What is a 'Client Base'

A client base is a company's primary source of business. A client base consists of the current customers paying for the products, or services, as well as potential customers which have a high likelihood of becoming customers. Businesses rely on this group for most of the business sales and focus on them for developing new products, or advertising. A client base is usually defined using demographics such as age, location or gender, and can change over time.


Developing, maintaining and expanding its client base is a major concern for any business, since without clients, the business cannot earn revenue. Strategies companies use to increase this base include networking, word-of-mouth marketing and referrals, developing a specialty or area of expertise, staying in touch with existing clients, showing appreciation for clients and consistently meeting or exceeding expectations.

Businesses that primarily provide professional services (like financial planning) tend to use the term "client base," while businesses that primarily provide products tend to use the term "customers." For example, a financial planner's client base would consist of all the people who have hired her to manage their money. A CPA's client base would include of all the people and businesses whose tax returns he prepares.

How Businesses Approach Their Client Base

As a company researches, develops and plans to bring a product or service to market, attracting the attention of potential client base is of paramount concern. The product in question is intended to answer some need or resolve a pain point that company believes the target client base has. The success potential for a service or product is often based on the size of the intended client base and those customers’ anticipated willingness to spend money on said service.

Luxury items, for example, are largely targeted at a client base with the resources and interest in paying a premium in order to receive a product that is understood to be of high quality. The company offering the product, such as a high-end watch or a limited edition car, may aim its marketing to reach the client base in ways they cannot miss. That could include putting on exhibitions to display the product in front of invite-only guests who fit the financial demographics of the desired client base.

The company might also seek to place their product in television shows and other mediums to draw the attention of the client base they want. Fans of movies about racecars might be part of the client base that is interested in owning sports cars. This could encourage an automobile maker to pay to feature one of their vehicles in such a feature film.

  1. Discretionary Investment Management

    Discretionary investment management is a form of investing in ...
  2. Blanket Recommendation

    A situation in which a financial professional or institution ...
  3. Account Executive

    An account executive is a person who has primary responsibility ...
  4. Relationship Manager

    A relationship manager is a professional who works to improve ...
  5. Accommodation Line

    An accommodation line is an addition or change to a standard ...
  6. Principal Orders

    A principal order occurs when a securities firm acts as both ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Manage Your Clients' Expectations

    You can't control how they react to the market, but you can help them understand the reality of the situation.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Losing a Client Is Not Always The End of The World

    Losing a client is never pleasant for a financial advisor, but sometimes this is a better outcome than continuing the relationship.
  3. Tech

    Advisors Need to Talk Less, Ask and Listen More

    Financial advisors spend a lot of time giving their clients advice on how to invest their money. But what they often forget to do is listen.
  4. Financial Advisor

    What Is Your Client's Willingness and Ability to Take Risk?

    Financial advisors must carefully consider a client's willingness and ability to take investment risks, including tax concerns and liquidity needs.
  5. Financial Advisor

    How to Impress Clients: The First Meeting

    When meeting a prospective client you don’t want your first impression to be your last. Here are some tips to make sure there's a second meeting.
  6. Small Business

    Keeping Clients Through Good And Bad Times

    If you work in the financial industry, the secret to keeping clients happy is to be consistent.
  7. Retirement

    Helping Your Clients Face The Financial Reality Of Retirement

    Altering retirement plans is tough, but when the retiree is unprepared, it's very necessary.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Managing Client Expectations in a Volatile Environment

    Managing client expectations during periods of market volatility is challenging. Here are some ways to go about it.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Top 3 Things NOT to Say to Clients

    Steadily growing your client roster can be tough these days. Communicating effectively with customers should be one of your top priorities.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Top Tips for Getting More Client Referrals

    If you're not talking to your clients about referring you to friends, you should be.
Trading Center