Pillar II – Develop New Business
Tip #6 – Know the criteria for your “ideal” client.
When building an advisory practice, it is important to attract the right kind of clients. Think for a moment about your very best clients. Now think of clients you wish you were not working with. Create a list of attributes of your best clients. What characteristics do they have in common? How were they attracted to you? Why do you like working with them over other clients? Make it a goal to grow your practice by selectively adding clients you know are a good fit – – those who meet the criteria you have established for your “A-level clients.”
Tip # 7 – Target your audience and your message.
Based on the results of your A-level client criteria, identify types of clients who utilize the best and highest use of your knowledge and experience when you work with them. What characteristics do they have in common (age, geographic location, company type, industry affiliation, who referred them to you, results you generated for them)? For each audience group, develop messages that answer the question, “Why should I hire you?” Focus your key “hire me” messages around the value you bring to your clients, the proven experience you have developed in certain areas, your client’s satisfaction with your work, the results you generate, and other specific proof supporting why you are the best choice for this type of client to hire.
Tip #8 – Focus on your Top Ten Lists
Track the logical flow of developing new business by making the process manageable. First, identify the top ten prospective clients you would like to attract. Next, identify your top ten current clients. Finally, identify your top ten referral sources/COIs. You now have 30 individuals and/or companies to focus on. Spend a few minutes putting a plan in place to connect with each person over the next 12 months. Think of those you know in your network who might introduce you to a key prospective client. Plan to attend an industry event with a client or with one of your best referral sources. Spend time with these people and focus on asking great questions, and listening to their responses. You have to listen for opportunities in order to turn those opportunities into new business.
Tip #9 – Do your Research!
For those of you attending the most recent FPA meeting in December 2013 featuring keynote speaker, Sam Richter, review the document he provided access to which includes simple but extremely effective search engine tips. You should always research the individual you are going to meet with to determine commonality with that person. It pays to do your homework and enables you to ask brilliant questions because you have spent the time in advance preparing for the meeting.
Tip #10 – Create a Pipeline
Take the time to create a pipeline of your prospective clients and new business opportunities for 2013. Track the progression from new contact through the first meeting, providing additional information or a proposal, attracting the client and seeking referrals from satisfied clients. Review your Sales Pipeline on a weekly basis to ensure you are capturing your best opportunities and that you have a process in place to track and manage next steps with each individual.