16 Jun 2020

Is It Easier For Prospects To Postpone and Cancel Your Appointments?

Oh, by the way, if you’re based in Singapore, do you think Phase 2 of Circuit Breaker means life can go back to how it was? Just something to think about before we get to the main topic!

Before we talk about postponements and cancellations, as financial sales professionals, let us take a trip down memory lane and remember the times when prospecting wasn’t that hard. There was a chance you could meet this prospect in person, you actually shook someone’s hand, and you might end up opening a case, maybe even closing it on the spot. You could watch his body language – hmm.. crossing his arms, is he defensive or is he just cold? You could touch your prospect – of course, in the right places – to build rapport. Your presentations had the impact of the pen running across a table top, your emphasized points had that strong jab at the the end of any line drawn, you could hand a pen over to your customer, and he/she could feel the “Human Touch”.

A lot of happened since those “good ol’ days” and right now I suppose most of you reading this will be Zoom ninjas, from not even hearing of this meeting platform before 2020. The issues may have changed, but the underlying reasons have not! Let’s compare why people are not meeting you based on these 3 reasons!

1. They Don’t Know You

Nope, no idea.

Pre-COVID Lockdowns

Depending on how skilled you are at lead generation (which in case you didn’t know is actually different from prospecting), you might have done stuff such as roadshows, street surveys or even *gasp* cold calling! All these ways have worked to various degrees for many huge agencies – in the past.

As of late 2019, in case you haven’t done these methods before, you’d realize you spend long hours doing such activities, and if you let them walk away without a sale, that’s the last you’ll hear from them! All they have to refer to is a name card. Honestly, does that work?

All they see is a name, a number, an email, and maybe even a position that’s the same as 80% of the consultants out there! You are but just another person that managed to distract them on the way to their destinations, or even someone who they were killing time with before their date arrived.

So of course they’re going to cancel on you!

Post-COVID Lockdowns

With everyone off the streets, the question to ask is how are you getting any human contact if at all? Maybe you could even take the time to work on other parts of your business? Good to have, not immediate revenue.

Maybe you have gotten some “referrals” from your friends, are they just a list of names or are they recommendations? This will help a little, but are you falling back to your cold calling methods to reach out?

How about social media lead generation? You might have seen heaps of ads on Facebook or Youtube where gurus are offering their services that promise tons of leads for you – all generated on Facebook or Instagram.

Just ask around for the results – are they effective? ALL of the people we’ve spoken to from the financial planning business have told us the same thing. These methods are able to generate leads, but the meet up rates as well as the prospect quality is horrible!

That’s because despite leads being generated, there’s no process to qualify these leads and make sure they are nurtured into ready prospects!

Again, the same problem. They may have seen your name, and know what free gift you are offering, but they still don’t know who the person behind the name is. Face it, are you just collecting names or are you creating a sales funnel?

2. They Don’t Feel You

I… don’t… have…. *sniff*… LEEEAAADSSSSSSssss

Pre-COVID Lockdowns

Maybe you have had an opportunity to provide them with product information during your short introduction with them, they know what you’re offering. However, what good outcomes have come out of engaging your services?

You didn’t show them success stories? Too bad, you missed out on a chance for them to find out what could have been the outcome of working with you. Did you tell them your story of why you do what you do? No? Then you missed out on a chance for them to connect with you emotionally and feel that you have a mission.

Remember, prospects make decisions emotionally, and justify those purchases logically. If you’re just going to show them how the products are going to work in their lives, you’re not going to get very far with them.

Post-COVID Lockdowns

Even if you successfully got a whole list of leads, and you filtered out the best prospects, how have you helped them feel you? Are your lead generation pages showing your video testimonials? Are you providing case studies? Chances are, if you didn’t do it before we stopped shaking hands, you’re still not doing it right.

Furthermore, even getting a list of leads is going to require gargantuan effort, what more if you let them turn into just names?

Nurturing these leads has become even more important from this point on, as any fresh prospects will only be able to shake your hand only after any lockdown measures (and even so, shaking hands isn’t even recommended then).

