Five Tips to Choose Your Ideal Client

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

"The first step in exceeding your customer's expectations is to know those expectations." - Roy H. Williams

Taking on a new client is a decision that may change your business dramatically. Being desperate and signing up someone just because they happen to have that magic number of assets can cause problems. Having a process for making the decision of taking on a new client will help you filter out your ideal client from one that only makes your numbers look good.

Five tips to choose your ideal client are:

1.) Create an ideal client profile list. Consider your current top clients’ characteristics and values, and make a list of the similarities. Decide from that list which of those will be the top 5 criteria that you will use.

2.) Get to know them by digging deeper. Apart from the regulation questions, ask about their expectations, the solution they are looking for, and their financial dream.

3.) Do they respect and value you and your time? If not, that’s a warning.

4.) Trust your instincts. If your first impression is negative, they are probably not the one for you.

5.) Stick to your ideal client profile. Working with the right clients who value what you do is a key to growing your business. It also creates a positive atmosphere as you are working with people that you enjoy.

Once you have your ideal client profiled you can start to craft a marketing message that resonates with your ideal client. This message allows you to clearly state who it is that you are looking for as a client. So when someone asks you,” How would I know your ideal client if I was a dinner party?” you have an answer.

It will be tempting to take on someone who does not fit your ideal client profile when he or she has been referred by a big client, but saying no politely early on will be much easier than having your reputation at stake later.

Rosemary Smyth, MBA, ACC, is a columnist and an international business coach for financial advisors. She spent her career working at leading investment firms before pursuing her passion for coaching. She lives in Victoria, BC. Visit her website at  

For more, ByAllAccounts will be hosting a webinar on February 16th at 2 PM EST entitled "Creating Your Ideal Client Profile: Optmize Your Client List to Maximize Profitability". To register, click here!

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