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Carve your niche

Adrian George, CFP, TEP

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Narrowing down to a specific group can increase your business.

How might your marketing, planning, product and referral process be changed and improved if you were sharpened around a certain profession or demographic? What if, in so doing, your closing rate increased and you achieved higher premiums and savings rates, while being asked to speak with more of the clients you like to work with? These are just a few of the benefits of creating your niche market.

What is a niche market? Niches are commonly thought of as working within a specific profession, such as doctors or dentists. But you can broaden your niche to be any identifiable segment of the population with similar interests that you feel connected to. It may be working with certain age groups, ethnicities, lifestyles or even recreational interests you enjoy.

What might your chosen niche be most concerned with? Young families might be more concerned with protecting their income, while pre-retirees might be more concerned with creating retirement income or transferring their business to their children. Maybe you’re focused on new graduates who are entering the workforce with large student loans or prospects who are planning to leave the workforce and need help understanding their severance package. Whomever you choose to work with, it’s critical to know what they’re concerned with achieving or avoiding.

Save time and money. When your ideal client is clearly identified, it becomes easier to allocate your marketing resources and develop a call to action keyed to their needs. From writing advertorials in periodicals to filming short videos answering some common questions to becoming a regular speaker at events or seminars, you’ll have a higher response rate while becoming recognized as an expert they can turn to.

Research your ideal clients. What are their common needs or concerns? Do they have association rules or trends you should be conversant in? A great technique is simply asking to go for lunch to gain their insight into an article you want to write. You can also ask them the top questions they’ve always wanted to know the answers to, and then create a video series you and your centers of influence can send to clients and prospects.

Writing an article or creating a video series from your research can have multiple benefits.

Understanding. Creating this content requires you to not only understand the issue but be concise as well.

Branding. Whether you post on your website, on social media or in an industry publication, you are building content to establish credibility.

Opportunity. Whether you want to host an event or speak at a university, having conceptual articles and videos you can send the coordinator will go a long way to help them feel you are someone they need to have talking with their peers.

Client-centric advice. Defining your niche allows you to create a repeatable interview, planning and recommendation process. Drawing upon the experiences of similar clients like them allows you to anticipate areas of interest or concern. Using language and examples they can relate to increases their understanding, which in turn increases their acceptance of your advice. A greater understanding helps keep them on track while being insulated from your competition. Clients don’t recommend a product you’ve sold them; they recommend your understanding of who they are.

Make referrals easier for your clients. Narrow down their mental Rolodex of potential introductions by providing a name of someone they’re connected to you’ve sourced from social media who is similar to your client and matches your niche focus. Ask how they know that person and what sorts of things they like to do together. This will give you a much more effective and targeted means to be introduced socially to your pre-qualified prospect.

As you establish your niche market, be prepared to continually refine your processes and stay top of mind. This requires time and discipline, but the rewards will lead you to achieving Top of the Table.

Adrian George is a 10-year MDRT member from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Contact him at adrian@playcheques.com.

 

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