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Positioning Power

A sales strategy for landing more affluent clients

Marsha, a financial advisor for a major firm, became a proven rainmaker after a year-and-a-half of training. The secret of her transformation was learning what I like to refer to as the power of positioning.

It's a sales strategy for getting affluent investors to turn to you first for their financial needs and involves taking eight steps — three of which are of particular importance — that will produce the best results.

They include the following (the top three are followed by an asterisk):

  • Contact the affluent when they're preparing to file their taxes and any other time their portfolios may be affected. Quarterly reviews are not enough.

  • Make full disclosures. They don't want any surprises later on.*

  • Know their personal and family goals. This is accomplished by producing a thorough profile of each client.

  • Use other financial experts to help meet all their financial needs, but make sure you're the one coordinating all the efforts on their behalf.*

  • Carefully select the right asset mix for their portfolio, which includes incorporating their tolerance for risk.

  • You need to help them develop a comprehensive financial plan.

  • Coordinate and organize all their financial documents.*

  • Coordinate their investment activities.

Marsha helps her affluent clients organize their financial documents by providing them with a Financial Organizer and helping them learn how to use it. The organizer is a loose-leaf binder with printed tabs that help her clients store all their financial documents.

By spending 70 percent of her time engaged in high-impact rainmaking activities and meeting with affluent clients and prospects, Marsha is ready to use her new positioning power as a springboard for introductions and referrals.

Sounds simple, doesn't it. But it's not easy. Initially, even Marsha resisted using the Financial Organizer. Only when she agreed to try it for me did she come to appreciate the value of this simple tool.

Try it yourself. It's a good start on the road to becoming a proven rainmaker. (A free copy of the Financial Organizer Guidelines Marsha used can be found at If the brief steps listed above don't tell you enough about what the successful rainmaker needs to know and you would like them explained to you at greater length, then send an me email at [email protected]. I'll send you all you need to know.

Now relax, this is not a gimmick. It's a simply a classic “win-win” for you and your clients. Here's what you will get out of it:

  • Your clients receive a valuable service that helps take the confusion and clutter out of their financial lives. You can be confident that most, if not all of them, will greatly appreciate the service.

  • You position yourself as their financial quarterback, which forces your clients to attend to all of their financial affairs through you. They want a financial coordinator; you want a financial relationship.

  • You are able to consistently demonstrate your value to them, which makes you someone they want to refer to their affluent friends and colleagues.

I'm not sure why most financial advisors refuse to fully understand the importance the affluent place on this organization service. It may be they perceive it as a clerical task or, as was Marsha's case, “It's a lot of damn work.” Whatever the reason, more financial advisors need to incorporate a Financial Organizer into their practice.

As far as Marsha's operational priorities are concerned, creating, following up and teaching clients how to use their Financial Organizer has become the responsibility of her indispensable assistant. When Marsha initiated the process, she did most of the work, but now she recognizes the importance of assigning her best support person the responsibility for creating and maintaining this important tool.

Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.

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