Sean McCool
Direct Marketing Strategist

In any business, there are two basic strategies to making money: target the high end or target the low end.
If you target the low end, you engage in price wars and have to be the most affordable guy on the block. But if you can’t consistently provide the lowest price, and guarantee it, you have no competitive edge.

It’s better to be so unique, so different, and so desirable no one blinks an eye at whatever price you set. Think raising prices is impossible “in this economy?” It’s not. In fact, it may be the only way to survive in this economy. In order to get the money, you have to market yourself to the people with the money.

To do this, there are 3 things You Need to Know…
• Who are the people with money?
• What do the people with money want?
• How to sell to the people with money.

First… Who are the people with money?

Who are the affluent–the upper-class?  What are their thoughts, dreams, and desires?  How much money do they really have?

The vast majority of the upperclass are self-made. Of the Fortune 400 in 2007, 270 made their money completely from scratch. Another 55 only inherited a little, using that to boost them to the list. They have picked themselves up by their bootstraps, and are proud of it.

The majority of the rich are about to retire.  Boomers make up 70% of Americans with an income of $75,000 or higher. On top of their current salary, Boomers are expected to inherit $7.2 trillion over the next 30–40 years.

This is good news. Many boomers are rejecting “old ideas” about retirement. They want to live among several locations. And they’re more willing to spend on themselves than previous retirees.

On average, of those who make more than $1 million annually, they spend $30,000 on wine, $150,000 at hotels and resorts, and $250,000 on jewelry. 

Their biggest splurge? Home improvements–roughly $500,000… per year. The vast majority of these people have at least two, if not more, residences.

Next… What do the people with money want?

The affluent are full of desire. They desire exclusivity–“to be different than the Joneses,” not to just keep up with them. They desire status, respect, and recognition. Most of all, they desire freedom. You must tie your product and advertising to these desires.

You see, having money comes with baggage.  There are taxes, managing various accounts, and setting up security around their assets.  Most own their own business and work 60 to 70 hours a week. Their children at home are often involved in organized activities each week.

They are busy and feel like they have no time for themselves.

They want freedom from that daily stress.  They want to relax, spend time with their family, and enjoy the fruits of their labors. They want their home to be a place to get away from the world.
When doing business, the people with money really only want two things from you and your company:

They want you to be a professional–in your craft and in how you deal with them. They have become successful through determination and perseverance. They expect nothing less from their venders. They expect quick, reliable, and honest work and will settle for nothing less.

They also expect the royal treatment, and will pay any price for it. They actively search for those with exceptional service–why do you think the higher-end Disney resorts are booked months ahead? Go completely above and beyond what anyone in your industry is doing. 

Third… How do you sell to the people with money?

The most important aspect of marketing to those with money is this:

Let go of price.
“For the affluent,” as Dan Kennedy, marketing guru, says, “it’s about desire, not price.” If you create something desirable, people will pay any amount for it. Create a product or service level that is completely unmatched by anyone else.

It is, admittedly, a bit nerve-racking to raise prices far above all your competitors. Here are some ways to target the affluent without jeopardizing your business. You can even create a premium division of your company so you don’t have to change anything else until you see how this marketing to people with money thing works.

So, start by creating a premium version of whatever you already sell. Make the sky the limit on this premium version. Add extensive new features or new service plans. Typically, you can expect between 5% to 20% of your clientele to purchase the premium version.

Along a similar vein, consider making an “ascension ladder.” This is the idea of having Silver, Gold, and Platinum versions of the same product. Make each level desirable, but definitely above the last.

Also, you can start charging for what was free. Perhaps charge a “membership fee” or an “initiation fee.” This not only gives you a periodic income, but gives your clients a feeling of exclusivity.

The bottom line is this, you can be successful in this economy, but only if you go where the money is. Try writing some of your ads and fliers directly towards these people. Find out where they are in your town. And they are there. Every town has them. And there are more of them than you might think. So think about your business and how you can gear everything you do to the people with money. You’ll be glad you did.

Sean McCool is a an award-winning marketer and success coach. He can help you create marketing materials or just talk with you about what’s possible for your business. You can contact or leave a message for him through his website