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Navigating the subtleties of an initial prospect meeting is an incredibly important step to landing a client. That’s why I’m so surprised when advisors make the mistake of asking the wrong questions when given the opportunity.

Recently, I reached out to a video producer who I was considering as a resource for our digital marketing firm. Here was his response:

I would be really excited about working with your new firm. What’s your budget?

I never responded.

While I advocate asking questions, this one was off-putting. Why should I provide a budget before learning more about him and his services? Why is it my responsibility to provide a budget at all?

This experience reminded me of similar conduct by advisors. I have no doubt it costs them business as well. I know how difficult it is to generate more AUM. These tips should help.

Having an elaborate process

Many advisors have an elaborate process for dealing with inquires from clients. Some do DNA profiling, in which the prospect is asked to answer a number of questions designed to determine his or her personality type. Others send information about their firm, request financial information and ask the prospect to “think about” questions relating to their financial goals.