Recently, a client of mine—a very successful financial adviser with over 25 years of experience—asked me a common question: “What is the best way to approach high-net-worth acquaintances with whom I wish to do business? I do not want to jeopardize these relationships, but I seek to take the next step in working with them as my clients.”
She went on to explain that she had become more involved in charitable events which had increased her exposure to very high-net-worth women. Over the past year, she found herself acquiring additional clients with $1 million, $3 million and even $5 million in investable assets. However, the most recent charitable event had her working side-by-side with a woman who had inherited $33 million from her late mother’s estate within the last few months.
The high-net-worth prospect and this adviser shared a common passion—a love for dogs. In addition, they had been acquaintances for years. It seems the prospect’s mother raised show dogs and the adviser’s father was a well known judge at prominent dog shows. As they discussed their love for dogs, the adviser learned that apparently the prospect had also inherited 45 dogs and a dog kennel. The prospect’s dream was to eventually get these dogs in the hands of people who would love a pet, maybe a nursing home or any other facility which would be open to having loving dogs who needed people and loving people who needed dogs. However, the prospect had no solid plans to turn her dream into reality.
After hearing this interesting and unique story, I suggested that if my client wanted to stand out from the crowd while approaching this or any high-net-worth acquaintance, she needed to understand the prospect’s passion and life purpose. Connecting the prospect’s passion with her life purpose is where the adviser comes in—by designing financial strategies to make the funding possible. Although in this case the prospect could easily write a check, the point is more that her mother’s former financial adviser never took the time to find out what she wanted to do with a portion of the money.
In other words, if you wish to be a high-net-worth adviser, you need to have a dialogue to uncover prospects’ passion and life purpose. Find out if they currently have strategies in place to make their life purpose a reality. If not, you will want to be the person to design these strategies.
What if you don’t have any high-net-worth acquaintances?
One way to begin this process of connecting with high-net-worth people is to find your own passion and life purpose outside of building your business. One example would be my client who has found her life purpose by helping underprivileged girls through a charity she created. Her intent was not to create a charity in order to get business, but rather to help others. Attracting high-net-worth clients had merely been a byproduct.
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.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.