Brenton – I applaud you for making the decision to focus on a target market. The fact that physicians and dentists are hard to reach is a plus, not a minus. Because once you get the momentum going, you’ll have clients that other advisors will have trouble taking away from you. Most financial professionals don’t have the foresight and perseverance to use the power of Reputation Marketing that comes with focusing on a target market. The simple answer to your question is that you take your time with your target market – meaning you don’t put all your eggs into that basket until the flow of new clients is sufficient to leave the other behind. Believe, stay with it, and this time will come. It’s a beautiful thing. Since this question isn’t about the pros and cons of focusing on a target market, I’ll move on to a strategy to consider re: reaching the hard-to-reach.
Pay attention to the introduction you craft with the referral source
When it comes to introductions, one size does not fit all. I think it’s a mistake to try to apply the same way of getting introduced to every prospect. The nice thing about the referral process is that the referral source often knows the best way to pique the prospect’s attention. The introduction is something you collaborate on with your referral source. Here are four things to consider:
1. Start getting your electronic business card into your clients’ mobile phones. When they introduce you to their friend or colleague with a text (happening more and more these days), then your information gets populated in your prospect’s smart phone. If your name doesn’t come up when you call or text a prospect, they likely won’t answer the call.
2. In-person introductions will probably always be the best form of introduction. Whenever possible, break bread with your referral source and new prospect. Once you’ve made this “human connection” most prospects will return your emails and phone calls. And when you get together to talk business, you’re starting out at a much higher level of comfort and trust.
3. Don’t forget about presentation opportunities. Sometimes an easier introduction to make for a client is for you to address a small group of their colleagues. Presentation opportunities such as lunch and learns, study groups, associations, and the like allow you to connect from a place of value and personal connection.
4. Craft a compelling reason for the prospect to speak with you. If you’re having trouble getting your voicemail or email messages returned, perhaps you’re not reaching out with a compelling reason for why this prospect should engage with you. A great question to ask your referral source is, “What’s going on in her life right now that’s important to her?” With this information, your referral source and you craft an introduction that ties the work you do to what’s most important to them. No compelling reason equals no conversation.