You may believe that email, text or social media are the answer to greater success. And all are, no doubt, vital. But even working harder or getting your next industry degree will not catapult your sales to the degree personal contact can. Top producers consciously embrace branding strategies that deliver a superior reputation and likeability to their market. Psychologists call it “Social Capital” … and as Robert Krumroy covers so brilliantly in his book, Social Capital Matters!* it makes a huge difference in successfully establishing your personal brand with clarity and constancy. Krumroy showcases sixteen top MDRT producers and details the ways they get appointments with most anyone they set their mind to approach.
My goal here, is to provide you with three such ideas you can use this month to create an event so different in the mind of your clients and/or valued prospects that it will be seen as truly personal and appreciated.
First, what exactly is social capital? It is the expected economic benefit that is derived when you extend personal and preferential treatment to individuals. There are three components for building social capital.
Your strategy must be:
• Remarkably Interactive
• Exceptionally Surprising
• Convey a “Warm Heart”
Social capital creates personal gratitude … and personal gratitude always reciprocates.
The following are two stories from MDRT advisors explaining what they do in March to generate social capital. Every advisor should have at least two every year. Pick another idea to complement one of these — (choose one from the book, Social Capital Matters!* or create your own) and your annual strategy will be a home run!
Lucky Day Strategy:
Randal J., Advisor for Fortune 500 Insurance Company
“St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is one of my “get noticed” days. I go to my local grocery store first thing in the morning and purchase 100 green carnations. Almost any grocery
store will have them, but you may want to check the day before in order to get the quantity you need. I have already identified my top 25 clients, where I am now headed to deliver a St. Patrick’s Day card along with a single green carnation in a bud vase.
I take extra carnations, not in bud vases, to give to every person who is in close proximity when I enter the office. I also give St. Patrick’s Day buttons that they can wear. I always wear a green hat and make it a big deal, telling my client that I am here to wish him or her an Irish Blessing. As corny as it sounds, it is tremendously effective.
My biggest fear is that if I don’t do it some year, I am going to get a call asking where their green carnation is. They love that I reach out to them in special ways throughout the year. It is unusual and memorable.”
International Waffle Day
Ian J., Advisor for Fortune 500 Insurance Company
Every year, on March 25th, I deliver $25 IHOP gift cards and a letter to my top 10 clients. I buy the cards in bulk so I usually get a bit of a deal through Sam’s Club or an online source. It obviously costs me around $250, and it’s THE BEST one-on-one advertising I do all year. Why? Because 9/10 times my gift reminds them of something they need to chat about and they end up asking me to breakfast or lunch!
When I started this, it was my way of doing something that I hoped would be different and appreciated. The result has been far beyond my expectation. My clients are tremendously appreciative and the extra business I get is fabulous.
I love the reputation I’ve built with International Waffle Day. I often hear from referrals that they were told, Ian is the IHOP Guy. When I hear that, I know the sale is guaranteed.
The following is a suggested letter for the above IHOP/International Waffle Day strategy. Feel free to copy in full or pull what you like best and create your own:
Happy International Waffle Day!
[First Name] [Last Name] [Company] [Address] [City], [State] [Zip]
March 25th is International Waffle Day — no kidding!
Now, I know that I happen to love waffles, and in trying to figure out the best way to recognize the day I looked up a bit of history regarding this delectable treat:
Waffles came to Sweden near the early 1600’s and quickly spread to neighboring lands. In 1839, the Belgian waffle was created – much sweeter and thicker than regular waffles, and made with a iron holding a deeper grid which allowed for more jam and cream to be added. In Sweden, it was so popular they created Waffle Day, known as Våffeldagen, which sounded a lot like Vårfrudagen (Our Lady Day), a day that celebrated the Virgin Mary’s conception. Because of this lingual connection, it became a Swedish custom for families to celebrate Vårfrudagen with waffles on Our Lady Day. And this is how International Waffle Day came to be celebrated on March 25th.
