Getting a Steady Flow of Profitable Referrals: Part 3
When you define your ideal client the way I have directed you in Part 2, you’ll find that your ideal client belongs to particular groups.
For instance, the top engineers at Boeing aircraft belong to the Aerospace Industries Association, the radiologists at your local hospitals will have their own local and national associations.
Whatever this group is, this is your target market. You want to find an identifiable target population with similar interests and needs. It should be easy to find what groups they belong to. If you target one, two or three unique audiences, give yourself two stars!
You are now two steps closer to getting two or three more referrals each month and doubling your income. Before I figured this out for my own practice, I really was struggling. I started out trying to coach everybody and anybody. Then I chose:
- Small business owners as my niche—better
- Independent financial advisors—much, much better
The Most Powerful Way to Make Yourself Highly Referable
Become known as a specialist in two areas:
- Your financial expertise
- Who you serve
These two components make up a niche. Most financial advisors I know get only half of this equation. They have a financial specialty (401ks, Social Security, 403b tax-sheltered annuity or account, etc.). But they don’t specialize in a specific target market. When you combine your specific financial expertise with a specific market, you have what is called a niche. A niche includes:
- What problems you solve
- Who has these problems
- Qualities of an ideal client
Having a niche is a third star in this five-star program. Do you have 3 stars? I wonder if you’re like many advisors and you fear narrowing your pool of prospects to a specific niche. You’re thinking, “But I’ll lose prospects.” You’re working so hard now trying to find prospects, you fear you would be reducing your odds. That fear is a paper tiger. The opposite is true. This is most common self-defeating fear that holds advisors back from getting a steady flow of referrals.
Michael Kitces, a noted thought leader in the financial industry puts it this way:
Radiologists, executives in computers, plastic surgeons, etc., all have ample income and wealth to be good clients for advisors. Most advisors need no more than 100 clients to have a wildly successful business. The categories we just listed have thousands if not tens of thousands of people in each. You’ll generate significantly more profitable referrals by clearly defining a niche and conveying it to clients and affiliated professionals.
Defining a specific niche enables you to:
- Position yourself as the expert
- Create a compelling value proposition
- Become top-of-mind
- Strongly bond and engage your clients
And this makes you highly referrable. When you have three stars in place, you’ll find marketing is easier and you’ll start getting more referrals. In following issues I’ll tell you how to create the full five-star referral system. Put all five stars in place and you’ll start getting many more referrals. I’ve had clients get between two and four additional referrals per month. How many stars do you have right now? How many referrals a month are you getting? I’d love to hear from you and answer any of your questions.
Wishing you a rich and rewarding business and life,