San Francisco: “Suddenly making an effort to get to know the children of our affluent clients could create some awkward moments,” pined Henry in a peer-to-peer exercise I was facilitating on the topic, before sharing a game plan his group thought might work, “Yet with the holidays on the horizon, we figured there’s a perfect opportunity to socialize with our affluent clients and their children.”
Let me share with you the key takeaways that resulted from this discussion:
Step 1: Select the Appropriate Affluent Clients – You want to select affluent clients who have family members they’re likely to be seeing over the holidays; children, grandchildren, and parents. If you don’t know already, make an effort to know the names and ages of children and grandchildren.
Step 2: Select a Family Friendly Theme – Because the holiday season is the time family’s get together, there are quite a few thoughtful ideas that have worked well for financial advisors we’ve coached:
- Family Photo Day: Hire a professional photographer and schedule a Family Photo Day in your office. Stagger appointments with your client’s and families throughout the day. You might also want to invite them to include their pets in the photo, as the affluent often view their pets as members of the family. Your holiday gift is a professional family photo.
- Santa Day: Hire a Santa for a couple of hours one afternoon in your office to give little gifts to the children. You don’t need a professional photographer, but you should be taking pictures and memorializing the event. Those pictures would be perfect for Facebook. Don’t forget to invite everyone to “tag” themselves in the photos.
- Movie Day: Rent out a movie theater for an afternoon showing of a holiday classic that clients, prospects, and COIs would want to view with their children and grandchildren. Again, take photographs and have popcorn, drinks, and little gifts for the children. Movies that financial advisors have used vary from: The Nutcracker, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street to A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- Gift Wrapping Day: Hire a couple of college students for the day, purchase wrapping paper, bows, etc., and set-up your conference room as a gift wrapping station. This event can be scheduled for either morning, afternoon, or all day. And yes, memorialize the event by taking photos.
Step 3: Follow-Up
Immediate Follow-up: Your first touch is an additional “I care.” Here are a few ideas:
- Hand deliver the photos you took during the event
- Connect on social media with new people you’ve met (friends and family of clients)
- Post pictures on Facebook – your personal and business page. Show off the relationships and fun you have with clients.
Delayed Follow-up: At the beginning of the new year, facilitate a Family Meeting on Finances. This is a great opportunity to delve deeper with the teenage or adult children of your clients.
Henry’s peer-to-peer discussion was “on the money” and resulted in the steps I just shared with you. In addition, you should also invite your referral alliance partners, as well as their parents, children, and grandchildren. Financial advisors who treat these professionals like affluent clients not only get more business from them, they frequently get their business.
The holiday season is always full of opportunities, and connecting with the next generation is one of them.