With the right motivation and skills, almost any financial advisor can make a wealthy client highly satisfied. That’s not the real issue. 

The real issue is can you do it with a couple hundred affluent clients all at the same time? Do it profitably? And continue to do it year, after year, after year? That’s the real issue. How can you balance the apparently contradictory needs of a high level of customization with hundreds of demanding clients? 

One answer is by using high-net-worth psychology to build high-touch service tracks for your wealthy clients. You must focus on a homogenous core of clients and then get systematic. Let’s review the model for client relationship management and then discuss how to apply it to the most common high-net-worth personality types, family stewards.

The C.L.A.S. Relationship Management Model

It turns out that when clients judge their financial advisor, the main areas they weigh regarding satisfaction with the relationship fall into four categories. They are:

Client Focus: Your level of focus on the client’s needs, interests and goals.

Leadership: Proactively providing solutions to your clients based on their unique financial motivator.

Attention to the Client: Understanding and providing the level of desired attention and the motivation for attention.

Shared Values: Demonstrated sharing of core values, common ground and personal goals.  

Financial advisors who can deliver solid investment performance, coupled with high quality relationship management, are in an excellent position to develop a highly satisfied wealthy clientele, which in turn leads to more assets under management per client and more referrals from existing clients. 

The results of the research on this point are as startling as they are clear. When affluent clients classify themselves as “highly satisfied,” more than one out of four of them will increase assets under management each year. These are incremental increases in assets under management year after year, not increases in the value of existing investments. 

Better still, nearly nine out of 10 affluent clients will refer at least one person who becomes a client every six months. This is the engine that drives every successful financial advisor’s practice in working with the wealthy.  

Integrating the Nine High-Net-Worth Personalities & C.L.A.S. for Improved Satisfaction 

Now that you have a basic overview of the specific components of C.L.A.S., the question becomes how do you positively impact “the relationship?” The answer is by combining high-net-worth psychology with an understanding of the C.L.A.S. model. 

C.L.A.S. shows you the four ingredients impacting client satisfaction with the relationship. The nine high-net-worth personalities help you understand what each wealthy client seeks by way of the C.L.A.S. model. For example, “Leadership” (the second element of C.L.A.S.) applies to all nine high-net-worth personalities as a strategic need, but it means something far different to a family steward versus an independent.  

To a family steward, providing “leadership” can mean proactively providing solutions on how to fund college for their kids or grandkids, or how to build up and distribute a nest egg to the kids, so they use it as a down payment on a house rather than for the purchase of a car. Contrast that with “leadership” for an independent. For an independent, “leadership” can mean proactively providing them with ideas on how to retire by 50 or ensure that their money lasts through their retirement. These are the same strategic goals, but they mean something tactically different to each of the nine high-net-worth personalities.

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