One of the things I emphasize to my coaching clients is the power of preparation both for themselves and their clients. A common challenge I hear is knowing what to prepare for prior to having a “closing appointment.” It seems that many advisers’ pre-appointment time is spent preparing hypothetical illustrations for the products they recommend. Then, during the meeting they talk about their recommendations until their clients indicate whether they are interested or not. Thus more of the advisers’ time is spent explaining everything to clients rather than necessarily connecting with them.
Many advisers simply focus on creating presentations full of charts and graphs, and providing literature explaining the products they are recommending. Unfortunately, this is typically where the preparation stops. The problem is that there is much more to the appointment than just the recommendations. Think of it this way, if you just watch the last ten minutes of a great movie, you might have a very different opinion of it and wonder why the movie ended as it did. This would be because you had not experienced the story that set up the final movie scene. Your presentations are the same way—they need a strong beginning, middle and end. You need to prepare everything from initial small talk to having answers to prospect/client questions, comments and concerns. Once you have finished explaining all of the features and benefits of your recommendations, the final steps are to resolve any objections—and then finally ask for the order.
I decided to create a resource that maps out exactly what to do to make a much better connection with a prospect/client so they want to “buy” your recommendations, instead of feeling as if they are just being “sold” them. The Advisor Solutions 2nd Appointment Worksheet was born!
The following story describes a financial adviser who used the Advisor Solutions 2nd Appointment Worksheet well. Scott was a newer financial adviser whom I started coaching last fall. During one of our first sessions I realized he had the tenacity and dedication to do very well with his business. However, one thing was going to keep him from reaching his potential—he was NOT taking the time to fully prepare and organize for his appointments.
After weeks reviewing various tools including the worksheet, I received this update from Scott:
“Last night I had a client meeting. Unfortunately my computer locked up and I could not show the client the financial plan. Three things made this come out ok: first, I had gone through the presentation several times so I knew it well; second, I had the 2nd Appointment Worksheet filled out (which in a way is an outline of the meeting); and third, I had a letter with the client’s most important concerns in the first paragraph. Not having the computer would have been a show stopper in the past, but this time it was simply an inconvenience.”
I was excited for Scott because it proved to him that taking the time to craft well-thought-out plans for preparing for meetings can help him feel confident and organized. Taking the time to prepare actually gave him a “surprise” Plan B that he didn’t even know about, which allowed him to turn an obstacle into a huge opportunity!
If you would like a complimentary copy of the 2nd Appointment Worksheet, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.