Do You REALLY Want “Ideal” Clients?
Be honest. Does all the talk you hear about the “ideal client” make you want to throw up?
In reality, it’s become gibberish.
From recruiting messages to pitches from would-be coaches to fodder that fills the pages of the industry rags. Touted as the be-all, end-all solution for developing your ideal business. Truth be told, I’ve used the term myself.
But now it rings hollow.
Sure, it sounds great…until you put it into practice.
As hard as you might try, you’ll never have a book full of ideal clients. The pretenders and wannabes slip through the cracks.
- They have a lot of money. But they don’t do a lot of business.
- They do a lot of business. But they are jerks.
- They’re really, really nice. But they don’t take your advice.
- They take your advice readily. But, they’re constantly pestering you.
And the beat goes on.
So you end up working with mostly ideal clients, figuring the rest are just the price you pay for being in the business. A little penance on earth…a NOT-so-ideal business, after all.
Turns out that “ideal” is not good enough.
Yes, eliminating marginal clients is easy.
However, to build a practice that will truly make you proud…a business with sustainable long-term economic value…you need to seek out your ultimate clients.
Ultimate clients are more than ideal
- They add purpose to your business and life.
- They make everything you do more enjoyable.
- They don’t keep you a secret.
Take a close look at your list of ideal clients. They’re probably the ones generating 80% or more of your revenues. Or, they represent 80% or more of the assets you manage.
And, if the 80/20 rule holds true…they represent about 20% of your clients.
Most of the 7-figure producers I coach see these numbers play out closer to 90/10. They get 90% of their production from 10% of their clients.
Don’t stop here…let’s go deeper.
Now, handpick the top 20% of that list…the top 20% of your top 10 or 20%. This time, don’t just go by raw production and asset numbers. Add some qualitative aspects as to why they make the grade.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself
- Do you really like them?
- Do they like you?
- Do they send you referrals?
- Do they treat your teammates well?
- Do they quickly accept your advice?
- Do they fit into a niche you enjoy?
Go ahead and add your own questions. These are your favorite clients. If you had to start your business all over again, these folks would be the first ones you’d pick.
For most financial advisors, this new list numbers fewer than 20. And these very special clients represent about 64% of your business. That’s 80% of the 80% with which you began this exercise.
It’s great that you read this. Better though if you worked through the exercise. Each advisor has a different angle on what is his or her Ultimate Client.
The key is not cookie cutter segments, but in identifying the portion of your business you truly enjoy working with. Once you can clearly and personally identify your “Ultimate Client”, you are free to find more. You will find it easier to locate them because you now have a crystal clear picture of what your target looks like.