Building Community Connections with Wealthy Boomers

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With some effort, you can become a master at building social networks and bring up relationship sales with those between ages 45 and 65. You can tap into Boomers’ expansive relationship networks, such as alumni groups, professional groups, chapters of national organizations, social activities, churches, political groups and entrepreneurial organizations.

When you work alongside Boomers involved in campaigns, committees and meetings, it presents an excellent opportunity to use these contacts as a way of deepening your relationships with them.

It will be fruitful times for you. Industry research shows that nearly 70% of Boomers are unhappy with their financial advisors. Further, about 50% of wealthy Boomers have no advisor.

Be like them! Boomers are involved in community-based activities for a number of reasons, including altruism, social values, business and causes. These activities are part of their reason for being. Your involvement is enhanced by participation in boards, committees and fund-raising events, such as community capital fund-raising campaigns. Wealthy clients are more inclined to participate in activities like fund-raising.

Among the typical organizations many Boomers belong to are:

  • The Chamber of Commerce
  • Arts & sciences organizations such as opera, symphony and museum boards
  • Health care organizations such as general and specialty hospitals, clinics and medical organizations
  • Human services such as United Way, Red Cross and Alzheimer’s
  • Educational institutions such as all grade levels of private and public schools, colleges and universities and alumni organizations
  • Associations of accountants, law firms, financial and investment management firms and specialized organizations
  • Religious and fraternal organizations
  • Other community and civic organizations, such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Civitan International.

Here’s How You Do It:

  • Start with a plan. Better yet, start by thinking through the most powerful connections you have right now. Make a list of four or five of them. Next to the names, jot down a note or two about how they have helped you. Add another note about how you’d like them to continue to help you. When you are finished, write down a sentence or two about how you have helped them.
  • Write down a list of category headings from what you know about your community and how you know people in a personal way. Start with family, friends, acquaintances and neighbors. List your memberships in professional, civic and social clubs and organizations. Include community leaders and owners and managers of places where you do business.
  • Tap into their network. Boomers themselves are an important information source for their friends. Boomer-to-Friend (B2F) word of mouth recommendations serve as important information sources for fellow Boomers when making purchasing decisions. Boomers have both an unrivaled influence and rich networks of peers.

New Business through Increased Business Alliances

One of your best opportunities to bring in new business lies in networking with other professionals who cater to wealthy Boomers. Specifically, you want to identify centers of influence such as those who influence affluent Boomers’ decisions about where their money is managed; those who can introduce you and those who are in contact with money in motion.

You want to be at the top of their mind when people come to these centers of influence for guidance, names, and introductions. They need to know what you do, because you want them to trust your abilities, your professionalism and discipline. You need to gain an appreciation of what your center of influence does, especially how he or she helps clients.

How do you find Boomer centers of influence? CPAs and attorneys lead the list. Find individuals in their 40s to 60s, because they have most likely built portions of their business around Boomer-age clients. You want to share with them what you know about Boomer clients, as well as your personal experiences. Here are other centers of influence:

  • Real estate professionals
  • Professionals in the not-for-profit world
  • Human resource managers
  • Insurance professionals
  • Religious and fraternal leaders

How Do You Excel at Building Alliances?

  • Provide top-notch service. By demonstrating a strong commitment to serving Boomer clients in ways that appeal to their generation, you can distinguish yourself from the other producers. By speaking the language and demonstrating competency and interest in technical areas, you display a level of knowledge and professionalism that will naturally get noticed by fellow professionals.
  • Introduce yourself to your client’s other professionals. When new clients come on board, send a letter to their tax professional introducing you and offering any assistance the accountant might need. This reinforces your image as a thorough professional.
  • Spend time learning the business of those in your alliance. Attorneys and tax professionals are often overworked. They are trained as technicians and they respect someone else who also shows technical expertise. By speaking their language, you earn their respect.

Now that you have learned techniques for dealing with Boomers, you may use that as an opportunity to help them better their success with Boomer-age clients. When the time is right, you might say, “I always thought that dealing with those in their 50s was the same as dealing with someone in their 70s, but I found out they respond differently. So, you might be interested in using this approach…”

Develop a team approach. Among the best ways to get a referral is to give one. Searching for the best professionals in a geographic area leads to developing partnerships, sharing ideas and gathering feedback. Look for those who have had unusual success dealing with Boomer clients and try to build relationships with them.

Michael P. Sullivan is Chairman of 50-Plus Communications Consulting and can be reached at Mps50plus@aol.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelpsullivan50plus. For a free list of Mike Sullivan’s 34 Boomer Life Events, email me at Mps50plus@aol.com.

 


Michael P. Sullivan is a Sales Consultant/Trainer for 50-Plus Communications Consulting Charlotte. He can be reached at Mps50-plus@aol.com or viewed on LinkedIn. For a free copy of his “10 Tips for Selling to Boomers,” email him at Mps50plus@aol.com.

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