Thomas Murr 2016

10 tips for success in the HNW service industry. 


By Thomas Murr 28/01/2016

1. Money follows the relationship.

You need a genuine relationship. HNW individuals need to genuinely know you, your morality, your trustworthiness before they entrust anything to you. If your motives are not in the best interests of the client don’t expect to be invited on the yacht… Put in the hours to understand your client, get in the banya, sit and drink tea, learn their customs and language and remember their children’s birthdays!

2. Be great to have around. 

Can you be fun, kind and amusing while staying professional; Generous with your time and stimulating while never becoming over familiar? If you can, perhaps your client will pull up another chair for you at the table.

3. Develop a valuable skill.

Perhaps you can create and manage a secure, personalised, multi continent, media system? You could be a talented mentor, teacher and role model for children. Perhaps you are resilient enough to cook for 30 at 3am and still come out the kitchen for a round of applause with a smile on your face. A bodyguard who can cook and be fun with children will always be in demand. Even a great hairdresser can be a top asset. The richest want the best and they will pay for the best.

Thomas Murr 2016

Thomas Murr 2016

4. Do more work than you are paid for. 

If you provide a great service and your client has had more value from you than required it would be hard not to appreciate you. They will talk about you to their friends and your labour will become a desirable asset. In future people will hopefully bid for your labour for what they think it is truly worth.

5. The only way you will get somebody to do something is by getting them to want to do it. 

A super important concept to understand whether working with children, on board a yacht or leading a team on an estate. If you need a driver to do an emergency overnight luggage run from London to Cannes be super nice to them, make them feel important and offer a great reward, buy them lunch when they arrive, show that you appreciate them. If a child doesn’t want to do their homework, explain to them the consequences of not doing the work and have a reward system implemented. If you want resentment, a badly done job and a dearth of capable talent, threaten, shout at and belittle those you work with.

6. Learn when to keep your mouth closed.

Everyone has their bad days even the rich and famous. You will on occasion be slighted, overworked and under appreciated, it comes with the territory. Don’t get angry and blurt out all the emotion that you are feeling. Wait for a day or two and if you still feel there is a need to push the matter, write a well thought out letter or email. Criticism won’t achieve anything, be constructive and polite.

7. Don’t embarrass or criticise your colleagues in front of the principal. 

The only thing you are going to create criticising your colleague in front of the principal is the darkest type of loathing and the thirst for revenge! If somebody is really finding the work challenging take them aside, tell them a story about what you have found difficult in your past and then show them where they can improve. A big well done if they get to the desired level and offers of further training and support will usually sort the problem out. They will be extremely grateful, impressed with your skills and should be very loyal to you thereafter.

If somebody really is not capable of the job, is dishonest or dangerous take it up directly with your principal without that person there. Bring evidence and supporting statements from your other colleagues.

8. Be modest, don’t show off… 

There is nothing that reveals an amateur more than someone who is just desperate to tell everyone who they work for. It’s so embarrassing for us and for you.

If you are really good at your job people will welcome you by name and ask how your work is going. They know who you work for and that you are the guy waiting in the S Class at 4am in Mayfair or the lady who can sort 5 guests with food intolerances on the Gulfstream. You do it with a smile and without a fuss.


Thomas Murr 2016

Thomas Murr 2016


9. Under promise, over deliver.

Give yourself a margin of safety in everything that you do. If you are a financial advisor be conservative with your estimate of investment returns, if you are a top tutor don’t say you can definitely get the child into Eton. Always have a backup if things don’t go as planned. Clients want security and a stable roadmap, belts and braces for all the major projects.

10. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

You read somewhere that writing 30 letters a day to clients will help your career. Well when they all reply and you don’t follow up on all the conversations you are going to irritate a lot of important people. If you make grand gestures make sure that you can follow them up. Wealthy successful people want to be able to get hold of you, they want to go out for lunch with you, maybe even drink a bottle of wine with you, they want the best service.  If you have scattered your energy over too many projects you are not going to be able to provide your best service to anyone and your relationships will suffer.

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