PSA 10  The 1st Appointment 

 

"You will never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Will Rogers

WHY is this Meaningful to You?

WHY is this important?

 

Having a professional process in place particularly in this initial stage of meeting a potential new client, is very important.  This is where Financial Planners set the stage for a consistent and professional client experience from start to finish.  And, remember: Every relationship is a direct reflection of how it began. 

What makes this FIT meeting unique and powerful is the stark contrast to what potential new clients are used to experiencing at a first appointment.  They expect to hear product talk.  They expect to hear sales and investment talk.  They expect the all too predictable 'close' at the end.  In other words, they are bracing for the end of the meeting where they expect you to push for their commitment to sign on the dotted line.  This represents everything this appointment is not.

 

This meeting is about you determining if this person is a good fit for the financial planning solutions you can offer through your Credit Union/Organization.  It is about providing the potential new client with the opportunity to make the same assessment - are you a fit?  In other words, both parties are looking forward to the prospect of moving forward and working together. 

 

What a great way to begin a quality relationship.

WHO is this proven strategy designed for?

 

For those who want to create a unique and professional first impression at the first meeting with a prospective new client.

WHAT should you expect?

 

You will: 

  • Demonstrate you have a highly structured and personalized process for bringing on new clients, as well as create client familiarity with the process

  • Provide new clients with the information necessary to ensure they are can determine if there is a fit

  • Gather the information necessary about the client to ensure you can determine if there is a fit for the financial planning products and solutions you provide (and if not, determine which services would be appropriate and make introductions to another financial representative accordingly

WHAT You Need to Know

HOW to Get Started

 

Familiarize yourself with the purpose and flow of the FIT Meeting.

Refer to Step 5_FIT Meeting Agenda and the Step 5_FIT Meeting Script to become familiar with the different areas being covered and the general flow of the meeting.

  • You will need to personalize and customize this script and be 100% prepared.

  • It is important you become thoroughly comfortable with a structured and professional approach to conducting this FIT phase.

The FIT Meeting

After the initial greetings and brief rapport building portion of the meeting (no more than five minutes) you can signal the business part of the meeting by sliding the FIT Meeting Agenda across the table to each meeting participant.

Note: the FIT Meeting should take no longer than 45 minutes to one hour.

The next few steps will explain the flow of the meeting. Try to visualize what this process might look like for you as you work through each step.  Note:  Each of these steps is described in much more detail in the 1st Appointment Script.

  1. Meeting Overview

    • Here you will preview the items you would like to discuss during the meeting and provide a time frame to manage your client's expectations.

  2. An Introduction to Our Team and Approach

    • Here is where you will describe the Credit Union/Organization, explain who you are and what you do as well as, fully disclose fees.

    • Potential clients need to know this information to make an informed decision about FIT.

    • Review the concept of Critical Financial Events with clients so they understand the full scope of services available to them through you and others at your Credit Union/Organization.

    • Show them a copy of the Personal Financial Profile (Plan Plus fact finder or other) and explain that if there is a fit, the next step in your process is to have them back and you will complete one of these with them.

    • Reference the Personal Financial Organizers to demonstrate how you will deliver your recommendations and monitor them on an ongoing basis.

    • Provide a basic overview of fees.

  3. Getting to Know More about You – Understanding Your Expectations

    • You will ask the potential new client a series of structured questions related to their expectations of a Financial Planner, as well as gain insight into their past experiences working with other financial professionals.

    • You will also collect a high-level assessment of their investable assets and other banking needs.

    • This information is necessary to help you begin assessing FIT and ensuring proper alignment at your Credit Union/Organization.

    • Refer to Step 5_Understanding Your Expectations to see the tool designed to help you with this aspect of the meeting.

  4. Getting to Know More About You - What's Important to You?

  • This is where you begin the client-focused portion of the meeting.

  • You need to gain enough insight about the potential new client to determine if they are a fit for you.

  • You will use Step 5_What's Important to You template to begin to ask open-ended questions about what is important to them and then probe meaningfully to learn more about why these things are important to them. This is the starting point for getting a better understanding about the client's goals and objectives.

  • The important thing here is to have a standardized approach for collecting this information and that you spend the latter part of the meeting client-focused.

  1. Meeting Wrap Up

  • You will reinforce the FIT concept and let them know you will be in touch with them in 48 hours.

    • At that time, you will respectively share your decision about whether there is a mutual fit.

    • Confirm their best contact number and be sure to call then when you say you are.

The "Is There a Fit Call?"

  1. Make the FIT Call 2 days after the FIT Meeting.

  2. Determine the next step:

    • If they are a fit for financial planning, you will proceed to the next step in the New Client Process.

    • If they are not a fit for financial planning, you will promptly introduce them to the Credit Union/Organization representative who is best suited to meet their needs.

  3. Move forward in the process accordingly.

 

Remember to:

  • Refer to The FIT Meeting steps on the New Client Checklist.

  • Ensure that each step is implemented at the appropriate point in the process.

  • Consistently use every aspect of the process with all potential new clients.

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