This year is different. Hopefully 12 months from now the familiar rules will return. Most advisors and agents want to build a clientele of HNW individuals. The word “most” confirms they are prospected regularly. They isolate themselves 11 months of the year, but they do come out to play at Christmas.
Social prospecting shares rules with dating. You need to meet someone, introduce yourself, identify shared interests and make the case for getting back in touch later. Let’s assume you know how to do all that. Where do you find them over the Christmas holidays?
Ten Places to Meet the Wealthy
Let’s pretend there isn’t a pandemic. Alternatively, let’s pretend it’s 2019.
- Tree lighting in town. New York City puts up a tree in Rockefeller Center. Your town or neighborhood likely does the same. It’s often sponsored by the Chamber or the neighborhood business association. The mayor attends. Someone flips the switch. Everyone applauds. Community and business leaders attend. Most people head together as a group for hot chocolate, mulled cider or something stronger. You go with the flow.
- Christmas concerts. There are plenty. You will find them in the local newspaper. There are ones featuring Christmas songs. Someone is putting on Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” The ballet company performs “The Nutcracker.” These are holiday traditions. The big names in the community who attend the tree lighting show up here too.
- The holiday party at your volunteer group. Your historical society/museum/college alumni group holds an annual party. It draws a crowd from the membership. Why? Because everyone loves a party. It attracts local luminaries and major donors too. You tactfully network.
- Your religious institution. You are absolutely not crossing a line! No handing out cards after services! Congregations include many, many volunteers. There’s often a party to thank them for their time and effort. December brings major feasts and celebrations. Services are packed. Everyone dresses up. You attend. You shake hands and wish Merry Christmas to people you’ve always wanted to meet.
- The extended family Christmas get together. Your family heads home for Christmas, just like the song says. The uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews attend. It’s a long, drawn out affair. You have hours to catch up with people you only see once a year. What new things are happening in their lives? You congratulate newlyweds and admire those new babies.
- Your holiday party. Point 6 will lead into point 7. You throw your own party. It doesn’t need to be a drinking fest. It could be an afternoon of tree decorating. It could be an open house or coffee and cookies theme. You invite many friends, clients and friends who might become clients. Business isn’t discussed.
- Your client’s holiday parties. Some clients entertain. Others don’t. Your holiday party might get one of four responses. Your client hosts their own party. They invite you. They aren’t the party throwing sort, but ask you out to dinner. Your party reminds them why they like you and they come up with a referral. The last possibility is nothing happens. At least they know you extended yourself.
- When you deliver a small holiday gift. You’ve bought some attractive yet inexpensive presents for several clients. Your Compliance folks gave you the OK when you checked ahead. You dress festively and drive around, dropping off presents. You call ahead so porch pirates don’t grab the goodies. Some clients invite you in. You meet the family. You learn a lot from their décor.
- The holiday art show. The local hospital or medical charity puts on a show featuring local artists. The artists donate a substantial portion of their sales to the charity. The big donors show up and buy paintings. You attend and mingle.
- The New Year’s Eve party. The country club or another organization throws a party. Sometimes it’s the night before, other times it’s a brunch on New Years Day. These are usually well attended. This time, it includes you too.
Part of the magic of the season is seeing the same faces at several events. It’s an opportunity to pick up conversations and get to know them better. Everyone is in a good mood.