Consider two statements: The wealthy like their privacy. Once people reach a certain level of wealth and success, they tend to give back to the community. The first statement makes the high-net-worth difficult to prospect. The second provides a way to approach them.
Meeting wealthy people socially is not a shortcut to asking for business. You must develop social relationships first where you both enjoy one another’s company. Why? There are lots of reasons, but a big one is that people do business with people they like.
How does community involvement get you in front of wealthy people?
Fundraising. Charities and nonprofits actively ask people for money to support their mission. It can be easier to get in front of a successful business owner if you are seeking a donation to a charity versus sitting across from them and asking for business.
Staffing. Some wealthy people support charities by purchasing tickets or entire tables at charity galas. The charity needs people to run the check-in table. They need others to walk around selling raffle tickets. Do this several times, and they start to recognize you.
Wealthy people need you. There’s an old saying that “More money equals more problems.” If you join a few community organizations and get to know people, they will learn what you do. Either you will tell them, or word gets around. When they have a need, you are a known quantity.
Shared values. When you are involved with a community organization, you are supporting its mission. Ditto the wealthy people who are also involved. People like to send business to other people who share the same commitment and values.
Wealthy people have wealthy friends. When you get involved with an organization, you mingle with plenty of people, including wealthy ones. When you see them at another event and say hello, they might be talking with another wealthy friend. They introduce you, often delivering your elevator speech for you.
Cross-sections work too. You may be involved with your religious organization, which attracts a cross-section of the community. Everyone is welcome. As you get to know people, they learn what you do. They might see you every week, which is another bonus.
Wealthy people know other wealthy people. They have friends who you don’t know. Yet when someone has a problem, they often talk about it. Your wealthy connection knows who you are and how you help people.
Older wealthy people like to help younger people. There are a variety of reasons. They might feel like mentors. They might be retired and want their opinions to carry weight. They think getting ahead in the world is tougher now compared to when they were young, and they want to provide others with a steppingstone to success. If you dress well, work hard and are honest, they might want to help you get ahead.
Consider this analogy: If you were on a cruise for a week, you would probably have made several friends seven days later. If the organizations where you regularly give time include a high percentage of wealthy people, you will soon be making wealthy friends. Joining is the first step.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
For more ideas about networking:
- Watch “Missing opportunities? Widen your network and build influence”
- Read “11 keys to impactful networking” (MDRT member exclusive)
- Read “5 rules of HNW cultivation”