Do you consider yourself to be a serious professional? Are you serious about the way you conduct business with your prospects and clients? When, where, and how you conduct your business speaks volumes to your ideal prospects.
“I Make House Calls”
I bet that sounds great when it comes out of your mouth. This line, often uttered by the financial services industry representatives who don’t have an office environment to conduct business, may sound unprofessional to your ideal prospect. For those of you currently using this cheesy line as an excuse to not establish a professional work environment in which to conduct their financial services business, I’m calling you out!
Meeting people in their home may be doing more harm to your business than it is good. What other respected professionals make house calls anymore? Does your attorney come to your house and meet at your kitchen table? Does your primary care physician leave his office, drive across town, and walk through your front door? Successful property and casualty insurance professionals don’t even do it. Even auto mechanics expect you bring 2,000 pounds worth of your personal belongings to their place of business if you want their expertise.
If you are serious about your financial services business, demonstrate it by having a professional place to conduct business. Expect your prospects and clients to respect it, and they will.
If you are conducting your business in the homes of strangers, you'll be faced with all sorts of unimaginable distractions. Some of them may be weird, some of them may be quite uncomfortable, and others down right dangerous.
Many of the advisors that I coach can share countless stories of in home visits gone awry. One story that stands out involved a physical attack by a large macaw -- the parrots that Caribbean pirates wear on their shoulders. An advisor was physically attacked by the overgrown feather duster while trying to conduct an interview with a prospect! He had the physical marks to prove it. Ouch!
Family pets behaving badly, loud televisions or radios, dinner on the stove top, and other untimely distractions will likely derail your planning process. However, once you begin meeting prospects and clients in a professional office environment, you will never want to go back to meeting people in their homes.
Financial services professionals may place themselves in awkward positions when agreeing to meet strangers in their homes. Driving to unfamiliar parts of town and meeting with strangers on their own turf increases risk and exposure for agents. While risk is not gender specific, women are at greater risk. Meeting in a controlled office environment is not only perceived as more professional, but adds a layer of security as well.
When you hold your prospect and client meetings in an office, you control the environment. When you meet in their home, you do not control the environment. For example, meeting in your office provides you and your team with access to professional equipment necessary to conduct business. Printers, copiers, Wi-Fi, computers, and other technology are at your fingertips. You may need to use this equipment throughout the planning process and not having access to it may slow down your process.
The office environment also provides a professional and clean location to conduct business. You don't have to worry about clutter distracting your prospects, messy counter tops or kitchen tables confusing your message, or perplexing activities going on in the adjacent room. There are a host of benefits to meeting in an office over making house calls.
As an independent financial services representative, there's a good chance that you have competitors with deeper pockets than you do. The reality is they have multi-million dollar marketing budgets, and you don't. Outspending the other guys may not be an option. If you can't outspend, you can still out-experience your competition. However, if you're meeting with people in their home, you have no control over the experience.
On the other hand, when prospects and clients come to you in your professional office environment you can control the experience that they have. You can control what happens the minute they grab the door handle and walk through your threshold. You can choose to create a coach class experience or a first class experience. It's totally up to you.
Reach IUL sales success by implementing the six strategies detailed in our free ebook.