Do you have an idea of the type of client you want to work with? Do you have them so well defined that everyone in your agency knows what they look like and everyone in your network knows what they look like?
If you don’t know and/or haven’t clearly communicated it to everyone, then you’re missing out on opportunities to find and connect with those potential clients.
Let’s take a quick look at what that profile should look like
You might know the size of business, have a targeted area in which they’re located, and possibly identified an industry or two that they’re in.
That’s a good start and you should definitely have an idea of what you’re looking for in each of those areas.
But you should also have a lot more to really paint that picture for yourself and everyone else. The more specific you are and the better the visual you can create, the more readily you and your network will be able to identify it when you see it.
Also having such a specifically defined audience will help you to better focus your message and general communications.
Provide a holistic view of the person and business
- Size of business
- Position(s) of those with whom you want to work (CEO, CFO, HR, Risk Manager, etc.)
- Business values
- Attitude toward employees, safety, training, engagement, growth, etc.
- Attitude toward and how they work with advisors/vendors
- How they determine success
- Participation in community
Take it to the next descriptive level
Give him/her a name and personality. Search for a picture of what this ideal person or company looks like. Maybe it’s just an ideal you have in mind, or perhaps you’re even modeling this after a current client. Make that your picture and share it with everyone.
I’ve worked with clients on this exercise who immediately understood where we were going with it. Following are a couple of great examples: the first written by an individual producer, and the second written at the agency level.
She named him Booming Bob.
Bob owns a successful business that hung tight during the recession by being efficient with his people and processes. Ready to start growing from 25 up to 30 then 40+ employees. Ideally hanging out at the 50 to 75 arena. Wants to stay efficient and wisely looks to his advisors keep him on track. He knows the power of delegation and isn’t afraid to use it. Knows the value of relationships and endeavors to build them whenever possible. Not afraid to tell someone they’re doing a good job and takes good care of his employees without spoiling them.
Our clients are profitable businesses run by sophisticated, smart, down to Earth people who want to work with an advisor. They depend on us to deliver on services, they trust in us, use benefits for recruiting and retention, value their employees, are strategic thinkers in their business and the people they hire, they want to be challenged. We like them. (Technical details of profile omitted for this post.)
After describing what they wanted in their ideal, they quickly identified a current client as the “picture” for who this ideal client is.
Everyone in the agency now knows exactly what they’re looking for and what they’re trying to replicate, not only in technical details, but on the human side of the business, as well.
Marketing and prospecting go hand-in-hand
Having a clear vision of your brand and audience is key for prospecting, and it should also be used as your guide for your marketing communications, as well: in-person activities, printed materials, and all online postings and interactions.
The better you know the targeted audience you are trying to attract and speak to, the better you can target your message and your services, and the more helpful and valuable you can be to those potential and current clients.