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ATTRACTING THE AFFLUENT

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                                  ATTRACTING
                                  THE AFFLUENT
                                                     By Steven Lamb           Ditch the sales pitch. Wealthy investors require courtship
                                                                              that leads to lasting relationships.
                                  IF you’re attempting to attract the         within those niches, they can expand     focus. Five meetings may sound like a
                                  affluent through mass marketing initia-     their marketing through the media—       lot, but Bowen stresses it’s the most
                                  tives, think again. Advisor coach John J.   following up with speeches, publishing   important single factor for success when
                                  Bowen Jr. has a better-proven strategy      white papers or books, and eventually    dealing with the wealthy.
                                  for marketing to wealthy prospects. It      giving TV and radio interviews.                                       Continued on page 33
                                  starts with advisors identifying their         Once established as experts,
                                  target niches and positioning themselves    advisors must then focus on
                                  as experts for those market segments. In    managing client relationships.
                                  such instances, perception is everything.   Bowen says many risk falling
                                     “It is clear that an important part of   into the common trap of
                                  working with the affluent is positioning    concentrating too much
                                  yourself as an expert at meeting their      on transactions.
                                  needs,” says Bowen, president of U.S.-         He suggests a more
                                  based consulting firm CEG Worldwide.        consultative approach,
                                  “Many advisors get caught up on the         which includes five pre-
                                  idea of expertise, thinking they some-      liminary meetings, each
                                  how need to get some sort of licence to     with a different
                                  be called an expert. Don’t get caught up
                                  in this.”
                                     Bowen suggests advisors infiltrate
                                  the fabric of their target niche, making
                                  themselves a household name by writ-
Illustration by Amanda G. Duffy




                                  ing articles for publications that target
                                  the market subset they want to reach.
                                  For example, if advisors want to attract
                                  dentists, they should write a financial
                                  planning article or column for a
                                  dental trade publication.
                                     As advisors make themselves known


                                  www.advisor.ca                                                                               ADVISOR’S EDGE   |   AUGUST 2005     31
                                                                            THENEXT
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Continued from page 31                        living up to their requirements. Bowen
   The first meeting is called the dis-       admits this can be tricky, since many
covery meeting, where the advisor learns      advisors started their careers by accept-
far more about the client than what           ing any client with a pulse.
would be garnered from the check-box              Affluent investors expect superior
approach of most Know-Your-Client             service to what’s given to run-of-the-
forms. Such a process involves learning       mill clients, and it is virtually impossi-
about the client’s value systems and          ble to position a practice as exclusive if
where his or her priorities lie.              it includes lower-rung clients. But many
   Conrad Toner, a certified financial        advisors are reluctant to give up the rev-
planner (CFP) with Investors Group in         enue smaller clients contribute to the
Peterborough, Ont., has experienced the       bottom line, even if it diminishes other
reaction of clients who receive too           aspects of their practices.
much information at once. “A key chal-            Bowen suggests the pain of losing
lenge is the process of going through         that revenue can be reduced if the advi-
the discovery meeting and taking what         sor sells these small clients as a block of
you learn from that to the next meet-         business, rather than simply cutting



                                                                                              Seventh
ing, where you discuss the investment         them loose or referring them away. That
plan,” he says. “Going through that           way, the advisor is compensated upfront
process—so you’re not doing a com-            for the loss of longer-term revenues.


                                                                                              Annual
prehensive job of trying to give them             Mary Thorpe, a branch manager with
everything at once—has been a chal-           Dundee Wealth Management in
lenge for me. Some clients get over-          Burlington, Ont., says she’d never
whelmed by that.”                             thought of packaging up smaller clients         ADVISOR OF THE YEAR
   Brian Smith, a CFP at Legacy Wealth        and selling them as a group. “We all             AWARDS PROGRAM
Management in London, Ont., has an            think about who we are going to give
insurance background but is planning          the clients to. We don’t want to get rid         ENTRY FORM ON PAGES 10 & 11
to expand his practice to include more        of them, but by receiving some revenue,
                                                                                                 NEW FOR 2005:
holistic planning, including investments.     it’s easier to let go.”
                                                                                                NEW CATEGORIES,
He says the discovery process will help           Her long-term goal is to work a four-
                                                                                              ONE NATIONAL WINNER
him identify the needs of his more            day week, with two of those days fully
                                                                                                 PER CATEGORY
affluent clients, not only from a mone-       devoted to client meetings. Winnowing
tary perspective, but also to realize their   the less profitable clients will make this        BEST INSURANCE SOLUTION
non-financial aspirations.                    goal far more attainable, she says.              BEST INVESTMENT SOLUTION
   He views it as a complete process,             As a CFP, she is accustomed to taking            BEST TAX SOLUTION
from the initial interview and asking the     a more holistic approach to clients and         BEST STANDARD FINANCIAL PLAN
client about his or her values, all the way   managing all facets of their financial          BEST ADVANCED FINANCIAL PLAN
through to the post-sell. That type of        lives, but she is now seriously consider-
linear system can encourage wealthy           ing following Bowen’s advice about out-             Celebration.
prospects to move their business to your      sourcing the investment management.
shop. “If you can show them that              She plans to spend more time in front of             Excellence.
there’s a better way of doing what they       her clients, with her assistant taking on            Innovation.
want to do, then they’re open to jump-        more responsibility for everyday tasks             Professionalism.
ing ship,” says Smith.                        like data management.

Trimming the Fat                              Steven Lamb is investments editor of
Advisors have heard it before: They           Advisor.ca.
need to get rid of clients who aren’t         steven.lamb@advisor.rogers.com


www.advisor.ca                                        ADVISOR’S EDGE   |   AUGUST 2005   33

				
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