One of the best ways to grow your financial advisory business is through your existing client base in the form of referrals. Client appreciation events go hand-in-hand as it’s a chance to strengthen your relationships and meet more clients and their network in person.
They are also a great way of connecting with your clients on a personal level to say ‘Thank You’ for their business. These events create the perfect opportunity for generating referral business from your most loyal customer base, if you throw a fun and enjoyable event where everyone can bring family and friends! Read on for some key tips on making the event a success, including selecting the right type of event for your client demographics.
Let’s start with some best practices on making your client appreciation event a success:
Make it an open invitation! This is a big one. Being able (and encouraged) to bring your family, a significant other, or a friend makes the event more comfortable and ensures that those with children don’t need to find a sitter. PLUS the guests are the extensions of your target market and potential new leads! People buy and work with those they like and trust, so this is your chance to grow your network.
Don’t use the event to sell! While you will be meeting new people and handing out business cards, this is not the time to sell your services; rather focus on getting to know people and show a more personal side of yourself. That being said, ensure you do have plenty of business cards on hand and leave a stack in a visible place.
Mingle, mingle, mingle! Take the time to say hello to everyone and thank them for coming; including your clients and their guests. Don’t spend too much time with one person and make people feel good for attending. Back to our first point, there are potential leads in the mix so ensure you’re spending the time mingling.
Know your audience! The key to throwing a successful event is considering your clients’ demographics closely, including what type of activities or hobbies they may enjoy. Consider your clients’ life situation when planning what type of event to throw; are they mostly young families or close to retirement? Would they appreciate an event they can bring their children to? Do a large number of them have similar hobbies like golfing or skiing?
Here are 6 ideas for your next client appreciation event:
Ice Skating Day - A great winter activity! Serve hot chocolate, apple cider, and festive sweets before and during the event. Keep in mind this is a good option for a more active demographic. Some skating rinks have party rooms available so utilize them as a place for mingling as it may be challenging while skating.
Golf Clinic - Knowing your client’s hobbies is key in organizing a specialized event like this one. But it's unique and sure to impress! You may also consider hosting a golf tournament if you know your client base well.
BBQ & Ice Cream - Always a favorite summertime activity that can be fun for the whole family. You can tailor this event to a client base with or without children. For those with children, selecting a location close to a playground or even renting a bouncy castle keeps the kids entertained and frees up the adults to socialize with one another.
Movie Night - Rent out the entire theater and provide free popcorn, candy, hot dogs, or other snacks and drinks available. Select an appropriate movie that can be enjoyed by all ages. Make sure there is some time available for mingling before the movie starts so you have the chance to say hello to all clients as well as their guests.
Dinner & Wine Tasting Evening - Plan a classy and fun evening to impress your high net-worth clients. Best to keep this type of event intimate so everyone can socialize (also keeps it within a reasonable budget). If the group is small enough, consider renting a limo to pick up and drop off your party. Small details make the difference!
Sports Event - Another great event for clients of all ages and one that can be tailored to your clients' demographics. Reserve a section in the stadium and watch your local team while providing refreshments. If you choose your event wisely, this is a hard one to refuse!
Some general event planning rules also apply; ensure that you plan well in advance (8 weeks at least) so that you have time to secure a location, send out invites in a timely manner, and have the chance to remind and confirm with all your clients.
Mention your event a couple of times in addition to the invites; for example a quick reminder at the end of client meetings or include a note in your email signature leading up to the event. The best way to show you care about each client's attendance is pick up the phone and give them a call to check that they received their invite and confirm they can make it.
We hope you're feeling inspired to plan your own client appreciation event and secure more referrals for your financial advisory business in 2020!
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