TA K I N G
YO U R
TO T H E
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
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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 email@example.com
www.advisor.ca ADVISOR’S EDGE | AUGUST 2005 33