Your natural market as a financial advisor is those who you share common ground with. And completing an inventory of your natural market will help you build your practice.
And building a practice is only possible by leveraging relationships you’ve built and will continue to build.
Here at Consolidated Planning, our advisors have focused on prioritizing people in their practice. People always come before anything else and our practices and planning philosophy stand behind this.
We want to help set you up for success here. One way to do so is completing a natural marketing inventory. Here, we want you to understand what completing your natural market inventory looks like, the ultimate purpose it serves, how you will adequately leverage it, all so you can understand how this exercise helps set you up to build your dream financial advising practice.
What Is A Natural Market Inventory And Its Purpose?
A Natural Market Inventory (NMI) is a tool to identify WHO you know and WHAT commonalities exist amongst them. The purpose of this exercise is to uncover the contacts and connections that you have organically built over the years. This list might include:
- School/College friends
Upon completing your list, you’ll be surprised to pinpoint commonalities between the people you know. This will be the basis for understanding possible target markets for you.
And accurately defined target markets make all the difference in the trajectory of your career.
Now, we know this exercise can seem like a daunting and off putting process because you’re sharing personal information but rest assured it’s for your success and your success only. That’s because you are not only providing your connections names but their contact information – email and phone number.
Off putting is understandable.
When completing your NMI at Consolidated Planning, your list will include just names and occupations of those individuals who know, like, and care for you. These people will help in building not only your initial market, but your 90 day marketing plan.
Harnessing your initial market will be a great resource for introductions, support, and yes, some of them may even naturally become clients as they learn about the work you’re doing.
Approaching Your Natural Market Inventory
Names and occupations are all that are necessary for the purpose of a NMI with a goal to support your market building.
Adding Names To Your Spreadsheet
The best place to start for names is the contacts list in your phone. These of all the people you know are likely to be people that would answer the phone, return a missed call from you…or at least text you back.
Other options include Social Media and your LinkedIn connections but try to stick to your phone contacts to start.
Once you’ve decided where you’ll begin pulling names from, begin adding the names to your spreadsheet. For your personal comfort, you can always choose to share just your contacts first name and last initial or vice versa.
Be careful to not pre qualify these names, thinking things like:
- “They are successful and probably have a financial advisor,” or
- “Their sister works for an insurance company, they don’t need me calling them”
The mind is a powerful tool and this kind of head talk will set you back before you even get started.
Adding Who You Do Business With To The Spreadsheet
Once you’ve exhausted your phone contacts, think about those contacts that you regularly do business with or give money to. This list might include your:
- Hair salon
- Nail technician
Don’t get held up with the details of their last name, for example. Add them to your list and revisit the fine details as you move through the process.
Adding Occupation Type And Business Section To The Spreadsheet
For each contact on your list, complete their occupation column. You’ll have the option to select from the dropdown list or add your own occupation.
When you meet with a team member at Consolidated Planning to discuss your NMI, you will have the opportunity to go into detail about the different types of jobs that your contacts hold.
Some jobs might overlap in different industries, so try your best to group each contact into a single industry. You will have the chance to add more details later on.
The Natural Market Inventory Exercise Sets You Up For Success As A Financial Advisor
We’re almost certain that at some point in this process you’ve thought to yourself, “Is it really necessary for me to complete this exercise?” We want to reassure you that IT IS. This exercise is essential in setting you up for success in a few ways:
- Giving you a chance to organically share with your close friends and family what you’re doing in your new career
- Becoming comfortable making phone calls – a high activity level (making calls and meeting with contacts and prospects) is a HUGE part of this career
- Narrowing in on a potential target market for the focus of your practice, and
- Learning about markets available to you that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about
It should be apparent to you that your natural market inventory is far more beneficial to YOU than the firm requesting you to complete it.
If you’re still unsure of the process, talk with a practice building team member about how you build relationships as a financial advisor.
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