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" The Reality of Non-Reality"


Pending files — most Advisors have them despite the fact they create a massive comfort zone and false security.

I use the term “pending files” to refer to the process of accounting for business in process as already sold. For example, “I have $250,000 in premium or assets coming in September.”

When you think about how you account for your production, a typical pipeline might look something like this:

Prospect → First Meeting → Second Meeting → Proposal Discussions → Qualified Proposal Submitted → Commitment → Fulfillment

If this is a typical pipeline, where would those you've accounted for in your pending file fall? The answer is anywhere between your first meeting and qualified proposal submitted, right?

Here’s the thing, by counting on prospects who have not fully committed, they are still just prospects, and the business can’t be relied upon. More often than not, the Advisor merely is avoiding asking for the business or going for no. Worse case is when they stop prospecting because they assume this will close. When the “deal” they thought would close now isn’t, panic sets in. This is when the anxiety of “needing” business rears its ugly head, and that’s a bad place to be.

What I see most when analyzing an Agent’s pipeline and helping to develop a realistic pipeline versus a pending file is the:

  1. Agent met with prospect/client and has gotten all the data.
  2. Agent suggested a solution/proposal.
  3. Prospect/client has given the Agent some form of a “Think it Over.”
  4. Agent made contact with the prospect/client (they are still lukewarm/neutral), but no forward progress has been made. You still hear delay tactics.

The Advisor (and Manager) both count this pending file as closed business when in reality 87% of the prospects found in a pending file are some form of a think it over, a stall, or are actually nos. The prospect is being nice versus honest with you.
You’ve heard the stall tactics:

  • I need to talk to my wife.
  • I should talk to my accountant.
  • I need some time to digest this.

The good news is I have some great tools to help you uncover the truth from your pending files.

Click here to download The Reality of Non-Reality White Paper.

As Q4 approaches, now is the time to get extremely clear on where you stand with your prospects. It’s crunch time!

BTW — the following solution works, but you need to make the language your own and be comfortable with what you are saying. Don’t get caught up in using specific words, etc.

The dialogue found in the above white paper is one of the most popular role plays from agencies and Agents during the late summer, early fall months. It cleans up any loose ends from previous months, so the Agent has clarity on the activity needed to achieve their annual goal. To run a practice most efficiently, focus on discovering truth between you and the prospect/client and not falling prey to the comfort zone a pending file creates. It assists the Agent's desire and understanding surrounding the necessity of having a full calendar. Agents stop chasing lousy business if they have 8-10 brand new appointments a week, always two weeks out.

Remember to do a little bit all of the time, not a lot some of the time.

I’d like to hear how eliminating your pending file is working for you. Please reach out to me via LinkedIn and let me know how it’s going.

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson is a seasoned veteran of the selling profession, Glenn has personally built one of the leading offices for Sandler Training with his office ranking consistently in the top 1% of Sandler franchisees worldwide. He specializes in working with financial services producers and agency managers who want to shorten their selling cycles, grow their revenues, boost their productivity, and improve their operational efficiencies. Glenn's clients include many producers who seek to be MDRT qualifiers as well as Court of The Table and Top of The Table members who attribute a great deal of their success to the principles, practices, and, above all, the accountability Glenn brings to their practice. Glenn is based in Long Island, New York, but he's usually "in the field," working with clients all over the United States helping them to grow their business, revenues, and profits. Additionally, Glenn is a sought-after keynote speaker, available to speak to small or large groups on emerging business topics.