What should be in a financial advisor first meeting script? I can tell you what shouldn’t be, that’s for darn sure! And while we’re at it, allow me to outline a four step process that will teach you to create a first meeting that will make prospects go “whoo hooo!”
I used to be a financial advisor in one of these training programs and they made me memorize this whole tacky script. To this day I’m embarrassed. So I’ve come up with a much better plan for what to say before the first meeting so that when the big day rolls around you have a solid foundation set up for a good conversation.
I’ve created a process with four steps. Let’s get started.
But before we get into it, for those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!
#1 Get a two week incubation period by limiting daily meetings
This summer we rescued two cats (one of them we re-homed). I wish someone had told me that getting a cat is like getting another kid, and I already have four of the latter all under eight years old at this point? Yes, meshugana.
Here’s my Moonshine, by the way. He ambushed me on the way home from the grocery store one day.
Weeeeeelll, the process of becoming a new pet parent has been just exhausting. It led me to do something that I probably should have done a long time ago and reduce the back to back Zoom calls I was on every day so that I was only taking three meetings a day. Cutting back on meetings has created a two week waiting list for prospects and new clients.
I have to say, I’ve been surprised at how well this has gone. I really didn’t think people were going to be that accepting of not being able to meet with me for two weeks. It’s so much better when you can slow down and prepare better for your meetings. I mean, it makes a world of difference and it’s evident immediately.
If somebody has a bone to pick with having to wait for two weeks, then you tell them you’re putting them on the wait list and you’ll call them when you get a cancellation – which you probably will. And then you proceed with the rest of the four step process. This is, by the way, going to accomplish the goal of making them feel they are being paid attention to and understood in a natural and gradual way, which is what they really want. I’m going to tell you about the rest of the three elements and why they’re important, but first let’s talk about why the two weeks.
When you need to go to the doctor, do you call and get an appointment for the next day, if it’s a wellness visit? Not unless it’s an emergency.
The reality is that your availability does make a statement about the level of demand for your services, whether you agree with it or not. If you had a doctor who was always able to take you that da, wouldn’t you kinda wonder about how good a doctor she/he was?
I’m not great at it myself but you do have to play the image game a little bit by not always being sooooo available.
During these two weeks, you are going to frame the meeting in a way that most other advisors won’t. Expectations are important. When there is zero interaction between you and the prospect before the meeting, what expectations do they have?
They expect to bit be talking to someone who doesn’t care about them, because you haven’t shown them that yet.
And tell me, advisors, what does it say on all your websites? On every single one them?
We are the most client-focused firm in the world, we treat our clients like family, blah blah blah.
So how come you paid someone who needs your help no attention at all until you can’t ignore them anymore? You want them to have an expectation that you are a thoughtful, intentional, organized service provider who treats them as a person, not just an appointment. In a sense, the relationship starts once the meeting is set up, and if you make a good impress by doing the right things, it can put you on way higher ground than the next advisor.
You have the two weeks leading up to the meeting to create this expectation in their mind. And that’s what the other three elements in the process are for!
Let’s talk about them.
#2 Two weeks out – your survey
Right after the prospect sets up the meeting, you want to send out a brief questionnaire to them which is then going to be used as the basis for the financial advisor first meeting script. I wrote at length in my Advisor Perspectives article about the three question survey you must send to all prospects.
Be sure to read the article in full, but the summary points are here:
See, not that easy to just whip up a questionnaire and sling it out there. Put some thought into how you do this as it essentially becomes the basis for the meeting.
#3 One week out – homework question
After they respond to the questionnaire, thank them and say you’ll be back with further thoughts. Then, wait until one week before the meeting and send them a powerful question for them to think about before the meeting.
Here you are leading them into the meeting by creating an incomplete thought, a question that they’ll want to have answered in the meeting. In a way you are creating suspense.
Check out the Zeigarnik Effect if you don’t believe me. Dangling an incomplete task makes the mind get stuck on it.
Example: Another one bites the ____
See – gotcha! You just had to say “dust”, didn’t ya?
Let’s say the prospect, in their questionnaire, tells you they’re unhappy with their current financial advisor, but they don’t really go into why that is. In the meeting, your number one goal is to find out if you’d be a better match but to do that, you need the prospect to do some soul searching.
You send them this email:
What do you think you’d need your new financial advisor to do, that your current one doesn’t, to cause a considerably more fulfilling experience for you?
And then click “send.”
Don’t overcommunicate, don’t say something motivational like, “Let’s explore this in our meeting next week”, none of that. Just ask the question and let it hang, activating the Zeigarnik Effect.
#4 Two days out – the meeting agenda
Instead of a financial advisor first meeting script, I suggest you create a compelling agenda for the meeting and send it to the prospect a few days before. Use the questionnaire responses as your guide. Make sure you include the homework question as well.
When you send the agenda, ask the prospect if you left anything off. This is another way of showing them that you do care about understanding them and you’re not just going to assume you can read their mind.
I’ve found that people really appreciate receiving the meeting agenda and most of the time I get a response. It also functions as a meeting confirmation email.
This meeting agenda is essentially the script you will follow.
So there you go!
Sara’s upshot on creating a financial advisor first meeting script
The relationship starts once the prospect contacts you., and these initial stages are critical if you want to not just make a solid first impression but also set yourself apart from the other advisors out there.
Taking the time to find out more about your prospect before you actually meet changes the whole tenor of the meeting once you do. Moreover, it’s a way of setting yourself apart by showing higher commitment to the client, higher professionalism, and better organizational skills than most advisors have. Follow this process the next time you have a meeting with a prospect.
Here is my exclusive content for financial advisors who want to get new clients using social media:
- Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.
- If you want a financial advisor marketing plan template, check out my e-book.
- You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.
See you in the next one!