Client dinner help

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Mar 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Looking for a solution
As i've mentioned before, i am doing a dinner next week. 5 clients, 3 prospects who are friends of the clients.
I pretty much have the presentation down. I;m talking about my process and philosophy, i have an equity strategist from my firm and a mf talking about equity and fixed income markets, then q&a. Got a private room at a nice restaurants.

Question  - what do i do about getting contact info, or getting the ability to follow up, with the prospects, without putting my clients off? I'm going to end my talk with a call to action, handout includes a Financial Profile booklet, invite everyone who i havent done a plan for to go thru the booklet with me so i can do a FP, and those who i;ve done one for to come in for a review. Following up with the clients is easy. Not so with their friends.

Never did one of these before, but i plan on doing more of them, whether it brings in $$ or not. More i do it the better it will work.

Mar 14, 2009 6:30 pm

Firm requirement (enacted by you)  to document all attendees of seminars for compliance purposes.  Have everyone sign in with name and phone # clients included.  Not a big deal.  As far as what to say to the prospects, thank them for coming with Joe and Jane client and ask if you can take Mr. Prospect out to lunch.

Mar 14, 2009 6:32 pm

I would skip the 2 people you are brining and just talk in general about your process and philosophy... and then what you think about the market.. I think sometimes we give our clients so much info it turns them off, especially when we bring in hired help..

 
Why not just call the prospects the following week... they know how to get in contact with you if they are friends enough with someone to come to a dinner event.. i would just call the following week, saying you are following up and wanted to know if they enjoyed the event..
 
 
Mar 14, 2009 9:56 pm
Sam Houston:

Firm requirement (enacted by you)  to document all attendees of seminars for compliance purposes.  Have everyone sign in with name and phone # clients included.  Not a big deal.  As far as what to say to the prospects, thank them for coming with Joe and Jane client and ask if you can take Mr. Prospect out to lunch.


I like it

Mar 14, 2009 10:04 pm

I always hand out a simple seminar evaluation form.  One pager, 5 or 6 basic questions (what areas of this interested you the most?, what topics would you like more information on?, your current investment mix includes ______?, your projected retirement timeline?, etc.) 

 
Last entry is a couple lines for name, address, and best way to be contacted info (phone, email, psychic hotline, etc.)
 
That covers your followup, your attendance list, and you've done a little bit of prequal at the same time.  It's worked for me.
Mar 15, 2009 12:30 pm

seems to me that dealing with clients and prospects is two diferent matters. For clients it's a thanks for the business', please don't move your account. No selling needed, they alreaDY KNOW YOU, you are meeting their desire for effective communication.

 
For prospects its a selling process, much different. If you use a selling approach in front of clients it'll turnemoff and they'll think they've basdically been used -- which of course they are, but you should try to be les s obvious about it. I think I would opt for a pretty 'social' event, spend 5 min on what yyou do and your stellar returns and knowledge of estate planning.
Mar 15, 2009 1:17 pm
MinimumVariance:

seems to me that dealing with clients and prospects is two diferent matters. For clients it's a thanks for the business', please don't move your account. No selling needed, they alreaDY KNOW YOU, you are meeting their desire for effective communication.

 
For prospects its a selling process, much different. If you use a selling approach in front of clients it'll turnemoff and they'll think they've basdically been used -- which of course they are, but you should try to be les s obvious about it. I think I would opt for a pretty 'social' event, spend 5 min on what yyou do and your stellar returns and knowledge of estate planning.


Thats my issue, these are mostly clients with a couple of prospects thrown in who are their friends.

Mar 15, 2009 1:27 pm

Present to the clients, the prospects will get to see what a great guy you are after you have an account.  No need to pitch anything to the prospects.  That is what the lunch invite is for.

Mar 15, 2009 9:54 pm

Sam, when you type is your boyfriend Gaddock on your lap ?

Mar 15, 2009 10:21 pm
Ron 14:

Sam, when you type is your boyfriend Gaddock on your lap ?

 
Why are you asking?  Looking?  Let me save you some time, I like the ladies.  I'm flattered but will pass.
Mar 18, 2009 10:14 pm

Well, that worked out well.
I did the dinner last night. Was a home run. 3 highly qualified prospects, along with 6 clients. Everything went very well. I spoke for about 6-7 minutes, just talked about the importance of having a plan and a strategy, and about my process, and why i am different. Equity Strategist spoke for about 15 minutes, then he and i took q&a. We had it set up as a large square table, with he and i on opposite ends, and it became very interactive  and casual. Lot of back and forth not only between me and the guests, but among the guests themselves and i was able to interact with everyone. at the end, i invited everyone who came alone, to order a dessert to take home to their spouse, a little thing, but i think it went a long way to show i'm a good guy. Also as I said thanked the three prospects for coming, i just invited them to contact me if they wanted to talk. I stayed really low key.
So today, I got a call from one of the clients asking to me to meet with them to review their portfolio. Its over a Mill, maybe closer to 2 mill.
So i would say that this was a very worthwhile endeavor, which i will repeat on a regular basis.
Thanks to all for your opinions and advice.

Mar 18, 2009 10:28 pm

Congratulations.

Mar 18, 2009 11:21 pm

Keep us posted on the other two prospects.  How will you follow up if they don't call you?

Mar 19, 2009 10:16 pm

I didnt want to be too aggessive with the guests of my clients at the event. But a second prospect was talking to the MF wholesaler and gave him his card. Wholesaler found out from him that he has accounts with two advisors and isnt happy with either. I called my client tonight, and asked if he had any problem with me contacting the guy. He said not at all. (also told me he was currently unemployed)
The third client commented to me on her way out that "we'll be in touch". Which probably means she has no interest. But i am going to ask the client that brought her if he thinks she would be open to hear from me and if so, ask him for her contact info.
I need to work on this part of the process for the next one, but i will get it down. The more you do it the better you get.

Mar 20, 2009 9:40 pm

why would you only talk for 6-7 minutes.  They are there for you and you only.  It's crazy when I see advisors at a seminar speak for only 5 minutes and turn it over to the wholesaler. 

Mar 20, 2009 10:03 pm

I know my limitations. I dont think i am a great speaker. But i can get a point accros pretty well if its a simple presentation.
While I spoke for only 6-7 minutes, and gave 15 minutes to the "guest speaker", i got my point across - that i have a philosophy, and a process that is different than that of many advisors, and they understood what drives my decisions. More important, while i spoke for only a short time in a structured platform, i did all the q & a and as i said earlier i set this up to be very interactive, and i was in active dialogue throught the night. They not only got the message about my philosophy and process, but they got the message that i am a likable genuine person, which is a big reason most people do business with us in the end.

The response i got from this event, especially the call from one of the three guests that was totally not prompted by me, shows i think, that you dont have to do a 15-20 minute formal presentation to score.

Mar 30, 2009 9:40 am

Is there a point in which you cancel a seminar(non-client) because the numbers are too small or do you role with it to the next one?

Mar 30, 2009 10:01 am
rep_rep:

why would you only talk for 6-7 minutes.  They are there for you and you only.  It's crazy when I see advisors at a seminar speak for only 5 minutes and turn it over to the wholesaler. 



 
Some firms don't want their reps doing their own seminars for liability/compliance purposes.
 
It's stupid and I don't like it, but it is what it is.
Mar 30, 2009 9:32 pm

I think you roll with it.
If you have say, only 5 - 6 people attend, you do a one table, intimate dinner, where you really get to know the folks and more important let them get to know you.