Delight Clients and Increase Referrals With 4 Lessons From Walt Disney


Walt Disney was a business mastermind. disney-world

He built a multi-billion dollar company with the simple goal to “create happiness” and always strived to deliver a Disney experience that would leave customers feeling better than they did before.

With that vision, he turned a mouse named Mickey into an entertainment empire.

One of Walt’s many talents was achieving business success through customer engagement, and much of his advice can be closely applied to the world of financial advisors.

Here are 4 top lessons you can take from Walt, himself.

Information comes in 2nd place.

“I would rather entertain,” Walt said, “and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” Disney delights customers at every step.

He did it right. While riding a magic carpets and fighting an evil wizard, Aladdin showed us that who we are is more important than what we own. Through song and adventure, Simba and his pals taught us that the mistakes of our past can’t keep us from creating a better future. The smiles, the fun, the tears, the enjoyment all comes first. The lessons are secondary.

Making clients engaged should be a fundamental priority. At the end of the day (or a meeting), experiences and emotions are more powerful than information and data. Don’t ignore the human element. Delight them.

Try-It Tip: Delight clients by offering to help them manage their held-away assets, before trying to bring them under management. Advisors have a unique circumstance in which you can service clients first, and manage second.

So clear a kid would understand.

Walt Disney mastered the art of clear communication. When was the last time you watched a Disney movie where you didn’t get the message? It doesn’t happen very often because Disney has mastered the art of taking a powerful message and distributing it in a way that is clear.

Clients come to you because they need your help, because there’s a lot to know and consider, because it can be overwhelming. Keep them afloat by making everything as clear as possible. They don’t need you to dumb down your message (they aren’t children), but make the point incredibly clear.

After all, would you rather work with the insincere schmoozer using unfamiliar jargon, or the approachable collaborator who will break things down and make you feel comfortable?

Try-It Tip: If you find an article that breaks down a difficult subject in a fun way, share it. It’ll remind them why they work with you – you help and delight them.

They must come back, with friends.

Disney understood and valued the power of the spreading word. “Do it so well,” Disney said, “that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

Happy clients tell their friends. It happens for Disney World, and it happens for advisors. Positive word-of-mouth is, along with your more concrete marketing efforts, a powerful, business-generating force. It all stars with delighting your clients, and doing it so well that “they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

Try-It Tip: If you’re not receiving referrals, you need to rethink why. Check out our free whitepaper: How To Turbocharge Your Financial Advisory Referral Program.

Deliver magic, or lose them completely.

Disney knew that his customers were everything; without an audience, his work would have no purpose. Parks are empty spaces if no one visits. Movies don’t become “childhood classics” if no one watches.

To delight customers, and make them want to come back, every Disney employee is trained to make the guest experience a magical one. Similarly, you want to keep your clients wow’d.

Your services are about making your clients’ financial lives better — listening to and meeting their needs. You work for them, and with them. You, and every one of your employees, must take deliver your exceptional service with a hint of magic.

Try-It Tip: Empower clients to create their own reporting magic. Get the story of how this happened to one advisor, and why it grew his AUM by $1.5 million in a single morning.

Can you make your office “the happiest place on earth”? Meh, that’s probably a bit ambitious. But still know that you can affect how a client feels when they think about working with you, visit you, and talk about you. And the time to start delighting is now.

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Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!
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