RELATIONSHIP SALES: STEP 2 TO CULTIVATING A SUCCESSFUL CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS ANALYZING THE NEED OR PROBLEM.
Sorry that I have been missing in action for a few weeks. Between the “great east coast” earthquake, hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee I have literally been shaken, without power and flooded! Getting back to business, for the past couple of posts I have been talking about trust being critically important to relationship building. You can bet your prospects and clients are looking for someone or something in which they can trust after the events of the past weeks. The United States flirted with default when the opposing political parties couldn’t agree on how to rein in the deficit before giving the go ahead on raising the debt limit. As a result Standard & Poor’s(S&P), a rating agency, downgraded U.S. Treasury debt instruments to AA+ from the coveted AAA rating it has always held, and the stock market roiled in response. In fact markets around the world were rocked. And S&P also downgraded several life insurance and annuity companies (Knights of Columbus, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, and TIAA) to AA+ from AAA because they hold a high percentage of treasuries in their portfolios. In these uncertain times you are the anchor your prospects and clients will look to for help, but only if you hold their complete trust and confidence. This is not the time to push a product or go for a transactional sale!
Because of the current state of the economy, the unemployment rate and the uncertainty of the stock market your prospects and clients probably have new problems or needs that have to be addressed. At the very least they will require some adjustments to their existing insurance and financial plans. Remember you are a problem solver/dream maker. A lot of your prospects and clients are scared, and if they trust you they will let you ease their fears. If you have been following my blog and building a trusting relationship with your prospects and clients, they will listen to your voice of reason over the din of media reports broadcasting the end of the world as we know it.
You will build their confidence and trust in you if you approach from a financial needs analysis perspective. Remember to ask probing questions and then sit back and listen attentively! They will describe their problem or dream in detail for you. When you start building your practice with relationship selling instead of transactional selling, you will find that you will have already closed the sale by the end of that first meeting. The second meeting will just be a matter of having the clients or prospects choose from two alternative strategies that fit their need. Be sure to let me know what you think and post comments. You can also follow me on Twitter @alderemigis.
NEXT WEEK: STEP 3 – TAKING THE “PAIN” OUT OF CLOSING WITH RELATIONSHIP SELLING.