Is there a financial advisor anywhere in the world who hasn’t heard the response “Let me think about it”? Some might consider this an objection that needs to be overcome. Unfortunately, this puts the advisor in an adversarial position with a defensive prospect. What are some other ways you could respond to their comment?
Strategy 1: Anticipate the comment
Years ago, I came across a financial advisor who used a unique strategy. He had an initial meeting where he gathered the necessary data to produce a financial plan and his investment proposal. He then explained the next meeting would be the plan review meeting. This would include deciding if the prospect was going to move forward with the plan or not. Put another way, it was a decision-making meeting.
The advantage: The prospect is showing up for the second meeting understanding it’s time to make a decision.
The disadvantage: The second meeting might never happen if the client isn’t ready to make a decision. This, however, saves lots of time and effort in follow-up because if they attend the second meeting, then they are serious prospects.
Strategy 2: Set a time for follow-up
This is probably the most polite and fairest approach. You are understanding and set a time for follow-up. It might be one or two weeks from now or longer. The issue might be money isn’t available immediately but is expected shortly. Perhaps a real estate transaction needs to go through. You aren’t pressing the prospect for their reasons. Everyone is being cordial.
The advantage: The strategy is polite and professional.
The disadvantage: The prospect might keep pushing the date to make a decision further into the future or drop off the radar.
Strategy 3: What needs to happen?
This strategy ties into Strategy 2, but you are asking for the reason. There is someone else involved in the decision-making process who is unavailable. Or in a second scenario, the money involved will not be here until a bonus is paid. You have a firm date. In this strategy, you agree to the date but get in touch shortly beforehand to stay on the radar in case there is a competing use for the money.
The advantage: You have a firm date to get back in touch.
The disadvantage: You are relying on the prospect to explain your proposal to the other party. Will they agree to you explaining it to them via a phone call or meeting?
Strategy 4: No decision is a decision
This image of an advertisement printed on a London taxi sticks in my mind, “People who take no risks are already taking one.” Prospects might assume the safest option is to leave things as they are and do nothing. That might be true if the money is in an insured bank account paying interest, but what if the money is fully invested in the stock market? If the prospect wants to think about it for a couple of weeks before buying insurance, they are deciding it is OK to remain invested in the stock market for that decision-making period.
The advantage: It gets things into the open. By staying invested in the stock market, they are saying they will be happy with the outcome regardless of whether they lose or make money. Are they OK with that? You repeat your reasons why you think insurance is more suitable for their situation. Put in the position to defend their choice, they may accept your proposal after all.
The disadvantage: The prospect may feel they are being forced to justify their decision, which might make them defensive.
If a prospect says, “Let me think about it,” it isn’t necessarily a dead end. To move a prospect or client forward, try one of the above strategies to get them on track with their financial planning.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
More ideas for overcoming objections: