Wednesday, August 02, 2017

If You Don’t Appreciate Your Clients, Someone Else Will

By James Morris, Questar Branch Office Designated Supervisory Principal at Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange

Any season is a great season for a client appreciation event, but summer and fall offer exceptional opportunities for such. You may question the value of a client appreciation event, including the time and effort needed to organize, plan, and fund an event. To get over any initial apprehension, start by asking yourself when the last time was that you received something free just for being associated with a business. How did that make you view the business and personally feel? Appreciated, I would expect. Why would you not want to make your clients feel the same way?

Here are some suggestions to consider when putting together a client appreciation event:

Plan ahead
Get an early start by planning the event months in advance. This will give your clients ample time to RSVP and also provide you with time to measure the interest level in your client event, should you need to cancel based on low attendance. Advertising through social media, mailings, newsletters, and a call campaign (with approval from your financial institution and with consideration to applicable state and federal laws and regulations) can help drive attendance to your event.

Choose the right venue
Do not skimp on the venue. You want to show your clients that you appreciate them by hosting an event at a reputable, appealing location. This could include a local restaurant, theater, or even your own home, depending on the theme. Also, make your clients feel special by personalizing their experience as much as possible with nametags, nicknames, or other ways that show you know each person on more than just a business level.

Be creative
Client appreciation events can come in many forms. Barbeques, events themed around holidays, or even fictional holidays tinged with humor such as first Friday after the last Friday holiday. The ideas are endless, including movie nights, date nights, kid-friendly events that can include a bounce house or face painting, ice cream socials, sporting events, women-focused events such as a pampering event, or dessert tastings at a local retirement community sponsored by your firm, wine tastings, etc.

Do not talk about business
The point of the event is to build goodwill and strengthen relationships. Sure, there will be attendees that are only there for the free meal, but others will truly value the effort put into the event and walk away feeling special. A no-pressure, casual atmosphere can help drive attendance to future events. A natural result may be working more with these clients in the future or hearing from their friends and family – referrals!

If you would like additional ideas for or feedback on your own client appreciation events, please give me a call at 800.321.3924 x159.

James Morris | Designated Supervisory Principal
Questar Capital Corporation Branch Office at AAAE
Ph: 800.321.3924 x159 | Dir: 734.786.6159 

Various state insurance regulations, as well as other state regulators prohibit the “gifting” of items, which may include entertainment expenses, by financial professional in excess of a certain dollar value. Be sure to check with your state’s requirements and/or your firm to ensure that you are complying with requirements and guidelines specifically applicable to you.

Securities offered through Questar Capital Corporation (QCC). Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Questar Asset Management, a registered investment advisor. Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange is an affiliate of QCC.

Designed for Financial Professionals.