We all know that the number one most effective way to gain new clients [the ideal ones who will take advice and pay the fees], is those that are referred/introduced through others. There are literally hundreds of tactical ways to achieve that. One of the oldest and yes, still relevant today, is hosting events. Events that clients will want to come along to and want to bring a friend or family member too.
I’m not talking about seminars or investment update events [which are still very relevant], but events that allow you to socialise and show people how you build relationships, who you are and how your existing clients enjoy your company. Why? Because when someone wants to work with a Financial Adviser and they are looking for the right person nine times out of ten, they choose the adviser based on their personality.
When I talk to clients of Financial Advisers, they tell me that the number one reason they chose their adviser is because ‘He/she was really nice, they listened, and we felt comfortable with them’.
The type of events that work really well, and of course it depends on who your clients are, sporting events, theatre, food/wine/cheese/chocolate appreciation, personal pampering. I would suggest aiming for small intimate groups because they are easy to organise and great for others to meet new people.
The right process
As they say, ‘The devil is in the detail!’ so how you go about organising and positioning your event is essential because the goal is to get new people for you to meet and chat with rather than just your existing clients. That said, client appreciation events are a must – don’t forget to say thank you!
Call – Email – Call – Thank you
The first thing to do is to decide which clients you believe know your ideal client. Perhaps they’ve spoken about a family member or work with people that you think could be suitable.
Call them and let them know about this exclusive event. I would strongly recommend you the adviser calls rather than someone else – the personal touch makes people feel special. Let them know that you are calling them to save the date for let’s say a cheese and wine event [as an example only!]. Let them know that many of your clients like to introduce others to your business because they believe they could also benefit from your advice. Explain that an excellent way to do this is to have an event; something a bit different. Stress that it’s a social event and you won’t be talking all things financial advice; that can be done at a later date. This is an event for people to get to know you and others.
Then talk about the event – venue, what it is etc. etc.
Ask them if they would be available on that date and if they believe they have someone who would also be interested in coming along. Then let them know you’ll email the invitation out within 48 hours.
If they don’t know anyone that’s fine, you can always catch up with them [the client] for a coffee or whatever is suitable if required.
I’ve found that using an online platform, for example, Eventbrite can be a great way to invite clients because they automatically get a reminder about your event, and it goes into their diary.
Twenty-four hours before the event, email your clients to say that you are looking forward to seeing them and perhaps share the parking details or something pertinent to the event.
After the event, I would strongly suggest that you again call your client and thank them for coming along and for bringing whoever it was with them.
I know that for many Advisers they are focusing on education, technology, compliance and all other impending issues that the industry faces but I also know that our clients and the growth of the business are just as important. Proven marketing strategies like this one work. It doesn’t take as much effort as you think, and clients and their friends appreciate it.
If you have any questions or need any help organising your next client and friend event, please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org