Given how competitive the financial and investment service industry is, it is important that wealth managers identify and effectively target their ideal clientele. By doing so, they will be able to develop a client relationship process and marketing practices that best meet their ideal clients’ needs and enable them to further cultivate their specific target market. Mastering the basics is the first step.
Know Your Role
Not all financial advisors are alike and it is essential that wealth managers understand their unique role. The primary responsibilities of wealth managers are to help their high net worth clients identify and then meet their personal financial and investment goals with sound investment, asset allocation and asset preservation strategies. Wealth managers, whose approach is a holistic one, encompassing asset allocation and investments, as well as insurance and estate planning and integrated services for business owners, often have a team of other trusted advisors with whom they jointly service their clients.
Speaking of the “team,” wealth managers need to assemble the right team of staff and other professionals to effectively service their target clientele. Drawing solely from stock brokers and/or financial planning professionals will not suffice for wealth manager cultivating the most elite clientele. They demand a sophisticated financial advisor with a broad understanding of all financial and investment instruments, tax implications, estate planning basics, business succession planning, etc.
Your Value Proposition
All wealth managers must be able to clearly state the value proposition they bring to their clients. Attributes like honesty, integrity and personal involvement all strike a positive chord with high net worth individuals who expect a high level of service. Wealth managers should let their clients know about the industry conferences, educational seminars and meetings with members of their professional network. This projects a wealth manager who strives to stay abreast of the latest developments and trends which, in turn, enable them to provide the highest standard of client service.
Look at Your Ideal Clients and Develop More Just Like Them
Your next best client is the one that mirrors your current ideal clients. Make a list of key parameters (i.e., investable assets, net worth, age, family situation, business owner, profession, etc.) and then look to cultivate relationships with similar individuals. Since many people have relationships with individuals in similar circumstances, your existing ideal clients can be the best source of referrals to their friends, neighbors and colleagues.
Ultra High Net Worth Clients Are Worth the Extra Effort
Deciding that you want a wealth management practice serving ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals (i.e., those with $30 million or more of investable assets) does require smarter networking, more sophisticated technologies, and more well-rounded staff. It requires a deeper expertise in areas such as impact investments, charitable giving trusts and alternative investments. Overall, it requires an investment management platform that can support asset allocation and the application of a wide range of investments from EFTs, individual stocks and mutual funds to hedge funds and other alternative investments. Understanding the implications of cross-border investments is also necessary. Additionally, these elite clients also demand that their wealth managers build and maintain strong working relationships with their other trusted advisors (i.e., accountant, lawyer, private banker, insurance professional, etc.). This latter point cannot be stressed enough as UHNW individuals hold these advisors in the closest of confidence. For a wealth manager to join this exclusive circle, strong bonds must be built and maintained with these other professionals.
By following these simple measures, wealth managers can build and retain the practice that will be most fulfilling and financially rewarding.