How Financial Advisors Can Get Clients to Bring Friends to Client Appreciation Events

client-eventsAre Client Appreciation Events one of your business growth strategies? If so, are you encouraging clients to bring friends so that you can widen your circle of influence? I often find that Financial Advisors who hold events frequently lack the strategies and tactics to encourage the “bring a friend” strategy.

Is it OK to just have clients and not their friends at your events? Well, of course. But why miss a chance to meet new people who can be added to your Warm Marketing List? Your clients’ friends are already aware of who you are and what you do, so why not encourage new people to get to know you.

Today we will cover HOW you can focus on getting more attendees to your event. If you don’t currently hold Client Appreciation Events, learn more about the types of events you can hold here.

Holding an event means quite a bit of planning.

1.You’ll need to figure out what kind of event would work well for your promotional budget and your growth goals.

2.Find a place to hold the event.

3.Decide the date that will give you enough time to plan ahead and promote the event.

4.Decide food budget.

5.Decide entertainment.

6.Decide who to invite. Do you want to invite your entire client list or just a few key couples from your “A” list?

 

After planning the above, then it’s time to work on the tactics to get more attendance. There are two ways to get more attendees to your events: 1.Use professionally designed and printed invitations, and 2. Use phone scripts.

 

1.Client Appreciation Printed Invitation

With all the work and money going into planning the event, my advice is to use a printed invitation to get attention for the event. Think about all the weddings you’ve attended. A professionally designed invitation gives a certain cache to the event, but not only that, it allows you to add a call to action to bring a friend. In fact, the design should be boldly and visually focused on encouraging friends like this:

“Please bring a friend!”

“Bring your best friends!”

“Door prizes for bringing a friend”

 

A printed invitation is important because it makes the event more concrete and it gives a visual reminder of how much fun the event is going to be. While it’s important to have your invitation custom designed, here are a few visual ideas:

Example 1: http://www.downloadandprint.com/templates/wine-tasting-invitation/

Example 2: https://www.greetingsisland.com/preview/invitations/simple-celebration/625-6967

Example 3: https://www.greetingsisland.com/invitations/party/dinner-party

 

2.Phone Calls Scripts

There’s nothing more powerful than picking up the phone and talking to your desired attendees about bringing a friend to your event. If you use a printed invitation and a personal phone call, you may increase your guest attendance by 100%, in my experience.

Phone call #1

Extend the invitation strategically – the Financial Advisor is the best person for this job

When making this personal call to your client, it’s important that you stress the following:

A*Exclusivity – this event is for your close clients

B*It’s all fun – no business (if this is true of course)

C*Ask for what you want. Here are three ways to say it:

“I’m interested in meeting new influential people. Could you bring a friend?”

“This event is going to be all fun, no business, and we’ve found that our clients have a better time if they bring someone they enjoy spending time with. Who would you like to bring?”

“Which one of your friends would you have fun with and whom you would like me to meet?”

Accountability – add an element of accountability to your phone call by saying “We will be calling to confirm our guest list on DATE.”

Phone Call – Leaving a voice mail message

This is a message you can leave on your clients’ voicemail as part of your marketing plan for marketing your events.

“I’m calling to extend a personal invitation to our EVENT on DATE and TIME. We’ll have complimentary food and drinks. Our entertainment is X and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Also, please bring a friend who you think will have a good time. We will be calling to confirm our guest list on DATE.”

Phone call #2

Follow up with your clients before confirming your guest list.

When calling your clients to remind them about your event, start with the expectation that they will bring someone. This works best when you know you will get your client on the phone and not their voicemail.

“We’d like to see you at our event and we have a little extra space. Is there someone you’d like to bring with you? Well, even if you can’t think of anyone right now, I’ll save a spot for your guest. Just let us know ahead of time who you’re bringing and I’ll update the guest list.”

 

Conclusion

Events can be fun for you and your clients if you plan ahead, use creativity in your ideas, and focus on getting your clients to bring a friend. Personal introductions are far more likely to turn into new business than other types of marketing strategies. Just think how your year will end if you plan on having fun and meeting new people!

 

Financial Advisor Phone Script to Meet With Centers of Influence for Coffee

value skillsI’ve noticed over the years that Financial Advisors rarely cultivate relationships with Centers of Influence (COI). Often it’s because they don’t think about business development or they may not be concerned about growing their business or prospecting for new clients.

Other times it could be that they just don’t consider how important it is to foster relationships with professionals who could help them and vice versa. Still yet, they could be focused on other issues and it hasn’t occurred to them that they could focus on this marketing strategy.

When advisors hire me, they become more focused on their business and on cultivating relationships with other professionals, all of which can be rewarding. But they generally need help in how to approach Centers of Influence.

This post offers a few good tips on a script to help you approach potential Centers of Influence to meet and discuss your businesses,

Who makes a good referral partner?

While you should be networking and meeting all types of new people to spread the word about your practice, there are certain professions that are better for you to focus on approaching.

 

Possible Centers Of Influence:

  • CPA or accountant
  • Estate Planning Attorney
  • Mortgage broker
  • P&C agent
  • Realtor
  • Long Term Care or disability (if you don’t provide this)
  • Business consultants, especially those that focus on helping in the sale of a business

 

Get ready to be uncomfortable!

Reaching out to Centers of Influence does take a little bit of getting out of your comfort zone as well as some ingenuity. After all, how should you approach potential referral partners? Will they be receptive to meeting with you?

The truth is that some will not be interested simply because they are not entrepreneurial or they are “given” their leads by their company or another established advisor.

 

How to approach COI’s: Phone script to set up coffees with COI’s

(How you could start out)

“Hello, we met at X…we were introduced by X”

“We haven’t seen each other in a while…”

“I’m calling to touch base with you and see how you’re doing. How is life? How is business? (Say something here that is specific to what you know about them. A hobby they like, food they enjoy, friends/associates you have in common – build rapport).”

“Well, the reason for my call is that I’m putting together a group of expert professionals that I can refer my clients to and I thought of you. I wonder if you’d like to meet for coffee so that we can see if there are ways we can help each other.”

Things to think about:

Two-way street referrals/reciprocal referrals – ALWAYS start off with establishing boundaries that you are looking for reciprocal referrals.

Use these 11 words to get more reciprocal referrals

You must show that you are an experienced advisor who provides a service experience that sets you above other advisors

 

Think about your practice and imagine what it would be like if you had more professionals to refer your clients to in case they need specific services. Think about and imagine what it would be like to receive regular referrals from other professional advisors. Let this motivate you to take action this year!

 

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