Stop Giving Away Your Value
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The typical advisor’s sales process centers on four things:
- Discovery meeting;
- Prospect’s financial document retrieval;
- Free financial plan; and
- Review meeting.
Those four steps are followed almost religiously to provide value in the hope you will gain a new paying client.
But why should you do highly valuable work for free?
How did the dessert get before the appetizer?
How did the idea of doing work up front for free (free consulting) become such an engrained norm in the advisory profession?
When a profession becomes saturated and competitive, ideas creep in that on the surface appear to give you a competitive edge (giving away free value to win more clients). But it becomes a race to failure.
The sound practices and principles that established you as a professional get lost in the lack of appreciation by your prospects who are comparing you to other advisors.
If the four steps above are in your sales process, then you are following the rest of the profession downward – requiring you to always need more leads to fill the gap left from those you lose.
The good news is that changing direction and moving upward is relatively simple, but only if you accept some key ideas.
Start by rejecting the notion that on your first meeting with a potential new client, you need to do anything except provide deep clarity on their issues.
What do I mean?
“Isn’t that the free financial plan?” you might ask. Is it the one you meticulously built from the discovery meeting and the prospect’s financial documents?
Knowing the intricate and technical details of how you’ll solve their problem is not the clarity they’re looking for at that stage of the process.
It’s the clarity you’re looking for, in your own mind, as the expert.
The clarity they’re looking for is not about the solution. It’s about knowing you are the advisor they can trust.
Rather than trying to woo potential clients by providing free value and doing essentially free consulting for non-paying clients, follow these four steps:
- Positioning yourself as being different from other advisors – stop following established norms taught by the “elders” – who only know one way of doing what used to work for them, before the profession got commoditized.
- Go deeper on your prospect’s issues and emphasize the impact of not addressing them sooner, rather than later.
- Stop providing free advice – your hard-earned knowledge and expertise should be integrated into your paid services they receive as a client, which they should commit to first.
- Provide your prospect a clear understanding of how you work (your process, not your solutions) and what to expect from you if they were your client – this is called a sales “road map.”
The above is very similar to how doctors operate their business.
If you re-engineer your sale process around those four concepts, based on the central principle of building trust and clarity (not value, artificial rapport, a quasi-business relationship that doesn’t exist because there hasn’t actually been any business), you will find your life simplified and the quantity of new clients (and their quality) greatly improved.
Because your prospects will no longer be able to compare you to other advisors, who all use the same basic sales process, which doesn’t provide the clarity prospects demand.
Instead, they’ll see you as unique, a category of one, and a trusted authority.
Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after high-net worth/lead generation expert for financial advisors. His newest book, “Trusted Authority” has become an instant best-seller among financial advisors worldwide – you can get a free copy of Ari’s book here and, when you click the “YES” button in the order form, you’ll also receive a complimentary “get new clients” lead generation consultation. Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the financial services industry and in his book, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.