How investing in your community can enhance business
By Tom Levasseur
In our line of work, success is often dependent on both the quality and quantity of client relationships. Over my career, I’ve found there are a few tried-and-true techniques that enable me to meet new people, make new connections and expand my business.
By identifying key collaborative client and advisor traits, being active in your community, and constantly looking for new prospects, you’ll be able to regularly and authentically grow your business while making a positive impact.
Identifying important traits
In the same way that people tend to spend money at businesses with values matching their own, clients typically seek advisors that align with their expectations and goals. For there to be long-term relational success, it’s helpful for advisors to regularly define the traits of their ideal clients.
This is to ensure prospects end up in the right place for them – whether that be into a partnership with myself or a referral to another advisor who can better meet their needs. For example, here are some of my target client characteristics:
I’ve found over the years that these characteristics align with my advising approach and ensure success for both me and my client.
Being active in your community
Identifying characteristics in potential clients can be helpful, but so can identifying your own characteristics and putting them into action in your local community. By engaging in and around your area, you can establish a consistent and trustworthy presence. For example, I seek to show the following characteristics to members of my community:
Rather than taking out an ad in the paper or winning an award, regularly demonstrating these traits give potential clients firsthand experience of how I work and operate. As I mingle with folks at events and work together to achieve our common goal, it becomes clear what I bring to the table as an advisor.
Community events provide opportunities beyond making a positive change in your local area. I always like to say that if you’re breathing, you should be prospecting. It’s no secret that referrals are one of the best ways to get new clients, and it’s easy to refer someone who is well known and respected amongst family and friends. You could meet someone at the grocery store who needs financial services and has heard of you. By building up your presence as a community leader, these networking opportunities become more common and natural.
Another approach is to foster local business partnerships. In our area, we have what’s called a ‘one more referral’ group. This is where area business owners get together to help each other identify new potential clients or customers. I may be able to offer the local tax accountant some new contacts who are a good fit for them, and the flower shop may be able to provide a friend looking for retirement advice. It’s worthwhile to check your local chamber of commerce and other small business organizations to cultivate relationships that can lead to new business.
By using the above techniques, we’ve seen our business grow 40% each year. Building trust with those in your local area and remaining observant of who would be an ideal client can help you continue to see growth in your client base while also seeing your community prosper.
About the Author
Tom Levasseur, CLU, MS Ed. has been working in financial services for 36 years. Levasseur is the founding principal of The Beacon Retirement Group in Dover, NH. He runs the company with the assistance of his family and is proud to mentor fellow financial professionals through his time in MDRT. Levasseur has been an MDRT member for 33 years and has earned Top of the Table honors.
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