We too often hear that “the holidays are slow” for business. Well…if you say so. Literally, if you decide and declare that the holidays will be slow then they will be. If you decide the holidays are here and embrace them, you can generate tremendous results.
For those who refuse to acknowledge the holidays are here and continue to send out their same marketing flyers and advertisements, don’t be surprised when they fall flat. If you USE the emotions the holidays generate in your advertising, you’ll find it can powerfully connect to your clients.
Several things happen during the holidays that you can incorporate into a marketing strategy for success.
1. Families get together. What better time for multigenerational marketing than when your clients’ kids are in town? Use this family time to meet your clients’ children, sisters, brothers and extended family. Trustee workshops are a popular idea among most estate planning organizations. Plan these specifically when your clients’ family is in town and let you clients know that you are too having a holiday family get together…with your client family.
2. Parents give gifts, and grandparents, especially, give gifts! Send out an offering for a holiday Will plan for clients who might be concerned about planning for their minor grandchildren. Many parents will pay for the documents their children may not have in place just to make sure those grandkids are planned for. Particularly clients with adult, single daughters with minor children. I haven’t seen a grandparent yet who is comfortable with their ex-son/daughter in law getting control of the money their grandchild will receive. They will PAY to make sure it doesn’t happen.
3. Grandparents fund planning. Many grandparent clients also will look to do planning for their grandchildren at year end, both for holiday-ish reasons and tax planning. Look to inform them about IRA planning techniques and other ways to use gifting and strategies to plan for the grandkids.
4. Children see parents who are declining in health. Many times it is startling for adult children who live out of state to see their parents’ decline. If they haven’t seen their parents for 6 months or more, they may notice a “slow down” and want to handle planning need while they are in town to help.
5. Children come home from college. If you told a college kid’s mother that they might have trouble getting information if their child is in a car accident do you think they would pay to get Health care documents in place for their child? You betcha. Let you clients with college age children know that if the child is 18 or older, they need to have health care powers of attorney and HIPPA authorizations in place.
6. Business owners need tax deductions. Your business owners probably do routine work with you each year, or at least they should be, such as annual minutes and document reviews. Since most businesses are looking for tax deductions before year end, be proactive and contact you clients for an “End of year prep meeting”. They know their CPA is going to ask them for certain things, so go ahead and do a legal review to help them be ready. You will find not only annual minutes, but things like unissued stock/unit shares, personal loans to the business with no formal Promissory Note in place, lack of legal agreements such as Employment Agreements and Operating Agreements. Help them prepare for their CPA meeting and use the tax deduction at the same time.
These are but a few simple, inexpensive ways to use the holidays to your advantage. They don’t require new software, additional staff or new brochures, just a little effort and maybe…some holiday cheer.
To ending the year with success,
Molly and Laney