In a recent Man in the Van Gets Vocal episode, I spoke with tech entrepreneur, Grant Wernick. During the conversation we discussed how entrepreneurs think about wealth. They are creators, risk takers and their perspective is vastly different from a typical investor. I think over the next several years we are likely to see an increase in this particular type of client. Technology has made it easier for anyone with an idea and the drive to launch their own companies.
On the flip side, the current advisor model is generally not positioned to take advantage of this market. Advisors will need to understand how these “growth-focused wealth creators” think in order to align their service with the needs and mindset of this subculture within the investor class.
A Different Way of Thinking about Work and Wealth
Someone who earned their money working for someone else has a very different perspective on their life and legacy than someone who built and grew their firm.
For a large swath of investors, wealth management is about wealth protection or growing their wealth. For entrepreneurs (some of whom may have made a lot of money very quickly), wealth is an engine for growth, an asset to passion. It’s not a nest egg to babysit or let the market decide how it will be used. You’re talking to someone who doesn’t divide their company and their value and their world and their wealth—they are all commingled. They are thinking of the next cool thing. And they want to invest in deals.
To reach this segment, you just cannot reconfigure how you sell wealth management to an 85-year old retiree and sell it to a 25-year old entrepreneur. You must fundamentally shift your model to deliver services that demonstrate you are trustworthy and authentic, knowledgeable about their space and have market innovation credibility.
Focus on Trust
Trust is a significant factor for entrepreneurs. Are you a person they can trust with their information? They need to know that their advisor has an understanding of what their life is like. Demonstrate you are someone who understands:
- The space they are working in
- The creator mindset
- The risktaker attitude
- That they see the future in a dramatically different way than 99% of the population
You must bridge the gap between wealth management and its rules and their priorities. Win the trust and business by participating in their space.
Look Outside of Finance
Having firsthand knowledge of their world is critical. Actively recruit outside of finance. Bring voices from engineering or other industries that have walked in your entrepreneurs’ shoes into your firm to build client relationships. Bring in entrepreneurs or start up founders. Consider adding team members with psychology and behavioral studies degrees, who understand relationships and human emotions and can add valuable people skills. Build a team that can meet growth-focused wealth creators where they and translate their needs into the wealth management space.
Show Your Market Innovation Credibility
Growth-focused wealth creators need someone to drive them in the right direction, but genuinely believe they are smart enough to understand risky investments. They need to understand what their advisor is doing, not just trust that you know what you are doing. They want understanding, education and help making good decisions rather than having it all blindly done for them.
Provide Value in a Different Way
Growth-focused wealth creators definitely need advisors, but their needs are different. They want advisors not to grow wealth, but to handle the nuts and bolts of wealth—things like trusts, estates, tax protection and generational wealth transfer. Advisors can provide these wealth creators the most value by expertly managing the details.
Need help positioning your business to speak to entrepreneurs? Contact F2 to learn more.