Three Ways to Describe Your Clients

If someone asked you to describe your clients (particularly your ideal clients), how would you respond?

Does the answer change depending on whom you are speaking with? If not, it should.

In general, there are three ways to describe your clients: Internal Description, Prospect-Focused, Referral-Focused.

Internal Description

If you are speaking to someone within your practice or to another advisor (or coach), you’ll probably talk in quantitative terms. For example, you might talk about their assets under management, revenue, or age. If you have a specific niche, you could describe the characteristics of that niche (e.g., families with special needs children).

It can also be helpful to craft a marketing persona that describes the value you provide that client or what needs, concerns and challenges you help them address.

Here’s a sample framework: “Our clients look like this (characteristics) and we help them by doing this (solutions).


A second way to describe your clients is prospect-focused. This approach is best used in marketing materials.

Here you can describe your clients the way they view themselves. For example, you could start by writing, “Our clients are smart, busy and successful…” After all, who doesn’t see themselves (or want to see themselves) as smart, busy, and successful?

You can demonstrate that you understand what they are thinking by articulating the questions they have in their head. For example, you can writing, “They often are wondering… (key questions).

Ultimately, a prospective client will read the description and think, “Oh, that sounds just like me!”


A third method should be used when you are promoting referrals. In this case, you should describe your clients in such a way that the listener thinks, “Oh, I know someone just like that!”

In contrast to the prospect-focused message, your description should only include characteristics that are easily identifiable by the listener. For example, if you described your clients as families with special needs children, your listener is likely to start thinking of the families he or she knows.

Similarly, you can use descriptors like such as general age, occupation, and/or recent or approaching life events (such as moved, loss of a loved one, new family, or retirement).

Stay away from attributes that the other person may not fully know, particularly in regards to wealth or financial concerns.

Are you ready to talk about your clients? Start by considering your audience.

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