In our current world of social distancing and shutdowns of businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become challenging for financial advisors to stay connected to their clients. This is especially difficult given the current turmoil in the financial and job markets that presents a perfect opportunity for advisors to counsel their clients and help them plan for both the near-term and the long-term.
Virtual happy hours have taken off in social circles over the past month. We believe they can also be a powerful tool to help financial advisors stay connected with their clients when it matters most.
1. Pick a Platform
There are many virtual group-meeting platforms available. We’ve narrowed down the list to our favorite three, with some pros and cons for each. For all platforms, make sure you have security checks in place when discussing or chatting about sensitive information.
Google Meet (recommended by our team of experts)
Pros: Web-based app means your guests won’t need to download an app, guests can join by calling a phone number, simple user experience makes it easy for any person to use it, low cost
Cons: Hard for multiple people to talk at once
Pros: Guests can join by calling a phone number, better support for multiple people talking at once
Cons: Comparably not as user friendly, it’s only free for 40 minutes, potential security risks
Messenger Rooms, by Facebook
Pros: Great user experience, natural and easy to use + mobile friendly
Cons: You and your guests will all need a Facebook account
2. Pick a Date and Time
Wednesdays and Thursdays are great days, as they don’t compete with many of the virtual happy hours that friends and families are hosting on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays. Pick a start time between 5:30pm and 6:30pm to avoid interfering with work, dinner, or other family commitments.
3. Curate your Guest List
Depending on the size of your practice, you might want to limit your guest list. Keeping your virtual happy hour between 20 and 25 attendees will help keep things orderly. We recommend planning your invite list based on a 60 to 70% attendance rate.
4. Send the Invite
Invite your group of clients to a virtual happy hour with this straightforward strategy, including an appealing invitation:
Send each client an email at least 2 weeks before your virtual happy hour date with the time, duration, expectations for the event, and a link they can use to join
Follow up 1-2 times via email with a reminder
Send each invitee a Sozo gift box with wine and glasses. Each gift box will contain a printed card reminding them of the virtual happy hour 4-5 days before the event
Call clients for a personal follow up after they’ve received their gift. Invite them to attend if they haven’t responded or plan a separate 1:1 consultation if they prefer
5. Plan the Format
Keep it short. The goal of your virtual happy hour is as much about connecting in the moment, as it is about building trust and mindshare to have time with your clients in a 1:1 setting at a later date.
Plan to open the meeting by thanking everyone and asking them to open their gift and pour their wine so you can share it together. Next, share a 15-20 minute presentation on current market trends, finishing up your meeting with a call to action inviting people to share their questions in the virtual happy hour, or in a 1:1 setting after the happy hour.
6. Grow your Relationships
This virtual happy hour format can be your tool to grow a personal connection and stay top of mind with your clients during one of the most pivotal seasons for wealth planning in the past decade.
You are in a unique position to help them navigate uncertain and stressful times, which enables you to grow a relationship that will last a lifetime.
Reach out to our team of gifting consultants to plan the timing of your gift box delivery once you've placed your order. You can place your order on your QuickOrder Gift Store, or if you don't have a store, you can request one here.