Jul 01 2022 / Round the Table Magazine
Turn your raving clients into fans
By Pamela J. Sams, CRPC
I started my financial planning career when I helped my mother transition to widowhood after my dad died in 2001. Coming from a generation where men handled most of the household finances, my mother was at a loss, both emotionally and financially. Could you imagine after 50 years of marriage suddenly becoming a widow and single?
Fortunately, I was able to jump in and help. I had just completed a financial management MBA program, so I was able to assist with her transition. I realized that other women did not have the support my mother had, so I decided I was going to help women in similar situations as my mother to understand their finances and walk that journey with them.
The swan community is born
That circumstance brings me to my first strategy for creating raving fans: Think outside of the box. Most of my clients are women, and what they have told me many times over the last 20 years is that financial worries keep them awake at night. I decided to help them sleep well. So, I’m going to share with you my swan strategy. My logo is a swan. It has two meanings. One is it’s an acronym for Sleep Well At Night. The second meaning is a metaphor for transforming ugly-duckling financial situations into beautiful financial swans.
When someone becomes my client, I send them a glass swan. I tell them to place it on their nightstand as a reminder of the work we’re doing together and how they’re now able to sleep well at night. One of my clients took it a step further. She was so excited to receive her swan, she posted on social media how delighted and pleased she was with the work we’re doing together and ended her post with #financialswan. That was the origin of that hashtag. So, every time one of my clients posts information about me, they use #financialswan. I essentially created a community that I call my ladies, or my swans, when they become a part of my practice.
Encouraging clients to talk about you on social media is one way to create buzz about your practice. If you’re not friends with your clients, friend them on social media. Of course, you can keep track of what they’re doing, but also highlight what you’re doing in your practice. They might tag you at times, and you can create that buzz.
Another strategy is something I created during the pandemic lockdown. It was a dark time, as we were worried about shortages of essential items, loss of income and becoming sick. I wanted to cheer up my clients. Since I love music and have several Spotify playlists, I made a playlist for my clients. I compiled it by asking clients during their review meetings what was their favorite song. I added those tunes to the playlist and sent that to all my clients to enjoy. That song collection created a sense of community, and some clients share the playlist with others. During the Christmas season, I created and shared a playlist of my clients’ favorite holiday songs.
Referrals by mimosa
The last idea is my “Money and Mimosas Event.” This is a client bring-a-friend gathering, where a client hosts and invites their girlfriends. It’s a fun and less-intimidating way for my female clients to learn about money. I spend about 20 minutes on a presentation, and then the rest of the time we have breakfast, drink our mimosas and have fun. That event has led to a lot of referrals for my practice.
Creating fans on social media
While a quarter of the approximately 2,000 American women in a 2021 survey by Capital Group said they are looking to rely more on an advisor in the future, 43% of women of color said they turn to social media first for financial advice and then to family, financial websites, friends and financial services professionals.
So, social media is where Sams goes prospecting for clients who have questions about their financial security. Women are her target market, and most of her clients are single by choice, divorced or widowed.
“I try to find Facebook groups specific to my target market. It can be women entrepreneurs, women in my area, mom groups, women empowerment groups. I’m very strategic about the groups that I join on Facebook and the same goes with Instagram and LinkedIn,” she said during an MDRT webinar about using technology for prospecting (see the webinar at https://www.mdrt.org/social-media-prospecting).
The groups serve as a test market where she can learn the posters’ pain points and questions. She established a presence there by explaining what she does as an advisor and providing help. With the help of subscription services to content libraries and social media scheduling apps, Sams positions herself as an expert by regularly posting content, such as Financial Tip Fridays and articles curated from finance publications. She attributes much of her practice’s recent growth to her social media outreach.
“Once you connect to one of your clients, you have access to their network as well, and you just ask for warm introductions to other people you want to know in the network. It just responds from there on the areas you want to target,” said Sams.
View Sams’ presentation from the 2021 MDRT EDGE at mdrt.org.