Four Signs You’re Talking to the Wrong Prospects

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With the hundreds of advisors I’ve coached and mentored, the first question I start with is, “Who is your ideal client?”

Immediately they say, “Oh that’s easy. My ideal client is between the ages 50-68, they plan on retiring soon, have a net worth of x, have a 401k/stock plan and own real estate.”

The problem with that demographic description, which most advisors have been told to memorize, is that it doesn’t tell you much. It’s too general. Demographic data only becomes useful when you have a large enough sample of people already captured in a “pond you can fish out of,” like your own database. But when you’re in a low-volume, high-margin business model, which describes most advisors, that description doesn’t say how to fish them out of the “wide ocean” and into your own pond.

A good place to start is to know who your ideal client is not. You know you have a non-ideal client when:

  1. They are indecisive and not committed to hiring you to help them.
  2. They pick your brain for free advice and consulting, avoiding making a decision.
  3. They compare your fees against other advisor fees.
  4. They don’t see you as the trusted authority.

If any of these characterize the potential clients you speak with on a regular basis, then you’re attracting non-ideal clients.

When a potential client compares your fees to another advisor, it means they have a low view of professional advisors and think that the same quality of expert advice is available from any other advisor they speak with.