In an industry based on facts and figures, why is it that financial advisers base most, if not all their marketing data on "gut instinct"?
When asked about a profile of their core client, they rarely base their answers on facts, thinking about their Ideal Client Profile in ways that make them feel good. For example: "My average case is $1,000,000 in assets", "we have close to 100% wallet share", or "we close 75% of the people that walk in the door."
Let data be your guide when it comes to efficiently pinpointing your best prospects. For the same reasons advisers don't want human emotions to cloud investment decisions, emotions shouldn't dictate their sales and marketing decisions.
Here are five things you can do to be a better student of your Ideal Client Profile:
If you've ever wondered how people "follow you" after they've been to a seminar, met you at a party, heard you on a broadcast news segment, or were referred to you by a friend, it's easy to find out.
Your website is your Virtual Storefront, and it's how people engage with you. Take 15 minutes to learn the basics of Google Analytics and you can learn everything you need to know about how people are truly engaging with you. You can learn when people visit your site, where they live, what pages they visit, how long they spend on your site.
Chances are there are about five essential things to know about what your clients and prospects think. There are plenty of studies that show people like offering their opinion as long as it's easy. Polling online the people you work with (or want to work with) shows them that you care, helps them have a better client experience, and be honest.
You can execute a survey easily and affordably on platforms like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. It is a great way to find out timely things like: "On a scale from 1-10 how confident are you in today's market?" or "What are the five biggest factors in selecting an adviser?" Surveys can be done on a regular basis, weekly or monthly.
Almost every industry generates 80% of its revenue from 20% of its clients. Understanding where the bulk of the revenue comes from, as well as the client profiles that make it up should be a top priority for every adviser.
To find the "80-20": Start with knowing your total revenue in the past year. Create a list of revenue generated by each client starting with the biggest to the smallest. Add from the top down until you get to 80% of your total revenue.
The revenue generated from your smallest client among the top 80% will be your benchmark for all key clients. Now you could better examine the traits of your key clients. Where do they live? What is their occupation? What do they like to do for fun?
CLIENT ADVISORY BOARD
Now that you know your key accounts, create a program to more thoughtfully engage with them. Each month invite a handful of top clients to a group dinner to ask them questions about how they feel about things that can help you all. Special guests can present.
The topics could vary and include things like: What are their true attitudes toward risk? Do they have a succession/wealth transfer plan? How do they incorporate the digital age with their financial communication? What do they consider to be great service?
If you haven't noticed, the internet knows everything about you. The names and addresses of your best clients could be the doorway to deeper patterns that exist within your Ideal Client Profiles. Based on just a postal address the worldwide web can analyze the consumer behavior of your top clients against hundreds of data points.
You can find out granular traits among your best targets like: Where do they shop? Do they own dogs? Where do they live? Are certain demographics more predisposed? Where do they like to vacation? What are their media habits? This information could be extremely valuable when it comes to creating your next big marketing initiative.
John Capuano is the founder of Lone Beacon.