A Client Event Idea

This blog is the follow up that I promised in Monday’s blog, where I outlined the four fatal errors that financial advisors make as it relates to growing their business.

To recap: They don’t appreciate how the business is always changing, so they react to change instead of leading it. Secondly, as a consequence, they fail to create something remarkable that is worth talking about. Third, they don’t narrowcast enough. And lastly, they think like marketers (who sell stuff) instead of humans who do work that delights, impresses and engages.

I promised I’d give you a client event idea that would help you avoid these four fatal errors and here it is. What I want you to keep in mind is that in each of these examples, I’m trying to not only entertain someone, I’m also trying to educate them. I want them to learn and be transformed whenever they are with me.

Invite a specific group of clients to join you for a night out, and take them to an Escape Room (also called an Escape House) followed by the cheapest, most casual and easy dinner you can imagine. Remember to be very specific about your invitees. For this one, clients who have additional assets held at outside institutions make a lot of sense.

During dinner when you’re all reflecting about how much fun you had at the Escape Room, tell your clients why you brought them there, which was to have fun, but also make a point about what role you see yourself playing in your clients’ lives.

“If we were to walk back into the Escape House right now having already solved it, everything that seemed so complicated would now seem so obvious. We’d even wonder how we didn’t figure it out faster the first time. But the first time, even though everything we needed to know was right in front of us, we didn’t know how to interpret it and put the information together to figure out the problem. It was almost overwhelming. My job, my responsibility to you as your trusted advisor and advocate, is to interpret information, and guide you out of the proverbial Escape House.” 

Most Escape Rooms will hold between 7 – 10 people. Perfect for some ideal clients.

Would I allow people to bring a guest? Yes, if possible and only if they asked. Would I ask them to bring a guest? No. This is for clients. Besides, if you keep hosting cool events that help people learn and transform, they’ll send you referrals.

Idea #2. I’m on a roll … I figure I’ve come this far, why stop now?

What I’ve learned.

Esquire magazine used to run a monthly feature called What I’ve Learned, where they would start a sentence, “When I was in school ….” and whomever they were featuring that month would finish the sentence. Years ago that feature gave me this great idea.

Your clients and the people you know are probably the most interesting speakers you could pick for an event. What if you invited a handful of very specific clients out to lunch? Remember, we have to be as niche-minded as possible, so how about business owners?

Invite these business owners to join you for lunch, and then introduce them to your speaker who is either another business owner whom you may work with, or just a business owner whom you admire and respect. Ask this speaker to share three things that they have learned and are willing to share with a few other business owners over a casual lunch.

There is a business in my town that I just started going to, although I have been aware of the owner for a long time. The Merry Dairy started as a roving frozen custard truck, and they have since taken over an old corner store near-enough to my house. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I really admire and respect the woman who owns the place, even though I don’t know her. She is a fellow entrepreneur, fought the good fight and then as far as I’m concerned took over and made beautiful an otherwise neglected bit of real estate, turning it into something lovely. She gave this to the neighborhood. She’d be a great person to meet and learn from. You must have someone like this you can think of. You are not limited to business owners; use your imagination.

Whom are you connecting?

When you think about events – and doing something remarkable, and generous and maybe even a little risky, as all new good ideas seem – the question to ask yourself is ‘Whom am I connecting?’

Bringing clients together, sharing experiences, and connecting them to each other is really smart marketing. Imagine if two of your clients become friends, and someone asks them how they know each other? We went to a cool event. Memories are priceless.

Do something really remarkable for a very specific group of people that teaches and transforms them and is also fun and memorable. Add soda water and limes and presto, you have yourself a cocktail. I mean client event.


Comments (2)

Hi Dennis, really good idea and thanks for sharing.

Thank you for saying so Rick. Here is another one for you. I have a client who is a passionate gardener, twice every year she has a client event in her own yard on gardening – I don’t know if you are, or know a gardener, but people who are into it are as passionate as you can imagine. She packs the event twice a year, and ties it to financial planning. In the spring, how to plant, replant, reposition your garden to get the most out of it, and in the fall, how to put it all to bed. She ties the whole thing to financial planning.
Do what you love, and share it.

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