How often do we spend time with a customer and only complete their requested transaction? Have you considered that you could be missing out on offering additional financial solutions?
Having a conversation may lead to additional financial success for your customer; however, I'm not suggesting that you just “talk” without truly having a two-way conversation. If you end each transaction with, “is there anything else I can assist you with today?” or “have I been able to help you with what you needed today?” that may be a service-friendly way to end the transaction; however, what if your customer doesn't know that they need anything else?
It’s our responsibility as financial service providers to “have a conversation” and determine what other financial needs our customers have.
Begin the conversation with a financial benefit statement
When we engage in a customer conversation, including one of the financial benefits listed below allows your customer to personally identify with how the topic at hand may help them financially. Will the offer:
Provide peace of mind
Customers don't buy products, they buy benefits, and a strong benefit statement will grab your customer’s attention before they reject or object to the idea. For instance, which one of these statement grabs your attention?
“In the event of disability, our Debt Protection product will assist in making your payment as long as you’re off work and under the care of a licensed physician."
“Our Debt Protection product can save you money as well as give you peace of mind while you are unable to work due to a disability and under the care of a physician.”
Let’s see...I'll go with door number two!
Related reading: Hate Rejection? Here are 5 Strategies to Overcome Being Told "No"
Benefit statements don’t eliminate the need to identify your customers’ financial goals and objectives; however, they will garner attention quicker and reduce likely objections. As financial advisors, we need to engage in conversations with our customers to ensure that we are offering the best financial solution and not just selling products and services.
Time is of the essence
Just as you have other customers to assist and a long to-do list, your customers likely also have time restrictions. Be cognizant of those, and keep your benefit statement brief and simple. Here are some time saving methods for providing financial solutions. Follow the 5 “Rs”:
1. Build a trusting relationship
Get to know your customer well because what they say (and don't say) may help you discover what is financially important to them. Listen with your ears AND eyes. Take notes, paraphrase, and clarify to ensure you are listening to, not just passively hearing, what they are saying.
2. Research: Use your customer data to paint the full picture of your borrower
It’s all at your fingertips! What type of accounts do they currently have with you? Do they currently have any loans, investments, other deposit accounts? How do they bank: ATM, mobile app, online? Reviewing your customer’s information can help you identify what they need and what’s important to them.
3. Recommend what they need—even if they don't know they need it yet
Use a financial benefit statement, and get them engaged in how the product/service will help them. Don’t offer products or services by explaining the product; demonstrate to them how it may benefit them. Will your suggested product service: save them time and/or money, offer them convenience, provide them with peace of mind, or make them money?
4. Respond to concerns in a friendly, yet definitive, way
Don't shy away from objections or concerns. When customers say “no,” what they actually mean is they don’t “know” enough about how they will benefit. It's your job to educate them!
5. Reinforce their willingness to do business with you
Congratulate them on their decision. Let them know it was a good, sound financial choice.
The first step in serving your customers is having an engaging and timely conversation about their needs and the benefits that they could reap by purchasing a product or service from you. Pay attention to their cues, and start talking!