The Second Objective of your First Prospect Meeting

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

Imagine your first meeting (the one you have initiated) with a prospect. You have got this meeting after a year of chasing the prospect and you want to close the prospect and add on to your AUM. If the prospect is someone famous, some of you think that this could give you bragging rights or open the door for more referrals.

Literally imagine the scenario and close your eyes for a minute. Continue reading now.

Most of the time, the first meeting starts with you talking about your firm, how great you and your offerings are, how you have beaten the market or how you are better than the prospect’s current advisors. The conversation is normally triggered by the prospect “Tell me, what do you have to offer.”

You are so focused on signing up the prospect that you do not think of anything else. You do not even think whether you can serve this prospect best or she/he is the right client for the firm. You want to get the prospect on board as you have spent your time and energy following up and now meeting the person. This approach causes most IFAs to sign up Non- Ideal Clients and create many problems for their firm.

As I have written earlier, the key objective of the first meeting with a prospect is to figure out whether the prospect is the right client for your firm and whether you are the right one for the prospect. Memorize this as well as institutionalize this.  Let me digress a bit here as I know some of you might say “I want to help everyone”. This is like Mercedes saying, “I want to sell my cars to everyone”. This is crazy right. Just park this thought for now that you truly cannot help everyone. It is not only bad marketing, but you also end up building an operationally inefficient and unprofitable firm. However, this is not the point of my post today.

The Second Objective is my point and I promise I will make it quickly.

Most meetings that prospects experience is almost similar and nothing out of the ordinary.  I would classify them as boring. Ask yourself “How many times have you experienced a prospect telling you WOW, what a meeting or a prospect getting emotionally connected with your value proposition”. Even some of the ones that involve financial planning are boring in the way they are structured. A lot of times they are driven by Excel (zero visual appeal) and it depends then on the Questions & Listening skill of the IFA. I am not saying these financial planning conversations are unimportant, it is the way they are performed or staged is problematic.

Financial Planning is so new in our country that some prospects will love it because they are hearing it for the first time. However, many might still not understand the power of financial planning. So, it is up to us to stage a world class high quality financial experience through a Powerful Financial Planning Conversation and an Awesome Visual Prop (Tool in this case). This is the second objective of your first meeting with a prospect. To make the first meeting conversation so appealing and powerful that prospects should feel that their time was well invested with you. They should feel inspired to act.

This is not just feel-good stuff but the real thing that will deliver an awesome business impact for you. IFAs who are learning and practicing the art of staging these Conversations have seen their biggest clients signing up with them in COVID-19 times (all virtually without meeting them in person), 2-10X increase in SIPs with existing clients, increase in referrals, getting 100% of their client’s attention and business.

The biggest value creation of the work you do happens at the start of the relationship. Imagine giving someone clarity on her/his life or how her money can help her live the life she has imagined.

How valuable is that?

Thus, it is important that you are able to get your prospect experience the Power of the Real work you do.

It is Priceless.

P.S. I am so confident about this that we are inviting you to get your prospect to have a conversation on this with you and us. This is the equivalent of taking you for a Test Drive.

Experience the Power of Real Conversations.