What to Do in The First Client Meeting
Meeting with a prospective client for the first time makes many advisors nervous. It’s your big opportunity to influence people to do business with you – or lose them forever. It’s essential to be prepared so that you come across as likeable and reliable – someone they can trust to oversee their finances and establish their future security. Here’s how to do that.
Let clients get to know the real you
When they first meet with you clients will be curious about you so make it easy for them to form an early judgement. Rather than bombarding them with excessive financial information let them find out whether they like you and whether they think they can put their trust in you.
They want a relaxed conversation that’s not primarily about numbers and results. Break the ice by telling them your ‘who I am’ story. It should illustrate your background and what motivates you – encouraging prospects to empathize with you on a personal level.
Bring your personality with you to the meeting
Financial Advisors share a lot of similarities and similarities don’t sell – differences do.
You are the lynchpin so you need to stand out as unique.
Be enthusiastic about what you have to offer since people naturally gravitate towards positive people. Rely on eye contact because this shows you are interested. Respect what clients have to say.
Use a clear and confident tone of voice to convey your experience and trustworthiness. Be authentic and genuine and get your message across. Remember that clients do not speak your financial language – so use storytelling. Have a few simple stories at your command and use them to cut through the noise.
Establish what prospects expect of you
The first client meeting helps you to understand your prospects’ main objectives and whether they are in the market for a long-term partnership. A very important question to ask is “what do you expect of me?”
There’s often a misconception about what a client’s aspirations are and what an advisor thinks they are. Unless you get this issue straight from the get go there will be problems further down the line.
For example, what you may consider to be aggressive growth may vary widely from that of your prospects. When people say they want to achieve big returns this often translates to a desire to simply beat the bank; the chances are, they are more afraid of being poor than creating great wealth.
Develop great listening skills so you understand exactly what people want. Find out all you can about what makes your clients’ tick by listening carefully so you don’t miss any vital information. Becoming a good listener is harder than it sounds but if you master this skill, clients will appreciate your genuine interest.
When to ask about the money
People generally feel uncomfortable about discussing money, so introduce this sensitive issue by establishing how much they need.
To get the ball rolling weave questions into the conversation. Focus on actively listening and ask open-ended questions to allow clients time to assess their own financial situation. How important is their children’s’ future education to them?
Follow up with closed questions like “do they plan on sending their children to good colleges?” Do they agree that one year of college is now equivalent to the cost of buying a new car, every year for four years? Have they considered that in just 180 months their three-year-old will be starting college?
People generally find it difficult to see that far down the road – by breaking the future down into segments you can make it easier for them to envision the financial obstacles ahead and create a sense of urgency.
When clients leave your office for the first time they won’t be discussing downside capture. They will be talking about you and your personality. They will be asking themselves whether you are a good fit for them. If you practice your soft skills, ask the right questions and establish that you’re on the same page regarding their expectations – then you’re on track to make a great first impression.
If you’re ready to hone your soft skills & ignite your business, join Don Connelly 24/7.
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