The Game-Changer for Attracting Affluent Clients

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Dan Richards

Until now I’ve been a skeptic on the value of social media for attracting affluent clients. You can use Facebook and Twitter to connect with investors in their 20’s and 30’s – but not the older, more prosperous clients advisors target. 

But last week, three separate conversations changed my mind on this.

Today and next week, I will focus on what led me to conclude that the facts have changed – and what this means for you. Let’s start with something that won’t necessarily win new clients, but will cost you clients if you don’t get it right. 

Using LinkedIn to screen advisors

Early last week, I had lunch with a long-time acquaintance (let’s call him Paul) during a trip to Vancouver. A partner with one of the “big four” national accounting firms, last fall Paul turned 60 – and is 18 months away from the firm’s mandatory retirement age of 62.

Until now, he’s managed his own money, investing exclusively in ETFs and mutual funds, due to the accounting profession’s strict prohibitions on directly owning shares of existing or potential clients. With retirement imminent, earlier this year I got an email in which Paul asked me for recommendations on two or three financial advisors he could talk to about managing his substantial investments (bearing in mind that his day-to-day expenses will be covered by a healthy pension.)   

I asked Paul what he ended up doing.

“I sent the same email that I sent you to two other people in the investment industry who I know” Paul said. “I ended up getting replies with ten suggestions …. with not a single overlap between the three lists.

“That was way too many for me to talk to,” he continued, “so one Sunday morning I spent an hour on LinkedIn, taking a quick look at these advisors’ profiles. About half didn’t have a profile on LinkedIn or their profile was extremely barebones, so in those cases I went to their website. I made notes on my impressions of each advisor based on their profile, then used my gut to narrow the list down to three advisors who I thought would be the best fit.”

Ultimately, I met with all three of them and liked all them all. I thought I was going to have trouble choosing, but fortunately my decision ended up being an easy one. I talked to all three of these advisors about taking on part of my investments, but one of them said that he didn’t take on accounts where he wasn’t managing all of a client’s investments – so I ended up splitting my investments between the other two.”