# The Probing Technique That Increases Your Closing Ratio

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives

The most important part of landing clients is probing. The better you probe, the less you have to close, the more prospects close themselves and the more of your clients’ friends and family they close for you. U.S. Trust research has shown that only 3% of prospects buy because they understand. But 86% buy because they’re understood.

You are likely really good at probing for numbers. Perhaps you have used a risk-tolerance scale. But you probably aren’t probing for what the prospect wants out of the relationship.

The Life Insurance Marketing Research Association (LIMRA) has determined that if you can gather one need, there is a 36% probability of a sale occurring if you present a good solution. If you can gather two needs, the probability goes up to 56%. If you can listen for three needs, a 92% probability exists if your solution meets their needs. Gathering three needs is the magical number.

The problem is that you present too little or too much, confusing the prospect or client.

This notion of three exists in many areas of communication. Telephone area codes are three digits. Prefixes are three numbers, and only unique phone IDs are four. Memory engrams (how our memories are chunked together) are in groups of three. During my frequent speeches, I verbally give the audience 10 numbers, two digits in length. I randomly ask one attendee to recite as many numbers as they can. No audience member in five years has ever remembered more than three. Most only get one. The numbers they do remember are among the first few or the last.

This is called the primacy-recency effect. Your prospects and clients will only remember three concepts from any meeting. Those memories will be among the first things they hear or the last. They will remember very little in the middle.