High-net-worth clients and prospects are not a monolithic group, but they do face many of the same challenges when it comes to wealth management and planning. Fortunately, there are technologies available to you that can help them meet those challenges, while also positioning you as a trusted individual and potential advisor for their eventual heirs.
Client Concerns and Inertia Represent Opportunity for Advisors
High- and ultra-high-net-worth clients often have legitimate concerns about how large inheritances might affect their offspring. Couple those concerns with situations like Aretha Franklin’s recent passing without having left a will (per her lawyer, “She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to”), and it becomes clear you may have an opportunity to help your older clients and their heirs address uneasiness about the coming wealth transfer. Doing so may also help you accomplish two other business-building goals: increasing the trust level you have with your existing clients while also getting to know their heirs in an environment where they too can come to see you as a trusted advisor.
5 Topics to Increase HNW Client Engagement
In the 2018 U.S. Trust Insights On Wealth and Worth study, which surveyed nearly 900 respondents with $3 million or more in investable assets, there were five topics that these HNW individuals wanted to discuss more with their advisors:
- Estate planning (48%)
- Trust options and implications (35%)
- Strategic philanthropy (16%)
- Facilitating discussions about the use of family wealth (20%)
- Teaching children/heirs financial skills (21%)
The percentages listed above after each of these topics don’t represent those that want to talk more with their advisors about these, but rather those who actually are. In other words, though these are the topics HNW individuals believe they need to be discussing more with their advisors, less than 50% of them are talking about even the highest rated topic returned in the survey.
Each of these topics is directly related to how they’d like to see their wealth managed after they are gone. If you can bridge this gap between what HNW clients want to talk about and the conversations you are actually having with them, you can bolster your position as an advisor who understands their needs, and likely garner new referrals with the same ones.
Use Technology to Bridge the Communication Gap
Considering HNW clients indicated estate planning was the most important topic they’d like to talk to their advisor more about, it may be a service you need to offer. It’s likely you’ll be working in tandem with your clients’ attorneys for those aspects of estate planning requiring legal services, but you shouldn’t forfeit the opportunity to participate in this area of your HNW clients’ planning experience simply because you can’t handle the entire process. Estate planning technology can help you facilitate both the conversation and the process with your HNW clients while also serving as a differentiator from your competitors.