Nailing that initial prospect meeting is crucial if you are to have any chance at starting a relationship. If you follow your first meeting preparation checklist to a T, you’ve established good rapport, shown your authentic self, listened more than talked, and pinpointed the person’s pain points. You mapped out the initial steps to address their biggest concerns and got agreement to forge ahead. What comes next?
In many respects, your follow-up to that first meeting is just as crucial as it will either reinforce your prospect’s positive feelings about you and the experience, or it could raise red flags triggering remorse. The initial meeting follow-up is your opportunity to showcase your commitment to excellent client service and set the tone for the new relationship.
Too often, advisors allow critical things to fall through the cracks, creating a perception of incompetence or not caring. That’s why a post-meeting checklist is just as essential as a meeting prep checklist culminating with a well-crafted follow-up email or letter setting the stage for the next step. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy checklist but completing the items on a timely basis is critical.
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#1. Update your CRM—marking the meeting as completed and assigning action items. Add any new information learned during the session.
#2. Scan documents and meeting notes to the CRM or prospect’s electronic file.
#3. Make a check-in call with the prospect within 24 hours following the meeting to see if they have questions. Keep the call brief. If the next meeting was not scheduled during the initial meeting, do so during the call.
#4. Create a follow-up letter or email to include any deliverables promised during the meeting and agenda items for the next meeting. Consider attaching a relevant article or educational piece based on what you discussed. Send within three days of the meeting.
#5. Follow up with a call if you have not heard back from your prospect within a week.
These steps will keep the wheels turning and make the prospect feel you are on top of things. From this point on, follow-up communication is the critical element of continuing to create a positive experience.
Creating the perfect post-meeting letter
The most crucial follow-up communication is the post-meeting email or letter that must be sent within three days of the meeting. A well-crafted, personalized follow-up letter at this stage will set the tone for the type of client experience the prospect should expect. It should be brief, but it should encapsulate the thoroughness of your process. The post-meeting letter should have three objectives:
#1. Thank the prospect
Let them know you appreciate their time and the opportunity to meet them. Congratulate them on their commitment to addressing their financial concerns.
#2. Recap the meeting
Provide three or four points to remind them of what you talked about, repeating back what they told you whenever possible. That will make them feel as though you were listening to them. This is the place to reference any related articles sent with the letter.
#3. Summarize the next steps
If the initial meeting went as planned, you and your prospect hopefully discussed the next steps. By summarizing the steps here, you are reminding the prospect of what they agreed to in moving the relationship forward. Include three to four bullet points listing those steps, which might include steps to prepare for the next meeting.
#4. Set expectations
With the last sentence or two, you demonstrate to your prospect you understand what they’re looking for and appreciate the value of their time. Let the prospect know what they should expect to get out of the next meeting and how that will get them a step closer to their goals.
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Here’s how that letter might look:
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
It was a great pleasure to meet you. I can see you are both very busy people, so I greatly appreciate your time.
This is to summarize the key points we discussed, and because they will guide our future discussions, I wanted to make sure we’re all on the same track.
- You are considering early retirement and want to know what that might look like financially. You are concerned with your recent investment performance and want to consider a strategy that can better prepare you for early retirement.
- You also wanted to know the best options for helping to fund your grandchildren’s college education.
I’ve attached a great piece that outlines several ways grandparents can contribute to their grandkids’ education. We can discuss this further at our next meeting.
Our next meeting is scheduled for April 22. Please find a shortlist of items you can bring that will help make the meeting productive. The goal of the meeting will be to bring clarity to what you want to achieve so we can identify the right strategy as we advance.
I look forward to meeting with you again. If you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me.