After all these years the most powerful campaign to deploy in the fourth quarter, when it comes to relationship management and business development, is still sending your clients and strategic partners a Thanksgiving card. It’s so incredibly powerful in terms of bang-for-the-buck and return on investment of time. Besides, I never get tired of hearing the stories.
The impact is both quantitative and qualitative. If you’re already sending out cards like this, you know it’s not uncommon for clients to call you up and thank you for thinking about them and sending out that beautiful card. That’s meaningful quantitatively, right?
Quantitatively, you’ll get a great family referral and when you call up the Rainmaker to say thanks for the introduction – and ask what prompted the conversation that led up to it, the Rainmaker will have told the story over Thanksgiving dinner. Usually with a family member having noticed the card and asked, “Who sent you that?” And the client said, “Well, my financial advisor did.” And the relative will have said, “Well, my financial advisor doesn’t send me cards like that.”
If you’ve consistently communicated your process and value and elevated your service, the client will go on to say something along the lines of, “Well, it doesn’t just stop there. I mean, they really take this seriously and they run their business like a business. The client experience is impeccable.” The next thing you know, the advocacy door is wide open.
Remember, you’re not just managing money, you’re managing how people perceive you and describe you and feel about the future. Advocacy means I, as a client, want to share that with others. So this human touch, this little meaningful gesture, can be profound.
If you send out the cards, keep going. Don’t stop. It’s got to be part of your ongoing process. If you haven’t done it yet, give it some serious consideration. In the fourth quarter, your clients interact with a lot of friends and family members, and certain things are topical. Just give them an opportunity to shine a light on your value and wave your flag.
You’ll ultimately come down to two very important decisions: Who and how. Who are you going to send these cards to? Are you going to limit it to the 20% of your clients who generate 80% of the business? Are you going to open it up and send it out to all of your clients and all of your strategic partners and just really help activate this sense of Thanksgiving and appreciation for good fortune? It doesn’t just mean money. It’s that they have the good fortune of having a relationship with you. That’s what a card like this can trigger.
In terms of the “how” - are you and your team going to DIY this, or are you going to outsource this to elevate the precision and put some more sand in your hourglass by giving you the gift of time, both in terms of the quality of the card, but also the execution? There’s fulfillment in sending these cards out professionally and in a timely, predictable manner. You probably already know that I feel very strongly about Lavish Cards (LavishCards.com), but, first of all, the cards themselves have incredible impact and shelf life.
By impact, I mean that you will own the mantle. It’ll be the nicest card they receive. And in terms of shelf life, again, so many stories come out of this. You’ll have clients that will tell you that they put all of the cards they received from you at Thanksgiving over the years on their dinner setting. Some will frame the cards. For others, it prompts them to send a Thanksgiving card to their close friends and family members. So while the impact and the shelf life is profound, there’s also the fulfillment.
Just taking that seriously in terms of a best practice is powerful. Give your clients something to think about, give them something to talk about. Ultimately, giving starts the receiving process, so be prepared to get a lot of recognition in terms of goodwill and introductions.
Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson