We have all heard the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat”, that it is better to mind your own business. However as advisors/agents do we truly believe that that is the best course of action to make a connection?
I think it’s safe to say that most of us think that we ask a lot of questions. Unfortunately, I’ve found that many of the questions that we ask are merely designed to uncover facts and not to truly understand the prospect or client’s situation and how they feel about it.
Young children have a genuine and innate curiosity when they want to get to know someone and they seem to have no problem asking a multitude of questions. Let’s take a look at how this type of curiosity can benefit you and your prospects/clients.
- Gives You Time to Think— During one of my Group Coaching Critic sessions, in which we role play our group members as if they were on the phone with prospects, I noticed that one advisor used what I call a “curiosity question”. It was, “That’s interesting could you tell me more about that?”This was in response to a prospect who gave him an objection about how he didn’t like to use certain investment products and thus wasn’t interested in setting up a meeting. After using his “curiosity question”, his prospect relaxed, opened up and ended up telling us a story about his investment experience. This gave the advisor more time to think about what direction he wanted to turn the conversation towards.
- Uncovers Important Information—The prospect revealed some interesting information about his concerns regarding a financial advisor he had worked with because years ago one advisor put him into a product that he perceived as expensive and he had lost him money when he was told that it was safe. As a result, he felt that he was misled and that consequently all advisors would mislead him. This helped my advisor client truly understand that his prospect’s real objection was trust and not about a specific product at all.
- Shows that You Care—After listening to the real objection about trust, the advisor acknowledged what he had heard by summarizing how it must have made the prospect feel by saying, “That sounds frustrating, was it?” The prospect quickly shared with him how frustrated he was and the advisor in turn showed he cared by being even more curious and asking, “Why is that? Why do you think some advisors don’t take the time to fully explain their recommendations?”
- Creates a Connection—By now the advisor was creating a connection because he was open to getting to know the prospect and the prospect was connecting because he felt that he was being heard.
After a lengthy conversation the advisor inquired, “I’m kind of curious, if we met and I did give you a second opinion on the investments you own would you be open to speaking with a couple of my clients to hear what type of experience they have had working with me? It’s free and maybe it would help you see that all advisors are not alike?” It didn’t take long for the prospect to simply reply, “Yes, I would like that.”
Why Childlike Curiosity Works
It’s no secret that people want to be heard. The reason that childlike curiosity works is because when you truly exude through your choice of words and tone that you care, prospects are more open to telling you a lot more about themselves. Everyone has a story, so get genuinely curious and find out what it is!