1. Preparation – Reassess previous phone calls and understand the most important points that your potential client is going to address during the meeting.
  2. Listen to the client – Many insurance professionals are preoccupied about getting their own agenda through at all costs and don’t pay enough attention to what their client has to say. Listen carefully, as it not only communicates trust, but ensures that you don’t waste your clients’ time. It is about them, not you.
  3. Be punctual – Attention to detail should be one of the core personality traits of an aspiring planner. Arrive exactly on time for the meetings, if not slightly earlier. Send pre-meeting and post-meeting notes and reminders. Choose a location which fits the client and ensure that there are no distractions during the meeting, including your cell phone. You need to live up to what you promise – reliability and expertise.
  4. Grooming – Take care of yourself and take it seriously. Just as in finances, every detail matters.
  5. Dressing – Individuals working in the financial sector need to pay extra attention to how they dress. Everything about you has to match the values you’re trying to communicate – trust, reliability and precision. Go to extra lengths to select clothes and shoes that are elegant and of high quality.
  6. Take notes – Do this in such way that it doesn’t bother your client. Note the most important things your client is seeking and what you can do to help him or her.
  7. Be concise – Understand and respect the value of your clients’ time. Get straight to the point, and if the conversation shifts off topic don’t let it go overboard. This requires a great deal of experience and calibration, but as time goes by you’ll master it.
  8. Speak with energy – Make the appointment memorable and pleasant for your potential client. Be sure to always bring in a slightly higher energy level. It’s vital for both of you to look forward to the next meeting and always leave feeling better than before.
  9. Ask for other means of contact – Always ask for other and additional means of contacting your client, regardless of whether it’s your first meeting or an annual one. Phone numbers change as well as e-mails and home addresses, and this is a great opportunity to update your contact book. Ask for day phones as well – they make it easier to arrange further appointments.
  10. Schedule the second meeting – Let the client write down the date and time of your next meeting. This makes things easier, faster and smoother.

Source: Lorne S. Marr