Close More Clients By Detecting How People Naturally Take Action

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

If there was to be a race between a horse, fish, bird and a mouse how could you set it up to accommodate the participants? According to author Kathy Kolbe this is a dilemma we humans face daily. It’s not possible. Each human has his or her own unique, innate way of taking action. Trying to close every one of your clients the same way is like trying to set up a scenario that suits the horse, fish, bird and the mouse! It will only work for 25% of the time. Learn how your clients individually take action and transform your close to be a custom fit.

Kolbe has identified four leading conative modes. “Conation is our knack for getting things done. It is separate from a person’s intelligence or personality type,” writes Kolbe in her book “Conative Connection - Acting on Instincts.” The four modes are Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor. If you go to and take the Index A ($49.95 and takes about 10 minutes) you will learn what your style is. The highest number is your insistent mode—the way you will first try to take action when presented with a problem to solve.The combination of numbers shows you how much energy you have in each of the modes. Start by learning about your own conative style and then move on to sensing your client’s.

Fact Finders use their mental energy to gather detailed information, ask lots of questions and learn as much as they can before making a decision. You may be mistaking a Fact Finder’s need to get all the facts and probe for information as disrespecting your expertise, but that is not the case. The only way a Fact Finder can take action is by learning every thing they can and feeling as close to 100% right as possible. The way you accommodate this mode is to patiently answer all of their questions, provide them with great information and solid sources. They do not like to make decisions off the top of their heads. Don’t be offended when they bring in their internet research. The more you help quench their need to know they can the closer you are to closing them. Common professions where you find Fact Finders are educators, physicians, attorneys and anyone who works with information.

You can sense a Follow Thru by observing this person’s need for order, process, focused attention and patterns. This client likes to have a clear sense of the steps being taken and not to be interrupted as they address one thing at a time. Be patient as the Follow Thru organizes everything and asks you questions about the order in which things work and the system being used. Accommodate this style by outlining a clear plan and supporting this clients need for structure. Common professions for Follow Thrus are computer programmers, bookkeepers, CPAs and underwriters.

The Quick Start mode is one with which you are highly familiar. According to Kolbe, 90% of financial advisors industry-wide are Quick Starts! You either are one or you work with a lot of them in your agency. Quick Starts are motivated by urgency and get bored easily. They love a challenge, to take risks and to have multiple things happening all at the same time. They naturally thrive on the fly and tend to wait to the last minute when they do their best work. For Quick Starts, they like to answer before they know the question, writes Kolbe. Closing a Quick Start is likely easier than any of the other modes. They will look to you to thoroughly research and recommend a plan. If they trust you have done your due diligence, they will want to jump right in. Don’t get in their way. Make sure everything is available, but don’t push to make them focus on every detail of your plan if they don’t want it. Provide the key components and look to your client to guide how in-depth to go. When they want to move on, get out of the way! You will find Quick Starts working as entrepreneurs, in sales and marketing and real estate among other professions.

Impementors like to be shown versus learning through the spoken or written word. They appreciate the illustrations that you produce. Implementors do not like to sit still for long, so follow the client’s lead when presenting the plan. They are people who have strong physical intensity and enjoy sports, building and fixing things. Accommodate Implementors by providing printed copies of all of the illustrations and any visuals that you can. Keep your meetings short or meet them outside the office setting. You will find Implementors working as dentists, surgeons, horse trainers, carpenters and other jobs where they can use their hands in the physical realm.

Once you detect which mode your client naturally takes (or have them take the Kolbe Index), you will be able to better support your clients by helping them to more easily take action. You will no longer be trying to race a horse, fish, bird and mouse the same way again which means more wins for everybody.