Selling to High-Value Prospects

High-value prospects have the financial resources to buy from you. Buy your products. Buy your services. Buy your time.

People with money view purchases differently from those who maintain tight budgets. “I don’t have the money” isn’t an objection you hear from wealthy people, or wealthy business owners who manage successful enterprises.

Selling to high-value clients or customers involves the obvious: wealthy buyers look for quality; cost isn’t the problem; wealthy buyers look for value in all their purchases; the rich are used to getting what they want FAST. These traits and characteristics of wealthy consumers have been well known since the days of open markets set up along primitive, dusty streets.

However, things have changed with the advent of the Internet. Today, wealthy consumers still buy quality, and cost isn’t usually a critical factor. That hasn’t changed, but pitching your products or services to successful people, or company managers and owners with deep pockets, has changed.

The Internet has changed the way we sell to wealthy people, and businesses with money in the bank. Here are some tips to make an effective pitch to the rich.

Wealthy buyers use the Internet to conduct comparison shopping.

It’s a mistake to think that money isn’t an issue with people of means. It is. Oh, the wealthy may not be concerned about the extra costs of options on their expensive cars, but even the rich will conduct comparison shopping for a multi million dollar home.

A million dollars here, a million dollars there – it adds up, but the Internet has simplified comparison shopping for all of us. Any high-wealth individual can conduct a quick Internet search of multi-million dollar beachfront mansions, and do it quickly.

It may be counter-intuitive but selling to a billionaire differs from selling to a family of four with a million dollars in investments. A million isn't what it used to be, and it certainly doesn't buy what it did a few decades ago.

Don’t waste the prospect's time.

They have money. They have a beautiful home and a high-end auto that tells the world “I’m well off” but the one thing all that money can’t buy is time.

If you’re pitching the rich online, your website should be simple, and searches for site information should be flexible and fast.

If you’re sitting across the desk pitching the wealthy owner of a successful retail chain, you should come prepared, make the pitch, and know when to exit the stage.

Prospects with money don’t have any more time than the rest of us, and in many cases, the wealthy buyer has less free time. Don’t waste it. Tell prospects what they need to know to make a buying decision that benefits your business. Then make it simple to conduct the transaction.

Individualise services.

Investment companies often elevate high-wealth clients to more individualised service offerings, and a private wealth management professional, once a certain dollar threshold has been invested.

If you have $10,000 with a mutual fund company, chances are you’ll work with the representative who answers the phone. She’s pleasant, knowledgeable, and helpful in conducting your redemption.

If you have $10 million invested with a mutual fund company, your accounts are often assigned to a personal money manager. That wealthy investor gets a private telephone number and the extension of his financial advisor. Her calls are returned. He receives advice on lowering tax liability.

In other words, the higher the value of a prospect the more personalised the services or products you sell. One way to reach the rich is to provide one-of-a-kind customized products or services. The exclusivity appeals to many high-value prospects. It brings with it – status!

Know the high-value prospect’s business as well as she knows it.

Before making a pitch to a well-to-do business owner, do your research. What challenges does the business face today and tomorrow?

For example, will the business eventually be owned by the next generation? Is there a succession plan in place?

Is the industry sector undergoing change? Did a big competitor just move in across town? Conduct extensive research to prepare for a meeting with a successful business owner. Identify challenges. Then, simply listen. Chances are, that successful business owner already knows the challenges he faces. Let him describe them to you. Provide general information, but never tell a business owner how to run his or her business. It’s usually a deal killer.

Go where the rich people go.

There are any number of conferences, trade shows, seminars, roundtables, and other business get-togethers where wealthy business owners meet.

That's where you want to be. You can’t pitch the rich face-to-face unless you'e where wealthy people gather for business or for pleasure.

Be there. Bring lots of business cards and follow up with a phone call, text message or video.

Pamper prospects.

We all like a little pampering – even if we’re used to it. Provide extra services. Make client care a top priority. Give away incentives that appeal to high-wealth prospects.

Make them feel special because they are special. They have the money to purchase what your company is selling.

Follow up to ensure satisfaction.

A wealthy buyer spreads the word about the quality care he receives from your company, your store or restaurant. That wealthy buyer tells his wealthy friends about your business and those wealthy friends become prospects.

Once you’ve landed the account, use client relationship management (CRM) software to track progress on each customer’s project or order. Make sure you deliver the right products or services when promised and without glitches. If that wealthy consumer has to call your company for follow-up repairs, you may quickly lose that all-important goodwill you worked so hard to create.

To penetrate the high-value demographic, your business should look like it caters to wealthy consumers with embossed business cards and stationery, a sophisticated website design, flowers in the waiting area, and a reputation for quality care.

It's true, cost is less of a concern when selling to high-wealth individuals, but regardless of cost, if you waste time, deliver late, ignore phone calls, or fail to fix problems, these well-to-do clients know they can move on to a business more suited to their needs.

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