Three reasons to use one simple tool in every client meeting
By Brian Rector
Able Financial Group
The agenda is an important piece of every appointment. It may not seem like a revolutionary concept, but there is a very specific purpose behind it.
In my own practice, I find three key advantages to using an agenda for every appointment I conduct.
Every time a new client comes through your door or you go to their home, there is a high level of anxiety. With anxiety comes fear, which can jeopardize your chances of gaining the prospect as a client. Have you ever tried to talk to a new prospect and he or she wouldn’t open up or share any information with you? No matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t break the ice. Have you wondered why that is?
People are fearful of being sold. you are looked at as a salesman who is going to push them into a product, especially in today’s environment of Ponzi schemes and Bernie Madoffs. How do you break down that barrier and get down to business? By using an appointment agenda.
The first advantage is that the agenda gives you an opportunity to remove the unknowns that lead to anxiety. No longer are they sitting in front of you wondering what the next hour will hold, and thinking of excuses to avoid being sold. Now, they are engaged in what you are saying to them, and at ease with the direction of the conversation.
Secondly, the agenda sets the tone of the appointment and lets the client know what to expect. You can show them that during the appointment, they will learn about you and your company, what you have done for other clients and discover how you can help them with a customized approach. Most importantly, they will understand up front that you want to set up another appointment and that they won’t be pushed into doing paperwork that day. By sharing this, it allows the client to relax and open up to you. It shows them you are willing to put in the time to learn about them and custom design a solution for them, and that you are not selling a one-size-fits-all product. When you begin using an agenda in your client meetings, you will notice an apparent difference in the tone of each interview.
The third benefit of using the agenda is that it will allow you to keep the appointment on track. If it is running long or you have one of those clients who really loves talking, you can refer back to the agenda and your promise to not take up too much of their time, and then move on to the next topic.
A basic agenda is what every advisor needs to use on the first appointment with all new clients. The second and subsequent appointments all have a customized agenda that show clients what you need to address in that particular appointment. I encourage you to use this agenda on every one of your client appointments.
Creating an agenda is not rocket science. It’s coupling a professional image with some basic talking points you need to cover.