Selling to the Affluent | Nine Ways to Sell Wealth Management to the Affluent
It's just as easy to obtain a new HNW client as it is to acquire a client of average wealth. Do you believe that? You should. Affluent families need wealth management more so than average wealth families, yet many advisors fail to align their client acquisition strategy to this segment.
We will be reviewing a multitude of issues, some you may be familiar with and some that are foreign to you. Think deeply about what you want for your practice and your life and determine if going down this path is right for you because this strategy will require an investment in you and your firm.
This article will address issues that discourage wealthy clients from contacting you and nine specific steps you can take to sell and market to this segment. If appealing to the affluent is a strategic move you would like to make, please check out my 9-Week Marketing to the Affluent Course.
What turns off affluent clients?
They are NOT looking for a generalist. They are seeking experts in specific areas. If your practice is a "one size fits all" shop you are not likely to attract affluent clients. Take a good look at your expertise. What could you improve upon? What courses do you need to take to acquire more knowledge? What credential would help you better service clients? Where are you passionate? What niche client can you specialize in?
They are NOT looking for a transaction-based advisor. The wealthy have become dissatisfied with advisors who are focused on one-time transactions. They want to get their financial house in order. They want: detailed financial planning, help with goals, help with their dreams for the future, help with how to leave a legacy, holistic wealth management, and a deep relationship with their advisor. And, they are willing to pay for these services, so don't undersell yourself.
They are NOT attracted to mass marketers and low end competitors. This seems obvious, but it deserves attention. The branding and marketing done by the walmarts of the world does not appeal to this distinct group. Your marketing messages need to be targeted to the needs of the wealthy by showcasing benefits they want and examples they can identify with.
Here are nine specific steps you can take to TRANSFORM your business so that you are attracting more HNW clients:
1. Develop yourself. If you are a typical left-brained advisor, you may need to take a few courses in touchy-feely topics to strengthen the right side of your brain. Some advisors are too analytical and think that clients want graphs and data. Clients want you to be interested in them, their family, their hobbies, and their happiness. You may need to invest in yourself and learn skills related to life planning, life issues, how to develop deeper relationships with your clients, and creative ways to engage your clients.
2. Develop a Client Service Matrix that focuses on service. What do your clients get from their working relationship with you? How often will you call them proactively rather than when there is a crisis? What kind of client appreciation events will you hold for your clients? How will you help your clients solve common problems in their lives? Rather than marketing outward, market inward to your existing clients.
3. Have a thorough interview process. When you take on a new client, make an effort to learn everything about them. Prosperous clients want you to take control and learn every financial and personal detail about their lives. Schedule an in depth interview that encompasses every aspect of their life by asking questions not only about money but about their personal life as well including but not limited to: money values; personal goals; business goals; investment goals; existing assets and custodians; sources of income; investments; other advisors they utilize; their immediate and extended family; personal interests; charitable organizations they give to or belong to; service expectations; hobbies and passions; their health situation; and much more.
4. Brand your Client Service Matrix and your intake process. The well off love special treatment. Create a brand for how you work with wealthy clients. Give your process a great name and go as far as trade-marking or service-marking your brand. Market the service by listing the benefits clients receive by going through your program.
5. Focus on the high end. This sounds obvious yet many advisors ignore this strategy: Attempt to leverage your time by concentrating on the high end of your client list. Delegate tasks connected to low end clients to your assistants. Be available to your high-net-worth clients, offer a higher level of service, an excellent client experience, and create raving fans.
6. Offer key detailed information on your website. The rich are searching the internet just like the rest of us. Whether they have been referred to you via their other advisors, their wealthy friends and family, or whether they found you through an internet search, they are looking for key detailed information on your website. They want to know about your expertise, what makes you different, your Value Proposition, whether you "look like" an approachable, nice person (no stiff, pretentious, or unsmiling photos please). They also want to download your custom brochure and save it to their own computer. They will take their time deciding if they want to hire you. So don't make them jump through hoops to get your brochure. The affluent are private - make retrieval of information anonymous for them.
7. Invest in your brand. As mentioned above, stock photography, off-the-shelf brochures, and template websites will not work to attract the wealthy. You'll need to INVEST in your color palette, logo, tagline, and key messages to attract them. Hire an experienced brand strategist or consultant to work through your Value Proposition and develop a creative brand that positions your firm as the solution provider for the wealthy.
8. Be transparent with fees. The HNW client is not overly concerned with price but they are well aware of the difference between commissions and fees and the games many advisors play. If you are not displaying your fees on your website, you could be turning off the affluent. The two factors they want to know when they go to your website: "How much is this going to cost me?" and "Do you look like the kind of person I want to work with?"
9. Be referable. The affluent are members of an exclusive club where everyone knows each other. The price of admission is costly and the connections are priceless. Once you have established yourself with the affluent, word of mouth referrals will start coming your way but you must be referable by paying attention to service, your brand, and your expertise.
What I want for you is a constant stream of new affluent clients coming in your front door. But you must take action for that to happen!
Suzanne Muusers is an ICF-Member Business Coach who has worked with hundreds of successful independent financial advisors, investment executives, and finance career professionals since 2004. She helps clients develop their Value Proposition, Ideal Client Profile, and Branding Strategy so that their marketing message appeals to affluent clients.
Suzanne has created exercises and programs that help her clients get straight to the point and avoid mistakes other advisors tend to make. Her clients save time getting to the next level due to her extensive knowledge and experience in the business growth field.
Prosperity Coaching LLC