So you want to advise wealthy clients, do you? More money typically means more complexity, and it's important to keep in mind that the needs of high-net-worth individuals are different — and often more complicated — from those of other clients. Before attempting to woo this demographic, financial advisors should take steps to ensure their services will be attractive to potential clients and they're prepared to handle their financial situations. (For more, see: High-Net-Worth Client Tips for Financial Advisors.)

What to Expect

High-net-worth individuals may own one or more businesses, and they likely face legal and tax issues that other clients don't. In addition to help with standard financial planning and investing, they may expect you to assist with estate and tax planning, establishing trusts, and other areas. For these reasons, wealthy clients likely will expect their financial advisor to be able to provide a stable of professionals (including lawyers, accountants and insurance experts) to assist with all facets of financial planning. The one-man shops will struggle to woo and then meet the needs of wealthy clients. (For more, see: Biggest Tax Issues Facing High-Net-Worth Individuals.)

Potential clients also may be younger than you expect — under 40, and in some parts of the country, even under 30 — and sometimes they will be foreign. It's important to be knowledgeable about cultures and practices from around the world so all clients feel comfortable interacting with you. (For more, see: The Changing Wealth Demographic (And How to Leverage It).)

Selling Your Services

Once you understand the demographic, you're ready to begin wooing wealthy individuals. The most important thing to remember is that you must define the niche you're pursuing, as attempting pursue all types of clients will dilute your brand. (For more, see: 6 Essential Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.)

This is a rich market (in more ways than one). Some 98% of those who inherit wealth switch advisors, according to April Rudin, chief executive officer of wealth marketing firm The Rudin Group. “To appeal to the new face of high-net-worth, especially the young wealthy, advisors need to embrace niche branding and marketing. The first step is to decide exactly what group of high-net-worth customers you want to serve, and to define that niche as narrowly as possible,” Rudin said in a piece for wealthmanagement.com. (For more, see: Find Your Niche Market.)

You may want to hire an expert marketer to help define your market and determine where to find the individuals you plan to target. Once you’ve done your analysis, defined your market, and created your brand, you’re ready to go. In today’s market, the internet is the first line of defense, and you need an updated and responsive website with tablet and smart phone access. (For more, see: How Financial Advisors are Leveraging Social Media.)

Find out which websites your potential clients frequent and what types of media they consume. There’s also the old fashioned strategy of targeting certain zip codes with direct mail. Offering a free dinner and seminar on a financial planning topic may entice potential clients. (For more, see: The 10 Best Cities for Financial Advisors.)

The Bottom Line

If you’ve decided to target wealthy clients, do your homework first. Have in place the resources high-net-worth clients need, and design a strategic website and marketing plan. Finally, implement the client acquisition marketing strategy to bring those desired individuals into your firm. (For more, see: Top 10 Tips for Winning Wealthy Clients.)