How to Eliminate “It costs too much” When Selling Financial Services

After you’ve met new potential  clients and established rapport with them is the time to qualify them not only as to their needs, but as to their expectations regarding making a financial commitment to their futures. When you establish early on what investment range they would be comfortable with, you can eliminate the stall that move untrained financial services advisers and representatives encounter — “It costs too much.”

Most people you sell to will likely fear making any changes that affect their budgets. They may feel they’re already financially strapped. (That may be why they’re talking with you.) They won’t want to give up what they have now to get what they want for their financial futures. They may truly have no idea of what they can do differently to achieve more. After all that’s why the United States needs 2 million plus financial advisers in the next few years!

With your experience, you know there are several routes to financial independence at a wide range of investments. It’s wise at this point to find out what range these potential clients will be most likely to choose. You do that by gently telling them about what other folks have done and letting them tell you what they’ll agree to. It’s called “the triplicate of choice for money” strategy.

It goes like this: You select three investment ranges for your products and services based on what your clients have just told you. By couching these investments in the proper wording, you won’t offend them if you’ve started too high or make them think you weren’t listening if your suggestion is below what they expected.

Start by working with the most economical figure you think would make the most sense for them. Then, come up with another figure that’s about 20 – 25% higher. And, another that’s about 50% higher. (You can adjust these percentages up and down once you master the strategy.)

Here’s what you would say:

“Carl and Eileen, I’ve learned over the years that most people at your stage of life who are  interested in starting a financial independence program are prepared to invest around $120 per month. A fortunate few can invest between $150 and $200 per month. And then there are those on a limited or fixed budget who, with the high cost of everything today, can’t go higher than $100 per month. May I ask, which of these groups do you feel you would fit into most comfortably?”

It may seem odd, but most people will choose the figure in the middle. I’ve tested this many times over the years and the result is the same. Sixty percent of the people will choose the middle figure. At the very least, for those who go with the lowest figure, you’re still getting their commitment to a minimum number of dollars they are willing to put toward a financial program.

Be flexible. Sometimes during a presentation a prospect can begin seeing the benefits of another option. For example, the $200 a month investment they initially balk at might seem more practical as you explain the potential return on investment. The key is to continually ask questions to make sure that you are always serving their real needs to the best of your ability.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.   My upcoming Sales Academy and my online courses have been approved by the CFP Board and the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) for continuing education credits.

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