I like to do some of my creative writing in coffee shops. Getting away from my home office offers a fresh perspective and lots of opportunity for people-watching.
Everyone has a story. It’s fun to imagine what those stories are as I glance around the café. And without being able to help it, my brain is cataloguing each person’s general social strata. Student, homeless person, mom-preneur, retired friends, busy professional, ambitious up-and-comer, lost soul… on it goes. Where do I fall into the general scheme of things? What story am I projecting?
Who you are is more important than who you seem to be, and a mark of maturity is in being truly comfortable in your own skin. I remember a baffling conversation I had with my father when I was 13. Actually, I don’t remember the context, just this one comment: Everyone is always in sales whether they’re in sales or not. Get used to it. This was way before the birth of the internet, social media, etc… I didn’t understand at all what that meant, but remember feeling lousy. Like somehow being myself wasn’t okay. Like he had just explained to me some horrible reality that I’d been happily ignorant of. Looking back, it would’ve been more helpful at that awkward age to just support me in becoming my own person, confident and comfortable in my own skin.
Nevertheless, Dad was right. As business owners, being oblivious to the impression we make can be a hindrance to success. People do judge in an instant.
Here I am well into my 40’s. It’s taken a while to sort out these seemingly contradictory truths, but I’ve come to my own core philosophies: Absolutely Job One is to be fully, vibrantly authentically YOU. And while you’re sorting that out, screw what anyone else thinks. You cannot bring your best to the world unless you embrace who you really are. Then, YES. Become aware of the impression you’re making on the world. Understand that how people respond and react to you has a direct effect on the success of your business.
As Advisors who want to attract high-net-worth clients, knowing this truth and making appropriate adjustments will help you win the business you want. Ask yourself: Am I even ready for HNW Clients? That is the title of this week’s article. Enjoy.
And remember… Speak from the heart. It’s good business.
Are you even ready for HNW clients?
by Kira Callahan
I remember a camping trip about 30 years ago with our big extended family. One of my favourite cousins was Jamie. He was quick-witted and cocky, and the things he said were so outrageous they never would’ve been allowed under our roof. But he had this twinkle in his eye when he said them which always made me laugh. My Aunt – who had been graced with Jamie, two other boys and no daughters, had a way of bringing him back down to earth with a shot of reality.
On this trip, Jamie was striding around the campsite going on about how he was going to get the perfect girl; rhyming off a ridiculous list of attributes when my aunt yelled out ‘What makes you think she’d want you? What are you offering?’ That shut him up for a while.
High Net Worth clients. Ahhh, the dream. A full practice of smart, fun, appreciative, wealthy clients who refer an endless stream of additional business in your direction. We all want them, but are you actually ready to serve them? Have you taken a look at how you are operating your business to see if, in fact, these ideal creatures would be attracted to working with you?
If you’re serious about up-leveling your business to play in this arena, of course you will be adding accreditations to your CV to serve their more complex needs, but that’s just part of it. You’ve got to develop a ‘wealthy eye’.
In my Aunt’s blunt words, what makes you think these HNW clients would want you? What are you offering? Translated to your practice, what is the experience of working with you? Does it feel Luxurious? Or thoroughly average?
Here’s an exercise to start training your eye:
Take an hour and ‘be’ your client. Looking through your smart phone camera lens, aka your client’s eyes, snap shots of your working environment. What do they see from the moment they walk up to the front door, how they’re received in reception, the walk down the hall, the kitchen they pass, the meeting room you put them in and/or your office. Sit in their chair. What do you see? What in the surroundings communicates prosperity and what doesn’t? What do you offer them? This is your client’s experience of working with you.
Wealthy and affluent clients can afford quality. They expect the best and will simply leave if they don’t get it. Each time you want to recalibrate your practice to serve a more affluent clientele, review your space, your own appearance, your team’s communication skills and your processes to make sure they are in alignment with the clients you want to attract.
Along with your professional expertise and your commitment to excellence, ensuring that you deliver a world-class experience will signal to HNW clients that you are indeed ready to play at their level.