By: Adri Miller-Heckman
Women are leery — that’s the bottom line. They’re also not dumb, so when they get an invitation to a nice event free of charge, they know you will want something from them. But when you charge for an event, when a woman is asked to invest in herself and pay for your value…well, now you are singing a whole new tune.
There is tremendous value in providing educational events and engaging workshops for women. In fact, hosting events is almost mandatory if you are looking to create new relationships and develop loyal raving fans. The fact is that women love to learn in a community with other women, so providing that community environment is essential. The question is: Should it be free or should they pay?
With my coaching clients, the answer is different for each advisor. The solution comes in finding that delicate balance of events and workshops that work best for the advisor and their community. Incorporating “Pay to Play” events can add a whole new layer of value and commitment for both the advisor and women in the community.
Think about it: When a woman receives an invitation from you to attend a nice event at a well-known restaurant, she knows it costs money. If she doesn’t know you, she may be apt to take advantage and bring a friend, neither one intending to do anything with you. If she does know you, she may be hesitant to bring a friend, knowing you are paying for the lunch. There are many different factors playing a role in women’s decision-making processes, so depending on the situation, your choice can work for you or against you.
What if every month, the woman gets an invitation for a monthly event at a fabulous restaurant with an enticing topic, and she is asked to pay for her lunch while getting a great boost of inspiration? Personally, I would be more apt to invite a friend knowing I’m not burdening the host or “taking advantage” of the situation. On your end, you are attracting women who are actually willing to invest in their future. This doesn’t mean that those who attend are guaranteed to be qualified, but they certainly have the attitude you are looking for.
To compliment a “Pay to Play” event, I would recommend hosting a “Qualifier” event. This is a high-end event that is free, but attendees must qualify to attend. I would even recommend allowing husbands to participate, as this gives women an easy way to introduce you to their spouses or partners, a critical step in the getting-to-know-you process.
Keep these “Qualifier” events small, intimate, and of high value. It is also essential that you actually state the qualifier on the invitation and articulate it verbally during your “Pay to Play” event. For example:
This event is for women and couples that have accumulate more than $1,000,000 in investable assets and have complex financial concerns.
By incorporating a “Pay to Play,” you are now addressing and serving the needs of any woman in the community. Advisors hosting “Qualifier” events are directly attracting those that have the assets they are looking for, opening the door to husbands, and making attendees aware that they are capable of managing millions.
There are no one-size-fits-all answers when planning your event strategy. It’s really about finding the combination that works well for you, that appeals to your tribal market, and that is conducive to your community. The key is being both creative and consistent with your events. Once you commit to an event program or combination of events, keep doing it the same way until something tells you a change is necessary. Don’t overthink it — the repetitive nature enhances your ability to establish your brand and can dramatically impact your marketing and visibility in your community.
You might be surprised at just how easy it can be to develop and deliver a program that fuels your business for years to come.
Adri Miller-Heckman leveraged the experience and insight she gained as an advisor and National Training Officer at Smith Barney to break the code on marketing to women. She has helped thousands of financial advisors tap into the lucrative market of female investors, and is ready to share her proprietary femXadvisor process to help you attract and retain women of wealth.
You can download her newest guide to successfully market your practice, How to Create & Implement Seminar Programs Women Love.
Originally published on www.ellevatenetwork.com.