Friday, 18 July 2014

Caroline Garnham, founder of Family Bhive, the one-stop shop for Trusted Advisors and UHNWIs

 ‘Good ideas’ are not good business. Coming up with a good idea especially one that is unique, does not mean that you have sown the seeds of a good business. A good business is finding what is being done already and doing it better. The UHNW community is a little understood minority with a lot of spending power.

From numerous conversations I have had over the years with wealthy individuals as a private client lawyer, they have said that what they want is one platform which provides them with all they need in one place at one time, filtered to their preference, which is why I created for them But how to monetise it? So we looked around for what these people were doing already and then decided to do it better. Both communities want to meet, but the rich don’t want to go into a room full of advisors; they will, however, tolerate one or two sponsors. But they also want to meet each other – they are human just like everyone else and want to meet people like them.

There are now numerous organisers of events which host family office conferences, where the UHNW sit in rows and listen to speakers. But the rich do not like sitting in rows, listening to one talk after another, which is often a thinly veiled product push, they want to meet and discuss deals. This is why I host soirees at my home where the rich can meet and discuss deals for which a sponsor pays a handsome price. The advisors also want to meet each other in the hope that advisors will recommend them to their clients. They attend lots of ‘networking events’. In fact 20% of their time is spent meeting each other, but 40% say it is not very productive and that they always meet the same people time and again.

So this year we formed for them a Trusted Advisor Academy for them to meet a broad cross section of advisors, where they can hear inspirational speakers on how to make their marketing more productive. Both events are sponsored which is good business, we also provide them with the tools they need to improve their marketing; our handbook ‘Eight Simple Steps to Success’, and a ‘Guide on how to Present a Good Case Study’ – good business while at the same time teaching them what the UHNW community want from them! Furthermore it is simply not true that the UHNW don’t look at the websites, they are three times more likely to look at comparison websites than any other community.

Only 1-3% respond to a product push. Everyone who starts a business complains about how slow it is to start, but we sometimes forget that we are human. There is an innate fear in all of us of the influence of strangers, which is why regardless of what you are selling and how much it is needed, only 1-3% will respond to the first approach, whether a cold call or at a meeting. This means that 97% will either not remember or have been put off. This is why businesses to start with are always slow.

It takes 5-12 'touches' to overcome this innate fear of the influence of strangers. How is it possible to build up the requisite number of ‘touches’ when only 1-3% are showing any interest?  There are four ways to overcome this fear:

• Education - Education needs to be distinguished from training. Education is what does my target market want to know more about – and training is what do I want to teach them. If you are selling shoes, what interests the avid shoe buyer;  fashions in shoes over the years, the story of Hush Puppies, what goes into making a good shoe, what makes a shoe comfortable? Education must be pitched at the right level to gather interest.

• Aggregation - If there is a crowd of competing brands, such as at a trade fair, fear is reduced. Retailers understand this which is why similar shops cluster together; Bond Street for luxury, Tottenham Court Road for techy stuff and the Burlington Arcade for cashmere.

• Reciprocation - What can you give someone for free? What the wealth advisory industry forget is that a recommendation from their network to a client is something for free and it builds trust, as is a one hour free consultation. It also indicates that the seller is not just focussed on getting but on giving as well, which helps build trust.

• Case studies  - show me don’t tell me. The increase in interest in case studies is 1,227%, and everyone is doing it. Journalists put a human example into every article whether it is on insurance or the plight of Syria, charities do it all the time, as well as politicians. To increase interest further it should arouse emotion; fear, lust or empathy, have a plot; hero or connection, and social proofing, who else is doing it or has found it works.

Put all this together and you have the makings not just of a good idea , but also of a business.

For further information please visit Caroline Garnham is a former lawyer and service broker to the ultra-high net worth community. When a multi-millionaire neighbour complained about the lack of multiple services for the ultra high net worth community, this inspired Caroline to create Family Bhive, an exclusive networking club that caters for the UK’s wealthiest, connecting the UK’s wealthiest with the calibre of advisors who are best placed to manage such substantial affluence - a one stop shop for the rich, if you will, unifying lawyers, accountants, hedge fund managers and reputation specialists, right through to exclusive travel agents, real estate experts, art dealers, auction houses and private plane companies.

Caroline’s first book, Eight Steps to Success: a Culture of Care, is published in September, but a more condensed manual is out now.

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