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Establishing a bond with a prospect through shared interests – such as hobbies – is a powerful way to improve your chances of them becoming a client. But what if those common interests don’t exist?
A coaching client of mine – a financial advisor – recently found an answer to this problem during his first meeting with a new prospect. I’d like to share that story with you.
The prospect was a married, 42-year-old woman employed as an executive at a large public-relations firm on the East Coast. She had three children. The advisor was in his mid-50s and divorced with grown children.
The advisor carefully followed my guidelines for meeting new prospects. He met with this potential client alone in his conference room. He didn’t take notes. He made no effort to steer the conversation to himself, his firm or how his firm would invest her money if retained. Instead, he asked basic, open-ended questions in a genuine effort to get to know her.
He informed me later: “As you had instructed, I made no statements that ended with a period. All I did was ask questions.”
As the conversation progressed, the prospect described how much pressure she was under as the primary breadwinner for her growing family, in addition to her roles as mother, wife and executive at a high-powered firm.
Almost as an aside, the advisor asked whether she meditated. That question clearly struck a responsive chord. She indicated meditation was something she had considered but had “never found the time to do.” She then asked him questions about his experience with meditation, which he relayed to her. They discussed meditation for the balance of the hour or so allotted for the meeting. At the end of the meeting, he offered to send her a copy of a book that had influenced his decision to begin the practice of meditation. The meeting ended with no discussion of “next steps.”
Shortly after the meeting, he sent her a copy of the book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The advisor wrote a note in the front cover, simply stating that he hoped she would find the book helpful. He also noted that meditation had played a powerful role in reducing his own anxiety.
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