Where To Start?

To work effectively with middle-class millionaires you must have two critical perspectives on them-first, as a population and then as individuals. Understanding the attitudes, qualities and habits they share, along with the mindset and behaviors they credit for their success will enable you to demonstrate familiarity with the world they occupy. It will also allow you to reinforce their choice of you as their primary advisor. Once the macro-view has been developed, it is time to focus your efforts on building a similar comprehensive perspective at a micro-level with individual middle-class millionaires to understand their lives, relationships, concerns, priorities and personal preferences.

The Macro View
    Career success and financial success play in how middle-class millionaires define themselves, as do such attributes as hard work, competence and judgment. Some substantiation can be found in the following points:
96.8% say "Career is a very important value."
73.5% say "Choosing a career for its prospective financial rewards is very important in achieving financial success."
Middle-class millionaires also exhibit strong tendencies to protect their own interests, ensuring that they get the most out of every situation.
81.1% say "When negotiating, coming out a winner is very important to achieving financial success."
5.3% say "Cutting back on little luxuries is very important in achieving financial success."
Middle-class millionaires do not accept defeat easily and are willing to put in the time and make the commitment needed to achieve their goals.
10.9% say "Accepting failure as a sign you're trying your best is very important in achieving financial success."
Middle-class millionaires work an average of 70 hours a week and take just 12 vacation days a year, a schedule that is far more intense and demanding than that of less wealthy individuals.
One of the most remarkable traits of middle-class millionaires is their ability to network broadly to identify opportunities.
62% say "knowing many, many people is important to achieving financial success."
71% say "knowing people who know many people is very important to achieving financial success."
In turn, that network is often used in communicating with authority and building a consensus, with most middle-class millionaires claiming that "I tell lots of people about products or services I like," and "people regularly ask me for advice on what to buy."

The Micro View

This stage is where your skills as an advisor and your newfound knowledge of middle-class millionaires will be put to use. Simply stated, it's where the rubber meets the road. Working with a middle-class millionaire is like working with most wealthy individuals. It takes a thorough understanding of their personal, professional and financial affairs to correctly identify key issues and priorities and craft the appropriate solutions. This heightened awareness is also necessary to see the opportunities that will let you expand your relationship beyond its current scope and assume a bigger and more central role with these influential clients.

To assist with these types of efforts, we developed a client profiling process based on the profiling methodologies of the top 1,200 US advisors-the Whole Client Model. It provides a roadmap for advisors that want to tailor their approach to and interactions with their clients in ways that will resonate more strongly.

Like many wealthy populations, middle-class millionaires want to work with professionals that understand and have experience working with people like them. The profiling process will generally reveal a person's most pressing issues, ones that you have likely addressed for other clients and experience that can be used as proof of your ability to operate in their world.

Choosing the right venue and method for interacting with a middle-class millionaire is also important. As a rule, they like to work one-on-one exercising their social and networking skills in person and to increase their knowledge of specific topics or focus on professional development by attending seminars. Those experiences are then passed along to members of their informal and formal networks. It's a chain of events that thrives on the give and take of valuable information, but will differ based on the individuals involved. Again, the details that you glean for each middle-class millionaire's profile will provide direction for how to elegantly and effectively insert yourself in his or her communication stream.

Taking It Forward

There are an impressive number of middle-class millionaires in America today-the first challenge for advisors will be finding them. Our research shows that three-quarters of middle-class millionaires find their primary advisor through their accountant or a current client of the advisor that is part of their network. Nurturing these referral sources can help you create a prospective pipeline of middle-class millionaires. The next steps are securing their business, working with them in ways that foster their loyalty and using that loyalty to perpetuate growth and success in your practice.

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