Most financial professionals are more comfortable delivering services than promoting them. At the end of the day, demand generation — your ability to generate interest, inquiries, new leads and proposals — is a good thing for your practice and your reputation.
“The ability to generate demand is the ticket to spending more of your time working on exciting things for interesting people versus tolerable stuff for acceptable clients.” —David Maister, True Professional (Free Press, 1997)
Consider the following steps to securing your current client base and generating referrals and demand from an attractive set of new clients.
The first step to generating more business is to define your ideal client. Think about the 20 percent of your clients who provide 80 percent of your revenue, and try to define your market in these terms:
Write down descriptions of your top “segments” of clients. List their needs to remind yourself of your strengths in the marketplace. Write down their “pain points” — the issues that concern them or cause them to worry their financial plans. Addressing and mitigating pain points is an effective way to think about how you engage clients with relevant information. Spend time thinking about your approach versus other advisors.
Engaging clients is important because trust has to be demonstrated, not sold. Interactions with clients are your best opportunity to demonstrate yourself as a trusted advisor.
Create a client calendar. The key to engaging and targeting your market is talking to clients. A good way to do that is to create a client calendar that outlines and plans potential client contact throughout the year — particularly during the gaps between tax filings.
Now that you know your target audience and have focused on their needs, you can create a plan for how you reach your most valuable prospects.
Ultimately, effective client engagement means that you hear, anticipate, understand and address client needs with genuine, honest action. A smart referral strategy that demonstrates those characteristics will pay off with client prospects that fit your strengths in the marketplace.
This article is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, or investment advice. SunTrust makes no warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, does not endorse any non-SunTrust companies, products, or services described here, and takes no liability for your use of this information.