Client Acquisition: Financial Advisors Who Cold-Call with Cold Cuts
Here’s an interesting and creative approach for meeting new prospective clients, highlighted in the recent edition of Fast Company.
Robert and Joshua Barone are principals in Universal Value Advisors, a Reno-based financial advisory firm. No more boring conference rooms for them -- they meet their new, prospective clients in the kitchen.
Check out this picture. This is the Barone’s company kitchen. Granite counters. Two ovens. A semi-circular counter that seats six. This is where the Barone's (they are father and son) prepare and serve gourmet meals to their clients and prospective clients.
Here’s what they have discovered. In the kitchen, their clients are much more relaxed, and more inclined to speak freely. It also helps that Robert Barone is a bit of a “foodie” and has taken cooking classes in Napa Valley, Hawaii, Italy, and Australia. As Joshua Barone reports, “What we have found is that our clients told us a lot more in the kitchen than they did in the conference room, and it wasn’t about finance. It was personal.” (Note: Although the title of the blog uses the phrase "cold cuts", I highly doubt that the Barone's menu is limited to cold, pre-cooked meat.)
From a client acquisition perspective, does this approach work? It appears to. Since 2009, the firm has seen year-over-year asset growth of 30 percent annually.
To further round out the unique office environment that the Barone’s have created, the office also has an espresso machine, a shower, and extra computer workstations for clients and impromptu guests who stop by.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this approach works so well.
- It is an approach that is unique and highly personal.
- It involves well-prepared, high-quality, nutritious food cooked in plain sight in front of the clients (an interesting meta message, by itself).
- It allows the Barone’s to engage prospective clients regarding an activity that they (the Barone’s) have a clear passion for.
Kudos to the Robert and Joshua Barone for arriving at a client acquisition approach that is, not only fun, but completely respectful of their clients. This example might provide encouragement to all of us.
For some additional ideas on client acquisition ideas that you might implement, please feel free to download the complimentary ClientWise Learning Tool below.
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