Editor’s Note: While for obvious reasons we are fans of long reads (or ‘listens’ and ‘watches’), sometimes, a strong checklist gets us further and faster. Michelle Mosher tackles just that in helping you shape and define who your ideal clients are. It takes time and a serious discipline to stay focused in on your ideal client. Many don’t discover the value in this until they’ve served a segment of clients not ideal for their skills and business model. Ms. Mosher’s exercise below should help you get there more quickly.
A recent study by the Financial Planning Association examined current and future trends for financial advisors related to growing and managing their practices. One of the focus areas analyzed was the effectiveness of creating ideal client profile definitions.
The study found that firms with a formal ideal client definition have greater success in attracting clients that meet specific criteria, and they are less likely to accept clients who are not profitable for the firm. Firms without a clear definition tend to accept clients that don’t meet entry point minimums and, in general, are not suitable for the firm. Knowing the characteristics of the clients you serve best will provide a strategy to:
• Facilitate improved client segmentation methods
• Focus time on clients who generate the most revenue for your firm
• Pinpoint future or additional assets and revenue opportunities
• Increase cerebral satisfaction
• Gain appropriate introductions and referrals
Complete this exercise to identify the attributes of your best clients and gain clarity of your ideal client.
Tip: Include life stage, age, gender, family status, occupation, and industry.
A broad description of our ideal client is:
Tip: Rather than focusing on large geographic areas, target on a defined radius.
Our ideal clients are located in:
ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT/POTENTIAL AUM/REVENUE/ POTENTIAL REVENUE
The minimum amount of assets required to work with our firm and the minimum fee we will charge is:
Tip: Be specific. Hone in on definitive challenges facing your clients. You need to move away from providing generic information to clients by showing you are in-tune with their personal trials.
The specific financial challenges that our firm can effectively provide solutions for are:
Tip: Advisors often overlook the tendencies of clients they enjoy working with most. Honor your unique personality, values, and passions by looking for clients who share commonality with you.
The personality types I best identify with, connect with, and enjoy being around are:
COMMUNITY INFLUENCE/ORGANIZATION AFFILIATIONS
Tip: Think about the organizations you are involved with or would like to be involved with. What groups of people participate in events that promote growth and development for your community?
The organizations of people I am involved with or would like to be involved with are:
Tip: Consider multiple strategies; strategic alliances, client referrals, educational sessions, client events, etc.
The specific strategies and tactics we will use to attract and acquire ideal clients are:
Once you have completed the exercise above, you can list the attributes that define your ideal client.
Here is a possible scenario:
• In their 50’s
• Professionals approaching retirement, working in the health industry
• Reside within a 100 mile radius of our firm
• Shared core values: spiritual, family, exercise
• Enjoys outdoor activity, traveling – specifically, traveling to tropical locations
• Common pain points are planning for retirement, determining how much money will be enough
Now, highlight the attributes of your ideal client:
Share this definition with your team, clients, centers of influence, and potential prospects to promote and aid your firm in populating your client base with more clients that you serve best.