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How to Compete for Ultra-High-Net-Worth and High-Net-Worth Individuals

UHNW or HNW individuals are the most desirable and lucrative clients that represent 1% of the world’s population. As a financial advisor you can earn up to $600,000 in annual fees from them by providing excellent services and retaining them.

All of your clients can be worth retaining, but the most important ones you need to retain are the HNW and UHNW individuals. The wealth management marketplace is constantly changing because of the changing needs and wants of the clients. To get ahead of your competitors, you need to reinvent yourself over and over again. Lets talk about UHNW and HNW clients.

What do They Want?

To make your services more competitive, you need to identify the gaps in what you offer. Filling these gaps can help you improve your services and get ready to acquire new clients that your competitor would like to acquire or compete with you to acquire.

The UHNW or HNW individuals don’t need any magical services. Every true financial, insurance and lending advisor like you is capable of providing the required services. To find and retain the UHNW and HNW clients, you need to understand what guides their decision-making.

Almost all human beings make decisions unconsciously guided by their emotions instead of logic. They justify their emotional decisions with logic but the decisions are always made in their unconscious mind unguided by logic and reasoning. UHNW and HNW individuals also make their decisions unconsciously. Therefore, you need to work on the emotional aspect of your services to get them to know, like and trust you or your firm.

Provide Technical and Emotional Solutions

If you plan on retaining your UHNW and HNW clients forever, you need to focus on the emotional part of the equation. Let’s say you get a UHNW individual in your office (or virtual office, with COVID and all) and you provide them with expert solutions. They happily accept your service, shake hands and after a while, go to another advisor for the same service. You would be thinking, “what went wrong?”

To retain a client forever, you need to focus on not just the technical solutions you provide as a part of your job but also take every possible chance to build an emotional connection with them. According to a survey, 40% of individuals who had a net worth of over $4 million said that their financial, lending and insurance advisors did not understand their financial goals or their preferences of products and services.

So, even when the advisors are doing their best to provide the technical solutions, they are not connecting with them emotionally which bothers the HNW clients.

To retain these clients by building and maintaining a close relationship your conversation should be 20-30% about technical solutions and the rest of it should be emotional because your client’s emotions are guiding their decisions. Here a few key tips to build better relationships with them:

  • These individuals own multi-family offices, real estate, and factories, and are highly confident beings. They are naturally attracted to financial, lending, and insurance advisors who display flamboyant confidence of style and manner along with their knowledge and expertise.
  • Meet the couple instead of meeting one of them: Family-owned businesses are run by more than one member of the family therefore both spouses and if possible, their children should view you as their financial advisors. This is because if you only work with the male spouse, upon his death, the family won’t know you existed and change their advisor. When the family knows you and how you’ve helped them over the years, they will keep using your services.
  • When you invite the couple to your office (or virtual office!), make sure that you give both of them equal attention and have a polite conversation. Ask them different but meaningful questions and get to know their perspectives. Try to have a more intelligible and enjoyable conversation instead of number crunching the whole time. They might discuss you on their way back home and build an emotional connection if you managed to provide solutions and had a light-hearted conversation with them at the same time.
  • If you will be inviting couples to your office, make sure that the small details of your office such as the placement of articles, bookshelves, and the interior impress them. Men and women notice things differently, women tend to notice more than men which means they’ll be looking at your magazines, the way the office is organized, décor, your staff, what you are wearing, and how you talk. Make sure that you present yourself in the best way when meeting the couple.
  • Every meeting that you have with your client should be productive, it should have an agenda and end with positive results. Prepare a summary of each meeting and send it to your client. Keep a copy of the summary at your office for future discussion. Note your client’s feedback in this summary as well.
  • Always ask your client feedback questions to improve your services. Ask them to rate your services on a scale of 1 to 10 and what you should be doing to get to 10. An honest and hard-working team or firm striving to become the best is valued by its clients.
  • Always ask questions that can help you uncover the client or the prospect’s personality, attitudes, values, feelings, and expectations. Ask them to tell you about their family and notice how they describe themselves and their family. If they tell you that their kids are very grounded and well-mannered then these are the values they care about. Here is a list of questions that you can ask to understand them:
  1. What concerns you the most about your future?
  2. What do you want for your children?
  3. Who else’s future hinges on your financial decisions?
  4. How was your childhood?
  5. What was your financial situation growing up?
  6. What are the things in life that you haven’t yet gotten around to?
  7. What are the things in life that you are most passionate about?
  8. What are your quality-of-life desires?
  9. Apart from finances, what concerns and objectives do you have?

Important Tips for Retaining HNW Clients

  • The client may forget what you have been doing for them lately, therefore it is essential to keep them updated with what you are doing for them and how you have helped them in the past. Talk to them about it, remind them, and send a summary whenever possible.
  • Let them know what other services do you offer. Your client might go to another advisor for a service that they don’t know you offered because you never talked to them about it. Talk to them about your area of expertise and the full range of wealth management services that you provide.
  • Always go above and beyond to solve their problems. Your client is spending a bomb on you, they deserve to know that you are safeguarding their assets with the right technology and robust suitability processes. Share the portfolio data often with them and provide proof that their investment is in the right hands.
  • Give them clarity of costs and where their money is going.
  • Do what you say, you are going to do. Don’t promise them something that is impossible or you are not capable of doing for them.
  • Send them emails and make a call semiannually or quarterly to know how they are doing and if they’ll be needing your services shortly. Emails and calls should not be planned on selling your service, they should serve as a reminder of the relationship they have with your firm.
  • Other than the financial services, take a more personalized approach when you communicate with them. Greet them, ask them about their day and where they are or what they are doing. (if they are comfortable talking to you about it)

On a final note, a good player follows the puck where it has been but a great player goes where the puck will be. To stay ahead of the game, be ready to adapt by anticipating the future of wealth management services. The dynamics of the financial, insurance and lending advisory services industry require advisors to keep finding gaps in their offerings, fill the gaps, then repeat.

To Your Success, My Friends!

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