Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #67 - Setting Out Your Stall

04 June 2018

Setting Out Your Stall


What does the introduction to your first client meeting look like? I know I certainly tried a lot of different techniques for this introduction when I first joined the business, and I know that to some extent it’s probably horses for courses, but for a long time now there has been no doubt in my mind which introduction strategy worked better for me – and indeed for my clients.


I know there are a lot of advisers who kick off their first client meeting by handing the baton straight over to the client by asking something like:- “So what brings you here today?” or “So how can I help you?” I tried this approach, but I found that too often it meant I immediately lost control of the meeting and more often than not the client’s response opened up a whole can of worms that had to be dealt with or started fires that had to be put out!

I know that the general rule of thumb when engaging with clients is ‘Two ears, one mouth – use them in the proportion they were given to you!’ (see Chrisism#54), but in the case of the introduction to the first meeting, I believe we are justified in breaking this rule. I believe that at this stage of proceedings, we need to take the opportunity to set out our stall. Because this means that we will be doing most of the talking, it is crucial that we continually seek our client’s agreement or buy-in to what we are saying so as to keep them engaged.

So what do I mean, exactly, by setting out our stall? I believe the outcomes we are seeking to achieve in this context fall into 4 distinct categories. I believe the boxes we need to tick right up front with our prospective clients are as follows:-

  - Remove as many unknowns as possible

  - Allay as many fears as possible

  - Dispel as many myths as possible

  - Create expectations on the part of our client both for this initial meeting and as a client moving forward

I was totally comfortable with me doing most of the talking at this stage of the proceedings because of the importance of covering off on these issues up front, and in the knowledge that, once we got to the next stage of the meeting i.e. the Fact Find/Discovery stage, I was going to hand the baton over to the client and it would all be about their objectives and what they wanted to achieve.

In the next Chrisism I will go into more detail as to how we can achieve the four outcomes listed above and why I believe they are so important – especially in this day and age of incessant negative media coverage and the resulting negative public perception of our industry.

Also great news! This week you will be getting all the details of my upcoming Risk Workshops in all five major capitals in August, so I sincerely hope to see you at the Risk Workshop in your capital city .

The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?