The Initial Interview: Helping Clients Find a Home

Diliberto, Roy; Anthony, Mitch
June 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2004, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p30
Academic Journal
The article shows the significance of initial interviews to both clients and financial life planners. The context that financial planners establish in the initial interview with prospective clients sets the stage for the kind of experience they will expect from them. If they are very technical, and stress that in their relationships, then discussing taxes, investments and estate planning during the first meeting is just fine. But if they represent themselves as a financial life planner, their questions nee to be about their lives and about their portfolios. Financial life planners build homes, not houses. Initial conversations not only define the future experience and expectation for clients, they define who financial planners are and the degree of value they can add to a client's life. A rich opening conversation enables both questioner and respondent to define themselves. Decide if you are in the business of assembling houses or building a dream homes, and make sure that initial meetings set the stage for the relationship you want and the experience a client desires. When prospective clients come to see you, it is a temptation to jump right in and to begin to describe what to build with the materials they bring. But do not believe that clients come to have a house built, they are looking for a place to call home with their financial life.


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