Asset Aquisition Ideas from the Top Advisors in the Country - Part 5Submitted by American Endowment Foundation on September 4th, 2017
By Susan Kay, VP-Business Development, MFS Advisors, Guest Columnist
I have been inspired by learning from some of the top advisors in the country, particularly how they have used charitable planning to build their AUM. Here are some additional ideas.
I work with one of the top ten female financial advisors in the country. Her name is Janice. I interviewed her and asked her about the philanthropic community involvement piece of her practice and how she uses that as a driver to meet high net worth people.
How many of you have ever been to a fundraiser? When we go to fundraisers and we walk in the front door, there's always these tables: long, long tables all the way around the room.
And on them are things that we can bid on. Maybe you'll bid on a weekend stay at a country inn, or a spa visit, or have a private chef's dinner, or a gift basket filled with wine.
What Janice does is, first and foremost, she knows her clients' charities. She'll call them up and she'll say, “Hey, I know that Big Brothers-Big Sisters is really important to you. I've seen how generous you've been on your tax returns. I've heard you talk about them before. I'd actually like to help you drive revenue for this great organization. I am going to offer them a private chef’s dinner at home, for 10 people, as an auction item." Here's what your client gets:
- Number one, you've reflected to your client that you actually pay attention to the details in their lives because you're the one who brought it up. That's incredibly meaningful to them.
- Number two, you're actually going to drive $2000-$3000 in revenue (because that's usually what a private chef's dinner goes for at most charitable events) to benefit the charity.
- But number three, you're going to host that private chef's dinner in your own home.
Which means you're going to put yourself in front of ten people: two who had the where-with-all to pay $500 for two seats at a gala charity dinner and then write a $3,000 check to go to this private chef's dinner. They then are inviting 8 friends of theirs who are more than likely from the same income tax bracket that they are in.
You're going to definitely put yourself in front of new people. You do it in your home and when they come through that front door, they're going to wander by all the pictures of your kids and your vacations. They're going to meet your golden retriever. They're going to sit at your table, and talk about all the common things that connect us as human beings: how long have you been married, where’d you go to college, where do your kids go to school, etc. And, yes, they are going to ask you what you do for a living.
How do you go about hiring a private chef? It's really simple. I would go to the best restaurant where I live. I would approach the owner and say, ”I'd like to do a private chef's dinner as a charitable donation to Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and I'd love to hire you to come cook in my house for an evening.”
You want to know why she says yes? Because private chefs of small restaurants want to cook for high net worth people. She wants to cook for those ten people because if they have a good experience, they will not only come to her restaurant they will bring people with them.
So you are looking at an all-in cost of $800 to host a private chef's dinner.
So I asked Janice, how successful has this been for you?
She said, "Susan, I've hosted six of these and I have gotten a client out of every single private chef's dinner that I've hosted. I just did one of these six weeks ago, and I will be converting one of the attendees as a client and that's a $4 million account for me."
Private Chef Dinners as an auction item is just another way of looking at how to get in front of high net worth people.
I’ll share another tip along the same lines. I work with an advisor named Tom. He knows his clients' charities and he will call them up and he will say “I'd like to drive some revenue for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, that you are so passionate about. I see they are having a fundraiser next month. I'd like to create a gift basket and donate it. Can you put me in touch with who is organizing it?”
Similar to the prior example, 1.) You've honored them because you brought it up 2.) You’re actually going to drive $300-$400 in revenue to the charity for the gift basket, 3.) You're actually going to meet the winning bidder.
How? Tom buys a big basket, and he fills it with all sorts of nice items (bottles of wine, fine chocolates, etc.). He spends maybe $100 on items; before he wraps it in cellophane and puts a big bow on top, he puts in an 8 1/2 by 11 hard card stock piece of paper that’s labeled Certificate of Award. His offer is “Four hours in your home of organizing financial records.”
So imagine for just a moment. Someone wrote a $300-$400 check for this gift basket.
They now get you and your expertise in their home. You can review financial records, estate documents, and a host of other financial documents, spreading them out, touching them, commenting on them, providing suggestions and thoughts on things they need to think about.
After about two hours with them, you’ve built a rapport of trust and expertise with them. Tom has used this idea successfully for years.
These ideas are just a few of the ways that you can use community involvement as a driver in your practice to get in front of new assets and to stabilize those assets by having conversations about charitable planning and the benefits of tools like donor advised funds for example.
In this series, we've also shared some ideas on how some of the top performers in this country are using philanthropic planning as a way to put themselves in front of high net worth people.
There was a study by Cone Communications Group where they showed that 89% of people would switch brands (or in this case switch advisors) if they were involved in their communities and successfully painted the picture that they understand they are their brother's keeper and they are involved in giving back.
So at the very least, you want to think about “how do I paint that picture not only to my clients but to prospective client families regarding the value I place on charitable giving.”
I hope the tips I have shared will help you raise your game.
I want to share a favorite quote of mine from Pericles, who is one of the all-time great Greek statesmen. He said, "It is not what is written about you on the monument in the town square. It is not what is written about you on your headstone. Instead, it is all about what you have done for others."
How do you successfully weave yourself into the lives of your clients and your client families? I have learned from the most successful advisors in the country how they have used charitable giving as a tool to grow, to build deeper relationships with existing clients, and to find new clients in the process.
They have done it successfully. You can too. Good luck!
At American Endowment Foundation, we look forward to discussing how DAFs can play a role in building your AUM. Contact us or call at 1-888-660-4508 to learn more.
Learn more great tips from Susan Kay: