Marketing to HNW and private banking clients
We asked Abbie Tanner, director and business coach of A Business Innovation, how advisers can make themselves stand out in the HNW, lower private bank and family office markets
Rob Kingsbury: Under RDR the majority of financial adviser firms would appear to be targeting the HNW market. How can one firm differentiate itself from all the others also looking to serve this market?
Abbie Tanner: The biggest challenge a lot of firms are going to face is making themselves different from all the other firms targeting this market. Many will just go out and mimic what all the really big providers are doing. That absolutely is the wrong approach.
The only way to differentiate your service is to truly immerse yourself in the market and genuinely understand what your target clients are looking for. Only then can you deliver a service proposition that meets their needs and only then can you start to differentiate your proposition in the market.
What I would advise any adviser looking to enter the HNW market is get together those ideal clients, create a client advisory panel and get them to provide feedback on what you should be offering and how you can evolve your current offering in order to be able to meet the needs of this specific market.
RK: The lower end of the private client and family office markets also are areas that advisers are targeting. How can an adviser firm position itself to attract that kind of client?
AT: A lot of the firms we’re working with are looking to go into this end of the market and the only real way to do that is, as I’ve mentioned, to immerse themselves in the world of the target client, to really understand how that world works and what that type of client wants from their financial adviser.
Possibly to do something along the lines of what British Airways did a number of years ago when they were launching their new First Class Cabin experience. They got all of their marketing team to immerse themselves in the world of the high net worth traveller – so they were driven around in a Bentley in Mayfair, they stopped at Claridges and drank champagne, and did a whole host of things that the HNW traveller does as part of their day-to-day life. Only by experiencing these things could they begin to appreciate what the HNW traveller truly wanted from their flying experience.
Any firm that wants to move or expand their business into a new client space must make sure they genuinely understand what that client group wants so the client offering and service experience really meet their needs. Don’t fall at the first hurdle by not having an experience that really measures up to the expected standards.
T4B: Can you make the breakthrough into the market without using the best client-centric technologies – I’m thinking a quality client relationship management (CRM) system, cashflow modelling tools and so on?
AT: You can’t make the breakthrough into the market unless you’ve got a world-class client proposition and you have to have the right tools in place to deliver it.
What differentiates firms who are targeting this end of the market is that they deliver everything under the one roof, so they are carrying out cashflow modelling, they are doing proper financial planning but they are also offering private banking facilities as well.
I particularly think CRM is important because what that enables you to do is use information and data to manage all of your client touch points.
It makes sure that you are constantly in contact with your clients, having relevant, meaningful conversation and dialogue and you can’t do that unless you are managing data effectively in your business.