6 ways to make a powerful first impression

by NZ Adviser30 Mar 2016

Director of Discovery Finance Group in Australia, Jayden Vecchio has written over $250m using techniques and tips being shared on his recently launched website Top Broker.

We mortgage brokers are strange creatures. What other line of work has you going to meet people in their homes after hours talking about their most intimate financial details?

You know what I’m talking about – walking through the door into a complete strangers home, pitch black outside, children's toys all over the floor, TV blaring in the background and then you finally make it to the table covered with the plates from dinner where you spend the next 60 minutes helping set up the customers financial future. Sound familiar?

Ok so when I write it out like that it does sound a little odd but the best part about this whole situation is when you’re sitting at the kitchen table and you run your customer appointments like a boss. You know those appointments that go like a rocket; flawless execution where the clients are hanging off every word, their eyes are wide with curiosity and basically won’t let you leave unless you sign a binding agreement to be their broker for life!

But why isn’t every appointment like this?

Tip 1. The five seconds before the five seconds
You need to be in the right headspace before you even knock on the front door (or before they arrive in your office) in order to make a great impression. Regardless of the day you’ve had, the deals you’ve won, lost or the credit manager that has tried to beat you down, you need to forget everything that happened earlier, you need to go into each new appointment with a clear head ready to find out everything about these new clients and how you can help them today, and ultimately ensure you have made the right impression from the second you meet.

Tip 2. Don’t slouch… EVER! 
Come on guys! How many times have you been in a new customer meeting seeing salespeople slouch! It’s terrible and even if you don’t feel this way, bad posture signals to others that you could lack confidence and have poor self esteem or energy levels. Have a coffee!! Stop slouching!! Sit up straight, lean slightly forward when your clients are talking and keep your shoulders back to make you look more confident and attractive.

Tip 3. Body language sells.
Ok so now you aren’t slouching and you’re leaning forward slightly when your clients are talking, but what about the other non-verbal cues that you are giving to your clients? These can range from a group of moments with your hands, postures and actions that show on the outside what you’re feeling on the inside.

According to research conducted by Northeaster University, there are four ‘tell-tale signs’ that people associate with dishonesty and scream ‘watch out’ to prospective clients – so you need to be conscious of these to make sure your clients aren’t subconsciously thinking you’re a crook! These include hand touching, face touching, crossed arms and leaning away so make sure you keep these in mind next interview to win more deals using good body language.

Tip 4. Eye contact yes, death stare no.
Another easy one that the photographers completely sucked at, jeez!! Not making eye contact shows you’re disinterested and aren’t appreciative of the client and their time. There is no excuse not to give eye contact. Eye contact should consist of 4 – 6 seconds of eye contact followed by a break. I find a good place to move your eyes in between is to your notes because as I mentioned, giving someone eye contact shows you care and are interested in what they’re saying.

Tip 5. The tilt – MY FAVOURITE – I personally use this all the time.
Ok hopefully none of my clients read this – but – I personally believe the best technique to show you’re listening is to tilt your head slightly when the client is talking. It’s awesome how this action can show people that you’re paying attention and are interested in what they’re saying.

By tilting your head you’re letting the other person have control of the conversation so when the customer finishes talking don’t rush in with a response. Wait 2 seconds. You’ll be amazed at how many times the client will begin sharing something else because of watching your body language which leads to the next point.

Tip 6. Ask questions. Then ask more questions
Listen more. Get the client involved by asking them a question and asking more questions. Keep them talking, because the more you learn about your clients, the more you can help them – like I’ve said on previous articles I know intimate details about my clients down to the protein powders my clients take to their favourite running tracks – which helps them become clients for life.

Ok at the end make sure you seal the deal and leave a great last impression. Obvious, but an essential point. You want to walk away from the appointment feeling like a boss that nailed it in every aspect and equally you want your clients thinking you added more value than anyone else would – you were completely focused on their requirements, presented confidently, seemed honest, were completely engaged and asked questions to really understand their requirements.

This article originally appeared on Top Broker, a growing online space where tips and strategies are shared by Australia's top mortgage brokers.

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