I’ve been reading “Breakthrough Business Devlopment” by Duncan MacPherson and David Miller and one of the chapters really struck me and I have been putting into action in my own conversations. They argue, and I agree, that too often when we speak with our clients and prospects we’re too quick to get to the message – or what we want them to hear. It’s one directional and more often than not sales focused. The authors suggest a new framework for speaking with your clients and prospects. Here is their F.R.O.M. model.
F – Family – Ask about their family. And make sure you have a good CRM system to record that information. Find out about birthdays, anniversaries, children etc.
R – Recreation – Ask about their hobbies and what they like to do in their spare time. Who’s their favorite team? Where did they go for vacation?
O – Occupation – How’s work? Fairly straight forward, I think you’d agree.
M – Message – Last but not least, your reason for calling.
Given that we’re in the business of relationships this framework is incredibly insightful. It’s not rocket science, but we make sure we give the client ample time to talk about themselves before we promote our message. Importantly use this conversation to uncover information that could be used in the future. For example, asking about their children might prompt a future discussion on college fund planning, finding out that cash is tight in the business might prompt a cash flow planning conversation. The opportunities are endless when we listen to our clients.
Next time you have a client meeting, give the F.R.O.M. framework a go.