Your guide to successful client meetings

1 min readLast updated April 10, 2024by Unbiased team

Discover the essential elements for acing your initial client meeting and setting the tone for future interactions.


  • The first client meeting lays down the groundwork for trust and credibility, so it's crucial to approach it with care and preparation.

  • Clarifying expectations early on fosters transparency and builds trust.

  • Effective preparation involves researching your client, setting clear objectives, and being ready for any questions that may arise.

  • Consistent and proactive communication and the ability to adapt to your client's evolving needs are vital for nurturing long-lasting client relationships.

Getting your first client meeting right

In today's financial services landscape, the cornerstone of success lies in building strong client relationships. This all begins with that pivotal first client meeting.

As an advisor, your first meeting with a potential client sets the tone for all your future interactions, so you must approach it with care and intentionality.

What is the purpose of a first client meeting?

The first client meeting is where trust, understanding, and credibility start to take shape. Take time beforehand to map out what you want to achieve and what you want your client to take away. This proactive approach ensures that every moment of the meeting serves a purpose and creates a foundation on which to build strong client relationships.

Here are three things that you and your clients should be thinking about when you come out of the meeting:

  1. First impressions matter. Clients form quick judgments based on their initial interactions with you. Make sure your first impression reflects professionalism, expertise, and warmth.

  2. Setting expectations. Use the first meeting with a potential client to clarify what the client can expect from your services and what you expect from them in return. Setting clear expectations fosters transparency and trust.

  3. Understanding needs. The first client meeting should focus on understanding the client's financial goals, concerns, and priorities. By actively listening and asking pertinent questions, you demonstrate your commitment to tailoring your services to their needs.

How should I be preparing for a client meeting?

Preparing for a client meeting is key, especially the first one. These three tips will ensure you ask the right questions and are ready to make the most of this opportunity:

  1. Research the client. Before meeting a client, familiarize yourself with their background, financial situation, and any relevant industry news. This will demonstrate your genuine interest and allow you to personalize your approach. 

  2. Set objectives. Define what you aim to achieve during the client meeting. Whether it's gathering specific information, presenting solutions, or simply building rapport, clarity on your objectives keeps the discussion focused and productive.

  3. Anticipate questions. Prepare responses to potential questions or concerns the client may raise. Confidence and preparedness instill trust and credibility in your expertise.

What should you do when you meet the client to make a good impression?

Making a strong first impression in your first client meeting is key. Here are three tips that will help you to make a good impression and build strong client relationships:

  1. Maintain a professional demeanor. Dress appropriately and maintain a friendly yet polished demeanor. Your appearance and attitude should convey confidence and competence, letting your clients know they're in good hands.

  2. Actively listen. Tune in and truly listen to your client's concerns without interruption. Show genuine empathy by reflecting their thoughts and seeking clarification when needed.

  3. Provide value. Offer valuable insights or solutions demonstrating your expertise and contributing to their financial journey. 

Why is it so important to have the right client-advisor?

Establishing the right client-advisor relationship is crucial for both advisors and clients. Here's why:

  1. Goal alignment. Success relies on shared objectives and values. When both parties are aligned, it fosters effective collaboration.

  2. Trust and confidence. Establishing trust from the outset is key. Clients seek advisors they can trust, and advisors benefit from working with confident clients.

  3. Long-term success. Investing time in finding the right match pays off. A client-advisor relationship built on trust and shared goals leads to better outcomes and lasting partnerships.

How often should you be communicating with clients?

Effective communication is the lifeblood of client relationships. These are three tips for communicating with clients:

  1. Give regular updates. Keep clients informed about their portfolio performance, market trends, and any relevant updates. Regular communication demonstrates your commitment to their financial well-being.

  2. Be proactive. As a private client advisor, you must anticipate your client's needs and reach out proactively with relevant information or opportunities. This shows you're invested in their success and proving your worth as a trusted advisor.

  3. Listen and adapt. Encourage your clients to speak their minds and really listen to what they're saying. Actively listen to their concerns and adapt your approach to meet their evolving needs. 

First client meeting tips

To sum it all up, these are the three most important things you need to do for first-time successful client meetings: 

Be prepared: Research the client and set clear objectives for the meeting.

Focus on the client: Listen actively and tailor your approach to their needs and preferences.

Follow up: After meeting a client, send a personalized follow-up message summarizing key points discussed and outlining the next steps.

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Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.