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Three Steps to Dynamite Client Events in 2013

January 2, 2013

by Dan Richards

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dan Richards

Last fall, I wrote about the declining effectiveness of broad-based client events, especially when it comes to attracting your most important clients. Today, I want to focus on the three qualities that have led to successful events for advisors.

Events fail to draw your top clients for a number of reasons:

  • Everyone leads jammed lives, with too many competing demands crammed into too few hours.
  • Invitations that were compelling the first time are not as unique and motivating the second and third time around.
  • Your largest clients don’t respond to mass events. They live in nicer homes, drive nicer cars and go on nicer vacations – and expect special treatment from their advisors

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

The Kilimanjaro Climb for Amani

Last year, seven advisors climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and experienced the adventure of a lifetime.

They did this to raise funds for Amani Children’s home in Tanzania; this four minute video describes their experience. The next Kilimanjaro climb will take place next August, for details and info on an upcoming information call, email

As a result, the mass client events that worked 10 or 15 years ago – boat cruises, theater nights and wine tastings – seldom work today. What have replaced them in effectiveness are events that share three characteristics: they are more intimate, more targeted and more unique than mass events of the past.

Here are four recent success stories from advisors I’ve talked to:

  • At a charity auction, an advisor won the bidding for a wine tasting evening for 12, hosted by the high-profile wine columnist in his local newspaper, who also provided the wine. The advisor made personal calls to six of his top clients who were wine-lovers, inviting them and their spouses to the wine tasting at his home on a Saturday evening – and to his delight and surprise had all six say yes.
  • An advisor whose clients include the owner of a BMW dealership invited 15 clients with high-end cars to a reception at the dealership, at which the dealer briefly talked about what’s new in luxury cars and then provided guests with the opportunity to test drive some recently released BMWs.
  • A female advisor invited eight professional women in their 30s and 40s to Saturday morning at a local spa, ending with a healthy lunch at a nearby restaurant. For women with young children and in particular for a couple of divorced mothers, she arranged for the spa’s child-care center to be open.
  • An advisor who loves golf invited a dozen clients who share his passion to a pre-season golf tune-up. Just before courses opened, they met in a special cordoned-off section at a local driving range, where a Nike sports rep let them try Nike’s newest clubs and three pros provided tips.