A Blog for Today’s Top Financial Advisors

5 Ways Wealth Managers Can Be a Hero to Affluent Clients – Episode 11

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a highly detailed ideal client profile to guide you.
  • Dig deeper to select a specific niche—then do your homework on it!
  • Commit to your new niche, and release nonideal clients.

As financial advisors look to move up the hierarchy of success—in many cases aiming for the elite level characterized by advisors earning incomes of $1 million or more—one fact becomes crystal clear:

You’ve got to stop being reactive in your business—responding to whatever appears before you and saying yes to any prospective clients who cross your path. Instead, you need to become highly proactive and deliberate about your choices.

One of the most important moves you can make is to zero in on exactly whom you want to work with by identifying the right affluent clients for your particular skill set, interests and goals.

It’s time to ask yourself this question: Who do I want to be a hero to?

Adding value to the right people

You can’t be all things to everyone, and you shouldn’t try. You’ll be able to create more financial value for yourself and your business if you focus on serving clients to whom you can bring tremendous financial value—helping them make smart decisions about their money so they maximize the probability of achieving all that is important to them.

To attract exactly the right clients and then serve them extremely well, you must identify them with laser-like accuracy. To say you want to serve affluent clients is not nearly enough; you must drastically narrow your focus to the right affluent clients for you.

Rather than being something to everyone, you will be everything to a select few.

The 5-step process

The key is to take these five steps:

1. Create a profile of your ideal client.

Companies across many industries are increasingly developing avatars of their ideal clients—a single, imaginary person possessing all the characteristics and details of exactly whom they want to be selling to.

That’s what financial advisors need to do, too. Identify the specific characteristics of the client who is ideal for your practice, then create your ideal client profile with as many details as you can so that you have a constant reminder of the specific affluent clients you will serve.

Who should that ideal client be? It all depends on your strengths, goals and other factors specific to you. But I can tell you that in a survey of 803 financial advisors, we found that 79.5 percent wanted to work with successful business owners, 51.1 percent wanted to work with corporate executives and 34.1 percent said retirees (see the chart below).

The special attention paid to entrepreneurs makes sense. One study we did found that 33.3 percent of people with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million are entrepreneurs. That percentage shoots up to 74.5 percent of people with $5 million to $25 million in net worth. And it soars to nearly 90 percent for people with $25 million or more.

Clearly, if you want to move upmarket and serve wealthier clients, it makes sense to at least consider making business owners your ideal clients.

2. Identify the right niche.

Choose one community of ideal affluent individuals or families that you can serve well. A focus on a single, well-chosen niche will serve you extremely well as you move to the next level.

What we find is that the most successful advisors—more than half—have a specific niche they focus on. That doesn’t automatically mean they can’t or won’t take clients who aren’t in their niche. But it does mean their primary focus is on a niche community.

Finding the right niche means digging deeper into your broad ideal client profile. An ideal client might be a business owner, but your niche might be business owners in the construction industry. Executives might be your ideal client, but your niche might be executives in the airline industry.

3. Research your niche.

You want to fully understand your niche by having systematic conversations and interviews with members of the niche as well as centers of influence (accountants, attorneys, etc.) who work with members of the niche.

This step will help you confirm that this is the right niche for you and help you deeply understand the key issues and challenges of the niche community so that you can effectively attract and then serve them extremely well.

Keep in mind that your niche’s concerns will very likely match up with the five key concerns shared by the broader community of affluent individuals and families:

  1. Making smart decisions about money
  2. Mitigating taxes
  3. Taking care of heirs
  4. Protecting assets from being unjustly taken
  5. Magnifying charitable gifts

That said, each niche is different and has its own nuances. It’s important to identify your chosen niche’s unique concerns (if any) that stand apart from those five.

Once you fully know your niche’s concerns, you can begin to position your firm and your offerings to greatly appeal to that group.

4. Stake your claim.

This step is where you make the commitment to serve the niche extremely well so you become the go-to financial advisor among its members. Part of your effort will involve becoming a recognized thought leader in your niche and among the professionals who serve it.

Put your flag in the ground and make the niche yours!

5. Release nonideal clients.

Letting go of existing clients who aren’t right for you will greatly free up your time and enable you to focus on your ideal (and likely more affluent) clients. What’s more, those nonideal clients will be better served by someone else as you shift your focus. I know it can be difficult to let go of clients, but it really is the case that you’re doing them a disservice by keeping them once they’re not your ideal clients.

Important: Take this step only after you’ve got a steady stream of ideal new clients at your door.

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