Minneapolis—“It seems that every advisor I talk to is focused on their vacation, slowing down, and looking forward to relaxing over the summer," Clint said. "Is there much opportunity during the summer, or is it best to recharge the batteries for a strong fourth quarter?”
The smile on my face was a giveaway. Before I could respond, Clint knew he had hit on a topic that was near and dear to me. “The summer is a prospecting haven that most advisors fail to capitalize on,” I replied.
It’s the perfect time for interacting with clients in a non-business manner.
I then outlined the following four steps that would transform his summer into a prospecting haven:
1. Find out the summer plans for each of your top 25 clients, centers of influence and prospects. This is rather basic, but it requires a personal conversation with each, regarding their plans for the summer.
- Where are they going on vacation?
- Who are they going to see over the summer?
- When are they going to be in town?
- What are their in-town plans?
2. Using the information you uncover, you want to determine how and when you’re going to get social. You can attend local events: cookouts at the club, pool parties, music in the park and sporting/theater/fundraising events. Or, you can host events (cookouts, pool party, etc.). The secret is in knowing your clients’ and COIs’ interests and whereabouts during the summer. Whenever contacting them for a social interaction, make it a command performance, as you want to sell them on the idea of getting together.
This is all about strengthening your emotional connection, which is essential for stimulating word-of-mouth influence and getting personal introductions. Your knowledge of their vacation plans will also provide a perfect opportunity for a thoughtful surprise and delight. Remember what neuroscientists are telling us—both getting social and receiving a small gift stimulate the hormone oxytocin. In turn, trust is strengthened.
3. Source names from your clients and meet their contacts socially. Remember, our research is clear about this: the easier we make it for our top clients to help us, the more help we get. It’s much easier for your clients to introduce you in a social setting, when everyone is relaxed and having fun, so use the summer as your time to be the master of the personal introduction.
4. Remember, you’re working in addition to enjoying yourself, but that’s the point of relationship marketing—mixing business with pleasure. All of this requires managing your calendar, getting creative about connecting, and knowing who is in your clients’ spheres of influence. This prepares you to either inquire about who will be attending the event or suggest they bring along a specific friend or colleague you want to meet.
One of our coaching clients claims that between mid May and early September of every year, he attends, hosts, co-sponsors and is invited to various events, which fill his pipeline for the next 12 months. This advisor has averaged over $30 million of new assets per year for the past five years. While most advisors relax, get out there and get to know the people who will fill your pipeline.