Are you a financial advisor who does lots of virtual meetings?
I compiled 14 easy tips to close more deals in online meetings that you can start using right away.
Why do you need this?
To begin with, virtual meetings have steadily been on the rise over the years.
According to a 2021 SmartAsset study, only 12% of advisors have had in-person meetings with clients in the last year or so. Instead, video calls are now used by 48% of advisors, up from 2% before Covid.
And it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
This is why it’s important to lay your hands on (and implement) every strategy that’ll give you an edge in closing virtual deals.
Even if you’re not actively searching for new clients, this piece will help you improve your virtual meeting experience with your current clients.
Let’s dive right in!
Tip #1: Wear Clothes That Make You Feel & Look Like A Million Bucks
Now, you don’t need to wear a Tom Ford three-piece to make this work. Just go through your closet and pull out your best professional outfit.
It will make you feel good about yourself AND sends a subtle message to your client.
When you appear competent and successful, you put your client at ease and make them eager to work with you.
In fact, for 95% of employers surveyed, personal appearance is a contributing factor when determining whether an applicant is suitable for the job. (Forbes, 2015).
You’re giving professional financial advice to make better financial decisions. And it’s not just about dressing up to look the part…
Putting on nice clothes is a great way to boost your confidence, and allow you to nail that virtual meeting or interview and increase your chances of getting hired!
Pro tip: Wear fragrances too. Whatever it takes to make you feel and appear like a million bucks!
Tip #2: Look At The Camera, Not The Screen
Lesser known virtual meeting fact: looking at the screen rather than the camera gives the impression that you are avoiding eye contact, even when you don’t mean to.
We study people’s eyes to judge their character, we notice when someone meets our gaze, and we are highly conscious of where our eyes wander (Business Insider).
Overall, most people tend to make eye contact only 30 to 60 percent of the time when speaking to individuals or groups, communications analytics company Quantified Analytics tells The Wall Street Journal.
However, they should be making eye contact 60 to 70 percent of the time to create an emotional connection.
Researchers have found that eye contact increased retention of what was said on the call. What’s more, this didn’t even require all that much eye contact: A mere 30% of time spent making eye contact added up to a significant increase in what participants remembered.
However, they should be making eye contact 60 to 70 percent of the time to create an emotional connection.
Look, your client is considering if they should trust you with their hard-earned money. You want to project an air of confidence and professionalism.
Think of it as the ‘firm handshake rule of virtual meetings.’
You can look at the screen to observe their reactions, but keeping your eyes on the camera more often than not will make it seem like you’re looking straight into their eyes, helping you appear more confident.
The little things matter and how you’re perceived could make the difference between closing the sale or losing the client.
TIP #3: Smile
A grin on your face says “I’m confident” better than anything else. It sends a message to the client (or whoever is on the call with you) that you’re relaxed, and you know exactly what you’re talking about.
As a person who tells people how best to spend their money, assuring people that you KNOW what you’re talking about is HUGE.
The other person may even feel compelled to reciprocate and smile back at you.
Research from Duke University proves that we like and remember those who smile at us and shows why we find them more memorable.
Smiling represents your personality, and mindset, and creates a positive environment for your virtual meeting to move forward. (LinkedIn, 2019).
If it’s a first contact consultation call with a client, this tip will go a long way in securing a deal.
Tip #4: Nail The Hand Gestures
Hand gestures, (Also called “Kinesics”) are a very important part of business communication and extend into virtual meetings as well.
Picture this: Your client is anxiously explaining their current financial situation. They need you to help them dig themselves out of a financial hole and start building for their retirement.
But suddenly they stop… and give you a puzzled, awkward look. Turns out your hands were all over the place.
Not a good look.
In humans, excessive hand gestures may suggest the other person isn’t paying attention.
Not a look you want to have. You want to appear empathetic and professional, and even passionate when you have to.
Solution: Keep your hands calm when listening. Use hand gestures when trying to explain a point.
TIP #5: Get Your Posture Right
Once you’ve nailed your hand gestures, the next thing you want to do is fix your posture.
I could tell you to do the usual…
You know, chest out, keep your back straight, etc. But you already know that. Again, this is all about inspiring confidence in your client.
So here’s what I’ll say: Close your eyes and think back to a moment where you were most confident, stay for a while at the moment, then embody it.
Don’t lean back in your chair as this can seem like you are also unbothered by the conversation and is not very professional. (Forbes, 2020).
Soak in that confidence as you advise your client on the perfect asset allocation based on their stated goals.
Tip #6: Don’t Multitask On A Call
Multitasking can hurt your productivity by 40%.
The last thing you want to do is appear to be here and there. Checking your email, talking to someone else in the room, or responding to DM’s.
It’s disrespectful. lt makes you look sloppy and incompetent. Remember, you may be talking about someone’s life savings! Give them your full and undivided attention.
Treat your virtual meetings like you would an in-person consultation.
Zippia once surveyed 2,000 American workers to find out how workers are coping with virtual meetings. Of the 2,000 workers, a whopping 67% were found to be distracted during virtual meetings from multitasking by checking emails or just pacing around.
This most often leads to a dissatisfying meeting and can make it go on for much longer than it’s supposed to.
This theory of tune-out is known as the Ringelmann Effect. (Harvard Business Review), and here’s an effective way for you to beat it in future virtual meetings:
This can greatly affect your focus and put you in a real pinch if you fail to catch some vital information while you’re distracted.
Know this: Even a 1.2-second delay in responding online made people perceive the person talking as less friendly or focused. (Sander, 2020).
