This is a common dilemma for salesmen, IFAs, doctors, financial planners, and even public speakers. When you are with a potential client, or in front of an audience (and you are being paid for it!) how do YOU ensure that you do not get carried away? That you do not talk about something that the audience (of 1 or 1000) do not want to hear?

Simple. Ask questions. Many questions, and do make an honest attempt to answer them. Look at some examples:

I know you are fully invested in bank fixed deposits, but are you happy with that?

Do you realize that inflation is stopping you from getting a REAL return?

Yes, I understand, you think equities are risky, but not investing in equities could also be risky, do you realize that?

Such questions allow you to occupy the prospect’s mind. And question answer sessions help hold the client’s attention. Another very important thing questions do is to clearly keep the focus on the prospect’s needs and you do not get carried away in things that you know and are trying to show off!

If the prospect is agitated about poor performance of the market, throwing statistics does not help. You need to show respect to the man who has lost money in the market. It is his/her hard earned money.

Try walking around, it helps the mind be more alert. Suggest a walk in the greens along with the prospect. Go and get a photocopy done. Or get a coffee. Sitting quietly makes them resistant to new thoughts! Very few topics capture our imagination to keep us engaged. Hence it is easy to learn in a class room instead of trying to chant mantras or learn poem writing. A group keeps us more active. Try to make it more emotional. If you are discussing Retirement talk about inflation, stories of people whose money died before them, of having to ask a son in law for money (asking son is palatable, but asking a widowed daughter in law or grandson for money is traumatic.

Try to get some sleep BEFORE the meeting / lecture. If you are a speaker at the post lunch slot, or even at the 3pm slot keeping the audience awake is a very difficult job. So even though you cannot control how much sleep the audience has got..you should try to see that you do not help them in the sleep journey.

Happy prospecting!!

 

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  1. Giving statements of facts or giving answers makes the listener passive. Listener does not need to focus. On the contrary asking questions makes listener focused and concerned about the discussion going on. Things become even more interesting when the questions are about lives of audience rather than generic global situation.
    In case of an interview, they say “Don’t judge a candidate by quality of answers he/she gives. Judge him/her by the quality of questions he/she asks”.

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