Come Together – A step-by-step process for planning Successful Client/Prospecting Events
Event organization is not easy – this is why there are professionals that have made careers out of it. If you plan events properly, prospect and client events can turn into cash cows for your practice. Recently, I was particularly impressed with one of my Advisor client’s success rate on seminars and events and I decided to interview him about his step-by-step process.
The first thing he said was to give yourself plenty of time for the planning and implementation – ten weeks to be safe. Below is a four step process to help you plan a prosperous event, which I hope you will find helpful. Thank you Mr. Advisor (you know who you are) for sharing your wealth of experience in this regard.
STEP ONE – What’s in it for your clients : Selecting an intriguing and helpful topic
At this phase, the Advisor told me that he put himself into his clients’ heads. What would they find topical? What would compel them to travel to an event and spend precious time listening? One way to find out is to actually ask your clients. Let them know that although you can communicate via phone, e-mail and in person, you periodically want to host events so that you can discuss a topical subject that will benefit them. It also gives them a way to interact with like-minded people and even invite associates, friends and family (more on this approach later).
He strongly recommended getting a guest speaker. This could mean inviting one of your firm’s analysts for a market dissection or even partnering with a fund company and asking one of their Portfolio Managers to share their expertise. In this case you must be careful to keep the topics focused on benefits to your clients such as the discipline it takes to achieve financial success, the thought process behind the investments and reasons why so many people fail.
STEP TWO – Select a time, day and venue
Decide if you want to host the event during a week or on a weekend and whether you want to provide breakfast, lunch or dinner. For the Advisor I spoke with, late afternoon mid-week worked best. The best venue he hosted was at a golf & country club and he served finger foods and beverages, which are affordably priced. You should also make sure your event is accessible by public transportation and has parking. Whatever venue you decide – ensure to visit, taste the food and experience the service in advance. REMEMBER – if the food is terrible with disappointing service – this is a direct reflection upon you. Make sure your speaker is available on your close date.
STEP THREE – Designing the Invitation
Now is the time to get your marketing hat on and create a professional and exciting invitation. Do not focus on the speaker’s background, but focus on what your clients will learn from the speaker by attending. Always remember that your compliance department has to approve the document and, if a fund company is involved, their compliance will have to review it and sign off as well. Be sure to include an RSVP deadline date and let them know you will be following up with a personal phone call. The Advisor said he got more people to attend when he actually mailed the invitation.
STEP FOUR – Follow up
Everyone requires a personal phone call to follow up whether you have sent an e-mail or mailed a hard copy of the invitation. At this time, the Advisor took an opportunity to extend a request for his clients to invite a friend, colleague or family member. The Advisor explained that he is available to help because he is looking to take on a select number of new clients. He assured his existing clients that any new potential clients would not compromise the work he does for them.
Once clients have registered, check in periodically to give them extra minor details to entice them to actually attend. Sometimes, at the last minute, clients think “he won’t miss me if I change my mind and choose not to attend.” This is why you MUST confirm the day before – letting clients know the venue is set, speakers are booked and food has been ordered.
You are now ready to welcome everyone, introduce your speakers and enjoy the event you have chosen to host!
I want to thank our valued Advisors for taking the time to discuss this topic with me and sharing pictures of their successful events!
And please contact us if you would like us to speak at one of your upcoming events.
Note: There is a song title in this blog post. Did you find it?
About Jennifer Kuta
For more than 25 years, I have worked with Advisors helping them build their businesses. My commitment to you is to partner with you in your practice and offer solutions to help build your business.
The contents of this blog are the personal views of the author and not necessarily the views of Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. The contents are provided as general in nature and should not be relied upon nor construed to be the rendering of advice. Readers should consult with their own compliance/legal advisors for advice on their specific circumstances before taking any action as sales and prospecting activities are subject to regulatory oversight.