By: Abby Salameh, Chief Marketing Officer
Published May 30, 2018
Hosting successful client events can turn your clients into raving fans of your advisory practice. It can also be the pathway for introductions to friends and family members. How hard could it be to throw a successful event? The art of mastering these events takes serious skill to service your existing clients well while prospecting for new clients; they’re two completely different mindsets. According to one study done by The Horse’s Mouth, 46% of top advisors have hosted at least 20 client events, and yet only 16% of all advisors have hosted any events at all. According to the same study, only 10% of advisors who host client events said that they translated to new introductions and ultimately new business. So, how can you be certain your event strategy will be successful? Here are the secrets to hosting client events that yield results.
Solicit Feedback from Your Clients
While it sounds easy enough, often times advisors do not think to ask their clients what they would like to do and instead just plan the event they think will be well received. Failing to get client input means advisors run the risk of an event that simply doesn’t resonate with their audience. Perhaps the event is at the wrong time of the day, or a sporting event/cooking event/movie event/BBQ is not well received by the majority. Take the time to send out a quick survey to your clients explaining how much you appreciate them and let them know you would like to host an event. Ask them for input on specific ideas and dates. This way, you show you actually care about what is interesting to them and you have some good data to validate your choice of event and venue.
This also sounds like it should be intuitive, but unless you are using a software platform that allows for easy execution of your invitations and tracking of your responses, chances are you are opening yourself up to human error. There are many solutions out there that can easily execute an event campaign like this. For instance, PAG uses Constant Contact. It is a simple and logical administrative system that allows us to customize our event landing page, create email invitations, track open and click-through-rates as well as RSVPs. This allows us to view who actually opened the invitation and who did not. It also offers the ability for your client to forward the invitation to others if you are seeking additional guests (warm introductions).
Be Sincere in Your Approach to Ask for Introductions
Your clients want honesty. If part of your intention is to ask them to bring a friend or family member, be upfront about it in your invitation. There is no harm in telling your clients that you are looking to grow your practice and as such, you would appreciate it if they invited a friend or family member to come along.
Just as it is crucial to gather input prior to the event, it is equally as important to follow up after. Send a quick survey to attendees of the event asking them if they enjoyed themselves. Ask them if they would recommend the event to a friend and if they would consider coming again next year. Find out if there is anything they would like to see done differently. Again, applications like Constant Contact make it very easy to send a post-event survey and even have prepopulated questions to get your creative juices flowing.
If you are one of the 84% of advisors who do not host client appreciation events, now is the time to try it. With the weather finally getting nicer, there is no shortage of fun things to do to let your clients know you appreciate their business. Wine tastings, cookouts, partnering with a local business as a guest speaker…the options are endless! So, send that survey out and start planning. You still have 6 months to reach those new client/asset growth goals for the year. What are you waiting for?