One of the most common questions that financial advisors have is what percentage of prospects should be closed after sitting down together. Although the exact answer may slightly vary based on who is asked for an answer, the general consensus across the industry is that the close rate for this scenario should be around 30%.
Advisors with a close rate significantly above this percentage should give themselves a pat on the back for already having their sales process nailed down. For advisors who are closing far less than 30% of the prospects they sit down with, this benchmark shouldn’t be viewed as a source of defeat. Instead, it should be thought of as an opportunity for significant improvement.
The good news for advisors who are currently below this close rate is there’s generally a clear reason why. That reason is the sales proposals an advisor is using for their investment proposal is too complex. As the financial planning industry has become more complex, many advisors have assumed that their proposals need to as well. This thinking has resulted in advisors presenting clients with proposals that are 30 or more pages in length.
What trained financial advisors forget is their proposal presents the last step before a client is closed. That means even if prospect has been properly qualified and all communication has been positive up to that point, an overly long proposal can overwhelm a prospect and cause them to get cold feet.
Here’s exactly what certified financial planners with proposals that are preventing at least 30% of prospects from being closed need to do to reach this benchmark:
This classic acronym stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Although it’s not the most elegant phrase, it’s a good reminder to not overthink and instead simplify. Advisors should keep in mind that making a proposal simple can actually take quite a bit of hard work.
2. Aim for Under 10 Pages
One of the reasons that proposals are so challenging to simplify is there’s a lot they do need to cover. So while it’s not realistic to attempt to make a proposal fit on 1 or 2 pages, keeping it under 10 pages is definitely something that can be done.
3. Use An Outline to Guide the Structure
A big part of striving for a simplified and shorter proposal is so potential clients can actually evaluate everything in it. Another way to help them do that is by using a clear outline as the structure for the full proposal. Putting the proposal in this format will ensure they don’t miss any important information.
4. It’s All in the Presentation
By getting a proposal down to an optimal size, it can be used as part of a strong sales presentation. At this point, the final step for an advisor is to practice and perfect their actual pitch.
By putting the above steps into action, financial advisors can transform their proposals from a roadblock into an asset that helps them increase sales.