The affluent are coming. What do I mean by that? They’re bursting out of their personal and professional Covid-19 lockdowns and are ready to play. It’s big-time social-time. On top of all that, it’s summertime!
Around the turn of the century, the affluent gave us a gift. Our research was very clear that affluent clients, in addition to their professional relationship, want to know their financial advisor on a personal level. This was the beginning of what we refer to as the relationship management – relationship marketing nexus. Our data was quite clear on this subject; the more an affluent client socialized with their financial advisor, the more business they acquired from that client’s spheres-of-influence.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of financial advisors took advantage of this new found opportunity. The rest simply assumed they had developed this holistic type of professional relationship, while our research told us nearly 80 percent of affluent clients viewed their relationship as professional only. Those advisors who did expand their relationship to include a social component were bringing in 3xs to 4xs more new affluent clients than their non-socializing counterparts.
That said, never before has the environment been this fertile for social prospecting. And every financial advisor interested in growth, by that I’m referring to acquiring affluent clients, needs to take advantage of this opportunity. By this I mean you need to be intentional, not simply start venturing back out into your social world and expecting to get lucky. Affluent prospects aren’t going to be coming to you. You need to go to them.
This requires getting involved with your top clients and COIs (referral alliance partners) as if you were their new “get out of jail” social director. What do I mean by all of this? Tremendous opportunity awaits financial advisors who take the lead in getting social with clients and COIs. This involves crafting an aggressive social marketing strategy. You want to become the social director.
By no means am I inferring that you should neglect your professional role. To the contrary, you need to be better than ever. What I am referring to is that you commit to executing the relationship management – relationship marketing nexus with more time, energy, and money than you’ve ever committed before.
So let’s discuss creating a game plan. None of this is complex, but it requires both thinking and execution. The outline below can get you started…
- Review your “Know Your Client” and “Know Your COI” information. I’m sure you have a complete list of hobbies, vacation habits, preferred social activities, pets, and so on. If not, you need to start gathering this information.
- Determine the intimate client events you’d like to hold, the summer activities currently being scheduled in your area, tickets you’ll need to purchase (sporting events, theatre, concerts, etc.), the cookouts, dinners, wine tastings and the like that you could either attend with an affluent client or COI or host.
- Contact each client and COI and gauge their attitude about “getting out of jail” and having some fun again. Some might not be ready, while others will be chafing at the bit and gratefully follow your lead. Either way, gauging social interests will allow you to create a rough draft of your summer social calendar.
- Think in terms of simple surprise and delight opportunities linked to your social calendar. This can be as simple as photos that memorialize your fun time together, an article of interest, or a celebratory gift basket.
- Keep a calendar and a log. This will run the gamut from attending the Monday Happy Hour at the club, golf dates, tickets for ball games, theater and concerts, cookouts — the list is endless. You want to track who, what, when, and where.
- Start sourcing names of people in your client’s and COIs spheres-of-influence. In this manner, you are creating a very personal affluent prospect list. It’s from this list that you’re going to get your clients and COIs to personally introduce you — socially.
- Get started. No sense in wasting time — execute all the above. Which means– start mixing business with pleasure –make your calendar a living, breathing document and schedule your first social interaction; client(s), COI(s), and guest(s).
There’s no better source of qualified prospects than your current affluent clients and COIs (CPAs, attorneys, bankers, et al). Each of these individuals is a marketing goldmine if approached intentionally — so take the lead, intentionally, in the upcoming social tsunami.