Brie, an advisor in Fort Worth, TX, writes:
We are holding monthly educational dinners and suggesting clients bring guests. We are getting the same clients and no guests. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves, but the response is not what we were hoping for.
This could be a good reason to have a client advisory board meeting. Or you could call a couple of them and run through some questions like this over the phone:
Jane, this is Katherine. I just wanted to get some feedback on our last educational dinner. (Pause and wait for a response).
How did you like the food? What where the top three ideas you got from the speaker? Is there anything we could do better?
(What you are looking for here is a rave review--if it is not a rave, the rest of this won't work. If it's not a rave, take careful notes and use the criticism to improve your next event.)
Great, well I am thrilled you had such a good time, but can I ask you something personal? You know the best way we can grow our business is with recommendations from happy, satisfied clients like you. We always ask our favorite clients to bring friends because we think that is the best way to meet them and introduce them to what we do. Unfortunately, none of our clients have been bringing friends to these dinner parties! Now, we know each other pretty well, so I thought I could ask you: what am I doing wrong? What should I be doing to get our favorite clients to bring their friends to our dinner meetings?
Once again, shut up and just let them speak--you will learn exactly what you need to be doing. I suspect this little phone call with your top 12 clients will probably have at least 3 or 4 of them bringing guests to the next event. From there, it starts to snowball. Good luck.