One of the best ways for a financial advisor to grow business is through IAPs. However, many IFAs find it difficult to ensure good participation at these events.
Cafemutual spoke to a few IFAs who have grown their business through IAPs. Based on their inputs, we have put together nine steps to help you ensure more people are drawn to your event.
Approach people of same background
You can approach homogeneous groups of people who share the same age group or background like religious groups, institutions etc. You can conduct these at corporates, government offices, educational institutions and factories.
Chandan Ghosh of Prudent Wealth has mastered the art of conducting large-scale IAPs by approaching homogeneous groups. He says, “We usually approach associations and groups with a large base of members such as trade unions, religious groups. Recently, we approached the district head of a primary school and pitched him the idea of conducting IAPs for teachers. He agreed and to our surprise nearly 700 teachers attended the session.”
Ritesh Sheth of Tejas Consultancy calls IAPs an ‘Investment’ Awareness Programme; he approaches a homogenous set of people and delivers a customised case study depending on the profile and background of the people. “For instance, we talk about tax saving to salaried individuals. For small-scale business owners, we talk about book-keeping and cash flow management. People have liked our programme so much that they are ready to pay to attend them,” he says.
Tap existing clients
Your clients are your brand ambassadors. They have experienced your advice, your services and know the importance of proper financial planning. You can invite them at your IAPs to share their experience of investing and working with you.
Pratik Shah, Accute Assurance Services invites his existing clients to share their investing experience with the audience. “I invite clients who have been investing for the last 8-10 years with me. They narrate how their investments have grown over the years and this gives the audience some proof. It is like a testimonial for me,” says Pratik.
Power of social media
You can use these platforms to attract investors and draw participants to your awareness events. Pratik makes a WhatsApp group of clients residing in a particular area and shares the IAP’s agenda with them.
Rajesh Sodhani of Sodhani Investments has made a Facebook page of Niveshak Darbaar (title of his IAP) to attract young investors.
Advertise in newspapers
Sodhani promotes the event by running promos on FM radio channels and newspapers to create a buzz.
Ritesh also advertises his IAP in different regional newspapers. He says, “Many people approach me after reading my advertisements. First, I inquire about their background and requirements, and only then I give them the details.”
Create reward points for your clients by offering them some kind of reward or organising free health, dental check-up after the programme. Also, do not forget to offer refreshments. Ajay Jain of Swaraj Wealth Management has created a rewards system for clients. Each time clients bring new participants, they are awarded points and the client who scores the maximum points is rewarded with a gift.
Keep the topic interesting
Keep your topics interesting to attract the maximum crowd. ‘How to retire at 40’ or ‘How to live a debt-free life’, ‘How to have a comfortable retirement’ are examples of topics that should catch people’s attention.
Give extra passes
Give existing clients extra passes for the IAP sessions so that they can call their friends and close relatives. Also, at the end of the session, ask participants to register the names of their family members and friends whom they would like to invite to the next session.
Follow up before the event
Make sure you follow up with the expected participants. This will show your commitment and dedication to the event. Ghosh says, “We make sure to reach out to the members individually through phone calls. We explain the event to them and how they will benefit from it. We also assure them that there is no ulterior motive in conducting the event,” he says.
Ritesh also makes sure to follow up before the programme. He says, “I usually send them a reminder message a week before the IAP and on the day before the IAP I call them to discuss the agenda and other details.”
Send a formal invitation
Send a formal invitation card which includes the agenda, venue and timing. This approach will show your professionalism.