With Independence Day behind us and the dog days of summer ahead, people are eagerly looking forward to getting outside and catching up with family and friends again. In most parts of the country, the pandemic is subsiding, people are getting vaccinated, and the mood is one of optimism and better days to come.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
For many financial practices, the summer months have traditionally been slow. Business-building efforts don’t stop completely, but they take a back seat to many leisurely pursuits. Clients might be away or not interested in meeting, advisers and staff have vacations booked, and the summer days could easily drift away from you. Then September comes, and everyone starts scrambling.
This year, it’s time to change that. By all means, relax, enjoy some time off and focus on your loved ones. But this could also be a great opportunity to plan some exciting events that bring big results. Most people have been cooped up for a year and are ready to get outside and be active again. You know how important it is to communicate and connect with clients personally, and an invitation for something fun could be very appealing to them. In fact, the overwhelming positive response may actually surprise you.
Think about what people might enjoy this summer and see what you could do to reconnect with clients and attract prospects. Research from EY shows that 39% of ultra-high-net-worth clients are looking to switch to a new adviser in the next three years — and hosting a nonbusiness event makes it easy for clients to bring those referral-ready friends along to meet you.
RECONNECTING WITH CLIENTS AND THE COMMUNITY
Here are a few ideas to help you start thinking about your brand, community and firm:
- Host a private event at a drive-in movie theater. This idea might appeal to clients who are still nervous about socializing after COVID-19 but wish to do something fun. Buy popcorn and drinks for everyone, and walk car to car delivering the goodies for an event that everyone will keep talking about. (Be sure you check what movies are playing in advance, so there are no surprises.)
- Schedule a summer safety session, and invite parents and grandparents with young children. A session titled “Keep the Kids Safe this Summer” could attract lots of people. For added outreach, schedule a few guest speakers for the event, like a pediatrician, a lifeguard or a water safety instructor. Take pictures, give small gifts of bubbles or sidewalk chalk, and you’ve got talking points and pictures for your website, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages all summer long.
- If there’s a popular ice cream stand in your area, invite clients to join you on a set date and time, and treat them to the ice cream of their choice. People are always looking for an excuse to get out in the summer, and who can turn down a delicious ice cream cone? You’ll be sponsoring a local business and having fun at the same time.
No matter what event you decide on, remember to take pictures! Photos are incredibly valuable to spread your firm’s name and goodwill in your community. You can post them to social media, send clients their specific photos with a thoughtful note, and create a collage of the event to hang in your reception area. You’ll need to get client approval for picture use, but most clients are happy to give their permission.
Leverage any slow days to plan a memorable event, and make this summer a time to intentionally reconnect with your clients. Talk to your team or schedule time at a staff meeting to brainstorm these ideas, or some of your own, and put the summer to work for you.
Kristine McManus is vice president and chief business development officer at Commonwealth Financial Network.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.