Partners in Prospecting

Creating Personas – Everyday People

March 5, 2020

I once worked with an Advisor who was concerned that her pipeline was not full enough. I asked who her “ideal prospects” were and she was very vague when it came to answering the question. The Advisor mentioned High Net Worth (“HNW”) clients – but who doesn’t want to go after HNW clients? It made me think that she possibly did not have a detailed description of a prospect who would be interested in her services and investment products.

The question is: Without knowing your ideal prospects, how would you target them?

Know Your Ideal Client

You may have heard about creating Personas for your business and the importance of Personas.

Personas are a detailed description of a fictional person who would buy your product or use your service. A Persona describes your ideal client’s behaviours, job role, responsibilities, priorities, pain points and personality traits.

We sat down and created Personas for her “dream clients”. Later, the description for her personas was used to create marketing text for her website or any brochures/e-mails, etc., because you always focus on what makes the prospect react and what’s in it for them. This really helped pin point her sales efforts.

Getting Started on Creating the Personas

Our Buyer Persona Example

The Advisor had accounting partners that specialized in evaluating the worth of a small business, so we decided to target small business owners. I have included a sample of “Selling the Small Business” Persona we created:

Jeremy is a 65-year widower with no children who is the co-owner of his family bakery in Toronto, Ontario. The bakery has been in the family for over five decades, Jeremy’s great grandparents opened the original bakery. The business has done well over the years – with family members pitching in during the bad times and reaping in the benefits during the good times, as they obtained contracts from local restaurants.

Recently Jeremy’s two brothers (one older and one younger) have been talking about selling the business. They believe the time is right because they have had a couple of offers from fair sized grocery stores. None of the brothers’ children are interested in running the business. Up until now, Jeremy has never had to worry about a major decision like this. He always had enough to provide for himself and his spouse when she was alive.

Jeremy has several unanswered questions:

  • How will the company be valued?
  • How will the proceeds be divided? Since Jeremy does not have any children he has put in the most hours over the years.
  • One of the most important questions: What will he do with his spare time? Since Audrey’s death Jeremy has immersed himself into the business. Other than the occasional bridge game with his friends, he has no interests.

Since it seems like the sale is inevitable (within the next two to three years), Jeremy has started to worry about the lump sum he will receive. He wonders how it will be taxed and what he should invest in to provide a steady income until his death. Audrey, Jeremy’s spouse, had breast cancer and he wants to leave a legacy in her name at the hospital that cared for her.

Jeremy is not proud of his own history of investing. He has fallen for a few ‘hot tips’ that turned out to be disasters. As a result, he is lacking a strategy for investing and thinks it may be time to seek out an Advisor. He has a very close relationship with his lawyer and accountant so any Advisor he deals with, would have to accept them as partners.

How do I use the Persona to My Advantage?

Think about marketing pieces you may want to write targeting the small business owners. To get a prospect’s attention, it’s best to focus on their pain points. In this example some of Jeremy’s pain points include:

  • How do I value my company when it’s time to sell?
  • How do we fairly distribute the proceeds when it’s a family run business?
  • What will I do with all my spare time?
  • How will I invest the proceeds so that they provide me with a comfortable, worry-free retirement?

Once you have created the Personas for each different type of person that would be your ideal client, you can target your marketing efforts towards creating your online presence, marketing material and sales e-mail/call campaigns.

As usual: There is a song title in this blog post. Did you find it?

About Jennifer Kuta

For more than 25 years, I have worked with Advisors helping them build their businesses. My commitment to you is to partner with you in your practice and offer solutions to help build your business.


The contents of this blog are the personal views of the author and not necessarily the views of Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. The contents are provided as general in nature and should not be relied upon nor construed to be the rendering of advice. Readers should consult with their own compliance/legal advisors for advice on their specific circumstances before taking any action as sales and prospecting activities are subject to regulatory oversight.

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