5 More Questions Prospects May Ask You before Deciding to Hire You as Their Financial Advisor
Choosing a financial advisor is a big decision for potential clients, especially if they’re new to the world of investing. Not only will they be looking for someone suitably qualified, they’ll be searching for someone who shares their goals and comes across as caring and authentic.
To try and deduce whether you’re the right fit for them, they’ll undoubtedly have questions. In this follow up to a previous post, let’s look at 5 more questions you may get asked in that first meeting.
#1. What are your core values?
Trusting someone is an irrational risk. It’s emotional. Which is why prospects will be more interested in discussing you and your core values than the state of the stock market. When people sit down with you for the first time, you’re an unfinished story to them, so they will ask questions to fill in the details about you and how you work.
Prospects will also be curious about your personal situation. Are you married? Do you have kids? Open up about your personal life and express your personality. Get away from the ‘financial advisor’ you and talk about your integrity and values.
#2. What are your credentials?
Experience speaks volumes so prospects will want to know about your licenses, certifications and/or any other qualifications you’ve earned. They may be interested in whether you have a degree and in what area. Do you keep up with your field via ongoing continuing education and how long have you been practicing for?
Don’t just reel off a list of credentials – explain what your credentials mean, and how they help you provide a better service to clients. Otherwise the letters can become white noise.
#3. How much risk will we be taking?
Prospective clients will be worried about handing over control of their money and concerned about the likelihood of their investments diminishing.
Get across to prospects that market volatility is inevitable, that the DOW will go up as well as down and that this is normal. Yet, over time, the stock market has weathered disasters and continued to rise – reaching new heights each time. Tell them the “Litany of Disaster” story, tracing the history of the stock market right back to the 1950’s.
Reassure them that you, as their financial advisor, are there to ensure that despite upturns and downturns, they will achieve their goals in a timely manner. It’s your job to steer them through volatility so that they get to their chosen destination, and you will do everything in your power to ensure that happens.
#4. Can I talk with your other clients?
Gathering referrals should be an integral part of your business process. Ensure you’re calling clients and asking for referrals on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to have one or more longstanding clients on standby, ready to help you in this situation, preferably a client who shares a similar background and has similar goals to those of your prospect.
#5. Have you ever been fired?
There’s no need to feel uncomfortable responding to this question so long as you are prepared. If you look uncomfortable, prospects will suspect you have something to hide.
As both you and your prospects will understand, it’s not uncommon for a relationship to start out well, but not ultimately work out. This can be for any number of reasons. Be open about it and share some stories to help them understand the reasons why.
It could happen that you and a past client simply weren’t a good fit. It turned out that what this client really needed was advice on the stock market, not a full-service advisor – which is what you are.
Explain that when you work with a client your aim is to provide them with a 100% dedicated service and become an integral part of their lives. You truly care about what happens to them, both personally and professionally, and want to help them achieve their goals. Sometimes it isn’t possible to do this with certain clients.
Reiterate that whenever you’ve parted company with a client, it has been on good terms, in many cases you referred them to another advisor more fitted to their needs. Explain that you rarely break up with clients because you aim to work with people like them – people who are a perfect match for your ideal client profile.
As a good advisor you should welcome prospects’ questions and have honest answers at the ready. If you can’t articulate good responses, they’ll find it impossible to imagine how you could fit in with their vision and family values. Prepare your answers in advance so that you reply quickly and confidently – and you have every chance of getting your relationship off to a great start.