Fantasy football for client acquisition? Oh yes. For football-loving financial advisors, it doesn’t get much better. The NFL season is just around the corner and fantasy football is growing in popularity every year. No longer is it reserved for sports junkies and stats nerds – it’s now as mainstream as NCAA tournament pools.
So where does the client acquisition piece come in? The season is 16 weeks long, you’re choosing power player group members, and you’re likely to have weekly contact for the entire season. With a draft party, trophy ceremony, and ongoing trash talk, what could be better for relationship building?
As with all good ideas, there’s a right and wrong way to go about this. We don’t want to go overboard; we all know advisors who are part of 3 football leagues, two baseball, and spend hours glued to their machines. That’s not what we’re after. We’re after a high quality group with carefully orchestrated contact.
Here are some keys to making this work:
1. Pick the right league members.
Consider inviting key clients, prospects and COIs – those who mean the most to your business. Their fantasy football acumen is not all that important. You want people that will enjoy each other’s company and that you’d benefit from getting to know more personally.
Make a personal call inviting each person and be ready for any of the common objections of “I’ve never done fantasy football, “ or “I’m really busy.” Also, very important, if you know someone linked to a top client that you’d like to meet, this is a perfect opportunity. All you have to say is, “Do you think (insert name) would like to join? I know you two watch a lot of games together.”
2. Select a commissioner.
The commissioner’s job is to set up the online league, communicate draft times and other important information, enforce league rules, and other related activities. It’s not as daunting as it sounds. Ideally, the advisor would play the role of commissioner, as you’d like the control and the face time. If you are really a novice at fantasy football, ask a trusted client or COI to take the lead role.
3. Host a draft party.
This is a crucial step. Every league must have a draft where players are selected and teams formed. The easy way to draft players is to have everyone do it online, but that’s not an option if you’re doing this for Rainmaking purposes. Invite everyone to your house, to a steakhouse, or somewhere else that you can have a couple hours of uninterrupted draft time. These are typically far more fun and give you an opportunity to connect.
Plan for everyone to arrive a little early for introductions before you get into (what can be) a fairly intense couple of hours. When everyone arrives, take the lead and welcome the attendees, make introductions where necessary, and then you’re just a member of the group.
4. Maintain ongoing contact.
We’ve been in leagues before where the entirety of contact is online…message boards, online draft, etc. This is not ideal for Rainmaking purposes. After the in person draft, be proactive in generating additional face time. You can:
- Host a game day party for the local team and invite your league members
- Send periodic email updates on what’s happening in the league
- Send personal messages to group members when something notable has happened (saw your starting RB pulled a hamstring – ouch!)
- Ask the few group members to lunch every now and then
- Text your opponent on game day with some polite trash talk
- Host a season-finale party with a trophy ceremony
With the right group members, you’re on the hunt for contact. These are a few of the many ways to get it done. Be creative – you’ll have lots of opportunity.
5. Think next steps.
Whether it’s with a top client, a CPA you’ve targeted, a member of your club, or a guest of a client – the objective is to develop relationships. If you’re arranging frequent face-to-face interaction during the season, this should happen quite naturally. Don’t let your efforts stop there. With prospects, if you haven’t found a natural opportunity to discuss your professional services during the season, you really have two options:
- Create another point of contact to deepen the relationship.
- Ask for a business meeting. This could come in the form of, “It was great getting to know you as part of our league this year. I’d love to put my professional cap on and take you to lunch. Are you open sometime next week?”
This is perfect timing to get a league started. What are you waiting for? With the right league members, this is like an intimate event that keeps on giving for 16 weeks. Keep us posted with your stories!
Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are thought-leaders with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols www.oechsli.com