Insurance and Financial Advisors – Build Profitable Relationships at Client Events With Event Themes

Dynamic Leadership

Research confirms that insurance and financial advisors who are proficient in building relationships achieve more referrals and greater success. In a recent study of Fortune 1000 companies, researchers at Booz Allen Hamilton and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that the most financially successful companies are more relationship focused than sales focused. That’s their “differentiator.”

A Great Way for Financial and Advisors to Build Relationships and Get More Referrals

One of the best ways to build relationships and get great referrals is to hold a customer event.

Open houses, client appreciation days, golf outings, and similar events provide opportunities to get closer to the client, help build stronger client relationships and, ultimately, create higher levels of client loyalty. If done correctly and creatively, you can obtain rewards.

Hold an event with a theme that is appropriate for your business. The invitation should make your best insurance clients say “WOW, I don’t want to miss this!” Here are a few examples that have been successful for many businesses:

Valentine’s Day for Single Women Only

Here’s one to start planning now. One of three top producing wealth management firms representing a well known financial services company holds an annual Valentine’s Day luncheon for single, widowed, or divorced clients and their single female friends. Each women gets a rose upon entering handed to them by their advisor. A piano player in a tuxedo plays music favorites. The event gets bigger every year.  The result? Well, this firm is among the top three in the country. What do you think?

A Family Affair

Host an event that includes customers and their families, as well as employees and their families. This makes them feel like family too!

Picnics, barbecues, holiday parties, and theater parties, among others, are all great. I have even seen a company pull off a very successful ice skating party complete with snowball fights, hot chocolate, and snow-related prizes.

Playing the Game to WIN As a Financial Advisor or Insurance Agent

Purchase tickets to football, basketball, and baseball events.  Everyone knows that one! But make it special. Reserve a viewing room. Have special appetizers and gifts.

Learn More-Earn More

Host an educational seminar that will provide valuable information to help your clients increase their profitability and lead better lives. This type of event can produce a great turnout. Here are a few examples that are proven winners. Consider those that are applicable for your client base.

  • – “Live to Enjoy Your Money-How to Keep Your Heart Healthy”
  • – “Teaching Kids About Money”
  • – “Don’t Wait – Plan Your Estate”
  • – “Home Improvement Made Easy”
  • – “Business as Usual is OVER – What are the New Rules of the Game”
  • – “Money Matters. How to Save More of it!”

Many companies bring in an author who has written a book on a hot topic. The author and firm promote the event together, resulting in a win-win for both.

Don’t Miss the Boat

Take customers on a boat outing. You can do it after business hours and call it a Sunset Cruise – “Cruisin’ With XYZ.” (My colleague, Maribeth Kuzmeski, principal at Red Zone Marketing, a firm that specializes in the financial services industry, gets the credit for this catchy event theme.)

Rockin’ to Success

You can obtain a great turnout at an after hours party with this theme.

Block Party

Block out the date for the XYZ block party. Hold it in your company’s parking lot. A similar theme might be Takin’ It To the Streets.

An Evening with ______________.

Purchase tickets to an event that your customers would be delighted to attend. Every year, a wealth management firm purchases a block of tickets for Joel Osteen, a famous author and senior pastor of Lakewood Church who has a big following in that area. They get a huge turnout and says that his clients look forward to it every year. Families are included.

Country Club Classic

If you are a member of a country club, hold an after-hours cocktail party and appetizer event. A financial advisor located in the Chicago area held an event at Medinah Country Club. If you live in Chicago, or are a golfer, you know that Medinah is a very impressive country club. Most people never even have the opportunity to get through the gates. Did she obtain a great turnout? You bet.

Getting the turnout you want

As soon you set a date for your event, e-mail or send a SAVE THE DATE announcement. Then, call the client to let them know that an invitation is in the mail and to hold the date. (Sales pros always need a reason to call clients and potential clients.) Another way to obtain a great turnout is to hold an internal contest. Offer a prize for the sales person who can get the most customers to attend.

A financial advisor in Chicago was calling customers the morning of a big event his firm was holding. A week later at a sales meeting, the President handed him five one hundred dollar bills for getting the most clients and potential clients to attend.

Getting referrals at the event

There are several methods to obtain referrals at your events. One great way is to expand your invitation list. When you call the client “John, would you like to invite the brother you told me about?” Or, “Carolyn, would you like to bring a friend or family member who may also have interest in the services we offer?”

Another way is to give each client small gift as they leave. These gifts should be on a table by the exit and next to a nicely wrapped box with a slot. As you, or someone else in your company, hands them the gift, also hand them a referral card. Thank them for attending, ask if they enjoyed themselves, and thank them for their business. Then, graciously ask, “Would you be so kind (a great phrase to use, and one I wrote about in The ART of Influencing Customers to BUY From YOU) as to fill out this little referral card?”
If your event was great, they should be motivated to do so.

Small events can be just as effective

Too small of a business and too few funds to hold customer events? Even a small firm can do this successfully with a small budget. Here’s a cost-effective way you can obtain referrals through events. Think of the best restaurant in your area that is centrally located. Choose one that has a private room and is known for great food so that invitees will say, “Lawry’s! Wow, I love that place!” If the restaurant is famous for steaks, make sure the invitation says, “Choice of Steak, Chicken, or Fish.” Make a deal with the restaurant for a great price.

Consider your per-plate charge and the expense of printing and mailing one hundred invitations. Set a goal of having fifty people present. Send an invitation to your best customers, advocates, and anyone who is in a position to refer business to you. If cost is an issue, resist the temptation to include family members, friends, and neighbors unless they can bring someone who can use your product or service.

Make a SAVE THE DATE announcement, send the invitation, and ask for an RSVP. Then, give a follow up call. Once you know who is coming and how many, check to see if you are on budget. If you are, ask each person if he or she would like to bring a guest who might also use your product or service.

Financial advisors and insurance professionals can build relationships and obtain more referrals by holding events. Whatever type of event you choose to do, make sure it’s different, memorable, and suitable for your client base.

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About Christine Corelli

Christine Corelli is a motivational, keynote, business, leadership, sales, and customer service speaker, sales trainer, and author of six business books. As a keynote speaker, she is known for her high energy and interactive speaking style.

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