Phase 2: Now you acquire more ideal clients by referral. Tell your existing ideal clients the truth about what you are doing. Really. The whole truth. Show them this article if you want. One of the reasons they are ideal clients is that you can be this candid with them. Tell them about your vision of a community of only ideal clients, and how it's good for both them and you.

Then ask for their help. Show them the profile of a great client. They will likely know people who would be part of this ideal community and it will make perfect sense to them to make the referral and the introduction. Every ideal client you will ever need is just one good conversation away.

While doing these things, you should go about building a team of experts who will be able to help you meet the needs of this clientele. It is likely you have spent too much time in the past on endless prospecting and marketing while trying to serve too many diverse interests. One of the benefits of having an ideal clientele is that now you can devote that time to building a superior set of "deliverables" and the team to deliver them. Most of these people are not on your payroll.

What do you do with your non-ideal clients? Some of them you keep anyway. You likely have a few clients with whom you have such a strong connection that you don't care how little they pay you. You may also have clients who are a pain in the butt, but you just can't let go of the extra revenue. It's OK to have a few exceptions. Over time, as you add more ideal clients and your predictable recurring revenue increases, you can "politely disengage" from most of the non-ideal individuals. And you can tell them the truth too. It might sound something like this: "I've decided to specialize and only work with people who look like this." Show them your ideal client profile. "Since this does not really describe you, I think you would be better served if you worked with an advisor who specializes in people like you. Would you like me to recommend someone?" You can either have other advisors lined up to refer them to or give them advice on how to find somebody else on their own. Your clients are adults and are perfectly capable of finding a new financial advisor. Their lives will go on.

Keep in mind that "ideal" does not mean impossible. One of the beautiful things about this business is that you can build yours any way you want. Late author and management consultant Peter Drucker said, "The best way to predict your future is to create it." Your ideal client community will not come into existence by accident. It's only possible for those advisors who can envision what they want their business to be like and who are willing to do the work to get there. Time will march at the same pace regardless of what kind of business you build. So why not shoot for the ideal?

Financial Advisor has been hosting Webinars since January of this year that provide more detail about how you can build this ideal client community. You can find them at

Bill Bachrach is the author of several books, including the best-selling Values-Based Financial Planning. He has delivered approximately 2,000 keynote speeches and presentations teaching financial professionals to build high-trust client relationships. For 20 years he and his team have trained successful advisors and planners to dramatically improve their client loyalty, build their business by referral only, and live a very high quality of life. (

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