Getting ready for a big meeting with a potential client? Preparation matters. This is a fact that’s most evident when you’ve under-prepared for a meeting. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of regret when you didn’t do your homework, forgot your files, or had a hard time finding the meeting location.
Here are ten tips for nailing it:
1. Research Your Prospect
Chances are, this person came to you by way of referral. What could the referral source tell you about their background, family, and interests? How could you supplement this information with a Google search?
2. Research Your Prospect’s Company
If the potential client is currently working, what could you learn about their company or industry? This is an easy way to showcase that you’ve taken your time to do your homework.
3. Prepare Your Questions
When you’re prepared, you’ll ask better questions and be less likely to talk your way through the meeting. Instead of telling them about your expertise in a certain area, how could you showcase this expertise by the questions that you ask?
4. Dial-in Your Energy
Sometimes what you say doesn’t matter as much as how you say it. Think in advance about the energy you want to embody. You’d like to come across with a sincere passion for helping people reach their financial goals.
5. Prepare an Agenda
An agenda shows that you’re prepared. Take the time to create one, however basic. You might start the meeting by saying, “This is your time, but I put together a quick agenda to get us started. Please help me customize it as needed.”
6. Prepare any Deliverables
Think through any printouts or digital files you’ll need. In particular, think of ways to prove you’re a superior option to their current advisor. Showing them a meeting agenda, a suite of services, or a breakdown of your team might make all the difference.
7. Plan a Related Story
Stories sell, but we tend to tell more of them when we plan them in advance. What’s a relatable story you could share? Think like to like; a business owner story for a business owner. It also helps to plan the intro, the body and the moral to make sure you hit your points concisely.
8. Understand Your Differentiators
If you had to boil it down to one or two bullet points, what sets you apart? You might not be asked directly, but your prospect will want to know. Is it your team, your personality, your process, or something else that makes you unique.
9. Know Their Motivators
It’s likely you have some idea of why this person wants to meet with you. It could be a desire to change advisors, a retirement or something else that puts money in motion. Be prepared to focus on that subject, not a general sales presentation. You might consider asking your them directly, “what motivated you decide to meet with an advisor?”
10. Know How You’ll Start
Every good meeting starts with the potential client. Think of a good question to lead off the meeting. You might ask, “What’s the most important thing you’d like us to cover today?”
We’re sure there are 10 others we could add to this list. The key is thinking in advance about how to make the best possible impression. When you’re prepared, you’re at your most confident and in-control.
Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are partners with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research, training and digital marketing services for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols www.oechsli.com