Financial Planning For C-Level Executives

Financial PlanningToday, we’re going to talk about financial planning for C-Level Executives. A C-Level Executive’s collective earning potential can easily hover around $500,000 annually. In addition to collecting a very impressive salary, most C-Level Executives also earn bonuses, enjoy profit-sharing rewards and sometimes even commissions.  But don’t be mistaken, while they may be able to run a company to its pinnacle, that doesn’t mean they know how to manage the hefty paychecks they’re collecting. After all, today more than ever before, emotional intelligence—a right brain trait—is highly valued in the C-suite. And right-brained people usually struggle with left-brained tasks, like financial analysis.

If you’re going to service the C-Level Executive market, it’s important to keep the following things in mind:

  • Typically their schedules are very, very tight. When you’re fortunate enough to get on their calendar, don’t cancel or try to re-schedule unless you’re willing to wait months for your next appointment.
  • They’re used to having the facts presented to them in the office so they can make decisions quickly. That said, if you want them to make quick decisions with you, it’s in your best interest to have your facts and figures at your fingertips when presenting to them.
  • When you email, text or call them, be concise. In written communications, bullet points are your friend. When communicating with them verbally, tell them upfront how much time you need from them and what needs to be accomplished in that time.
  • They need you to ask them the tough questions, like what they’ll do if the board decides to fire them, effectively immediately. Remind them of this: if Apple can fire Steve Jobs, certainly they are not immune to being fired themselves. The financial preparations they make for that today, will pay off tomorrow.
  • Some C-Level Execs are wild risk takers, but certainly not all. You need to take the time to conduct a thorough risk-analysis of each one you take on.
  • Many C-Level Execs are so focused on the future of their company, that they fail to focus on their personal future. They need a strong strategy they can use to transition from the C-suite to their retirement home in Palm Beach.
  • Collaboration is not just a desire, it’s an expectation. In order to manage their wealth well, you need to communicate with their private banker, trustee(s), accountant, attorney and everyone else on their financial team to ensure you’re all playing in the same pond.
  • They need you to serve as their objective third party. Before they make major decisions, they need to be trained to consult with you first so they can avoid unseen financial pitfalls.
  • Birds of a feather flock together. C-Level peeps tend to hang out together. If you want to get in with their group, reserve a skybox at an important game and invite them to join you. Sponsor and attend major charity events. Join the yacht club. Learn how to fly a plane. Hang out where they hang out and do what they do so you can become known as the “go-to-guy (or gal) for C-Level Execs. It will serve you well over the years.

That wraps up this months series! We hope you enjoyed learning more about the unique needs of some of your most valued prospects. Be sure to check back with us next month for more great information you won’t want to miss!

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