Is your proposition right for wealthy clients?

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.

Is LinkedIn worth the effort?

A question I’m often asked! My answer is the same every time – A resounding Yes! I’d go as far as to say that LinkedIn is not optional for financial advisers any more, as the opportunity cost of not using it is simply too great to ignore now. You must have a presence on it and it must be a very strong presence.

Why? Well here are a few reasons.

 

Your professional profile

Your website tells people about your business and the services that you provide. Your LinkedIn profile on the other hand gives you the opportunity to tell people about you, the businessperson. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your career credentials, your skills and your experience. You also have the opportunity to include recommendations from happy clients. Your LinkedIn profile offers you the opportunity to connect on a personal level with prospective clients.

 

Give yourself a head start

It’s always great to have something in common with a prospect when you meet them, to get off on the right footing! Maybe you went to the same school, shared a common previous employer, are in the same sports club or have an unusual interest in common. This gives you a conversation topic for those first few minutes as you draw each other out into the conversation. LinkedIn is a rich source of this information and might help you to press the “happy” buttons from the word go!

 

A valuable research resource for prospects too!

We all use Google to check out potential suppliers before we contact them. The same applies to financial advisers. I think it’s safe to assume that almost 100% of prospective clients will carry out some research of you and your business before entrusting their money with you! Your search (Google) results hopefully will list your website and your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re not on LinkedIn, what does this say about you? To many people, it shows a lack of professionalism, not having your finger on the business pulse. Equally damaging is having a very poor presence on LinkedIn. A badly created profile, with a very small number of connections hardly sends out the message that you are the best provider in town to meet the needs of a potential client.

 

Driving traffic to your website

It’s all well and good having a great website, however you’ve got to ensure that people actually get to visit it and see your content. And this is where LinkedIn plays such an important role. You can share content that is housed on your website out via LinkedIn. And of course if any of your network interact with your content by liking it or sharing it themselves, your content then is highlighted to a whole new network of contacts, leading these people back to your website where they hopefully will learn all about you!

One of the hugely under-used nuggets of LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups. These offer you the opportunity to reach out to people in your target audience who are beyond your own network. They offer the opportunity to build a presence among people that you don’t already know.

  

Helping your search engine results

Social media in general and LinkedIn as one of the main platforms now plays a significant role in achieving excellent search engine results. While of course it remains very important to have your website pages set up correctly, with well written content featuring your chosen keywords, that on its own is not enough. Fresh, original content that is endorsed by other people earns a lot of brownie points with Google and helps push your site up the search results. And it’s via LinkedIn that this happens for you in a business context – when you share your business related content and your insights, and others then interact with them.

 

Providing great insights

Another benefit of LinkedIn is the insights that you can get. You can a real sense of whether your content is of interest to people, and more importantly, who is actually finding it interesting. As people, like, comment upon or share your content, you learn who is reading and finding your content of interest, in a way that no other medium (except email marketing) will deliver. Maybe it’s worth your while reaching out to these people and suggesting a coffee?

 

The benefits of LinkedIn are huge and can’t be ignored by financial advisers. Is it time that you learned how to get the full benefit from it?