Continuing where I left off last week in discussing my Elevator Pitch for new prospects. Once I’ve successfully converted a prospect to a client or decided that there is no real opportunity there the next step is to ask for referrals. I’m always on the lookout for new clients and where better to find them than through the endorsement of people I have already worked for and who are presumably happy with the service I provide?
I start by saying something like this;
“As you know I’m actively working to expand my practice. Now that you know first-hand the way I work perhaps you can help me find more clients just like you who recognize the importance of protecting their loved ones and know the value of professional advice. Who do you know that I should be talking to?”
The exact wording of what I say, when and how I say it during my conversations varies but there are three elements (highlighted) that never change.
Just Like You…
Gratitude and a little bit of flattery never hurts especially when you are asking for something. By telling a client that I want to work with people just like them I am expressing thanks and giving them an ego boost at the same time. I am saying that you fit the profile of my ideal client, you are special, I wish I could clone you and spend the rest of my life working only for you. But alas that’s not possible so who else do you know that you would be proud to bring in to our exclusive little club?
One of Dale Carnegie’s famous tips from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is to start with a complement. Telling a client that I want to work with more people like them certainly fits that formula.
Protect Their Loved Ones…
One of the reasons why Life Insurance and Investment products can be so hard to sell is that at the end of the day, they aren’t really for you. At best, in the case of a retirement plan they are for a future version of you and in the case of Life Insurance they are for the people closest to you but they are never truly for you in the here and now.
Legendary Life Insurance agent George Sigurdson of London Life and author of the book, “In Search of Friends; A Guide to Prospecting” says –
“Life Insurance is a product bought with love and paid for with healthy choices.”
By telling clients I’m looking for people who want to protect their loved ones I’m reinforcing the flattery of the first statement by saying I see that in you and helping them fill in the picture in their mind of who else would be a good fit for me. Another way of saying it is that I want to work with people who love their families enough to sacrifice a little bit of their cashflow to make sure they are going to be okay.
My friend Bruce told me a story once about driving on the Autobahn in Germany. The first time he got behind the wheel he was excited to see just how fast he could drive but after a few minutes his wife leaned over and whispered to him, “Remember – you love your family.” Suddenly it was no longer about how fast he could drive, it became more about safely getting to their destination with his is wife and their three young girls in the back seat. He sacrificed his selfish desire to drive fast for the safety and security of the people he loves the most.
At the end of the day that’s what Life Insurance and Investing are all about. I want to work with people who get that.
The Value of Professional Advice
Admittedly this last point can back fire if I haven’t laid the ground work for it in the previous two statements. It basically says – “You are not the professional, I am.”
I’m poking at your ego a bit. But by know you’re either already a client or I’ve determined that you aren’t likely to become one in the short term. A little dig can serve to either snap you back into the conversation or further enhance the warm and fuzzy feelings I’ve evoked by reminding you how great you are for buying Life Insurance or starting an Investment plan.
The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) has determined through numerous studies that people who work with a financial security advisor, on average, have up to four times more investable assets than those don’t. Professional advice is clearly valuable to those who care to seek it out. Similar studies have shown that the main reason people don’t seek out professional advice is a perception that it is too expensive or too complicated and that they are not sophisticated enough to benefit from it. Lastly, many people don’t adhere to the need for professional advice because they have an unrealistic perception of their own ability to go it alone.
By telling people that I want to work with those who value professional advice I’m reinforcing the previous points, you’re great, you get this, congratulations on your good decision-making ability. While at the same time reminding you that this is not too expensive or complicated. I’m also drawing a line in the sand and making it clear the type of person I don’t want to work with. If you think you can go it alone, without the help of a professional, good luck with that.
The world’s greatest philosopher Jesus of Nazareth said it best:
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Luke 5:31
In other words, if you think you’re okay, I’m not here for you.
So that’s my referral pitch. It is designed to help reinforce in my clients and prospects a sense of their own worth to me and my practice and frame in their mind a specific picture of the people in their lives that I think I can help. When I finally ask the question “who do know that I should be talking to?” a specific someone immediately pops to mind.
Who just popped into your mind? Let me know – I’d be happy to meet them.
Lauren C Sheil is a Serial Entrepreneur and Financial Security Advisor. He helps people live life to the fullest along the way teaching them to Eliminate Debt, Build Wealth and Leave a Legacy. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org