Today I had my first sales meeting with a potential client. To get the meeting I initially reached out to them with a very simple analysis of their 401k plan. The intention of the analysis is to show them where they may have some weaknesses and also where they could potentially save money. I dropped off the report and made a follow up call weeks ago. I had set up a meeting with them and today was the day we carried it out.
Being new to the industry and new this firm I had asked Wayne to come along with me. I felt I needed as much help and guidance as I could get. Wayne and I showed up early to discuss their 401k situation.
Our goal for the meeting was to explain to the prospect why our firm is different than other advisers, and to point out some of the weaknesses in their current plan. We brought a couple of our tools into the meeting to get our point across.
We brought a chart of our plan management process. We brought another report that was more in depth in the explanation of fees, performance, and diversification. Lastly we brought a chart that explains the differences between broker/dealers, fee based, and fee only advisers.
The meeting started great. We began with what we have to offer and how we work. The man we were talking with seemed to be interested and he was asking appropriate questions. We then got into the details of the analysis we brought. At this point things were still going according to plan. Then, we got a knock at the door. A man poked his head in and said there was going to be a meeting in the conference room in 10 minutes. He definitely wasn’t talking to us. Our prospect nodded his head and proceeded to tell us that the person who just interrupted us is the CEO and our meeting was going to be cut short. It was completely unscheduled and it seemed to be quite a disruption for the prospect.
So, we quickly wrapped up, left some hard copies of our information, and said thank you. Our prospect told us that he would like to talk again after he looks over some of the information we left. He wants to start communicating again next week. In about 5-7 days I will be emailing him once again.
I think we handled the curve ball as well as possible. It didn’t throw us off our presentation and we stayed composed. We just didn’t get to deliver all the information we planned to share. I think the lesson to be learned is to structure future meetings so we deliver the most important information early on and the less important info as the meeting progresses. It will combat unintended interruptions by making sure we get the critical information communicated right away before there is a chance to get cut off. Maybe the strategy will work, maybe we will find it it doesn’t, but we can at least try to predict the unpredictable.
I will keep you posted on how the rest of this on boarding process goes. It is my first big opportunity and I hope we land the client in the next few months.
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