Developing a Killer First Meeting with Prospects

Wondering how to prepare for a meeting with a potential client? Summit Brokerage has clear tips for success.

First Meeting with ProspectsSpending time with a financial advisor to expose one’s personal economic status is not a top priority for many people. In fact, most people tend to shy away from these types of interactions, leaving their financial responsibilities to a “later time.” Because of this, it is imperative that you knock it out of the park during that first meeting with a prospect. From the initial five minutes with a client, to wrapping up any loose ends during your close, the following framework can help you have a successful first meeting. 

Develop a Link

The first few minutes of a prospective client meeting should be spent developing a link and building a connection. Accomplish this by accumulating intelligence on your client. This can be done through any previous interactions, social network information provided on sites such as LinkedIn, or similar interests and relevant connections. Perhaps you both share a love for a particular hobby or have a mutual friend. Making this connection sets a common ground in which you can build your relationship upon.

Show Respect for One’s Time

Our time is important to us. When wondering how to prepare for a meeting with a potential client, remember to be courteous of one’s time. After you have built your connection, genuinely ask your prospect how much time he or she is able to set aside for the current meeting. Not only does it give you a timeframe in which you have to work, but also is the perfect transition from your introduction into a business conversation.

Set the Stage

You will want to “set the stage” during the first meeting with your prospect using the Purpose, Benefit, Check technique. First explain the purpose of today’s meeting, clearly explain the benefit your prospect can expect, and check to make sure he or she understood everything.

Don’t Seem Desperate

No one wants to work with a financial advisor who seems desperate for clients, or is overly aggressive. Casually discuss that no commitments need to be made immediately, and that the purpose of the meeting is for both you and the client to get to know each other and see if the working relationship could be a good fit. A prospect may become more intrigued if he or she understands you are choosy when it comes to taking on new clients.

Discover One’s Motivation

Spending time with a stranger divulging personal financial information typically happens because of a motivator. Your goal during the first meeting with prospects is to determine what this motivating factor is. Perhaps they have never met with a financial advisor before; maybe they are trying to grow their investments; or they might possibly have financial concerns. Keep in mind, clients may not be able to pinpoint one solid motivator, so it is your responsibility to uncover it in order to help them.

Stand Apart

One of the main concerns in the back of your prospect’s mind will be the reason to trust you with their financial goals. Before any meeting, you should clearly be able to state a variety of distinguishing factors that set you apart from other local advisors. Use marketing material, examples, statistics, and genuine confidence while highlighting why you are the ideal choice.

Close with a Second Meeting

Now that you have a better idea of what your prospect is seeking, you can close with a plan to analyze the information you were given and to construct some financial recommendations (which can be evaluated during a follow-up meeting).

Feel free to add your own unique spin to any of the areas within this first meeting framework. Independent broker dealers can become immobilized when using the same initial meeting protocol over and over again. Get creative and remember a solid foundation is key to a lasting relationship with your client.


To learn more ways on how to prepare for a first meeting with a potential client, visit Summit Brokerage Services at or call us at (800) 354-5528.


About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, The Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services.

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