5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

Every initial meeting with a prospect is crucial. It took a lot to get them to finally agree to meet with you, and, in most cases, you only have one shot at making the right impression. If a prospect leaves the meeting still wanting critical information, you will not likely see them again. So, you carefully craft your initial meeting to ensure you check all the boxes, including:

– Your background and experience
– Understand your prospect’s needs and concerns
– Your process
– Your firm’s strengths and why you’re different
– Customer service expectations
– How you get paid
– Next Steps

As far as key information your prospect needs, that covers all the bases. It should also give you plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your competence and capacity to address your prospect’s needs and concerns.

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The Fee Discussion: It’s Not the Fees That Bother Clients. It’s the Mystery Surrounding Them

The Fee Discussion: It’s Not the Fees That Bother Clients. It’s the Mystery Surrounding Them

For many advisors, discussing fees with their clients is about as comfortable as going to the dentist. They know they have to do it, but they’d much rather be doing something else. Why is that? Is it because they don’t feel their fees are justified? Are they afraid the client will balk at them? Are they concerned they will ruin the rapport they built up to that point?

It may come as a surprise to advisors, but clients expect to talk about fees. In fact, for most clients, it’s not the fees that bother them; it’s the mystery surrounding them when they don’t get the whole story. Some clients have a hard time understanding how fees work, which makes them feel uncomfortable. But they feel worse and may presume the worst when they don’t feel they’ve received all the information.

The fee discussion is a pivotal moment in the process and can set the tone for the relationship going forward. It’s also an opportunity to differentiate yourself if you do it right. That’s why it’s essential that advisors be well-prepared with a practiced presentation and the confidence to deliver it with the highest degree of transparency and professionalism.

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How to Command and Maintain Control over Conversations with Prospects and Clients

How to Command and Maintain Control over Conversations with Prospects and Clients

How often have you been in a meeting with a client or prospect and felt like you lost control of the conversation? After starting on one subject, the other person goes off on tangents or takes the conversation in a new direction. Clients who are upset may launch into a rant with no particular point or one that isn’t related to the work you do with them. Or they simply want to talk about something other than the subject matter you broached with them.

Whatever the reason, when a client or prospect conversation goes off the rails, it’s incumbent upon you to steer it back in the right direction. Otherwise, your value to that person diminishes as long as you’re not in control. Taking control doesn’t mean taking over the conversation and dominating the talking space. Instead, it means getting it back on track, on the path to where it can achieve a productive or desired outcome. That can’t happen if you’re doing all the talking.

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How to Tell When a Prospect Is Ready to Become a Client

How to Tell When a Prospect is Ready to Become a Client

In their interactions with prospects, financial advisors reach a critical juncture when they must determine when or if a prospect is ready to become a client. If they make the wrong determination, it will likely result in a missed opportunity. Trying to close prospects before they are ready can push them away, while waiting too long can cause them to lose interest.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, when they are ready to buy, prospects would just pipe up and say, “I’d like to get started?” Unfortunately, it rarely happens that way. Your prospects are just as apprehensive about making a buying decision as you are asking them to buy. Most people need to be held by the hand and reassured that they’re making the right decision. Some may need a stronger nudge. But in almost every instance, financial advisors must know when the time is right and take the appropriate action.

If you bring a prospect far enough along in the process, it means you’ve probably done a lot of things right—built rapport, discovered their pain, explained your process and how you bring value, etc. Then it becomes a dance. Like that girl or boy you’ve been staring at across the dance floor, they will provide clues or buying signals when they’re ready to be asked. Here are a few such signals or clues.

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First Meeting with a New Client—Preparation Checklist

First Meeting with a New Client – Preparation Checklist

The first meeting with a new client should be a momentous event for both you and the client. For your client, it’s the first opportunity to validate their decision to select you as their advisor. For you, it’s the first opportunity to showcase your professionalism and reinforce your new client’s decision. You both hope this will be the beginning of a long and trusting relationship.

As you prepare for your first client meeting, it’s critical to remember that you are being carefully evaluated. Your new client is essentially taking a leap of faith in choosing you, and you must always strive to make them feel like they have made the right choice. With that in mind, your first meeting sets the tone for the entire relationship. Plan it with care.

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Overcome the Fee Discussion by Focusing on the Things that Matter to Your Clients

Overcome the Fee Discussion by Focusing on the Things that Matter to Your Clients

Among the many trends affecting the way financial advisors must operate these days, fee compression has been the most impactful. The discussion of fees charged by advisors has moved to the forefront due to the low costs and transparency of digital advice platforms and the highly competitive arena in which they find themselves. As a result, clients are more willing to confront their advisors on the subject of fees and the value they receive in exchange for them, catching many advisors off guard.

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How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

As a financial advisor, you know you bring value to your advisory relationships, which, in your mind, justifies the fees you charge. Your challenge is that, from your clients’ perspective, value is difficult to define. It doesn’t make it any easier when you consider that a client’s assessment of value is subjective, which can vary from client to client. A study by Vanguard attempted to quantify an advisor’s value in terms of how the right advice—primarily keeping clients from abandoning their strategy—can potentially increase a client’s returns by as much as 3% annually. The problem is that difference in performance isn’t apparent in your clients’ statements.

So, how do you demonstrate value in a way that makes your clients not feel the need to question why they’re paying the fees you charge—that they are getting their money’s worth? It may be as easy as simply giving your clients what they want.

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Create an Elevator Speech that Wins

Create an Elevator Speech that Wins

Yes, I’m a huge believer in stories, and in taking time to build value in your services, your brand, and in taking a detailed fact-finder, so you can make your engagement truly client-centered and set yourself up for the close.

But as we all know, many times there just isn’t enough time.

Sometimes you don’t have a leisurely lunch appointment. Sometimes it’s just a meeting engagement: A shared Uber ride, a shared elevator. That’s why you need an “elevator speech.”

Before we get into what constitutes a good elevator speech, let’s think about what you want your elevator speech to accomplish for you.

In 30 seconds or less, a good elevator speech should accomplish the following:

Establish your unique value proposition (UVP).
Establish a reason to initiate contact later.
Establish the means to initiate that contact.
Set up the expectation of contact.

Let’s look at each one in turn.

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Four Common Client Objections and How to Counter Them

Four Common Client Objections and How to Counter Them

There’s so much uncertainty surrounding investing that people postpone the decision. Clients and prospects can think of a multitude of reasons not to invest: Whether it’s tax time, retirement looks too far away or they want to buy a new car or kitchen.

However, when clients say they’ll ‘think it over’ it doesn’t mean they’ve found a good reason to delay investing; perhaps it means they don’t trust you enough yet, perhaps they don’t understand what you said or perhaps you simply  haven’t  convinced them to act. So how do you get them to do the right thing and start securing their financial futures?

Here are some common objections you’ll face – and how to answer them.

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Help Clients Understand Why They’re Paying You a Fee

Help Clients Understand Why They’re Paying You a Fee

Before you can convince your clients of your worth, you need to convince yourself of your own value. Always remember your fees reflect the five-star service you can offer. That’s what makes you stand out in an increasingly commoditized industry.

Here are some ways to help you communicate your value – both to yourself and to your clients.

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