We would ask to speak to some of the clients they have worked with recently and one they have worked with over time. Hopefully, it is all positive or they have some specific information to give you. If it is easy for that referral to explain why they like working with this person that you are vetting then you may have the right person.
Lets say you have two professionals you are meeting. One is out just for the commission dollars and the other one is well-intentioned. The first person comes to the meeting and he doesn't ask too many questions and within a few minutes is already pitching a product. Just one product. It solves everything. Death benefit. Retirement. Cash Value. Its the greatest new thing. You should hurry up and buy it. You probably want to steer clear of that one.
The well-intentioned professional may fashion themselves as a teacher more than an advisor. They may show you six or eight different things. That is too much to process. Information overload. People have difficulty with choice. If we are given too many choices it can result in anxiety. The client may leave not doing anything at all.
As financial professionals we need to listen to our clients and then narrow the focus down to two or three things. They should fill that need and be appropriate for the situation. We are doings clients a disservice by either immediately jumping to one product without properly assessing the situation or bombarding the clients with too many choices and overwhelming them and their thought process.