I have an investment company focused on educating and helping investors get into alternative assets. I meet a lot of investors and enjoy the relationship part of the business the most. Meeting new clients, helping them understand and participate in some attractive opportunities that they never knew much about or had access to is rewarding. The gradual development of a long term trusting relationship with investors is something I highly value. That passion and focus has enabled me to get to know investors better and help educate them on types of investment opportunities that may be suitable for them. We discuss their objectives and goals, meet them where they are and decide together if something we offer might make sense for them now or in the future.
I had a successful entrepreneur and business development coach work with me when I was starting out to fine tune areas of my business. One of the things she asked me was to define my ideal client. I hadn’t really thought about it that much but I agreed that it would be a good exercise to do if you are an entrepreneur or anyone who has clients or customers that you want to grow. The point being if you define your ideal customer, then you’ll know when you are in front of a potential prospect that fits your ideal criteria and where to meet these types of folks. Also, you’ll know where not to go and folks that don’t fit and waste your time.
Often you won’t know all their characteristics until you get started with them but with practice you can pick up signs very quickly on whether you want to vest time in this relationship and can you add value to them. Case in point, although I encourage folks to attend their local multifamily meetup groups, I found most of the folks there were of the “active” type and not accredited hence, were looking to do their own deals and not necessarily participate in passive investment opportunities that I was exposed to and wanted to share with them. Although I have garnered a few investors out of it and value them highly, the time I spent versus the number of investors I have from those meetings is quite small.
I reviewed the notes from my coach on this topic on identifying your ideal client and here is the crux of it printed with her permission (in my case, the ideal investor for my growing investment company).
Here are the steps to Identify your Perfect Client
1) What type of clients / people do you like being around?
2) Describe their personality, their mannerisms, and the way they talk, think and act.
3) Which of your current clients would you classify as your favorites? Why?
4) What common challenges do your perfect clients face?
5) What are their intrinsic motivators?
6) What are their long-term goals and what are they trying to achieve personally and professionally?
7) List the top 5-10 qualities your favorite clients all have in common.
8) Being completely honest and ruthlessly discriminating, what qualities would your perfect client need to possess for you to do your best work with them, all while enjoying the process?
So I went about my list below. This has helped me tremendously.
My Ideal Investor (for my investment business)
1) Accredited investor – qualifies for the investments we offer
2) Repeat investors – Have plenty of money to invest in not only this deal but multiple deals. Not a one and done investor.
3) Passive Investors – Busy professionals or entrepreneurs and don’t have the interest or time to be active investors. Comfortable being passive.
4) Values the Relationship. Appreciates the opportunity and grateful that the idea was presented to them so they can take advantage of this unique opportunity to grow their wealth.
5) Educated but not a “know it all” or wants to do what I do. They want some education and understanding to make good decisions but are not in it to do what I do. They know to focus on what they do best and I’ll focus on what I do best to make them money.
6) Comfortable / Confident / Trust – They are comfortable with the investment and are confident that we know what we are doing.
7) Low maintenance – Not a nervous nelly nor overly critical – hence, doesn’t email or calls me a lot about the investment.
8) Excited for the next deal – They want to invest more with me and even asking me when the next deal is coming up.
9) Raving fan who frequently refers me to others that are ideal candidates and become clients.
10) Makes decisions relatively quickly – They commit to new deals early on and I can count on them to reserve a spot within the first week, complete the PPM and fund early in the schedule. This takes pressure off so that I know I will have enough funds to get the deal done.
In sum, identifying your ideal client (in my case investors) will help you be more efficient in your business. Find and spend more time cultivating the clients that meet most of these ideal traits and fire those that don’t. There’s a great book called Strength Finders 2.0 which I really liked and it simply says focus on your strengths and make them even stronger and not your weaknesses. Same with your client base, criteria will help you spend time and cultivate those lasting relationships that will stand the test of time and strengthen your business for the long haul.
Few investors may fit all of the ideal investor traits you may have identified but it’s great to have that vision. Your relationships will be more productive and you will be more efficient when you are prospecting to see quickly if someone is a right fit or not. I have a lot of investors that fit most of these traits and these are the folks that over time once trust is built and they are seeing success will be an even better match. They may turn into raving fans and hit more and more of the ideal characteristics I’m seeking.
If you would like to learn more about this topic please visit Wendy Nolin at her website http://wendynolin.com/services/coaching/business-coaching/ and get more in depth information. Wendy is a no nonsense coach and will get your business rocking ! Let her know you read my blog and it inspired you to seek her out.