Plan the Final Moment

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue:  Be prepared for your prospect meetings – every time.


Watching the US Olympic swimming trials on TV a couple of weeks ago was a thrill. Many lives were changed within just the last few inches of a race. Though the final touch on the wall seems a small part of the event and a natural outcome of the race, finishing correctly is so important that swimmers practice that minute moment over and over. That final touch provides the moment of truth. With so much on the line, they won't leave anything to chance, especially the finish.

Last month, we talked about effectively planning your meetings with prospects and clients as opposed to leaving things to chance. Following on from that, are you approaching your finishes in the same way the swimmers do, or are you still leaving too much to chance?

You know asking for the business at the end of a meeting is important, but do you practice the concluding steps leading to that point? Do you anticipate the last question you'll ask the prospect before making your final statement recommending that you begin working together? Have you practiced saying the exact words – out loud and with the precise tone you want to convey? If you're part of a team, do you know for sure who will make the final "call to action?"

Successful Olympic swimmers begin sizing up their final stroke several yards out from the wall. They know they are close to the finish, but they remain in control and very focused on their end goal. They know which hand will touch the wall first, where their opposite hand will be, and exactly when to press their head down for those final two inches. They can't give into temptation to take an extra breath or look over at another swimmer because they will lose control of their form, possibly dramatically altering their results.

Often advisors plan their meeting openings very carefully. They know how they will talk through benefits they offer and tactfully transition from point to point with their various illustrations. But too frequently the planning stops there – the finish just seems like a natural outcome of the meeting. By not giving enough attention to the specific words they need to say to close strongly, they leave too much to chance and often miss great opportunities.

Like any skill, doing this effectively takes practice. As with anything you practice, sometimes you might flub a line or two or notice you weren't as sharp as you could have been. That's OK because you'll get better each time (which is why you want to practice before your next meeting). You can't control your prospect's decision to work with you or not, but you can (and should) plan and control the final impression you make with your closing words. So,

  • Know exactly what you're going to say – Become very comfortable with specific words you'll use as a call to action at the end of your meeting.
  • Know the tone you will use – Because you are comfortable with what you're going to say, you can develop conviction for your words and delivering them confidently.
  • Practice – Don't let the first time you actually hear yourself say the words you've planned be in a meeting. Practice saying the words you'll use to make a call to action every chance you get.

Just like the US swimmers now going to the 2012 London Olympics, plan for a deliberate, strong, history-making finish.

Finish Strongly,

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2012


As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an advisor, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisors. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit or email him at

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