Client Experience/Sales Process
Early in our company’s evolution, we taught a very thorough and comprehensive sales/banking process that was difficult to remember and consequently, impractical to use. Over the years, we’ve pared that down to the simple graphic on the left. Our process now revolves around the concept of RESONANCE.
Resonance is a principle that comes from physics—when two bodies resonate, they exert a force on each other that stimulates and excites the other by being on the same wavelength or frequency. When the two bodies are people, that force is felt as positive emotion and it’s very compelling. When we are resonating with a client, we don’t have to have the absolute best product or fee/rates. If we are competitive, the client will find a way to get us involved.
We teach the idea of Resonance in three parts that overlap and combine to influence client decision-making. It serves as a description of both the client experience and our client engagement (sales/banking) process.
RELATE: Foster a relationship that makes the client want to do business
- Explore—Despite the temptation to enter a meeting with guns blazing—showing the client your smarts, experience and good ideas, it’s best to slow down. Begin every conversation in “discovery” mode—there’s always something to learn that will improve your odds of winning business.
Ask questions and listen actively. The more questions you ask, the more needs you uncover, the more targeted your pitch, the less resistance you encounter and the more business you win!
- Understand—Making a client feel heard and understood is perhaps the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. People like to “get got” and when you are the one who ”gets” them, you are at a considerable advantage.
Go beyond the obvious business/functional needs to explore the more personal/emotional needs. Recent Nobel Prize-winning research has shown that in the end, all decisions have an emotional trigger.
EDUCATE: Show the client the path to achieving their objectives
MOTIVATE: Help your clients get out of their own way. Hold them accountable—to themselves!
We teach this process in a particular order: Relate-Educate-Motivate. But in practice, there is no order. You may have to provide motivation or education before the prospect will even take your call. You may find yourself bouncing back and forth, perhaps inserting a little education in the middle of the discovery process or demonstrating empathy to turbocharge your effort to motivate.