by Ali Brown
Everyone wants to attract affluent clients for their business – why not sell to those who have the money to spend? But not everyone knows how to gain these clients successfully. Moving from a general clientele to a wealthier client base requires a shift in your mindset, but it's a shift that can pay off tremendously for you and your business. Here are a few basic tips on how to appeal to affluent customers.
Look the part and be confident. Before you approach affluent clients, you'll want to review all your marketing materials and website to ensure that it portrays you and your business as a high-caliber enterprise. No business cards on cheap, flimsy paper. No cheesy clip art. Put your best foot forward so you'll look and feel confident. That also means how you personally look and feel too! Is it time to update your wardrobe? The last thing you want when you're rubbing elbows with wealthy prospects is to appear needy or insecure, so don't gush or oversell yourself. And never show signs of intimidation. Even if that feeling creeps in on occasion, keep a brave face.
Build your network. Wealthy customers tend to buy from people they know or businesses that have been recommended to them. So, get out there and start planting the seed by attending charity dinners, golf tournaments, and the like. Chatting with people and being seen at these types of events will build your trust and credibility. Think of networking as a long-term investment, rather than a short-term project. You may not see results immediately, but it can pay off months or even years into the future.
Give them the VIP treatment. The kind of clients who are willing to pay top dollar are used to being treated extremely well. The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is legendary for noting each guests' preferences so the staff can make sure that the room is exactly to the guests' liking the next time they visit. Do your research so you can customize your interactions to that client. When you're talking to an affluent client, they should feel as if they're your first priority. They should never feel rushed to finish a transaction or pressured to sign on the dotted line. Instead, ask how you can meet their needs and listen for clues.
Make it about value, not about price. Wealthy customers don't check the price tag before they try on that gorgeous, hand-embroidered dress. Their eyes don't hover over the menu prices at that exclusive oceanfront restaurant. They buy or order want they want, because of the beauty, enjoyment, or other value it brings to their life. They have high standards, but appealing to their desire to save money or using the hard sell just won't work. Instead, demonstrate the value that your product or service offers. Create a narrative about the positive feelings it will create. Price should be secondary to the product, but once you start talking dollars and cents, a higher price point can actually be attractive because it reinforces the idea that yours is a higher quality product or service.
The best part: Once you've built relationships with clients of this caliber, you'll find that you're able to charge more and work less because you have fewer client relationships to manage. Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way.
© 2010 Ali International
Self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur and Inc. 500 CEO Ali Brown is devoted to creating financial freedom for women globally through the power of entrepreneurship. To learn how to create wealth and live an extraordinary life now, register for her free weekly articles at www.AliBrown.com