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Annual Client Appreciation Events Are Great, But Your Firm Can Do Better!

An annual client appreciation event is great, but…you can do better than that.  Why wait to say thank you once a year?  One of the most important components of your business plan and strategy is to continue to find ways to strengthen client relationships.  Implementing this practice on a daily basis will set your firm apart from the competition and create an experience for your clients that won’t go unnoticed.

Financial advisors know a rule of thumb asserts, “it costs five times as much to attract a new client as it does to keep an existing one”.  A comprehensive marketing plan will include a client a marketing strategy targeted towards existing clients.  The benefits:

  • Foster, strengthen and maintain relationships with your best clients
  • Increase the percentage of wealth you manage for your clients
  • Generate referrals
  • Defend your position with competitors

In our blog, Foster-Strengthen-Maintain-Relationships Through Client Appreciation Events,   https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/foster-strengthen-maintain-relationships-through-client-appreciation-events/  , we reviewed strategies and ideas for holding client appreciation events.  More importantly, let’s not forget the daily acts we can implement in our firms to escalate a continued expression of appreciation for our clients.

Is your firm currently practicing daily and random acts of appreciation with clients?  If not, now is the time to start and if so, how can you take those acts to the next level? 

Implement a client appreciation program by identifying the outcome.

The underlying success of your program hinges on the ability to create an authentic client experience. Client retention starts when your firm recognizes the fact that the client should be acknowledged, thanked and recognized for their loyalty and trust they have placed in your firm.

We all have a natural tendency to take things for granted.  Don’t wait for pivotal moments to appreciate your clients.  By showing daily appreciation to each client that you come in contact with, your firm will stay on the path of acknowledging the benefits each client provides and will cultivate positive thinking in your office.

To have an impact, you and your team must be inspired to say “thank you”, not compelled or with lack of passion.  As you are developing your marketing strategy for 2013, incorporate ways to increase client satisfaction by using gratitude in your firm; e.g implement a Gratitude Project and track your successes.

Ironstone’s Top Ten Ways To-Thank-A Client

  1. Give a proper verbal greeting and farewell.  Use names when you can and ALWAYS thank them for their business.  Greet clients at the door – open the door for them when they leave.
  2. Write a follow up thank you note.  Make sure to hand write the note and let them know you appreciate their business. It provides a personal touch and carries much more meaning than a typed letter.
  3.  Make a phone call.  With technology it is easy to get lazy.  Call clients randomly just to say thank you.
  4. Make clients feel special.  Learn your client’s passions and what makes them excited about life.  People love to engage in conversation about their families, community contributions and their passions.
  5. Give clients a small token.   Have freshly baked cookies in your office or hot chocolate on a cold day.  Clients love token items, stock up on unique gifts that don’t cost a fortune- firm branded pens, pocket calendars, pencils, etc.
  6. Let them know they made your day.  Face it, clients are our bottom line-appreciate any small thing about them each time you see them- and thank them.  Tell them-“Thank you for making my day!”
  7. Introduce your clients.  Give your clients a tour of your office.  Introduce them to other staff.  It will give them an inside look at the operations of your firm and establish connections with other team members.
  8. Host small “fun days”.   Pick a day a month and declare it, “I’m Going To WOW My Clients Day.”  You can choose different themes and plan accordingly.  Keep it simple and fun – your clients won’t forget it and will probably share it with their friends.  (Best practice idea; take a picture of your clients and mail it to them in a few days with a thank you note)
  9. Acknowledge their comments or suggestions.  Let them know how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness and contributions.  Call them or write to them if you implement a suggestion they have shared.   What a great way to say thank you!
  10. Celebrate Life.  Call clients or invite them to lunch or coffee on special occasions; birthday’s, anniversary’s, retirement, etc.

Insist that your team start practicing the art of gratitude.  Be proactive as life happens rather than reactive when it may be too late.  To remain in a client’s mind, your firm needs to be “in front of them” as often as possible.  Your clients are giving you lots of opportunities to stay in their minds – let them know you appreciate them!

“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We are curious!!  What do you do at your firm to show appreciation to your clients?  Let us know!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

 

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:


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Foster, Strengthen & Maintain Relationships Through Client Appreciation Events

Give your clients a reason to be loyal! Hosting client events are an integral part of your overall business strategy and comprehensive marketing plan. Taking the time and effort to plan targeted events will:

• help you foster, strengthen and maintain relationships with your best clients
• increase the percentage of wealth you manage for your clients
• generate referrals
• defend your position with competitors

Most advisors will agree that there is no better compliment than to receive a spontaneous referral. Incorporate a strategy in your marketing plan to generate quality referrals and networking opportunities through client appreciation events. When this strategy is integrated, advisors must commit to a specified amount of face time for client relationships to develop.
Be proactive and consider incorporating no less than 4 events each year. Plan a balanced mix of educational and social events. Social events can be planned for select groups of clients who share similar passions or consider hosting a large all-encompassing event.

Establish The Goal Of Your Event
Consider the goal of your event before you begin the planning process. Are you interested in connecting with a smaller group of people on a more personal basis or do you want to touch all of your clients? Your answer will determine the size and theme of your event.

Are Your Events Boring?
If you are finding that clients are not attending your events and not bringing guests, most often the reason is because your event is boring. Work towards success and make the engagement worthwhile so that you capture the interests of your clients. Learn the passions and interests of your clients and build events that will spur their interest.

Make Your Event Easy To Attend
Put extra effort in planning your event so that guests arriving feel welcome and comfortable from the time they arrive! Consider issues like transportation, parking, and a central location where your firm will greet and register your guests.

Ironstone offers an event planning checklist along with an event planning idea list to make your client appreciation events easy for you to plan.

Client Appreciation Event Ideas
• Open House
• Holiday Parties
• Gardening Classes
• Cooking Classes
• Movie Events
• Yoga Instruction
• Golf Instruction
• Retirement Parties
• Dance Instruction
• Financial Education Related Events
• Entertainment Events-dinner theater, comedy or magic show, fashion show
• Food, Drink & Tasting Events
• Charity Events
• Art Events
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Keep an open mind and hone in on the passions of your clients.

Keys to Success
The success of your event will depend on your understanding of your objectives and how well you know your clients and their personal preferences. Be sure to address the following  key areas:
Define your objectives. What do you hope to accomplish (referrals, good will, etc.)?
• Choose the right event. What event will draw clients?
• Invite the right clients. Who should be invited (for smaller events) and how will you get them there?
• Pay attention to details. What needs to be planned to execute the event flawlessly?
• Convey your appreciation. What do you need to say to make your clients feel truly valued and want to tell their network about your firm?

And finally, DO NOT forget to follow up! Make it standard procedure to follow up with clients who attended and have written process for how and when the follow up will take place.

Ironstone can assist you in developing successful client appreciation events. We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel in achieving the results your desire. Through our experience, there are vital steps in the event process that get overlooked.  Download our event planning checklist – 5.17.12Event Checklist

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your Client Appreciation Events.  We want to hear from you!  Share your best ideas here!  What events has your firm hosted that produced the best results?  We always love hearing from you!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

• Strategic Planning
• Business Development
• Operational Effectiveness
• The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series: The Human Element-Team Development
• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Follow us on twitter @ https://twitter.com/#!/AndreaSchlapia
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• Connect with us on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=29647364&trk=tab_pro