Are Kids the Key to Meaningful Client Relationships?

The summer may be the perfect time to connect with your clients—and their children. Learn how to use the slower months to curate memorable events for the whole family.

Addressing your clients’ needs and helping them achieve their goals is a daily priority, one that’s always top of mind. These may be individuals that you have worked with for 20 or 30 years, often with great success. But even in a relationship that spans decades, the subject of either party’s children may never arise. This can lead to a missed opportunity for growing your business not just over a lifetime, but across generations.

In showing gratitude for your clients, spouses are often the go-to gateways to deeper, more personal relationships. You may reach out to parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, perhaps, and make sure to celebrate other milestones. Take the next step by implementing a systematic approach to their children’s special days, as well.

Seen from the youngsters’ perspective, there are few days that are more anticipated than the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. Newly freed kids should be treated as more than appendages to their parents, who will appreciate that you made an effort to engage their young companions.

As outlined in Knowledge Labs’ The Art of WOW’s Gratitude Gains, thoughtfully considered action tailored to clients’ personalities can produce a significant asset advantage. Plan ahead for birthdays and graduations, for example, and ask clients to keep you in the loop on their offsprings’ other noteworthy achievements. Summer also means vacations, camps and sports leagues, so there are plenty of opportunities to WOW both generations with a timely token of appreciation.

No Children Please

I received an invitation to a client appreciation event at a racetrack that stated, “No Children Please.” Imagine my surprise when we arrived only to discover that the track was holding a kid-centric event on the same date. The message was mixed, but my feeling of indignation was not.

Few appreciation events encourage clients to bring their kids along. An invitation that includes the phrase “No Children Please” makes the mistake of focusing solely on people with investable assets, and those three little words ignore the significant position children occupy in the lives of your clients. While planning for their own future, they’re also thinking about what the years ahead hold for their most precious assets: their daughters and sons.

Inviting children to be active participants in their parents’ financial planning should be part of your routine, not a once-a-year exception. In addition to rethinking adults-only events, the following are simple yet effective office upgrades to consider.

  • Make your office an inviting environment for young families by implementing a children-welcome policy and keeping fun “kid swag” on hand to distribute.
  • Carve out a kid-friendly corner of your space, especially when school is out for the summer and children are more frequent guests at meetings. Think “dentist’s waiting room” and populate the corner with bright colors, children’s books and puzzles.
  • Increase face-time frequency and plant the seeds of a multi-generational relationship by inviting families with young children to join you for a mid-year review.
  • Turn “No Children Please” into “Bring Your Kids!” by hosting a paint night or renting a pool. Sure, you can bring a kid along to a wine tasting, but they’re certain to feel bored and excluded.

Financial Education, Junior Edition

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” -Jim Rohn

Kids don’t learn financial literacy in school, so transform your office into a classroom by introducing budget basics to the children and grandchildren of clients. You might also consider hosting a workshop in your conference room or at a casual restaurant. Possible topics include:

  • Needs versus wants
  • Time value of money
  • Saving for a first car and home
  • Planning for retirement

Parents will approve of the dose of common sense these conversations provide, while kids will benefit from a spoonful of sugar in the form of advice from a non-parent, non-teacher adult. Make a family project out of saving for goals, and demonstrate how a small investment can grow into a meaningful nest egg. Likewise, the time you invest now in your clients’ children can lead to mutually beneficial growth in the future.

Driving Extreme Client Loyalty

Learn how the Art of WOW can help you cultivate extreme loyalty among existing clients and grow your business.

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