It’s managing your business and then market. Before you market, determine the type of clients and partners you want to work with.

10 Reasons For Advisors to Carefully Choose Their Ideal Clients

It’s a costly and hard-learned lesson in the advisory business: declining to work with an interested prospect who neither fits your ideal client profile, nor qualifies as a B or C client. This may be counter-intuitive, but indiscriminately accepting clients generates frustration, costs you money, and wastes your time—a lot of time.

Alternatively, choosing a specific niche of clients and becoming an expert in that realm is more pleasant—and profitable. Think about it in terms of quantity versus quality. The extra revenue generated by less-than-ideal clients is usually not enough to cover the extra costs associated with servicing those accounts.

Read more of this article at 

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A Little About Maria

As an unstoppable business strategist and former Wall Street trader, Maria Marsala specializes in helping RRs and advisors increase their productivity and production.  For 20 years on The Street, she helped financial professionals sell more bonds and secure loyal clients.  Today, she helps them attract higher-quality clients and grow their businesses to serve their lives – not the other way around. 



10 reasons for advisors to just say no to less-than-ideal clients

It’s a costly and hard-learned lesson in the advisory business: declining to work with an interested prospect who neither fits your ideal client profile or qualifies as a “B” or “C” client. This may be counterintuitive, but indiscriminately accepting clients generates frustration, costs you money, and wastes a lot of your time.

Stop Driving Yourself Nuts.   Become a “Go-To” Expert Instead

While a change of pace is nice and keeps you sharp, constantly operating this way will drive you nuts (read: wasted time and energy). More important, you won’t become recognized as an expert in one key area and won’t be the go-to gal or guy in that area, either. It makes sense to specialize in one type of client.


Learn the signs of an ideal client as well as the the 10 reasons you want to say no to less than ideal clients.   Read the whole article online at RIA Biz Magazine:


For those of you interested in learning how to really add this concept to your practice/business, you may be interested in taking our free assessment.  It’s the 2nd assessment in our Busienss Checkup.  Get your copy at



A business strategist and former Wall Street trader, Maria Marsala specializes in helping financial professionals increase their productivity and production. For 20 years on the Street, she helped registered reps and advisors sell more bonds and secure loyal clients. Today, Marsala helps them attract higher-quality clients and expand their businesses to serve their lives — not the other way around. Uncover the areas of your business and life screaming  for your immediate attention and those that deserve a big hurrah! Take our complimentary Business Evaluator and other assessments today.  Visit 

Bad Clients Were Bad Prospects First: Spot ’em Fast and Leave ‘em Behind

We do our best to avoid it—the dreaded NO. No usually means we didn’t lock in the business we wanted, or didn’t make a deal. Chances are, however, you really want to hear certain people say NO—you just don’t realize it! Why? Because your success depends on spending time with quality prospects who fit within your ideal client niche. Consider the following seven prospect types, and learn why sometimes hearing NO—or saying NO to a prospect—can save you money, time, and a nasty headache (or lawsuit).

Prospects You Want to Say NO To


Type 1 – Freebie Seekers
Freebie Seekers attend every free event you offer, take notes, and use your handouts. Seven years later, they’re still “doing business” with you this way. They usually subscribe to your ezine with a free service email address and download all your free articles and PDF reports, too. If Freebie Seekers finally decide to pay for something, they take you up on your complimentary session, request a proposal from you, and then shop it around until they find the cheapest service.

Type 2 – Excuse Makers
Excuse Makers love to complain—if only to hear themselves talk. As much as they may whine, they are the creators of the drama in their lives. They find it exciting! They’ll start a second business instead of working out the problems of the first business because it must be about the product, not the way they’re running their business. They market their business to everyone who breathes. Issues? They don’t have any, because it’s always someone else’s fault!

Another type of Excuse Maker is the prospect that “has no money”, yet takes three weeks of vacation, subscribes to a super-duper TV package, joins three organizations, attends a week-long conference, or spends $500 on a new dog or cat. I’m not saying people shouldn’t spend money on whatever they choose, but if your prospective client doesn’t value your services over other purchases, you’re wasting your time and energy.

Type 3 – Perfectors
Perfectors research themselves out of making changes that could help them grow personally or professionally. They’re afraid of making bad decisions and procrastinate by gathering more data. In the end, they may not hire you because it will be too late: their hesitation damages their company and/or forces them to close their doors. If Perfectors hire you, they might never be satisfied with the work you do for them, even though you’re providing exactly what your contract states.

Type 4 – Pollyannas
Pollyannas kinda-maybe know that they could use your services or product, but they’re lying to themselves about the extent of their problems. They believe that their problems will go away–in time. Until they are willing to work on their denial and do something about their problems, Pollyannas will waste your time.

