Monday, April 25, 2011

Local Sporting Event – Client Appreciation Ideas

Sporting events are a great way to break away from the office, nix the suit in favor of shorts and jeans, relax, and enjoy the moment.  Consequently, creating a Client Appreciation Event out of a sporting event can be a fun way to connect with your clients and prospects at a fairly reasonable cost.

Peggy B., ChFC, a Scottsdale Arizona Financial Planner, recently organized a successful event at Salt River Fields, the spring training facility at the Talking Stick Resort in Arizona.  Here's my interview with Peggy regarding the success and lessons learned from the event.

How many clients did you invite to your Client Appreciation Event and what was the cost?
We invited 47 clients. We sent invitations and then following up with a phone call.
We had approximately 70 people RSVP for the event including friends that clients wanted to bring along. It was a family event. Some clients brought children and some brought friends and coworkers. Tickets cost $10 each and we spent about $7 for each person's concession tickets.

How did the event play out?
We had 70 people on the lawn. I prepared ten blankets so that we could sit on the grass.
We told everyone that the first ten people to arrive would recieve a gift - we had ten Vineyard Financial baseball hats to give away.
We also raffled off a jersey.
We give each person tickets for hot dogs and drinks at the concession stand. We were  able to spend time with clients and experience the event.
This event was strictly a "Thank You" to our clients.
We told clients, "Wear jeans, we'll be on the lawn. Children will be running around."

What did clients like most about the event?
It was unique because we were at a brand new ball stadium. Everyone wanted to see the stadium since it was written up in the newspaper and was quite a novelty. The fact that we had seating on the lawn made it even better because it was a relaxed environment. You could talk to anyone, not just to people next to you.

How do you think the event benefited your firm?
We measured success on a few different levels. We earned "good will' and received several referrals after the event. Plus it showed that we were capable of running an event and made it look effortless.
We took pictures and sent them out with an email thanking the attendees.
The ballpark put our firm's name up on the board for all to see, so that was exciting.

What would you do differently next time?
We would follow up right away - within a week while the event was still fresh in everyone's mind. Get on the phone and call to thank attendees. I would also send a card with photos of the event.

Related Posts:

Suzanne Muusers

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Market Your Client Appreciation Event and Get the Word Out – Step by Step

Client appreciation events can be a very effective way to market your financial advisory practice, and if done correctly, can lead to happy clients, increased revenue, referrals to wealthy prospects, and increased satisfaction with your practice and your life.

This post will lay out a path to getting the word out about your event so that you can reap the benefits of a well-attended event through a systemized way of marketing. If you haven't already decided what type of event to host, see this list here. Just like any marketing event, to maximize attendance, you should count on a minimum of four touches to your client list. Any less than four could mean poor attendance and a waste of your marketing dollars.

The question is: How do you market your events so that they are well-attended? 

Here is a Client Appreciation Event Checklist for marketing your event:

Step 1
Two months in advance, use your monthly e-newsletter to create anticipation by issuing a "Save the Date" reminder. Many people don't attend an event because they haven’t been given enough notice. Think about yourself. How far in advance does your calendar book with parties and events?

Step 2
One month in advance, send out an official invitation. Spend some time selecting the invitation design. Use a custom designer or find something in stock from a stationary store that you can print on your desk top printer. You will want to BRAND your event and create anticipation. Think about the parties you have wanted to attend. What was it that made you want to go?

Here are a few invitation sites I really like:

Step 3
Two weeks in advance, send out an email reminder that is specifically for this event. The subject line should read "Reminder | Don't Miss the Fun at Event Name on Date." In the email, give all the details of the event and a map to get there.

Step 4
One week in advance, get on the phone and start calling people. Although you may have asked for an RSVP, few people these days actually take the time to confirm attendance. By getting on the phone and asking for a commitment you could double the attendance and the success of your event.

Here's a sample script:

"Hi Bob – It's Jane with XYZ Financial Planners office calling to confirm your attendance at our Client Appreciation Event on Date. We are sure to have loads of fun and would love to see you there. Please call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email us at email address.  

It should be your goal to create a memorable Client Appreciation Event, one that your clients will talk about to their friends and associates. By putting in time and effort up front, you will greatly improve your chances of success.

Suzanne Muusers

Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Create a GREAT Tagline

Is there something missing from your business brand? When prospects hear or see your business name, do they understand or "get" what you are about? If not, could it be that you need a tagline? A tagline, also known as a slogan, is a great way to position a company in a specific target industry and can add value by communicating a distinct message that may be missing in an otherwise good brand.

When we think of good taglines, it's usually the ones that are short and snappy such as "Just Do It" or "Eat Fresh." Other memorable taglines are those that rhyme such as "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and "Don't Get Mad, Get GLAD."  So a good tagline is memorable and "sticks" in the brain.

As a student of branding, I often study business cards and websites. I find that the majority do not have a tagline, and even if they do they are missing one crucial element that would make them GREAT: the main BENEFIT that the target client would receive by working with the firm.

Checklist for a GREAT tagline:
*No more than 7 words (3-4 would be even better)
*Speaks to the firm's target client
*Finishes off the brand with a positive "message"
*Identifies a BENEFIT

Here's a PDF exercise that lays out a step by step procedure to create a tagline that you can save right to your own computer. It takes time to create a tagline, so don't rush it. I recommend that you brainstorm a few taglines and then put it away to come back later. You'll then find that one or two will jump out at you as being more effective than the others.  Then, ask a few of your best clients which one best exemplifies your business and your brand. That's when you'll find the best one.

Suzanne Muusers