By: Molly M Grubb, AIF®
In a sales–crazed world, most professionals are worried about just getting people “on the bus” to sell to or work with when they should care more about getting the “right” people on the bus. I call it the “Heartbeat Phenomenon,” where the viewpoint is that if someone has a heart that beats then they must become your client, friend, etc. However, truly defining who you are and who you want to be and standing your ground on who you want to work with takes guts and fortitude. It is neither the weak nor the pretenders who have the aptitude to do this. You ask, “Why do I care?” The reason this is so important is that it puts you on the fast track to having that ideal client or friend and even lets you stand out from all the noise in your respective industry.
Do you have someone on your bus of clients/friends who you hold off calling for at least 10 minutes because you fear or despise speaking with them? Trust me, having the right people to care for or call on makes it all–the–more worthwhile to wake up in the morning. The right clients will make you want to go to the ends of the earth to ensure you add as much value to their lives as possible. The rest are just toxic for you and them, and will only hold you both back from achieving what is important to both of you. For networking (career speed dating) purposes, if you know your ideal client wears a yellow suit with red glasses and a purple tie, you are going to be able to see that client stick out from all others.
Recently, Kelly Clarkson was interviewed, talking about her performing with Pink. She was asked, “Do you feel like there is animosity between you two, as the media loves to assume and promote female stars to be against each other?” She responded in the most refreshing way: “No, in fact, I believe the reason we have enjoyed our continued success is that we both know who we are, we are not apologetic for it and we are not trying to win everyone as fans. We are both humbled by the opportunity we have.” The Grateful Dead is a band that has exercised having the right people on the bus. They wrote hundreds of songs for the Dead Heads and most were never in the top 10, yet they are considered to be one of the most successful bands to date. Why? Because they collected and wrote for their fans who were all wearing the yellow suit with red glasses and a purple tie…maybe even with an added hippie twist to their outfit.????
Defining your ideal client, friend or group of people you want to flock to you is overwhelming and stressful at first. A common fear is that you will end up excluding all of the heartbeats. However, this is the point. This is not to say that your client may be wearing a yellow suit with red glasses, but that maybe this client likes black ties instead of purple. In other words, you are defining your ideal client, but that doesn’t mean that others may not flock to you because they have the same philosophy as you, with maybe a different occupation or lifestyle but they are still a good fit. Defining your ideal client should start with understanding who you are trying to replicate.
Begin this process by interviewing your top 3-5 clients who you wish you had a hundred of if you could clone them. Then compare their commonalities as well as how they match up with you. Finally, you want to write a story or a paragraph about an avatar you will be creating and marketing to—the model of your ideal client. In writing your story, be sure to include descriptions of your ideal clients’ values, family status, age range, interests and goals, and also where they are located, how this client is being obtained and their biggest challenges. Share this story of your avatar on your website, in your marketing materials, with your colleagues and with the rest of your world. One of the most liberating and refreshing things you can have is not just people on your bus, but the right people on your bus; this will help you achieve all that is important to you and, most importantly, to them.
This blog is a publication of Grubb Wealth Management. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of any subjects discussed. A professional advisor should be consulted before any investment decisions are made. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author on the date of post and are subject to change.