Last in a four-part series.

Influencer referrals are the most viable and efficacious approach to sourcing the super-rich. Working with other professionals in a manner that results in them sending their wealthiest clients to you is the optimal marketing strategy.

Influencers tend to be well positioned for making referrals. A personal development coach, for example, works with two billionaires and a number of other individuals who are clawing their way into the ranks of the super-rich. To date, he has introduced one of the billionaires and more than a few of his other clients to private client lawyers as well as accountants and investment advisors. He referred one of his very wealthy clients to a family security specialist and a psychiatrist.

Professionals get the overwhelming majority of their super-rich clients from influencer referrals. This approach is vastly superior to every other marketing initiative, including client referrals. Your other wealthy clients, for example, tend to know a relatively small number of other exceptionally wealthy clients. They know even fewer super-rich prospects.

Influencer referrals also are more likely to become a client. The weight that an influencer referral carries will make the prospect more responsive. When influencers refer their extremely wealthy clients, there is a very good chance many of those referrals will turn into extremely wealthy clients for other professionals. The same cannot be said for referrals from clients. 

A survey of a broad range of professionals found nearly 90% said they referred at least two wealthy clients to other professionals within the last year (Figure 1). A little more than 70% of those referrals turned into clients for those other professionals (Figure 2).

While influencers are often professionals in fields closely aligned with financial advisors, this is not always the case, as evidenced by the personal development coach. Advisors may miss enormous opportunities if they fail to look beyond attorneys, accountants and the other usual fields for influencer referrals. There have been many occasions where the best influencers were not the more traditional ones.

Profiling Influencers
It's critical to have a deep understanding of influencers on a professional and-to a lesser extent-personal level. The included graphic (Figure 3) has proved exceptionally useful in collecting and organizing information concerning influencers. The following are the components of the influencer profile: 
Influencer: Identify the facts that will form the basis of the influencer's profile, such as age, income and net worth, years in practice and other relevant demographics.
Professional goals and objectives: Understand what the influencer wants to accomplish professionally. What have been his or her biggest obstacles and what have been his or her greatest successes?
Current clientele: With whom is the influencer working? How many of these clients are super-rich?
Marketing strategy: How is the influencer sourcing the super-rich and other wealthy clients? What has the influencer tried recently to bring in very wealthy clients? How has it worked out and why?
Practice dynamics: How does the business of the influencer operate? You want to understand the compensation structure and the process management of wealthy clients.
Expertise: What is the influencer's area of competency? Are there any fields of specialization in which he or she is notably proficient?
Personal: You want to understand the influencer as a person. You want to know his or her family and nonprofessional activities, and to see if you have overlapping interests and concerns.

After profiling an influencer and deciding that he is able and potentially willing to direct wealthy clients your way, you must motivate him to do so. We refer to this as the "economic glue." There are two ways you can do this: direct and indirect financial incentives, with the latter often being more effective.

Indirect financial incentives are ways for you to help the influencer become more successful. You can effectively "pay" influencers with high-caliber thought leadership content. Delivering business-based solutions to influencers enables them to have more profitable practices, motivating them to refer their very best clients to you. In a survey of professionals, we found that 85% are interested in revenue-generating best practices in their fields (Figure 4).

First « 1 2 » Next