Critical to building a highly successful financial advisory practice is being able to source successful and wealthy clients. While there are a number of ways to accomplish this goal (presenting at events, for instance), the most unfailingly effective approach is to get a steady stream of high-quality client referrals from other professionals also working with the types of clients you are focusing on.

Though most advisors get new clients referred from their existing ones, research shows that advisors get their most rewarding clients from other professionals. So if you want to work with wealthier and wealthier clients, it will probably be essential for you to concentrate on sourcing them from high-caliber centers of influence. Accountants and attorneys are the people tapped most often.

While there are many ways to convert these other professionals into pipelines of new wealthy clients, here we’ll address running a “nurturing campaign.”

Nurturing Campaign
Such a campaign consists of three components after you’ve identified a professional you’d like to work with:

Communicating your technical expertise to the other professional: For these influential people to become pipelines, they must know what you do and have enormous confidence in your ability to deliver. You have to move away from both generic descriptions of what you do and, on the other hand, highly technical explanations (unless the other professional asks for one). 

Your ability to adroitly explain and deliver more sophisticated financial services and products can be highly advantageous. These could include alternative investments, private placement life insurance, captive insurance companies and more complex qualified and non-qualified retirement plans.

Positioning yourself as a resource beyond your technical expertise: Just about all professionals are extremely interested in understanding the needs, wants and preferences of the wealthy. Generally speaking, they’re also interested in information and ideas that can help them do a better job with their high-net-worth clients. Your ability to deliver such insights and knowledge can be a very powerful inducement for those professionals to refer their best clients to you.

It’s important to always remember …

• The wealthy change financial advisors when they’re ready to, not when you’re ready.

• You must be part of the “selection set” when they see a need for a change.

• Sometimes you can help facilitate this process; this is where communicating your expertise comes in.

There are times when other professionals just have to be aware of you for you to be considered. The goal is to be “top of mind.” By consistently sending your influential professionals high-value material, you become the financial advisor they will often think of first.

They will often show a powerful interest in the following topics:

Billionaire money rules: the mind sets and behaviors of the super-rich that translate into gigantean personal fortunes;

High-net-worth psychology: how to skillfully segment the wealthy and consequently develop communications that truly resonate; and

Family and philanthropy: the ways families can address an array of issues by integrating philanthropic solutions.

In order to convert other professionals into a pipeline of new, wealthy investor clients, you need to give them this type of valuable information and insight consistently (now and again will work, but think monthly).

Sharing best practices with other professionals: Another powerful way for you to be always top of mind is by sharing best practices. If you’re working with private client lawyers, for instance, you’re keeping abreast of what the most successful private client lawyers are doing to build their high-net-worth practices and sharing that information with other attorneys. Similarly, if you’re working with accountants earning $1 million or more annually, you’re letting other accountants know what they are doing.

For instance, you could be sharing:

• Ways to build and manage an expert team;

• Ways to maximize high-net-worth client relationships;

• Ways to derive the greatest benefits working with financial advisors;

• Ways to most effectively communicate tax strategies; and

• Ways to profit from value-based project fees.

Your role is to share the information and show other professionals how they can use it to meaningfully better their practices. Your role is not to consult or coach them on these best practices. All you have to do to make them want to work with you is share the information and the actions they might take given the outcomes they’re looking for.

If you want to build a very successful financial advisory practice concentrating on the wealthy, it behooves you to turn centers of influence into pipelines. These other professionals could be sending you a steady stream of new wealthy clients almost constantly.

To make this work, you need to develop and implement a nurturing campaign for other professionals. Communicating your technical expertise, positioning yourself as a resource beyond your technical expertise and sharing best practices with other professionals are three of the most effective and validated ways to get the results we’re talking about.

Russ Alan Prince is president of R.A. Prince & Associates.

Brett Van Bortel is director of consulting services for Invesco Consulting.