What is more effective: running a client seminar with 100 guests, or running 5 client events of only a dozen or so at a time?
Research suggests that the best financial advisers tend to run smaller and more intimate client appreciation events, and do them regularly.
The best advisers roll out the red carpet treatment.
Of course, the “best advisers” in this context just refers to those advisers who are doing way more business and earning way more money than the average for the industry.
The most successful advisers concentrate their efforts on far more intimate marketing events. They are rolling out the red carpet – but it is a small carpet that doesn’t hold large crowds. The most successful advisers are hosting smaller groups of people, where the adviser can spend more time in a slightly more relaxed and approachable manner, just engaging and getting to know each other.
The reasons why these are far more effective are reasonably obvious – but some of the implications of marketing this way are not so obvious. Clients feel better about smaller events where they are receiving an appropriate level of engagement, interest and attention – without being the entire focus of the the attention 100% of the time. Naturally if people feel better and more at ease, then the odds are improved on them liking and knowing and trusting the adviser moreso as well.
Smaller client appreciation events do not have to be extravagant or expensive functions either. Relatively simple and low key is actually better. Wine & cheese gatherings…perhaps canapés and a few (moderate!) after work cocktails…these are relaxing and enjoyable.
The implications of using this type of approach in your marketing though can be quite profound. The best advisers build better and more sustainable professional referral networks from marketing this way. They obtain more and better referrals from clients. They also happen to be able to get clients to bring along other potential clients to these functions…so rather than just getting referrals from happy clients (which is great in itself!), they generate new business from having their clients personally introduce them to other prospective new clients – who have the opportunity to appraise the adviser in an environment where they do not feel under any pressure.
If you are considering hosting some smaller and more intimate client events, here are a few handy tips:
- Keep it low key, and no blatant advertisements. Run a social event where people can relax and get to know each other a little better.
- Go off-site. Don’t run them in the office – nobody actually enjoys having a decent pinot at a photocopier.
- Personalize all invitations. I’m not talking about just “using first names in the email” here….ring people and talk to them. Follow that up with quality personalized written invitations.
- It is appropriate to have a little entertainment or a speaker. Keep it short; keep it light hearted; make it entertaining or informative. Don’t make it a speaker from “financial services”! It is far more interesting to have someone talk about how to putt properly…or putting together easy-peasy menu’s for their dinner parties….or talking about wines…
- Put a time limit on it. You are not throwing a party….a couple of hours is plenty most times. Remember: always leave the audience wanting more, so don’t over do it on the hosting.
Whatever you do though, make it a quality event. A red carpet event doesn’t have to be large. But is should have good food, good drink, and good company…
These are the very things that make life enjoyable and worth living. Do it right and your clients will be including you in their list of good people worth talking to because you make them feel special and valued. THAT is the foundation of the best marketing of all…
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