There's a growing consensus among financial industry experts that the future will be driven by one's ability to attract, serve and retain the loyalty of affluent clients. Generally speaking, financial advisers are having limited success in this area.
Knowledge is a basic requirement for any financial professional striving to meet the needs of affluent investors. So the key to success is combining knowledge with effectiveness. Effectiveness comes when you make certain you are doing the right things, the right way and for the right reasons.
Although you may want to get to work serving affluent investors right away, you can't change your business overnight. However, you can begin applying strategies that anchor you in what's familiar while you take action toward future improvements. I often refer to this as “transforming your business without having to quit your day job.” Here are some strategies:
Your effectiveness will be greatly enhanced if you clearly define affluent. Maybe your ideal client has $1 million in investable assets, but do you have a strict minimum for starting a new relationship? You should. Maximizing effectiveness requires you to create a profile of the clients you want to serve and stick to it. This, in effect, provides you with a “within range” target.
Let's assume your ideal client profile requires $1 million in assets, your long-range business plan calls for a finite number of such clients and you want 20 new relationships of this caliber in the next 12 months. Maximizing effectiveness requires you to do specific activities each day that are linked to attracting these clients. Any other business development activity would be ineffective.
You get the point. In both cases, you need to do three things: 1) identify the type of clientele you want to serve; 2) develop a written business plan complete with a plan of attack for achievement; and 3) discipline yourself to do what is required every day.
If you want to evaluate your progress or assess your current business practices, I have created a free benchmarking tool that can be accessed on my Web site at www.oechsli.com/rr. It can be an excellent first step in maximizing effectiveness.
Matt Oechsli is president of The Oechsli Institute in Greensboro, N.C., a sales consulting firm, and author of “Winning the Inner Game of Selling.” He can be reached at [email protected]. For a free tool to assess your progress in attracting, serving and retaining affluent clients, go to www.oechsli.com/rr.
Developing Your Parabroker
Many successful brokers believe they are maximizing effectiveness by delegating the service needs of small clients to their parabrokers. Their parabrokers perform the necessary tasks without a complaint, and everyone is happy. Right?
Wrong. Delegating tasks of this nature can be a big mistake for three reasons. First, your parabroker needs to play a key role in your business development efforts, especially when building a wealth management team that offers multidimensional solutions to affluent clients.
Second, it is unlikely your current affluent clients are receiving Ritz-Carlton service with FedEx efficiency when your support staff's time is being absorbed by smaller accounts.
Finally, having parabrokers serve smaller clients makes it too easy to hang on to those accounts, delaying the effort to attract only wealthy investors.
Maximizing effectiveness requires all efforts be directed toward attracting, serving and retaining affluent clients. Your parabroker needs to help make that happen.