Selling To The Wealthy
October 26, 2016 Leave a comment
For mass-market businesses, it’s easier to rely on the “numbers game”: hire enough people to make enough phone calls, with the right message, and a certain percentage will come good. Even here, good hiring, strong team motivation and high-quality engagement is necessary.
But for prestige organisations, which are typically seeking out much smaller numbers of much higher-spending customers, the challenge is far greater. Just a handful of additional new clients can make the difference between meeting and exceeding targets or missing them. Conversely, mass or generic marketing approaches will always be viewed as such, and result in zero return.
Here are some golden rules and best practices for organisations that are seeking to grow their client base within the ultra-high net worth sector. These individuals may choose to spend US$1 million or more with a luxury brand in a single purchase or make a donation on this level with a non-profit. Or they may give a wealth manager US$10 million or more to look after. Such new clients are therefore highly valuable, if not transformative, for many organisations if they are successfully prospected.
So how to go about selling to the wealthy ?
TREAT EVERY WEALTHY INDIVIDUAL AS A SEGMENT OF ONE
Each has their own needs, preferences, passions and idiosyncrasies – and the means to indulge them. They expect highly personalised engagement from all organisations they deal with and fully customised products and services.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
There are only 212,000 UHNW individuals in the world so it is vital that the right people are approached, at the right time, and with the perfect pitch tailored to them. Wealthy individuals will quickly dismiss generic approaches, lack of preparation or poor understanding of them and their needs.
Cultivating UHNW relationships cannot happen overnight; they need to be carefully nurtured over time, and most successful business development professionals cannot target more than 50 to 75 individuals in any one year. Keep up to date with these prospects’ news, and professional and personal events, over time and use these as potential triggers to gently nudge the relationship forward, noting that it typically takes 12-18 months to successfully cultivate a new UHNW relationship.
HARNESS THE POWER OF REFERRALS AND PASSIONS
There are only two methods proven to successfully engage a wealthy individual – an introduction via a trusted acquaintance and/or pin-point targeting of their unique interests, passions and hobbies. Both will motivate and engage; cold or untailored approaches rarely, if ever, will.
DO NOT WASTE MONEY OR TIME ON ‘HOPE MARKETING’
Direct marketing, typified by sending out emails, brochures or glossy books is, at best, very expensive given the high production values and quality required for any credible prestige brand communication, and the high volumes of outbound mailing required to generate some form of return. At worst, it is entirely a waste of money, which provides no financial ROI and no learnings or feedback for future improvement.
IDENTIFY AND APPROACH THE WEALTHY INDIVIDUALS THAT YOUR EXISTING ULTRA-WEALTHY CLIENTS ARE CONNECTED TO
Referrals being a significant influencer for wealthy individuals, understand the relationship networks of the ultra-wealthy customers and clients that you already have today. Assuming your current ultra-wealthy customers are positive about your organisation (which they almost always will be, because they wouldn’t be your customers if you weren’t providing exemplary service!) these brand ambassadors will be connected to other ultra-wealthy and able to make a referral or positive introduction to them.Most wealthy individuals are connected by first degree to between six and 10 other wealthy individuals.
CONDUCT HIGHLY TARGETED GREENFIELD PROSPECTING
To connect with a wider circle of wealthy individuals beyond your client base, identify and prioritise those with a known passion for, or interest in, your sector or cause. Or a known passion for, or interest in something that you plan to use as your theme or “hook” for an event or other kind of engagement. Detailed and methodical research is required here to ensure every communication is perfectly targeted and – given the cost of high-quality communications and engagement – there is minimal wastage.More than this, timing is critical, so understand recent important events in your prospects’ lives – keeping updated about them is essential to ensure optimal timing.
All the above work just as well if you are looking for business partners and financiers or just building your networks to be able to do more.