Michael Ham, founder of J. Michael Advisors in Dallas, Texas, knows that strong salespeople are also expert entertainers. He believes in asking tough questions that force prospects to identify money management problems and set financial goals – and in balancing that with some good, old-fashioned fun.
Ham offers this marketing idea for agents, “Invite clients to bring friends to a fun function, such as an outing at a driving range or a putting contest at a local golf club. Include their kids or grandkids in the event and offer a free prize or two, such as gift cards or iPod shuffles. Make a short, informative presentation on principal protection and income tax advantaged products and you’re sure to make a few new friends and clients. (Bonus tip: Include a carrier of the product you prefer on your guest list, and they are likely to sponsor your event or contribute funds to pay for the prizes and other expenses.)”
LHP: Tell me about your practice.
MH: My firm is a boutique with a specialized focus on personal unique portfolio management for baby boomers and their parents. I’m currently in my 24th year of practice and have invested well over $250 million for my clients; offering a pragmatic mix of investments that includes fixed, indexed and variable annuities, as well as life insurance and professional money management.
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LHP: Describe your ideal client.
MH: Our ideal client is the “millionaire next door” type profile. Not the “Big Hat No Cattle” type. Our ideal asset size per client is $250,000–$2.5 million in investable assets. It is an underserved market niche that the Goldman Sachs of the world overlook as too small, yet typically are very nice, easy to work with clientele. All advisors need to read the books The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley to obtain a keen sense of who needs our help most.
LHP: Your No. 1 tip is about hosting a family outing with both prizes and a presentation. Can you elaborate on what makes this idea work?
MH: Be creative and personally invite your target audience with a phone call from you, the business owner. Do not delegate that first point of contact to anyone else. Additionally, do not rule out Saturday mornings as a great time to host an event, and partner with the product carrier you prefer most to sponsor the event.