How to sell to the rich and affluent…

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How To Sell To The Rich

How To Sell To The Rich

A long time ago, before my success in direct response marketing, I was a roofing salesman.

In fact, I still train roofing sales people today as a part of my marketing business.

I know, I know… roofing has a reputation for being a slimy business.

Have a hailstorm, hurricane or a tornado and all the roofers within 300 miles of your house will descend on your neighborhood like frogs in Egypt.

Roofers will knock on your door, call you on the phone and litter your door with flyers until you finally make a decision. The best way to get rid of a roofer is to get your roof replaced… then you won’t see them again… ever!

#1 Loser

It was back then that I learned one of life’s most valuable lessons.

I was the #1 roof salesman in my office, according to the number of contracts signed, but I was the #20 roof salesman in terms of dollar amount. In a few short months, I had managed to sign over 50 contracts while the top dogs in the office had about half as many and were making 3x as much money.

What was the difference?

Well, I went after the small roofs. I was comfortable approaching people who lived in homes that looked like the home I grew up in (extremely modest). Nice people, but their roofs were tiny compared to the jobs my co-workers were selling.

I had it in my head that I could never talk to the people that lived in those nice, big, beautiful neighborhoods. I was convinced that they would never want to talk to me – like I didn’t have anything to say to them or we wouldn’t have anything in common.

Sell Twice As Much – Make 1/3 Less

For over a year, I had to sell twice as many contracts to make 1/3 as much money.

One night, I was hanging around the office when one of the top guns asked me, “Mike, why don’t you go after the bigger jobs?”

I had to admit, my only reason was fear. I was afraid of them.

Like I said, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. My folks were both Special Ed teachers… not exactly banging the bucks! I told Mr. Top Gun that I had no clue how to interact with the affluent. He then rattled off this phrase you may have heard before:

“They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you!”

And there you have it.

You’ve heard that saying before but that night it finally resonated in me.

At the end of the day, people are just people. They have the same fears and hopes as you do. It has been said that there are only two way to sell something. Either, fear of loss or hope of gain. I’ve personally found that fear of loss is much more motivating.

Hope Is Fleeting

By the time you hit your early 30’s, you’ve accepted that most of the things you hoped for in your youth are probably not going to happen.

As the years go by, it takes less and less time for new hopes to fade. Those that can hold out hope for an extended period of time are a special breed.

Fear never goes away!

Fear goes with you to bed at night. It will whisper in your ear throughout the day. Fear will stalk you, taunt you and lie to you. You’ll beat it back and it will show up the next day ready to tackle you from another angle.

That is exactly why fear of loss is the greatest motivator in sales.

If you want to sell to the rich and affluent, find out what it is that keeps them up at night. What do they think about? What fears are being whispered in their ear? Find out what gives them ulcers.

Show the rich and affluent that you understand what their fear is, and you may have a solution. Next thing you know, you’ll be in the door talking business.

Fear The Competition

Almost without fail, the rich always fear the competition.

The affluent have worked hard for what they have and are consumed with thoughts of keeping it. They have nightmares about someone taking it away. They spend a big part of their time trying to figure out how to protect what they have. Their wealth is their strong tower and they will defend it.

Remind your prospect about what their competition is doing.

“Mr. Smith, XYZ is also advertising on Google AdWords. In fact, several of their ads rank right above yours. They’re getting most of the traffic.”

Show them what their competition is doing better.

“Take a look at their landing page. Do you see how they have their keyword as the <h1> tag on the page. That helps their Quality Score. Their ad ranks higher and they probably pay less per click than you.”

Believe me, at this point, they’re listening to you!

You’ve just confirmed what their little voice has been telling them all along. You have an ally: their fear. It’s two against one… which team would you bet on?

Go ahead, pick up the phone and call that rich and affluent prospect. Hammer out your email and send it to the CEO. Don’t be afraid.

Besides, “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you!”


P.S. If you’re one of those CEO’s running a search engine marketing campaign, get in touch with me. You’re reading this for a reason. Submit a comment below. I’ll help you keep what you’ve worked hard to achieve.

Read Part 2: how to sell to the rich

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4 thoughts on “How to sell to the rich and affluent…

  1. Shawn Rogers

    Hi Mike, I’ve just read your article and I loved it.
    Great words of incouragement! Thank you!

  2. Mike Post author

    Thank you Shawn – I want to encourage you to go ahead and make those calls. Once you’ve finished your background research (i.e. what keeps them up at night), you’ll be ready to attack their greatest need: keeping what they’ve worked so hard to get. You can do it!


    The affluent perceive them as a sales piece. We ve also seen some advisors adopt the practice of not carrying business cards, but we don t recommend this approach because it makes the wrong impression if you have a sincere request for your card.

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