April 26, 2024

Long before they meet you… clients are judging you!

I read, with fascination, David Jones’ (of Dimensional) comments delivered at the PA360 conference yesterday (Thursday 25th April)

The Professional Adviser article (by deputy editor Jenna Brown) is headlined…
‘’Advisers need to decide what type of clients they want to serve’.

And David’s leading comment was quoted:
“If you think about how you design your experience for clients…
you have to think about what type of person you’re trying to attract.

What clients really value is ‘Experience with Clients Like Me’.

I’d like to add a layer of thought to David’s well-researched, deeply-experienced words.

(Of course, you may see things differently.
Like you, I tend to speak through the lens of our team’s experience and study.)

In our experience, and research, this “Clients-Like-Me” description covers far, far more than their financial worth (e.g. ‘High Net Worth’).

More importantly, we’ve found that clients are making that judgement through emotional filters like:

  • “The way I think the world works”.
  • “The way I think money should work in my life”.
  • “How I use my financial worth to help uphold my sense of self-worth”.
  • “What I value. And what repulses me.”
  • “The problems, frustrations, pains and heartaches I’m facing”.
  • “The yearnings, dreams and aspirations that lie in my heart”.

And – in their journey through life – their so-called ‘Client Journey’ – they start using these filters long before ever see, speak to, or meet, us.

In today’s popular vernacular, they’re asking “Do You Get Me?”

Can we – in our wildest imaginations – believe that those filters, and that question, can be the same for, say, the following two people:

  • A newly widowed 62 year old, and
  • A 43-year-old managing director of a technology company?


And, the truth is, the ‘CLIENT JOURNEY that we’re so fond of talking about…
that Client Journey – of judging and deciding – begins LONG before they ever speak to us!

Every message we send…
Every social media we post…
Every line, picture, library photo, cliché, platitude and graphic on our website…
Every email, inviting them to a conversation…

All of this will guide them to our door.

(Because, What researchers, like Julie Littlechild have discovered is this uncomfortable truth:
The vast majority of recommendations about us…
Fail to bring a potential client in contact with us!)

Returning to David Jones’ comments…

“Will they feel there is a natural home for them in your business?
Is THIS the place to deliver what they want?”

And that’s unlikely to be the case, if…
You and I don’t make a decision about the SPECIFIC type of client we wish to work with!