Seven Essential Strategies to Get More Profitable Clients – Part 3
This is the third in a series of blogs that offer a complete plan to get a steady flow of profitable clients and freedom to work the way you want.
Strategy #3 Get the insider info about your target audience
Give yourself an unfair competitive advantage.
After you select your niche (also called target market) you’re now able to enjoy an unfair competitive advantage.
The advantage is deeply and truly understanding your audience, knowing exactly what your prospects really want—not what you imagine they want and not what your competitors claim they want.
There is power in knowing the words your audience actually use. This allows you to phrase your offers in their language to make your messages highly compelling.
When you know their fears, concerns and worries, you can make offers that are very attractive because they allay those fears.
You don’t want to guess what they are because guessing is not reliable. Don’t copy what your competitors say. That’s another bad idea. You will sound just like them and not stand apart. Also, they may have gotten it all wrong and there you are copying their mistakes.
Many of you launch campaigns based on hopes and guesses. Most of the time you fail. You wonder why. What went wrong? What went wrong was you left out a crucial piece of the marketing recipe – marketing research.
Instead of guessing, you need to systematically ask people in your target market what they actually want. Talk to them directly and you have access to inside information that is as powerful as insider information about a stock trade. Except it is perfectly legal and it is perfectly free. You will have a big advantage over your competition.
The secret is to find prospects’ key motivators — what will prompt them to take action and sign up for your services?
People are motivated by pleasure and pain. It’s the old carrot and stick. Although people will act to achieve their dreams, they’ll act faster to remove the fear of growing old and not having enough money to live with dignity. They will act faster to remove the fear of making bad financial decisions. Pain is the quickest, surest and most effective motivator. Taking action to avoid pain is the top priority. You’ll want to learn what particular pains your particular niche wants to avoid. Then you can create solutions to ease them.
So the third strategy to get more profitable clients is to do research out in the field and learn the problems your target market fears most deeply.
As I said, you don’t want to guess. You want to learn exactly what their key motivators, their pain points, are. Ask them questions like: When it comes to finances, what are you most worried and fearful about. What do you want to do about this problem? What would help you get over it? What are your hopes and dreams? What do you really want but fear is out of your reach?
Think of it. You can find out just exactly what you want to know about your market. The answers come straight from them. It’s honest. It’s pure. And, like I said, it’s free.
In addition to questions about their pain, you can ask your target market questions like what do they most want in an advisor. You can then brand yourself as such an advisor. What is the best and easiest way to find people just like them? This answer will make your marketing and prospecting much, much easier. How do they like to be communicated with: email, regular mail, telephone, on social media? This tells you where to concentrate your communication efforts. You want to find their hopes, dreams and aspirations. This way you can also address their positive motivators.
Just imagine, if you knew this about your prospects, how much easier and effective your marketing efforts would be. You would know just what to say to move them. You’d know when to call on them. And most importantly, you’d know where to find whole groups of them.
What you want to do is write about a dozen questions designed to give you the answers you want. Then go out and ask them of people in your target market. Include both possible consumers and affiliated professionals. So if your niche is anesthesiologists, you’d call on these practitioners and their accountants, estate attorneys and bankers.
How to conduct marketing interviews
Do the interviews yourself. Don’t hand it off to a colleague. It’s too important. Don’t try and substitute printed surveys. You’ll only get superficial answers that way.
During your interviews, gather phrases you hear them say. Listen for phrases you can lift word for word and use in your core marketing message. Your core marketing message is also called your USB, unique selling proposition. I personally do not like this term. The word “unique” has two problems. It puts the focus on you rather than where it belongs — on your niche. The word unique also makes you try to come up with something nobody else has thought of. That’s hard to do. And it’s unnecessary.
What you want are common short phrases your niche uses. When doing my research I heard my niche say they had clients, but they weren’t profitable clients. There were working very hard and not making much money. I heard a couple interviewees say they wanted “more profitable clients.” This is what I use in my marketing message, “I help financial advisors get more profitable clients.”
Use sound bites like this when writing your marketing message. Then you can use it when you’re networking, giving speeches or when anybody asks you what you do. You should use it prominently on your website and LinkedIn profile. Make it the first thing readers see.
Here’s how to proceed with your interviews. Start with interviewing your present clients. At the end ask them who else you can talk to. Eventually you’ll run out of people you know and their colleagues. You’ll have to resort to using a list. It’ll be like cold calling except it will be easier. You won’t find as much resistance. You can even start by saying you’re not selling anything. That statement warms things up.
Here’s a script of what you might say; “Hi, I’m not selling anything. I’m looking to help anesthesiologists, like yourself, get better financial services. I was wondering if you could help me? I need about 10 minutes to ask some questions that I think you’ll find interesting. When I complete my research, I’ll share my results with you.”
You’ll find about half the strangers you call on will agree to an interview.
Gather the information from your marketing interviews. As I said, use their words and phrases whenever possible. Do not paraphrase into your own words or simplify what you heard. The more specific the information you gather the better. Specific information is the most useful.
Listen carefully and listen 80% or more of the time. If the interviewee asks you some questions about hiring you, don’t take the bait. Tell them the reason for your call is to get the marketing questions answered. At the end, you can check if he’s interested in scheduling an interview to talk about how you might help him.
After you complete your interviews, take the material and answer for yourself: what specific pains and specific desired outcomes will motivate people in my niche to invest in my services to overcome their pain and achieve those outcomes. What will make them see my services as essential?
Save this information and the raw data in a safe but convenient place. Add new information as you learn more about your market. Never throw this away.
With this data, you can craft marketing messages and offers that are compelling and attract more high net worth clients.
The third strategy to have a thriving financial advisory practice working with ideal clients you love is to do your own market research. Choose a niche. Personally ask the people in that niche what you need to know. You’ll have a gold mine of information to guide your practice and have prospects chasing you for your services.
Learning about your target market is a continuous job. While working with clients and affiliated professionals, keep one ear open to learning more about your niche. Let it become a habit.
Understanding your prospect’s’ wants, dreams and motivations makes your marketing much easier and more effective. Your practice will grow faster with less work.
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