Creative Genius Podcast

Season 8 Episode 9

What Do Highly Affluent Clients Really Want? (Klaus Baer)

What Do Highly Affluent Clients Really Want? (Klaus Baer)

Attracting and engaging highly affluent clients requires a special set of skills. You need to understand their particular needs and expectations. While some can be overly demanding, if you earn their trust and respect, they can be some of the most loyal clients you can have.

In this episode, Gail talks with Klaus Baer, chief operations officer of WRJ Interiors in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Founded in 2003, the firm has grown into a team of 25, with an enviable roster of highly affluent and influential clients. Klaus has degrees in both business and interior design, but prefers to focus on the operations side of the firm.

From the beginning, the firm set its sights on attracting highly affluent clients in the region around Jackson Hole who were looking for something other than the traditional western look. They were appealing to those who had an appreciation for quality and attention to detail.

Gail asked Klaus what advice he had for designers who wanted to break into the highly affluent client market. What is it that highly affluent clients really want? Klaus offered what he has learned from his experience:

  • Trust — It’s important to develop a level of trust and discretion.
  • Make things easy for them. Help them make decisions.
  • Have fun. Be professional, but try to keep the mood light to alleviate any tension.
  • Be respectful of their time.
  • Be accountable — Own up to mistakes and present a constructive plan for moving forward.
  • Manage expectations. Try to avoid delays, but notify them right away if a delay appears imminent. Explain the circumstances and adjust the schedule.

Klaus said that there’s a learning curve that only comes with experience. Still, it’s important to develop team members’ skills, especially soft skills like communication, so that they deliver the outstanding level of service highly affluent clients expect.

During their conversation, Gail and Klaus also touched on how his firm markets to highly affluent prospects, creating a balanced project budget, and tips for running a successful firm. For those and more, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, view the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

For more information about Klaus and WRJ Interiors, visit the firm’s website at

For more insights into attracting and maintaining affluent clients, read our Ultimate Guide to Working with Affluent Clients.

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