Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #75 - Getting a Commitment to Action

25 September 2018

Getting a Commitment to Action

How often have you done a great job with a prospective client at a first meeting, everything has gone swimmingly and you’re confident that he/she will come on board as a client next time, but business doesn’t eventuate when it really could and should?


In this scenario, let’s understand one of the most common reasons why business slips through the cracks – and that is your failure at the end of the first meeting to get a commitment to action on the part of your prospective client.

In “Chrisism#60” we looked at the ‘thought bubbles’ we need to be planting in our clients’ heads at each stage of the first client meeting and the last of those thought bubbles was “I want these outcomes NOW”, thereby creating a sense of urgency in taking the necessary action.

So the first thing we have to do at the end of the first client meeting is to educate our client that, when it comes to financial planning there is no such thing as a good idea in theory – only in practice. Good financial planning ideas in theory but not in practice are why we have so many educated derelicts out there! In simple terms, if we agree something is a good idea, then we need to action it and if we agree it is not a good idea, then we don’t.

After this education piece, we need to clearly establish and get agreement on the criteria that will have to be met at the second meeting in order for business to eventuate. I would suggest something along these lines:-

“I think it’s important for you to understand that the next time we get together it will be my mission to take you on board as a client. Now in order for me to reasonably expect you to come on  board next time, clearly you will have to 100% like and understand my recommendations and see how they achieve the outcomes you have told me you want and you will have to be 100% happy with the amount of money that you can allocate towards achieving these outcomes, but assuming both of these boxes are ticked, would there then be any reason whatsoever why you wouldn’t be happy to come on board as a client and get the ball rolling next time?”

Until you get your client’s commitment to action in this way, there is no point in spending the time putting together your recommendations and any procrastinatory objections that you may get will be a lot easier to overcome at this point in time (as you haven’t yet shown them anything yet) than at the point of sale.

The final step in getting their commitment to action is to make sure that there is a scheduled time  for the second appointment locked in – even if it is subject to your client checking their calendar when they get back to their office and contacting you if there is a need to reschedule.. Never leave the ball in their court to get back to you when they’ve checked their calendar. Statistically it has been proved that there is a much higher probability of business eventuating if there is a scheduled time in the diary for the second appointment at the end of the first appointment.

Hopefully these tips will help you acquire good quality clients who will never run the risk of becoming educated derelicts!

The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?