How to quickly get in sync with clients and prospectsArticle added by Anne Bachrach on October 12, 2010
Anne Bachrach

Anne Bachrach

San Diego, CA

Joined: October 26, 2009

The power of pacing

A skill required throughout the entire client development process is the skill to get in step, or get back into step, with prospects and clients, either on the phone or face-to-face throughout the life of the relationship.

The first step toward building trust.

As successful financial professionals, we must get in step with our prospects and clients by being like them. This creates feelings of trust and rapport and actually helps us empathize. Stephen Covey, in his book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," describes empathic listening as listening with the eyes, ears and heart. Empathic listening is listening for feeling and for meaning. It is listening to understand, not just listening to respond. One way to accomplish this is with pacing. While this sounds very simple, developing this skill requires practice and a commitment to be truly client-focused.

You will find this strategy is much faster and more predictable than using the old "personality styles" approach (ie: driver, sociable, thinker, amiable). It is also a lot easier to remember to do.

In its simplest form, the essence of pacing is to go at their pace: slow, medium or fast. If the prospect goes slow, you go slow. If they go fast, you go fast. When people operate at a much faster/slower pace than us, it tends to make us feel uncomfortable — even possibly anxious or stifled.

One reason pacing is so powerful is because we tend to trust people who are like us. Many studies of human behavior conducted by psychologists and other scientists support this observation.

There are three main ways to physically pace.
    1. Mirroring = It looks like they are looking in a mirror.
    2. Matching = Pacing exactly what they are doing.
    3. Cross-over = Pacing with a different part of the body altogether.
What does it mean to "pace" someone physically? It means we act like they act, move like they move and even talk like they talk!

Pacing is...
  • The ultimate courtesy.
  • Demonstrates that you care.
  • Proves that you are truly client-driven.
“Listen and go at their pace.”
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