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.

Connect—Once you believe you really understand what’s driving the other person, reflect back your understanding in a way that shows you listened and you care.  This is the pivotal moment when the connection is strengthened and the resulting resonance makes both individuals want to interact more frequently.

EDUCATE:  Show the client the path to achieving their objectives

Reframe—The power and value of educating your clients comes from providing previously unknown and actionable information—shining light on needs they didn’t know they had.  “Reframing” is about helping clients look at their challenges from a different perspective—the process through which insights are developed. 
Provide Insight—This is the moment when you help your clients develop a new understanding and see a new path forward.  An “explosion of clarity” erupts in THEIR heads, and this “Ah-ha” moment provides the energy necessary to overcome inertia and change direction.
Direct Action—Once the client has expressed enthusiasm for the new idea, you can then provide specific solutions, details, metrics, financials, milestones, etc

 

MOTIVATE:  Help your clients get out of their own way.  Hold them accountable—to themselves!

Lead—Your job is to lead your clients to a place where their objectives will be met.  They have not gotten there on their own and need your help.  A combination of your experience, knowledge, vision and confidence along with demonstrating a thorough understanding of their situation is why they trust you and will do what you direct.
Resolve—The path is almost always bumpy.  Clients will have questions, hesitation and objections as you move forward.  You will have to solve problems and resolve issues along the way to keep them focused on the end goal.
Execute—Successful execution is energizing and motivating.  Fortunately, this is what you’ve always been good at—getting the deal done or closing the transaction.

 

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.