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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.