How often do you let your clients know you appreciate them? Well-rounded client appreciation is not accomplished by hosting a once-a-year gala. Rather, carefully plan a process to ensure each client event, large or small, will strengthen your client relationships.
Managing your client’s financial affairs is just a fraction of earning long-term trust and loyalty. By engaging with clients outside of your office, you have an opportunity to show that you value their company and care about them on a deeper level.
Your client appreciation plan should begin with the basics; how your team interacts with clients on a daily basis. Start by assessing daily interactions with clients.
- How do team members answer the phone?
- How are clients greeted when coming to your office?
Your goal is to create a phone call or office visit as another opportunity or “touch point” to strengthen each relationship and make it memorable.
How Often To Schedule Events
Host a variety of events each year for your clients. Plan educational, mini-appreciation events or exclusive client events, and an annual gala.
- Schedule five to six events per year
- Space events at least 60 days apart
Keep in mind, the goal of your client appreciation events is to thank your clients for the trust they have placed in you, while providing them with an opportunity to introduce you to family and friends.
This is a great opportunity to make new connections and become acquainted to the next generation of families you are serving. Done correctly, appreciation events can provide you with new referrals and growth for your firm. Here are some best practices of advisors who are gaining new prospects and clients through events:
- Provide clients with an annual event calendar. This gives your clients a clear picture of the events your firm is hosting each year.
- Hand out magnetic postcards to promote your event. A magnetic postcard won’t get lost in a pile of mail. Hand out postcards five to six weeks prior to your event when clients come to the office for an appointment. Give them a few extra to pass along to family and friends.
- Email a “save-the-date” message to clients and prospects six to eight weeks prior to your event.
- Mail invitations four weeks prior to your event.
- Team up with strategic alliances. Provide your strategic alliance partners with postcards and invitations to share with their clients.
- Call clients that have not responded to your invitation to verify their attendance and ask who will be joining them.
Planning events for your clients should be fun and allow an opportunity for all team members to be involved. Here are a few of our favorite events; consider surveying your clients to see what sparks their interest.
- Meet & Greet: Use this event specifically for clients to bring guests/new introductions.
- Welcome Event for New Clients: Also invite the clients that provided you with the referral.
- Passion or Hobby Events: Segment your clients based on hobbies, interests, and organizations to determine which venues your clients are likely to show interest.
- Food-bank Fundraiser: Combine this event with a holiday cocktail party and donate to disadvantaged families during the holidays.
- Milestone Celebrations: Celebrate retirements, anniversaries, and milestone birthdays by treating clients to an event at their favorite restaurant with their family and friends.
- Family Zoo Outing
- Picnic In The Park
- Chocolate Tasting
- Riverboat Cruise
- Family Event/Amusement Park or Water Park
Client appreciation events can serve a twofold purpose; strengthen existing relationships and provide an opportunity to interact with qualified prospective clients. Make sure your events are unique so your guests will not only take notice but will tell others about you and your extraordinary approach.
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