Friday, February 26, 2010

Do you Really Know Your Ideal Clients?

I bet you think you know who your ideal clients are… but do you really?

One of the questions I ask prospects during a sample coaching session is "Who are your ideal clients?" I like to get a feel for how much work an advisor has done regarding finding out who their ideal clients are and what makes them tick. Once you find out what makes them tick, you can find out where they hang out, which makes your Marketing Plan much easier to implement.

Invariably I hear answers something like this:
"I work with individuals or business owners who have more than X investable assets"
"I target clients who are over age 50"
"I like clients who pay me"
"I work with clients who need advice"

If any of these answers sound like you, you may need to work on an Ideal Client Profile.

When we have a firm idea of our Ideal Clients it is far easier to find them and attract them.  An Ideal Client is your Target Client on steroids.  Take all the demographics and a dose of who you love working with and that is your Ideal Client.  What do your ideal clients do for a living? What organizations do your Ideal Clients belong to?  How can you fine tune your networking to attend events where your Ideal Client congregates?

 How to spot an Ideal Client:
  • They know they need a financial advisor
  • They are busy and don’t want to manage their investments
  • They understand investing strategies, but want and need professional advice
  • They have discretionary income to invest, at least $25,000 annually
  • They meet your investable asset minimum ($100,000 to $500,000)
  • They are fully honest with you and disclose their assets, debts, and goals
  • They are willing to pay for your professional advice
  • They will likely inherit a considerable sum in the future
  • They are friendly and courteous
  • They value your service
  • They like and trust you
  • They are ready for action
  • They take responsibility for their decisions
  • They have realistic expectations
  • They are willing to invest in their long term financial success
  • They act on your advice/suggestions
  • They are open to new ideas
  • They refer other A clients to you

    One of the many benefits of engaging in deeper research regarding ideal clients is that you become more referable. If you're able to educate allied professionals about who you'd like as clients, you're more likely to get referrals to them. Make this an area you research this year!

    Grow Your Business and Prosper!
    Suzanne Muusers

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Marketing, Change and Success

    Hiring a coach is all about change. Clients come to me for help growing their businesses.  I make it very clear that hiring a coach is a good first step, but the real measure of success is the action taken afterwards AND the willingness to get out of your own way.  You may want change, but are you willing to do what it takes?

    If you've heard of the Pareto Principle, you know about the 80/20 rule: 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. I like to say that change is 20% action and 80% in your mind.  You may really want change, but your mind may be holding you back. You may really want more clients, more income, more success, but you want it to come easily. Marketing reluctance may prevent you from taking the scary actions that bring real success.

    That's why coaching is so effective. A professionally trained coach (not someone who adopts the name "coach" without the training), can help you get beyond your mind and into the actions that really make a difference.

    People ask me all the time "What are the hot marketing strategies that advisors are using in the current market?" You don't need a coach to find out what's hot.  There's plenty of information out there. There are books, classes, and blogs like this one that have strategies galore. It's not the strategy that will make you successful; it's the RIGHT marketing strategy for YOU – the one that suits your business model - which you are WILLING to implement. And it's the 80% "mind thing" that could be holding you back. The mind thing that a coach is trained to help you overcome.

    My point: If you continue to do the same things you're doing now, you'll get the same results you had in the past. Change requires BRAVE action on your part.

    Business Coach for Entrepreneurs & Financial Advisors

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Business Goals for 2010

    It's February already! Time is going by too quickly. I think that's because I'm getting older. Last Thursday was my birthday which makes me keenly aware of the passage of time.  

    Ten years ago I reinvented myself. I went from gift store mogul/international business woman, to corporate relationship manager/project manager. Then six years ago the pendulum swung back to entrepreneur once again.  Because we are entering a new decade I've done a bit more work on business goals this year.

    Have you worked on yours?

    I reviewed my goals from last year and discovered that I accomplished SO MUCH! The power of having a business plan and making an appointment with yourself to review progress propelled me forward. Here are some of the things I accomplished last year:
    ·         Spent more time with my family – went camping and had dinner parties
    • Took two products to market – created two new websites
    • Tripled the number of unique visitors to my Web sites – more traffic means more exposure
    • Added ten new sample business plans to one of my products
    • Published an article in three  prominent publications
    • Created a video for one of my products – this was a learning experience
    • Gave six speeches to groups – increased my exposure immeasurably
    • Increased gross revenue 10% - even in a downturn I was able to increase revenue
    • Increased my skills by reading 24 books on entrepreneurship, marketing, and success!

    Then I really thought about what I want in my life in 2010 and made a list:
    • I want to work out five times a week – walking, hiking, biking, weight training – only things I love to do – it's now or never with my healthy habits – I've always been active, but I want regularity and I want to be fit
    • I want to mentor more women business owners – I've been lucky to be mentored by my father, a successful international business man – now I want to pass on my experience to women who don’t have the same role models
    • I want to sell one information product per day – I will need to write more this year in order to promote my products and sell more
    • I only want to accept new clients who are ideal clients this year – clients who have similar values and understand my Mission Statement
    • I want to apply for the next level of certification within the coaching profession – I believe in the professionalism of coaching; I stand for expert credentials
    • I want to surround myself with beautiful things in my office. Plants, fountains, candles, artwork, wood blinds, wood credenzas, and plenty of space and light!

    As I gaze at the Vision Board I created years ago, I realize that I have accomplished much of what I set out to do in my coaching business. I am successful because I TOOK ACTION.   I created a vision of what I wanted my life to resemble and I designed my marketing plan around not only making things happen, but visualizing success.

    I'd love to hear what your business goals are for the year.  What new products, services, events, desires, talents, etc do you want this year?

    Grow Your Business and Prosper!
    Suzanne Muusers
    Business Coach for Financial Advisors