One question to ask in every client meeting
Always make sure you're discussing exactly what they need.
Probably the most successful thing I've incorporated into my appointments is I always have an agenda. About 15 years ago, I started putting three bullet points at the top of that agenda that are blank.
At the beginning of the meeting, I thank the client for coming in. Then I say, “Before we get started, tell me what has to have happened when we finish in 45 minutes or so to make you glad we met.” And I'm quiet.
I throw the ball to them. Very rarely, somebody will say, “Well I don't know, you asked for this meeting.” So it gets back to me. But more than likely, they'll say, “I really want to learn more about my life insurance,” or “My banker said I needed some life insurance,” or “I don't know about my group benefits,” or “My wife and I are trying to make sure we don't wake up broke when we start retirement.”
They came into my space for a reason, and what I want to find out is what that reason is. So what I'm trying to do is to put them in the power seat. Now it's their meeting, it's their agenda. I write down at the bullet points just what they told me, using some of their words.
At the end of the meeting, we'll go back and review that and see, “We did this, we did this, oops, we didn't talk about your 401(k).” So then we discuss that.
It just helps so much to keep the meeting on track for them. So often, we go into our meetings wanting to keep it on track for us, but that's not the point. It's not about us, it's about them.