Clone Your Clients

Identify your top 15 customers and use their influence to get more clients like them.

Hang it up — the phone that is. The way to get affluent clients is through networking, referrals and introductions, not cold calling or direct mail.

Those are the findings of the Oechsli Institute's latest Attracting New Affluent Clients Research Project. Networking, referrals and introductions brought in two to three times the number of clients as direct mail and cold calling, which is why we call them the big three high-impact strategies (see tables, right). It's all about developing close relationships with affluent clients and prospects.

Rainmakers are always working on their relationships. They know exactly what they are going to say to clients and prospects and when they're going to say it because they've rehearsed it thoroughly. Their approach to selling is so seamless that you can't detect any gaps — you can't pinpoint the sales pitch.

But before you get to work on your relationships, you have to know which ones hold the most promise as sources of affluent clients. I've found that the best way to start is by taking an inventory of your top 15 clients. Let's face it, what rainmakers continually strive to do is replicate their top clients, and, as we've seen, your best way of getting more of them is through introductions and referrals. With that in mind, how do we find out who among your clients will be the best sources for referrals?

The “Top 15” inventory above is identical to the one I use in our Rainmaker Institute. Take your time. Make certain you are thoughtful and accurate as you work through this exercise. Much of your future rainmaking success will be a direct result of this effort.

Once you determine which of your top clients has actually been responsible for new affluent relationships, you will want to use the Rainmaker's Rule of Six. This prospecting gem is a secret that many rainmakers understand and use intuitively. It simply states that each of your top 15 clients and key centers of influence (spouse, business partner, family member, etc.) should be responsible for providing six new clients during the lifespan of your professional relationship.

This is your rule of thumb for getting introductions and referrals. Granted, some clients and centers of influence will have their fingerprints on a dozen or more, while others will fall short of six. Some may even become true advocates who actively work as partners in rainmaking. What is most important, however, is to imprint this Rainmaker's Rule of Six into your mind. This is your gold mine and it is essential that you develop a thorough understanding of its potential, a strong belief in its value and a strong expectation of the results you will achieve.

Once this rule becomes second nature, you will find yourself consumed with high-impact rainmaking activities. Combine high-impact activities with the mindset of a tiger, and you will find yourself becoming an armed-and-dangerous winner.

Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. oechsli.com

Top 15 Client Inventory

  • Name:
  • Number of affluent clients acquired from this client's introductions and referrals:
  • The value you deliver to this client:
  • Client's centers of influence:
  • Potential for receiving additional introductions and referrals:

Note: The last three criteria help determine each client's introduction and referral potential.

Affluent Prospecting Methods
Low Impact Moderate Impact High Impact
• Direct Mail • Targeted Seminars • Networking
• Cold Calling • Referrals • Introductions
Source: Oechsli Institute, 2005 Attracting New Affluent Clients Research Project
Prospecting Methods: Use and Results
Prospecting Method Percentage who used this method Percentage who brought in new clients using this method
Direct Mail 57% 27%
Cold Calling 46 27
Seminars 62 40
Networking* 93 78
Asking for Referrals* 97 90
Asking for Introductions* 91 72
*High-Impact Activities
Source: Oechsli Institute, 2005 Attracting New Affluent Clients Research Project
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