by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
“I can’t think of anyone right now, but ask me later.” How many times have you heard this response from your client (or something like it) while you were prospecting???
Most Financial Representatives (FRs) translate this situation immediately to a no. They hear “I won’t give you names,” and either completely give up on that person or wait until next time and just try again—often with the same results. The meeting wraps up and the topic just falls away.
Instead, what if you take the comment at face value?
“I totally understand. Take some time and think about it. How long do you need?” you answer. Just pause and wait however long it takes for an answer. Don’t rush in to fill in the silence!
“A month,” says your client.
“Sounds good. I will give you a call in a few weeks to see how your list is coming along. Thanks, again.” you say genuinely. “I am really looking forward to meeting the people in your life.” Next, use CRM to actually call the person yourself or via your staff and follow up sincerely.
“Can I ask one more favor while you’re at it?” you could inquire cheerfully.
“Sure…” your client responds.
“I really respect your relationships and I certainly don’t want to surprise anyone by just calling out of the blue. Could you take it one step further and let the people on the list you’re making know who I am and that I will be calling?” you say. “Would you be willing to do that?”
Why not take your client or prospective client completely seriously? Take them up on their offer and then ask for what you really need?
It’s easy to get defeated when you hear objections hundreds of times. Instead of making assumptions, treat every client like an individual. Listen to the individual's words and try to sense the feelings underneath what they are saying. While they may say the same thing, the reasons are likely different. Try a little patience and a little follow up and some of them will come through for you.
…Before YOU object to trying something new, think about the common denominator in every one of your meetings. It’s you. The only way to get a different result is to change something about yourself. Take a deep breath, drop the cynicism and make sure your energy is calm and relaxed.
“Thank you for offering to give me referrals later. I will take you up on that!” And then do it.
Coaching Tip How many times do you perceive objections to be a big, fake excuse? If you are like most FRs it’s pretty much every time. Have you communicated your expectations openly with your client? Do you give people the benefit of the doubt? It’s likely that your own history with hearing common objections has left you jaded. Some Qualified Suspects may be falling through the cracks every time you shut down and assume a “no” instead of a “yes, but help me.” You will encounter people every day who have never been asked for a referral before! What if you TEACH them how to be connectors and explain how it works? It might add a few minutes on to your meeting, but if it’s done with patience you might be surprised how many people will better understand what you’re doing and how it works. Try to be sensitive that it’s vulnerable for people to give you names of people they like and respect. They no longer have control and might fear embarrassment. Fill them in on how it works and include them in the process for better results for everyone—nominator, QS and you.