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Learn To Love What You Hate To Do

22 April 2023

FINANCIAL PLANNERS – Have you ever struggled to get a client over the line?

You’ve given your best pitch and when it comes to the all-important punch line, ‘Would you like to go ahead?’

And yet the client chooses a different option than ‘Yes’.


But hang on – where did that other option come from?

Normally you…

Because we often phrase these tough questions something like…

‘Would you like to go ahead, or do you want time to think about it?’

Or worse, the ‘Trailing Orrrr’.

What’s the ‘Trailing Orrrr’ Neil, I hear you say

It’s where you ask a question and, at the end, leave an ‘orrrrr….’ hanging in the air.

‘Would you like to go ahead, orrrrr…….?’

And we do it in fear of rejection.

Because we’re still just cavepeople in a tribe trying not to be excluded (and therefore die of hunger).

‘Do you want to go ahead?’ is a binary question with two possible outcomes.

  • Acceptance
  • Rejection

So, a 50% chance of rejection is not good for our anxious minds.

‘Do you want to go ahead or do you want to think about it?’ gives three possible outcomes.

  • Acceptance
  • Deferral
  • Rejection

We’ve just reduced our chances of rejection to 33% – our anxious mind feels better (despite our chances of acceptance also falling to 33%).

But if we use the ‘trailing orrr….’ the client has an opportunity to insert their own reasons to defer, so now we have many options.

’Do you want to go ahead orrrr…..?’.

We’re inviting rejection by making it the default option (i.e. please fill in the blank reason why not, Mr. or Mrs. Client)

  • Acceptance
  • Custom Deferral
  • Custom Deferral
  • Custom Deferral
  • Rejection

Our anxious mind is even happier as the chances of rejection have fallen further. It doesn’t care that the chances of acceptance have fallen as well; it just wants to reduce the chances of rejection.

That’s why if you’re in a room of 100 people, where 99 people are like you but one person dislikes you – you’ll likely focus (obsess?) on why that one person dislikes you.

So, how do we deal with this?

To even up the odds, you need to turn it around on your client—give them the anxiety (in a nice way).

‘Is there any reason why we can’t get things started today?’

Brings it back to 50% each.

  • Acceptance
  • Rejection

But actually, the odds are now stacked in favour of acceptance—75/25, I reckon.

Because in order to choose rejection, the client has to go against the natural flow of the question, and nobody likes walking against the crowd.

And then tell it to your face—unsolicited.

Inviting rejection of themselves.

So, acceptance is now the route of least resistance for their anxious mind.

You’ve got a new client.

And we’re all still part of the tribe. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners.


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