A Blog for Today’s Top Financial Advisors

Get More Ideal Affluent Clients—Right Now – Episode 28


  • Identify the top 20 percent of your clients—and get them to help you find more clients like them.
  • Your top clients will be more than happy to help you in your client replication efforts.
  • Keep clients in the loop as you make progress that they were partly responsible for.

Back in the late 1800s, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto noticed an interesting development: 80 percent of the peas in his garden were contained in just 20 percent of the pea pods.

The maxim that this observation ultimately yielded is the Pareto Principle, which tells us that 20 percent of our effort generally yields 80 percent of the results.

The Pareto Principle holds true for many financial advisors: Chances are, the top 20 percent of your clients account for around 80 percent of your revenues.

Replicate those top clients—using their insights to attract more ideal clients—and you’ll see a substantial jump in your revenue with relatively little additional variable cost to service these new clients.

By reaching out to your ideal clients in a defined, targeted and systematic way, you’ll further refine and clarify your market niche, gain new ideas for marketing to the ideal prospective clients, and—best of all—get introductions to prospective clients who match your ideal client profile.


There are seven steps to replicating ideal clients effectively. These steps will make the best use of your prospective client-seeking time, and will enable your favorite, most profitable clients to tell you how to work with other clients just like them.

Step 1. Identify your top ten ideal clients. List your ideal clients in descending order of the revenue they provide. Then identify the top ten with whom you enjoy working most.

Step 2. Call for an appointment. Tell each client that you are calling to request a special meeting because you’re looking for help from favorite clients whose opinion you respect. Tell them that you are developing a more focused approach to your marketing, that you have created a profile of your favorite clients, and that the client you’re talking to is exactly the kind of person you most enjoy working with. Invite your clients to breakfast or lunch (whatever they prefer) so you can get their ideas and opinions about your plans to market to people just like them.

Step 3. Choose a good restaurant. Select a place that is both convenient and quiet enough to have a good conversation, and preferably is someplace your client would be excited about going to. Don’t be cheap; first-class meals let clients know how much they are appreciated and valued.

Step 4. Conduct a “replication interview.” Remember, the purpose of your meeting is market research. Ask a series of questions that will allow the client to identify and share with you the most important aspects of working with you. For example, ask why the client chose you, what the client most values about your relationship and how you should position yourself to work with similar people.

You can say something such as, “I’m in the process of improving the way I do business, by focusing on clients just like you. To gain a better understanding of how I can serve you and other individuals just like you, and help achieve your financial goals, I would like to ask you a series of questions.” Emphasize how important and valuable the information is to you. As you move through the conversation, let the client speak uninterrupted. When you need additional detail, ask for specifics.

Be sure to capture everything. Take notes during the conversation. If you are not sure you captured a response accurately, read back what you wrote down and ask whether you understood correctly. Use a digital voice recorder, if your compliance department allows it.

Pro tip: Do not make the mistake of trying to mix in selling any additional services at this time. You are there to get input, period.

Step 5. Arrange a future meeting. Assuming that the interview was worthwhile, set the stage to come back to the client with additional questions as you move forward with your marketing efforts. You might even consider asking the client to be a permanent advisor to you. For example, you can ask the client to be part of an informal marketing advisory board so you can occasionally share your market ideas and get his or her opinion.

Step 6. Act on all referrals and marketing ideas immediately. We have found that many advisors do the work to identify referrals and other opportunities, but often fail to take advantage of them. You’ve done the hard work—don’t let it go to waste by not following up immediately.

Smart move: Be sure to involve your team. Have team members listen to the interviews or read your notes. They should know your top clients’ insights so they can help you act on them.

Step 7. Keep the client informed. If you don’t let the client know what happens with the referrals and marketing ideas, he or she will not want to continue helping you in this area. When you report back all successes, he or she will feel like a part of your marketing process and become a continual source of opportunities. To start, send a note to the client on the same day of the interview, thanking him or her for taking the time to share ideas and opinions, and explaining that you will keep the client in the loop as you implement strategies. Then periodically provide the client with updates on your progress.

Replicating your top clients—those who match your ideal client profile and provide significant revenue—is simply one of the smartest moves you can make. Client replication helps you further clarify your market niche and gain new insights into its members, strengthens existing client engagement levels and loyalty, and gives you excellent referral opportunities to get additional ideal clients. In short, it’s a key step in creating the type of business that will generate huge success for years to come.



To download a transcript of this episode, click here.

What we do and who we are

Partnering with you to accelerate your success is what we do.
Helping you build an amazing life of significance is who we are.

What we believe

We believe you can build an amazing life of significance by serving fewer, wealthier clients extremely well. We also believe you can do it faster and with less effort than you ever thought possible.