The creation of an ideal client profile is a simple yet powerful exercise that lets advisers list the core characteristics that qualify an individual as a potential client, i-Impact Group founder Claudio Pannunzio tells Wealth Professional.
He believes an ideal client profile gives advisers a much clearer picture of their target market; to create a portfolio of clients who truly want, need and value their services.
“Deciding what the ideal client should be is an exercise that involves both an adviser’s mind and heart. While the intellect traditionally tips the scale toward affluent clients with significant investable assets, regrettably, more assets do not often guarantee a happy adviser/client relationship down the road,” says Pannunzio.
“In seeking ideal clients, advisers should never lose sight of the original calling that prompted them to enter the profession. I understand that this may sound a tad too idealistic.
“However, the secret to enjoying being an adviser hinges on the ability to adhere as much as possible to that true calling and hone in on the types of clients to whom an advisor can provide the most value and help.”
But what if someone who is not your ideal client wants to hire you?
Pannunzio says to think “long and hard” whether the client fits the overall culture of the practice and whether the infrastructure is there to support the level of service this type of client demands.
“A client who does not share the same principles, culture, vision of an adviser has the potential to became dissatisfied or pose excessive demand on the adviser and her team. This in turn could begin to drain a practice’s resources and lower the morale of an adviser.
“In dealing with clients who fall outside of the ideal client profile, advisers should constantly monitor those relationships and look for warning signs for potential clients or dissatisfaction to be prepared to timely address such issues. The latter often provide a unique opportunity to amicably part ways and replace such an account with a more ideal one.”
Pannunzio’s five key steps to create the ideal client profile:
- Background information about a client’s profession and education
- Psychographics outlining the type of personality the adviser best enjoys interacting with
- Preferences, including primary and secondary goals, sports, hobbies, beliefs, likes and dislikes
GOALS & CHALLENGES
- Geographical area of residence, work, favourite shopping and dining locations, hang out places
- Places where an ideal client gathers investment information (physical and virtual), home, libraries, online
QUOTES & OBJECTIONS
- Create an image of an ideal client’s short- and long-term goals
- Describe their primary and secondary challenges
- Anticipate the financial dreams and needs the ideal clients will expect
- Level of service needed to address the ideal client’s goals and challenges
SURVEY CURRENT CLIENTS
- Write down positive statements from real clients and prospects and create additional ones that fit the ideal client profile to better define the “persona”
- List the most common objections an ideal client could raise during the prospecting process to better anticipate and address doubts
- Reach out to current clients to gain insight into what prompted them select your business over others