Nobody's apt to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the truth is that just because you receive a referral doesn't mean you should take it on impulse. Other than failing to meet your account minimum, there are other factors that should trigger a pass. Take the advice of Dallas based advisor Woody Young and avoid "taking what you get instead of getting what you want."
It follows that in order to get what you want, you need to know whatyou want. Take the time to sit down and determine what type of client you most enjoy working with and have found success with in the past.
Consider these questions for starters:
- Risk. Do you prefer working with conservative clients or risk-takers?
Arm's length. Do you prefer to maintain a professional detachment with your clients? Or do you like having an informal, friendly relationship?
Communication. Do you prefer a formal or informal style? E-mail or formal written proposals?
Gender. Do you have a preference in working with women or men?
Age. Are you more comfortable with older or younger clients?
Focused/broad. Do you specialize in a niche or are you a general practitioner?
Fast/slow decision-making. Do you like working with people who make investment decisions quickly? Or people who take their time?
Educate/collaborate. Do you like to teach? Or do you prefer savvy investors who discuss decisions with you?
When you've defined what kind of client you're most compatible with, you can easily see what kind of referral you should pursue, which you should contemplate, and which you're better off passing on. This way, you'll start getting the kind of clients you want, not just those you can get.
While the above questions are a good start, there's more to establishing an Ideal Client Profile, and if you're curious about learning more about the topic, you can find additional information in these Horsesmouth articles (free registration required):
Attract Business With an Ideal Client Profile
Knowing exactly who you serve best leads to more effective marketing and referrals--and more business. Review these examples before writing your own ideal client profile.
7 Steps to Cloning Your Best Clients
Your dream clients might be just a phone call away. Here's how to replicate your best clients.
Identify Your Best Clients
Business coach Steve Sanduski shows you how to segment your book so you can identify your best clients--and find more just like them.