Do you have an auto-responder process to allow these leads who come into your sales funnel to get to know you more? Are they opening your emails? Are you utilizing technology to your advantage and keeping them engaged until you meet them either online or online?

If you’ve answered no to most of these processes, the bad news is your prospects have not even felt your presence, much less getting to feel good about meeting you.

Yes, the hard truth is, these first 2 processes have gotten even tougher to implement now that in-person meetings are either illegal or restricted to family members.

3. You Didn’t Give Them a Reason To Meet You NOW!

Pre-Apocalypse

Before this killer virus was unleashed, before we had to balance breathing and death, and before people around the world didn’t find it important to protest in the streets, life was actually more complicated.

When you fixed an appointment, there was a chance you’d be…

a) Postponed a few days in advance
b) Postponed on the day itself
c) Stood up after you got to the appointment venue
d) Canceled on in the amount of notice
e) Able to successfully meet with this prospect

Why so? Did you force the prospect into agreeing to meet you in the first place? Did you say something wrong when you confirmed the appointment? No? Then why?

Pictured: Reality Not Kicking In Yet

The fact of the matter is, we all place a value on things that may happen in our lives. Whichever event matters to us more, we’ll place a higher priority on.

So what does it really mean when you don’t get to meet up with a prospect? It just means there’s something that they deem as more important than meeting you! If you haven’t given your prospects a reason to meet you now, guess what’s going to happen when a friend asks them out for a movie? They’re going to tell you they’re working overtime.

When they have the pre-conceived idea that all that’s going to happen is a product presentation from you, what’s the value of meeting you going to be? Everything from saving their family from a fire, all the way to having drinks at the bar with their friends are going to be more important!

Post-Apocalypse

Here comes the real repercussions of this situation and you not communicating your PDI.

What will happen when you fix an appointment these days? Chances are, you’re sending them a Zoom invite, and 5 minutes before time, you’re all dressed up, trousers optional, and you’re waiting at your computer.

But now, with everyone working from home, there are hundreds of distractions that can stop them from logging in. Their kid crying? You can bet your last dollar they are not going to be clicking that invite link. Their work hours are not undefined, so there’s no knock-off timing. Work can go unfinished all the way until midnight. Are they finishing up the current episode of The Last Dance? Yep, that’s more important than you.

Even if you can get them on a meeting, the worst that can happen is one of these many distractions happening halfway through. Imagine this: you’re in the groove, and you’re getting a really engaged prospect on the other side of the webcam, and one of their children decides that jumping from the dining table is a good idea…

What’s going to happen to your zoom meeting? It’s going to get cut short.

“The laptop just happened to go blank! How about we do this another day?”

What Does This Mean For Me?

I’ll have to apologize for this anticlimax. The point is, whether its face to face interactions, or online enabled meetings, the underlying cause is the same. There wasn’t enough done to establish your positioning, show your differentiation, as well as communicate your intention. Of course even if you take this knowledge out to the world, and you set up a process to filter only the top leads and nurture them into become prospects, there’s no guarantee they’ll want to meet you.

However, with all these steps incorporated into your process, you can be sure that the ratios of people prospected and those finally met, and even your case closure rates will increase.

Whatever platform you choose to take these steps is up to you, but if you’re looking for an easy way to at least get started on an online presence that allows you to communicate your PDI, as well as start building your professional brand, you might want to find out more about SyncBiz.

What Is SyncBiz?

SyncBiz is the only available platform for you to:

  1. Build your very own online professional page THAT SELLS so that you no longer have to give out that outdated business card
  2. Allow leads and prospects to connect with you so that you can QUALIFY AND NURTURE THEM before an appointment
  3. Condition prospects to REFER MORE LEADS TO YOU by just sending out your unique link

SyncBiz is the ONLY referral acquisition tool that’s not only built for but also built by financial sales professionals to help in the most crucial stage of your business.

If you’re looking to enhance your lead generation abilities without relying on expensive social media lead generation, asking for referrals only to get cold, uninterested leads, or even begging your friends to support you, you might want to try out the SyncBiz Prospect Acquisition process so that you can not just survive, but thrive in these trying times.

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