Don’t just tell them…show them.

Don’t just tell them…show them.

Can you believe that it’s November already? It seems like just yesterday we were enjoying all the things that summer had to offer. I had to flip the page on my calendar and it suddenly became real. We are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving and a little over a month away from Christmas! I wanted to take a moment to talk about how important it is to be active during this holiday season—and why.

As the Director of Business Development here at Tarkenton Financial, I take a lot of time to really get to know our agents and make sure that they benefit from all that we have to offer. The one thing that is consistent across the board is that people want to get in front of more qualified prospects. That really is the name of the game when it comes to marketing, but these last two months of the year I want you to really be mindful of the clients that you already have! There is no better time than around the holidays to really show those folks how much they mean to you.

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks. It’s right there in the name! So consider: how can I show my thanks for the trust my client has put in me? After all, that’s what they really purchased, isn’t it? YOU! They could have gotten an annuity or a life insurance product from the next agent, but they chose to do business with you. Remember: Product is not what sets you apart. Instead, what sets you apart are all the things that you do and all that you are as a person.

That someone trusts you enough to do business with you is well worth a simple thank you, but let’s get creative. A simple handwritten “Thank You” card is always great, but if you deliver it in person along with a small gift—or maybe something like a pie or a turkey that they can eat on Thanksgiving—it becomes that much more meaningful. Some agents I know will actually share a meal with clients on or around Thanksgiving. Another creative gift I’ve seen is to make a donation to the local food bank in your client’s name. These are great ways to show that client just how special they are to you around Thanksgiving.

Next up: It’s not too early to begin thinking about Christmas. The obvious thing that most people think about is sending out Christmas cards. I believe that is very effective, but I want to share a few more ideas of things that you could do around the holiday season. A lot of folks that we work with will send out large tins of popcorn or sweets to their clients. Others have sent calendars with their contact information on it so that clients can have it for the coming year. Some agents will even circle the date of their client’s annual review. I think my favorite idea is from one of our agents who has a family member that works as a hairdresser. The agent sends all of his female clients there around the holidays to have their hair done, and he picks up the bill. Now that is thinking outside the box!

Working with Fran, I have absorbed the lesson that life is about helping people and building relationships, and that lesson becomes more and more real to me as time goes by. It’s not about us. It’s about doing something for other people. When we make these gestures around the holiday season—and likewise when we do business at any time during the year—it should never be about us and what we want. It’s about doing something meaningful for your clients, about helping them to solve their problems and doing what we can to make their lives better. If you’re doing that, then everything else has a way of falling into place.

About the author

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes grew up in Philadelphia, graduating in Business Management from East Stroudsburg University. As a team member since our founding in 2003, Chris possesses an unparalleled knowledge of how to position our agents for success. He works with new agents to provide the initial assistance they need to flourish in the Tarkenton Financial system. Chris and his wife Kimi are the proud parents of a daughter, Hayden. Nicknamed “Sports Crazy” Chris Barnes by Fran, Chris was a 4-sport athlete in college. He and his wife continue to play sports like golf, ice hockey, softball and volleyball.

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