What happens during the first meeting you have with a prospective client will either make the prospect want to hear more or—in as few as two to three minutes—decide that you don’t really care about them.
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Even the most seasoned advisors can get caught up in touting their credentials, investment products and services, and the merits of their firms. But prospective investors want more than that. Much more.
Prospective clients really want to know if they can trust you. They want to know if you care more about their particular situation than you care about your firm, your credentials, and your products and services.
And even though you really do care about them above all those other things, that may not be enough. You have to articulate that care in a way that meets their definition of care and their view of what’s required to trust your advice...and you.
Prospective clients don’t give you much time to prove this to them. They’re so accustomed to hearing about firm capabilities, products, and advisor expertise, that hope of hearing about anything else is a pipe dream.
Here’s what you can do. You can ask them questions about their definition of success and what, in their eyes, they want you to do to help them achieve it. You can take plenty of time to hear all of their concerns. This means making them feel that you have all the time they need to listen to every single concern.
You can also be as transparent as possible. Disclosing how you get paid, how you, your team, and your staff work to provide the best service possible. Through all of this, your knowledge, skill, and expertise can easily come through.
You can also discover how financially literate the prospect is and begin the process of educating them to be the best client you’ve ever had. Education i
s the best marketing tool you could ask for. Done well, the prospect will ask you where to sign. You won’t even have to suggest it to them.
And the next time you meet with them, they might even tell you about a friend you can help, too.