When It Comes To Clients, One Size Does Not Fit All

When It Comes To Clients, One Size Does Not Fit All

When It Comes To Clients, One Size Does Not Fit All

Six years ago, when I was still running an Insurance Brokerage, I used to handle about 80 clients a year, which ended up being about 120 – 135 transactions per year. My weeks were full of ‘busy’, long days, a lot of which were spent tending to petty client problems that weren’t really allowing to maximize my time at work. On average I worked over 13-14 hours a day.

Today I onboard about six select clients a year. I’ve nearly halved the time I used to put into work while still significantly increasing revenue.

What changed? I got around to defining my ‘Ideal Client’ – a precise profiling and some set-in-stone criteria by which I identify whether or not a client is a right fit for me.  

Arriving at my ideal client was a detailed exercise that I had the chance to carry out at Strategic Coach. The process involved clearly outlining my client’s professional lives and certain aspects of their personal lives, so that said client and I have all the perfect grounds for a lasting client-advisor relationship.

It also involved a clear understanding of the dangers my ideal client faces, and the opportunities and strengths they can take advantage of. My processes and services would need to be the right fit for those dangers, opportunities, and strengths.

Another qualifier we took into consideration was a potential client’s financial capacity. They needed to be able to afford my services. While this isn’t a top qualifier for me (scroll down to see what really is my top qualifier), it does feature on the key qualifiers list.

How I Arrived at My Ideal Client

I put down a definition of who my ideal client is after a heavily loaded, day-long session at Strategic Coach.

I identified two core client categories that are the right fit for my services: the established entrepreneur and the high-income executive. Each of these client types faces a distinct set of dangers, opportunities, and strengths.

For the entrepreneurs, we worked out:

The dangers entrepreneurs face:  

  • Potential tax implications due to beneficiaries being of different nationalities and due to the estate being spread globally
  • Their families are unable to run the business in their absence
  • Sharia Law would transfer estate as per Muslim succession law and not necessarily in the manner the client may have intended it
  • Trade Finance: Need to raise capital may not be fulfilled due to lack of collateral resulting from old age or ill health
  • Lack of appropriate medical coverage
  • Lack of diversification in investing and putting everything back into their own business
  • No proper business or family financial plan
  • Usually too busy accumulating wealth to be able to concentrate on managing/protecting it.
  • Uncertain of cash flow as it depends entirely on the business 

The opportunities these entrepreneurs are seeking:

  • Spend more time with family – increased free days
  • Make charitable donations and to give back  
  • Start new businesses 
  • Grow their existing business
  • Network with like-minded business owners
  • Freeing up time from day to day activities, to spend more time in their Unique Ability (more on this one in another article, too) 
  • Sellable exit strategy

These entrepreneurs’ strengths:

  • Financially strong
  • They have a wide and varied network of connections
  • Unique Ability & intellectual capital of running the specific business they run
  • Access to forums and conventions/seminars that allow them to grow and capitalize on the opportunities
  • Health & fitness levels can be better resulting from better lifestyle/healthcare etc.
  • Usually in the ‘abundance mindset’ with limitless possibilities

For the high-income executive client, we worked out:

The dangers that high-income executives face:  

  • Their time is not theirs but their employers’
  • They are too busy (without a choice) managing their careers to be able to manage their own finances & family. This could open them up for a huge liability and ill-health
  • Their families usually get used to their absence
  • Health & fitness suffers
  • Not educated on Personal Finance & Life insurance and very often get sold products and services that are not in their best interest

A big opportunity high-income executives have:

  • They can constantly invest in multiple asset classes as funding is readily available to them through bank loans

These high-income executives’ strengths include:

  • High incomes with most benefits paid for, allows them to plan their cash flow as they have a fixed amount of money coming in regularly
  • High loans are available at their beck and call as they are considered safer to lend to than entrepreneurs
  • Exposure to a host of corporate-funded training & seminars
  • Exposure to a host of business activities that can help them to set up their own businesses in the future.

This detailed DOS (Dangers, Opportunities & Strengths) study allowed me to then personify my ideal client. 

Here’s what my ideal client looks like:

The Entrepreneur with an annual income upwards of $1 million. These entrepreneurs have high and well-defined ethical values, are married with kids and have been in business for five or more years. They have audited and clear financial statements, a clear vision for their business, treat their team with respect, are positive, healthy-lifestyle advocates, and are tech-savvy.

The High-Income Executive whose collective household income is upwards of $500,000. These clients have highly demanding jobs, are married with kids, and just like the entrepreneur group, hold their ethics and morals close. Their time, however, is often not their own because of workplace pressures, travel and so on. They sometimes have financial advisors in place who they are not completely certain about, and are seeking self-managed solutions that don’t need their constant time or attention.

My Biggest Qualifier When It Comes to Client


The simple rule I follow here is – if I’m not willing to invite you home for a meal with my family and get to know you and your family better then we’re not meant to do business together and I’m probably not suited to be your Financial Advisor.

If we choose to do business together then both you and I need to be sure that I will show up with a cheque for your family when you are no longer there. I cannot begin to explain how important this one is to me. My promise – is to show up with a cheque when my clients need it most – in the face of death or illness when their families are left behind to survive without them.  

I put a lot into every client relationship to ensure that I can support my client and their family as genuinely and truly as possible. Each client relationship is a reliable friendship first, and then a client-advisor equation. I like to say that with me, it’s not business, it is in fact, personal.

It took me a while to arrive at a clearly defined set of criteria to identify my ideal client, but it has helped me to make a significant impact in my clients’ lives, and my own work.

When I take on a client, it’s because I know and understand their problems, and I am confident I have the right suite of products and services to support them. And of course, because I really like them – enough to be there for them and their families through their hardest times.

This insight alone has entirely transformed my approach to work. Working with the right kind of client is exhilarating, rewarding and work is extremely fulfilling.

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