When you are looking at building your client bank and you imagine your ideal client, what do you think of?
Do you think of the products you want them to take out or do you think of a new client as an individual at a certain life stage or in a certain profession, with all the advice implications that entails?
Traditionally, brokers have looked at the transaction rather than the client, especially when buying leads.
They have thought about the size of mortgage required, how big a deposit the client has and the type of mortgage they want.
Lead generators have encouraged this thought process by providing the information above for brokers to select clients.
But there appears to be a fresh train of thought developing whereby advisers are focussing more on the type of person they would like as a client than the product they are seeking.
This approach makes sense. For example, if you think of the profile of someone with a new family there are a number of financial products they may need including life assurance, a will and income protection.
If you look at it this way, moving into a bigger house becomes just one of a number of things clients may need advice on.
And first-time buyers are likely to need a raft of financial products, not just in the short term but over a number of years. And they are likely to stick with brokers who advise them well.
Advisers may target clients with certain qualifications or those who could develop into high net worth clients
Of course, this means that traditional brokers need to acquire a wider set of skills but many have been doing just that over the past couple of years anyway, hence the shift in focus.
And with this shift in focus comes a wider set of rewards. One potential tack to take when thinking about new clients – especially for advisers who charge fees – is to target those with certain qualifications or who work in certain professions.
These individuals are increasingly in demand on the assumption that doctors or lawyers are more likely to develop into high net worth clients than those who are not professionally qualified.
Of course, the assumption is also that they are likely to have a different and more profitable set of financial needs.
This is not always the case but it is up to lead generators to change the way they filter consumers so advisers can speak to the type of clients they want to attract.
We launched professional leads a month ago and if this initiative proves popular the way you buy leads in the coming years could be transformed.
Product needs will always exist but if advisers increasingly demand clients that fit certain profiles instead of taking the more traditional approach, the shape of the lead generation industry is likely to change beyond recognition.