Even though we use social media and digital marketing to connect with clients and prospects, it’s still important for advisors to have face-to-face contact. This doesn’t always require a one-on-one meeting in an office or home setting. Hosting and inviting a group to an appreciation event can help you enhance relationships with clients, meet qualified prospects and network with other professionals who can help promote your business.
Most advisors focus on business development or prospecting events as their primary strategy with seminars as the medium. Seminars can be effective, but they also fail to entice people who want to avoid a sales pitch. Sometimes the right tactic is to invite guests to a casual event where the only agenda is to meet people have a good time.
Producer Larry of Ohio builds strong relationships with clients and his community, but he is also breaking the mold on event marketing. Larry creates a year-long calendar of meaningful gatherings for clients and prospects.
Many of his clients are electrical utility workers, which tend to be a very family-oriented, close-knit group. Embracing his clients’ culture, he has created a number of events that cater to this important sector of his business.
Larry shared some of the events he uses to engage with clients and prospects. While some of these events may not work for your client base, they can provide fresh ideas to help improve your firm’s events.
1. Client Discussion Groups:
Focused on helping people determine the lifestyle they want in their retirement years and how they can achieve it, Larry invites clients to his in-office classroom to share with one another how they are shaping their retirement years.
In this group setting, clients can discuss with other retirees how they’re enjoying vacations, hobbies and spending time with family and friends. A paid facilitator attends the events and helps with the inevitable conversations that arise regarding “now what” topics like working part-time, staying busy and keeping active. Attendees benefit from talking with the facilitator, their peers, family and Larry’s team in a casual setting.
2. Retirement Coaching:
A psychologist is brought in for these twice-yearly events to talk to retirees and those nearing retirement about the psychology of retiring. The sessions are open to clients and their guests, who enjoy food prepared by a professional chef in the office’s modern kitchen.
3. Breakfast with the Boys:
On the last Thursday of the month, Larry treats more than 20 retired electric utility workers to breakfast at a local coffee shop (in a private room cordoned off in the back of the restaurant). Many of the attendees know each other through work and are encouraged to bring friends who are still working in the utility business. Referrals are not requested, but implied.
4. Personal Celebrations:
Reaching retirement is a major milestone, and Larry’s firm helps people celebrate it. Clients can choose between a retirement party at a local winery with 50 of their friends, or a simple gathering with cake in his office if they’re not the party type.
5. Pig Roast:
This utility worker family appreciation event serves as a prospecting tool, garnering an average of 200-300 attendees annually. The event is held on the firm’s back lawn, behind the office building, which has a very homey feel.
6. Clam Bake:
Larry’s firm has hosted this annual client appreciation event for over a decade and now boasts over 400 attendees. It’s held on the back lawn with white-canopied tents in case of rain.
7. Opportunity Fair:
Non-profits are invited to this annual spring event where they can provide information to the community about their organizations and how the people can get involved. Attendees are treated to hot dogs, chips and drinks while they can take advantage of free mini-seminars on Medicare.
8. Shredding Party:
The firm provides a shredding truck at its office and free food to anybody in the community that brings items in for shredding during this one-day event.
Events are a great way to build business and interact with qualified prospects clients, but you must be creative. If you create something unique and compelling, people will not only take notice and participate themselves, they’ll tell others about you and your distinctive approach.
For more client appreciation event ideas that work, contact your CreativeOne sales team at 800.992.2642.
FOR PRODUCER USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 13726 – 2014/9/23