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Habits of Successful First Appointments

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I’m lucky enough to be able to bear witness to a number of advisers who are very good at engaging new clients.

Here’s just eleven of the most pertinent habits I see them consistently apply.

1. Clients’ impression of your business is formed the moment they type a name into Google, and reinforced at every point after that. Everyone starts with a ‘A’ grade. Whether you keep it is down to what comes next.

2. Don’t be late. Don’t appear flustered. Treat clients like peers, not customers.

3. If you’re not 100% certain you’re talking to the decision maker(s), there’s a good chance you’re wasting your time.

4. Don’t talk about your methodology. Talk about the outcomes you’re going to achieve.

5. Never talk fees until you’ve understood the problem, but don’t let the client leave the meeting wondering how you get paid.

6. Take your time. The most direct route is very rarely the fastest.

7. Ask great questions that encourage clients to think.

8. Provide value, but don’t give the answers. Talk about what but not how.

9. If you don’t first understand a clients resistance to engaging advice, you won’t gain their acceptance to proceed.

10. Advisers who attempt to communicate vast amounts of technical information in a single sitting usually only serve to stop clients making a decision to proceed. 80% of what you know clients don’t need to know.

11. Always communicate clear next steps, accompanied by a date in the diary.

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