Are Affluent Clients Worth The Stress?

You may ask yourself if it’s worth the stress to focus on working with affluent clients, but ask yourself how much stress it causes you when you are trying to juggle too many jobs for non-affluent clients in order to meet your financial goals.

Financial advisors who work with affluent clients can be great partners for you – both in sharing referrals but also in evaluating and better understanding the mindset of affluent clients and what they expect. Identify what those clients expect, how they think and how you might be able to use that information to better serve them.

Marketing to affluent clients does not mean you should be marketing to any prospective clients who are affluent – once again we go back to the value of a thorough ideal client profile to identify which affluent clients would fit that profile.
Affluent clients have been described as highly profitable and loyal, characteristics that could be worth extra stress.
When investing they tend to outsource the part of investment decision making that causes stress, so they may rather outsource design work to a firm that will relieve them of this stress.

Affluent clients put more focus on honesty and trustworthiness than past performance or professional credentials, and tend to be more trusting than those with less money. This view is another “pro” as to the value of any stress caused by working with affluent clients since in the long run, if they trust you they will be less likely to want to micro-manage a job – something truly stressful!

So, what does this trust involve? For affluent design clients it means that you show that you are acting in the best interest of the client – reach out proactively, show that you give great value for what you charge, show reliability and work that is as mistake-proof as possible and even more importantly, don’t be afraid to admit mistakes and solve problems immediately.
Often the affluent are used to being taken advantage of financially and so are cautious. Be sure the fee section of your contract is very clear so they understand the value they are receiving for what they invest with you – and you need to get comfortable charging enough as well as discussing your fees. This is often a stumbling block for many designers so practice. Be sure your insecurities are not showing – would you want to “invest” with someone who seemed uncomfortable talking about money?

So are affluent clients worth the additional stress? Evaluate the pro’s and con’s and you may find that in the long run there is less stress working with fewer clients who are affluent clients rather than the stress of working with a larger number of clients with smaller budgets, and if you do manage to make your annual financial goals you are stressed and frustrated and asking yourself if it’s really worth it. Balance that stress against stress that may be involved in working with affluent clients. Which “stress” will you choose?

Photo by Dana McGrath

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Drue Lawlor

Director of Business Transformation Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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