Top 5 Drivers for Affluent Customers

How do we motivate the wealthy to frequent our place of business?  Knowing their drivers, or in other words, what motivates them, will be key.  So let's tap into this demographic, and uncover 5 major criteria that will help drive them to your door, and park them there! 
Driver #1 - Respect their Position
They feel they deserve recognition for their accomplishments and they expect you to be where they are, when it is convenient for them and whenever the need arises - never say "no".  This means your location matters greatly - are you positioned to attract this demographic - how will you ensure your paths cross?  They are not interested in being convinced of the sale, they trust their own instincts; they are more interested in being intelligently guided through the purchasing process (don't tell them, show them).  Although they will pay for value and convenience, they are very price sensitive and appreciate a bargain - they've worked hard to get where they are and have not done this by overspending. They believe in unique experiences and treating one's self to life's pleasures, and will not tolerate complacent behaviors, either with service or pricing. 

Driver #2 - Professional Competency

You must be their advisor, solving their challenges efficiently, and with integrity.  They are looking for your commitment to quality service, and to them personally, and your "quick to respond" behavior will be an asset - don't make them wait - and your good follow-through and follow-up is also absolutely mandatory.  Strive to provide shortcuts to drawn-out procedures and paper work (red tape).  As well, affluents are often confident in their own decision-making abilities, so your superior knowledge of your profession is your power - be wise and use it carefully.  Offering benefits that match their needs; showing comparatives; offering high value as well as discounts, also aids in their purchasing decisions.
Driver #3 - Trust, Loyalty & Discretion
They believe in long-term, loyal relationships; they desire acknowledgement and being treated special - they don't take kindly to being passed around, being made to feel less than "exclusive".  Costs, value and benefits must be clearly and openly demonstrated up front.  Performance of claims/delivering what is promised is crucial, from product labels; to spa signage; to the final sales pitch.  Base sales conversations on facts - they do extensive research themselves, and demand that you do the same.  Make sure your website is trustworthy - safe, secure and has a privacy policy.  "Cause Marketing" is big for affluents in helping to attract and develop their loyalty.  So, those businesses who strive to make the world a better place will have the edge in servicing this demographic.  
Driver #4 - Word of Mouth Referrals
The affluents place great emphasis on their network of family and friends, looking to them first, for direction and concurrence.  Affluents consider themselves and their network to be the "ones" who know what's hot and what's not.  Some affluent woman fit the new sector referred to as the "Marketing Multipliers".  These women spend twice as much as other affluent women and use online and offline word-of-mouth as the primary driver in their purchasing decisions.  They are like viral marketers, spreading the word quickly through their online sources and vast network of both physical and virtual alliances. If this segment excites you, try reading "The Power of the Purse" by Fara Warner.  To keep your word of mouth reputation safe, remember these words when attracting the affluent:  Respect; honesty; quality; convenience; efficiency; responsiveness; and performance (service & price) - and you'll be ok!
Driver #5 -  Upward Buying
"Aspiring Affluents" are particularly important to this segment of the market because of their desire for status, but it also applies to the established affluent segments, and even the non-affluent - we believe it is the trend to watch.  This is the university student that gives up all else to afford that $300 designer purse; the at-home mom who won't settle for anything but her favorite, more expensive bottle of wine as her reward; or the spa goer who will choose 1 expensive, more exotic spa treatment before choosing 2 less appealing ones.  Simply put, this trend means quality before quantity; or desire above practicality, and it's a favorite of mine.  Upward buying points to niche purchases, and your customers love them.  You do too, I'll bet.
In order for you to continue to excite your customer, and draw new ones in, you must do your research.  When your household in quiet and everyone is settled in, grab a glass of (your favorite) wine and start googling!  Enjoy the process!
By Leslie Lyon, Spas2B