Respond with confidence; restate your worth.
In our previous column, Requesting a Value
Commitment (RVC), we illustrated various ways to verify your
prospect/client's level of satisfaction, to ask for the highest level
of commitment possible and to clarify and to agree upon the next steps
in the process. As a refresher, let's quickly review the four steps of
1. Revisit the emotional connection
2. Ensure the commitment
3. Summarize the next steps
4. Express your appreciation
We reminded you that since most all financial decisions are inherently emotional, we made it the first step of the model. By taking your prospect's "emotional temperature" and respectfully acknowledging his or her emotions, you are able to connect with that person by using sincere phrases like, "I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this decision," or "I understand why you must feel somewhat anxious at this stage, given the importance of your decisions."
Since many times an individual will make a decision by relying solely on their feelings, and then after the fact attempt to justify their decision by using logical reasons or other rationalizations that sound reasonable to them and to you, this is critical for your deeper understanding of that client's action.
The remaining three steps of the skill model all prompt you to use confidence while advising your prospects and clients. The model entails using positive language that reinforces the "real value" you can provide. At that point, you will clarify and confirm any agreements between both of you so there are no misunderstandings in the future. You might use dialogue of this nature: "I am committed to helping you reach your objectives. To make sure we are in agreement, I'd like to confirm our mutual commitments."
After completing that step, you will then summarize the action you are going to take with the client or prospect and talk about follow-up strategies, confirming everything along the way so nothing is overlooked. Then, last but not least, expressing your appreciation with a simple "It means a great deal to me to say that you are my client," goes a long way toward beginning a relationship that will last a lifetime.
This month, we will outline our last step in the process called Employing a Post-Call Value Analysis. We will illustrate the best way to take those next steps by showing you how to use self-analysis. This means to strategically review your previous meeting to determine how well you delivered your real value, and to revisit your follow-up strategy. By doing this analysis, you will better understand whether you communicated with confidence, passion, speed, respect and value.
In a world where we rush from one meeting to another, we need to discipline ourselves to debrief properly after each key client dialogue. Taking the time to think, to plan, to strategize-these are value habits of a "world-class" financial advisor. By employing a post-call value analysis, you will come across as having your act together at the next face-to-face meeting.
I've included the questions below that we use on our Post-Call Value Analysis form. (You can take a sheet of paper and jot down your answers or you can download our form from www.pusatericonsulting.com.) After you have finished, you will need to determine what are the next steps for you in this process.
You can take another sheet of paper (or download the form from our Web site) and across the top list these four headings: 1. Milestones/Anticipate 2. My Responsibility 3. Client Responsibility 4. Target Date. Then list your client names along the side and just fill in what the next steps should be and who should be taking them, then move forward with the steps at the appointed time.
Before listing the questions, please understand that this analysis will encourage you to look at your prospects and clients in ways you previously may not have considered. Determine what is most important to you and what you can apply. But, most important, act on the information.
Post-Call Real Value Analysis Questions
1. Did you achieve your objective(s) for your meeting?
2. What did you learn about your client's decision-making process?
3. What did you learn about your client's timing of the decision?
4. Who are the key players in the decision-making process?
5. What did you learn about the decision roles within the process?
6. In what ways did you employ your Value Questioning Strategy?
(Please refer to the skill model in my January 5, 2005, column on www.fa-mag.com or www.pusatericonsulting.com )
a) Validating the big picture (visions and goals)
b) Assessing the gap (key initiatives)
c) Learning the issues (key emotional issues)
d) Understanding the impact (consequences)
e) Expressing your understanding (summarize key issues)
7. What are the characteristics of the real value solutions that you are considering for this client?
8. Summarize areas of uniqueness and/or competitive advantage.
9. What issues were brought up that could help or hinder you?
10. What is the potential for you/your practice?
11. What do you need to follow up on?
12. What promises did you make that you need to keep?
13. Summarize your strategy to retain and/or grow this client.
14. Who else with your practice should be involved in this process?
15. Who else might need to be involved from the client's organization or business?
Next, you need to critique your own dialogue with your clients and prospects. Did you demonstrate (circle one and give example):
Confidence Yes No
Passion Yes No
Speed Yes No
Respect Yes No
Value Yes No
We hope this information will help you critique yourself and determine what are the next steps you need to take. Good luck, and I look forward to discussing advanced applications for Discovering and Delivering Your Value, as well as successful case histories, in upcoming columns that will help inspire and motivate you to becoming the best you can be.
Leo Pusateri is president of Pusateri
Consulting and Training LLC in Buffalo, N.Y., and is author of Mirror
Mirror on the Wall Am I the Most Valued of Them All? For more
information on PCT programs, books, tools and success stories, please