Marketing to the Affluent

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Author: Troy White

Troy White is a top marketing coach, consultant & direct response copywriter based in Calgary, Canada. He has a powerful approach to growing small businesses and entrepreneurial run ventures on a budget. His free Cash Flow Surges blog shares tons of great strategies at his main blog.

According to Pamela Danzinger (Affluent research expert): “A new survey among 1,237 affluents shoppers about their online shopping habits found that gift ideas and gift shopping is the second most popular reason they turn to the internet.”


“The affluent shopper are the heavy lifters in the consumer economy. They make up only 20 percent of households, but account for more than 40 percent of all consumer purchases and more than 50 percent of all income and earnings. Where they shop, what they buy, how much they spend is critically important for marketers targeting customers at all price ranges at retail,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the upcoming book entitled Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury (Paramount Market Publishing, 2011).

but account for more than 40 percent

Affluent clients can improve your business profitability fast, but you have to know what you are doing.

Using the age-old technique of ‘faking-it-till-you-make-it’ doesn’t work here.

You must know exactly who you are selling to, and how best to sell to them (meaning they stay clients for years, even decades, to come – and they refer all their best contacts to you as well).

This is a specific area of interest to me as I am working for clients in a couple different niches that target the affluent.

2 other great resources I am reading, and recommend you do as well are:

- The Art of Selling to the Affluent, by Matt Oechsli
- Mass Affluence, by Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson

First, don’t over complicate this… the principles of marketing to the affluent are, in many ways, no different than marketing to the general population.

One of the best sources of tips and techniques for treating people right is the class, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (also the headline of his blockbuster advertisement).

Here are just 3 of the principles from his book that apply to anyone you converse with, market to, or want to get to know:Here are just 3 of the principles from his book that apply to anyone you converse with, market to, or want to get to know:

* First, arouse in the person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.

* Always talk in terms of the other persons interests

* Make the other person happy to do what you suggest

Not exactly rocket science, but so little focus is put on this by most of the businesses and sales people you see out there today.

In order to sell and market to the affluent, here are a few principles to run your business by:

(1) Don’t tell them about your product or service (and how great it is) – SHOW THEM. This is one demographic that will hold you VERY accountable to your promises and claims. So do not try and impress them with your big words or name-dropping… they don’t care.

What they care about the proof that you deliver on what they want. They care about the help you give them (before the sale), they care about your attention to details, and they care about the way you carry yourself in your business.

(2) If you run a service type of business, or they come to visit you in your office… practice your hospitality skills. Do not make them wait (pretending you are too busy to see them). Great them at the door (yes you, not your receptionist). Offer them tea – and do NOT serve it in a Styrofoam cup. Do not tell crass jokes or show off all the war-wounds you got at the rock concert you were at last night – be a professional.

Yes it sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how few people practice the simple things!

(3) One-stop-shopping. Never pass the buck to others when you are dealing with affluent clients. Always be the front person for anything and everything they need (within reason, of course). Put together a response team that fulfills the things you need done – but have you as the person that fields the requests from them. If you cannot do it yourself, make sure you have a top notch team in place that understands how to deal with the affluent, and how to be a professional on the phone.

[Note: in many cases, additional services should be provided free to your clients, unless it was agreed on early in your dealings. Few, if any, will take real advantage of you – rather the opposite – they will gladly send their friends to you if they know you are there for them, no matter what]

(4) Provide Ritz-Carlton Service with FedEx Efficiency (a phrase coined in Richistan). They want you to pamper them – every single time they see you. Explain to them every nuance of your business, how you deal with your clients, what they can expect from you, and what you expect from them. They will want to know how you make your money, and what they get in return for paying you the big dollars.
Now, how do you actually get to the affluent prospects you so dearly want as clients?

At times they will find you – but don’t count your livelihood on that.

1) You CAN find, and market, to them via advertisements, direct mail, and targeted prospecting. The numbers of those who fall into the definition of ‘affluent’ is growing. Depending on the source, ‘affluent’ typically starts with a minimum liquid net worth of $1 million dollars (not counting primary real estate holdings).

That said, the absolute best way to get to, and win over, the affluent client is through networking and word of mouth. You must do your research and find out where they frequent (private golf clubs, spas, private fitness clubs, associations, philanthropic events, theatre, etc.)That said, the absolute best way to get to, and win over, the affluent client is through networking and word of mouth. You must do your research and find out where they frequent (private golf clubs, spas, private fitness clubs, associations, philanthropic events, theatre, etc.)

2) Plan your week properly. Marketing is a numbers game – the more marketing you do, the faster you grow your business. Every Sunday night, plan out exactly how many affluent prospects you need to meet, and then plan out exactly how you are going to do that this week.

Remember, when you are out meeting prospects, you are not there to sell them anything, other than to show them you are a genuine person, and that their best interests are front and centre.

3) Set up your prospecting plan. Design a 3 and 6 month marketing calendar that will lead you down the right path to meeting your objectives. Be specific here, and reasonable. If you cannot commit to 3 networking functions a week – don’t put it on your plan. Leverage all your team members as much as possible to make sure your marketing tools get implemented on time, and on budget.

4) Design your web page to appeal to this demographic. Not the place for a plane jane website with a white background and text only. What should you have on your site, and how should it look?

First thing you need to do is get busy on your research – which sites do your ideal affluent clients frequent? What parts are common among the top 5 sites they frequent? Make sure you look like you belong in the same league as the others they are used to visiting.

Some of the things that you need to cover on your site: no fancy, blinking lights type of sites, instant connection to customer service, ease of ordering (or next step, like filling out a simple request form – again, not asking too much of them the first point of contact), and make sure you have a secure site for their information – AND that they know it is a secure site for their personal information (one of their biggest concerns online).

Some things you can consider when designing your new marketing strategies for this market:

• How would you describe your ideal customer or client? Age, sex, work, family, hobbies, etc?
• Thinking ahead, what is the ideal relationship you have with your clients? How do you communicate with them? How often? How do they approach you? Remember, plan this for your ideal business… then build your business to match your goals.
• What do your ideal clients (or should they) value most about what you sell, and how you sell it?
• What do they value most that you do not presently offer to them? How could you offer it to them? What changes do you need to make?
• If you wanted someone else to act as your front-person, how would they describe your business to your ideal client? What, exactly, would they say? How would they describe the value you provide? How would your ideal client describe the value you provide to their friends and associates?

Some facts for you to consider (The Art of Selling to The Affluent):

- 72.2 percent of the affluent are married with children (either still at home or moved out).
- On average they work 60 hours a week
- 22.4% worked their way into the affluent group through their own business, 25.9% are self-employed professionals, and 44.9% come from the salaried or commissioned employee role (with only 0.6% of them coming from inherited money)
- Only 20.4% said that their bank was helpful with their cash management needs.
- 65.5% said that opinions of immediate family members and trusted friends had significant impact on where they start looking and researching their purchase.

Lots to consider here… but the end results are well worth it.

Plan your strategies to target more of an affluent client. Design your business around them, and what they want. Then implement on a massive scale.

The numbers are there – and they are more than willing to spend their money with you (remember, price is the least important decision making factor in this demographic). This is one of the fastest and easiest way to build your long-term profitability.

By living, playing and working with the affluent – it only makes sense that you too become one of them… right?

So get busy!

To your success, Troy White PS: Discover how to make your cash flow surge with the street smart marketing tools at my blog You also get one of my favorite case studies of marketing done exceptionally well, The Million Dollar Lobster Report when you sign up for updates on my blog. Discover how two young twenty-something year old brothers turned a simple lobster sale into a million dollar business in just 3 months!

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