Five ways to 'sock' it to your clients – Part 2

01 June 2021 Myra Knoesen

In part 1 of this article, Brad Johnson, Vice President at Advisers Excel, shared a quick story of how he personally created a “Wow” experience to set the stage for how to pull this off in your practice…

Long story short, Johnson said the new trend in men's fashion is wild and crazy socks. So, “my friend Wes and I asked ourselves, ‘Why don't we just order them for everyone?’ So, we did,” continued Johnson. 

A few days later, Johnson said their inboxes started getting flooded with emails… witnessing the power of a surprise. “The best part is you can use this thought process with anybody you would like to make a big impression on… something personalised and relevant to the recipient's life (but most importantly, unexpected),” he stated. 

Five different ideas

So as a financial adviser, how can you incorporate the power of a well-timed surprise into your business model? Johnson provides five different ideas you can send by mail to your clients and prospects:

  1. Surprise Idea #1:Next time a client is not feeling well, what if you sent him/her a “get well” package to let him or her know you are thinking about them?
  2. Surprise Idea #2:If one of your clients loses a friend, relative or spouse, what if you sent wind chimes in remembrance of that person with an “in memory” transcription and a personal card?
  3. Surprise Idea #3:One of your clients is talking about a book they have been wanting to read. What if that book showed up two days later with a note from you saying you hope they enjoy the book?
  4. Surprise Idea #4: OK, so I can't leave this one out … A client mentions he loves the dress socks you are wearing. What if you mailed them some of your crazy socks and they showed up in his mailbox a few days later? Think he would be excited about that?
  5. Surprise Idea #5: You go out to dinner with a husband and wife, and they mention how much they love the bottle of wine that you have sampled that night. Three days later that bottle of wine shows up in the mail or is dropped off by one of your office staff with a note from you saying you hope they are able to enjoy one of your favourite wines at home. 

Wow your clients

A recent article by Scott Redick in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the element of surprise is the most powerful marketing tool of all. In Redick’s opinion, surprise is the most powerful marketing tool because: 

  • Surprise is addicting - people are designed to crave the unexpected;
  • Surprise induces change in behaviour - surprise introduces us to new stimuli, which we must then reconcile with shifts in our beliefs and behaviour;
  • Surprise spikes emotions - surprise is not an emotion, but rather an emotion enhancer. It appears to amplify whatever you’re feeling; and
  • Surprise creates passionate relationships - similar to a relationship with a loved one, the element of surprise with your customers can spice things up. 

“So, stay in tune with your prospects and clients. Really listen to what is going on in their lives. When you recognize an opportunity to “wow” somebody, make a note in your phone. When you are back at the office, take advantage of that opportunity immediately. I promise you; this simple practice will create positive experiences and turn your prospects and clients into raving fans,” concluded Johnson.


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