The C Word - FP Advance

The C Word

BY brett

Summertime Selling Skills

As we start to feel a firm nip in the air, my Summertime Selling Skills Series takes an Autumnal turn. At week 6 of the top 10 mistakes advisers make at the first meeting, I’m recommending that you take a breath and cool things down.

First Meeting Mistake 6: Committing The Client To All Three Phases

In the example fee dialogue discussed last week, I recommended outlining all three fees in a short and sweet way.

For example:
“We charge in three places for each phase of the work. There is a planning fee of £xxx for doing the initial work we’ve discussed today. If you elect to engage us for the implementation phase there will be an implementation fee of x%. And it you want to move onto our ongoing review service there will be a fee of x% pa.”

I also recommended making it clear to the client that they are only committing to the first fee, the planning fee, at this stage of the process. I believe it is better to leave it up to the client to decide if they wish to go further after they have evaluated your initial advice.

Let me use an analogy to explain why.

You want to try skydiving and you think your partner does to, but s/he is not quite as gung ho as you are. You could say, “We’re just going to do it, now get in the car and let’s go!” However, that approach may generate some resistance and next thing you know you are having an argument.

Alternatively, you might say, “Why don’t we do some investigation online together first and find out what is involved.” The reluctant partner may agree to that.

If that goes well, you might even suggest heading out to a sky diving centre to just watch a few people go up for their first dives. You can make it clear that this day is for research purposes only. If it goes well you might both agree to book yourselves in at a later date. If it doesn’t go so well, (say someone’s parachute doesn’t open and you see them plummet to their death), no problem; so much for sky diving.

By breaking down the process into smaller bite sized steps you can create a safety zone that provides some space to safely take the first step. The same applies to your fees.

Create a safety zone that provides space for clients to safely take the first step.

If you need clients to commit to the whole shooting match up front, you may be putting too much pressure on them too soon.

The truth is that almost everyone who engages you to do a plan will move through the next two phases with you as well, so leave them the space to take things one step at a time.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on first meetings, and how you talk about your fees. Leave a comment in the comments section on my blog or drop an email to [email protected]

Take Action

If you’d like to work with me directly on addressing your first meeting skills for you or your team drop me a line at [email protected] or give me a call on 0333 939 0027.


My upcoming Webinar ‘An Amazing Client Review Service’ is on Monday 7th October 2013. Research from across the globe tells us that clients really value a great ongoing service from their adviser. However, the same research says that what is delivered by most advisers is pretty bad. Find out how to create a simple yet amazing review service for your clients and watch your profits soar. You can preregister to attend here, and let me know if I’ll see you there.

If you have got the go ahead and don’t want to blow the sale or create a whole bunch of hassle you don’t need, my last webinar ‘Onboarding Clients Effectively’ can be heard here. You’ll find out how the best firms ‘onboard’ their clients using simple strategies that make it fun for all concerned.

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by Brett Davidson

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ABOUT BRETT DAVIDSON When you work with FP Advance you work with me, Brett Davidson, directly. My motto is ‘advise better, live better’ and I practice what I preach. I’m straight talking and get to the heart of an issue quickly. There’s no beating about the bush, just a focus on helping things improve. Ask my clients – what I teach works.