Financial professionals talk with all kinds of people but most advisors say that asking for referrals is their most challenging conversation.
So how does an advisor use persuasion to encourage a referral source to open up? By using Persuasion GPS, said Lynne Franklin.
“Persuasion GPS is presenting your ideas in a way that other people can see them, hear them and feel them. And presenting it in a way that makes them decide what to do. If they need your services, they will reach out and if they know someone, they will get them to reach out,” Franklin said.
Franklin said that financial professionals “don’t sell – you help people make better decisions.”
Franklin, author of Getting Others To Do What You Want, spoke on the power of persuasion during the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors APEX East conference.
Most advisors in the audience said their main goal for their practice is to expand business with their current clients while asking for referrals came in second place. But most advisors also said they felt challenged by asking referral sources for help.
Franklin discussed using Persuasion GPS as a three-step road map to get a client to feel comfortable to provide referrals. GPS stands for “goals, people, showcase.”
Goals can be game-changers
The subconscious mind processes far more bits of information than the conscious mind does, Franklin said. “When you set goals, you send information from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind, where that information begins bubbling up. But the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between positive and negative goals. Make sure you feed your subconscious mind positive goals.”
When you write down your goals on paper, your right brain (the side of the brain associated with creativity) is more stimulated than it is if you type the goals, Franklin said. “Sometimes old school is best. Sit down with a sheet of paper and write.”
The brain can hold only a limited amount of information in its short-term memory, she said. Three is the magic number when it comes to how many goals you should write down.
“Writing down those three goals will be one of the biggest game-changers in your life,” Franklin said. “When you set your goals in advance of a meeting, you set yourself up for success.”
The Persuasion Cycle
You must meet people where they are and help them to move to the next stage of what Franklin described as the persuasion cycle.
“Persuasion is a process; you have to move people to the next step,” she said.
The first part of the persuasion cycle is resisting, something that everyone’s mind does instinctively, Franklin said. “Back in the jungle, our brains had one job and that was to keep us alive. That’s still true today. The brain is constantly scanning the environment and looking for threats. Anytime something new is presented to us, the first thing our brain does is say no.”
How does an advisor change that resistance? By changing their own actions, she said. She recommended breathing techniques to calm the mind.
The next part of the cycle is listening. “We ask good questions and then we listen,” Franklin said. “We ask questions about someone’s experience. We get more information.”
Advisors must listen to obtain information and then think about what they will say when the client stops talking. “You are listening for understanding and empathy,” she said. “Not just listening to the words but also listening for the tone of voice.”
After listening, the cycle continues through the steps of considering, being willing to do, doing, and being glad to do. The “considering” step requires you to “be quiet and let them think,” Franklin said. Only when someone reaches the “glad to do” part of the cycle can you make the ask, she said.
“Being more persuasive will take your business to the next level,” Franklin said. “My goal is to give you more tools so you can better connect with people and show them more value, make their lives and their families’ lives better and make the kind of revenue that will sustain you.”
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents’ association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at Susan.Rupe@innfeedback.com. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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