While the majority of financial advisers provide wealth management and comprehensive financial planning to a wide range of clients, only a handful of advisers exclusively serve high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). This demographic is attractive to seasoned advisers because HNWI have more assets to manage over time, presenting a greater number of sales opportunities throughout the adviser/client relationship.

Although it may seem that all advisory practices should cater to wealthy individuals due to the high sales potential, not all advisers are positioned to attract or retain these clients. To attract HNWI, advisers must focus on serving a certain type of prospect and must offer services that cater specifically to wealthy individuals.

Focusing Your Practice

One way to attract HNWI to your financial adviser practice is to focus prospecting and networking efforts within a specific demographic, such as a profession or geographic location. For instance, some advisers seek out clients working in the medical field, including surgeons, dentists or optometrists, while other may focus on C-suite executives in small to mid-size companies in a wealthy geographic area. Annual income is typically high in the medical field, even when individuals have not been in practice for an extended period of time. Similarly, successful business owners often have a greater amount of wealth in the form of liquid assets that advisers have an opportunity to actively manage.

Focusing your practice on high income earners in certain professions or specific regions is more successful if you network with the right crowd. Getting connected to a professional association that serves the medical market in your area can be an easy way to begin building relationships with local practitioners. Alternatively, taking up an expensive hobby, such as boating, or becoming a member of a high-end golf club can provide invaluable networking opportunities not found elsewhere.

Cater to the Affluent

In addition to aligning hobbies and networking with the affluent prospects, focusing services offered through your financial adviser practice is beneficial as well. HNWI often have more complex financial situations than average income earners. For example, HNWI are often in need of asset management focused on reducing tax liabilities or comprehensive estate planning that involves the transfer of risk through insurance. To attract the affluent, add specific services to your financial planning menu that speak directly to solving these complex issues.

After developing a specific list of products and services that cater to HNWI, it is necessary to share the information with the right people. In addition to networking directly with your target market through the strategies listed above, you may find success in connecting with local estate planning attorneys and CPAs who cater their practices to wealthy individuals. A financial adviser is often the link between the client and other service professionals, and creating and cultivating relationships with attorneys and CPAs can lead to a strong referral pipeline throughout the duration of your practice.

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