How to work with high-profile clients
As a personal trainer at 19 years old I was referred by one on my clients to the manager of the Fairmont hotel (and later the Westin hotel) where I became the personal trainer for VIP guests. Every time a high profile client came to town and was looking for a personal trainer, they called me. It was amazing because I got to connect with the ultra rich that I would never otherwise get to meet.
From billionaires to well known celebrities I trained them. I did that for a few years until I started my chain of luxury personal training studios where the focus was again on high profile clients. That continued for 13 years leading up to the sale of my company in 2016.
High-profile clients have different expectations than the average person and understanding their needs will help you succeed.
I found the following strategies to be quite useful when selling to high profile clients:
They expect complete privacy and trust
Forget taking a before and after pic for your Instagram page. High profile clients value privacy. Where you can often use the average person as part of your marketing, high profile clients hate that. They have a reputation to uphold and are bombarded with people trying to use their popularity to uplift themselves. Focus instead on building as much trust as you can. If a high profile client likes you and trusts you, they will open doors for you that you never knew existed.
Their time is their number one priority
We can all make more money but we can’t make more time. High profile clients value their time like no other. I can still remember the first day I realized this early in my career. I was training a high profile client who was always really nice to me but one day I arrived late and he looked me straight in the eyes and told me that If I’m not going to value his time he would have to look for another option. It was harsh but I needed to hear that. I got the point and I was never late again.
They expect around the clock service
High profile clients work on a different schedule. They don’t work for evenings and weekends like most people. They love what they do and to them work and life are merged into one (the way it should be). They’re on their own schedule closing multi-million dollar deals every week and they expect people to work around their schedule and not the other way around. If you can’t accommodate them, it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, they’ll find someone else.
They expect you to be the best in your field
High profile clients have gotten to where they are because they have a good bullshit meter. They’re experts in their field and they expect you to be the same. They’re professionals at reading people and asking questions that challenge whether or not you know your stuff. Since they understand the marketing game they avoid and never fall for marketing tactics. They work on referrals always finding the best people through asking their network of trusted friends and advisors. What does that mean? That means you need to work on being the best in your field, to be remarkable enough people go out of their way to refer you.
High profile clients hate the cookie cutter approach to anything. They expect complete customization and personal service. If you want to win the heart of a high profile client you need to understand that the little things are the big things. Sending them valuable information when you didn’t have to. A word of encouragement when you didn’t have to is what will take you from client to raving fan.
Contrary to popular belief, high-profile clients aren’t difficult. They’re simply very busy people and need people who understands how they do business. Working with high profile clients is exciting and a hugely profitable market.
The key to working with high profile clients is to manage your own expectations by making a plan on how you will handle the opportunity. If you’re unprepared it can be hard but when you’re prepared, the partnership will be mutually beneficial.
Originally published at Jean-Luc Boissonneault.