Knowing your clients better than they know themselves is your bread and butter as a broker or adviser. It helps you achieve strong results and deliver quality insights. But people can be hard to read and their decisions might be wildly inconsistent.
How do you work with someone you can’t predict?
To answer this question, I have come up with a framework to categorise clients and unpick the subconscious drivers behind their decisions.
Cue the money personalities.
Use the five personalities below to categorise your clients and curate your strategy to each one.
(1) The enterpriser.
The enterpriser is a wizard of financial savviness. They are very future focused and invest their money wisely. They probably love the Wolf of Wall Street and find themselves drawn to aspirational possessions.
This makes them dynamic and active business leaders. They have a strong appetite for risk and dabble in a mix of business opportunities. They’re success hungry, eager to find the next big thing, and at the front of the innovation curve. For brokers to score points on the board, you need to be across all things finance and markets. Research widely to stay on guard. As a client, the enterpriser wants active engagement. Expect regular calls, messages, and emails to give the enterpriser a greater sense of control. Always keep them in the driver’s seat.
(2) The minimalist.
The minimalist is a maestro of savings. They are confident in their financial position and don’t mind foregoing the trimmings. They also enjoy passive management and are a fan of the set-and-forget approach.
A minimalist will always see the risk in their business affairs. If an opportunity doesn’t score highly on ‘safety and stability,’ they probably won’t bite. Their strategy will also be tightly streamlined. A lot of thought will go into their decisions, but they will likely set-and-forget. This makes them change resistant. They need a compelling reason to deviate from what’s tried and tested. As such, your language choices and presentation of deals really matters here. Risk will always be front of mind. So present things like you really know your stuff, and reiterate that they are not the first person to try your strategy.
(3) The socialite.
The bombastic, extroverted socialite is a joyful risk taker. They live for today and take on sometimes unwise levels of risk. This is the friend happily racking up hundreds of dollars of Afterpay debt and treating their budget like a nagging parent, not a limit.
The socialite hunts for excitement in their business affairs. Expect a big spending business owner who doesn’t get wrapped up in the nitty gritty. Why sweat the finer points when you can go big in your thinking? They will be bigger-picture focused and eager to rush into things. Work with this! Let them set the tone and fan the flames on their grand designs. When dealing with them, know the finer points but sketch a story. Deals that have a real sense of purpose and fire behind them are a much more compelling sell.
(4) The contemporary.
The contemporary is what older Aussies think of millennials. Avocado-toast crunching spenders who lack the confidence to manage active investments. They’re also keen on paying down their debt and have a hefty rainy day fund.
A contemporary will make conservative decisions 9 times out of 10. They have the prudence of the minimalist but none of the financial chutzpah. When it comes to strategic decisions, they’ll monitor their progress regularly but make only minor adjustments. Transformative change is their worst nightmare. So work within their existing frameworks. Make change feel actionable. Break things down into the smaller parts that they could manage without feeling deeply uncomfortable. If your solutions sound unachievable or unrealistic, they’ll be checked out.
(5) The realist.
The realist is a future focused and risk averse person. They will do everything in their power to make their investments safer, avoiding things that require active management and oversight. Skepticism runs deep with realists.
This makes them a slightly nervous business owner. Their systems might be a little dated. They might not have the most up-to-date technologies. But they are passionate about their business and very protective of it. When working with a realist be wary of cynicism. If you open the door to negativity and critique you might have planted fast-sprouting seeds. Should you avoid negativity all together? Absolutely not! But in your presentation of deals you need to offer an optimistic appraisal of how you are controlling any risks.
Which money personality are your clients?
Knowing your client’s money personality can help you avoid common pitfalls and make better decisions. Keep it front of mind when devising your strategies and presenting deals.