Many times, financial advisors hold client appreciation events
with the underlying hope that their clients will bring friends and referrals. But perhaps these events should be done the opposite way. If you are frustrated with client appreciation events, here is an efficient alternative for you.
An extremely successful event strategy for giving clients a reason to immediately refer is an event called “Don’t miss the boat
.” It is similar to a client appreciation event, but the only people invited are those clients that have referred others to your business. A financial services firm in Detroit was the first to host an event like this, and it resulted in over 40 referrals. Since then, similar success stories have been duplicated across the country by businesses of all types.
Here’s a sample script to introduce the event: "Mr. Smith, don't miss the boat! We're holding this not-to-be-missed event on May 15th, on the Detroit Star, the dinner boat on the Detroit River. This gala event with music, dinner and dancing is the perfect excuse for you and your wife to get all dressed up for a night out. But, don't miss the boat, because the only people we're inviting are those that have referred clients to us by [event date]."
This "Don't miss the boat" event gives clients an immediate incentive to think of someone to whom they can recommend your services. And, if you are not interested in a boat event, you can try "Don't miss the bus" (like one advisor did to a Philadelphia Eagles game).
Yes, this idea may be a little gimmicky; but we’ve never seen this strategy fail. It has consistently produced qualified referrals
of 40 or more per event.