So when you’re distracted and not able to answer a question or probe at all or on time, know that your silence was noted and your client is now most likely judging you.
Set aside some time for the meeting. Find a preferably quiet room and complete other tasks before or after the scheduled time.
A study from Business Insider shows that you usually have about 7 seconds from the jump to make an impression on the other side of the screen.
Don’t waste your time walking around and try to make a positive impression instead!
Tip 7: Make Small Talk
Don’t hop straight to financial talk at the beginning of each call. Instead, ask your client…
● How their day went. What’s new in their life
● If their financial goals have changed…
● Whether they believe the current measures are working.
This helps break the ice and sets a casual, friendly tone for the call.
And when you both get down to business, lead with thoughtful, selfless questions. It’s more effective than suggesting rigid, preformed strategies. It also shows emotional intelligence and fosters an effective relationship.
59% of adults are more self-conscious on camera than in real life. (Business Insider, 2021), so breaking the ice and bringing up small casual conversation is a great way to ease the nerves; both yours and that of your client.
Your client will see this straight away and feel you’re a good fit because you understand their situation perfectly.
Tip #8: Avoid Using Financial Jargon (Whenever Possible)
This may be unpopular advice. But it goes a long way.
Using simple words sets you apart because you’re not confusing your client.
When the person on the other side of the camera understands what you’re saying, they’ll be impressed.
Unlike your peers, they feel they can trust you because they don’t need to google every strange term you say.
● Disintermediation You cut out the middle man
● Codicil A legal doc that allows you to tweak an already written will ● Bottom-up investing Focusing on a specific company instead of its industry
Do this whenever possible and watch your client beg you to close the deal.
TIP #9: Read Your Client’s Body Language
Just like our verbal clues, our body language reveals additional information about how we are feeling.
If they’re fidgeting in their seat, this could mean they’re apprehensive. If they look puzzled, you’ve probably lost them somewhere.
If they’re touching their face while looking away from you, they may not be entirely on board with your suggestions.
Raised eyebrows can indicate a sign of puzzlement or confusion, and distant eyes could mean that they’re either not paying attention or they’re thinking deeply about what you said last.
Either way, it’s up to you to read these verbal cues. Interpret them correctly to help you convince them you’re on their side.
This makes working with you seem like the obvious, logical decision.
Here’s a tip: Go Fullscreen. This helps you to better your focus and pick up on cues that you’d normally miss if it were on half screen.
Tip 10: Listen To Your Client
Look, you’re not suggesting how your client should spend their cash. You’re telling them how to live their lives. That’s the core of the matter.
The words you say on the call will affect your client’s goals, values, and deepest desires.
That’s why you should listen closely and never try to push your own plan or agenda.
This hack never fails: Open up your body in a receptive manner that sends an invitation to your clients to open up more.
Send body signals that will make your client feel like they can approach you and want to talk to you more even from behind a screen.
Educate and engage your client. Create a relationship defined by their best interests.
When you show that you understand your client’s motivations, it’s much easier to close those virtual deals.
TIP #11: Relax Yourself Before The Meeting
Fact: people do a lot of dumb stuff with their money…
Half the time people seek your services because they know they should be saving for retirement, but aren’t anywhere close to where they need to be. They need your professional help.
They may appear distressed and may pass off some of that anxiety to you.
Relaxing before the meeting allows you to clear your head and attend to your virtual call with calm and confidence.
Prepare 30 minutes or an hour before the call, and spend the rest of your time doing something else.
A study in six workplaces also shows the correlation between exercise and work productivity statistics. Exercising during workdays has been found to boost one’s time management skills by 72%.
Doing this helps to reduce your cognitive load and reduce your chances of Zoom fatigue.
Work, exercise, listen to loud music, or even talk with someone else. Then hop on the call as soon as it’s time.
It helps and your client will be impressed.
Tip #12: Breath Deeply
This is a timeless method. Taking deep breaths is excellent for calming yourself. Breathe slowly, smoothly, and deeply.
It’ll also help you stay cool in uncomfortable parts of the meeting.
When you take a deep breath you are also signaling that you are confident and prepared for whatever situation.
This goes a long way towards inspiring trust with your potential client.
TIP #13: Stay Positive
‘Positivity is profitable.’
‘Your mind is a thought factory, and the thoughts it produces become your actions in life.
Produce positive thoughts and you’ll find ways to move forward with your goals. Produce negative thoughts and you’ll wallow in stagnancy.’ (US News, 2011).
Sometimes you may be having a bad day for any number of reasons. Faulty car. Slow internet. Noisy neighbor.
These things happen. This is why you must stay positive.
When on a virtual call with a client, you want to come across as relaxed and cool.
If you look like you’re struggling with some internal turmoil, your client may detect that and pull out of a deal.
They won’t trust another troubled person to handle their delicate financial issues.
You can repeat a sentence: “I am confident, I am a professional and I am prepared.”
A bit cheesy? Yes. Does it work? Absolutely!
Remember to feel it in your heart every time you say it. You’ve got this!
Tip #14: Don’t Look For More Tips.
Sounds counterintuitive but… YES! Going to hunt for more tips will just keep wasting your time.
I took my time to curate these 14 tips. Implement them and you’re set to close more virtual deals.
By following these 14 rules you can close more deals, grow your business, and feel like a million bucks (while earning a mint!)
If you’d like further help growing your business and lots of other valuable advice from others in the trenches like you then definitely check out our free Facebook group for Financial Advisors.
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