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Financial Planning > Trusts and Estates > Trust Planning

Are you making the most of face time?

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Lorne S. Marr Insurance Services Ltd., a Toronto-based insurance company, highlights these universal tips for meeting a prospect face-to-face.

  1. Be prepared. Ask yourself how you can make your meeting as pleasant and results-oriented as possible. Revisit past phone calls to determine some key points you think your prospect will want to address.
  2. Listen to the client. Many agents are so worried about getting across their own agenda, that they don’t pay enough attention to what their prospect has to say. This is a critical mistake. Listen carefully, as this not only communicates interest and trust, but ensures you don’t waste your prospect’s time. It’s about them, not you.
  3. Be punctual. Being punctual should go hand in hand with precise attention to detail. Arrive exactly on time, if not slightly earlier. Send pre-meeting and post-meeting notes and reminders, and choose a location and time that fit your prospect’s schedule. Ensure there are no distractions during the meeting, including your cell phone. You need to live up to what you promise – reliability and expertise.
  4. Keep it clean. Pay attention to grooming. Take care of yourself and take it seriously. Just as in finances, every detail matters.
  5. Put on your Sunday best. If you expect prospects to trust you with their financial information, they need to be assured that it is in safe hands. Make sure everything you do conveys trust, reliability, and precision. Invest in high-quality clothes and shoes that create an impression of professionalism.
  6. Take notes. But remember your prospect is right in front of you and make sure you don’t make him uncomforatble while you do so. Note your prospect’s most important goals and what you can do to further them.
  7. Be short and to the point. Understand and respect the value of your prospect’s time. Get straight to the point and try to keep the conversation on course. It’s a skill that takes time to master, so practice it.
  8. Speak with energy. Always be sure to raise the energy level of the conversation. You should both look forward to the next meeting.
  9. Make sure you have the most up-to-date contact info. Whether it’s your first meeting or a follow-up, feel free to ask for additional contact information and to update what you already have. Phone numbers change, as do e-mail and home addresses. Ask for daytime numbers as well, to make it easier to arrange further appointments.
  10. Schedule the second meeting on the spot. Let the client write down the date and time of your next meeting to avoid any chance of misunderstanding.