14 – Proving your CVP to clients: after the first interview

Follow through.

The best thing an adviser can be is predictable. After the first meeting, your client does not have any expectation about whether and how you will follow up. So, set yourself a high standard – and then make it your business to keep meeting that standard.

At a minimum, everything that you undertook to do in the first interview should be done quickly and thoroughly. Again, this is the easiest way to show your clients that you want to solve their problems, not yours. And solving their problem is your client value proposition. 

This may well mean getting together a statement of advice, especially if the meeting ended with a resolution to organise things such as life insurances. Or it may mean doing some further research and preparing for a next meeting. Whichever it is, be thorough and be efficient. Don’t let your new client wait. Let them develop a high expectation of you.

But that is just a minimum. After the first meeting you know much more about your clients. Keep thinking about them. This will help you identify problems that they may not know they have. Problems that they could not raise because they did not know they exist.

These problems give you more opportunities to offer more solutions. So, set yourself the task of identifying as many potential problems for this client as you can. Did they mention a family member struggling to buy a home? Do their wills pre-date their marriage – or, just as importantly, do they pre-date a divorce? Will their kids be going to private schools? Are there any debts that could be better managed? How secure is their employment? (Hint: make your own judgement here. Many people are so focussed on their day to day duties that they do not really think about how well their employer is performing within their industry. Clients will often think that their employment is a lot more secure than it actually is).

The key is for you to go beyond what was agreed in the first meeting. This is what an adviser does. Don’t sit passively waiting for the client to tell you what they want. They probably do not know. Apply your knowledge and experience to your client’s situation. Look at the world from their point of view. Keep identifying and solving their problems and they will keep seeking your help.

The Dover Group