How Women Advisors are Reinventing Client Events

No longer are client events just hours-long workshops with clients crammed elbow-to elbow in hard chairs listening to educational speeches and sales pitches. Instead, women advisors are approaching client events in new ways. Whether you are specifically targeting women or you are trying to build deeper connections with your existing clients through

personal touches or by embracing similar interests, there are events available for you. Here are three successful
event examples you might consider:

Attracting Women Clients
As Laurie Humphrey begins her transition to lead her mother’s financial practice, Granite Financial LLC, in
Saint Cloud, Minn. she plans to focus her attention on growing the business with more women clients. To reach her target market, Laurie plans to host client events that allow for an atmosphere women would be comfortable in, and as a woman financial advisor, she aims to be the right support her clients desire. “I think women can be better listeners sometimes,”
Humphrey said. “Women clients are more open to talking about the emotional side of investment planning. I
believe having another woman to voice your concerns, fears and joys to be important, and I want to help those
women feel comfortable. “As women continue to outlive men and as the number of women who control household finances continues to rise, the need for more financial education for women is apparent. This can give women advisors a distinct advantage at gaining new clients. “Women advisors seem to better attract women clients
because our brains work similarly,” Humphrey said. “We multitask, share life experiences and can relate to one another
on a more personal level. Many of us have struggled with the work-life balance. And while men struggle with
that too, we experience things differently.”

These differences first led Humphrey’s mother, Pat Hinds, to host client events specifically for women, to
give them “girl time” to discuss things they may not otherwise want to share with a spouse or family member.
“Our events give our clients time out with their friends,” Humphrey said. “We’ll typically invite a client out to
lunch for her milestone birthdays or to celebrate retirement and ask her to invite five or six close friends. It’s
cozy and comfortable, so nothing fancy and not too many people. It’s an excuse for women to get together
and appreciate the client while we introduce ourselves to the client’s friends.” Humphrey said the main focus is on celebrating the client, so the firm typically takes only a few minutes introducing themselves, describing how they know the
client and giving a quick overview of the practice while passing out a business card. Humphrey will then follow-up
with the client after the luncheon to see if any of her friends showed any interest. “We usually get one great referral from a luncheon, but it’s not an instant gratification,” Humphrey said. “It
might be a year down the road when someone will ask the client who hosted her appreciation lunch, but it
makes us memorable. It’s about the appreciation to deepen the relationship we have with our existing clients
while also marketing to her friends.” While the same type of event could be done clients, Humphrey feels it wouldn’t work the same for her since she is a female advisor. “I think I would end up feeling like the odd man out,”
Humphrey said. “The main purpose of the event is to show appreciation for the client and then connect with
the client’s friends on a personal level in a relaxing atmosphere. I don’t think you could get to that level as the lone
woman at a table of men.”

Not every event Granite Financial holds is focused on women, or is an original event idea. Recently the practice
ordered the Five Wishes presentation kit and video from Aging with Dignity, a national non-profit organization that
aims to help individuals as they age and promote better care for those near the end of life. Using the kit, the practice
held a workshop in the restaurant of a local golf club. The event included a 20-minute video with a question
and answer session following. Nearly 50 people attended, with one-third of clients bringing guests including adult
children, siblings and spouses. Humphrey said there were a lot of couples, but the room split about 60/40 in favor
of women. “Women are planners, and they know statistically they are going to outlive their spouse,” Humphrey said. “They
were very engaged and led the majority of the follow-up discussions. We had a good turnout, great engagement
and positive feedback. This was our most successful seminar yet.” Keeping That Personal Touch
At Creekside Financial Advisors, LLC in Pepper Pike, Ohio, founder Nan Cohen built her entire business by
keeping everything personal – including her client events.

“I spent my whole first year having coffee dates and lunch dates, asking people what they would want in their ideal
financial advisor,” Cohen said. “I really listened to their advice and every time I used their advice, I thanked them
in a note. After that first year, my business grew because I continued to listen to people, and I designed my
business to be personal, prompt and responsive. I don’t ever want to be less than what I say I am.”
Cohen continued to build personal relationships with her clients, gaining strength from constant communications
and personal touches focused on service. “We run a very personal practice,” Cohen said. “We
probably send out more chicken soup when people are sick than any kitchen in town. We always stay focused on
the client value and try to provide the best service we can without taking up much of their time.”
Cohen eventually moved from intimate coffee dates to holding frequent larger client events as well. But even
with an increased audience, she keeps her events as personal as possible. She has sponsored events to educate
clients on Social Security, Medicare and other health care information, and fun, intimate events such as one for
women at a museum that included a private touring of an exhibit.

Leveraging Local Help with Client Interests After an impressive presentation by Patricia Schultz at a
local travel seminar she attended with her husband, Fritz, Sue Brauner got in touch with Schultz’s PR firm and
invited her to participate in a client event. Schultz is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places to
See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List.

“Our clients know we love to travel and we have a lot of Fritz’ travel photographs on the wall, beautifully framed,
and our clients love to come in and look at those and they love to
hear about our travel adventures,” said Brauner, vice president of the
Brauner Company in Redwood City, Calif. So she thought her
clients would enjoy hearing Patricia’s presentation as well and decided to host the travel event. For more details on how advisors can be effective with their clients go to