The Four Questions Every Prospect Wants Answered

By Dan Richards

March 18, 2014

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What’s the best way to introduce yourself when meeting with a prospect for the first time?

Last week I made the case that during a 30-minute first meeting with a key prospect, an advisor should limit the initial discussion about his background to three minutes. That three minutes should address the four questions that most prospects want answered on one piece of paper, with a few key headings and two or three tight bullet points under each heading.

Limiting your initial overview to three minutes doesn’t preclude devoting more time to how you operate – in fact the goal of that first three minutes is to intrigue and interest prospects enough that they’ll want to know more and ask follow-up questions.

The four questions every prospect wants answered

Let’s start with the four basic issues that every prospect wants addressed in a first meeting:

  1. Results

    How will I be better off as a result of working with you compared to what I’m doing now or what other advisors would do for me?

  2. Your process

    What specific things about your approach set you apart and allow you to provide these results? 

  3. Implementation

    What about how you work will make me believe that this is not just words and that you’ll actually be able to deliver this?

  4. Credibility

    What concrete information about your background (and that of your firm) will give me confidence that this will actually happen?

That’s a lot of information to present in three minutes – but remember, you’re not trying to say everything, just enough to get prospects interested in hearing more. In fact, the less you say the better the chances that your message will resonate.

That brings me to a lesson from a different setting with a similar problem in getting a story across.

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