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Seven Truths About Affluent Clients

High-net-worth clients know what they want. Make sure you know what that is.

By Matt Oechsli

If your goal is to attract and retain high-net-worth clients, there are certain truths that you need to know. Our firm’s 2004 research study, Affluent Decision Making, revealed seven statistically significant truths that you can use as a guide to move your business forward:

1. Dissatisfaction is the breeding ground for opportunity. Our research showed there is a high degree of dissatisfaction among high-net-worth individuals that is coupled with a strong need for someone to act as a solutions provider for the multidimensional aspect of their financial affairs. Seize the opportunity.

2. To work with the affluent, you must become their primary financial coordinator. Herein lies your opportunity: This is precisely what the affluent are looking for and, according to our findings, not certain where to find it. They want an integrated approach to their financial affairs. Find them and offer it to them.

3. Reputation can only be earned one client at a time. The affluent are not impulse buyers. A client introduces an affluent prospect to you because of the value you have delivered, not because you’re a nice person. Introductions and referrals will remain the lifeblood of your business, but you must deserve them.

4. The best way to attract affluent prospects is to become at one with them. You cannot attract affluent prospects by operating on the sidelines. You must go where they go and become involved in the activities, events and causes that interest them. And don’t simply join their organizations, get involved—it is about relationships.

5. Your financial advisory process must be proactive. The research is clear, the affluent want you to be proactive in contacting them when upcoming tax and other changes will impact their portfolio. Quarterly and annual review meetings are no longer sufficient; they want someone who is consistently looking out for them.

6. Personalized service is the essence of a successful wealth management practice. The affluent want Ritz-Carlton service combined with FedEx efficiency. It runs the gamut from how promptly and professionally your phone is answered to personal touches that go beyond what is expected. Because of myriad factors, this is a key to differentiating yourself.

7. The real compensation issue is full disclosure. This is not simply a question of fees vs. commissions. The affluent investor is asking, “What am I paying for, and what will I receive in return?” The critical issue is price relative to value. The affluent are extremely value conscious.

Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Need I say more!

For more information on growing your business with affluent clients, be sure to read Attracting the Affluent.

This is an excerpt from a speech given at the 2005 MDRT Annual Meeting. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Matt Oechsli, president of Oechsli Institute, has published numerous books, including FastTrack Coaching For Building a 21st Century Financial Practice and How to Build a 21st Century Financial Practice Contact him at 800-883-6582 or


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