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Use referral events to meet new prospects

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Part I
Sample conversation

It’s no longer enough to settle for referred leads. We want introductions or connections to our new prospects. A referral event is a way of getting your clients to introduce you to prospects. Your client knows you are hosting a fun event for the purpose of meeting potential prospects. Here is a sample conversation:

YOU: Bob, I’m calling today because I want to let you know about a fun event I’m planning for my clients and their guests. We’ve reserved a special room at Chez Fancy and we’re calling it a “Chef’s Table.” There will be a kitchen tour, and the chef will talk to us about the meals he and his staff will be preparing for us. It should be a pretty special event, don’t you think?

BOB: My wife would love this … and so would I for that matter. How do I sign up?

YOU: Here’s the deal. First, I want to treat some of my select clients to a very special evening. And second, I want to get introduced to people who are not yet clients, but should probably know about the work I do. It’s going to be a low-key event. No sales pitch. It’s just a way to meet some new people–and them to meet me –in a social setting. Does that make sense?

BOB: So you want me to bring a guest who might enjoy the event and also want to meet you?

YOU: That’s it. Is this something you and Helen would like to do? If so, who do you think you should invite?

It’s as simple as that.

Part II
Event ideas

The example I used in Part I is called “The Chef’s Table.” It’s the kind of event that clients like to
attend and feel comfortable inviting a guest to. Here are some event ideas used before by other professionals that perhaps you can use too.

  • I know one advisor who hosts two or three golf lessons every summer. He hires a golf pro to teach a lesson and hang out with his guests–clients and prospects.
  • Another hosts a one-day “Ski Junket” at his local ski resort. Clients pay for the trip by inviting guests.
  • Another hosts a dinner twice a year. Sometimes he hires a comedian or a magician. Clients are encouraged to bring guests. He also holds a “referral raffle” at his dinners.
  • Another hosts the “Event of the Year” at his home every year. He gets a big tent, hires a band or comedian. His clients bring guests. Many of these guests turn into clients.
  • I know a producer who uses his boat all summer long as a way to entertain clients and their guest. Bring a guest and you get to spend the day on his boat. Many advisors accomplish this goal through golf, tennis, or baseball outings.

Start small if you have to. Keep it simple, but classy. Now you’re getting personal, face-to-face introductions to great prospects.


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