Are 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.
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:
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.”
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!