Sales Tips to Increase Close Rates
By Beverly Flaxington
March 11, 2014
Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
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We have a successful process for identifying potential clients. Most prospects are in our target market with respect to asset size and areas of need. The problem we are having is closing. For every five prospects that come through the door, we only close the deal with one. A 20% hit ratio doesn’t seem good to me, especially when the prospects fit well with what we do. What are advisors doing to increase their close ratios that could help us?
Jay W., Midwest
You are on the opposite side of the question that I typically hear, which is, “Once we get a lead, we can always close it, but how do we get more leads?” One of the hardest areas for advisors is finding new, incoming, qualified leads. This is why industry statistics stay stuck between 60-80% of new business coming from referrals.
So please congratulate yourself that you have this problem! The leads are coming in and you are closing some of them. It’s a good place to start.
Without knowing exactly what you are doing, it’s hard to pinpoint what you could do to change your approach or tell you what others in similar situations are doing. What I can do is outline a few sales secrets that could boost your close rates. You can try a few and see what works for you:
- When you meet with prospects, before you launch into your pitch, be sure to explore “Why now?” with prospects. What’s happening in their lives that prompted a response at this time – why not six months ago, or six months from now? You might make a common assumption that just because they responded to your inquiry/call to action that they are in need, but it’s best not to assume and ask them to explain.
- Lay out the expected process for prospects. “We’ve worked with hundreds of clients, so let me explain what we typically see in the decision-making process.” This also allows you to ask about other ideas they might have had.
- Don’t do all of the talking – use the beginning, middle and end to get them talking. What concerns do they have? What exposure have they had to other advisors? What did they like and not like? Let them know you want to gear your presentation to their needs and their concerns. Then do so!
- End a meeting with a specific next step. Establish how best to get in touch with them, how they like to be communicated with going forward, what kind of information they need to make a decision and whether they see any obstacles to making a decision.
I hope you are able to try one or more of these ideas and see those close ratios rise. Good luck.
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