Affluent clients and the new normal: what today's economic climate means for advisersArticle added by Annette Bau on March 17, 2011
Annette Bau

Annette Bau

Tempe, AZ

Joined: October 01, 2007

Relationship marketing is a way to personalize and humanize your interactions with your clients to let them know you truly care about them.

According to the popular consultant Richard Weylman, the author of “Opening Closed Doors — Keys to Reaching Hard-to-Reach People,” the current economic climate offers some terrific opportunities for advisers who wish to work with prosperous clients.

Why? Because in these times, many affluent clients are open to changing the advisers they already have. A part of this is based on a lack of trust and lost money, but unfortunately, there are even more reasons.

During my interview for this year’s Affluent Summit, Mr. Weylman told me that wealthy clients are getting frustrated because their advisers just aren’t paying a sufficient amount of attention to their clients.

“To serve the affluent, you must touch them as often as they desire,” Mr. Weylman states. “And most advisers do not do this.”

Success with the affluent depends on the execution

Past marketing strategies, such as cold calling, are no longer effective. For marketing to work in the “new normal,” advisers must “work on purpose, not on pressure,” as Mr. Weylman stated to me during my interview with him. Clients and prospects can sense when we work under pressure and the results are never good.

Relationship marketing is a way to personalize and humanize your interactions with your clients to let them know you truly care about them. Mr. Weylman strongly recommends that advisers invest some of their time and energy in the area of relationship marketing. It’s the ultimate way to “work on purpose.”

However, relationship marketing is not as easy as remembering a prospect’s birthday or a client’s anniversary. While that’s all a part of it, the secret to really valuable relationship marketing is the ability to recognize any unique dates and activities that are uncommon to each particular client or prospect.

Spend some time trying to find out as much as you can about your clients. What are their some of their hobbies and interests? What do they enjoy eating and where? What’s their favorite type of wine or music? What sport do they most enjoy? Inventory this information and be alert for original ways to use it to build onto your relationships.

According to Mr. Weylman, founder of The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management™, an online university for financial professionals and staff who work with affluent clients, getting an affluent client to switch advisers takes longer to achieve today than in the past. Even though affluent clients are more willing to switch advisers, they examine their situation more closely to make sure that they’re moving towards a better solution.
A study shows that it takes an average of seven or eight meetings for an affluent client to feel comfortable changing advisers. In order to make sure those meetings count, you must use relationship marketing to helpyou.

Make sure you invite your prospects and clients to social events you believe they might enjoy with you. Create specialized workshops in more intimate settings. Use your creativity to elevate a client’s experience and become the top adviser choice for the kind of affluent clients you want to attract.

Today’s affluent clients want more than anything to feel understood by their advisers. If you can position yourself as uniquely qualified to relate to each of your affluent prospects and clients on an individual basis through relationship marketing, you’ll go a long way toward earning their trust — and their business.
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