One important thing for any financial advisor, is that they identify their target market or markets.
As a financial advisor, you may be thinking about targeting a variety of different groups. For example, you might consider retirees, potential clients in a geographic area, or clients with a net worth above a threshold amount. Through business development coaching, you can learn to attract the right target markets for your financial advisor practice.
One group that you should consider targeting is corporate executives. Corporate executives are potentially great clients for financial advisors, if they are approached and treated the right way.
Why financial advisors should target corporate executives
There are at least four reasons why financial advisors should target corporate executives.
First, they are a well-defined group. They are limited in number, easy to identify, they share commonalities, and, depending on your approach, they can be reachable.
Second, they are typically wealthy. They have the ability to invest a large amount of money.
Third, they are knowledgeable. They know about investing, and therefore a variety of financial solutions can be presented to them.
Fourth, they are centers of influence. By reaching a corporate executive, you have the opportunity to reach many more potential clients.
Corporate executives have a lot of things in common with business owners. The skills you develop serving business owners can be translated to serving corporate executives.
How financial advisors can directly meet corporate executives
Corporate executives, because of their high positions, might seem like a difficult group to reach directly. That isn’t necessarily the case though.
To reach a corporate executive, in some sense, you need an introduction. You need someone to say who you are and that you are someone the corporate executive should talk to. There are three ways you can get introduced.
A great way to get an introduction is through networking. If you know someone who knows an executive, you can have an opportunity to meet them.
If you approach networking in a systematic and consistent way with a goal of reaching your target market, it can be very effective.
Referrals are networking taken to the next level. Having someone say they know you and like you is good. Having someone say they know you, like you, and you provided them with excellent service and results, is great.
Obtaining referrals, like networking, is something that you need to approach in a systematic and consistent way. You need to reach out to clients, provide great service, and ask for referrals. If you work on getting referrals, especially with a target market in mind, it can have wonderful results.
One way you can meet corporate executives is through association. You and executives might go to the same places and be involved in the same things. Some options might be golf clubs, charitable boards, and civic organizations. By being a member of these places, you can get an opportunity to be in the same room with the executives that you are trying to meet.
Effective marketing tactics for financial advisors to reach corporate executives
Although meeting a corporate executive through networking, referrals, and association, are the most effective ways, there are other ways you can reach corporate executives.
Although a high level corporate executive might not find your financial advisor practice through a search engine, having a good website is still a must. If you are not able to have your own website, then your wirehouse bio can be updated.
A good website is a given for any reputable business. If an executive, or any other potential client, searches for your name online or gets your website in some other way, and doesn’t find a good, professional looking website, you have a problem.
As some quick tips, your website should:
- Have its own domain – i.e. www.mycompany.com instead of www.mycompany.webhost.com
- Be uncluttered
- Function properly – e.g. no broken links or forms that don’t work
- Have no overt advertising, especially for third parties
- Load quickly
- Be free of errors
There are also other things you can do to have an effective website.
Sponsorship, for example sponsoring a charitable event or a golf tournament, can be a great way to market to corporate executives. In some ways, it works like reaching executives through association. You and your name are at a place that the executive goes. They can associate the positive view of the place or event with you and that can give you an opportunity to market your services to them.
Sponsorship, you must remember though, is more than just writing a check and putting your name on a banner. If you want it to be effective it has to be coordinated with other things.
You should attend the event. If appropriate, you should have a table at the event where your service can be discussed. You could give a speech at the opening or the close of the event. You should be involved with the development of the direct mail that goes into the event. These are just some of the things you should to do. When you do sponsorship, you should keep in mind that it needs to be holistic.
Events, in some way, are like sponsorship, but your company is the one actually putting on the event.
Events can be geared toward the community, clients, or a target market. Although you can meet a corporate executive at an event you put on, events can also be great for networking and getting referrals. The clients and potential clients you talk to at an event can direct you to the corporate executives you are looking for.
Client appreciation events are also a good way to ask your clients to bring corporate executives to your events.
How financial advisors should present their businesses to corporate executives
If you get a chance to meet a corporate executive, or even better, have a formal meeting with one, you need to apply four important Ps.
First, before you do anything, you need to have a positive attitude. If you don’t think you or your company can get an account, then you won’t. You need to believe in yourself, your company, and the service you provide. You need to have the confidence to know you can meet a corporate executive’s needs.
If you have a positive attitude, it will come through. If you don’t have a positive attitude, that will come through too.
When approaching a corporate executive, you need to be professional. Everything about you should be polished and give the impression of someone who is established and knowledgeable.
Professionalism applies to all points of contact. It applies to how you dress, how you speak, what your website looks like, how you write emails, how your receptionist answers the phone, what your office looks like, what your business cards look like, and everything else. It really is a mindset.
Corporate executives will expect their financial advisor to portray the same professionalism that they portray. If you don’t, you won’t get their business.
When you interact with a corporate executive, you need to be prepared.
You need to have an elevator speech prepared for when you encounter them at the events and so forth mentioned above.
You need to have your presentation and presentation materials prepared before you go to a meeting. You need to make sure you have everything, it is correct, and that anything you will show them electronically, functions properly.
You also need to research the company and the executive. You need to know about the business and the person.
When you meet or present to a corporate executive, you need to have the right presence. This goes along with being positive and professional, but takes things a step further.
You should come across as someone important, as being at the same level as the executive, and as knowledgeable and sophisticated. You need to be confident.
How a financial advisor should provide service to a corporate executive
When you get a corporate executive as a client, you need to make sure you keep them as a client. To do this, you have to provide them with three things.
Although we all know the importance of providing good customer service, for a high level, high net worth client like a corporate executive, you need to take it to the next level. For what they are investing and paying, they will expect it.
Although many things are important to providing exceptional service, two you should focus on are responding to a corporate executive client in a timely manner and being flexible.
When a corporate executive client asks a question or voices a concern, it is necessary to address it right away. The longer you keep them waiting, the less they are going to value your service.
Since corporate executives have variable schedules, you need to be flexible to meet their needs. This might mean meeting them at their office or home. It could mean meeting with them in the evenings. To serve these clients to their expectations, you may have to be flexible and be able to provide them service when and where they need it.
Information and options
Because corporate executives have financial knowledge and potentially a high net worth, you need to be able to provide them information about financial products and services that other clients might not be able to understand or have the ability to invest in.
Additionally, you should provide them with a variety of options to meet their needs. A corporate executive could have a complex financial life as well as a variety of financial goals. To provide them service for this, you need to provide them with options regarding the services and products you offer.
To keep a corporate executive client, they need great service, so this bears mentioning again. They will have expectations regarding how soon you return their calls. If these expectations aren’t being met by you, they could find someone else. You also need to work hard and keep on top of things, so that you meet their expectations.
Corporate executives make great clients for financial advisors for a number of reasons. Whether you meet them directly, or get their business through marketing efforts, you should present yourself in the right way, and provide them the service they expect. It will be worth the effort.