Masterclass Sneak Peek: Check Out Micah’s Prospect Process

Micah Shilanski, CFP, shares how he sets the stage for a premium client experience for his prospects so he can deliver as much value as possible during prospect meetings.

4.2 min read

Micah Shilanski
Micah Shilanski
Financial Planner, CFP®

Are you struggling to win over prospects? An absence of value could be to blame.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from advisors is that they felt like they were doing a great job during their prospect meeting, only to get to the end and find out the prospect:

  • Has decided to do it all themselves
  • Decided to ghost and is never heard from again
  • Would rather work with a different advisor in another firm

All of this comes back to a failure to deliver value from the prospect’s point of view. Notice that I didn’t say there was an absence of volume. No advisor is short on volume and content to share with prospective clients

For advisors struggling to deliver value, how much thought have you given to the finer details of your prospect process?

They say first impressions can make or break you in business and life. Therefore, let’s look at what happens between the time a prospect walks through my front doors and when they meet with me for the first time. 

      Entering the building

      Before the prospect’s first appointment, my relationship manager explained where my office in Anchorage, Alaska, was and the parking situation.

      The last thing I want is for my prospective clients to feel confused about where they should be and what to expect. So, as they pull up to my building, they’ll see inviting signage that says, “Shilanski and Associates, Welcome.”

      As the prospects come through the front doors, my receptionist removes her headset and stands to greet the prospective clients by name:

      Bob and Sue, welcome! I’m Sarah; we’ve been talking on the phone. It’s great to see you today.

      There’s a lot of power in someone standing to greet you by name. My receptionist, Sarah, has a view of the parking lot from the front desk, and because she’s managing the schedule, she has an excellent idea of who is coming so that she can avoid phone calls and is ready to greet clients as soon as they arrive. 

      When I have business associates like Matthew Jarvis, CFP, visit, they are impressed by my front desk policy despite expecting it.  

      Greeting clients this way may not seem like a big deal, but it’s everything. These minor details set the stage for a professional experience. The prospective client feels valued; they see that they are more than numbers in a ledger—we know who they are as people.

      Not only that, my team is excited about coming to work and doesn’t hide it. Prospective clients pick up when employees aren’t thrilled with their work, negatively impacting their overall experience. I don’t want to set that tone for prospects or paying clients.

      After greeting our prospective clients, Sarah walks out from around her L-shaped desk into the lobby to offer the prospects a drink. We have quality coffee, tea, and water ready, and Sarah will help prepare whatever beverages Bob and Sue choose.

      Next, Sarah will invite Bob and Sue to make themselves comfortable on the cozy couches in the lobby. However, clients with mobility issues will be seated in the conference room so they don’t have to work to get up and down.

      Meeting with the advisor

      Usually, prospects arrive a bit early for their appointment, and I’m wrapping up a client meeting in the conference room while Sarah helps them get situated in the lobby. 

      It may not look like much, but I want to stack the deck in my favor while the prospects wait for their turn. 

      While waiting for their appointment, Bob and Sue will see me wrapping up my previous meeting as I walk my clients to the door. As we work our way from the conference room to the lobby, I’m still engaged with those clients, and we’re talking about action items and scheduling their next appointment.  

      Sipping their drinks from the lobby, my prospects have a front-row seat to my closing client interaction. They not only see that I have other clients but that those clients had a positive experience meeting with me.  I score a few social credibility points before even speaking with the prospects.

      As the clients from my previous appointment step out, I know my schedule and have a pretty good idea of who’s next, so make a quick introduction: 

      Bob and Sue, it’s so great to see you! I’m so glad you could come in today. Could you please give me a couple of minutes to drop off this stuff (I hold up the homework folder from the previous meeting)? I’ll grab yours and be right back.

      This gives me a few minutes to leave the lobby and enter my office. I won’t sit there doom scrolling on my phone until I’m five minutes late for the next meeting. Everything is running perfectly on schedule, and I don’t lose focus.

      I’ve already had a drink and a bathroom break because I run a tight ship, and I know my timelines. When I return to my office, I pull out the prospect’s blue folder with my notes. I review their names again and all of the critical details.

      Then I set a timer and close my eyes. For the next several minutes, I visualize being in the mental and emotional state to transform their lives.

      This means I’m not mentally reviewing the questions I will ask them or the answers I’ll give. I’m focused solely on delivering as much value as I possibly can. Whether they hire me or not is just a by-product of the value I’ll provide over the next hour.

      I will remove everything from my previous meeting so the prospects across from me will have my full attention for the next sixty minutes.

      After my visualization time, I leave my office to meet the prospects in the lobby. I walk through a small archway to reach the lobby and pause briefly to be framed during their first real view of me.

      After my pause, I enter the lobby, greet my prospects again by name, and shake their hands. I have a genuine smile and am energetic as I gently lead Bob and Sue to the conference room for a meeting that will transform their lives.

      Action Items

      Do you want to hear how the rest of my prospect meeting goes? I’d love to share it with you. Email to make sure you get notified of our upcoming Masterclass releases.

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