To find the right clients, you need to understand them.


To find the right clients, you need to understand them.

Whenever I’m working with advisors one-on-one or chatting after a speaking engagement, they usually ask, “How do I find better clients?”  Typically, that question translates to “How do I find people with more money?”

My first thought is to caution that type of thinking. Just having money doesn’t necessarily make that client the right client. A lot of frustration comes from having a lot of clients but being narrow in product mix. For example, only having assets under management will leave you with a low-margin business. When you add more clients, you are also adding more service, which could mean you’re not as profitable.

We want to make sure that when you grow, you grow profitably. I want you to change your philosophy from “I need to find clients with more money” to simply, “I need to find the right client.” And the right client is defined by where you want your business to be in the next five to 10 years. If that remains assets under management, that’s fine.

But if you want to move to a High Performing Practice, you need to find more of the right clients and then develop a deeper relationship with them. That’s how you’ll remain relevant in this great shift from the workforce to retirement—one of the largest shifts the United States has ever seen.

There are three things you need to be thinking about:

  1. Can you be patient enough? I would recommend not stopping your current prospecting strategy. Add to it. Increase what you’re doing so you can attract the right client — the client that you The one that will grow your business in the next five to 10 years.
  2. Do you understand what this segment of the population really wants? People with wealth typically live a little bit longer because they have better access to health care. We tend to say, “Hey, you need my specialty.” But they often have other issues to focus on. Your specialty may be assets under management, but what they really want to talk about is how to minimize their tax burden during retirement. Or they may want to discuss legacy issues. Or how to pass their values onto kids and grandkids. To achieve a High Performing Practice, you need to know what’s important to the client and how to address it.
  3. How can you find and access the right people? Are there certain functions or restaurants that appeal to them? Evaluate their communities and plan accordingly. Choose settings and activities that are likely to interest them when planning an event.

By focusing on patience, understanding your market inside and out, and creating a campaign designed to nurture your clients, you can delve deeper into their concerns and interact with them in the style they prefer. If you do that, you will transform your business to a High Performing Practice with better clients.