Well, it might not be EVERYTHING. It will be a lot. Here is something I bet is true. I bet you don’t think about revenue in any other manner than bringing new clients on board. I also bet you don’t think about revenue in a global sense very often.
Revenue is everything you and your firm do that creates top line sales. It’s not just when you bring a new client on board. Let’s think about some other revenue producing activities your firm could have.
Let’s start with niche.
If you’re going to think about revenue you need to start with niche. I bet when you started your firm you took anyone who walked in the door. Here are some questions you might want to start with. How much in investable assets do your clients need for you to serve them? What type of investor are they? Are they going to like your style of financial planning?
After these general questions, let’s get more specific. Who are the people you do the best with? Are they doctors, lawyers, business owners or people going through divorces? You get the idea.
Next, take a look at who your best clients are within these general areas. Make sure you have a good psychographic view of your best client. This is what many in marketing call personas. Make sure you know who your best client is as well as what they do.
What do you do in your community?
Are you involved in your community? By your community I really mean your niche. This is the people who are your best customers. Are you doing things they care about? Are you in places where you’ll naturally run into those you really want to do business with?
If your niche is business owners do you join the trade associations where your favorite owners hang out? How about if you have doctors as your favorite clients? Where can you go that you’re likely to run into potential doctor clients? You do need to think about these things.
Do your best clients know you’re an expert?
Once you know who your best client is have you communicated to your community that you’re an expert in their issues? The more you do this, the easier it’s going to be for the right customer to ask if you can help them solve their problems.
Think about being a speaker at meetings you’ll find your clients. Write articles about issues they’re likely to read. Make sure your website says the right thing about who you are and what you do. Write a newsletter and encourage those you want to work with to sign up for delivery. If you’re recognized as an expert you’ll be able to charge higher prices than those who are seen as generalists in the niche you want to serve.
Let’s think about services.
If you’re known as a category expert you’ll provide more services and have multiple revenue sources with a client. Let’s take an example of a firm that specializes in working with middle market business owners.
This firm might help with personal financial planning, business strategic planning, qualified plan management, senior management benefit planning, succession planning and investment management. Instead of one or two revenue sources, this firm would have six sources……all which could provide additional revenue for their firm.
How about pricing.
If you make yourself a category expert your pricing can likely be slightly more than your competitors. If most of your revenue is created from investment management it wouldn’t be hard to believe that you would receive 20 bps more than your competitors for managing money.
After all, you’re providing more value and if you can demonstrate you know how to solve specific problems and take advantage of opportunities for your clients, it’ll be easy for your best clients to pay you a little more. Not only will they pay you a little more, they’ll probably be less likely to talk about price in the first place.
So, you see revenue really isn’t only about getting new clients. It’s about thinking about your firm in a much broader manner. I hope this is something you’re willing to do.
Let me know what you think about revenue sources in your firm. What can you do tomorrow that will help you think about top line in a different way?
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