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for advisers and leaders in financial advice

  • Writer's pictureJason Dunn


How can you make the most impact, add the most value and quickly build trust during your initial meetings?

Knowing your client (their situation) is imperative, but really understanding them and helping them to understand themselves in a way that they have never experienced before, will differentiate you immediately, demonstrate how much you care, and instantly evoke a sense of importance for new prospective clients – all of which will build trust quickly.

While it is tempting to dive into their financial situation early to build a picture of how you may be able to help them, which many do, this will most likely detract from deeply exploring who they really are, establishing what’s truly important, and helping them to realise that they have problems which they really need your help to solve.

My overwhelming observations from attending thousands of meetings over four decades are that many advisers miss this precious opportunity to really connect and demonstrate how much value they can add and the difference they can make to their life. Perhaps this practice has been triggered as the consequence of the ever-increasing, onerous compliance requirements placed on advisers who feel pressured to get everything done in one meeting.

But times have well and truly changed, prompting the need for advisers and licensees to plan for at least a 2-meeting framework before moving to the preparation of advice.

Therefore, the initial meeting must focus on building a deep understanding and trust.

After all, you are planning to build a lifetime relationship and ask a virtual stranger to entrust their financial world to you.

On the other hand, I have also observed some exceptional interviews in which the adviser has expertly utilised mind mapping concepts, discovery maps, and visual “lifelines” – the results of which are amazing! In most instances, the prospect or client will ask to take away a copy of the mind map. How often does that happen when you just take a page of notes?

Understanding, improving, and delivering value is a core area of development throughout our GROW Adviser Capability program.

Keep an eye out for my next article:

“Setting your relationship up for success right from the start”

As an action, I recommend that if you do not have a regular coach, you identify someone from your team who would be happy to sit in on a couple of your meetings and ask them for feedback in specific areas such as building trust and rapport with new prospects, quickly.

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