Starting the Conversation

Getting the conversation started on the right foot can be the difference between a new client and a missed opportunity.  We know, despite all best efforts, that constantly going through the lead generation process, conversations and value propositions can become dispassionate. You could be giving the most logical and emotional presentation of your life and it could still not secure that client.

In just about any ideal business situation, it all begins with that initial conversation. First, start with enough time for the consumer to hear the logic and practical value you are presenting with the products.  Second, give enough time for them to accept and visualize that value.  You need them to not only make an emotional connection with you as the helpful and expert guide in the financial planning process, but to connect emotionally with their own long-term goals.

Engaging Conversation Starters and Probing Questions

  • I want to figure out if what we have is the right fit for you. Can you tell me about your..(business, retirement plans, family, assets)?

  •  What’s driving you to explore financial planning?

  • What is preventing you from reaching your retirement/financial goals?

  • What keeps you up at night about your financial plan?

  • Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your financial priorities? I need to determine if the planning I provide is relevant to your situation.

  • What concerns you most about your finances?

  • What is your way of dealing with..(mitigating taxes, stock market volatility, etc).

  • What do you have in place to deal with…(loss of job, disability, death, etc).

  • What does financial independence mean to you?

  • How well is XYZ (investment strategy, savings strategy, etc) working for you?

  • How has XYZ (tax changes, stock market volatility, life change, etc) impacted your financial plan?

Asking the right questions can set the tone of the conversation. They serve a practical purpose. You need to know what the consumer’s goals, priorities, and investable assets are. In addition, it also establishes a sense of intrigue for the consumer. This conveys that you are engaged with the prospect, interested in them, and determined to provide solutions to their planning concerns.

Of course, if this is a prospect that has contacted you then they may already have the solutions on their mind. That is ok.  If you are presenting engaging questions, you are able to make them hold that concern in their head.  You move from a general relationship building discussions, to specific information that you can use to illustrate how their financial goals are possible.

Obviously there will be other questions that factor into your conversations with clients, such as technical, transactional, and simple yes/no questions. But the important thing is to create an exploratory space, one that is open and comfortable to the consumer.  This naturally creates a feeling of collaboration.

In closing, remember that this is their life, their money, their retirement, and their legacy.  If they could have figured it out, they already would have.

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