by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
You have probably heard the philosophical question many times: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?"
I have another question for you: "If your client objects and no one is around to hear it, does your client still object?" So often Financial Representatives (FRs) are so busy overcoming objections, talking more than the client and worried about how they are being perceived in meetings that they do not hear the tree falling at all. Just because you don't observe or hear your clients' objections does not mean that they are not objecting!
Many FRs fear hearing objections at all and leave meetings with a false sense of confidence. Do you ever wonder what happens to all of those clients who never call back, ignore your emails and disappear forever? My guess is that they tried to object and show you how they felt, but it's possible that you did not want the feedback.
What would happen if you created a completely safe environment for clients to really object? Resist your recommendations? Share their fears and worries? Say no to giving you referrals? If this is not happening now, it's possible you will find out later how your clients really feel when they vote with their feet.
While it may be more work, take more time and ask more of your patience, what is possible in the client relationship if these thoughts get aired early on? You may have a chance to correct misinformation, connect with your clients in a genuine way, build trust and really test the relationship. It's kind of like checking all along the way..."are you with me?"..."are you with me?"..."still with me?"
If you catch a "no, I'm not with you!" in the form of the client or prospective client objecting to your meeting request, questioning your recommendations or voicing his/her opinions count yourself lucky! If you have a fair shot at really having a direct conversation and building trust because your client speaks up, you will have a full pipeline of real business and very little deadwood.
Coaching Tip Ask yourself why you don't want to hear objections or get push back? More often than not it has to do with how YOU feel and not your client. Are you avoiding honest feedback to give yourself a temporary illusion of safety and security? If so, dig deep and know that long term confidence and success may require a little discomfort along the way.