How to Gauge Prospects’ Financial Needs in 10 Minutes

Develop a comprehensive, one-page form to capture key assets, needs and debts


Gauging a prospect’s complete financial situation tends to be a long, drawn-out process — usually due to the time spent on financial needs analysis. Even with a thorough financial background, it often takes an extended period of time to complete this analysis, largely due to the careful consideration we must give each clients’ unique situation. A quick way to simplify this process? Develop a comprehensive, one-page form that breaks down the key aspects of the clients’ assets, needs and debts.

By compiling the questions into a brief form, you’ll make the process easier for the prospect to digest, without it becoming too overwhelming for them. This form can also serve as a checklist for you to ensure you don’t miss any points during the conversation.

When done correctly, you can complete the financial needs analysis in 10-minutes or less!


To start, begin by listing out what personal information you will need from each client, such as:
• name, birthdate, occupation and income
• marital status and whether they have children, as you’ll need the same information for their spouse, and the birthdates of their children
• whether they have insurance, and if so, what it covers.

Clients typically remember this information easily and it helps shape the basis of the application.
Next, begin getting a sense of their financial background. Start by asking what assets they own, as well as their value. For example, houses, motor vehicles and investments are all important facets of their financial portfolio.

In addition to what they own, you also need to know what they owe and the approximate amount. Ask your prospect to list all of their debts, such as mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, etc., and if those debts are insured. It can also be helpful to ask the monthly cost of supporting their family, as that plays a large role in their overall expenses. Gathering this basic information will allow you to have an idea of their financial standing and what they may potentially need coverage for, while simultaneously decreasing time spent analyzing their needs.


Once you have a basic under-standing of their personal and financial background, you should inquire about their coverage needs and preferences. The most important piece of information you need to take note of is how they want to allocate their funds and repay their debts.

Begin by asking the prospect to list their uninsured debts and their preference on how they’d like to pay them off. Additionally, determine if they are interested in paying for higher education for their children, as well as the amount, and if there is anyone else they are interested in supporting financially. If they plan on allocating funds for those scenarios, it’s important to know if they would prefer to pay a lump sum or incrementally, since you may have to strategically plan payments or funds later on.

The last factor you need to incorporate in the process is who their primary beneficiary would be. The general synopsis of these needs will help you gain an understanding of how they intend to distribute their funds long-term. After you complete the form, take the sum of these needs and use it as a guideline for helping you craft the best financial plan for them.

By decreasing the overall time spent during the application process, you’ll create more space for prospects to become long-term clients.


When first developing this form, take time to craft it well. It must be detailed enough to gain a thorough understanding of the prospect and their needs, without it becoming an arduous process.

While creating a one-page financial needs analysis can seem like a daunting task, the results are worthwhile. Not only will you save time, but you’ll also establish yourself among your client base as a financial consultant with innovative solutions to streamline their financial concerns. You’ll also be able to increase transparency by providing prospects their own copy of the analysis that they can refer to for future reference. By decreasing the overall time spent during the application process, you’ll create more space for prospects to become long-term clients. Plus, the extra time you free up allows you to get to know your clients even better and establish a healthy rapport, beyond simple fact-finding.

, is a Chartered Life Underwriter who has been in the insurance industry for more than 40 years. Carlyle is a life member (19-years to date) of the Prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and is a branch manager with Guardian Life in Trinidad and Tobago. His specialty area is Training and Agent Development. He has trained hundreds of successful agents in his career, many of whom have blossomed into successful managers.