In today’s marketplace, it can be very difficult to gain access to the people with whom you would like to do business. Over the years, I have worked in tough markets, with unique products, from my earliest days selling cookware, to helping build an award-winning Rolls Royce dealership. I was the head of sales for the Robb Report, an internationally known magazine for the affluent lifestyle. Now, as president of my own consulting and education firm, I work with clients to help them grow their business with affluent and high net worth people.
To gain access to the right people, it is vital to have a plan, not just a marketing plan, or a work plan, or a good idea plan, or even a merchandising plan. The plan that I speak of to gain access is a plan based upon what the affluent or, if you will, the financially successful, think.
Years ago, when I was working in the Rolls Royce business, I had a good client I met with to get his advice. I told him what I would like to do to market to more people like him. I said, “I think I would like to do this and I would like to do that.” I was articulating my marketing plan. He put his hand up after about 3 or 4 minutes and said, “Richard, let me just tell you this: wealthy people don’t care what you think. We are not even remotely interested in what you think. What we are interested in is, first, can you understand what and how we think? And, secondly, can you communicate from our point of view?”
That was a watershed moment for me. I then began to recognize that, too often, our plans are based specifically on what we think. Yet once you understand the affluent perspective and their point of view, you can create a plan that truly puts you in front of the right people in the right way at the right time. This plan, which is focused on their point of view, has 3 components:
? The first part of the plan is the process you will use. How are you going to focus your efforts and resources to reach the right people? How will you segment these individuals? What type of visibility will you achieve with them? What methodologies you will use? What will be the process you use to become part of their network? How will you be able to service and support these people? What will be your service culture? What will be your support culture?