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“We need to talk” may be one of the most intimidating sentences in the English language. When people don’t know what to expect out of a conversation, it causes tension and unease. Those are two feelings you never want your clients to face as you head into a meeting.

Fortunately, with a clear meeting agenda established and shared beforehand, you and your clients will likely not step foot into a meeting with that feeling of “I wonder what’s next.” Here are four more reasons why you should create and share a meeting agenda before every meeting – no matter how routine the meeting may seem.

1. No Surprise Topics for Your Clients

You and your clients may have discussed in advance the purpose of this meeting. However, a meeting agenda can further highlight what your clients can expect. You will likely have several things to discuss, and a meeting agenda will keep them concise and organized. It will also give your meeting attendees time to prepare questions and organize any thoughts.

Let’s say your client scheduled a meeting with you to set up a college savings account for their grandchild. The meeting agenda may set aside time to discuss the different account options available, address income needs and a time horizon, and leave room for additional questions. Outlining your meeting from start to finish gives your clients a realistic expectation of what will be accomplished during the meeting.

2. No Overlooked or Forgotten Topics

With your agenda created, you now have a resource you can reference before, during, and after your meeting. When you’re jumping from meeting to meeting, it’s hard to keep every important topic at the front of your mind. It can help to state a meeting goal clearly at the top of the agenda that can quickly refresh you in the moments before the meeting begins.

For longer meetings, such as an initial meeting with a client or prospect, a meeting agenda is a great place to include a required documents checklist to ensure no necessary paperwork gets lost in the mix. A little bit of extra organization can ensure you don’t have an “I just remembered!” moment on the car ride back to your office.

3. Keep The Meeting On Track and On Time

You never know what additional topics may be on your client’s mind by the time the meeting rolls around. You’ve probably faced many of those “While I have you on the line…” questions that don’t necessarily correlate with the topics you had planned to discuss. Unfortunately, you are likely on a tight schedule, and you usually won’t have time to address all of your client’s queries within one meeting.

Setting a meeting agenda keeps everyone focused on the topics at hand. It also allows you to schedule a follow-up meeting. Your clients will be assured that their questions are important to you and will be addressed at a future date.

4. Demonstrate Your Professionalism

Finally, creating and sharing a meeting agenda shows respect for your client’s time and demonstrates professionalism. They will appreciate your ability to go above and beyond to stay organized. After all, your clients trust you with some of their most valued assets. Exceptional service will only reinforce their confidence in this decision.

Creating a Reusable Meeting Agenda Template

To save yourself time, with your firms compliance approval, you can easily create a meeting agenda template that can be reused and filled with your meeting topics of the day. You may want to create a more extended meeting agenda template for things like initial client meetings and a shorter template for routine appointments. No two clients are the same, so having an agenda will give you the chance to personalize your plan to each client’s needs.

Of course, all the items discussed on your meeting agenda are likely things you already have organized on your end. However, formatting it in an organized and easy-to-read way extends this service to your clients. Finally, a personalized document is much easier to keep track of than a reminder email that easily gets lost in their overcrowded inbox.

Marketing Solutions from Dunham: Document Organization Client Seminar

As a financial advisor, you know how helpful it is when your clients have all of their important documents organized and ready to go. However, not all clients know what documents they should keep and where to keep them.

We created the Document Organization Client Seminar so you can help your clients effectively organize all of their important documents, not only for themselves but for the following generation.

We have created several easy-to-use tools that will enable you to host this seminar, with your firms compliance approval, to get clients and prospects to attend, and help clients and their family members organize and secure their most important documents and information. To learn more about how you can help your clients stay organized, contact Dunham today at (858) 964-0500 or fill out our online contact form.


This communication is general in nature and provided for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax or investment advice or an investment recommendation, or as a substitute for legal or tax counsel. Any investment products or services named herein are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered an offer to buy or sell, or an investment recommendation for, any specific security, strategy or investment product or service. Always consult a qualified professional or your own independent financial professional for personalized advice or investment recommendations tailored to your specific goals, individual situation, and risk tolerance.

Information contained in the materials that are included in Dunham & Associates’ Document Organization Campaign is believed to be from reliable sources, but we make no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness. All information should be reviewed by a Financial Advisor’s Compliance Department prior to dissemination or private label branding. Dunham is not responsible for the sharing of materials that have not received compliance review.

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