Marketing Strategies for Private Client Advisors and Their Relationships
It was a privilege hosting the roundtable session, Marketing Strategies for Private Client Advisors and Their Relationships, at the 3rd Annual PRMA Summit held November 13-15, 2016 in Itasca, IL. The Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) is an organization dedicated to improving the advice, coverage and service provided to the high net worth insurance consumer.
At the onset, the approximately forty participants from insurance brokerages and carriers introduced themselves and shared their primary interest in the roundtable. The collective interests revolved around, 1) finding and cultivating centers of influence, and 2) building and remaining engaged with a high net worth clientele.
Participants have been providing very positive feedback; below are the most prominent roundtable takeaways.
Be creative and disciplined in developing a COI network
Not only does a center of influence (COI) provide valuable referrals, but they allow you to assemble a network of experts that expands your sphere of influence with clients. Developing a COI network is building a trusted team; you should establish criteria for selecting and set expectations with those in your network as you want to ensure clients have a great experience with anyone you refer.
How do you find and cultivate centers of influence? Fish where the fish are; attend industry events for wealth managers, trust and estate attorneys, luxury real estate agents, and other professions serving a high net worth clientele. These are great opportunities to network with a large group of like-minded professionals. Be candid about your interest in expanding your COI network to provide your clients an exceptional experience and to exchange referrals; be sure to have your message polished. You will also find the savviest of these professionals attending events their clients and prospects attend, such as yacht, aviation, equestrian and car shows, or wine and art auctions/events.
Client events should be about clients
Companies intend well, but unfortunately, many of their events become more about the company than the clients. For example, luncheons or holiday parties often find firms struggling to fill seats or wrestling with cancellations. Why? Perceived low-value. The fact is, wealthy individuals have no problem buying themselves a meal and no shortage of event invitations.
Focus client events on a purpose or passion. For example, one of our customers at LIFE REFINED invites car aficionados to view concept cars at a luxury car manufacturer. They include a discussion and design session with car designers; occasionally they drive the concept cars. Another customer formed both wine and whiskey clubs. They collaborate with wineries and distilleries to create special events. Both firms limit invitations to a small carefully selected group they know will value the experience and enjoy meeting other enthusiasts. They have no problem filling spots and cancellations are rare. And the intimate nature of the event allows for relationship development and facilitates referrals (e.g. ask attendees if they know anyone else who might like to join the group).
Be yourself and be curious
How do you mix with and relate to clients that likely have substantially greater financial resources and luxuries than you? The most important thing is to be your authentic self and show a genuine interest in understanding each client’s lifestyle and interests. Focus on them!
Approximately 80-85% of wealthy individuals are self-made, and most are understated; they are aware their financial success provides unique opportunities. You might even find them delighted to educate you on a topic you know little about but express a sincere interest. Remember, people work with and refer people they know, like, and trust. In the end, clients want to know they can trust you; if they detect you aren’t true to yourself, how can they trust you to be true to them?
Make it easy and fun to think of and share your business
The most preferred and profitable business originates from current clients and centers of influence in the form of referrals. Despite this fact, many firms do not have a defined strategy and plan to market to and through these relationships. In other words, they are not fortifying and fueling their most valuable business development resources.
We started and ended the session with a question that can help guide the marketing efforts of those working with private clients. Ask the simple question, What am I doing to make it easy and fun for clients and COIs to think of me often and share my business with others?
John Frankot is founder and president of Triple R Media and publisher of LIFE REFINED, a relationship management and content marketing tool designed for wealth and luxury professionals.