The primary business focus of many Financial Brokers today is to build up a sizeable and durable recurring income stream. They recognise the need for a clear and engaging Client Value Proposition that can then be delivered in a consistent, professional manner.
Of course they also recognise that delivering an excellent proposition takes a lot of time and energy and that they are definitely constrained in the number of clients that they can personally deal with. So wealthy clients are a very attractive segment. High asset portfolios mean fewer clients needed. But clients with larger portfolios often have higher expectations of their advisers…
It’s important to say that wealthy clients are not for everyone! In fact I know one financial planner who runs a brilliant business, and his target markets specifically do not include wealthy individuals. He knows his market, and delivers admirably to them.
What Wealthy Individuals want
These people tend to be very busy, time poor and often quite unstructured in their financial affairs. They need someone watching their back, getting their affairs in order and then managing them out into the future on their behalf. The good news is, they are happy and able to pay for this service! So first of all if you want to build relationships with such people, they will need to absolutely trust you. This won’t be achieved by your own messages on your website of honesty and integrity, instead it will be achieved by what others say about you, and what you say and how you act. They won’t want to deal with you if they feel they are being “sold to”.
Indeed in addition to the above point, they want someone who will build a clear understanding of their financial goals and objectives, develop a financial plan based around these and then implement this plan in a transparent and collaborative manner.
And of course the professionalism and extent of your financial planning approach needs to come through in every communication channel that you use. Your website, your social media activity, your meeting presentations, your reports and brochures and any events that these people attend, each need to demonstrate your appropriateness as an adviser within this sector.
What a Financial Broker should do
So what should a Financial Broker concentrate on, when looking to build links with wealthy individuals?
- Build trust: Spend time at the outset gaining their trust. Have client references that they will value, place a lot of store on client testimonials, LinkedIn recommendations and other endorsements of your capabilities. Also build a store of case studies of innovative solutions or complex situations that you’ve addressed on behalf of clients. Show them how your business proposition places them at the core of how you advise and that products are merely a part of the solutions.
- Concentrate on financial planning: Very clearly divorce the development of the financial plan from the product sales piece. Future cashflow planning with these clients should definitely be a core element of your proposition. They are very likely to “get it”, they want someone to take a comprehensive, long-term view of their affairs and then help them to manage their affairs into the future. Developing this financial roadmap for the client as opposed to simply recommending some products is a critical approach with wealthy people. Jumping into products will only drive these people away.
- Recognise their concerns and address them: One of their big concerns is outliving their assets in retirement. Show them what this means in terms of the war chest they need to accumulate. Build into this picture their other concerns of funding education and leaving a legacy. Show them the size of the challenge – they will appreciate your candour!
- Be knowledgeable: Wealthy people are usually quite smart and have knowledge of a broad range of areas, as well as ability to research topics on the Internet etc. They need to feel they are dealing with an expert. If there are highly technical areas in which you are not an expert, you need to build up your own trusted network of experts that you can seamlessly tap into for specialist advice, to ensure you are the conduit for your client gaining a holistic solution.
- Add value: Add value to them, when you are not “on the clock”. If you see an article that would be of interest to them, send it to them. They will appreciate your ongoing and continuing interest in their affairs.
- Be transparent: Wealthy individuals will expect full transparency from you in relation to all areas of their dealings with you. If they feel you are not being 100% open with them, they will quickly lose trust in you and will go elsewhere for advice.
These are a few thoughts in relation to increasing your chances of success with this important segment of the market. Is there anything else that you’ve found? Please feel free to leave your comments below.