Beating the Summer Doldrums?

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Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

Since marketing is my responsibility here in our office, I thought I'd throw this out.
I find myself in the throes of the summer doldrums. Most clients are happily touring the countryside in their motorhomes phoning in occasionally for checks to buy odd trinkets they've found. - Noone wants to come in for reviews. - Noone can think of any friends they want to refer at this time.
Most prospects are on vacation and not into the idea of coming to seminars. I've been doing mailings lately...but not with much enthusiasm.
Does anyone have any other bright ideas?

FreedomLvr's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-10

You could hold a Summer Client Appreciation Event.  Bring a friend!
Start a referral gift program for clients.  I knew a guy (I'll admit to stealing his idea) who sent out Thank you cards for each referral with a $2 bill in it.  Clients LOVED it.  On the outside the card said "Thanks a million!" and the inside said "I owe you $999,998!".  I'd throw in a winky face ";)" or something because some people are crazy.
Drip marketing campaign (reply cards or phone-in) on some topic people care about. "CAPITALIZE ON GLOBAL WARMING, INVEST IN DRINKING WATER"... something like that

babbling looney's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

This is a tough time of year for me too.  As you said, people don't want to come in for reviews or attend seminars.  They are busy golfing and traveling and otherwise just busy.
I am doing my regular mailings, phone contacts and business owner drop in visits.  I would also love some new ideas .  

no idea's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Do any of you old Jones guys (and girls) still cold walk since leaving there?

Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

no idea wrote:Do any of you old Jones guys (and girls) still cold walk since leaving there?
I'm still there and I don't...

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

No doorknocky here.
a.) it's too hot out right now.
b.) she's too grown up for that.

frumhere's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

...I am too fat and out of shape for door knocking!

babbling looney's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

frumhere wrote:...I am too fat and out of shape for door knocking!

Oh, I don't know about that.  Besides all that running away from growling dogs will get you whipped into shape in no time.
I don't go door knocking at residences anymore, but I do cold call on business owners.

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

Has anyone done "client satisfaction survey"? Named or anonymous? Was it brutal if you did?
Our usual source of business is always monthly breakfast workshops at Denny's. Uber informal. Highly informational. 2'nd Wednesday of every month - always advertise in free section of business paper, "what's happening". Topics range from "Basics of Annuities" to "LTC" nothing too complicated. Runs 1 hr. Existing clients can come, but MUST bring a friend if they do.
But this is getting kind of boring, (been doing it 5 years  )and we are trying to come up with a new plan - for our new  business. Thinking of some other similar but different deal. Maybe coffee & pie in office Thursday afternoons....

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Denny's huh???? There must be a nice bed/breakfast or mom/pop breakfast joint in town. Go talk to them and arrange a deal for a series of workshops/ brunches etc. Maybe go a little more high-end and the results/prospects may be better. Just a thought.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

blarn,
Denny's rocks. Why would you want to move from the $2.99 slam to anything classier?
Sorry devoted..  Try Sunday morning brunch at a country club or nice breakfast restaurant.  You'll be amazed at the # of wanderers (aka potential clients) who suddenly become interested and alot of them will be qualified unlike the crowd at Denny's. 

FreedomLvr's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-10

You could also do a client/family appreciation event at a dave and busters or something like that.  Bring the kids....

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

...just working on the wording in my invite for my first annual summer client appreciation event.  Got some good local caterers grilling porkchops on my parking lot late next month...I just hope it doesn't decide to rain...

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

It's Ok guys.   I know it doesn't sound..."high finance". We started w/ Jones and intended it to be...as low key, non threatening, middle america as possible. You'd be surprised how many, good clients we've gotten over the years from this gig. BUT...we've also had PLENTY of REALLY big time suckers too!
That's why it's getting old. Need a new road show! Thanks for the ideas! Will add some class to our program!

