How to Master the Initial Meeting and Sell Advice Better

I’ve been coaching a little more than usual on how to conduct a great initial meeting with a new client and wanted to share some insights into how to achieve three things more easily:

  1. Have a strong goals-based initial discussion that provides clear scope,
  2. Remove fee sensitivity as an issue,
  3. Get a commitment on the day

Find the “gap”

Most people have only a vague idea of what they want to achieve, and even fewer are actually doing what they need to to achieve them. When you can make the discussion about the gap between aspiration and actual action, conversion becomes much easier.

Avoid being a comforter

One huge mistake you can make when that gap begins to become clear is to try and make them feel better about their inaction (ie. that they don’t really have an adequate plan). Being comfortable is the enemy of taking action. Realising the gap exists between their intention and action is what creates the cognitive dissonance required to prompt them to choose to do something different.

Go deeper and find the payoff

It’s also not enough to ask someone what their goal is, or what it will take to achieve it.. Asking them to imagine what life will be like when it happens is the missing step to making the future seem real and achieving emotional investment

Know your value proposition

If you can’t respond to six different questions about your value – the problems you solve, the solutions you employ, who you work with, how you do it, what the process looks like and how you get paid – you won’t be able to close the discussion out easily.

Understand how price is really perceived

Understanding the psychology behind pricing and how clients perceive cost will change how you view the whole process. It’s a huge body of research with decades of findings behind it. I’d recommend William Poundstone’s The Myth of Fair Value as a great book to fill your boots.

Assume “no”

Always Be Closing might work for selling cars, but in the context of advice sales pressure can result in them pulling away. The key is to clean your intention, focus only on helping them understand. and solve problems. When the intention is right, everything else falls into place.

These are just six small observations, but each can make a massive difference in setting the tone and achieving success

Related: The Art of Pricing: Finding the Balance Between Value and Fairness