The 4 questions prospective clients are asking
When you meet prospective clients, or anyone else who does not personally know you and your firm, you can be sure they have four important questions on their mind: and you should be able to answer them.
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What value do you provide?
- With whom do you work?
Who are you?
This question applies equally to existing clients, prospective clients, and referral sources. Clients often forget, or are not always aware of, the full range of services you offer. This is a primary reason why cross-selling often fails.
Describe who you are by completing the following exercise:
We are a (describe your firm) _______________
What do you do?
Top financial professionals understand that they don’t offer a single product. Instead, they customize solutions to address a specific need, or to help their clients achieve a specific goal or outcome. To answer the question, “What do you do?” you need to understand your products and services thoroughly, from your clients’ perspective. You must know how your product or service helps your clients to improve their situation. If you’re in any doubt, ask several of your existing clients why they do business with your firm, instead of with a competitor. If you ask this question often enough, you’ll begin to see a pattern of similarities and common responses.
When you understand what you offer, from your clients’ perspective, complete the following exercise to answer this important question:
We (consider the prompts below) _______________
- Improve something
- Reduce the cost of something
- Protect something of value
- Add value to something
- Enhance the value of something
What value do you provide?
Your value is the outcome or results that clients receive when using your products and services. Can you express your value in terms of measurable and tangible benefits that will mean something to a prospective client?
To answer the question about your value, do the following:
- Review your best clients.
- Review your overall track record.
- List the typical benefits that clients can expect to receive.
- Take note of any tangible and measurable results.
- Make sure you create your value statement in context; it should match the markets that you serve.
With whom do you work?
Describe the key attributes of your best clients or desired clients; for example, job, location, gender, interests, financial status, occupation, type of work or niche, and level of sophistication.
To answer this question about your clientele, create an ideal profile based on your best clients:
- Describe the industry or occupation they work in.
- Describe their key attributes.
- Describe the type of work, products, or services you provide to them.
- Explain why you enjoy working with them.
Coaching great Vincent Lombardi once said: “The best defence is a good offence.” When you anticipate these types of questions and become pro-active by preparing a positioning statement that answers the top four questions on a prospective client’s mind, you are playing the type of offence that delivers top results.