Work with clients you enjoy. Many peak performers say that not only do they target a market, they also focus on select individuals with whom they enjoy doing business. Top producers I’ve spoken to say the hardest people to deal with are technical types such as engineers, accountants and doctors. These professionals most likely have some knowledge of financial products, but that little bit of information can make them dangerous to their own interests and potentially unpleasant to take on as clients.
The people you enjoy the most are often the same people with whom you will make the most money. To see if this is true of your book, analyze your business and find out where the most money is. Think about these clients–do you really like working with them? If the answer is yes, and it should be, then spend your time finding more of those who fit the profile that emerges through your analysis. If the answer is no, start looking at the hidden costs of dealing with difficult clients. Think about shifting your focus to those you really enjoy. Eventually you will get a payoff not only in dollars but in peace of mind. But that is only the beginning. When you discern out the clients you want to duplicate, keep in contact with them every three months by phone or in person. Most advisors think 78 percent of their clients are advocates (those who talk about you to their friends). In reality, only 15 percent are advocates. Advocacy is not built with stellar returns. It is built with frequency of contact.
Constantly seek out referrals. Many top producers use a newsletter to stay in contact with their clients. The belief is to “keep in touch to keep sales coming,” but newsletters are also a referral marketing tool. Some of the most impressive sales pros these days are using client seminars to gain business called “Circle of Friends” dinners.
They invite clients to also invite their friends to dinner. No marketing costs. Those who come want to be there and deepen the client relationship. One top producer encourages even more referrals by giving away a Cross pen to anyone who comes up with three people to whom he can send a newsletter.
This is a low-pressure way of generating new prospects. Some clients might feel threatened if you asked them to write down the names of friends for you to call. But few feel uncomfortable with signing up a friend for a free newsletter.