1. Gathering Information
First, we’ll review what we are trying to accomplish at this meeting. I’ll tell you what I plan on covering and you can tell me what you would like to discuss.
Then, I will ask you a lot of questions. I want to learn your story. I’d like to hear about the problems you are dealing with, your values and your objectives. Together we will go through the questionnaire we are sending you in this folder. I’ll also want to know about the family members involved and many other important details.
2. Setting Expectations
After that, I’ll tell you whether I think I can help you (and if I can’t, I’ll tell you that, too) and I’ll tell you exactly what work I think we need to do. Then I’ll explain the what, how, when and where of your case. In other words, I’ll answer the question “What happens first, and then what happens after that?”
In my experience, feeling a level of confidence, trust and comfort is very important to my clients. Whether you’ve been first introduced to me by a client of the firm or a planning partner, or have had an opportunity to hear me speak in the community, you also have a chance to get to know me in this meeting. If we both feel there is a fit, this is the moment when we will discuss the cost. In many cases I can give you an exact price, but when that is not possible I will give you my best estimate and explain to you what might happen that could cause the cost to be more or less than the estimate.
3. Client Engagement Letter
I’ll also explain and ask you to sign our client engagement letter. This letter lays out our obligations to you and states that the information you provide to us is personal and confidential. Your only obligation is to give us the correct information, and to pay us the agreed-upon fee.
Once you have officially become our client, we will immediately get to work. Sometimes, we have the information we need from you to continue our planning process at this meeting. If not, we will talk about what we need you to give us in order to move forward, and schedule another time to meet to do more detailed planning. The more prepared you are with your homework the more efficient we can be.
Finally, before you leave we will make sure that we have answered any questions you might have. Thank you for considering our firm to help you. We all look forward to meeting you.