CPR for your client appreciation program
Here’s how Sam went from struggling to thriving by improving his client appreciation program.
Sam had embraced the strategy of growing his practice by giving events. He had heard about how other advisors use client appreciation prospecting and were very successful.
Only trouble was, Sam was struggling. He was just getting by with a five figure income.
Attendance at his client appreciation events were low and most did not bring a friend. What was wrong?
What was wrong was Sam did not have much of a plan other than to hold a client appreciation luncheon at a local restaurant and ask his clients to bring their friends. It didn’t help that the restaurant was mediocre and chosen because it was a low-cost option.
What else was wrong was Sam’s client event program was not based on sound marketing principles. Sam needed a clear target market. He needed to find out specifically what his market wanted. He needed to give that to them.
The first thing Sam and I did was identify his audience. Sam had been using an outdated approach. He lumped all his clients together and tried to host a big event and invite all his clients and prospects.
As a result, none of his clients felt special. Their only motivation was to get a mediocre free lunch. Few came.
Sam changed that by dividing his clients into segments. He grouped them into the same profession at a similar stage of life. That way he could cater to their desires and interests. This would make his events more attractive and desirable.
The second marketing principle we used was to do some marketing research. Sam asked his clients what they wanted. He learned what events would get them excited.
Some wanted a golf outing. Others would love to go to a five star restaurant, etc.
This hit Sam’s budget harder, but was doable because he was inviting small segments and holding smaller events. Also, his return on investment would be higher.
He also asked what educational events would interest them. He held smaller educational events targeted to each segment. This worked much better than his former “one-size-fits-all” approach. More prospects attended these events and became interested in his services.
Furthermore, at a small event Sam was able to spend more quality time with his clients to show his appreciation.
Instead of asking to bring a friend, Sam asked his clients to bring a specific guest. Sam would call a client and say he would love to have him/her bring so-and-so as a guest. Sam had to do a little research to find out who he should ask for, but it was well worth it. So instead of the old way of suggesting they bring any guest, Sam asked them to bring a specific person.
Use the Phone
Now, before the event, Sam called everyone on the invitation list. He let them know he had a spot reserved for them and wanted to confirm their attendance. This tactic dramatically improved attendance.
Sam also called each attendee after the event to thank them for their loyalty.
He asked new prospects how they liked the event and their suggestions for improvement. He asked what questions they had about their finances and offered to answer them over coffee or lunch. It was easier for the prospect to accept this casual setting instead of an appointment at Sam’s office. The next step was a meeting at Sam’s office for a sales interview.
Results and Summary
Sam found his new approach to Client Appreciation Events worked much better. And the more he did it, the more skillful he became and the better the results. He is now on track for a six-figure income and expects his practice to continue to grow. Furthermore, what used to be a chore has become fun.
So if you’re running a client appreciation program and you’re struggling, you made a good choice. You just need to give it some CPR as described in this article.
Feel free to ask me any questions.