Ink the deal

By John J. Bowen Jr. | January 20, 2006 | Last updated on January 20, 2006
3 min read

Few things will boost an advisor’s level of success as efficiently as shifting to a wealth-management approach, because it’s grounded in an in-depth consultative process that gives you a deep understanding of clients’ values and goals. And that enables you to tailor solutions to each of them.

The process I recommend revolves around a series of five client meetings: a discovery meeting; a wealth-management plan meeting; a mutual-commitment meeting; a 45-day follow-up meeting; and then regular progress meetings.

Last month, we looked at the wealth-management plan meeting, at which you present the prospect with your comprehensive agenda for achieving his or her financial goals. The next step is the mutual commitment meeting — where your hard work pays off and the prospect becomes your client.

Six steps will make this a successful meeting:

1. Collect and address all questions. Start the meeting by asking the prospect whether he or she has any questions about the wealth management plan. Capture all questions before you respond to any of them. As you answer each question, offer“proof statements,” such as articles and books aligned with your philosophy that can address issues raised by the prospect. For example, if you’re recommending a specific stock option strategy as part of your plan, have an article handy that you read and liked about the strategy to effectively ease any concerns.

2. Execute the documents. Once you’ve taken care of all questions, tell the prospect you’re ready to set the plan in motion by executing the account documents. Prepare all the paperwork in advance, with “sign here” stickers attached in appropriate places. Often, the prospect will be opening multiple accounts, so take time to explain each set of documentation. At this time you’ll also collect cheques, as appropriate.

3.Congratulate the client. Once the documents have been executed, pause for a moment to congratulate the client. Say something like, “You should be commended for doing a great job. Congratulations on taking an extremely important step toward securing your financial future and achieving the things that are important to you.”

4. Implement the referral process. Once your prospect becomes a client, immediately begin leveraging the relationship by asking for referrals. Since your new client is impressed enough to trust you with his or her financial future, he or she is usually willing to provide names of qualified prospects in your target market — you just have to ask.

5. Schedule the next meeting. Set a date for the next meeting about 45 days, or six weeks, in the future. You’ll use this meeting to help the client completely organize all the new account paperwork he or she will receive over the next several weeks. Ask the client to save all of it and bring it to the meeting.

6.Close out the meeting. At this point, you’ve done everything to delight the client. You don’t need to thank him or her for doing business with you, but rather acknowledge you’re glad you can play an important role in the client’s financial life. You can simply wrap up with, “I’m happy to be able to play such a valued role in helping you achieve what’s important to you. I’m looking forward to working together and to seeing you again in a few weeks.”

Next time: the 45-day follow-up meeting — your chance to really impress a new client.

Copyright 2006, CEG Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved. John Bowen is founder and CEO of CEG Worldwide, a U.S.-based global training, research and consulting firm. “The Bowen Report” appears monthly in Advisor’s Edge.


John J. Bowen Jr.