Land a sale without chasing your client

By SteveLewit

United Advisors

Key connections which help eliminate objection are solidified by asking key questions. One of those key questions is what I call the "magic wand" question. I'd like to share just how powerful this question is.

Old-school selling teaches us to spend time in warm up, ask some probing questions, gather data, put together a plan and then present that plan to the prospect. Then come the objections, trial closes, tie downs and final closes. After the attempt at the final close come all the stalls: "Let me think about it," "I have to run this by my accountant," "Let's wait until the market is a little higher," "I just need to research this," and so on. Then the chase: you call, they hide; or you call, get them on the phone and then they lie. "I haven't had a chance to review your proposal," "I'm not feeling well," "My mother just died," "We have doctor appointments." Finally, you give up, they go their way and both you and your client lose. Their situation is not improved and you waste a bunch of time.

I have discovered a strategy which literally reverses this process and eliminates the stalling and chasing mode — a mode of being in which most financial professionals find themselves, day in and day out.

In this process, solutions are never presented until all the landmines (objections) are diffused and the sale is assured. In other words, clients get no information or suggestions from me until I know that the coast is clear and that they will, after I give them the fruits of my work, give me a clear decision — yes or no. If clients don't agree to work towards this end result together with me, I disqualify them and send them on their way, to give their stalls and objections to someone else who is willing to try and then chase them down.

Within this strategy, key connections which help eliminate objection are solidified by asking key questions. One of those key questions is what I call the "magic wand" question. I'd like to share just how powerful this question is.

Because I have such a visceral dislike for chasing people after giving them lots of information and ideas to solve their problems (it nearly drove me out of the sales industry), I had to develop a better way for me to sell. My first decision was to make a promise to myself that I would never break: that I would never chase a client again, no matter how much money they had and no matter how desperately I needed to make a sale. So, I tossed out old-school selling and, over time, taught myself how to sell without ever having to chase. A big part of that was the magic wand.
What I came to realize is that there are three components to making a sale:


I realized I could present the most logical solutions ever and that clients would still not buy because they had insufficient emotional drive connected with their problem to motivate them to make a change.


I realized that clients could have lots of emotions about their problem, lots of pain or unrest, but they still would not buy if they didn't feel intellectually connected to the solutions I presented.


The third component I discovered was that people always believed what they said and tended not to believe what I said.

So, I had to figure out how to get my clients emotionally connected to their problems, get them to feel intellectually connected to the solution to their problems and do so by having them tell me rather than me tell them. Here's what it sounds like, all within the initial five minutes of our first meeting:
    "David, how is this issue you came here to discuss, of perhaps outliving your income, affecting you personally?"

    "Well Steve, it's just something that we worry about and which causes me and Alice to bicker pretty frequently. Kind of like an underlying angst which we'd like not to have."
Now I have the emotional connection made.
    "David, if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you a tough question. Suppose you had a magic wand and you could just wave that wand and fix this problem, what would you ask for?"
Your client, after joking around about winning the lottery or marrying a rich person, will say something like,
    "Steve, if I had a magic wand like that I'd make sure I had enough income, income that went up year after year to counter inflation, and which would never end."
Now you can complete the connection process.
    "So, David, let's say you wave the magic wand and have your income problem solved. What happens to all that worrying and bickering you told me about earlier?"

    "It goes away!"

    You say, "And when did you want all this to happen?"

    David says, "As soon as you show me how to get the income."
Now, you might be saying to yourself that if the client came in complaining about running out of money then it's obvious that they want an income plan for life. And you are right. But while most sales professionals will act on that assumption, I will get my client to articulate it for themselves. When they do, they connect to it in a far stronger way than through my assumption or through me telling them what they should do.

Maintain these connections in your client’s mind. By relating everything you talk about together — products, strategies, options, risk — back to the solutions that he or she presented to you when you asked the magic wand question, the sale is now virtually guaranteed to succeed.

Although you may think otherwise, successful sales are never about money, product, plans or strategies. Successful sales are the result of having your client clearly articulate both the emotions associated with a problem and what the end result solution looks like. Clients who are connected in this way are much more confident, receptive and trusting. In the end, they feel in total control and just turn around and buy — no old-school selling, no manipulation, and, of course, no chasing.