You hear a lot these days about identifying “buying personas” and marketing to your “ideal client,” but do you know who these people really are? If you ask most advisors to describe their ideal client, the standard answer you’ll likely hear is people with over a million dollars in investable assets in a fee-based platform, who always take their advice. That may be true but it’s only a fraction of the information you need to develop a meaningful prospecting plan for reaching your “natural prospects.”
“Natural prospects” lead to “natural clients.” These are the clients that you enjoy working with the most. You enjoy working them because they’re a natural fit for who you are, your style and the type of business that you do. By taking just a couple of hours to analyze your existing book, you can develop a laser-like focus to your prospecting efforts. More “natural clients” lead to happier, less stressed and more fulfilled financial advisors. Follow these 5 steps to start building your book with more clients who are a natural fit for you.
1. Make a list of your favorite clients.
Keep in mind that these clients may not always be the ones with the most amount of money. The clients I’m talking about here are the ones who energize you, appreciate you and remind you of why you became an advisor in the first place. When their number pops up on caller ID, it’s a bright spot in your day. These are your “natural clients.”
You enjoy spending time with them, even though they probably don’t take up a lot of your time. They’re the clients you admire and respect. They make you feel good about who you are and what you do. They are your advocates. These are the people who are a true reflection of you and the type of clients you want to build your book around.
2. Identify their common characteristics.
At this point, I’m not talking about assets and revenue. We’ll get to that later. I’m talking about the reasons you enjoy working with them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What personality traits do they share?
- What do you admire and respect about them?
- What values and aspirations do they have in common?
- What financial goals do they have in common?
- What are their biggest challenges?
- What’s most important to them?
- What do they do for fun?
3. Analyze the financials.
Remember, the whole purpose of this exercise is to analyze your “natural clients” and use that information to develop a targeted prospecting plan for duplicating them. As much as you may enjoy working with some of these clients, if the financials don’t add up to a great prospect, you need to eliminate them from the list. Birds of a feather really do flock together.
To do the financial filtering, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much in assets do they have with you?
- How much do they generate in revenue?
- What is their future revenue potential?
- Have they given you referrals in the past or are they an advocate?
- Do they have a Center of Influence? Remember to expand your definition of a COI to include: any individual who can increase your access and credibility through introductions, referrals and word-of-mouth.
4. Examine the demographics of your list.
You now have a finalized list of your “natural clients.” These are people you enjoy working with, who energize you and have the assets you need to build your book effectively.
The information you gather by examining the demographics of this list will help you begin to formulate a plan for reaching “natural prospects” and converting them to “natural clients.” Use these questions as a guide:
- How old are they?
- Where do they work?
- What neighborhoods do they live in?
- What are their hobbies?
- What do they spend time and money on?
- What stage of life are they in now?
- How did you get them as a client?
5. Develop a “natural prospecting plan” for reaching more of your “natural prospects.”
Use these questions to help you outline a “natural prospecting plan.”
- Begin by analyzing your answers to the demographic questions above.
- Look for common denominators. Chances are they have much more in common than you may have realized. You may even find that your “natural clients” break out into more than one distinct group based on demographics.
- Develop a “natural client” profile and more than one if necessary. Keep this in front of you as you develop your plan for reaching “natural prospects.” Also, be able to clearly articulate exactly who your “natural client” is when networking with other professionals.
- Pay particular attention to hobbies. People are passionate about their hobbies and you immediately establish common ground when you share a hobby. Often, this makes breaking through defenses and barriers much faster and easier.
- The “how you got them as a client” question is an important one. Determine the most successful prospecting methods you’ve used in the past to land these “natural clients.”
- Outline your “natural prospecting plan” centered around these techniques. Add activity-based prospecting goals and a timeline for reaching those goals.
Follow these 5 steps to give your prospecting a laser-like focus for reaching more “natural prospects.” Every advisor’s natural client profile will be different. This simple process gives you the information you need to start building your book with clients you’re excited to help and provide you with a greater sense of fulfillment. A happy, more fulfilled advisor is a more successful advisor!
Every prospecting plan must include a solid drip system to be effective. Even “natural prospects” don’t always become clients immediately. Click here to get your Free Prospect to Client Shortcut Kit. The kit includes a Drip Tips Cheat Sheet and a link to our 98 Day Prospect Spreadsheet. Both will help you to make your “natural prospecting plan” a successful one.