For the past 40 years, not a day goes by from the first day of Q4 until mid-December that I’m not asked a version of, “What do elite advisors do for their clients over the holidays?” These questions always prompt a brief discussion which typically includes a handful of examples and concludes with, “There is no one best practice.”
That said, I do think it might be helpful to share some examples that are simple, inexpensive, and replicable (some more than others).
The following are 10 Ideas for Crushing the Holiday Season. All you need to do is take one or two tips, or one or two ideas these tips might have inspired, and run with it to take full advantage of the upcoming holiday season. Imagine these as ten tips that are just the “tip” of the iceberg.
- Lunch — A social lunch with an affluent client is the #1 activity for generating new affluent clients. It’s here where good will and the holiday spirit dominate, making it natural for clients to help you source names — you should be working with my sister Sally — and you’ll find yourself uncovering names of potential prospects during natural conversation. That’s in addition to all the good feelings you’ve generated during lunch.
- Small Social Events – Now that we’re able host events (post-pandemic fingers crossed), a series of small social events that can range from wine tastings to danish and coffee will be well received. You can also provide a small gift for clients, have photos taken to be framed and sent as a follow-up, or simply have them taken at the event. However, you’ll be remiss if you don’t follow-up. The number of these smaller social events you host will be determined by the number of affluent clients.
- Santa for Kids — Whether it’s grandchildren, children of your clients, or children of your affluent clients’ friends, this event has great value. It’s a nice holiday gesture for clients, a way to meet extended family members (grandparents) and potential prospects (friends of clients), plus a photo opportunity that will serve as a natural follow-up.
- Holiday Gift Baskets — ‘Tis the season to be jolly and a holiday gift basket does just that. Regardless of what’s in the basket, it typically generates buzz. Spend a little more than usual on whatever basket you select. Also, make certain to know the particulars of your clients, for example — don’t send wine to someone who doesn’t drink alcohol or meat products to a vegetarian. We’ve seen both happen and it’s an impersonal blunder you do not want to make around the holidays.
- Holiday Photo Event — Hire a photographer to take family holiday photos that can be used as a holiday card. Have a number of templates to choose from, and make certain everyone gets their cards in a timely fashion. Obviously, this will have to be done sooner rather than later, but when done properly it is well received.
- Home Baked Pies — You needn’t worry about becoming a pastry chef; simply find the best bakery in your area and commission 25 (you pick the number) of apple pies (you pick the type). If you’re able, hand-delivering these pies makes it even more personal, but having them delivered by the bakery or a delivery service is perfectly acceptable.
- Cookie Swap — For this event, everyone bakes cookies, including yourself, and you essentially share recipes while showcasing your cookie skills. You can compliment this with either an eggnog (careful if it’s spiked) and/or coffee.
- Gift Wrapping Day — Select a day where clients drop off their gifts in the morning and pick them up in the evening, beautifully wrapped. This usually requires hiring a couple of college students with gift wrapping skills. You can provide coffee and sweets in the morning and drinks and finger food at pick-up. This is a bit more involved, but has been well received as wrapping gifts is a hassle for many people (Me as the prime example!). Make certain to memorialize with photos, either at drop off, pick-up or both.
- Holiday Wreaths, Ornaments & Decorations — I’ve seen advisors send ornaments and garlands made by their children, which go over big-time, but most will order them from Amazon. Whether they’re ornaments for the tree, a garland (for which there’s lots of ideas), or a holiday wreath — these thoughtful gifts are well received and often become a talking point.
- Hanukkah Food Gifts — Any thoughtful gift will work during Hanukkah, but you can’t go wrong with food. Whether it’s a cookbook of traditional Jewish Foods, jelly doughnuts, chocolate coins for children, gourmet chocolate for adults — these gifts are practical and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Bonus Tip – Rent a local movie theater for a kid-friendly holiday movie. Invite clients, friends, and family members. You should be prepared to provide some version of popcorn and drinks. This event will allow you to cover a lot of bases — clients, prospects, COIs — in one event. And yes, memorialize the event with photos that can be used to follow-up, posted on social media, your website, etc.
The key to executing any of these 10 Ideas and Crushing the Holiday Season is planning and attention to detail; who, what, where, when, and budget. This is a team initiative and you should include all COIs in your holiday endeavors. This is the ideal time to activate the relationship management-relationship marketing nexus.
Meanwhile, this will allow you to thoroughly enjoy this holiday season — as you know, it’s the giver who gets the most.