At Absolute Engagement, as the name would suggest, we focus on engagement.
And while it’s easy to think about engagement as a goal we set for clients, we also believe that it’s a goal we can, and should, set for prospective clients.
Last week we looked at how to engage leads as they visit your site. In a nutshell, I suggested implementing a process to do two things.
The concept was simple. If you can do these two things it gives you both the right and the opportunity to continue the conversation. Give first, ask second.
So how can you apply that same approach to the next stage of the journey? How can you create an engaging and differentiated experience for those prospects who have taken the step to meet with you?
We’ve witnessed three fundamental problems with introductory prospect meetings.
1. Are you going too deep, too soon?
In some cases, we see advisors asking for in-depth financial information in advance of the meeting. I understand this comes from a good place. You want the meeting to be productive and having that information allows you to start delivering great advice as soon as possible. Unfortunately that process comes with challenges. At best it’s confusing for the prospect and, at worst, it’s invasive. If the prospect isn’t sure you’re the right person, they don’t want or need to share detailed financial information.
2. Are you focusing too much on you, rather than them?
In an effort to deliver great advice you may fall into a further trap. Some advisors jump straight to ‘how they can help’ rather than focusing the time on what the prospect needs. It may not happen intentionally but is the natural outcome of making assumptions about what is important. As a result, the meeting can focus more on what you want to say than what the prospect needs to hear.
3. Are you focusing only on their stated needs, rather than their real needs?
I have no doubt that you ask prospective clients what’s on their minds or what they would like to discuss at the meeting. It would seem rude otherwise. The answers are their ‘stated needs’ and are often very granular or technical, which makes them easy to address.
But their ‘real needs’ might be very different. Their real needs relate to their views or concerns about their present and their future, their lives, their families and their feelings. For example, I might tell you I’d like to meet because I want to know if I’m investing appropriately for the future. But if you asked, I might also tell you that I’m not feeling in control of my financial future or am worried about the financial future of my kids. A conversation about my ‘real needs’ will create deeper engagement.
There is a great deal we could discuss regarding the prospect experience. That experience includes what prospects can learn about you online, to how they connect with you, through the agenda for the meeting and the follow-up from there forward.
Today I’m focused only on the introductory meeting agenda.
In the absence of hard information about what the prospect needs, you may fill the void by going deep into their finances and how you can help. It’s all factually relevant but may not be contextually relevant. That is, you may not be focusing on the right things.
What if you could make it an experience? What if a prospect could walk away feeling that not only had they learned something about you, but something about themselves?
To do that we need to co-create a meeting agenda that will not only inform, but support and inspire. And that means focusing the conversation as much on their mindset as their money.
In the same way as you feel you need to capture financial data in advance to deliver good advice, you need to capture a different kind of data in advance to drive a more engaging conversation.
What if, instead of having their personal financials in advance you invited input on their:
What if that was the ‘data’ that informed the agenda? The prospect would walk away having ‘experienced’ what it’s like to work with you rather than hearing about it. The prospect would be better off after the meeting than before. And the prospect would have a sense of connection that runs deep.
In a word, the prospect would be ‘engaged’.
The idea of asking clients better questions and responding during the meeting, sounds obvious enough. But it doesn’t always happen consistently or as effectively as we’d like because we lack an intentional process. Absent a process, it’s easy to default to the same standard questions about investments, goals and money and the same standard response about how you can help.
To make this process both effective and efficient you’ll need to consider.
The future of engagement is not only about the conversations we have with prospects and clients but the technologies and processes we use to ensure we’re having the right conversations. Engaging with prospects is no exception.
Thanks for stopping by,
P.S. Want to offer your clients a more engaging experience with less effort? Book a demo now of our Absolute Engagement Engine.