How to Build Authentic Relationships with HNW Clients


If you are looking to attract—and retain—more high net worth clients, you can learn a lot by looking at why clients fire their financial advisors. 

Financial Advisor magazine surveyed nearly 1,400 advisors. The survey showed “failure to communicate on a timely basis” was the No. 1 reason (72%) clients gave for firing their advisors. That reason was followed by:

  • Number 2: Failure to understand the client’s goals and objectives (51.1%)
  • Number 3: Failure to promptly return phone calls (43.9%)
  • Number 4: Poor investment performance (34.2%)
  • Number 5: Making claims they can’t keep (22.6%)

The Financial Advisor survey illustrates that your knowledge and expertise about financial services can only take you so far. To create client relationships that last—especially with high net worth clients—you have to be invested in building authentic relationships.

Five Tips to Build Unbreakable Bonds

High net worth clients want to know you are interested in more than their money. If they don’t feel a personal connection to you, likely they will take their money elsewhere. These five tips will go a long way to helping you create authentic—unbreakable—relationships with your high net worth clients:

1: Flip the switch. Think of yourself as a relationship manager versus just a money manager.

2: Listen. Sure, your clients value your financial advice. But they also need to know that they are being heard. Listen—deeply. Ask questions. Understand not just their financial goals, but their life goals, too.

3: Get personal. Get involved in the personal and emotional aspects of their lives—not just the financial. Get to know their families, their hobbies and interests, what they value most in life.

4: Reach out. When it comes to your clients, no news isn’t good news. Check in with them often. Call, email, connect on social media or meet with them face to face over a cup of coffee. Make it clear that they can reach out to you, too, in whichever way they prefer. And when they do reach out, be responsive. Get back to them before the end of the day even if you don’t have answers to their questions or the information they were seeking. Remember, failure to communicate on a timely basis was the Number 1 reason clients gave for firing their advisors, according to the Financial Advisor survey.

5: Ask for input: Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they are thinking and how they are feeling—especially when it comes to you and your work as their financial advisor. What questions do they have about the investments you are suggesting? Are they comfortable making changes? Helping them understand what’s happening with their finances and keeping them informed will go a long way toward building a relationship that lasts a lifetime. 

At Berthel Fisher, we make it our mission to help our advisors deliver the best client experience in the business. From our investment products and advisory services to our back office support and top of the line financial planning tools, we are continuously investing in every advisor on our team. If you are interested in joining Berthel Fisher, get started today or give us a call at 1-800-356-5234.


By Paige Swartzendruber

Paige Swartzendruber joined in 2007 and serves as Vice President of Berthel Fisher & Company and its subsidiaries and Executive Vice President of BFC Insurance, Inc. She holds FINRA securities licenses 7, 63 and 65. She also holds a life and fixed annuity insurance license. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Certificate in International Business from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.