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

Indyone wrote:...just working on the wording in my invite for my first annual summer client appreciation event.  Got some good local caterers grilling porkchops on my parking lot late next month...I just hope it doesn't decide to rain...
I'll do a rain dance - NOT rain dance for you. When we had a luau we used some wording like, "allow us to say mahalo to you for your business as we enjoy one another's company at Bob's Beach Shack.....grass skirts and hawaiian shirts optional!"
Had one old grampa when he heard real hawaiian dancers with grass skirts would be there say, "grass skirts ehhh? I'll bring my lawn mower!"

apprentice's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

It's this type of thinking that gets you all stuck during these 'ripe' prospecting times of the year.  First - marketing is not about you.  When you construct a marketing plan, centered on making your life better - put a fork in it, it's done!  Of course people don't want to come in for reviews or refer friends - they're outside enjoying the summer months.
Idea number one (that works) - create a summer marketing plan centered on your target that includes fun things they're interested in.  You'll have plenty of time later in the summer and early fall to slam close all the pipline business you'll get.  Like water? Find a sailing instructor who can give lessons right after you talk about 'navigating your portfolio'.  Like golf? Find a golf pro who can coach some hitting tips after you speak about reaching the hole in 3 or 4 strokes instead of trying to get a hole in one all the time (with their investments).  Like to grill? Find a chef who can give a quick 'outdoor' cooking lesson right after you speak about how a low heat will slow cook your tenderloin to perfection (like a smart, slow and steady approach to asset allocation - where there's a low risk of being burned).
Get it?
Come on - engage people where they like to be.  You'll be long remembered when it's time to pay the piper.
Rock the world!!

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

That's good stuff apprentice. (grill idea! Have a guy in town who runs a bbq shop & is all about teaching grill classes my rep is in good with him)
Reminds me of a similiar idea I had forgotten I liked from Van Kampen - host cooking class (target market here grammas that enjoy it) with recipe for successful asset allocation strategy something like that.
Thanks! It's enough to keep me busy! Our clients are really "social butterfly" types and enjoy opptys to bring friends...good ideas.

apprentice's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

I'm here to please -
One other item I forgot to mention - You can typically negotiate with your expert (golf pro, chef, sailboat instructor) a low price, or free.  Most of them are trying to establish their business, like you, and if you bring the people (potential new clients to them) - they're happy to provide you with an hour or so of their time.
Inexpensive, fun, high value for prospects/clients, good food - why not enjoy the summer and build your pipeline?
Ciao - I'm off to the lake!

The Judge's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

Apprentice- Definitely good stuff on your part, at least for the effort.
But I've got to tell you- I deal with (mostly) very, very HNW individuals.  Frankly, they would be turned off by such "marketing" efforts.  Be carefull about putiing yourself out there as an everyman.  Personally, I would find such efforts as shabby.  Casual marketing is acceptable- golf, country club, etc.  Other than that, often someone comes accross as a MLM fellow of which big $ will flee like mad.
Just my opinion.

maybeeeeeeee's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-24

FreedomLvr wrote:
You could hold a Summer Client Appreciation Event.  Bring a friend!
Start a referral gift program for clients.  I knew a guy (I'll admit to stealing his idea) who sent out Thank you cards for each referral with a $2 bill in it.  Clients LOVED it.  On the outside the card said "Thanks a million!" and the inside said "I owe you $999,998!".  I'd throw in a winky face ";)" or something because some people are crazy.
Drip marketing campaign (reply cards or phone-in) on some topic people care about. "CAPITALIZE ON GLOBAL WARMING, INVEST IN DRINKING WATER"... something like that

I like that, humor is soooooooo good.

Devoted SA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-28

The Judge wrote:
Apprentice- Definitely good stuff on your part, at least for the effort.
But I've got to tell you- I deal with (mostly) very, very HNW individuals.  Frankly, they would be turned off by such "marketing" efforts.  Be carefull about putiing yourself out there as an everyman.  Personally, I would find such efforts as shabby.  Casual marketing is acceptable- golf, country club, etc.  Other than that, often someone comes accross as a MLM fellow of which big $ will flee like mad.
Just my opinion.

You are right Judge. It's not for everybody. I cringe when I hear HNW b/c I think of country club, white glove dinners, "elbow rubbing" and as my jet set LA cousin would say, "putting some feelers out there" lol. Most of our clients are either retirees (cute) or engineers (which makes most people run screaming from the room?).
But, like you said, it's all about what kind of people you are looking for. Tailor it to how it's going to help your business right?

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