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Effectively Prospecting the Ultra Wealthy
2023 Spotlight on CIOs in the US
Published by: Wealth-X Contributors
Published on:

New Insights Into Ultra Wealthy Prospecting Strategies

Published by: Wealth-X Contributors
Published on:
High-impact prospect data can help organizations improve their outreach efforts and transform their business.

Attracting ultra wealthy clients and donors can be a major challenge for organizations. But with the right approach, it can also bring tremendous benefits.

Altrata, a leading provider of wealth intelligence data, created a new guide, Effectively Prospecting the Ultra Wealthy, which offers a blueprint for success based on years of experience working with clients who seek to effectively engage the world’s wealthiest individuals.

With the use of high-impact prospect data and a structured, scientific approach, organizations can improve their outreach efforts and transform their business. The guide is divided into three phases: Discovery, Research, and Engagement, and provides the principles and tools needed for successful ultra-wealthy engagement.

By leveraging wealth intelligence data and following the principles outlined in the guide, organizations can build a system that allows them to recognize new opportunities and expand their network.

Prospecting the Wealthy: Challenges and Opportunities

More insight into your target audience can level up a company’s prospecting strategy and help teams make a bigger impact.

Many organizations are still missing out. According to Altrata’s Non-profit Account Director David Garcia, many organizations, “don’t do UHNW prospecting at all, they are either new to prospecting, or still engaged in mostly reactive fundraising, heavily focused on existing clients, rather than proactively searching for new opportunities.”

Some organizations are unaware of the impact of prospecting the wealthy, and how it can transform their business. Others see the value but don’t know where to begin. Some organizations have tried but are using mass marketing playbooks to reach the wealthy, and seeing their efforts fail. These failures are understandable as it can be difficult to know where to begin.

The Changing Landscape of Prospecting

Prospecting for wealthy clients and donors has changed significantly in recent years. Attitudes toward personal data and data usage have evolved considerably.

As Manuel Bianchi, SVP and Global Head of Wealth Sales at Altrata points out that many organizations used to shy away from using personal data for prospecting, partly due to privacy concerns among potential clients. However, there is growing awareness and acceptance of the ways data is leveraged, and more organizations are putting wealth intelligence to work.

Leveraging data and intelligence is becoming more important to improve outreach to first time buyers and donors. Mass outreach tactics, never a best practice for prospecting the wealthy, are increasingly irrelevant.

The growth of data utilization intelligence has led to a more structured, scientific approach to prospecting.

People who understand that there is a science to prospecting ultimately grow organically in a multiplying way

Valentina Guerrini, Senior Director at Altrata

“In the past, they may have hired someone with key contacts and leverage that person’s network.  But once those contacts are exhausted, the person leaves, their relationships leave, and you start from scratch. With wealth intelligence, we’re building a science behind prospecting and engagement.”

“Once organizations understand this science and take time to apply it, it is scalable,” Guerrini adds. “They create a system that allows them to recognize where multiple opportunities can come from. When you when you meet an individual, when you get a donation – then you want to get a contact or referral. You want to open up the network through those relationships you’ve built successfully to expand organically.”

The goal of our Prospecting the Ultra Wealthy guide is to provide the tools to unlock the next level of progress in your organization’s UHNW prospecting efforts. Whether you’re just beginning or have been working for years and want to meet new goals in this area, the guide can help.

The principles in the guide provide a framework for successful UHNW engagement. Together with Altrata’s unrivalled wealth intelligence data, you’ll have the insights needed to put the framework into action. The guide will help make your existing network more productive, uncover new contacts, and turn formerly unreachable targets into long term clients and donors.

The Three Phases of Prospecting

The Altrata approach to UHNW prospecting is built on three key phases: Discovery, Research, and Engage. This guide unpacks each stage and outlines several key principles for success. These principles are rooted in Altrata’s years of leadership providing data driven, high impact prospective resources and strategic guidance – which has opened doors to lasting relationships with hundreds of clients and donors.

women walking towards private plane


The first phase is discovery – who are the people you’re trying to develop a relationship with? This phase may seem opened and closed, but it’s not. The clients and donors you would like to attract are often hiding in plain sight, and the place to begin is with your existing CRM system. Some existing contacts are able to give much more than they are currently. Some will have connections to prospects that are a natural fit for your organization. What you have to do, is find them.

