Creating virtual happy hours for clients to enhance connections

When the virus really first became a national concern here, I honestly didn’t think it would change too many things with our practice. But it definitely became more and more clear as things turned into, I guess what I would call chaos, that COVID-19 would have a lifelong impact on how we do business. And that kind of comes from being through a few crises before and knowing that chaos creates opportunity and the old saying that we should never waste a crisis. I wanted to be sure that we took action.

So one afternoon in March, I was speaking with a client who was telling me about how she was going to have a happy hour with some of her friends and that she wouldn’t be able to speak that long to me. But I had to ask her, how was she going to have a happy hour? Because New York state was under a shelter in place request. She explained that they were going to do their happy hour via Zoom, and that they invited some friends from across the country and they do this weekly. So I quickly made a note. Then the next day, I gave her a call and asked her how it went. And she said it was just an incredible amount of fun. So immediately we met as a team and started to talk about how we could implement a happy hour for our clients. That following Tuesday, March 31, was our first Custom Wealth Management happy hour.

We actually called it “I’ll have a Corona, hold the virus.” We didn’t really have any idea what we were doing, but we brought a bunch of decorations that my wife had at home and we decorated one of our conference rooms to look like a Tiki bar. So we’d dress it up for a real happy hour. The first two happy hours were just that: We had cocktail recipes, joke telling, things like that. But we did host these every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m.

By the second happy hour, it was pretty clear that we would need to create some content and make it a little bit more interesting. So we split the team in half, and one half was responsible for creating content and the other half was responsible for coming up with a game to play, to make it fun and entertaining. And they did a great job. They found some great games online, but they also created some of their own. And overall the happy hours were not only well attended but they were extremely well received. And then in mid-May, we cut it back to one per week. And then at the end of May, we cut it back to once a month. Having never done this before, I didn’t even think too much of it, but it was so well received that we’re going to continue doing that monthly now.

John P. Enright is a 21-year MDRT member from Syracuse, New York. Hear more in the MDRT Podcast:

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