Type 5 – Liars
Liars sign your contract and pay your required deposit up front, but then never deliver additional materials or information you need to complete the agreed-upon project. When questioned, they say they’re doing the work on their side, but they’re repeatedly late or never provide the needed information. You may politely confront Liars and let them know they’re in breach of their contract. At this point, they may turn into Excuse Makers. If they admit to their fibbing and promise to change their ways, it’s your choice whether to keep them as clients. Sometimes, they truly want to change. Seller beware: if they’re lying to you, they’re lying to everyone—including themselves.


If you’ve had “crappy clients”, those five types of prospects should sound familiar. Another modus operandi of bad prospects: they make appointments for a complimentary session or consultation and then not show up. Usually, they have flimsy excuses and expect to schedule another session. Or, they’ll join groups or programs that offer a money-back guarantee and participate with one foot out of the door. Say a prayer of thanks that you’ve been able to weed these people out of your prospect process!

Prospects You Want to Say MAYBE or YES To

So what about clients with positive potential? They’re waiting for you to recognize them!

Type 6 – Busy Bees
Busy Bees have so much going on that they lack focus, and it’s hard to pin them down. They have the funds to pay you, yet they might not be as committed as you need them to be.However, when they’ve found you, it means they’re getting ready to make changes to their lives or businesses. So, if they ask you to call them back in six months, do it! Understand that Busy Bees are striving to turn into Client Type #7.

Type 7 – Clearly Leveraged
Clearly Leveraged clients know what they want—and what they don’t. AND they’ll tell you! These clients are focused. They’re looking for updated skills or tools. They know they’re not doing “X” right; they could be doing “Y” more. They’re coming to you for help with major changes; it is in their best interest to focus on what they do best and hire you to do the rest!

How do you attract more type 6 and 7’s?

  • Engage in honest self-assessment. Take care of the areas of your life that need your attention. Do you need therapy, a 12-step program, a gym, an increase in confidence, a new job, or additional experience? Whatever help you need, get it.
  • Create an ideal client profile and choose a target market. It takes time and effort to do this, but it’s well worth it if you can pre-qualify the right clients for your business. Professional organizers will tell you that for every hour you spend planning and organizing, you’ll save 15 hours of work.
  • Create questions on your intake forms and write your website content to help attract your ideal prospect. Weed out all but Type 6 and Type 7 clients. This is where saying NO will give you the time to get better clients—clients you’ll love working with and who will automatically refer others just like them.

Once you’re regularly attracting and serving your ideal clients, you will find yourself hearing and saying YES! a lot more. Especially when your bank statement arrives.

© 2010 Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business. Brimming with over 25 years of business experience, Maria founded Elevating Your Business, a business development company dedicated to helping high-achieving independent accounting, financial, and investment advisors grow business empires the size of their choosing. Create the business freedom you desire by targeting your marketing efforts. Visit

Tell us what you thought about this article. Agree? Disagree? Have another customer type to add to my list?

Marketing 4.0 – Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

Listen to this informative audio interview!

Gary Kaskowitz ( interviewed me (Maria Marsala) in June 2011. We discussed how to identify your ideal client or customer for your business.
— Maria

Listen to Gary and Maria as they discuss how to identify the best customers that you can serve and who can best serve you in turn. Learn how to identify and FIRE the “client from hell” so that you don’t waste any more of your time, resources, and energy pursuing customers who are only going to cause you aggravation.

Gary Kaskowitz and Maria Marsala will discuss specific tactics you can use today to begin growing your business. You will learn why most small business owners and professionals actually harm their business through their business cards, rather than helping them. You will learn how to specifically identify an ideal client or customer so that you don’t spend money going after the wrong market. You will also learn what, exactly, you need to put on your website if you wish to attract the affluent market!

Gary and Maria will share with you some of their personal war stories of small business owners who get it and those who don’t. The expression “the customer is always right” is wrong! While the customer may always be right, far too many small business owners are serving the wrong customer. Don’t fall into that trap yourself. Listen to this weeks episode of Marketing 4.0 with Gary Kaskowitz and his exciting guest Maria Marsala if you want to truly weed out those customers who give you nothing but grief and focus on those clients who will truly value you.

Listen online or download the audio

Contact Gary

To Maria’s Elevating Your Business Website

Is your target market too wide?

In establishing a new ideal client profile, there is much to think about.

We usually start wide and over time narrow things down.

Example: There are approx. 155.6 million women in the United States. If your niche is women, that is a WIDE target. You’ll drive yourself nuts seeking out clients, through networking, social marketing, speaking, etc.

But let’s say that instead of “women”, we started narrowing your market — just a bit. How about women, ages 30-55, who are financial advisors, planners including accountants and CPA’s? Does that narrow it down? Does that give you a clearer picture of who to market to?

And over time you can narrow that market down even more. OR you can take the time out to develop an ideal client profile now and test that out in the marketplace.