by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
When is the last time you prepared for a really big close by taking slow, deep breath and thinking, “I am at peace with any outcome.”?
I thought so. In reality, most Financial Representatives (FRs) are not peaceful at all before this type of meeting! In fact, meetings that could close with $______ or more are called “big closes” or “big cases” in comparison to “closes” or “cases.” The pressure mounts as the FR frantically tries to prepare for the big close by putting extra pressure on anyone and everyone involved.
As the meeting approaches, anxiety really sets in along with troubleshooting any perceived possible miscalculation before anything even happens. Regular meetings are conducted by a reasonable, calm FR. “Big closes” are meetings led by an FR—now consumed with the singular obsession to close the case—who is focused on himself or herself and all of the “right moves” and “language” instead of the client. Ironically, the bigger the case, the stranger the FR behavior—have you noticed?
I’d like to hire a team of scientists to study the behaviors of FRs going to “big closes” and those going to “closes.”
The scientists would peer with great curiosity through the one-way glass and witness completely normal humans transformed into people who have a strong personal agenda, have shifted their attention off of the client and onto themselves and are willing to fight through objections like a warrior.
In the other observation area, calm advisors sit with people they deem “ordinary” and quietly close regular cases. They have an agenda that focuses on the client’s small needs, are giving all of their attention to the client and address objections in a matter-of-fact way.
The scientists would write notes on their clipboard that would probably say something such as, “deeply attached to outcome” about group one.
Your attachment to the outcome changes your behavior. Very subtlety you are no longer as neutral, apply more pressure, and become very focused on one outcome that you have decided equals success.
Notice how you might feel the need to “fight through objections.” How does the client react? Most people brace and become rigid when they feel like they are entering a conflict. In this scenario, the only way for you to “win” is if you prove your client wrong. Do you know anyone who likes to be or feel wrong?
Instead of meeting each client “objection” with rehearsed language designed to overcome it, what if you instead greeted it as helpful feedback? The client is telling you what they are really thinking. How about “say more…” instead of “block! defend!”?
If you can become deeply fascinated with the client’s perspective and coax them to talk about their fears, questions and concerns you are likely to be well situated to ask even better questions. These questions can help the client guide himself or herself to the best conclusion with their confidence in themselves and you intact.
“That’s interesting, thanks for explaining. Tell me more about…”
“What is your story about money?”
“What do you think?”
“What are you feeling right now?”
Something magical happens when you treat all of your clients as people instead of “cases or closes.” They get to meet YOU. The real, authentic you who has always had their best interest in mind and in your heart. Drop your attachment to the outcome and take a deep breath. Try saying it: “I am at peace with any outcome.” Now go give.
Coaching Tip Releasing your attachment to the outcome of your meetings requires a feeling of abundance. You do not need any one case or any one client EVER! Remind yourself often that there are more people in need of your services than you could ever help in your entire lifetime. There are plenty of prospective clients and cases. Relax, breathe and know that you are free to be yourself. In fact, that is the only version of you that can really do what you do at your best.