Focus on the Familiar

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 4, 2010

For entrepreneurs just beginning professional service practices, prospecting can inspire both trepidation and anxiety. Where do you start? One great rule of thumb is to focus on the familiar. We have all traveled different paths leading to the establishment of our own businesses. Along the way we have no doubt gathered insights into specific professions and demographics. We are a sum of our experiences, so why not use them to create prospecting opportunities?

Commonalities and shared experiences can be invaluable when prospecting. Think about people with whom you interact. Are you or have you been a member of any community or professional organization? Have you been involved in politics or educational endeavors? Are you an art lover, a tuba player, or a gardener? What are some of your passions outside of business, and who shares them? Most likely you have a close affinity with one or more community or professional group, which gives you inside knowledge in providing services to these groups.

Here is an example. A financial adviser who works with our firm was a college professor before changing careers. As a result, he possessed first-hand knowledge about the issues keeping professors awake at night, which enabled him to highlight the kinds of problems faced by professors and offer them tailored solutions based on his experience. Not only did working with this market provide him with a familiar environment in which to build his advisory business, but his insider knowledge also gave him a commonality with which to form strong client relationships.

Where is your sweet spot? Determining whom you are best suited to serve will ensure a smooth journey down your path to building a successful practice.

Alex Potts
President and CEO
Loring Ward Group
San Jose

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