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Prospects are far more likely to become clients if you quickly engage with them and understand their communication style. A recent training session I conducted for advisors illustrated a powerful tactic you can use in initial meetings with prospects.

Prospect
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Prospect

I started the session by asking each of them to stand up, introduce themselves, say something about themselves that the other participants might not know and reveal what they did on New Year’s Eve.

This simple exercise has many benefits. It reinforces the power of first impressions. It opens up a discussion about the effective use of gestures. When I hear what people did on New Year’s Eve, it gives me a good idea of whether they are introverts or extroverts (or in between, an “ambivert”), which tells me how I can most effectively communicate with them.

While these are all worthy and important goals, they are not the primary reason why I like this exercise. I like this exercise because it permits me to instantly engage everyone in the room.

False assumptions

I’m fond of saying my training sessions are a “play within a play.” Since I’m being compensated, it would be easy to assume those who pay me are interested in what I have to say.

When you meet prospects, this is the assumption you make. You assume a prospect wants to know what you have to say. It’s the primary reason why prospects aren’t converted into clients.

I could have started my session by doing a PowerPoint presentation or discussing subjects I thought would be of interest to the group. That’s the way most of you begin meetings with prospects. It seems logical, but the assumption underlying this process is flawed.

The goal is engagement

Here’s what was going on with brains of the participants in my training session when I announced this exercise. Everyone started thinking about what they were going to say when it was their turn to speak. Those who were speaking were completely engaged in telling their story and responding to the topics I asked them to discuss.

I summarized the neuroscience research demonstrating the difference in our brains when we are passively listening to others, or speaking, in my book, The Smartest Sales Book You’ll Ever Read.

My research was validated in a recently published book by David Hoffeld, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decision, and Close the Deal. An article adapted from the Hoffeld’s book summarized these findings.

By Dan Solin, read the full article here.