New Business Development

An ideal client strategy

An ideal client strategy

Have this conversation during your annual review or over lunch with clients you wish to replicate.  

"Mary, have I ever explained to you how we manage our practice? Great; let me take a moment and explain it because it impacts you as a client. At its essence, likely every business in the United States has two fundamental requirements if they're going to survive: to grow and to serve. Fail at either, and over time, the business will probably atrophy and die.

In our experience, one of the greatest challenges is allocating time and resources appropriately to those two critical requirements. We find that many financial professionals spend 70% of their time trying to grow and only about 30% of their time actively engaged in serving their existing clientele. We have reversed those percentages in our practice, which we believe is one of the benefits of our team structure. We spend 70% of our time working with our existing clientele and only about 30% trying to grow our practice.

Is it safe for me to assume that, as a client, you would like us to continue to work that way? Great! The only way we have been able to accomplish this is with the help of our best clients. Those clients consistently introduce our team to individuals and families that they believe might benefit from our services. Now, before you give me any names, let me describe the kind of people that we are best designed to serve. And frankly, Mary, this is the easy part. If we had 100 clients just like you, not only would we be one of the most productive practices in Dallas, we would also be one of the happiest because our friendship transcends a purely business relationship. So, Mary, I'd like you to think of two or three people that, when you look at them, you feel like you're looking into a mirror. Now, when I said that, who just popped into your mind?"

In our view, the key to this referral request is that it only works for those clients that you wish to clone. If this is not true, it will probably be blatantly disingenuous and therefore likely fail miserably. However, for the right client, whose relationship with you is more than just a business relationship, this may work for the following reasons:

  • It's likely genuinely flattering.
  • It likely engages one of the most powerful human instincts, enlightened self-interest. "It is in my interest to keep you off the streets and in front of my portfolio."
  • The request is specific ("When you look at them ...") rather than general ("Whom do you know ...?"), which, of course, brings specific and pre-qualified people to mind.
success failure

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