Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Forget to Ask for the Business

"Go ahead and think about it."
"No pressure. Let me know what you think."
"Whenever you're ready."

If this is what you say at the end of a sales presentation, you're not asking for the business. This is very common among advisers far and wide, whether ultra successful or newbie.  Ultimately it's the fear of rejection that causes us to hesitate when we should be moving prospects to a logical conclusion.

  • Imagine having the confidence to ask for the business at every presentation?
  • Imagine how much more business you could close if you made it a practice to ask for the business?
  • Imagine having a 90% close ratio?

Wouldn't life be easier if this were the case?

If you'd like to be more polished in asking for the business, read an article I wrote for The Journal of Financial Planning:  Build Confidence, Establish Rapport, Ask for the Business

Grow Your Business and Prosper!

Suzanne Muusers
ICF Credentialed Business Coach
Creator of the Prosperous Advisor Coaching Program

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ideas for Client Appreciation Events

What are the most effective client appreciation events? I am asked quite frequently about the best events for financial advisors to hold so I thought I would start a blog series detailing a generous list of ideas to help you plan your next event.  Client appreciation events allow you to celebrate your business success AND demonstrate that you really care about your clients. Appreciation events can also be used as a tool to secure referrals to new qualified prospects, if done correctly.  Many of these events can also be used as a Marketing Tactic to attract new clients.

Today I'll start with a list of client appreciation events and a brief explanation of the event. The list is meant as a brainstorming tool to assist you in thinking outside the box with your marketing. After all, you want to show that you're different and one way to do that is to come up with exciting events that will create "referral buzz."  In the coming weeks and months, I'll break some of the events down into individual posts. So check back frequently!

Client Appreciation Event – Brief description

·      * Wine Tastings – Organize an event for five to ten couples. This can be a wonderful way to get to know people better. See this post I wrote about Hosting a Wine Tasting Event

·      * Cooking Classes – Host an evening at a cooking school or cooking business.

·      * Meal Assembly Night – A new type of business has popped up that helps busy people pre-package a number of healthful meals in one sitting to take home and heat up at their own convenience. Invite clients and provide wine and appetizers for a fun evening.

·      * Book Club – This is a great way to involve clients in investment topics of the day. Poll your clients and find out what books they'd be interested in discussing.

·      * Golf Event – Lessons from a pro and/or a tournament will bring you closer to your clients.

·      * Dance School – Are you the next Fred Astaire? Why not show off your dancing skills with clients at a dance school?

·      * Local Sporting Event – Buy tickets for a local team and provide hot dogs and snacks.

·      * Coffee Talks – Host a monthly informal gathering where clients and friends can bring their topics and questions for you to answer.

·      * Theater Event – Many cities have "boutique" theaters with good shows suitable for bringing clients. 

·      * Family Picnic – Rent space at your local park and cook up hotdogs, hamburgers, and the like. Play games and sports.

·      * Birthday Luncheons – Invite your A clients to provide you a list of five to ten of their friends and hold a luncheon in their honor.

·      * Casino Night – Hold this type of event at a resort or local casino. Donate the proceeds to charity.

·      * Money Roundtable – Similar to the Coffee Talk, only more formal held at in your conference room.

·      * Hot Air Balloon Rides – This is certain to be much talked about and memorable. Invite your special clients for a fun-filled time.

·      * Spa Night – OK, women will love this one more than men. Rent a spa for the evening and provide appetizers and drinks and a spa service to each client.

·      * Dress for Success – Bring in an Image Consultant to speak about styles and trends for business and personal attire.

·      * Art Gallery Showing – Many art gallery owners would be happy to have you host an event in their space. Serve Wine and Cheese and feature an artist speaker.

·      * Mystery Dinner Theater – Haven't you always wanted to attend a mystery theater dinner?  Reserve a section of the restaurant for your clients.

* Annual Shredding Event - Rent a shredding truck for 4 hours around the end of tax season. Ask clients to bring old documents to shred. Hand out Identity Theft Prevention tips.  (approx total cost $400)

Phew! There you go. I hope this list will help you think of client appreciation events in a different light. By showing your clients that you care about them, you will bond with them and become more referable.

Have you held an event in the past that's not on the list? Please write a comment and add to the list.

Related posts:
How to Market Your Client Appreciation Event- Step by Step

Suzanne Muusers
Financial Advisor Coach

Monday, April 19, 2010

4 Habits to Manage Your Time Effectively

Can you really manage time? We all want to be more effective with our time, so it's not a matter of controlling time; it's a matter of controlling your activities. What you CAN do is manage what you focus on. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time more effectively.

  1. Plan your day every day. When you get to the office, or before you go home the night before, decide what you'll spend your time on.
  2. Write your goals down daily on a piece of paper. The repetition of listing your goals helps your subconscious mind guide your daily actions. What is your revenue goal this month? How many new clients do you want this month?
  3. Ask yourself daily “What is my main goal today?  and list it on your piece of paper.  Whenever you find yourself wasting time, ask yourself if what you are doing is contributing to reaching your goals.
  4. Also ask yourself "Am I being productive?"  Productive activities lead to business income.  If you’re not being productive, stop and reassess.  Ask yourself if you are being busy to look busy, and if you are moving your business forward.

It's still early in 2010 so you can work on achieving your annual goals by being efficient with your time. There's no better time than now to grow your business and prosper.

Suzanne Muusers
Prosperous Advisor Coaching Program