As a financial advisor, you work hard to ensure that your marketing reaches your desired clients. You also do everything you can to convert those leads into clients. It’s tempting to take on anyone who seems to fit your desired profile, but that can lead to issues in the future. A meeting with a potential client is a chance for you both to vet each other. You should listen more than you talk, but it’s important to guide the conversation so that it’s productive for both parties. You should personalize your questions based on the prospect, but here are a few to get you started.
What is your current financial situation?
When you ask your prospect about their current financial situation you set the groundwork for understanding their needs. You’re also getting an idea of their level of knowledge when it comes to financial matters. Depending on where they are knowledge wise, you may need to do a bit of prodding here. If the client seems stuck, be more specific and ask about their retirement funds or other investment accounts. Ideally, you’ll learn if the prospect has any kind of major debt that impacts your ability to advise them. Some people won’t willingly discuss debt because they fear judgment so be prepared to do some gentle prodding.
Have you made any financial choices that you regret?
For prospects who are hesitant to discuss debt, you may need to be more direct with your questions. Asking if they’ve made mistakes or regrettable choices can give them the opening they need. It may also get them to discuss any past bad investments. This can help you determine if they may be nervous when it comes to following your advice about investments.
What are your financial goals?
Asking a prospect about their financial goals is the equivalent of asking why they’re meeting with you. It’s important that you understand their desired outcome for a couple of reasons.
- You can determine if the services and products you offer can help them achieve their goals.
- You can ensure that the desired outcome is achievable.
If the prospect has lofty financial goals, this is your chance to set realistic expectations. For those who have reasonable goals, this is the chance to explain what you offer and how it can help them.
What is your tolerance for risk?
When you ask a client about their risk tolerance, you’re showing them that you care. You’re demonstrating that your goal is to help them succeed in a way that works for them. This information also informs the decisions you make around working with the prospective client.
Good questions are the key to a successful first meeting. The information you gain from your prospective client serves many purposes. It can help you decide on fit or determine if you need to adjust your marketing all while showing the prospect how you operate.
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