Make holiday sales as easy as pie

By Sandy Schussel

Sandy Schussel, LLC


For most advisors, the fourth quarter means a year-end blitz to improve their production numbers, hours billed, and company or office standings. Realistically, there are only a few ways to do this:
    1. Find more clients
    2. Find more ways to serve existing clients
    3. Make more sales
    4. Make bigger sales
The majority of advisors will focus on the first of these, squeezing in as many cold calls, workshops and client appreciation events as they can. They’ll rush around, becoming exhausted and frazzled, but not necessarily maneuvering themselves into a better position by the time the holidays hit.

Many top producers, however, will slowly and meticulously examine their top clients’ files to see if there are more ways they can serve them. They will plan out their referral discussions and look for ways to surprise and delight them enough that these advocates will tell their friends and family members about the magical experiences they are having.

More business from existing clients and more quality referrals — without the frazzle and exhaustion. Their strategy is simple:

1. Serve them. Set appointments with your best clients. Review their files first to see if there’s any new ways you can help them, whether they will produce immediate income for you or not. If they need an introduction to an accountant or a good podiatrist, serve them by being the source.

2. Use the holidays as an excuse to surprise and delight them. While the holiday season may feel like crunch time, it also presents some great opportunities to get your clients talking about you. The first of these opportunities is actually Halloween. Do your best clients have children who will be dressing up? How about investing in the a face painting book that comes with easy-to-remove face paints and detailed instructions for creating characters. Or, pick up and deliver some great pumpkins and bring them to their homes.

For Thanksgiving, find out if your best clients will be traveling. If not, order them a wonderful pumpkin or apple pie from a local bakery or pie company. Hand-deliver it a day or two before the holiday, or on Thanksgiving morning.

Two years ago, my coaching client, Don, was invited in to meet his financial client’s family when he showed up at the door with pie. In the presence of her relatives, his grateful client announced how much she enjoyed doing business with her advisor; how much they had accomplished and how much more they would have to do. A few days later, one of her guests contacted Don about starting to work together.
If pies aren’t your thing, be creative. It’s about astonishing your clients in a way that gets them smiling about their relationship with you and raving about you to the people they know. Brainstorm with your team. Is there something unique and special you can do to show them how important they are to you?

3. Talk about helping their families and friends. With another financial year coming to a close, do your clients have friends or family members who might need your services? If you can specifically identify someone in their circles, ask about him or her. If not, ask them if they know someone who might need your help before the quarter is done.

You can still go ahead and make those cold calls, and book those workshops and events, but put your emphasis on existing clients — the people who already do business with you and will be joyous to rave about you to those they love.