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Business Growth Strategy - Target Clients and Influencers

By Greg Gilbert, CFP®

CEO and President, Infinity Financial Services

At the beginning of many financial advisors’ (FAs) careers the goal was to acquire as many clients as possible, as soon as possible, and not to be overly selective. In time, FAs discovered which relationships were likely to become the most productive, enjoyable, and satisfying, for both the advisor and client. The negative experiences with select clients may have been enlightening regarding those types of clients and personalities to avoid.

As an independent financial advisor, you are in this for the long haul. Naturally, you want to create great working relationships with clients who value and trust you and follow your thoughtful recommendations. Ideally, you want to be one of the first trusted advisors a client calls whenever a major life event occurs, to discuss financial ramifications.

Affiliating and transitioning to Infinity Financial Services provides an opportunity to part company with those clients who have been unwilling to follow your guidance, willing to accept your recommendations but executing them on their own, or who have been frequently unpleasant.

You may also want to consider working with centers of influence (COIs), that is, CPAs, attorneys, divorce mediators, etc. Most financial planners are willing to work with their clients’ accountant or tax attorney on tax efficiency strategies, estate planning and succession planning for business owners. Still others work with divorce lawyers on divorce-related financial and tax planning. Positive interactions with these COIs are an opportunity for you to develop a mutually beneficial referral-based relationships.

COI relationships tend to work best if the referrals go both ways, so it makes sense to be very selective. One approach is to offer a client your three best options (for a type of COI) and allow the client to make the selection.      

Consider engaging COIs as guest expert speakers for educational webinars and in-person seminars.


Identifying Your Ideal Clients and COIs

For your convenience, here is a list of the things you will want to consider as you seek to take your practice to the next level with "ideal" clients.

  1. Client Types (individuals, business owners, plan sponsors, institutions):

  2. Niche (profession, industry, life event):

  3. Benefit Plan Types (if applicable):

  4. Minimum Investable Assets:

  5. Target Age Range:

  6. Marital Status:

  7. Have Children?

  8. Target Geography:

  9. Personality Types:

  10. What do clients need and expect from you?

  11. Communication channels you will use (e-mail, phone, video calls, webcasts, social media, US mail, in person):

  12. How many times will you connect with each client during the year?

  13. Centers of Influence (CPAs, attorneys, P&C agents, realtors, mortgage brokers, divorce mediators, plan administrators)

  14. How many times will you connect with each COI during the year?

For personalized assistance in considering affiliation options, please click here.

Infinity Financial Services is a national, independent Investment and Wealth Management firm, founded with a vision: help enterprising financial professionals to grow truly independent, successful practices, leveraging leading-edge technologies and firm support. Based in Oakland, California, with branch offices around the U.S., Infinity's financial professionals offer an array of asset management, brokerage, insurance, financial planning, benefit plan, insurance, and risk management services. This article provides information for investment professionals. It is not intended for use by the general public.