The smartest thing you can do with your time is creating opportunities – real or virtual – where your clients, fans and admirers can experience who you really are or what you really are.
The experience is how you make people feel; the experience is the memory you create and the sense of well-being that others feel in your presence.
Want to shift and take a step in the right direction?
Consider how often you make yourself available to your clients, how often do you meet them, see them, spend time with them? How often do you call them? How well do you know them, and how well do they think you do?
When designing experiences for your clients, consider the 4 different Realms of Experience, as outlined in The Experience Economy by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore. These four realms are Entertainment, Education, Escapism and Environment (in the EE book Joe and Jim refer to Esthetic.)
What kind of fun event could you host that is related to what you do? How could you make an existing client interaction more fun? Here is an example, when people join me in zoom meetings instead of arriving at a boring welcome screen that says “Dennis will be right with you” which is another way of saying “wait” I make sure that guests arrive at a video playing. It’s surprising, it’s different and it is usually related to what we will be talking about.
Hey, you know what else is fun … Getting together with people who share my interest. Or being invited to a lunch to meet some other small business owners in the city.
Think outside of investment seminars … What else could you teach your clients that would empower them to make a positive lasting change in their life.
What could you do with your client that would shake up their routine? I was recently invited to a presentation on “Old Ottawa” by a guy I follow on Twitter who posts photos of my city from decades past. I find it fascinating and would gladly have attended except I’ll be away.
Think beyond the predictable golf events … I had a client once who hosted an event at her own home and it involved gardening. She hosted 2 events per year, one on planting and the other on how to put the whole thing to bed. I mention this to my wife probably once a year when Sherri is out playing in the dirt.
In the book The Experience Economy, the environment is referred to as esthetic and the authors are referencing a specific sort of experience, namely one that you simply take in in a passive immersive state, such as looking at art or sitting in a park being content to just be.
For my purposes I want you to think about how any client interaction could be staged to create a contented mindset, and also I want you to think about events that are outside in nature. One of the best ideas I ever had and didn’t know, was when I told a client to have a review meeting in a park. I had just had a great lunch in a park near my office and had the idea. Take a regular review meeting, and change up the environment … Take your client somewhere beautiful, see what happens.
How can you stage your own office to be an interesting experience? How can you surprise people, engage and delight them? Think beyond color schemes … I met an advisor in North Carolina whose office was full of toys.
He was a collector, and the toys were props to help him make an interesting point which was that some of his most valuable investments were those that he was the least emotionally invested in.
You don’t have to fill your office with toys but you’re the only one who likes the golf stuff you have all over the place and it’s a really bizarre message to be sending out.
The more time your clients spend with you, the better.