Conversion is built on trust – and without the option of face-to-face meetings, it can be difficult to win clients over.
It can be tempting to try selling quickly, but Nick takes the opposite approach to great effect.
“In a face to face meeting you can talk for two hours”, he explains, “but that’s far too long for a phone call.”
So he breaks this communication into component parts, with the initial contact lasting just five minutes. He’ll then be back in touch three or four times to provide the information usually delivered in one face to face meeting.
In this initial phone call, he reiterates to the client “who we are, how it is they found us, what their enquiry was about, and whether this is correct”.
The goal here is assurance. Assuring them of who they’re dealing with, why they’re being called, and what the advice process entails. “I explain that this process can take place at the comfort of their own timescale, and that there are no upfront costs while looking at options.”
He then directs them to his website, his Unbiased profile, and third-party sites such as Pensionwise to build the client’s trust from the start.
Sending out the letter of authority is another chance to reassure the prospect of who they’re dealing with and what’s instore.
Nick will take the time to “reiterate that there are absolutely no costs unless they go ahead”, transforming an ordinary business task into a trust-building opportunity.
With the client now open to the advice process, and their expectations set, Nick can take a more in depth look into their advice requirements.
“If it’s a pension enquiry, then are there any other assets? Does their spouse have any advice needs, or could a better service be provided by advising both together? I say holistically this is what we do: not focus solely on the one pension mentioned, but analyse the full scope of what they have, and use this to secure them a happy, comfortable retirement.”
Once this lengthier communication is complete, he then provides weekly updates of where his team are with providers. “Some advice requests take a bit longer than others, but the key thing is to keep communications frequent and provide consistent reassurance”.
The next communication outlines the options available. These are provided via an outline letter, stating “these are our thoughts on what you might do. For example, if there are five pensions, then leave one where it is, move one to a different scheme, and consolidate the other three.”
The key here is to state this in a written form, so the client can read over it at their own pace. A phone call creates a sense of urgency, and Nick always avoids rushing clients into decisions.
With a letter the client can take time to understand the suggestions properly, and research anything they don’t understand.
“I then follow up about three to five days later, ensuring the client understands my suggestions”, Nick says.
Providing this amount of time further ensures clients don’t feel pressured, and maintains the trusting relationship Nick has worked hard to build.
With the client confident in their decision, Nick provides the full compliance and onboarding documentation.
“On average this full process from initial call to onboarding takes place within a two and a half to three months window. Taking this time allows a strong relationship to develop, and ensures there’s no rush and no pressure.”
And because this relationship has been allowed to build naturally, Nick is well-trusted by the client, who will then recommend him to their spouse or family. On top of this, the client usually “discloses more options such as investments to help with.”
With this well-worked process, Nick has transformed the disadvantage of being without face-to-face meetings into a positive – embracing the extra time needed to earn the client’s trust and ensuring great success for himself, his clients, and his firm.