate results!