Everyone has experienced a business conversation that seems to drag on without a purpose or end point in sight. At one point during your professional career you will either be on the giving or receiving end of an endless conversation.
To keep time-wasting conversations from happening, I developed the “right-to-the-point” approach to use with my clients. This not only saves me time, but it saves my clients time as well. I have discovered that the sooner you get to the point, the more your clients will appreciate it.
Most people prefer to deal with professionals who strike them as busy, important, and successful. When handled correctly, giving your clients a limited amount of time can make them feel special. To do this effectively, you will need to have a strategy in place and mine is the 30-Minute appointment.
Implementing the 30-Minute Appointment
As you know, one of my goals as an insurance agent is to schedule at least ten appointments during the day. However, this would be impossible to do if I met with each client for an hour or more. As a result, I developed an approach to get my client in and out of my office within 30 minutes. You can accomplish the 30-minute meeting by following the three steps below.
Write an Agenda
Don’t waste time in-between appointments with your clients. I take full advantage of that time by making sure that I prepare thoroughly before each client meeting. This includes having all of the necessary paperwork and information in front of you before the meeting begins.
And before each meeting begins, you should have a set agenda of what you will discuss during the meeting. Having an agenda will help the meeting flow smoothly, and can also be used a checklist to make sure you cover all of the necessary topics during the appointment.
Start by vowing to avoid all chitchat with your clients during your professional appointment. Chitchat should be done throughout the year as a personal contact. Remember people buy from people that they know and trust. The people that they trust are usually referred to as friends. Friends talk on a regular basis. Avoiding small talk during your professional appointment doesn’t mean that you have to cut your client off if they begin talking about something other than insurance. It means that you have to be savvy about staying on topic and sticking to your agenda during the meeting. Your clients are meeting you at your office to discuss their insurance needs and not anything else. Having thoughtfully prepared meeting and presentation for them without small talk is something that they will appreciate.
Ending a conversation is one of the most challenging parts of a meeting, but I have discovered an approach that works. After you have completed all of the items on your agenda and have brought the conversation to a close, simply stand up and begin walking to the door. Nine times out of ten, your client will stand up with you.
I have found this strategy to be a lot better than chewing up time with a casual conversation at the end of the appointment. You will find that this method will end the meeting gracefully and if the meeting was run well, both you and the client will walk away happy.
I couldn’t be effective if I let my appointments last longer than 30 minutes. Operating with a “right-to-the-point” approach will make sure that your clients are in and out of your office in thirty minutes or less, and they will be happier because of it.
Want to learn more about the 30-minute meeting? My book Power Position Your Agency goes into greater detail about how to master the 30-minute meeting and see more clients during the day.