One Simple Mindset Shift that will Increase Your Closing Rate

06/14/2016 04:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mastering your sales conversations takes time. You know you need to get better at these skills in order to build your business, but you want results now! There are a few very simple shifts you can make to your mindset that are easy to implement and that will give you a sales bump long before you achieve skills mastery!

Here is one gem you can start using today:

Play the Fool.

I know, this is provocative. In the financial world, there is tremendous pressure to be seen as an expert in your field; to be a trusted advisor; to accumulate accreditations that will bestow an unassailable credibility on you. If one of your biggest fears is to be asked a financial question you don't have an answer to, you are not alone!

Of course we should continually strive for excellence, but there is one area where leaning on your expertise can do more harm than good. That area is KYC - Know Your Customer. The really successful Advisors move beyond compliance processes and approach every prospecting conversation with openness and curiosity.

Many paths to mastery talk about the 'beginner's mind'. The Tarot deck has a card called The Fool. I remember getting a reading about a decade ago and being insulted that I pulled The Fool, until it was explained to me.

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The Fool can represent a child or being child-like, having an open mind... The Fool is pure and unlimited potential. Ref. Tarot Wikipedia

As business owners, we are always looking for ways to streamline - to increase productivity - by using templates and predictable processes. Why reinvent the wheel when so much has already been figured out?

Why get genuinely curious about someone, when all the training and marketing research has already identified what your prospect's main needs are likely to be? There's the trap!

The trap is that it's easy to go on autopilot when in conversation with a prospect. It's easy to have them fill out your form, ticking off their main financial goals, and then just tell them 'okay, I'll put a plan together to help you achieve that'. When you do that, your prospect feels processed. They feel unimportant and see financial planning as a chore that they will resist.

The Shift: Play the fool. Assume you really don't know this person.

Deliberately look to uncover what makes them unique, and how they diverge from others in their demographic category.

In your next meeting, tell yourself: I really want to find out what makes this person tick - what makes them different from all my other clients.

How will this change your meeting? With this new focus, what will your agenda look like? What questions will you ask them that you wouldn't have otherwise?

This shift to 'playing the fool' - assuming ignorance - will drive very different behaviours and have a profoundly positive effect on your meetings. You will be far more present. Your prospects will feel a depth of connection and caring from you that they didn't expect. You'll enjoy the process more, and really enjoy the bump in your sales!