by Certified Life Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
Imagine you call your friend to invite him to a movie like this: “Hello Tom, this is your friend Jason calling from your neighborhood. Our mutual friend Susie speaks very highly of you and suggested that I contact you. I’m not assuming that you are looking to see Jurassic World, but I would like to see if I could pick you up to go to the movie theater when I will be in your area—say around 4:00.” When you object and say “I’ve already seen Jurassic World" because your friend Tom seems totally possessed by a robot, he responds, “I assumed that you had already seen it, but may benefit from a second viewing.”
If this is phoning to you, I completely understand why you hate it! Can you imagine talking to anyone you want to genuinely connect with in this manner?
The same goes for prospecting! Now envision this scenario: you’ve been hanging out with your good friend Karen grilling on your patio. It’s come to that time of the evening when you need to become gripped by stress and ask her if she knows any friends that you can invite to your next BBQ. Your voice tightens and you stop breathing as you blurt out awkwardly, “I’m so glad that Jamie introduced us because that is how I meet all of my new friends. Who do you know who likes to grill out, has a good sense of humor and is in need of friends that you could favorably introduce me to? Can you send these people an email letting them know I will be calling?”
If you are ready for a new way to phone and prospect without sacrificing your authenticity then here you go!
Back in the early days of your practice it was important that you get the basics down. You learned red letter language courtesy of the One Card System and your Director of Training. It helped you get your practice off the ground while you were busy trying to wrap your arms around everything it took to become the Financial Representative (FR) you are today. Perhaps you studied some top producers for ideas but never got their language to work for you. If you are still relying on other people’s language or red letter language and numbly dialing and prospecting it’s time to reexamine the way you conduct this part of your business. In fact, you may need to revisit it altogether because you completely stopped doing these vital activities because you were so uncomfortable.
Here are some fresh ideas:
1) Stop calling it “prospecting” and start calling it “meeting new people.” Isn’t that what it really is? Avoid using words like referral or favorable introduction with your fellow humans.
2) Try calling “phoning” or “dialing” something new such as “calling people I want to meet."
2) In the Fact Finder, try inviting people to introduce you to people who “might enjoy this same conversation” instead of “might benefit from working with a financial planner.” That’s way down the road. 10-3-1, right?! You don’t need to convince anyone to give you a client, you are only asking for a conversation.
3) Get in your body. Breathe. Feel your five senses. When you go into “robot” mode you may feel a strong disconnection to others. Try the opposite—inhabit your body and seek out human connection.
4) While you’re phoning talk to the individual, not the name or the QS. Look at the person’s photo who you’re calling on Facebook—see his or her photos, life and spirit. That’s who you’re trying to connect with! It’s not about a meeting on your calendar to mark as a Set—it’s about the beginning (hopefully) of a long relationship. How do you want to start it? Will your memories be about that time you overcame all of their objections or about how you showed them compassion during a tough time?
5) Craft your own language. Sure, there are some amazing producers out there with some beautiful language. However, it’s their language. Listen to their ideas and gather what you like from a lot of sources. Then make it your own. I’ve found that if you are speaking to people genuinely, even mediocre language works. Great language will flop when it’s delivered in an automated, inhuman way—tell me where I’m wrong. It’s time for you to come into your own and step into your own power. What are your words?
The best part about all of this is that, FINALLY, you get to be you! What is better than that?! Design your own method, practice it and deliver it from your heart. Have fun with it! Liberate yourself from the idea that you need to “work on your language” (i.e. avoid activity) until it’s “just right.” Think about what your message is and let it spill out from your genuine self. That’s the person we all can’t wait to meet. That’s the person who clients say yes to.
Coaching Tip When do you truly like to call people you want to meet with? What approach works best for you—one long session or several shorter ones? Do you allow yourself breaks, a chance to see how you are feeling, or an opportunity to recover from a rough call? When bringing the humanity back into your practice, start with yourself. Are you treating yourself kindly like a human being deserving of breaks, nourishment, rest, comfort and happiness? If not, you are not in a position to give that same grace to others. It starts with you.