One of the most successful strategies for giving clients a reason to immediately refer is an event we call, “Don’t Miss the Boat.” It’s similar to a client appreciation event, but the only people invited are those clients that have already referred others to your firm.
To start, set the date for the event and begin telling clients about it at least three months before the event. Get them excited! Send out a letter, also announce it through an email, and talk about it when you see clients. Have your staff talk about it on the phone to clients too.
How you describe this event is critical. For instance… ”We're doing this big event on May 15th on the Detroit Star, that dinner cruise boat on the Detroit River. It's going to be a gala event with music and dinner and dancing. You and your wife can get all dressed up! But, don't miss the boat; because the only people we're inviting are those that have referred clients to us by the event date."
This event gives clients an immediate incentive to think of someone. Yes, it may be a little gimmicky and you may think your wealthy clients may not go for this. BUT, we’ve never seen this strategy fail. It has consistently produced referrals of 40 or more per event – even from high net worth individuals!
This is a contrarian event. It is not the typical “bring a friend to introduce to us” event. It is different. And, it works!