Narrow Your Focus to Get More Referrals

Sometimes it is good to hear the same thing from someone else.  Such is the case here.  Bill Cates is known as The Referral Coach and does a great job helping his clients get more referrals.  One of the biggest challenges that I have when working with Referral Institute clients is getting them to narrow their focus and understanding how important it is.

In this Blog,  guest Blogger Bill Cates does a great job explaining why it is important to Narrow Your Focus….

Weekly Referral Tip – Bill Cates

This issue of The Referral Minute has been prompted by one of our readers. He asks the question:

“We have started to gain some divorced women and a couple of woman business owners as clients. If we wanted to target this niche (divorcees, widows, and wealthy women in general), would this be a good idea? The ironic thing is that women are not really a niche as they comprise 51% of the population. Your thoughts and comments would be much appreciated.”

Before I address this question directly, let me remind you of why you should be thinking about narrowing your focus with a niche – if you haven’t already.

  1. You bring more value to your niche prospects and clients. Niche prospects see the value more quickly and want to work with you. Niche clients experience your value and you become more referable.
  2. You can create a reputation more easily in a niche. Most niches/affinity groups have formal and informal ways of communicating with each other. The more referable you are (the value you bring) and the more they know you are targeting their niche, the easier it is to grow your reputation and get your phone ringing with great prospects.
  3. You can identify all the players. In many cases, it’s easier to identify potential prospects in a niche. For instance, using today’s internet search tools, you can easily identify all the owners of a business in a specific industry. You can identify all the high-level executives in a specific company.

Now back to the question.

While women in general may not be a very good niche, you can build a great business staying with woman, but being more specific. For instance, I have met several – very successful – financial professionals who have had great success targeting divorcees and widows. This is not ALL women, but a subset that usually have a great need for a good financial professional.

Because there are no associations or clubs (that I know of) for these women (maybe some support groups, however), it’s a bit harder to identify and contact this type of prospect. If you’re lucky enough to have a client of this type who belongs to some sort of organization that is populated by divorcees and/or widows, then you might be able to speak at some meetings, create some seminars, and write for their publications.

Another way to get more focused with this niche is with women business owners. There are many things I like about targeting women business owners. The main reason is that woman, in general, and business owners, in general, usually play the referral game more willingly and more frequently. I know of one successful financial professional in New York who says he averages 2.5 referrals per male client and 27 referrals per female client. Now that’s some pretty good numbers.

Unlike widows and divorcees, it’s much easier to identify your business-women prospects. There are many associations of woman business owners (like NAWBO – National Association of Woman Business Owners – they have local and regional chapters). In addition, they have many types of gatherings, events, publications, causes, etc., that you can leverage to build your reputation.

Many Kinds of Niches

Of course, there are many great niches. I’ve seen what I’d call “micro-niches” that can be great and even a fun way to build a business. Here are a few standard and creative niches:

1. Physicians

2. Surgeons

3. Dentists

4. Small Business Owners within a narrow industry group

5. Owners of Corvettes, Porches, BMWs, etc. (they have clubs)

6. Horse owners (they have clubs and associations)

7. Dentists that ride Harley Davidson Motor Cycles (Yep! They exist! A narrow and fun niche.)

8. Employees (or executives) within a certain large company in your area

9. Retired individuals from a specific company or industry

10. Teachers

11. Salespeople

There are many more. In fact, if you’d like to tell me your niche and why it works for you, I’d love to hear from you.

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