Most of us were taught to prequalify prospects so that we don't waste our time with people who don't have enough money to hire us.


There are several flaws in that model. 

  1. If you are an Advice-based Financial Planner, you should be paid for advice first and product as needed. The prospect doesn't have to have a minimum net-worth if they can/will pay your fee.
  2. It assumes that your time is precious and the prospect's time and vulnerability is inconsequential.
  3. It doesn't honor the trust the referrer has placed in you by making the introduction.  "Hey, thanks for the referral, can you make sure they don't waste my time if they can't give me what I want?"


When you look at those points, is it clear to you why financial professionals have such a terrible reputation for greed and selfishness?  It's baked right into the business model!


This is a relationship business. What if we treated referrals and introductions with the respect and gratitude that they deserve?


First of all, the Advice-based Financial Planner should have an emotionally significant, high-value initial client experience.  You should be able to say to the prospect, "It doesn't matter if you become a client, I know that you will get value from our time together!"  When that is true and your clients know it, it tears down all the barriers to referring you.


Secondly, we make a fabulous living in this business. Six-figures plus is the norm for advisors who have been doing this for awhile.  We also have a skillset that most people need, but not everyone can afford.  Would it be so terrible to give some pro-bono advice to people who were referred by our best clients, but aren't a good fit for the practice?


I have been asked several times recently whether I offer a "pre-qualification call" or meeting.  As you can imagine from my rant above, my answer is NO! 


My clients know that I am happy to offer a Discovery EXPERIENCE to anyone who is important to them. The meeting will be of service to the prospect, whether or not they become a client.  And when it is a right fit, it will be obvious to both of us!


But you might say, "I don’t have time for that!!!"  How many advisors are actually so busy they don't have time for prospecting meetings?  If you are truly too busy, then you can have another advisor do the meeting.  You can help a young advisor get started and serve your community at the same time!


Running The Intentional Advisor and my own practice does leave me time strapped.  I try to do the Discovery EXPERIENCE myself, but offer another advisor at a lower price point if they aren't a perfect fit for my practice but would benefit from Advice-based Financial Planning.


There is so much genuine good-will in this business model, that it completely changes the way your clients feel about referring you.  It often makes Raving Fans out of prospects who didn't even hire you.  It is so much different than the normal process advisors use, that it's a huge differentiator in the marketplace!


Become the person who gives far more than you take and watch how the floodgates open and your business grows!


I do want to answer the practical question of what do I do before the Discovery EXPERIENCE. 


I will often have a brief, get to know you call where I will learn a little about the prospect and why they are looking for an advisor.  I will also explain that the Discovery EXPERIENCE will be valuable for them regardless of outcome.  I let them know that for those who are a good fit, we offer Advice-based Financial Planning and I explain what that is.


It's just a quick call and I hand them off to my team to schedule.  These days, my team will often have that conversation for me and schedule them without me talking with them in advance.  When this stuff is true and feels good, it's easy for your team to share the story!


How much more audacious would you be with marketing, if you knew in your heart that your initial client meeting was an act of service?


With Purpose,



If you are excited about what I am talking about, but are unsure of how to execute on the idea, let me tell you about The Discovery EXPERIENCE Online Course.


I took my high-value, emotionally significant initial meeting and packaged it up in to a turn-key process you can use with your prospects.  I show you how to uncover their fears, explore their values, clarify their goals and outline their resources.  I give you a simple script and all the tools to offer the Discovery EXPERIENCE in-person or digitally.


The Discovery EXPERIENCE will give you everything you need to get hired for advice in one meeting by the RIGHT clients!


You can learn more about the Discovery EXPERIENCE Online Course HERE




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