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Tips to Conducting a Successful Discovery Interview

The first meeting with clients, or the discovery interview, is the most important meeting a CPA has with a client. It allows the accountant to get to know the client’s situation, opportunities and concerns. It is also the time to find out what the client’s financial goals are and how you can help achieve them. Here are some tips to help make the discovery interview meaningful and productive:

Listen – Let the client do most of the talking. Let them tell you about themselves so that they know you are personally interested in their financial success.

Agenda and time – The meeting should last roughly one hour and follow a specific process.

All relevant parties must be present – By having these people present, the conversation will be meaningful and no important information will be left out.

Ask open-ended questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer – This allows you to learn as much as you can about the client.

Ending the meeting – Make sure everyone is on the same page and has agreed upon future action steps. Then set up the next appointment and agree on a timetable for future financial planning milestones.

A good discovery meeting can be the determining factor as to which firm gets the bid. It is your chance to connect with the client and show them you care about their financial well-being and have the resources to get the job done.

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