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Simple Questions to Ask When Building Client Personas
• Valerie Rivera • December 23, 2021
As a financial professional, a significant part of your work is building deeper and more meaningful relationships with your clients.
Not only is it the key to helping them achieve their financial wellness goals—since you learn about what’s most important to them—but it also helps differentiate your services in a crowded and competitive marketplace. Clients who receive a personal touch are more likely to continue their relationship and recommend you to their peers and family members.
This type of client engagement requires personalization in your communications at every touchpoint—from emails and text messages to social media posts and marketing materials. However, it can be challenging to achieve true personalization, especially if you have a substantial list of clients.
On the surface, personalization at scale can seem impossible. But tools like client personas can help. Referencing client personas should be your first step when building a marketing strategy or campaign designed to engage.
What Are Client Personas?
Client personas are archetypes that generalize key components of ideal clients. This gives you an easy reference point for decision-making around them.
Think of client personas as your cheat sheet for customizing and personalizing client communications. They offer broad brush strokes around what matters and motivates those clients.
A client persona should be relatively short—something you can view at a glance on one page—and easily accessible. Ideally, you should review it before sending an email or picking up the phone to keep it fresh in your mind.
The Key Questions to Ask When Creating Client Personas
Start building your client personas by thinking about your ideal client—the client you’d replicate and add to your roster over and over again.
Ask these questions about that client:
- What are their basic demographics, like age, gender, and life stage?
- In general, do clients in these demographics have similar financial and life goals? If so, what are they?
- What is the total value of their assets under management (AUM) with you and your firm?
- Is there the potential to grow that AUM?
- How do they like to communicate with you, and what is the right mix of communication channels to use with them (e.g., phone calls, emails, texts, social media)?
You’ll see your client persona take shape as you answer these questions. If you have several different client types, simply repeat the process to create additional personas.
Client Personas Help Identify Service Gaps
In addition to helping you communicate better with clients in a more personalized way, client personas also help to identify gaps in the services you offer. For instance, you may discover that your clients are seeking advice in areas you don’t currently support, like their physical and emotional health.
Determine whether these gaps are areas where you’d like to grow your expertise, or if you’re better served by seeking partnerships to meet these needs. It’s not necessarily detrimental to your business if you can’t close every gap yourself.
Our research revealed that 71 percent of clients are interested in their financial professional having additional certifications, licenses, or degrees in areas such as wellness. Additionally, 75 percent of clients said they want their financial professional to provide referrals to others related to finance and 61 percent of clients said they’d appreciate referrals to other professionals in non-financial areas.1 These represent opportunities to expand your business model.
Keep Your Clients Engaged
Ensuring that your clients remain engaged with you and the planning process is essential not just for building a fruitful relationship, but also maintaining that relationship and proving your value over time.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming eBook about client engagement and elevating your financial planning business.
1. eMoney Power to the Plan Research, July 2020, Advisors n=420, End clients n=403.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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