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Nov 16, 2009 3:59 pm

I ran across this a while back.  It might help as a basic starter questionnaire.

Nov 16, 2009 8:18 pm

all good stuff. Thanks, very helpful

I think whtat this all points to is like prospecting - no one size fits all. ALMOST doesnt matter what your process is, as long as you have one, so find one you're commfortable with.
Nov 17, 2009 4:59 am

A lot of good points about fact-finders on here.  I firmly believe with anonymous regarding his comments about a fact-finder has to be about more than just facts.  I spend most of my time trying to figure out a clients desires and thougths about the future. 

  I think the fact-finder with the prospect is the first act of a play in which the client finds out exactly which character you are going to play.  Will you be the "ask a few questions and then get to the sale you want to make as quickly as possible guy" will you be the "stock jockey who always has the next best thing guy?"  will you be the "annuities and life insurance can solve it all guy?"    I want prospects to realize immediately that i am an advisor who brings new and fresh ideas to the table and is also very directive in my speech and approach, as I am confident in what I'm telling them is the absolute best thing.  Prospects also notice right away that I ask a lot of questions, but their questions that they have never been asked before.  I challenge them to think outside the boxes society has ficticiously built in their minds.    I am extremely passionate about helping show each of my client"s how to tap into their maximum financial potential, and the fact-finder is the starting point of all this.  Yeah, I'm curious to hear a clients' thoughts regarding retirement income,  but honestly I do not put that much weight into their answers.  To some this will sound odd, but think about it for a second.  When you ask a client "How much after-tax income do you want to have coming in every month at retirment?"....they are going to pull some meaningless number out of their ass!  Try this, say the prospect says "Well, uh I don't know $7000 a month sounds good" respond by saying "what if I showed you a plan that could provide you with $10,000 a month, would you then want that plan?"   Guess what? 100% of the time the client says yes! So it took them all of 10 seconds to change their mind about what they wanted.  The point here is that your an order taker, not an advisor if you take a number the client pulls out of their ass and then spend the next 10 years revolving all of your planning efforts around it.  What the hell would you say if your attorney or doctor started asking your opinions on what they should do?  I truly feel it's my job to teach clients to think bigger than they are use to regarding their planning goals.  
Nov 17, 2009 11:36 am

It’s usually not a meaningless out of their ass number.  It’s a starting point.  The client usually won’t know how much they want.  Backtrack and find out how much they are bringing home now.  If they are comfortable with that, it’s a great starting point. 

  Very seldom is it possible for someone to be currently living on $7,000/month and be in a position that they can retire on $10,000/month.   Even if it is true, once the person can retire on $7,000, they are able to retire, but they could work longer and retire on $10,000.