Nail the First Meeting with a Prospective Client: Address What Your Prospects Want to Know
It takes a lot of time, patience, and effort to move a prospect through the funnel to the point when they finally agree to meet with you. For every prospect that makes it that far probably six to nine fall by the wayside. That makes that first meeting ever so crucial. There’s a lot that must be accomplished. It has to go perfectly. There’s a minimal margin for error.
Every advisor has their own formula for constructing a perfect prospect meeting. It invariably includes a polished presentation and ample opportunities to present oneself as a likable, competent professional.
However, ensuring that first meeting is a success comes down to how you structure it to address all the prospect’s questions and concerns. They’re meeting with you to find out who you are and why they should work with you. They need the answers to very specific questions on their mind even though they may not ask them. So, why not structure the meeting around what your prospects really want to know?
Here are a few such questions they are asking themselves.
#1. Are you a person I can work with?
First and foremost, your prospects want to know who you are and what kind of person you are. This is your opportunity to build a connection with your prospect by presenting your background in the form of a story – i.e. via the “Who I am ” and the “Why I’m here” Stories. When tailored to the person in front of you, they can be a powerful tool in letting your authenticity shine through.
#2. Can I trust you to work in my best interests?
Prospects want to understand your process for assurances you aren’t just trying to sell them products. Explain your planning process and how it leads to goals-based solutions. Ask them about their planning experiences with other advisors and explain why you’re different.
#3. How do you get paid?
It’s vital that you be entirely transparent about how you get paid. But it’s critical that you simultaneously translate the fees you charge into the value your clients receive, focusing on the personalized advice you provide, your team’s specialized expertise, and your value as their financial coach to help keep them on track avoiding costly mistakes.
This is also the time to share what type of investment products you typically use and if these products have any additional fees associated with them.
#4. Who are your typical clients?
They want to know if you have experience working with people like them. This is where the “Whom I’ve helped story,” tailored for the prospect in front of you, can reassure them they fit your client profile.
#5. Do you really care about your clients?
You’ve heard it said that “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” How do you demonstrate to someone that you care? By making it all about them. If in the first meeting—or any meeting for that matter–you are doing more than half the talking, it’s a sign you care more about what you have to say than your prospects.
Be sure to ask some critical questions to get them talking and to forge personal connections with your prospects. By displaying a natural curiosity and a genuine interest in your prospects, they will develop the sense that you care as much about advancing their lives as their finances.
#6. How are you different from the others?
It’s likely your prospects are comparing you with a previous advisor or ones they are also considering. In a crowded field, differentiation is what sells. From how you handle the first meeting conversations to how you provide exemplary personalized service to the time and effort you take to get to know them, prospects want to know you, and what you offer is unique. Otherwise, why should they work with you?
Using the questions in your prospects’ minds (even though they may not ask them) as a framework for conducting the first meeting will clear their minds of concerns that would otherwise be obstacles to moving forward.
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