If you want to be successful when positioning and selling to the affluent there are some things you need to keep in mind. The things I’ll point out below would be good marketing practices for any business, but they are especially important for any company dealing with the affluent.
Give them exactly what it is they want
The first thing, by far, is offering the right set of product features. You have to give the affluent what they want. Period.
When you create your product or service, don’t add features because you think they’re a good idea, or they’re easy for you to build in. Remember, your product line is not about you and what you want to offer, it’s about your customer and what they want to buy. So, do your research. It will pay off.
The affluent market tends to be made up of business owners, high-level executives, self-employed professionals and high-paid sales people. They are educated, smart, they know exactly what they want and they’ll spend the time and effort needed to search for it.
You can’t just discount your prices, or give them something free that’s not important to them and think that will help you with the affluent. You would be much better off to do some research and find out what it is they’re really searching for, and then offer it to them.
This is the single most important takeaway you should pay attention to in this article, so I’ll repeat it at the risk of being redundant: Give affluent clients the right set of features for any product or service you offer them.
Give them a great “value”
The affluent are like anyone else in that they enjoy finding great deals. Everyone likes a bargain. However, they aren’t as concerned about getting the cheapest price. What they do want is a great value. And a big factor in how an affluent person determines value comes down to perception. If they believe they’re getting a great deal, then they are.
Here’s the key to building value into a deal: offer premiums that cost you little, or nothing, but have a high perceived value.
For instance, you may pay a few bucks for a product that retails for $25 or $30. Add one or more of these to your offer. And you may have valuable products in inventory that are just sitting there doing you no good at all. Instead of taking a write off, offer them as a premium.
Another way to find inexpensive value-added premiums is to talk with some of your non-competing business relationships to see if they have something (sample products) they would like to offer your clients. Often times they’ll give you something of good value just to get their product line in front of your client base.
Affluent people value good information and expert advice. So, you would be wise to find out what they want to know and then use your knowledge and expertise to produce some information products: e-books, audio/video interviews with you or other industry experts, podcasts of seminars you’ve done and the like.
Make your offers unique in order to differentiate your business from your competitors… get creative.
Keep in mind the lifetime value of a new client, and let that guide you in how much “value” you’re willing to offer in the way of premiums to get a new affluent client on board.
Give them proof
You’re probably familiar with the concept of social proof, which tells us that people often assume that what others do is evidence that a given behavior is correct. Granted, this is a double-edged sword that can be used in a good or bad way, but people will often think that if everyone else is doing something then it’s alright to follow their lead.
One of the easiest ways to offer social proof is with testimonials. Let your satisfied customers do the bragging for you where your products and services are concerned. And tie what it is these testimonials say to your best selling points.
If you differentiate your business from competitors by your level of service then get testimonials for that. If you have unique product features that deliver incredible benefits get testimonials pointing them out.
Testimonials are great, but referrals from family members and friends are even better. If a trusted source endorses your business then that’s a best case scenario. This is the reason you should start a referral program. Reward your clients who introduce others to your business.
Another way to add social proof is to get endorsements from industry experts or celebrities. But be careful where celebrities are concerned if they have a reputation for behaving badly in public or are controversial. That could reflect badly on your business.
Give them an elite level of customer service after the sale
If you want to make future sales to your first-time clients then you had better give them excellent service. Quickly resolve any after-the-sale issues to their complete satisfaction. Make dealing with your company a hassle-free experience.
No business is perfect, and affluent people understand this. However, they don’t understand, or condone, poor customer service. If there’s a problem with the product or service you sell them then do whatever it takes to resolve the issue. They expect that.
If you lose the affluent to poor customer service then trying to lure them back will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. They are looking for the “Ritz Carlton” customer service experience, and if you don’t give it to them they’ll find a competitor that will.