Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 as of 3:32 PM ET
How to Reach UHNW Prospects
Thursday, March 20, 2014
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Reaching the ultra-high-net worth audience requires a more personalized approach than traditional marketing techniques.

"One of the best ways to reach people with means is to consider where these means came from," says Stacey Haefele, president and CEO of the New York-based relationship marketing firm HNW.

Haefele cites one advisor she works with who targets technology entrepreneurs as an example. He has made headway landing UHNW clients through networking by attending numerous industry conferences. "You have to connect on the things that give them passion," Haefele says, "and for a great many, that is their profession."

PAID ADVERTISING DOESN'T WORK

Engaging UHNW families in person or through social media is far more effective than paid advertising campaigns, says Lisa Gray, a former financial advisor who is now a managing partner at Richmond, Va.-based Graymatter Strategies. "You are really throwing spaghetti at the wall," Gray says of trying to win UHNW investors through advertising. "You really have to build a relationship face-to-face."

To do so, Gray recommends that advisors set up in-person meetings at conferences and that they frequently post blogs and whitepapers that can be promoted on LinkedIn. Haefele adds that advisors should engage with a particular professional audience on LinkedIn, like dentists or doctors, by commenting or liking posts. Further, she emphasizes that responding to users is more important than promoting content.

"You have to engage and be interested in the audience," Haefele says. "You can't fake interest." And she agrees that the most effective way to connect with UHNW clients is through referrals and live channels rather than advertising. Haefele urges advisors to speak with any UHNW connections they have to build their network organically.

BUILDING TRUST

The most important aspect of marketing to this segment, though, is building trust, Gray says, and it can take time to do so. Advisors must understand the issues most important to UHNW families, like charitable giving, family education and family governance, she says, so they can be positioned to care for those needs.

"You have to take the time to know what they want," says Gray. "The best clients in the ultra-high-net worth space are going to be the ones who take the time for you to build trust with them."

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