Close more cases with the power of storytelling

Alex the financial advisor wasn’t closing cases or getting hired by potential clients, and he didn’t know why. He thoroughly understood financial products. He’d talk with potential clients about all of their many options for financial planning, and the person would respond with, “Could you give me a proposal about that?”

Alex then would spend hours creating a proposal detailing multiple choices and plans. He’d send it to the potential client — and hear nothing. Unfortunately, he’d often find out that the person later became another advisor’s client.

What was Alex doing wrong? He was confusing the client and then losing them, said author, coach and serial entrepreneur Matthew O. Pollard, founder and CEO of Rapid Growth LLC, in Austin, Texas.

When faced with multiple choices, especially when it’s phrased in unfamiliar jargon, people become paralyzed by an avalanche of choices. Instead, grow your client list when you offer fewer plan options, less jargon and detailed analysis of products, and tap into the power of stories.

“People remember 22 times more information when it’s embedded in a story,” Pollard said. 

A story bypasses the logical mind, and a potential client will often spend up to two minutes listening to a story instead of the standard eight seconds of a sales pitch, Pollard said.

“When you tell a story,” Pollard explained, “neural coupling happens. What that basically means is, sharing a story causes our brain chemistry to synchronize. We create rapport. As soon as I start to tell a story, I feel more comfortable and my audience becomes more engaged.”

One way to engage a client is telling them a story about a client like them for whom you achieved an amazing result, Pollard said.

Good stories generally do the following:

  • Present the problem/challenge/dilemma of a person similar to them and provide some details to help them relate, such as, “This client also was a doctor with small children,” and so forth.
  • Offer the analysis and the implementation in brief
  • Share the moral of the story, which you can close with something such as, “You may have this objection; however, I’ll hold your hand the whole way through. We’ll work together, and you’ll get a similar outcome.”

If you’re unsure of your storytelling abilities, write down a few of your stories and practice it like a script until sharing your stories feels natural to you.

This was excerpted from “Build your story playbook,” Matthew O. Pollard’s 2019 MDRT Annual Meeting Focus Session. [MDRT members only]

For more about presenting information in a way that closes more cases

  • Godfrey Phillips says:

    Story telling is paramount as it’s the quickest way of CONNECTING with the client. Sharing an example specific to the clients situation gets them involved sooner, because this is what matters to them. If you don’t have your own stories because you haven’t been in the business for many years, then borrow someone else’s stories.
    Sharing a “Thank You” letter from a client and a copy of the cheque you have paid a claim for Critical Illness Insurance is a powerful tool. Get the clients permission to share their story, they won’t mind. Gather TESTIMONIALS from every claim you pay to your clients and in time you will become a great story teller. Make the story specific to the clients needs.
    We are in the business to pay claims, so share the good news about our business and the $$Millions a day Insurers pay out to clients. If not US then WHO?

  • Rocío Blando says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    Excellent Blog.

  • D Manivannan says:

    Highly informative & giving excellent insights. Thanks.

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