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By David RichmanManaging Director, Advisor Institute

Prospective clients will want to do business with you if you are effective at asking deep discovery questions during the client interview—the heart of our five steps to better first meetings.

In a recent workshop focused on potential topics of inquiry during the client interview, two questions emerged that are particularly fascinating.

1. "If you could wave a magic wand, what would your life look like?"

Most people are reluctant to admit to any problems in their lives or mistakes they have made. Yet people are typically willing to acknowledge a lack of perfection in their lives. This open-ended question is a creative way to help you uncover the person's life goals/purpose.

2. "What does the word 'advisor' mean to you?"

Sometimes preconceived biases are hard to discern within early-stage relationships. This question allows the prospective client to share their thoughts and feelings—or biases—about advisors, which affords you the opportunity to adjust your approach accordingly.

These two questions have "high discovery value," as prospective clients have likely not been asked them before.

Bottom line: The client interview is a time for prospective clients to fall in love with you—and you to discover more about them. Frame your questions carefully in order to fully understand their stories and what matters most to them.