Identifying high-impact clients. Helping them clearly understand the value you deliver. Building the necessary levels of trust to establish lasting relationships. And ultimately, turning those clients into loyal advocates. It’s a process that takes a great deal of effort and commitment. But from a pure cost/benefit analysis, it’s by far the best ‘bang for your business buck.’
The following are 9 creative ways to help prime your prospect pipeline—identifying prospects who are likely to fit your ideal client profile:
- Get slightly on the periphery: Sometimes going the obvious route isn’t always the best. If you happen to have a niche in an area that you feel is underserved, focus heavily on that. For example, if you have a deep understanding related to the wealth management challenges of a particular profession (e.g., cash flow variability of law firm partners) get actively involved with trade organizations that serve the community.
- Turn your passions into networking opportunities: Everyone does golf outings. If you’re personal interests stray from the typical, don’t let convention box you into the same old, same old! Local tours, historical attractions, rock climbing, even running groups, are all great ways to network with potential future clients who might share your passion.
- Start a community project:This can be anything from cleaning and updating your local park, to starting a neighborhood watch or creating a youth group focused on financial education and awareness. Anything that places you in a community leadership position in support of a good cause (bonus if it highlights your expertise) will help to reframe you in the eyes of the community as a trusted and knowledgeable professional resource.
- Participate in community events:The obvious ones are newcomer fairs, job fairs, and expos… but think outside the box a little. Consider attending a road race or another sporting event. Try participating as a sponsor and seeing if you can find a creative way to tie your mission as a business into the theme of the event. Supporting non-profits through athletic events is also a smart way to position yourself in the community.
- Collaborate with professionals who work with people in transition: Think about the professional services that we all lean on when going through a life transition—therapists, life coaches, career counselors, physicians, divorce mediators, realtors, funeral directors, and even professional organizers. These are other trusted professionals who are engaged and talking with your potential clients on a daily basis. Get to know them and start building mutually beneficial relationships.
- Hold an informational panel networking event:Not only is this a great way to highlight your expertise, it’s an excellent opportunity to do the same for your centers of influence. Consider collaborating with the professionals you work with on a regular basis: CPAs, attorneys, estate planners, etc., even professions like those listed in #5 above. Host an informational series for all of your best clients with a few light appetizers and refreshments. You will be pleasantly surprised at the cross-networking and cross-referral opportunities that present themselves.
- Get in the spotlight:If you’ve ever had dreams of holding a political office or serving on a community board, strike now. Incorporating this kind of goal into the fabric of your business can be a big networking boost, and it can also help shape the services you provide your clients.
- Donate your time; support a cause:Increasing the time committed to volunteering is a personal goal many of us share. But what if doing so could also benefit you professionally? Getting involved in a local or national cause by volunteering your time can be a great way to meet future clients and possible centers of influence, and in many cases allow you to exercise your industry chops in new and creative ways.
- Daydream a little:Think about what it would be like to work in some of the careers your business targets for ideal clients, and figure out what being a financial advisor to a person in that role would be like. Maybe you didn’t grow up to be an physician, a pilot, or a professional athlete, but can you live vicariously while partnering with them to improve their finances.
Looking for other creative ideas? We’ve reached out to our clients in an effort to uncover a wide range of successful real life client acquisition best practices—asking them to identify their top strategies for acquiring million-dollar relationships. That list of strategies—some simple and some highly creative—have been compiled into 99 Ideas for Acquiring New ClientsTM which you can download through the ClientWise eXchange™.
Coaching Questions from this article:
- What’s your growth goal for the coming year? How much of that needs to be generated through new client relationships?
- Take a look at your current marketing strategy. Can it be more optimally aligned to achieve your acquisition goals?
- What strategic steps could you take to more proactively engage deeply loyal clients and begin laying the foundation for developing them into advocates?
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