by Tony Vidler
Target marketing is usually the difference between those firms who get the right sort of clients, and those who just get customers.
Clients follow advice, because they value it.
Customers engage in transactions. They buy products. They take a bit of advice here and there…as it suits them.
Trying to get more customers is not the smart play for most advisory firms. The exception to that is when you build a practice which focusses upon transactional work with limited advice and you are able to execute it with a serious volume of transactions.
Great advice firms are built upon valuable advice delivered to clients who understand the value of the advice itself and the value of a coach, strategist, mentor, and tactician who is working to help them achieve their goals.
Virtually all professional services firms have limited marketing budgets. More importantly perhaps, the practice managers, partners and key advisers all have other limitations too. To paraphrase Carl Richards (who drew this diagram for investors, rather than practitioners) there is only so much that we have to invest when it comes to marketing.
Apart from limited budgets, there is a paucity of time, and only so much energy available for marketing which can be diverted from all the other resources required of todays financial adviser running their own practice. To top it off most have never really been trained in marketing and have rudimentary skills in this area. They are good financial advisers. Often they are good business people too. Rarely are they great practitioners AND great business managers AND superb marketers.
All of these limitations, together with the need to attract the right types of future clients, mean we need to direct the limited resources we have into targeting the ideal clients. That is not to say that if some good customers turn up we shouldn’t deal with them. Make a commercial decision there: if they are good enough and appear to be profitable enough, then by all means deal with them and take them on if it is also work you want to be doing.
However, direct the limited time, money, energy and skills that you practice does have for marketing towards creating awareness with ideal clients, and then engaging them. Focus those resources on where you are most likely to get your best return…Target marketing is the smart play when we have limited resources.