I know through the client research that I do, what clients are thinking before they meet you [Financial Adviser]. Will they listen to us? Will we like him/her? How do we know we can really trust them? All the typical concerns a potential client might have. What’s interesting about the findings of the research is that 80% of people decide to proceed with a particular financial adviser because they liked him/her. “We just felt at ease and comfortable with ‘Bob'”
So, the question is, “How do you make a potential client feel at ease, how do you build that likeability factor when you first meet?” I acknowledge that as a financial adviser you to want to make sure that you like a potential client too – who wants to work with someone they don’t like?!
Below is a list of the most common things you can do to make a potential [and accurably] an existing client feel at ease. See if you can add to the list [disclamier alert! Of course, not all of these will apply to your business!]:
Before I reveal the list, I wanted to share a quote with you that I heard from a movie I watched on the weekend. The movie was Hidden Figures [great watch!]. I can’t remember who said this line, but I liked it! “Inaction and indecisions are dangerous”
1. Conduct some research on the potential client. By looking on their website, LinkedIn profile and even FB, you can find out quite a bit about a person. Perhaps you have shared interests? Kids at a similar age? It’s not creepy just good business sense! Some Advisers even send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn before the meeting, inviting the potential client to view their profile – good B2B marketing practice.
2. Before they arrive for the meeting, send out a pre-pack of information. Things to include are your brochure, checklist of things they need to bring, a copy of your qualifications and any other relating documents. Some Advisers even send a ‘book of the month’ to the potential client – something they as a business are reading for the month. Do you send this online or traditional post? If it’s traditional post make sure the paper quality is a high standard, packaging has the wow factor, and there is a handwritten with comps slip – shows you care. If you’ve ever ordered online, especially cosmetics you’ll know what I mean about wow factor – some of the provider’s attention to detail and care is amazing – makes you feel special!
3. Advise whoever sits at the front desk or if no-one does, whoever will meet them, what their name is so that as soon as they are greeted, “Hi, my name is Sarah, you must be Mr and Mrs Turnbull, Bob is expecting you. Please take a seat while I let him know you have arrived. Can I offer you a menu of our refreshments?” Yes, a menu! It’s important to allow people to catch their breath and settle in before they meet with an adviser. Five minutes maximum.
4. 48 hours before the meeting either arrange for someone to call and confirm the meeting details or set up an automatic SMS service. You might like to consider creating a special parking spot for the potential client in your car parking area or if that is not available giving them directions of where to park. Some advisers will pay for the parking too – sometimes that can be expensive for clients!
What if you are meeting a potential client for the first time using an online platform, for example, Skype or Suitebox? What do you do then?
However you meet a potential client, it is important and good business, to consider how they may be feeling and make sure that you have addressed these concerns. The more they can know about you before a meeting, the more at ease they may feel and the better the meeting will run. As I said at the beginning of this post, 80% of people will say that they decided to proceed because they simply liked the adviser. I suspect there are a few other factors that come into play here too! Educational standards, who they were referred by etc. BUT we cannot ignore those softer skills.
Pre-meeting can give you a great opportunity to demonstrate your brand value and positioning. Another great way to differentiate your business.