Being adept at using carefully chosen questions enables professionals to be more effective at cultivating the affluent. Each month, I'll present readers with a "Power Question," including advice on when and how to best use the question to be more successful in working with the wealthy and centers of influence.

Power Question: What is your best and worst experience with a financial advisor?

(Note: you can replace "financial advisor" with whatever type of professional you are.)

Affluent clients and centers of influence will most likely have not just some, but extensive experience with professionals like you. Based on these experiences, they’ll have developed a set of expectations that might or might not be reasonable. You need to be aware of them and may need to correct their views.

The question is most effective early in the relationship; often before doing any business with the affluent client or center of influence.

Objectives & Benefits
Clearly, you want to determine what has worked for an affluent client or a center of influence and what hasn’t. This will enable you to identify and communicate your role in a way that is in alignment with the individual’s needs and wants. If you determine that the client’s or center of influence’s expectations are not very realistic, the question will give you an opportunity to alter his or her expectations.