So you have a wonderful first meeting with a prospect, and things seem to be going great. You build rapport, you exchange information, they provide you with some of their financial documents. And then bam, radio silence!
Suddenly they won’t return emails or phone calls. They treat you and your office staff like you’ve got the plague. What on earth could be going on?
But the important thing to remember is 99% of the time, it’s not about you. They’ve got stress, they’ve got a busy life, they’ve got trouble at work, children with problems, or parents with issues. And quite possibly, they’re just not ready to commit to a relationship with a financial advisor. That’s not your fault.
These kinds of prospects can try your patience but it’s important to not lose your cool. At some point they may change their minds, they may feel like they need to pursue you to help them with something that comes up in their lives related to their finances—or they may not.
But getting worked up about the ones that slip away diverts your focus from the ones you can help, the ones who are ready, and the ones who will welcome your financial advice with open arms.
So what can you do when you get blown off?
Reaching out to the silent
One business coach, Sarano Kelley, recommends that if someone goes radio silent, give it some time, then send an email with the phrase “Are you ok?” in the subject line. And then in the body of the email, just ask them if everything’s going alright, that you genuinely were worried something bad might have befallen them. Reach out with empathy.
He says that sometimes just reaching out as a human being can rekindle a relationship that’s going cold. In one case, a financial advisor tried this, and it resulted in a multi-million account coming his way. The prospect who had gone radio silent simply had some tough challenges going on and wasn’t engaged with email for quite awhile.
In some cases, however, you just need to let people go. And if you let them go in “style” and with “class” you might be favorably remembered. Always offer to be a helpful second opinion should they need a free review on their portfolio, or insurance—or some suggested strategies for saving money on taxes. Leave them with a few specific benefits of your services in a kindly, positive way. Tell them you’ll continue to send them your e-newsletter with your ideas (unless they specifically unsubscribe). But never burn the bridge.
Appreciating the willing
You’ve probably found at times in your life that while you’re pining away for what you don’t have you’re neglecting those who are always there for you. The same can be true for your dedicated loyal clients. If you’re having trouble connecting with a new prospect, go back to your true blue clients. Ask them what they like about your services, what they wish you’d improve, and most importantly, never let them think that you take them for granted.
Regular client appreciation events, client gifts, and client surveys (even informal verbal ones over lunch) let your best clients know that you appreciate their business.
And if you home in on what you do best for your best clients, it’s going to be that much easier to gain introductions to their friends, neighbors, fellow church congregants and co-workers who need that same service – and who are ready for a relationship.
Bottom line: Don’t take rejection personally. You offer a valuable service. Sometimes people just aren’t ready.