In prior posts I have discussed putting your clients in the drivers seat and designing your financial advisory practice around the needs and wants of your best current and prospective clients. But just what is the client driven practiceTM process?


  • Identifying your best current and prospective clients
  • Surveying clients to discover what they value what they think you do well and how they rate your service
  • Assembling a group of those best current and prospective clients into an advisory board
  • Engaging that board to explore the survey data and to guide you in the development of your strategic plan
  • To have target clients teach you what they consider your greatest value and how to describe it
  • And building a marketing plan on that new value proposition

So much financial advisor marketing fails because of a failure to communicate with target prospects. The most obvious solution is to have them tell you what your practice should be offering and how to describe it. Then, you need only repeat it to other people in your target market.  Let the client drive your strategy and marketing plan.

The key to business development in any field is defined a need and provide a solution. Why is it we are so poor at that? Part of the answer is that we are trained as financial advisors and not marketers. But more specifically, it is because we persist in determining what we think the clients want and working hard to sell it. Doing it the opposite way so much easier: ask them what they want and deliver it to them.

That’s an oversimplification. Clients might well say “What do I want? 20% per year on my portfolio.” When I help advisors develop a client driven practice, we have a collection of techniques to get past questions like that. Part of it involves how to frame the discussion to discover what can deliver the greatest value within the realm of what’s possible.  Once you and your clients can agree that no one can deliver above market returns, you can begin to explore what you can deliver.

The execution takes some skill, but the concept is simple. And, in our business, the concept is also revolutionary, because we are so used to approaching it from the wrong direction. So, if you want to do more business with your best clients and want them to refer more clients like themselves, put them in charge. Let them guide your strategy. Become a CLIENT DRIVEN PRACTICETM, and the change in your success can be dramatic.

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