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Focus Your Resources on an Ideal Client

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A super sales rep (Credit: Thinkstock)

According to Canadian management consultant, Grant Hicks, “75% of advisors have never defined their ideal clients.”

In a recently published article, Hicks goes on to say that the advisors who do focus on their ideal clients grow their practice by 17% or more annually.

Your business should be running on systems and processes that work for you, and one of the most important of these is your system for client attraction and acquisition. Too many advisors are trying to attract and acquire anyone who will spend a few minutes talking with them. They have no system and they are not focused on any particular prospective client.  They take the “buckshot” approach.  Shoot enough pellets into the air and you’re bound to hit something.

(Related: Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic)

This approach leaves them chasing shiny new prospecting ideas and frustrated with their results.

The better approach, according to most marketing experts, is a laser focused one. Especially in the current environment, making the decision to focus your three major resources — time, energy and money — on an ideal client is the first step in opening your business to the possibility of accelerated growth. The systematic use of two or three prospecting methods, aimed only at that target, gives them all the new business they can handle.

For most advisors, the ideal client is the one that brings them the most income. Some advisors also consider how much they enjoy working with a particular client, and whether or not they are receiving quality referrals from them.  Some advisors consider “lifetime value” and some weigh the cost of maintaining a particular client against the income generated by that client.

Then there is the niche factor:  Are my ideal clients professional women, construction company owners, etc., or do I want to focus on a particular product or service, such as college planning or long-term care?

No matter what method you use to identify your ideal client, once you’ve decided who he or she is, your best chance of accelerating the growth of your business is to focus all of your resources for attracting and acquiring clients on this one target.

Focusing on an ideal client does not, as many advisors fear, mean that you’ll discourage people who do not fit your ideal client profile from working with you, or turning them away — unless you want to set that limitation. (And there are strong arguments in favor of doing just that.)

As a matter of fact, “specializing” in a particular niche of clients or in a particular product or service actually makes you more appealing to both your ideal prospects and those who do not fit the profile.  People love working with specialists and getting them to “make an exception” for them.

If you’re not focusing all of your client attraction and acquisition time, energy, and money on a very clearly defined ideal client, make this the first new system you create.

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Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.