How to solve one of your biggest problems with prospects

Prospects prejudge us in seconds. Their decision to do business with us happens before we get a chance to share our well-rehearsed presentation with them.

The good news is we can influence their decision in these first critical seconds before it’s too late. Here are some guidelines to make these important first few moments matter.

Build rapport

A simple way of building rapport is by establishing common ground. We could say things like, “Everyone wants to pay less in taxes,” or “We all want to retire with more money.” Prospects agree because we think the same way they do. We also can try, “We would love our children to get the benefit of our inheritance, not the government.” Easy.

Now, take this to the next stage.

Increase awareness

What do we think prospects are more interested in — their problems or our features and benefits? Their problems. To take this to the next level, we can make prospects aware of problems they didn’t know they had. We elevate our status from a mind reader to psychic!

For example, say, “Not everyone’s aware of the net return banks are really paying.” Or, “Some people pay too much tax.” Or, “Sometimes people unknowingly give more money to the government instead of their family.”

If we make prospects aware of a problem they didn’t know they had, they will eagerly await the expert options we present.

Offer options

When we give clients options, they relax and feel in control. They get to pick what they want to do. We graduate from salesman to respected advisor.

There’s no point giving prospects features, benefits, websites, brochures, CDs or audios until they’ve made a decision to pick us. By building deep rapport and trust in the first few seconds, prospects will say, “Yes, please. I’d like to work with you.”

Bernie De Souza is a speaker, author and executive performance coach from Warwickshire, England, U.K. See more from him in his video, “The science of how prospects pick their financial advisors.” Learn more about him at