To commemorate this occasion, I’m delivering this $25 IHOP gift card to let you know that you are a client I truly appreciate. I will never waffle on this important distinction! I’m also going to call you in the next few days to see if we can grab lunch and catch up. So, enjoy a delicious meal at IHOP, celebrate International Waffle Day — and please take my call when I make it. I hope you get a kick out of this card and enjoy your golden-brown, honeycombed, syrupy treat. Or omelet, BLT — whatever you like!
Okay, now I’m hungry – I may not be able to wait till the 25th to celebrate!
[Financial Professional Name]
Is your schedule too crazy for in-person deliveries this month? Send a e-card or e-postcard via email for any occasion with e-Relationship:
Holi (March 8th)
Spring Forward (March 12th)
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
Palm Sunday (Date is April 2nd, we suggest sending the card the week of March 27th)
Nowruz (March 20th – March 21st)
Ramadan (March 22nd – April 21st)
You can also send e-cards & e-postcards with the following themes: “anytime”, birthday, anniversary, “let’s catch up”, education or retirement seminars, BBQ or picnic or basketball game invites …
Honestly, if it is a holiday, a party, a professional event or a reason to meet — most any type of event you would invite a client or prospect to — e-Relationship has a card and/or postcard for to fit your needs! It’s just a part of the e-Relationship 12+ touchpoint set-it-and-forget-it automatic digital marketing approach that advisors swear by to raise their production by 43% over non e-Relationship subscribers.
If you truly want to become an exceptional sales producer, you know that building a significant prospect database (not just with clients) is not just an option. Identifying desirable prospects is imperative for building attraction and positioning that makes it comfortable for them to eventually accept your appointment request. Here are easy places to consider for building your database:
2) Friends in your cell phone
3) Your LinkedIn account
4) Your religious affiliation
5) A charity you are involved with
6) A civic group you belong to
7) A country club or a swim club
8) Fellow board members you serve with
9) NAWBO – the National Association of Women Business Owners
10) Women general contractors
11) Women entrepreneurs association
12) The Young Entrepreneurs Association
13) The homebuilders association
14) The retired executives association
15) A local Chamber of Commerce
16) Facebook – (remember though, only 40% of these contacts are potential prospects)
Once you have created a database with a significant number of names, commit to making prospect building a daily priority. Ask everyone you meet this question:
“Would you have any objection if I added you to my business database? I would like to treat you as one of my privileged clients, sending you occasional ideas for saving taxes, reducing after-tax income, and insurance topics. That gives you an opportunity to learn
where I focus my business and determine if I can ever be a resource for you. Most of my clients get to know a lot about my area of focus before they ever become clients. Would that be OK?”
Always expect to hear a yes and a thank you. This script is always welcomed. Prospecting is not an arduous chore when you can fulfill your promise of delivering helpful information throughout the year to your prospects. If you build a database and continually connect, your clients and prospects will recognize the professional reputation you deliver as compared to everyone else.
And once you’ve done all the work and made the sale — getting your clients to stick with you takes even more. You can’t simply act on an occasional marketing idea once a year. That may work for your initial year in the business when you’re primarily calling on people with whom you have some connection … but long term, and ESPECIALLY since 2020 — this will NOT take you the distance year-in, year-out.
If you want to be an exceptional sales success, you need multiple “get noticed” encounters during the year – not just one. They need to be planned in advance with specific dates to keep you on track. Make sure they are unique, remarkable, totally surprising, and that they convey a warm heart. When that happens, you will understand the consistent power of Social Capital.
You can buy Robert Krumroy’s book, Social Capital Matters! at the link below- but if you are one of the first 25 people to call 1-800.851-8169 during March 2023 and mention this blog post, we’ll send you a copy free!*
Now that’s showing you we care about you – and that we know what Social Capital really means!
(*Available at https://www.identitybranding.com/prospecting-tools/)
*(Shipping & Handling, $3.50)