“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” This line appeared in a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1926, and even after all these years, there is a real truth in the truth that must be understood by those who want to serve their valued customers. senior as business advisors.
You may be surprised to learn that the first thing I recommend to business advisors who aspire to serve the rich is to be comfortable with how they feel about money and understand the issues they may have about them.
You need to think back to your first experiences with money, as well as the messages you heard about money from your family as you grew up. Without that “base”, it would be quite challenging to serve as a lawyer for high net worth clients – though there is much more to the psychology of money, which I will discuss in future blogs.
Once you have a strong understanding of your relationship with money, then you can move on to trying to meet the high level of expectations that wealthy clients will have. Indeed, what high net worth customers want does not differ much from their lesser good counterparts, but the stakes are much higher, as is observation.
In short, high net worth customers want:
- Objective advice
- Stability of relationships
The ultra rich will also be quite cost conscious — they did not amass wealth without keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line. And, you can never forget that they have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing their business advisors, as they are coveted as clients and talk to each other, so it comes down to good or bad performance quickly takes place.
In addition to overseeing “dollars and cents”, it is also important as a business advisor to high net worth clients to understand the impact that decisions made today have on inheritance and inheritance. You may need to broaden your view of what wealth is and address issues such as openness (or lack thereof), difficult family members, and value transfer.
At the core of any relationship will be trust, as those who have the most to lose should have complete trust in those they choose as business advisors. Five of the most important elements of faith are:
- Integrity – having a reputation for honesty
- Competence – being technically knowledgeable and able to provide interpretive data
- Consistency – showing good judgment in all situations
- Loyalty – protecting the interests of customers at all times
- Openness – sharing information freely and being comfortable on your skin
One resource I recommend to business advisors who want to increase their chances of securing high net worth clients is “Wealth Families” by Charles Collier. Among its many ways is to learn the importance that rich people attach to human, intellectual, social, and financial capital. Remember, the rich are different, but knowing how to address their needs as a business consultant is the first step toward developing long-term, profitable relationships.