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5 Mistakes Financial Advisors Make in the First Appointment

5 Mistakes Financial Advisors Make in the First Appointment
Jul 1
2024

Meeting with a financial advisor for the first time can feel overwhelming for a prospective client. As a financial advisor, you need to be aware of several common mistakes advisors make during the all-important first appointment, as well as easy-to-implement solutions if you find yourself guilty of any of these mistakes.

1. Wasting Time

To ensure the meeting is productive, use the meeting time with the prospect to build rapport, identify financial needs and goals, and establish FIT. But respect the prospect’s time and keep the first appointment to about an hour. Building rapport is important, but spending too much time on small talk can frustrate prospects.

The Fix: Limit the meeting to an hour. Respect your prospect's time and use tools like an Agenda and the What’s Important to You resource to keep the discussion focused.

2. Over-Selling

The first appointment is a time to listen, not sell. Constantly talking about Products, Pricing, and Performance can turn prospects off. But even worse, it can create the measuring stick by which your relationship will be measured. If those three things (Products, Pricing, and Performance) are the things that attract a potential client, then those often are the same reasons they will leave. Someone will always have a new or better product, lower pricing, or better performance. So, instead, focus on your Philosophy, Planning Strategy, and Process, and use this time to ask questions and understand the prospect's needs. The first meeting is not the time for heavy sales pitches. Clients want to be heard, not sold to.

The Fix: Listen more, talk less, and ask better questions. Focus on sharing your Philosophy, Planning Strategy, and Process, and use the Client Discovery Questionnaire & the Conditions of Satisfaction and Ranking Survey to ask the right questions without pushing a sale.

3. Throwing Mud

Speaking negatively about a prospect’s current advisor or investments can backfire. It can make you seem unprofessional and desperate. Prospects chose their current advisors for a reason and criticizing them can be seen as a personal attack. Focus on what you can offer without denigrating others.

The Fix: Let prospects voice their own concerns. Use strategic questions to help them identify issues and come to their own conclusions.

4. Not Communicating Value

Clearly articulate the value you bring. Prospects need to understand the tangible value you offer. It's not about lower fees or better products, but about addressing their specific concerns and opportunities. If they don’t see the value, they won’t engage, or as the adage goes, “In the absence of perceived value, everything comes back to what you cost”. So be fee worthy and create tangible value by helping the prospect clearly understand the concerns and opportunities that existed within their financial life, and why they should be addressed. If the prospect clearly understands their needs, your valuable services will become more appealing.

The Fix: Take the time to help them understand the concerns and opportunities that exist within their financial situation. Use tools like the Potential Concerns and Opportunity Report Summary to explain how your services meet their needs.

5. Inconsistency

Consistency in your process is key to building trust and improving your effectiveness. Inconsistent processes lead to varying results. A standardized approach ensures every client receives the same level of service and professionalism, and it eliminates a lot of unneeded stress from you and your support staff.

The Fix: Develop a consistent appointment process that works for all prospects. Create a tangible asset for your firm by getting the process down on paper in the form of a Process Playbook, that would include Flowcharts, Agendas, and Scripting. This improves your efficiency and enhances client trust, and it allows for scalability and grow as well.

By following these steps, you will create a more effective and respectful initial appointment process, leading to better client relationships and more successful engagements. If you need help getting started, we help advisors every day create a consistent and repeatable appointment process for meeting potential clients. This universal approach works with any type of lead and enables you to confidently charge a planning fee for your expertise.

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