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Holiday sales: As easy as pie

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For most advisors, the fourth quarter means a yearend blitz to improve their production numbers, hours billed and company or office standings. Realistically, there are only a few ways to do this:

  • Find more clients.
  • Find more ways to serve existing clients.
  • Make more sales.
  • 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 possible. They’ll rush around, becoming frazzled and exhausted — 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 find more ways to serve them, plan out their referral discussions and look for ways to surprise and delight them so that these advocates will tell their friends and family members about the magical experiences they are having. The result? More business from existing clients and more quality referrals — without the frazzle and exhaustion.

And the strategy is simple:

Serve your best clients. Set appointments with them, but first review their files to see if there are any new ways to help — whether it 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.

Surprise and delight them. The holidays are a perfect excuse for a nice gesture. Fortunately, while the upcoming season may feel like crunch time, it also presents great opportunities to get your clients talking about you. For Thanksgiving, find out if your best clients will be traveling and, 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 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 had to do. A few days later, one of her guests contacted Don about working together.

If pies aren’t your thing, be creative. It’s about delighting them in ways that get them smiling and raving about you to the people they know. Brainstorm with your team. Is there something unique and special you can do to show how important your best clients are to you?

Explore their contacts. Talk about helping your best clients’ families and friends. With another financial year coming to a close, find out if the know someone who might need your services. If you can specifically identify someone in their circles, ask about that person.

Use the season as an excuse to remind your best clients how special they are; you’re bound to reap the sweet rewards.

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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to


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