Stop Wondering if Prospects Are a “Good Fit”

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When advisors meet with a new prospect, they typically start with a “fit/no-fit” mindset and approach. They say something to the effect of: “Let’s see if we’re a fit or not.”

It sounds perfectly reasonable.

“If we’re a fit, great. If not, no problem.”

Being a “fit” typically implies social chemistry between the advisor and their prospect.

Of course, the prospect probably heard the exact same “fit/no-fit” approach from the other advisors they’ve spoken with – because that approach has been so overused it is commoditized. It’s time to call out the obvious failure. You’re not there to make friends. You’re there to create trust by diagnosing their issues. You build a relationship after the sale, not before. If you try to do it before, prospects will see right through it. This is the point where advisors struggle with the notion of “selling.” The profession grew up in the 1980s and 1990s with the notion of the “know, like, then trust” model as the standard selling process. The ”know and like” components were what made up the relationship-building piece of the process. That worked fine for decades until the profession became commoditized a few years ago – and now your prospects know the moment you try to turn on the “know and like” (relationship) sales component. There’s a reason why doctors don’t do coffee with their patients. They know if they mix social with business contexts, they can’t retain their authority to be able to tell their patients the truth about their situation, without risking the “relationship.” Your job is to diagnose your “patient” (prospect) and prescribe a treatment plan, without dispensing any “medicine.”

Mechanics operate in a similar way.

They don’t need to get along with you to fix your car.