This is where the value of insights gained from wealth screening becomes clear. One of the key principles for this phase of prospecting is to leverage the power of referrals. Potential clients or donors who are already connected to people you serve are among the highest value and most likely to convert.

It’s worth taking time to complete a Screening of your current database to identify known connections to other potential UHNW donors and clients. An Altrata Screening to identify the giving and spending patterns and interests of your current clients and donors.

“A focus for a lot of my clients is screening their existing book of business” says Eden Willis, Wealth Account Director at Altrata.  “This helps them determine who would be a good fit for their services and allows for a more target outreach.”

As Garcia points out, “every client I work with has two dynamics; one is they are super busy and possibly overwhelmed, and the other is they’re very hungry for new prospects. And my big message for the past few years has been to develop a shorter list of higher quality names.”


Step two is to learn as much as possible about your target prospects. What are their hobbies, passions, and interests? How are they connected to the people already in your network – do they sit on a board together, are they members of the same club, are they business partners? What else, and where else are they spending/donating? Do they give to similar organizations or demonstrate an interest in similar products that would suggest an affinity for your organization?

As you think through these questions, you should also have your database screened to identify UHNW individuals who are already in your network, but whose giving or spending patterns may have led you to pass over them as high value targets.

According to Guerrini, these screenings can drive significant value. Many organizations that spend time targeting UHNW individuals are missing large donors who are already giving. One organization that did a screen found six previously unrecognized billionaires in their current database. Leveraging wealth data for prospecting is a high impact strategy and may lead to surprising discoveries. There will often be individuals, who have the potential for much greater engagement.

While you are gathering intelligence about these prospects, it is important to keep another key principle of UHNW research in mind – pay attention to passions, hobbies and interests.

At first glance, these may not seem like the most important engagement drivers. However, they often provide the crucial context for relationship development. Knowing what a prospect is likely to say yes to when planning an event is a major part of successful outreach. And if you can find common threads of interest among existing clients and prospects to build programming around.

“If you are a climate change organization and there is someone who already has a connection to one of your donors or board members, but they only give to ballet, you know you need to go on to the next person,” says Garcia.


The third phase is engage, where prospect data, wealth screening, and targeted research comes to life. Engage, like the other phases of UHNW prospecting, is not a copy and paste exercise. Strategies that may work for mass outreach efforts with other potential donors and clients will fall flat here.

As you build out an engagement plan, it’s worth keeping these differences in mind. The approach here should be highly tailored. Once you’ve identified a pool of target prospects, begin by tiering them into engagement groups.  This can be done by strength of connection, propensity to engagement, and potential long-term value to your organization. The goal of data driven screening and wealth insight is to help save your organization time.  You can then focus efforts where they matter most – on those prospects most likely to convert.

In addition to tiering your engagement targets into groups, curate your outreach plan – each UHNW individual is really a market segment of one. Each one has his or her own needs, preferences, and idiosyncrasies.

Putting the Prospecting Guide to Work

This framework, powered by high impact wealth data from Altrata, will enable your organization to plan and run the kinds of events that will lead to genuine connections. You want to create experiences that are unique, and developed just for them – what has this prospect not already experienced dozens of times before? What moments of surprise and delight can you create?

Making these moments are how you win new business and new donors but preparing for them requires a dedicated strategy and unique personal insight. This is the promise of high impact wealth data screening. Not only will you be able to identify new opportunities, but you will be equipped with the data required to build successful engagement strategies that will lead to long term relationships and transform your UHNW outreach program.

Guerrini summarizes it well, “[organizations] are overwhelmed, understaffed, and don’t have extra budget. Altrata data screening allows them to proactively build a pipeline and understand how to prioritize their time, which is ultimately the greatest advantage of effective prospecting – saving time and being focused.”

Members of Altrata’s new business and account management teams contributed to this article.