Developing Your Model Advisory Client

Who would have thought a basic principle taught to aspiring army commanders at West Point would also apply to us financial advisors? 

For centuries, generals who commanded a small number of troops defending against a larger number of invaders had to make tough choices. They understood the truth in the old military maxim, “If you defend everything, you defend nothing.” A good commander determines which sites are of the highest importance and which hold the greatest prospects for success, and then makes his stand there. By focusing his efforts on a handful of select key targets, he increases his chances for victory.

Believe it or not, we have the same opportunity in the wealth management field. And we also face the same choices.

Ours is a people-pleasing profession. Our industry is based on relationships. We hold our clients’ hands and walk with them through a maze of difficult choices while hopefully guiding them toward achieving their personal financial goals. When the client succeeds and is happy, we do well.

But think for a minute about the type of clients you serve. Think also about how your firm handles those clients. Are you selective in which accounts to choose to accept? Or do you take a “Come one, come all” approach?

It’s important to make that distinction because being a “people-pleasing” firm that tries to be all things to all clients can hold you back from becoming the type of wealth manager you want to be. It can hinder you from growing and moving forward professionally.

In the early days of your career, you probably said “yes” to every investor who came your way. I get that. You were focused then on establishing and growing your business.

Yet that came at a cost. Along the way, your firm was servicing everyone, but not really serving anyone exceptionally well.    

But things have changed. You are established now, and you want to take your career to the next level.

It’s time to start directing your focus on building your Model Advisory Client (MAC) base. 

You are now at the point where you must identify, and then focus your attention on, ideal clients so that you can provide the best service and value for a specific segment of the market. That allows you to manage them effectively and efficiently while continuing to grow your firm by targeting that specific group of investors.

Research shows firms that focus on a certain clientele grow faster and with better profit margins. In fact, margins at focused firms were 18% higher than firms with a generalized client base. And their client growth was a whopping 35% greater than the one-size-fits-all firms.

So, just who is a MAC and how do you identify them?

Start with a group you want to target. Say, teachers, or college staffers. It could be large business owners. Maybe doctors or attorneys. Just pick a group that you find professionally attractive and then start doing your homework.

Jump in and thoroughly study the research. Look at the data and identify who your ideal MACs are. Then recruit them. 

Anyone can implement this strategy — a new firm, one investment advisor within a larger firm, or an established firm looking for a more profitable client base

All you need is time to focus your attention, study the data, direct your efforts, and identify who your MACs are. There’s no magic involved: just discipline, dedication, and work. The results make it all worthwhile.

If you defend everything, you defend nothing. If you try to be all things to all clients, you will only be marginal at best. Success lies in going after the specific clients you want and getting them. 

So, target who your MACs, find them, and then go get them. It’s just that simple. 

Interested in learning more about building your own MAC base?  Check out my Inner Circle and listen to my MAC Masterclass.