A 40-Step Plan to Bring on a New Client

Teresa Riccobuono

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Yes, my new client on-boarding process includes 40 steps. And many of the steps include sub-steps.

There’s no need to describe all 40 today. If you would like the complete checklist, send me an email and I will forward a copy to you.

But I will share some of the less standard steps, so you can decide if you would like to incorporate any of them into your on-boarding process.

Prospect status

Step #1 – Check the do not call (DNC) registry. Even if your prospect came to you through a referral, you are still required to check the DNC registry. If the prospect is on the registry, you are not allowed to call them. You will have to be creative to get an introduction.

Step #6 – If the prospect came to you by way of referral and you set an initial meeting with the prospect, reach out to the referral source and let him or her know that you have followed through and scheduled a meeting.

Step #7 – Contact the prospect prior to the initial meeting:

  • Ask if they have any questions.
  • If applicable, ask if they need help with the homework assignment, such as data gathering for the meeting.
  • Welcome them by saying something like, "My assistant and I were reviewing the calendar for next week and saw that you are scheduled to come in. I am really looking forward to meeting you."

This one call and that one statement may accomplish two things: 1) it gives them a chance to express their apprehension, which you may or may not be able to assuage. If they back out, it is better to know in advance than to sit and wait for them to arrive; and 2) it lets them know that you are expecting them and are, in fact, looking forward to meeting them, so much so that you took the time to call.

Step #12 – Whether they decided to work with you or not, call the prospect the day after their initial meeting to see if they have any questions from the meeting. You likely covered a lot of material during that meeting, asking them questions about their goals and financial situation. We are familiar with these types of conversations; prospects are not. It may have been difficult for them to understand or remember everything discussed.

New client

Step #18 – Assuming the prospect has decided to become a client and you will be working on a financial plan with them, contact the client one week prior to their appointment to ask if they have any questions about the process or their homework. Say something to the effect of, "I am/we are really looking forward to working with you."

Step #28 – Consider having lunch or dinner with the referral source and the new client prior to implementing new business. Allow the referral source to share with the individual(s) he referred to you how working with you and taking your advice has benefitted him.

It will be difficult for the new client not to implement your advice after a glowing endorsement.

Step #34 – After the plan-presentation meeting, contact the client to see if they have any questions. Say something like, "I know we covered a lot of material..."