February 17, 2009

Of Client Meetings and Trade PMR

Last week I discussed my approach in meeting with a prospective client. This week I would like to refine that a bit and update you about my transition to the new custodian, TradePMR.

Prospective Client Meeting

The main revision concerning my process in meeting a prospective client relates to the document I've titled "What's Important to You." Toward the end of the first meeting, I have them fill it in before they leave. I then score it and send an e-mail to them with the results. For example, if there are 10 questions pertaining to my value offerings in the area of client service and each question has a maximum of five points, then the maximum score is 50 points. If they scored 45 out of 50 then they'd receive a score of 90% in that area. This would indicate that they place a high value on what I offer.

The revision is this: Before I meet with them the first time, I will let them know I understand that choosing the right advisor is a very important decision. To do this well, one meeting may not be adequate to determine if we're a good fit.

I also explain that if, after the first meeting, they don't believe I'm the right guy for them, then they have no obligation to meet a second time. However, if they see any value at all in what I offer, a second meeting will take place. In this meeting, we'll discuss the aforementioned document in some detail. It may proceed like this, "Let's see Mr. Client, you indicated that knowing the probability of running out of money was very important to you. In fact, you gave it the maximum score of five out of five. Are you currently receiving this information?" They will likely say, "No," to which I will simply make a note on the document and proceed to the next question. After I cover all of their important issues, it should be clear to them if they should retain me.

Custodian Transition

Everything is in place. Trade PMR has completed the interface so I can continue to use Morningstar Advisor Workstation, Enterprise Edition, in my practice. I also have all the paperwork ready for my clients to sign. The week of February 16, I will be attending TradePMR conference where the custodial firm will be rolling out several new and exciting services. I'll provide more details then.

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