How to Capitalize on the Marketing Value of the Holidays
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How to Capitalize on the Marketing Value of the Holidays

By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli

What if I was to tell you that your actions between now and January 1, 2019 will have a major impact on your 2019 new AUM numbers?

Financial advisors have been trained to focus on Q4 as the time to make their production numbers. As a result, advisors who are behind their annual targets tend to work feverishly to make it a “good” year. More often than not, this feverish work isn’t directed at acquiring new clients. Rather, it’s about extracting more revenue from existing clients – which is the short-termitis that’s pervasive in the world of financial services.

You won’t find an elite advisor operating in this mode. Oh yes, they’ll be working feverishly, but their focus will be on capitalizing on the marketing value of the holidays. They understand that it’s the perfect season for getting their relationship management-relationship marketing nexus operating at full throttle.

We’re now thrust into the December holidays (Christmas, Hanukah, Ramadan). December is an extremely festive month for most people, and for this reason it’s important to approach this time of year very strategically.

The following 5 Steps have been gleaned from the best practices of elite advisors. If you apply yourself diligently to them, they will have a major impact on the assets you acquire in 2019.

5 Steps for Capitalizing the Holidays

  1. Review your Know Your Client and Know Your COI worksheets – the more you know about your affluent clients and COIs the greater the probability of developing an emotional connection with them. The holiday season is the perfect time to use this personal information to strengthen this emotional connection. It will instruct you how to socialize, what type of gifts to deliver, and which functions you should attend.
  2. Review the strength of each top client and COI relationship (Relationship Index) – this is a step beyond reviewing what you know about your top clients and COIs and into the arena of how are you applying this knowledge. When was the last time you socialized? How did you socialize? What was the last surprise and delight gift? When was it given? When was the last time you had a conversation with both spouses? Your answers to these questions will determine your strategy for capitalizing on the holidays.
  3. Determine personalized gifts for top clients and COIs – there are many gifts delivered during the holidays, some come across as mechanical while others are personalized and memorable. The memorable gifts tend to generate buzz – word-of-mouth-influence. The key is to make your gifts thoughtful and personal. I recognize this requires more time than getting a “one size fits all” gift, but your gift will stand head and shoulders above the others. This is precisely what you want. Make this a team initiative.
  4. Create a Client-COI Holiday Calendar – the objective is for you to have personal face time with each top client and COI. During the holidays, this is all about finding opportunities for getting social. For some clients this will be as easy as having a drink before the club holiday party, while others might require a home visit to drop off their gift (combining gifting and getting social).
  5. Execute Your Holiday Calendar – financial advisors who fully capitalize on the holiday season are “busy beavers” through the first of the new year. Your calendar should have you in the middle of what we refer to as the “affluent playing field” – that social arena where personal introductions are natural. 85% of today’s affluent clients will introduce you to a colleague, friend or family member at a social event. This requires doing a bit of homework; determine which client or COI that are attending, who you want to meet, and approach each event, every interaction, with strategic intent.

The law of reciprocity kicks into high gear during the holiday season, which means that by applying yourself to these 5 Steps, you’ll be getting invited to the social events of clients, COIs, and prospects.

It doesn’t get much better for strengthening emotional connections with top clients and COIs, making connections with affluent prospects, and filling your pipeline for what will be a major impact on your AUM numbers.

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